German raider Komet passage north Siberia 1940

Reading my attention grabbing new book “Storm of War” I got reminded of this historic voyage of the Komet (aka Raider B of the British Admiralty) from August 1940 which was with the help of Soviet icebreakers. It is noteworthy that despite decades of global warming and technology advances the northern passages are still little used except by ice breakers and the oil industry. The Komet created mayhem in the SW Pacific sinking several ships including (with Raider A the Orion) the liner Rangitane in early hours 27Nov1940 off NZ East Cape. The Komet also voyaged to the Antarctic – not sure what exactly they were looking for. Vic.University German Raiders in the Pacific. I am building a timeline of raiders engagements in the SW Pacific.

3 thoughts on “German raider Komet passage north Siberia 1940”

  1. I see from the Vic.Uni. link where the Orion after sinking the steamer Turakina in the Tasman(20th Aug) snooped around Albany laying dummy mines? on 2nd-3rd September 1940 even roused a RAAF Hudson which circled them in the morning then returned to base and lost contact. Should have been bombed, followed. I wonder what Australian archives has to say. There had been four ships lost near NZ Australia since June you might expect coastal defences to be a bit organized. What could have stopped the Orion sailing into Albany and shooting up the place?

  2. It does seem surprising the Hudson could not figure the ship they circled had no business there – I thought all vessels had procedures to ID themselves by blinker. I see the Hudson could carry 340kg of bombs – I suppose a hit or two would have annoyed the Orion – but not an easy target carrying plenty of AA guns. And I wonder if any bombs were stored at Albany then. Does anybody know if any effective bombers were based near Perth in Sept 1940? How about the Navy around that date – anything useful that the RAAF could have guided to a strange ship?
    The Albany Library have kindly sent me this find from Trove in 1954 Sydney Morning Herald which mentions the Orion’s exploits near Albany.

  3. I found a microfilm at the AWM which looks to be extracts from the log of the Orion in southern waters. This 4 page pdf 2.5MB has 9 screen photos I took covering the time from the sinking of the Turakina 20Aug1940 through the foolhardy exploits too near Albany on 3Sep1940 – points further south-west and west to the Capetown-Fremantle route and on to the Orion eventually returning east to the oceans north of New Zealand. Larger Timeline

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