A couple of years ago, I posted the story of a shipment of T's that were lost because the ship sunk in a storm on the way to Australia. I have just come across reference to another shipment of T's lost at sea, this time by enemy action. Further research brought the following to light-
Caption to the above photos-
Date made 1 December 1917
Description Sailors crowd the deck of the German armed merchant raider, SMS Wolf (left), to view the sinking of the 1359 ton United States three-mast barque, John H Kirby, her masts and stern still visible above the water. The barque was captured by SMS Wolf in the Pacific Ocean, 320 miles southeast of Port Elizabeth, Africa on 30 November 1917. Her cargo of 270 Ford cars remained on board but she was stripped of useful supplies of toiletries and her passengers transferred aboard the raider before she was scuttled using explosives the following day. This image is from a collection relating to the voyage of the German raider, SMS Wolf (II), and was taken by an unidentified crew member. Previously a freighter of the Hansa Line, with a gross tonnage of 5809 tons, she was launched as ‘Watchfels’ and was renamed SMS Wolf when she was fitted out as an auxiliary cruiser. She was prepared for her role as an armed merchant ship with an armament that included six 150mm guns, one 105mm gun, three 52mm guns, four torpedo tubes and carried 458 mines, to be placed in Allied territory throughout her journey. SMS Wolf was also provided with an innovative new weapon, the Friedrichshafen FF.33e two seater biplane, an aircraft that was used with deadly success to scout out new targets for attack or to elude enemy threats. The raider was relatively slow, with a top speed of only 11 knots but her bunkers held 8000 tons of coal, giving her a huge cruising range of 32000 nautical miles at eight knots. On 30 November 1916, SMS Wolf sailed from Kiel, Germany, with a complement of 348 sailors and commanded by Fregattenkapitän (Commander) Karl August Nerger. During the 451 days she was deployed in Allied territory around Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, South Asia and Africa, she destroyed 35 trading vessels and two war ships, amounting to approximately 110000 tons. She returned to Kiel on 24 February 1918 with 467 prisoners of war and substantial quantities of rubber, copper, zinc, brass, silk, copra, cocoa and other essential materials to the German war effort. SMS Wolf, without any support, had made the longest voyage of a warship during the First World War. On her return to Germany, the Kaiser presented every crew member with the Iron Cross and Fregattenkapitän Nerger was awarded the highest German decoration, the Pour le Mérite.
This means there are lower mileage Ts out there than the RVW car and lot of them. You just have to find them.
Scratch and dent sale maybe?
What a waste of a bunch of nice cars. At least it sounds like no loss of human life, but who knows what they went through in captvity. The Germans were not necessarily known for their compassion.
270 cars? Must have been a very large ship to be able to place that many on board. Using 15ft pre car that would allow for only 6 cars per + 100 feet. 270 was a lot of cars.
Would those 270 cars have been fully assembled or perhaps in crates requiring some assembly upon arrival? Crates would have offered a much more efficient use of space.
The boat might have had two decks down in the hold too, and if they were in crates, they could've crammed 'em in maybe.
Heah,they are less than 5 miles away.(straight down)Go check them out. (G)
Its my understanding that they would have been in crates in 1917, without bodies. Just fenders, running boards, hoods...but all crated.
the tires should still be good!
Some pictures have been posted previously of Model Ts stacked on end and other configurations for shipment in railroad cars. It shows how quite a few cars can be crammed into a small space for shipment.
For more on the Hilfskreuser SMS Wolf, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Wolf_%281913%29
One of the references is a 1939 book, Cruise of the Raider Wolf. A very good read.
Will and Henry- By 1917 most T's were sent CKD, so they would have been in the form of crated parts for assembling into cars at their destination. However if they were whole cars, they would have been crated with wheels windscreen and steering wheel removed to fit a crate 6' x 12' x 4' which is 7.2 measured tons (40 cu.feet per measured ton).
Tim, here is a link to a story by one of the captives on the Wolf-
I was thinking of the whole cars crated in the 6' X 12' X 4' containers. I just didn't know the dimensions.