Friday, December 23, 2016

Dampskib (Steam Ship) 'Lofoten', Norway

This was completed in 1932 for Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab for use on the Hurtigrute (see earlier post).

When the Germans invaded Norway on Norway 9 April 1940, Lofoten was at Bergen mechanical workshops for its annual inspection. She was therefore unscathed and in July 1940 the ship continued in permanent rotation in steamer service. In February 1941, the ship was requisitioned to carry Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler and Reichskommissar Josef Terboven to Kirkenes and back several times. On 12 September 1941 southbound Lofoten was attacked by an unidentified submarine off Syltefjord in Finnmark. The submarine shot at the ship with a cannon, but Lofoten gave full speed ahead and managed to escape undamaged. After this, the coast of Finnmark was deemed too unsafe for larger ships, and the Hurtigrute's northernmost call was limited to Tromso. The Tromsø - Kirkenes section was for the next five years serviced by smaller vessels. In October 1941 Lofoten was victim of a torpedo attack by an unidentified submarine in Saltenfjord south of Bodø. One torpedo hit, but fortuitously it was a dud that did not explode. In late October 1944, the ship was once again requisitioned by the German occupying forces: this time used during the forced evacuation of the wounded and civilians from Finnmark.

The ship was sold in 1964 to the Cypriot shipowner Troodos Shipping & Trading, and renamed Cyprus. The ship was destroyed by fire in the Mediterranean in 1966.

Length: 75.8 metres (248.6 ft)
Width: 11.6 metres (38.1 ft)
Draught: 4.4 metres (14.4 ft)
Top speed: 17.25 knots
Mainframe Triple expansion steam engine
Power: 2,200 indicated horse power
tonnage: 1,571 grt
passengers: 400

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