SS Newholm SS Ambassador SS
Mendi SS Skaala Privateer Dragon 1757 S.S.Percier MV Napoli
MV Lucy HMT Caroline German Submarine U-260 SS Basil Glenart
Castle SMS Margraf
Thistlegorm was built by Joseph Thompson & Son of
Sunderland in 1940. She was an armed freighter with a
4.7 inch anti-aircraft gun as well as a heavy calibre
machine gun. She was owned by the Albyn Line which had
been in operation since 1901. In her early days she had
been carrying goods to and from the US, Argentina and
the West Indies but on her final she anchored in the
wrong place at the wrong time. Two German Heinke
He-111's had been sent to the Suez canal following
intelligence that a large troop ship would be in the
area. As it happened they had got the timing wrong and
on their return selected SS Thislegorm as the largest
target to dispose of their bombs. She was at anchor off
Sinai point in the Red Sea following here refuelling
stop in Cape Town. Two bombs hit hold four killing four
sailors and five naval gun crew and almost spit the ship
in half sinking her on 6th October 1941.
Her cargo, bound for Alexandria in Egypt, went
down with the ship. This included Bedford Trucks,
Armoured Vehicles, Norton 16H & BSA Motor cycles, Bren
guns, 303 rifles and ammunition.
Also included were aircraft parts and two LMS Stanier
Class 8F Steam Locomotives with there associated coal
and water tenders.
The wreck SS Thistlegorm was found by Jacque Cousteau in
the mid 1950's but he had kept the position a secret
until divers relocated her in the early 1990's when I
first dived her. Today she lies in 30m of water and is
largely intact but rusting away. Her mid section, hit by
the bombs, is missing exposing her cargo of armaments.
A locomotive lies on the seabed on her port side have
fallen off the deck during the sinking. In order to
protect the wreck a series of buoys were put around it
for the dive boats but this was unsuccessful due the
occasional large surface currents in the area.
As well as its cargo you will find plenty of fish
including Barracuda, Batfish, Morey eel, Lionfish,
Stonefish, Crocodile fish, Scorpion fish and Sea
turtle & Tuna.
Select the image below to take a tour of the wreck 20
Select the right hand image to see the Thistlegorm in
Photo/Video - Steve Clarkson
Also see a 3d map of the wreck today:
Copyright � 2011.Steve Clarkson. All Rights Reserved.