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Sinking of transport ships "Marburg" and "Kybfels" in May 1941.
Meanwhile in Patras Maj. Reimke, Commander of the I./ AR 74 assumed command of the rest of the unit that was to embark in the second wave: AR 74; Parts of AA 5; Brücko 645 with elements of Pi Btl 38; Part of the sIG 703; 1 battery Fla Abt 76; A Pl. San. Kp 2/82; 3 heavy vehicles of PR 3; a Pl. and squad heavy MG of the 2./SR 304 without vehicles under Lt Zingsheim.
On May 19, 1941 at 5:00 p.m. all material and personnel were aboard the ships MS "Kybfels" and MS "Marburg". At Patras remained waiting for the "Laura C" which had not arrived yet, the 2./SR 304 and the tracked vehicles of the heavy and infantry howitzer companies of SR 2 and SR 304 under the leader of the 2./SR 304 Lt. Wassmann. However, both transport vessels were only set on sail on May 21 at 9:00 am and were greeted by the crew of the Cruiser "Bari" (until 1918 the German light cruiser "Pillau"). Passing the strait between Cape Lefkada and the northern end of the islands of Ithaca and Kefalonia two Italian ships assumed the escort of the convoy.
Around 2:00 p.m., about two miles southeast of Cape Lefkada there was a large column of water to port at the height of the bridge of the "Kybfels" sailing forward, the ship had received an impact, alarm, sirens, orders .................... The ship turned to starboard and another explosion occurred and a few minutes later a third explosion aft. The "Kybfels" tilted to starboard and began to sink astern. From the first explosion to the sinking, only 15 minutes passed; On board was Maj. Reimke with the mass of the AR 74.
The "Marburg" sailing in the wake of the "Kybfels" marched at full speed in her help (the troops under Hptm. Gammerith chief of the 7./AR 74) suffered an impact to starboard and began to catch fire. It was repeated the same scene, alarm, orders, the Captain ordered abandon the ship. At the moment of the sinking of the "Kybfels", the "Marburg" suffered a second explosion. Despite the very good weather there was a swell of between 1.5 and 2 meters.
From the coast of Ithaca, some fishermen had observed the incident and they had come to the rescue. The torpedo boats and destroyers in Patras went to the site and continued the search at night, illuminated by the fire of the "Marburg". The Maj. Reimke jumped into the water in a liferaft and was rescued by an Italian boat. On board both ships sailed: "Kybfels" 625 men plus 60 crew; "Marburg" 650 men plus 60 crew (about 1,400 men) .......................
According to the report of Maj. Reimke dated May 25, 1941 reached land safely:
Argostoli 885 men (74 hospitalized)
Patras 220 men
Preveza 80 men
A total of 1,155 men.
As of 25 May, 56 men were buried (in the islands and Patras).
Lost more than 170 soldiers and sailors.
An ambulance of the San. Kp 2/82 is shipped in Patras May 1941 .......................................
Three-axle medium-vehicle going aboard ............................................................
Sources: Untergang der Schiffe "Marburg" and "Kybfels" im Ionischen Meer. Mai 1941. Mitteilungsblätter der Traditionsgemeinschaft 2. (Wiener) Panzerdivision.
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Cheers. Raúl M
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.