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Fredrich de Grosse under tow
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Fredrich de Grosse under tow

Craig writes:

'Please see attached photographs which were taken by a relation of mine, but I unfortunately have no dates when they were taken. Maybe someone can help with dates. Any further information would be most welcome.

"Fredrich de Grosse under tow in the Pentland Firth by the tug Swartsea and other Dutch tugs" ( one of the German scuttled fleet after salvage?).'

Date is an estimate.
Picture added on 11 November 2004
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If this tug is correctly identified, the spelling would actually read Zwarte Zee. Built in 1933 for L.Smit & Son of Kinderdijk NL.
Added by Ronald Stewart on 20 June 2006
I have heard that Bill Mowat? who was second coxswain of the Longhope Lifeboat acted as pilot on some of the towing missions with these wrecks on one such tow before local advice was given the departure from Hoxa Sound was wrong and the tide took all the vessels west in the Pentland Firth and it was feared that the ship would sink due to her rolling and the air escaping. Only working the pumps very hard was failure averted.If i have any of these facts wrong please tell me .
Added by John Budge on 20 October 2007
According to the book, "The Man who Bought a Navy" the wreck that you refer to John would be the 25,000 ton battle ship "Moltke". The first of the German battle ships raised and towed to the Rosyth breakers by 3 German tugs, Seefalke, Simison and Pontos for Ernest Cox. They again almost ran into difficulty with this tow when a dispute broke out between two pilots and the wreck got out of control and almost hit The Forth Bridge.
Added by Brian Robertson on 04 April 2009
Cox had a tug called, if my memory serves me correctly, called Ferradanks. We used to have a painting of it at home in Orkney
Added by Sandy Scott on 22 July 2012
Billy Dass second coxwain and later coxwain piloted some of them including the " Derflinger", which lay bottom up in Rysa Sound with machine guns on her bottom, throughout WW2 and was towed away to Rosyth in about 1945/46.
Added by Fred Johnston on 23 July 2012
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