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Title:SINKING OF THE ESSBERGER CHEMIST [Allocated Title]
Film Number:ADM 3801
Other titles:POST-WAR NAVAL OPERATIONS - MISCELLANEOUS [Allocated Series Title]
Summary: The nuclear submarine HMS Dreadnought is ordered to sink the hulk of the German tanker Essberger Chemist adrift and a danger to navigation after an accident off the Azores. After three torpedoes fail to sink the wreck it is finished off by gunfire from the frigate HMS Salisbury.
Description: Aerial view of the forebody of the German tanker Essberger Chemist, riding very high and listing badly as it drifts at sea. The camera aircraft is accompanied by a companion - both are RAF Shackleton MR Mk 3s. HMS Dreadnought closes on the hulk, as does the air direction frigate HMS Salisbury. Further shots show the wreck on its beam ends after torpedo attack, and the smoke pall after the wreck has been set burning by gunfire. After the tanker has sunk, two patches of burning oil remain. The film then covers the same events as seen from the other aircraft - the wreck is seen drifting with a hopeful salvage tug in attendance, then struck by torpedoes which send up plumes of smoke and spray. Dreadnought's periscope feather can be seen in one shot of the tanker. HMS Salisbury approaches to deliver the coup de grace. Finally the film cuts to the Dreadnought. An empty torpedo tube is loaded. Study of Dreadnought's wake. As the submarine approaches its target one of the Shackletons flies over low, the second circling the wreck in the distance. MLS as Dreadnought crosses the bows of the listing tanker. Camera view through the periscope (?). Further LSs of circling aircraft, the frigate, and the wreck set ablaze by gunfire.
Technical Details: Format: 16mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 2
Footage: 964 ft; Running time: 31 mins
Notes: Technical: no print is available for Reel One. A magnetic soundtrack of 200 ft is a live recording of the control room chat during Dreadnought's 'attack run' on the tanker, the firing of the torpedoes, and the pleased reaction when the tanker is hit