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SVITZER DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR SVITZER’s salvage operations largely continued during the German occupation of Denmark. Many vessels in distress – mainly Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and German – needed assistance because of damage caused by mines at sea. The German forces allowed SVITZER to help these vessels as long as it got clearance for its vessels to leave port each time. SVITZER had ten salvage vessels and two lifting pontoons at work in Danish waters. Several SVITZER vessels were damaged by mines, but only one, BJØRN, was tragically lost with the entire crew of seven. When war broke out SVITZER had another fi ve vessels stationed abroad. All were seized for use by allied forces. PROTECTOR, stationed in the Red Sea, was quickly put to work for the allied forces. VALKYRIEN was in Lisbon at the time of the German occupation of Denmark and the Captain of the vessel decided to leave the harbour and surrender it voluntarily to the British service. The remaining three SVITZER vessels abroad did not survive the war. The Greeks had taken control of the vessel VIKING. She was unharmed by the German bombing of the port of Piraeus on 6th April 1941. The following day, however, VIKING hit a mine. Shortly after a vessel carrying ammunition blew up nearby causing further damage to the already wrecked vessel. She was considered a total loss and later had to be blasted to clear passage. GEIR was captured by the French when stationed near Gilbraltar and hit a mine and sank in 1943 outside Casablanca. PRESERVER, owned by one of SVITZER’s agents Two of SVITZER’s vessels URD and FREJA covered with ice in front of the SVITZER headoffi ce in Nyhavn. Wooden model of the large salvage vessel VIKING, which served SVITZER for 36 years. During the Second World War the vessel was requisitioned by the Greek authorities and wrecked in the port of Piraeus in 1941. 44 S V I T Z E R – S A F E T Y A N D S U P P O R T AT S E A


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