Requisitioned Auxiliary – Frankenfels



after being renamed Tabaristan


Official Number:                      139041

Laid down:

Builder:                                   Akt. Ges. “Weser”, Bremen

Pennant Nr:                             Y 3.836

Launched:                               13 December 1913

Into Service:                            August 1914

Out of service:                         1920

Fate:                                      Torpedoed and sunk 29 May 1941


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  One of an additional group of ships requisitioned by the Admiralty during WW1 to augment the ships of the RFA

Career Data:

13 December 1913 launched by Akt. Ges. “Weser”, Bremen as Yard Nr: 202 named Frankenfels for Deutsche Dampfschiffahrts Gessellschaft “Hansa”, Bremen

January 1914 completed

August 1914 seized by the British at Calcutta and was acquired for Admiralty service

11 August 1915 until mid September 1915 served as a Collier – name unchanged

30 January 1916 re-deployed as an Expeditionary Force Transport carrying M/T until 23 September 1916

23 November 1916 re-deployed as a Transport carrying Expeditionary Force supplies until 11 July 1917

12 July 1917 re-deployed as a Transport carrying wheat from Karachi until 18 October 1917

19 October 1917 re-deployed again as a Transport carrying Expeditionary Force stores until 14 January 1918

15 January 1918 re-deployed as a Transport carrying grain from India until 17 March 1918

18 March 1918 re-deployed as a Transport carrying wheat from Karachi until later during the year

1920 passed to the Srecrtary of State for India (Director, India Office, Manager) London – name unchanged

1925 purchased by Strick Line Ltd., (F C Strick & Co. Manager) london and renamed Tabaristan

29 May 1941 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-38 in the Atlantic SW of Freetown in position 06.32N 15.23W while on passage from Basrah – Cape Town – Freetown – UK carrying 3,950 tons of groundnuts, 2,200 tons of pig iron, 560 tons of Manganese ore plus 140 tons general cargo with the loss of 21 lives. The ship sank in 4 minutes. The Master, 35 crew and 3 DEMS gunners were picked up by the armed trawler HMS TURCOMAN and were landed at Freetown



She was one of five German ships seized, the others being BRAUNFELS,  FREIENFELS, KURMARK and ROTENFELS, which were condemned to detention but they were not declared as Prizes of War. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles they were to be sold.