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Count Dohna and His SeaGull ©

Ships - Unidentified Norwegian ship

Multiple print and online sources reference an "Unidentified Norwegian ship" sunk by SMS SeaGull on December 5, 1916. As there is no reference to such a vessel in the SeaGull logbook, it seems the ship does not exist. But then what was the origin of this ghost ship? Reading the New York Times news accounts published at the time provides some clues to the source.
Captain Ivar Andersen and the 47 men in the crew of the Norwegian steamship Hallbjorg were captured by SeaGull on December 4, 1916, and released in Copenhagen, Denmark, on January 30, 1917. They told their stories of the adventure to newspaper reporters. Captain Andersen, recounting from memory, told the tale of ships sunk by the German raider. He recounted the sinking of Mount Temple and Duchess of Cornwall on December 5, which was not the correct date of sinking for either ship. Perhaps the "Unidentified Norwegian ship" was the Duchess of Cornwall. She was initially identified by the officers of the SeaGull as a Norwegian ship.
Most probably the "Unidentified Norwegian ship" sunk on December 5, 1916 was Duchess of Cornwall. It could be true, who knows.

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