For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
Minesweeping Trawler - TR 41
TR 41 was delivered to the RCN on 05 May 1919 and paid off soon thereafter. In 1920 she was sold to France and renamed Marie Simone. In 1940 she was captured by German forces and commissioned in the Kreigsmarine as HS8, then in 1942, renamed V729. V729 was sunk by the British light cruiser Mauritius off Audierne on 23 Aug 1944.
The Battle of Pierres Noires 06 Jul 1944
"The German convoy had left Brest at 0100 hrs to begin traversing the protective minefield before the Kriegsmarine port. Two submarines - U212 and U309 - were accompanied by escort Vorpostenboote V715 “Alfred I”, V728 “Vierge de Massabielle”, V713 “Leipzig”, and V729 “Marie Simone”, as well as M4013 “Othello” and M4045 “Uwe”, two auxiliary minesweepers of Brest’s 40th Minesweeping Flotilla. Among the Vorpostenboote present, V715 had begun life in a French shipyard at Nantes, the shipbuilders ‘Atelier et Chantiers de Bretagne’, originally built for the French Navy. The keel was laid in October 1940, and she was launched the following year to begin work as an auxiliary minesweeper. In February 1943, when the whole of France was finally occupied, she was seized by the Germans, renamed V715, and attached to 7. Vorpostenflottille. By 0140 hrs on 6 July 1944, as the Germans approached Ouessant, they encountered the four Allied ships, homing rapidly on the Germans. The first artillery salvo from the Allies hit V715, immediately disabling the steering and so crippling her ability to manoeuvre. Fires broke out immediately on board. Personnel not needed to man her thundering guns were desperately employed trying to stave off destruction by incineration. Intermingled with the crackling of flames were the cries of wounded men. One of the more badly wounded aboard V715 was Leutnant zur See Thiess, her commanding officer. The gun battle between the British and German ships lasted from 0145 hrs to 0215 hrs, with the tenacious smaller German vessels finally driving off their assailants, the primary targets for the Allies - two U boats - having already left the scene. Both Qu’Appelle and Saskatchewan in particular suffered casualties from the many small calibre cannon hits, in what became known as the “Battle of the Pierres Noires”. However despite keeping control of the battlefield, the Germans had suffered the most. Two of the escort boats, V729 and V728, were seriously damaged requiring work in the Brest repair yards, while V715 drifted listlessly under a pall of black smoke. With V715 well ablaze and little hope of extinguishing the flames, the decision was made to abandon her at the Southeast corner of Fromveur Channel. There, at approximately 0600hrs, after the crew were evacuated in the face of sheets of flame she finally sank, a carpet of glowing debris marking her departure. Two Schnellboote S145 and S112 recently arrived from Saint Malo and among the few remaining Schnellboote, picked up survivors from V715, including the badly wounded captain." (Source: Reibert.info)