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SS Namur: Fire and gold under the Alborán Sea

In 1917, an English boat was dynamited off Motril by the all-powerful submarine Von Arnauld de la Perière. Her cargo of gold and exotic items remains subject to greed and rumours.

The conversations on board were surrounded by darkness in an atmosphere of permanent alert, typical of high instruction military campaigns. Of those men, despite the war, there are few stories about what happened on board, and less so about the crew on the merchant vessel, who it seems were antecedents for drivers on the future bus routes, people when faced with danger drive with caution, but those who were closest to the danger dodging the speeding bullets, and kept a photo of the wife back home were of a different breed.

SS Namur - https://www.laopiniondemalaga.es/

In 1917 the Steamship Namur, with all the imperial galleons, was not designed for the high seas. No even for her tonnage or her precious cargo of gold and diamonds, that still today arouses ambitions of pillaging by international collectors.

The ship, one of the most identified in her class, had a trading mission: keeping the lines of transport for all sorts of merchandise open to London. An apparently pacific operation in the First World War, and the savageness which continued afterwards, which made the trading route one granted special protection. With their plan to strangle the economy of their foes, the Germans had started a strategy of continuous sabotage on the communications. The German fleet with submarines, somewhat rudimentary at the time, were able to extend their firing range of their cannons until they reached a determined weight able to break through defences.

Entire fleets were navigating through calm seas, when suddenly they came under fire from who knows where – rapid attacks, enemies from the seabed, almost like animals from the deep.
The great underwater powerhouse the ambushes of the submarines were frequent, and this invariably forced an intermittent state of emergency across the battlefield which had become the Mediterranean – and more precisely the Alborán Sea.

Meanwhile other latitudes were scenes of large battles; the German underwater ships assaulted the main trade routes.
And using his own name, Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, who, from that time was installed into history for his sinister record: the soldier who managed to send most galleons to the seabed.

The surroundings of the Alborán Sea have witnessed many deaths. A trading route established hundreds of years ago separating Africa and Europe and has become the graveyard for many fleets such as the famous Juan de Mendoza.

The Namur, with the goblins of the past dancing on her deck, must have been warned, but the surprise was so violent and quick – a tragic moment of unreality. Perhaps, the logbooks registered the fear of the crew, their uneasiness from nearby firing and for participating in a war bloody in their balancing of their ship.

What appeared on a single day and the end of October against the iron merchant ship was, without doubt, the worst of all the black whales. The feared U35 from Von Arnauld de la Perière, only those who have been at the mercy of the most infallible demons of the time, could imagine what they were feeling seeing the moving waves churned by the engines of the German military submarine.

La Opinión de Málaga reports the sinking of Steamship Namur has been under investigation by the Nerea Company, directed by Javier Noriega, but has found few clues on the manoeuvres or tactics used on that day, under the artillery fire of Von Arnauld which continued until exhaustion until the ship went down, off the coast of Almuñécar.

Her last voyage left Pinang in Malaysia and was to have had a stopover in Marseilles before returning to London, but capsized like a kite before arriving at any port. She continues underwater, protected from looters in an undetermined place with her mixture of iron, gold and precious stones from Asia.