Martyred Ships Back to the list
Directors: Zoltan Moll
Producer: Grand Angle Productions
Coproducers: France TÚlÚvisions
Language: French & English
Country of Production: France
The French steamer, Meknès sails from Southampton on July 24 1940 with more than 1300 French seamen aboard. Around 10.30pm, when off Portland, she is intercepted by the German ship S-27, which opens fire with machine guns. The captain stops his ship and clearly signals his name and nationality. However, the only response he receives is a torpedo and the ship sinks within ten minutes.
On June 15 1940 the steamer Lancastria leaves the English port of Plymouth bound for Saint-Nazaire. Its mission is to embark English and Polish troops. The Lancastria already has a considerable number on board when, around 2pm, the Germans launch an air attack. The Lancastria is hit by a salvo of bombs. The Lancastria lists, turns over and sinks in 24 minutes. Two sinkings, two martyred ships in the year 1940. Sixty years after the events and nearly three generations later, fresh investigations are opened and the mysteries subjected to the scrutiny of historians.