German Night Fighter Direction Vessel Togo

German Night Fighter Direction Vessel Togo

Launched in 1938, the MS Togo was a German merchant ship. At the outbreak of World War II in early September 1939, she was in the French port of Douala in Africa, but avoiding internment and running the Allied blockade, she successfully returned to Hamburg. Requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 14, in April 1940 she participated in the invasion of Norway; in August 1940 was converted to a minelayer as part of the German plan to invade England; then from June 1941 began undergoing conversion to become the armed auxiliary cruiser (Hilfskreuzer), HSK Coronel.

Following Coronel's unsuccessful attempt in February 1943 to become the last German commerce raider of World War II, she was then used as a minesweeper (Sperrbrecher) before being recommissioned in late 1943 as the NJL Togo, a night fighter direction vessel (Nachtjagdleitschiff), operating in the Baltic Sea.

As NJL Togo, she was the second of the Kriegsmarine's World War II radar ships, and the only one to survive the war.

Togo was equipped with a FuMG A1 Freya radar for early warning, which had a range of around 40–75 km (22–40 nmi; 25–47 mi). She also had a Würzburg-Riese gun laying radar with a similar range plus night fighter communications equipment.

She was heavily armed with three 10.5 cm FlaK 38 anti-aircraft guns, four twin 3,7 cm FlaK 43 guns, four (later five) quadruple and three (later two) single 2 cm FlaK 30 guns.

In early 1945, Togo took part in the evacuation of German troops and refugees from the eastern shores of the Baltic. She survived the war's end and, as a war prize, was eventually allocated to Norwegian control, serving as a troop transport, and later as a refugee transport. From 1956-1968, she returned to German ownership and her original role in trading with Africa.

Passing through various changes of ownership, name and function, Togo was finally wrecked off the Mexican coast in 1984.

Read more about German Night Fighter Direction Vessel Togo:  History During World War II, Postwar History

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