Remains of a German ship near Marmari

Some 600 meters east of Marmari, near the Tigaki Salt Pan lie the remains of a German ship F131 Leiche MG (LMG) that was  sunk on the 20th of October 1943 by the British battleship MTB 307. This was one of the landing boats that were initially built by the Germans for the transport of troops from Dunkirk and Pas de Calais to England during their planned assault of Britain "Sea Lion" which never went ahead. These types of boats were later used in smaller scale landings and were proved to be very efficient.

They were built in parts that could be transported by train, trucks or ships as they could be easily assembled, taken apart and reassembled. They could transport up to three tanks and a large number of troops and supplies. They were forty meters long and five meters wide.

On the third of October 1943 the F-131 was part of the flotilla that transferred (from the island of Crete) the German troops that took over the island of Kos and then went on to conquer Kalymnos and Leros. The British at the time were masters of the sea while the Germans were the masters of the air as they controlled the airport of Antimachia. Therefore, the British operated during the night and hid during the day while the Germans operated mostly during the day. The F-131 was used to channel supplies and ammunition from Kos to Kalymnos and Leros out of Marmari where it used to spend the night, in hiding, along with two other boats of the same type. On the 20th of October 1943 the Germans had amassed fuel and ammunition close to the shore in Marmari, ready to be transported the next morning. The night was clear and there was plenty of moonlight. At two o'clock in the morning three British torpedo boats appeared out of Kalymnos and discerned the shapes of the three boats on the Marmari coast. They came up close and fired a couple of torpedoes. The first one missed its target skidded on the shore and hit the ammunition dump and fuel, turning the night into day. The other torpedo hit the F-131 in the bow. Soon water filled the boat and it sank where it now lies as it was deemed unrecoverable. In the following years all useful parts were taken apart by the locals. All that is left has become rusty and weather worn. 

Reference: Το Ναυαγιο στο Μαρμαρι by G. Androulakis

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