norwegian Belgica (+1940)
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nationality norwegian
purpose transport
type barque - bark
propulsion sailing ship
date built 1884
live live
weight (tons) 263  grt
dimensions 35.97 x 7.62 x 4.11 m
material wood
rigging 3 masts
about the loss
cause lost scuttled
date lost 19/05/1940  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties 0
about people
Johan Chr. Jakobsen, Norway
last owner
[1]Kristian Holst
Belgica (+1940)
period 1918 ~ 1940
prev. owners
[2]Det Norske Spitsbergensyndicat
period 1916 ~ 1918
[3]de Gerlache Adrien
period 1896 ~ 1916
[4]Pedersen John P. & Son, Tvedestrand & Christiania (Oslo)
period 1884 ~ 1896
about the wreck
depth (m.) 20 max. / -- min. (m)
protected yes
war grave
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 31/08/2007
last update Lettens Jan
last update 10/10/2010
Lettens Jan31/08/2007
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dist. homeportdist. homeport
ref. used
[1] Belgica genootschap vzw
[2]  belgica-genootscha..
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  The Wreck today  

Lettens Jan19/05/2008

Tot en met 11 november 2008 loopt op het provinciedomein Raversijde de tentoonstelling 'Eindbestemming Harstad?' over de Belgica, het onderzoeksschip waarmee het team van Adrien de Gerlache eind 19de eeuw naar Antarctica reisde en er gedwongen overwinterde. Deze reis staat opnieuw volop in de belangstelling.

Het wrak van de Belgica werd echter teruggevonden op de bodem van een Noorse baai, nabij de stad Harstad. De tentoonstelling schetst een beeld van de levensloop van de Belgica, de poolreis en de doelstellingen ervan, maar werpt vooral licht op het maritiem archeologisch onderzoek van het scheepswrak.

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  copyright: Mouchart Nicolas copyright: Mouchart Nicolas copyright: Mouchart Nicolas 
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 copyright: Mouchart Nicolas copyright: Termote Tomas  copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
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Lettens Jan19/05/2008Patria, later Belgica and later Isfjord, was built in 1884 in Svelvik by Johan Chr. Jakobsen, Svelvik, Norway.
  • Till 1896 she was used for fishing whales.
  • In 1896 she was bought by Adrien de Gerlache and renamed Belgica.
  • Between 1897 and 1901, she was used as an expedition ship for Antarctica.
  • Between 1901 and 1904 she was again used for fishing whales.
  • From 1904 till 1909 she was again used as an expedition ship for the North Atlantic. During her Svalbard (North-East Greenland) expedition, an unknown island Ile de France was named and also a sandbank was named after her. (Belgica Sandbank).
  • In 1916, she was renamed Isfjord and bought by Det Norske Spitsbergensyndicat.
  • She was to be resold in 1918 to Kristian Holst, who cut her masts and used her as a fishing factory.

In 1940 she was taken by the British forces and used as an ammunition depot ship. In May 1940, a German Heinkel bomber noticed Isfjord and bombed her. Though Isfjord herself was never touched by a bomb, shock waves made her leak and she sank.

Another, more probable theory is that she was scuttled by the British in order to prevent from being captured by the Germans.

This theory seems to be closer to reality as Belgica is relatively unharmed and that very next to her, a barge was found, also intact and with the same type of explosives in her cargo holds.
ref. used: 
[1] Belgica genootschap vzw
[2]  belgica-genootscha..

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