German Tanker close Titanic

Dec 29, 2000
Wasn't there a Tanker close to the Titanic, as the began to report sinking over the wireless?
Didn't the radio operator tell the tanker to head on with the kind words: You all fools...?
True or legend?

Rolf Vonk

Hi Steffen,

you are right. The German tanker Frankfurt was 148 miles away from Titanic during the sinking. The Frankfurt was equipped with German Marconi (I believe it was "Telefunken"). Marconi and Telefunken were a kind of enemy's and when Mr Bride, who was sending the SOS, discovered the Frankfurt had a German Marconi installation, he became standoffish. He asked the Frankfurt to give their coordinates. After quarter of an hour the Frankfurt answered on his question. Because of this Bride send a telegram with the kind words: you all fools. Imagine it wasn't strange that marconi-operators from different marconi systems called each other names in 1912.

P.S. the Frankfurt was too far away to reach Titanic. Like I said above she was 148 miles away. The Carpathia, who rescued the Titanic survivors, was only 58 miles away.

Hope this helps.

Greetings Rollie

Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
Hello, gentlemen---

Yes, Frankfurt was German---Norddeutscher Lloyd, to be precise---but she wasn't a tanker. She was a 7,431 ton passenger ship, with accommodations for 108 second-class and 1,889 third-class passengers, put into service in 1900. Frankfurt served quite a number of U.S, ports during her NDL career: New York, Baltimore, New Orleans, Galveston and Boston and also made some South American voyages in 1909. Surrendered to Great Britain as a war reparation in 1919, she was scrapped in 1931.

Source: Bonsor's North Atlantic Seaway.

Mar 3, 1998
Looks like the Frankfurt has suddenly become the object of interest in two different threads. Check out the "What were D.E. Bristow's Two Mystery Ships?" thread.


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