VASCO: The Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) chairman I Jeyakumar inaugurated a mini-museum at MPT’s administration building at Headland Sada, on Saturday, in the presence of deputy chairman MPT G P Rai, deputy conservator MPT Capt Manoj Joshi and others.
Capt Joshi, who is instrumental in setting up the museum, said that the museum showcases the salvaged parts of the German merchant ships, which were scuttled during World War -II after the secret operation known as ‘Operation Longshanks’ was undertaken by commandos of Calcutta Light Horse and Calcutta Scottish, exactly 75 years back.
Elaborating on the mysterious sinking of German ships during the World War- II on March 1943 in MPT waters, Capt Joshi said that the identity of the attackers was kept a well guarded secret till the end of the World War-II for diplomatic reasons.
“This attack led to sinking of three German merchant ships MS Ehrenfels, MS Braunfels and MS Drachenfels in the MPT waters. MS Ehrenfels was carrying a high powered transmitter, which conveyed about British ship movement to its home country, which lead to the sinking of many allied ships by U-boats in the Indian Ocean by German and Japanese submarines,” he said. He said that MPT salvaged the hull of the sunken MS Ehrenfels in 2018 exactly 75 years after the ship was scuttled.
“The displayed parts are the salvaged memoirs of MS Ehrenfels, preserved as the heritage of MPT Harbour,” he informed.
Capt Joshi further informed that a Hollywood movie has been made on this subject, based on a novel covering details of this operation. He thanked Sanjeev Sardesai of Hands -on-Historians for his research, which has helped him in making the museum.
When asked whether the museum will be thrown open for the public, he said that this is just a beginning and he has a plan to make a bigger facility for the same in the near future.