Sea Stories

How the CIA dealt with Cold War sanctions busters

EUROPE RENAISSANCE NEWSDESK stories censored by mainstream media. Your donations keep the truth published. PLEASE HELP US. It is easier than you think. Details contact Michael Walsh euroman_uk@yahoo.co.uk

At the height of the Cold War in 1964, only two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the British Westminster government decided it was a good idea to breach every trade embargo in the book and try to ship a load of Leyland buses to Cuba.

But the ship they put them on, the MV Magdeburg registered in the German Democratic Republic (Soviet Bloc), never made it. The fully laden vessel en route for Cuba sank in the River Thames near Broadness Point with all the buses on board. The Soviet ship was 4,600 miles short of its destination when it bounced and settled on the great river’s seabed.

Londoners vividly recall hearing the hideous screech as the MV Magdeburg collided with a Japanese ship and heeled over.

The collision happened on October 27, 1964. The ship was steaming down the river from Dagenham with cargo, including 42 British Leyland buses bound for Havana, Cuba.

At the same time, a Japanese ship called the Yamashiro Maru was heading upstream for the Royal Docks, when just off Broadness Point the vessels collided, the bows of the Japanese ship hitting the Magdeburg’s starboard side near the wheelhouse.

The MV Magdeburg was badly holed and heeled over to one side, and eventually, it beached just off Broadness Point. Onboard the East German vessel there were a total of 54 crew including three stewardesses and also two passengers.

During the collision, one man was thrown into the river but was picked up safely, and just two other people were injured. Those on board used rope ladders to climb over the side to escape before the ship heeled right over, and were picked up by tugboats. The crew had a very lucky escape. It was later revealed the ‘accident’ was contrived through a joint operation by the CIA and British Intelligence.

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