On April 5, 1937, near the coast of Santander the ship the Andra was sunk.

Although flying under the flag of Panama, the crew mainly consisted of Dutch but also some sailors from Poland were on board.

The Andra was part of a group of people that organized and provided food and arms to Spain for the benefit of the republic.

The boat had left Kiel and had secretly collected weapons and ammunition in Gdynia (Poland). After the load was successfully unloaded on the north coast of Spain, the Andra was intercepted by the trawler Galerna and the cruiser Almirante Cervera and sunk.

Returning of the crew of the Andra – Delftse Poort, Rotterdam

Two Dutch crew members lost their life. The remaining crew members were captured and stayed for months, under terrible conditions, in the prison of San Sebastian and Tolosa. On June 3, 1937 they got released and the crew could return home again.

The demise of the Andra and its aftermath received extensive attention from the national press.

The demise of the Andra was also the beginning of an intensive blockade of the north coast of Spain by Franco’s navy. Until then, his fleet had only sporadic captured ships on the north coast of Spain.

A family member of one of the surviving Dutch sailors, who had kept a logbook, wrote a book about this history; ‘Reis naar de Spaanse Burgeroorlog’ (Journey to the Spanish Civil War), Cor Faber, ISBN 978940215055.

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