The German mine barrage clearance ship PARIS (Minenräumschiff, MRS) seen here anchored in a Norwegian port in 1941, already converted into a mother ship for shallow-draught minesweeping launches, which are clearly visible on the upper deck.
The ship was originally built as the Norwegian cargo/passenger stamer Paris (1753 GRT / 1024 NET / 2150 tdw). She was launched in 1922 by Akers Mekaniske Verksted, Oslo, yard number 401, and completed in July 1922 for the Norwegian owner Reederei A/S Ganger Rolf (Fred. Olsen & Co. mgrs.), Oslo. The single-screw ship was powered by a III-exp. steam engine with 206 nHP, that propelled the ship with a service speed of 11 kn.
With the outbreak of World War II on 1 Sept 1939 the Paris remained on her normal tramp routes, and on 26 Nov 1939 the crew rescued 2 survivors of the small Belgian steamer QUENAST (509 GRT / 1903), which sank 3 miles north of the Nord-Hinder Light ship whilst en-route from Tees to Antwerp with a cargo of salt. During the Unternehmen Weserübung in April 1940, the occupation of Denmark and Norway, the Paris was seized on 9 April by the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) and put into service as an auxiliary ship. Since 21 Aug 1940 the ship was used as a troop transport along the Norwegian coastline. Since 1 May 1941 she was converted into a mother ship for shallow-draught minesweeping launches and commissioned on 3 June 1941 as the MRS-4 PARIS. The ship was armed with 1 x 8.8-cm gun, 3 x 3.7-cm guns and 13 x 20-mm AA-guns, her complement was 180.
For the next four years the Paris participated in countless mine clearing sorties on the Norwegian coast, setting out her launches to sweep the mines, and afterwards lifting them again up onto the deck. Between the minesweeping sorties the Paris was also used as a cargo ship, often travelling in convoys. On 18 Oct 1944 she evaded 4 torpedoes, fired by the Soviet submarine W-4 near the Nordkyn Peninsula, northern Norway.
The ships end came on 12 March 1945, when it was part of a southbound convoy, having departed Haugesund. The motor torpedo boat MTB-711, with a Norwegian crew, out of the Shetland Isles, attacked the Paris north-east of the Kvalöyta Lighthouse, on the north tip of the Kvalöy Island. Hit by 2 torpedoes, the ship exploded and sank in seconds in position 59.25N 05.15E, taking down 86 of the crew, including some Norwegians, belonging to the original merchant crew. Other sources give even 104 lives as lost. 70 crew members were rescued by accompanying German patrol crafts.