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Bombardment of Curaçao
Part of the Battle of the Caribbean
Curacao-CIA WFB Map.png
Curaçao, the oil farm was located on the coast west of Willemstad.
Date19 April 1942
Locationnear Willemstad, Curaçao, Dutch Antilles, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean
Result Dutch victory: Dutch shore battery forces the U-boat to disengage and flee. German objective failed.
 Netherlands  Nazi Germany
Commanders and leaders
unknown Nazi Germany Captain Ernst Kals
~10 artillery,
2 artillery pieces,
1 shore battery
1 submarine

The Bombardment of Curaçao refers to a 1942 German naval bombardment of a Bullen Baai Company petroleum storage facility on the small island of Curaçao during World War II. The raid to destroy or ignite the petroleum failed and the German U-boat responsible was unsuccessfully engaged by Dutch shore battery before escaping.


Earlier in the war, the Kriegsmarine Commander Werner Hartenstein devised a coordinated submarine attack mainly against the Dutch island of Aruba but included other oil related targets in nearby waters. The Attack on Aruba turned out to be somewhat successful, the Germans sank or damaged several oil tankers but did not set ablaze the large oil tank on Aruba. Hoping to further disrupt a major Allied oil supply, Hartenstein ordered his U-boats to continue operating against the Aruba and Curaçao refineries.


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Though only a small skirmish the German bombardment of Curaçao is remembered as a key event in the Battle of the Caribbean. In August 1942, the Germans returned to Curaçao and attacked a tanker and received fire from a Dutch shore battery before slipping away.

See also


  • Kurowski, Franz. Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service, Schiffer Publishing Ltd, (1995) ISBN 0-88740-748-X.
  • Woodman, Richard. The Real Cruel Sea; The Merchant Navy in the Battle of the Atlantic, 1939–1943 (2004) ISBN 0-7195-6403-4

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