Sorte Shara i Agersø Havn 1943
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The naval vessel MS1 found its safe haven in Agersø Marina

During the first years of the Second World War, the Danish navy was subject to the policy of collaboration with the German occupying forces. The navy was not happy about the policy of collaboration and had made a secret internal agreement with all the shipmasters on naval ships that if the Germans gave the order to surrender the Danish fleet, they would rather sink the ships than let the Germans seize them.

The German order about surrendering the fleet came on August 28 1943, and it made the Ministry of Naval Affairs issue an order to the shipmasters of the navy: Sink the fleet or put into neutral port.

That day, the naval vessel MS1 was berthed in Skælskør, and it quickly sailed to Agersø Marina. As soon as it arrived at the island, the islanders helped hide it from the Germans and rebuilt it beyond recognition. The masts were removed and the hull painted black, and thus disguised as a pleasure vessel, MS1 and its crew successfully reached Sweden without being hailed by the Germans.

After the war, MS1 was once again put into action in the Danish navy, where it operated up until 1956. In 1951, MS1 got her ship’s name: Sorte Shara – ’Black Shara’ – in reference to the black colour she gained when she was painted with the entire tar supply of Agersø’s local blacksmith. The event has been depicted in the movie “Alarm i Østersøen” – ‘Alarm in the Baltic Sea’ – from 1961 with prominent Danish actors Ove Sprogø and Ebbe Langberg in the leading roles.

Of the navy’s 52 vessels, two were in Greenland when the order to surrender the fleet was issued. Of the other 50 vessels, 32 were sunk by their own crews. Four of them, including MS1, reached Swedish territory, and the last 14 ships were conquered by the Germans unscathed. Later, the Germans raised the majority of the sunken vessels, and 15 of these were put into action in one form or another in the German navy.

The story of Sorte Shara is still today an important story on Agersø, and it lives on in the stories told by the descendants. Join a tractor-bus tour of the island and learn more about the history of Agersø.

Read more stories from Agersø or explore exciting stories from other places
Learn more about Agersø harbor here.

Source: The shipyard Agersø Værft and Danish Naval History

Read more and book guided tours and storytelling on the tractor bus.

The shipyard Agersø Værft can be booked if you need a slipway for repairs. They also offer SUP rentals.


Strandalle 100
4244 Agersø

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