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Found 12 results

  1. Kapitän Langsdorff was the commander of the Graf Spee. In December 1939 the Graf Spee entered the port of Montevideo in Uruguary after engaging an English battle squadron. It sought to carry out repairs and bury the dead on land. The serious damage could not be sufficiently repaired within the 72 hours granted by international law. Setting sail again would mean the total destruction of the ship and unnecessary loss of lives, as the English battle squadron lay waiting outside of international waters, There seemed no way out. Langsdorff ordered to set sail, and then dropped anchor in the Rio Plata Estuary, allowing all officers and crew to leave the ship. Shortly after that the ship was torn by a series of explosions and the wreck burned for several days. Langsdorff bade farewell to officers and crew and shot himself the same evening The officers and crew were detained in Argentina for the duration of the war. Franz Xaver Lachenmair from Buchloe in Bavaria had been a member of the crew and was a clerk with the rank of Oberbootsmannsmaat (senior sergeant) Before the war broke out and he made the acquaintance of Liesel Gottwald, Birgitt's mother. After the war, Lachenmair settled in Spain, where he became a successful businessman and amateur pilot, and married a Spanish woman having several children. For many years he stayed in correspondence with Kapitänleutnant Robert Höpfner, whose son now lives in France and passed on this information. Liesel Paulmann, who lived in Wandsbek had briefly known FXL before war broke out in 1939 and told me the story several years ago. She had got in contact with Höpfner jun. after listening to the early morning NDR Hamburger Hafenkonzert on the radio, in which Höpfner junior had told this short story. I then got the information from her. She had been previously married to Oberfeldwebel Walter Neusüß, formerly of Luftwaffe KG 26 and KG 4. Franz Xaver Lachenmair passed away in January 2000, his wife died ten years before him. The wreck of the "Graf Spee" burned for several days before finally settling in the mud of the estuary. The large bronze eagle from the bow of the ship was recovered in the year 2006 and is now in a museum in Montivideo. The graves of Kapt.Langsdorff and thirty six members of his crew can be seen in the city cemetery of Montivideo Assessment of the damage from the battles before entering Montivideo The ship is scuttled in the Estuary of the Rio de la Plata A more recent photo of the graves at Montivideo The ship's eagle was salvaged several years ago, and is now in a Museum in Montivideo. There is also a memorial in the port.
  2. Kriegsmarine, Officers' shoulder pieces. Both are the type for inserting into the shoulder seams, removable, with screw attachment buttons 1. Korvettenkapitän (Major) for greatcoat, etc. dark blue underlay 2. Leutnant zur See for the white summer tunic, with white underlay. Shoulder pieces were not worn by officers on the normal Bordjacke, these had cuff rank rings, etc. The shoulder pieces also normally displayed the cypher of the branch of service. These indicated would be for normal seafaring or navigation branch - Allgemeine Seefahrt oder Nautische Richtung.
  3. Original photo, around 1900-1905 (?) of a group of Sailors on board the S.M.S. Baden. On the original photo you can just about make out the ship's name on some of the capbands, and on the lifebelt. Over the capband is only the Reichskokarde. They are equipped with the old M.1871/84 rifle and the long Hirschfänger M.1865, which were originally intended for the Jäger Bataillons. Each man is wearing a single cartridge box M.1894 and long boots without any nails or heel irons. They also have a machinegun, an early forerunner of the MG 08. Under the picture is a pencil inscription Hr. Sietas, just under the sailor seated to the right of the lifebelt. Sietas is also the name of a famous firm with ships wharfs in Hamburg and elsewhere. The first SMS Baden, Panzerschiff, an armoured cruiser, was built and commissioned in 1880, until later replaced. It was followed by a new building, 1913-1915. The new "Baden" did not see any notable action during WW1, and was used for returning embarking crews from Scapa Flow in 1919. As with many others, it was scuttled in Scapa Flow in June 1919. The British were able to salvage it and towed it into shallower waters, later using it as a "Zielschiff" for artillery practice. It sank southwest of Portsmouth to a depth of 170 metres. A cap tally from the Linienschiff SMS "Kaiser Wilhelm II." - black silk with golden metalic thread. A further photo shows a Royal Navy cap tally from WW1 of H.M:Submarine E.11, gilded metallic thread, now faded. and an example from WW2 of the standard H.M.S. tally without ships name, this is in unissued condition. S.M.S. stands for Seine Majestäts Schiff A further photo shows a deck crew from S.M.S.Beowulf (Panzerschhiff IV.Klasse) in 1894. Some of the capbands are legible in the photo, the name on the lifebelt can be clearly seen. Four officers can be seen in the picture. This ship was completed at the Bremer Werft in November 1890. The "Beowulf" was first under the command of Kapitän zur See Prinz Heinrich von Preußen, a brother of the Kaiser. In June 1892 the ship took part in the "Flottenparade", in the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm II. and Tsar Alexander III. of Russia, followed by an inspection by the Majesties. Undergoing a series of repairs and modernisation, the ship was reactivated on 12th August 1914 and saw service in the coastal defence (North Sea) in 1915. Seeing only minor service for the rest of the war, the Beowulf was struck from the list of (remaining) active ships in June 1919 and broken up at Danzig in 1921 Foto of the "Beowulf" from the archive of Foto Atelier Mercedes Riedel in Wandsbek. S.M.S. Baden S.M.S. Beowulf (Photostudio Mercedes Riedel, Wandsbek) A photo of the "Beowulf" A group of stokers of the Imperial Navy, serving 1911 - 1914. Cap bands with ships name not clearly legible - "SMS Hohenzollern" (?) Hohenzollern was the Kaiser's Yacht (of which there were 3 successive buildings, 3rd started in 1914, never finished, broken up in 1923) (Photostudio Mercedes Riedel, Wandsbek)
  4. Gedenken: Im Skagerrak sank die SMS Wiesbaden in der Nacht vom 31. Mai auf 1. Juni 1916 by Ingrid Toth, Wiesbadener Kurier On the 31. May 1996, the 80th anniversary of the loss of SMS Wiesbaden former members of the Marinekameradschaft, Rudolf Kramer (r) and Alfred Bachmann showed the objects on loan to the Deutsches Marinemuseum in the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Saal of the Kurhaus Wiesbaden. Foto: Harald Kaster WIESBADEN - For decades the same ceremony on every 31. May can be witnessed. A ship's bell sounds the opening. There is a faded lifesaving ring with the inscription "SMS Wiesbaden" next to the Golden Book of the City. It is open at the page where in 1935 Oberheizer Hugo Senne made his entry. He had been the only man of a crew of 589 to surivive the sinking of the small cruiser "Wiesbaden". The vessel of the Imperial Navy under the command of Kapitän Fritz Reiß was badly hit on the 31. May 1916, that it became a floating target, before it sank at 2.45 hours in the early morning of the 1. June 1916 Under the dead was also Gorch Fock, alias Johann Kinau, a regional author and poet, who rose to fame first shortly before the outbreak of the Great War, and after whose death became a myth and at the centre of public attention. In 1933 the Reichsmarine named a school ship after him, and this was again in use after 1958 with the Bundesmarine. His body was found with several others a month later on the shore of a western Swedish Island. He was buried together with his comrades on the Island of Stensholmen near the Norwegian border. A memorial stands in Finkenwerder, where he was born. .
  5. At Bangor Castle, Ward Park, Bangor, Co. Down is the deck gun of the U-9, which was apparently captured by Commander Edward Bingham. His decorations are kept at Bangor Castle's historic museum, however, only copies are on display, due to an attempted theft some years back. Bingham was awarded the VC and also the Order of St. Stanislaus 2nd Class with Swords by the Tsar in recognition of his part in the Battle of Jutland. Bingham also captured the U-9, and it's deck gun was later mounted in Bangor Castle Park in recognition of his services by the Admiralty. He also spent some time in a prisoner of war camp in Germany. Further information can be found under: http://www.vconline.org.uk/edward-b-s-bingham-vc/4585976882
  6. From the estate of Günter W., born in Berlin, 1926 - 2018, formerly with the Kriegsmarine. He served as a youth on board the "Schleswig-Holstein", after passing through the "Schiffsartillerieschule" (Kiel) and had his position in "B-Turm" (gun turret) of the ship. In the latter days of the war he was with a Marine-Panzerabwehr-Abteilung* north of Berlin. They had been issued with Danish uniforms (due to shortages)! The unit was withdrawn after considerable losses, his best friend died at his side, and the remainder surrendered to the British in the West, presumably in Schleswig-Holstein. "Die Deutsche Kriegsflotte", published by E.S. Mittler & Sohn, Berlin, 1940, a paperback brochure is with 62 pages and appendix of available literature as well as many illustrations and photos. Inside the cover are two newspaper cuttings dating from 2006, presumably from "Hamburger Abendblatt" of an obituary for Kapitänleutnant Otto von Bülow (Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub, 26. April 1943), who had also served on board the "Schleswig-Holstein" as well as being a U-Boot commander. In the latter days of the war von Bülow also commanded a similar unit of land forces as mentioned above, Marinesturmbataillon I in Neustrelitz, Plön and Mürwik (See under Wikipedia). and under http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Personenregister/BuelowOv.htm The publication was probably meant for the general public to encourage interest and enlistment in the Kriegsmarine. * Erdkampf / ground combat
  7. Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, Posen, 18. March 1886 - Le Bourget, 24. February 1941, was a Naval officer, who reached the rank of Vizeadmiral. He was the most successfull U-Boot commander in WW1 and sank over 194 ships with a total of 453.716 BRT, at the same time the most successfull U-Boot commander in history. Background His great grandfather was Johann Gabriel Arnauld de la Perière, who left France after a duell in 1757 and settled in Prussia, where he became an officer in the Army of Frederick the Great. One of his sons, Eugen Ahasverus Albert Arnauld de la Perière, born 1800 in Neidenburg, was the grandfather of Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière. Career Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière joined the Imperial Navy in April 1903 at the age of 17 as a Sea Cadett. He absolved the usual torpedo training and sailed with Fregattenkapitän von Dombrowski on the Sailing ship SMS Stein for a training voyage to the West Indies. In 1905 he took part in special courses for the torpedo weapon and artillery. In 1906 he was commissioned as Leutnant zur See. During the following year followed commands on the linear ships Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm, Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein, as well as with the II. Torpedodivision. From 1911 till 1913, Oberleutnant zur See Arnauld de la Perière was a torpedo officer on the light cruiser Emden. Up till the outbreak of war, he was Adjutant of the Chief of Admiralty Staff, Admiral Hugo von Pohl in Berlin World War I At the outbreak of war Arnauld de la Perièr joined the Naval Air Service. Promoted to Kapitänleutnant on 16. December 1914, he transferred to the U-Boot arm in April 1915. Afer a training course as a commander with U1 and U3, he took over command of U-35 in Pola in November 1915. With this boat he led 14 ventures into the Meditarranean up till March 1918. The sixth operation from the 26. July till 20. August 1916 brought over 54 vessels sunk with a total of 90.000 BRT, the most successfull during the First World War. On 11. October 1916 he was decorated with the Ordre Pour le Mérite as third U-Boot commander of U-Flottille Pola. On the 18. May 1918 Arnauld de la Perière put the U-Cruiser 139 into commission under the name of Kapitänleutnant Schwieger. Using this boat, he made a voyage sinking five ships with a total tonnage of 7.008 BRT. In all, he sank over 193 merchant ships with a total tonnage of 457.179 BRT, as well as two gunboats of 2.500 BRT and damaged seven ships with a total of 31.810 BRT. Between the wars At the end of the war Arnauld de la Perière remained in the Navy and led the Sturmbataillon von Arnauld-de-la-Perière within the 3. Marinebrigade under the command of Wilfried von Loewenfeld from 1 February 1919 till October 1920. In 1922 he was promoted to Korvettenkapitän. In the following years he was a navigation officer on board the Hannover and the Elsass, as well as Admiralty Staff Officer at the Marinestation der Nordsee under the command of Vizeadmiral Bauer. From 1928 till 1930 he was commander of the light cruiser Emden as a Fregattenkapitän. On 30. September 1931 he reached the rank of Kapitänleutnant and pensioned off. From 1932 till 1938 he was an instructor at the Turkish Naval Academy. World War II Arnauld de la Perière was reactivated at the outbreak of war and was Naval Commander in Danzig till March 1940. After a short period as Naval Commander in Belgium-Netherlands, he was then Konteradmiral z.V. till June 1940 as Naval Commander in Brittany, and afterwards Western France. On 1. February 1941 was promotion to Vizeadmiral. On his way to taking over command as Admiral Südost, his plane crashed at Le Bourget near Paris. A group of VII-C-Boats in the Mediterranean were formed under the name Arnauld Arnauld de la Perière was buried at the Invalidenfriedhof in East Berlin Decorations in World War I: Pour le mérite Eisernes Kreuz (1914) II. und I. Klasse Ritterkreuz des Königlichen Hausordens von Hohenzollern mit Schwertern Kronenorden IV. Klasse U-Boot-Kriegsabzeichen (1918) Dienstauszeichnungskreuz Hanseatenkreuz Hamburg Ritterkreuz des österreichisch-kaiserlichen Leopold-Ordens mit Kriegsdekoration Orden der Eisernen Krone III. Klasse mit Kriegsdekoration Österreichisches Militärverdienstkreuz III. Klasse mit Kriegsdekoration Silberne Liakat-Medaille mit Schwertern Eiserner Halbmond Source: Translation from Wikipedia
  8. A wartime portrait photo of a Kriegsmarine rating wearing the standard wartime captally and the heavy overjacket with blue collar patches. Dificult to attribute as no badges are visible. Discovered at a Hamburg fleamarket ten years ago. Has been mounted on card, and was originally framed.
  9. A standard Kriegsmarine other ranks and n.c.o. service cap (so-called Donald Duck Cap) with a cap tally of Unterseebootsflottille Saltzwedel, later re-named 2.Unterseebootsflottille 2. These cap tallies with unit or ships names were worn until outbreak of war in September 1939, and were replaced by the simple Kriegsmarine tally, however, some were worn after that date, especially by units which were at the time at sea, typical example, the Graf Spee. This particular example came from the estate of Oberbootsmannsmaat Wieland, who served with this unit. With this were several other items, some bearing the name and service number (Stammrollennummer). This example I got from a Hamburg dealer, but unfortunately, I didn't take the time to examine the remaining articles. However, looking at the internet photos of these, I have made out the details as: N 1842 S 38 Wieland The cap is fairly well worn, the eagle is an original replacement, as the previous piece had it's swastika filed down and had also lost it's pin. The rear of the leather sweatband has two metal initial tags attached, which is not clear in the photo: St. W. - so his first name could have been something like Stefan (?) The cap tally is machine-embroidered in gold thread, which has remained bright. Unfortunately have not been able to find any details of his service record. Certainly worth researching. The first photo is a rank badge, which he would have worn as Oberbootsmannsmaat, the metal version for wearing with the parade jacket etc. This consists of an "unklarer Anker"* with a chevron below, and is mint, unworn condition. (*meaning an anchor with tow-rope) The unit was raised on 1st September 1936 in Kiel, but shortly afterwards transferred to Wilhelmshaven. It was named after a WW1 U-Boot commander, Reinhold Saltzwedel, who was lost at sea. The unit was transferred in Autumn 1940 to the Atlantic Coast, at Lorient, and operated from there until August 1944, being then transferred to Norway, where it remained till the end of the war.
  10. Got this nice Kriegsmarine dress tunic some time ago from a source in England, probably paid a bit much, as these tunics are still fairly abundant, mostly without insignia, but this came complete with original insignia and the blue collar for wear on the shirt (Marinehemd). It has the rank of Obergefreiter (sen.corporal), and a yellow starfish (Seestern) as a trade badge, which means general nautical branch. There is also a rangefinder (Entfernungsmesser) training badge in red below the chevrons. The front is fastened as always with two anchor buttons joined by a gilt chain. The cuffs have the brandenbourg type patches with a vertical row of 5 buttons to each cuff. The front is set with a double row of nine buttons, with an additonal button under each lapel. Breast eagle is of officer quality, as always on these dress jackets and is a very good quality make in Cellon or cellulose. Attached is a small ribbon bar of the Iron Cross 2nd class. There are two vertical loops for a war badge, unfortunately missing. I didnt manage to get the nice cap illustrated, as the dealer sold it separately before I made the order. Did however manage to get another good cap of identical type but with a different tally. Unfortunately, the makers and the wearers details in the tunic had been removed at some time, but there is still a part of the red hand embroidered enlistment number (Stammrolle) of the wearer, which begins with an N and ends with a T. The N stands for Nordsee North Sea, which would have been Wilhelmshaven (O would mean Ostsee/Baltic and Port of Kiel), and the T stands for Torpedowaffe. The tunic would have been made around as early as 1934, as the 34 is part of the enlistment number. It would have then been upgraded from Reichmarine to Kriegsmarine around 1935 by adding a breast eagle and the new insignia. Dress tunics were only produced till about mid 1942, due to material prioriities and shortages midwar. The garment shown was certainly a tailored, made to measure piece.
  11. A fine, older example of an officer's dagger of the Kaiserliche Marine. The longer version around 1900. The grip is of pure ivory with it's original silver wire binding, some hairline cracks due to age. Some traces of the original gilding in places. The blade is etched and has only some slight staining in places, the orginal red felt washer still in place. Blade is by WKC, with the knight's helmet logo. The scabbard is engraved with maritime motives. On the pommel is the Imperial Crown as in use since 1871. Unfortunately no knot or hangers. The dagger was worn for everyday wear instead of the officer's sabre, which was reserved for special occasions and full dress. This item was purchased around 1968 in an old junk shop in London for about 8 pounds. It was offered as an Old English Naval Dagger - our price: 8 pounds! I knew the dealer quite well, he called himself "Simple Simon", trading under that name, and he often used to get war souvenirs and medals, etc., but was not too knowledgeable.
  12. Post transferred, see under Kriegsmarine Insignia
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