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The Kriegsmarine

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  • The Kriegsmarine

    January 1, 1940. Movietone News. Admiral Graf Spee I

    The Admiral Graf Spee was one of the most famous German naval warships of World War II, along with the Bismarck. Her size was limited to that of a cruiser by the Treaty of Versailles, however she was as heavily armed as a battleship due to innovative weight-saving techniques employed in her construction.She was sent to the Atlantic Ocean as a commerce raider in 1939, where she sank nine Allied merchant ships. Numerous British hunting groups were assigned to find her, with three British ships finally tracking her down in December 1939. The Battle of the River Plate ensued, during which the Graf Spee was damaged. She docked for repairs in the neutral port of Montevideo, but was forced by international law to leave within 72 hours. Faced with what he believed to be overwhelming odds, the captain scuttled his ship rather than risk the lives of his crew.

    January 26, 1940. Giornale Italie No. 1658. Admiral Graf Spee II

    Immediately after the scuttling in shallow water much of the ship's superstructure remained above water level, but then over the years the wreck subsided into the muddy bottom and today only the tip of the mast remains above the surface.The first salvage from the ship was most likely carried out by Royal Navy intelligence teams which recovered the highly advanced Seetakt radar not destroyed in the scuttling. In late January 1940, the wreck was boarded by US Navy sailors from the light cruiser USS Helena.In February 2004 a salvage team began work raising the wreck of the Admiral Graf Spee. The operation is in part being funded by the government of Uruguay, in part by the private sector, as the wreck is now a hazard to navigation. The first major section, a 27-ton gunnery range-finding telemeter, was raised on 25 February 2004. It is expected to take several years to raise the entire wreck. Film director James Cameron is filming the salvage operation. After it has been raised, it is planned that the ship will be restored and put on display at the National Marine Museum in Montevideo.

    Last edited by Skoblin; 16 Dec 08, 03:01.

  • #2
    January 31,1940. UFA Tonwoche No. 491. Unidentified U-Boot

    Translation. Again and again foreign newspapers report upon the success of the German U-Boots. In the last weeks at least 90,000 tons of shipping has been sunk. Here a successful submarine has returned to the Homeland.Admiral Dönitz, the commander of the U-Boot fleet, awards some of the brave sailors with the Iron Cross.

    March 6, 1940. UFA Tonwoche No. 496. U-48/Herbert Schulze

    Herbert Schultze was a German U-boat commander of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. He commanded U-48 for eight patrols during the early part of the war, sinking 169,709 tons and earning him eighth place on the Aces of the Deep list. Due to several incidents of openly broadcasting his sinkings to alert the Allies of the plight of the crews, he became quite a celebrity even on the allied side.Schultze was born in Kiel and joined the Reichsmarine in April 1930. On 9 October 1930 he became a Seekadett. Serving aboard the cruisers Leipzig and Karlsruhe with other future U-boat aces, including Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock.In May 1937, with a rank of Oberleutnant zur See, Schultze transferred to the U-boat force, taking command of the Type IIA U-boat U-2 on 31 January 1938. The U-2 was assigned to the U-Bootschulflottille and Schultze spent the next year and a half training with the sub.On 22 April 1939 Schultze commissioned U-48, a Type VIIB U-boat. U-48 was later to become the most successful submarine of the war. U-48 was assigned to 7. Unterseebootsflottille, and spent the next four months in training. On 1 June 1939 Schultze was promoted to Kapitänleutnant.Soon after the war started on 1 September 1939 Schultze took U-48 out on its first patrol. On 11 September 1939 he sunk the British freighter Firby. After the sinking he sent the plain language radio message "cq - cq- cq - transmit to Mr. Churchill. I have sunk the British steamer "Firby". Posit 59.40 North and 13.50 West. Save the crew, if you please. German submarine." This message, addressed to the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill directly, made Schultze famous, both in Germany and Great Britain. He sank two more ships for 14,777 gross register tons during the first patrol.Now something of a media celebrity, Schultze left for four more successful patrols. On 1 March 1940 he was awarded the Knight's Cross for his successes. On 20 May 1940 Schultze handed command of the U-48 over to Hans Rudolf Rösing due to illness stemming from a stomach and kidney disorder. Schultze spent five months in hospital recuperating. From October 1940 Schultze took up duties as Second in Command of the 7. Unterseebootsflottille, now based in St Nazaire, France.On 17 December 1940 Schultze resumed command of the U-48, relieving Heinrich Bleichrodt. He led U-48 on three more patrols, and continued sinking enemy shipping at a great rate. Thus Schultze was awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross on 12 June 1941.On 27 July 1941 Schultze left the U-48 to take command of 3. Unterseebootsflottille operating from La Rochelle. He served in this capacity until March 1942, when he was assigned to the staff of Marinegruppe Nord as Admiral Staff Officer for U-boats. In December 1942 he was assigned to Admiral Karl Dönitz staff. On 1 April 1943 he was promoted to Korvettenkapitän. In March 1944 he was assigned as commander of Department II, Marineschule Mürwick, where he served to the end of the war.

    March 13, 1940. UFA Tonwoche No. 497. U-37/Werner Hartmann

    Werner Hartmann was a German U-boat commander in World War II. He sank 26 ships, amounting to over 115,000 tons sunk, ranking him as the 25th most successful commander in the war.Hartmann began his naval career as commander of the torpedo boats Seeadler and Albatros in the first years. In 1935 he transferred to the U-boat arm and with his first U-boat, U-26, he patrolled in Spanish waters during the Spanish Civil War. First Watch Officer on board was the later famous Oberleutnant zur See Günther Prien.During the first months of World War II Hartmann was commander of both of U-37 and of the 2. Unterseebootsflottille. In October 1939 Hartmann was attempted as leader of a wolf pack directed from a U-boat at sea. This strategy proved inefficient, and it was decided henceforth to direct the U-boats from land.On January 28, 1940, U-37 departed on its 3rd patrol from Wilhelmshaven, for the North Atlantic.Hartmann and U-37 sunk eight ships, including, three British, two Norwegian, one Danish, one French, and one Greek. Of these ships, two were in convoy at the time. Once again, Hartmann returned to Wilhelmshaven on February 27 and received the Knight's Cross. He then had a couple of staff functions until he in November 1941 took command of the 27. Unterseebootsflottille in Gotenhafen.In November 1942 he took over one of the large Type IXD U-boats and completed with U-198 the third longest patrol ever undertaken, lasting 200 days.In 1944 he became commander of the U-boat forces in the Mediterranean Sea and in this function received the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves.After the war he spent several years in the Bundesmarine.

    March 28, 1940. UFA Tonwoche No. 499. U-29/Otto Schuhart

    Otto Schuhart began his naval career in April 1929. Later he spent two years on the battleship Schleswig-Holstein. In 1936 he joined the U-boat force.On his first war patrol he sank the British aircraft carrier HMS Courageous (22,500 tons). This was the first outstanding sinking of the U-boat arm, and the whole crew received the EK II (Iron Cross) and as commander Schuhart received both the EK I and the EK II.In 1941 he became an instructor in the 1st ULD (Unterseeboots-Lehr-Division), and in June 1943 became commander of the 21st Flotilla. The last months of the war he spent in the Marineschule Flensburg-Mürwik.Otto Schuhart joined the Bundesmarine in 1955, retiring in 1967 with a rank of Kapitän zur See.


    • #3
      1931 Panzerschiff 'Deutschland'

      May 19, 1931. German President Paul von Hindenburg attends the launch of the German Panzerschiff (pocket-battleship) 'Deutschland'. The 'Deutschland' was the lead ship in her class, which included the 'Admiral Graf Spee' and the 'Admiral Scheer'. After the start of World War II, she was renamed 'Lützow' in November 1939, because Adolf Hitler feared that the loss of a ship with the name Deutschland would have a significant negative psychological and propaganda effect on the German people. As the 'Lützow,'she participated in the invasion of Norway, where she has heavily damaged. Most of the rest of her career was spent under repairs or in minor encounters. The ship was badly damaged by three six-ton Tallboy bombs dropped by the RAF in April 1945, while she laid off Swinemünde, Germany, and she came to rest on the bottom. After repairs, she then continued to provide artillery support of the army. 'Lützow' was finally scuttled by her crew on 4 May 1945.


      • #4
        Thanks for this. Love the Navy videos.
        History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. Napoleon Bonaparte
        "I am Arthur, King of the Britons!"


        • #5
          Great U-Boat videos Thank You


          • #6
            Interesting videos on the Kriegsmarine. Must have taken some time to put together. Thanks.


            • #7
              November 1944. UFA Panorama. Schnellboote.

              November 1944. Generally Schnellboot or S-boot ("fast boat"), is the designation for Motor Torpedo Boats of the German Navy since 1932. In particular it applies to that type of Boat that saw service during World War II. The Schnellboot was then called an E-boat by the Allies; it is commonly held that the "E" stood for "Enemy", but it is possible that it stood for "Eilboot" ("hurry boat").
              The S-boote can trace their lineage back to a private motor yacht—a 22-ton-displacement, 34-knot craft called Oheka II, which had been built in 1927 for a wealthy financier and patron of the arts, Otto Kahn, by the German shipbuilding company Lürssen.
              This design was chosen because the theatre of operations of such boats was expected to be the North Sea, English Channel and the Western Approaches. The requirement for good performance in rough seas dictated the use of a round-bottomed displacement hull rather than the flat-bottomed planing hull that was more usual for small, high-speed boats. Lürssen overcame many of the disadvantages of such a hull and, with the Oheka II, produced a craft that was fast, strong and seaworthy. This attracted the interest of the German Navy, which in 1929 ordered a similar boat but fitted with two torpedo tubes. This became the S-1, and was the basis for all subsequent S-boote.
              After experimenting with the S-1 the Germans made several improvements to the design. Small rudders added on either side of the main rudder could be angled outboard to 30 degrees, creating at high speed what's known as the Lürssen Effect. This drew in an "air pocket slightly behind the three propellers, increasing their efficiency, reducing the stern wave and keeping the boat at a nearly horizontal attitude". This was an important innovation as the horizontal attitude lifted the stern somewhat, allowing even greater speed, and the reduced stern wave made S-boats harder to see, especially at night.
              S-boote were often used to patrol the Baltic Sea and the English Channel in order to intercept shipping heading for the English ports in the south and east. As such, they were up against Royal Navy and Commonwealth (particularly Royal Canadian Navy contingents leading up to D-Day), Motor Gun Boats (MGBs), Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), Motor Launches, frigates and destroyers. They were also transferred in small numbers to the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea by river and land transport. Some small S-Boote were built as longboats for auxiliary cruisers.
              During their operational history in World War II, the S-boote sank 101 merchant ships totalling 214,728 tons. In addition, they sank 12 destroyers, 11 minesweepers, eight landing ships, six enemy MTBs, a torpedo boat, a minelayer, one submarine and a number of small merchant craft. They also damaged two cruisers, five destroyers, three landing ships, a repair ship, a naval tug and numerous merchant vessels. Sea mines laid by the 'S-boote' were responsible for the loss of 37 merchant ships totalling 148,535 tons, a destroyer, two minesweepers and four landing ships.


              • #8
                August 1940. Deutsche Wochenschau. A German U-Boot returns home

                German U-Boots return from a victorious mission. They have destroyed more than 10,00 tons of enemy shipping. Rear Admiral Doenitz awards several crew members with the Iron Cross for exemplary service.

                Last edited by Skoblin; 06 Apr 10, 16:20.


                • #9
                  Last voyage of the Prinz Eugen

                  September 1946. The former German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen is towed to Kwajalein atoll in the South Pacific, following the atom bomb tests during Operation Crossroads. Although surviving both atom bomb tests (Able and Baker) she was too radioactive to be salvaged. She finally capsized on December 22, 1946. The incidental music is Wagner's "Lied an den Abendstern" (Song to the Evening Star] from Tannhauser.


                  • #10
                    August 1940. Scenes of the German surface fleet in Norwegian waters / schnellboote undergo exercises against target ships.


                    • #11

                      We actually got to hear Hindenburg's voice.
                      Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.


                      • #12
                        Sadly, the Uruguayan government has called a halt to any offshore salvage operations in their waters, thereby ending all hopes that Admiral Graf Spee will ever be afloat again.

                        Deutschland / Lutzow was salvaged after the war and used for target practice by the Russians, who finally sank her at an unknown location. She (along with light cruisers Karlsruhe and Leipzig) remain the only major German warships (not counting DDs) not located, as the wreck of Graf Zeppelin was found back in 2006 or 2008.

                        SGT, 210th MP Battalion, 2nd MP BDE, MSSG

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