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41

Tuesday, June 25th 2019, 3:29am

Der Tagesspiegel, Wednesday, 13 April 1949

The Ministry of Defence has announced that Jagdgeschwader 55 has begun to transition to the Bf329 jet interceptor, surrendering its Fw190A piston-engine fighters. It is expected that the conversion process will be complete by early summer. Jagdgeschwader 71, now the sole operator of the venerable Wurger-A, is expected to begin transition later this year.


H.M Passport Control Office, Vienna, Thursday, 14 April 1949




Militär-Wochenblatt, Friday, 15 April 1949

A single example of the Russian Sikorsky S-19 utility and transport helicopter has been acquired by the Luftwaffe under lease. The aircraft arrived at Erprobungsstelle Rechlin yesterday, where it will be evaluated in comparison with the rotary wing aircraft service presently in service with the armed forces. The SH.40 “Tourbillon”, the French-built variant of the S-19, has recently obtained export orders from the Netherlands and Yugoslavia.

42

Thursday, June 27th 2019, 6:53pm

Rheinische Post, Saturday, 16 April 1949

At a congress held this week in the city of Düsseldorf scientists agreed to the foundation of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Elektronenmikroskopie (German Society for Electron Microscopy) to further coordinate the work of researchers in the field of electron microscopy. The decision was at the urging of the physicist Ernst Brüche, while Ernst Ruska was elected as its first president. Among its first committee members were Hans Mahl, Fritz Jung, Walter Kikuth and Otto Scherzer.


Kieler Nachrichten, Sunday, 17 April 1949

The Wiesbaden-class air defence destroyers Kassel and Trier have completed their operational training in the Baltic and are expected to deploy to the Atlantikflotte within the next several weeks.


Der Tagesspiegel, Monday, 18 April 1949

A spokesman for Hirth-Motoren announced today that engineers at its Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen facility have begun testing of its experimental T-51 turboshaft engine. If successful this engine would have particular value in its adaptation to rotary wing aircraft, as it would be lighter in weight than the current generation of piston-engines now employed.

43

Friday, July 5th 2019, 10:04pm

Survey Ship Komet, Cam Rahn Bay, Tuesday, 19 April 1949

The Komet entered the anchorage and slowly made her way to her assigned mooring. For Lehmann-Willenbrock and many of the crew their arrival foreshadowed change. Enlistments completed a number of the ratings would be returning home via air, and some would be departing to assignments aboard other ships of the East Asia Squadron. He himself found he was under orders to return to Germany by the most expeditious means to take up a new assignment. The scientists that had gathered data and samples of the ocean floor would take ship for home, returning to their universities to sift through and interpret what had been discovered. It was a time of change.


The Portuguese Fort, Bahrain, Wednesday, 20 April 1949

The combination of oppressive heat and enervating humidity had an impact on all members of the expedition, Bessig and Jones included. Their exertions were now in vain however. Continuing excavations within the ramparts of the old fort had disclosed a series of superimposed cities of substantive construction – no mud brick walls but structures of cut limestone blocks. Their knowledge of the sequence of habitation grew – they could now establish beyond question that Bahrain was the site of the ancient country of Dilmun, which featured prominently in Sumerian history and legend. The discovery of stamp seals bearing inscriptions in the undeciphered script of the Harappan culture hinted at links to far distant India.


Oberösterreichische Rundschau, Thursday, 21 April 1949

The Grazer Athletiksport-Klub has proposed to organise a stage cycling race for teams of amateur cyclists resident in the Austrian provinces. If sufficient interest can be found in the cycling clubs of the region the first Österreich-Rundfahrt would be held in July of next year.

44

Friday, July 12th 2019, 12:45am

Berlin, H.M. Passport Control Office, Friday, 22 April 1949

Bill Tanner felt as though he were sitting beneath the proverbial Sword of Damocles.

That morning he had received word that agent who was the source of the original report on secret oil storage depots in Austria, which he had passed to London in February, had been taken into custody by the police. He wondered how long it might take to break his agent, and what the fellow might tell the German security services. As far as Tanner knew there were no direct ties to him, and he had instructed his other stringers to lie low, but as the demise of the TEAPOT network proved, mistakes can be made.

It wasn’t that he felt frightened that the he might be arrested; his diplomatic credentials would protect him from that. Expulsion perhaps, and that might be looked upon as a badge of honour by his superiors; what he feared was something career ending, the fate of agents who slipped up.

So he went back to reading the routine reports that had come in the morning’s mail; made small talk when Burcough dropped by to discuss an item heard on the radio; and waited.


Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Saturday, 23 April 1949

Minister of Economics Otto von Hapsburg and a delegation of experts from the Ministry and from industry will visit the United States of America in the near future. The purpose of the visit is to expand economic ties between the two countries and to discuss the question of mutual tariff reductions.


Kronen Zeitung, Sunday, 24 April 1949

Edwin Hofmann has been named as chief editor of the Wiener Schachzeitung, the official organ of the Austrian Chess Federation, in succession to Josef Halumbirek, who has retired from the editorial desk after ten years at the helm.

45

Thursday, July 18th 2019, 9:56pm

Frigate Gefion, The South China Sea, Monday, 25 April 1949

The Gefion and her sister Jaguar had left the base of Cam Rahn Bay earlier that morning on a routine cruise northward; Kapitän zur See Heinrich Graf von Haugwitz checked the plot and noted that Qui Nhon was just over the horizon to the west. At their current speed it would take little more than two days to make it to their first port of call at San Hainando. Their present mission was a familiar one – monitor ship traffic in the waters approaching or departing the China coast. Despite reports of a build-up of Chinese naval strength previous cruises had disclosed little evidence to confirm them. To von Haugwitz’s mind, if the Chinese decided to stay in port that would suit him well enough.


Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Tuesday, 26 April 1949

The Ministry of Defence announced today that two of the Luftwaffe’s fighter training establishments will convert to the status of reserve fighter wings. Jagdfliegerschule 7 at Hildesheim has been reformed as Jagdgeschwader 107 while Jagdfliegerschule 8 at Bad Vöslau has been reformed as Jagdgeschwader 108. Both units will operate the Focke Wulf Fw190F fighter-bomber, the intent being to maintain pilot proficiency as the Luftwaffe enters the next phase of its re-equipment programme.


Hamburger Abendblatt, Wednesday, 27 April 1949

Minister of Economics Otto von Hapsburg, accompanied by representatives of the Reichsverband der Deutschen Industrie departed Berlin this afternoon for the United States, where they are expected to enter into discussions touching expanding trade links between Germany and the United States. In remarks to the press before departing, the von Hapsburg gave few details of the topics to be discussed and potential outcomes, merely reaffirming Germany’s long term friendly economic relations with America.

46

Tuesday, July 23rd 2019, 9:39pm

Kieler Nachrichten, Thursday, 28 April 1949

The corvettes Thetis and Medusa were declared operational today at ceremonies at Pillau. For the last six months they have been working up as part of the Kriegsmarine’s training group and are due to deploy to the North Sea in the coming weeks.


New Yorker Staats-Zeitung, Friday, 29 April 1949

German Minister of Economics Otto von Hapsburg will arrive today at Idlewild Airport en route to Washington DC for discussions with his counterparts. Topics of discussion are expected to turn on tariff reductions, bilateral clearing agreements, and investment incentives.


Elbinger Volksstimme, Saturday, 30 April 1949

The corvettes Nymphe and Niobe were completed today at the Schichau Works at Memel. The vessels are due to undergo builders’ trials later next week and they will then commence operational training with the Lehrdivision for the next six months.

47

Thursday, August 1st 2019, 8:21pm

German News and Events, May, 1949

Aero Kurier, Sunday, 1 May 1949

Reports originating in the Argentine have reopened speculation regarding the return of the famous 'Talons over Cordoba' international fighter meet. Once a staple of the international aviation scene the event has not been held for several years. When asked about the rumours of its resurrection a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence stated, “We have received no invitation or other information regarding the ‘Talons’ event at this time. Given the advance of aircraft design and performance over the last decade, the Ministry considers it unlikely that it would participate in an official manner.” His comments did not entirely close the door to participation by industry, a matter dependent upon the exact scope the ‘Talons’ event might encompass.


Transradio Press Service, Washington DC, Monday, 2 May 1949

The German Minister of Economics Otto von Hapsburg continued his discussions today with Secretary of Commerce Sawyer and Secretary of the Treasury Snyder on a wide range of trade issues. In a press conference following today’s meetings Secretary Sawyer said that good progress had been made on the question of bilateral tariff reductions, though many details still need to be worked out.


Kieler Nachrichten, Tuesday, 3 May 1949

The air defence cruiser Szina was completed in the dockyards here today, while her sister Temesvar was completed at the Deschimag yard at Cuxhaven. These are the last of eight Aspern class ships authorised for the Kriegsmarine and they are expected to join the fleet in the autumn, following their trials and operational training.

48

Monday, August 5th 2019, 7:23pm

Sächsische Zeitung, Wednesday, 4 May 1949

The first pre-production, service test example of the Junkers 322 long-range heavy bomber was rolled out today at the Junkers’ Dessau works. It is expected to undergo its flight testing early next week. It will be soon followed by the remainder of the 0-series aircraft, which will be delivered to an operational test squadron in the autumn.


Hamburger Abendblatt, Thursday, 5 May 1949

Local entrepreneurs Carl Tchilinghiryan and Max Herz have established the firm Frisch-Röst-Kaffee Carl Tchiling GmbH here as purveyors of freshly roasted coffee beans, shipped via mail-order from the firm’s own roasting facility in the district of Hoheluft.


Danziger Echo, Friday, 6 May 1949

The Schichau Works at Memel launched the corvettes Acheron and Biene today. The design is a significant increase over the previous vessels of this type launched for the German Navy, with greater capabilities. Two similar vessels were launched at the Deschimag yard in Hamburg, where there are to be completed as the Chamäleon and Perseus respectively.

49

Friday, August 9th 2019, 2:43pm

The Washington Post, Saturday, 7 May 1949

The visit of the German Minister of Economics Otto von Hapsburg continued this week. While members of the delegation met to hammer out differences with the counterparts in the Commerce and Treasury departments Herr von Hapsburg took the opportunity to visit the nearby Hagerstown, Maryland, facility of the Martin Aircraft Company, which produces under license the German-designed Junkers Ju252 and Ju352 twin-engine airliners – aircraft that have achieved wide acceptance in the American airline industry.


The British Embassy, Budapest, Sunday, 8 May 1949

Commander John Strangways read the latest set of reports from Kerim Bey with interest. They showed a definite build-up of German import traffic on the Danube and its tributaries. That it should do so in the wake of winter when navigation was reduced or absent was not in itself surprising; but the rate of increase was at least fifteen percent ahead of the previous season. Oil, ores, and agricultural products headed the list of import cargos. Machinery and machine tools, agricultural equipment – mainly tractors, and consumer goods were the main export cargos.

As he prepared to forward a precis of the information to London Strangways felt that the traffic represented more than a mere export drive by German industry. It seemed to confirm London’s suspicions that Germany was deliberately stockpiling strategic material and developing an artery that was beyond the Royal Navy’s long reach of blockade.


Dithmarscher Landeszeitung, Monday, 9 May 1949

Marinefliegergruppe 23 has completed its re-deployment to the recently completed naval air station at Heligoland. Its Marine-Bordfliegerstaffel 326 will operate the Arado Ar196 seaplane on short-sea reconnaissance missions while its Marine-Seenotstaffel 506 will operate the Wiener Neustadt Wf14 helicopter in the maritime search-and-rescue role. The latter is expected to be well appreciated by the crews of the German fishing fleet operating in the North Sea, as well as by mariners of all nations.

50

Tuesday, August 13th 2019, 6:43pm

Kronen Zeitung, Tuesday, 10 May 1949

The infantry landing ships Nordstrand and Vogelsand were completed today at the Wien shipyards. Following upon the initial builders’ trials, they will be transferred via the Rhein-Main-Danube Canal to the Baltic Naval Station for operational training.


The Washington Post, Wednesday, 11 May 1949

The German trade delegation led by Minister of Economics Otto von Hapsburg began its return to Germany, departing from Union Station for New York’s Idewild Airport. The discussions between the Germans and the Administration did not achieve all that either side had hoped for – a general reduction in tariffs between the two countries. Nevertheless Secretary of Commerce Sawyer announced that a limited bilateral agreement between the two countries had been reached covering tariff reductions on American agricultural exports and German exports of certain classes of manufactured goods, notably automobiles. Secretary Sawyer also announced the government-to-government sale of fifty thousand tons of wheat from the Department of Agriculture’s surplus stocks. The present program of technical exchanges will also continue.

51

Thursday, August 15th 2019, 7:16pm

Elbinger Volksstimme, Friday, 13 May 1949

Work on construction of the landing ships Kampenwerder and Kaninchenwerder was completed today at the Schichau Works at Memel. The vessels will now undergo trials and operational training. Construction of a further pair of vessels continues at the works, and their launch is expected to occur early next month. Schichau was awarded a contract late last year for a total of eight vessels of this type, christened the Kampenwerder class, and work on construction of the next pair is expected to commence as soon as the slipways have been prepared.


Lübecker Nachrichten, Saturday, 14 May 1949

The submarines Nagelhai and Eishai departed for their first operational deployments following conclusion of their training with the Kriegsmarine’s Lehrdivision.


Wirtschaftswoche, Sunday, 15 May 1949

The formation of the Reichsverband Großhandel, Außenhandel, Dienstleistungen Gmbh was announced Friday. Representing more than forty associations engaged in the wholesale trade, both domestic and foreign, and in the associated service industries that support them, umbrella organisation will seek to promote the trades at home and broad and work to reduce barriers in the export of German manufactures to the world.

52

Wednesday, August 21st 2019, 1:59am

Kieler Nachrichten, Monday, 16 May 1949

Work on the small coastal escort vessel Alpenföhn was completed today, and she will now embark upon trials before commencing operational training. A sister vessel, Höllentäler, was also completed at the Wilhelmshaven dockyard.


London, The German Embassy, Tuesday, 17 May 1949

Walter Schellenburg was walking down the corridor that led to his office when he heard the laughter coming from the office of Georg Bosbach, the cultural attaché. Being naturally curious he stepped through the half-open door and found Bosbach seated at his desk together with Otto von Bolschwing, the commercial attaché and Erich Andres, the press attaché. Their chortling wound down as Schellenburg entered and inquired about the source of their amusement.

“Andres was reading to us the Attlee’s latest speech in the Commons, his rejoinder to Churchill’s rhetorical polemic.”

Schellenburg was familiar enough with Churchill’s fiery discourse, haranguing the House for what he considered insufficient preparedness in defence of Britain’s imperial legacy. He had studied it, and was somewhat concerned about the old lion’s accurate description of German military developments. He had paid less attention to the Prime Minister’s response, and admitted such.

“Andres, start over again for Schellenburg’s benefit, from the beginning.” The press attaché picked up the folded newspaper, adjusted his glasses, and adopted an affected English accent.

"My right honourable friend makes his case as robustly as ever. But this government is not inactive nor unaware of what is going on. The previous Tory governments largely cooperated with the Germans, showing them battleship plans and making little deals while turning a blind eye to Germany's annexation of Austria and her growing thirst to dominate the European mainland and largely wipe out her perceived poor treatment at the hands of the Allied powers in 1917 when a harsh peace was forced upon her. Germany has been driven by threats from the previous Tory government into preparing for the worst case scenarios. That she chooses to pump so much of her resources into building up her armaments and raw materials is a sign of fear and weakness, not strength.”

Schellenburg raised an eyebrow. “That is a masterpiece of hyperbole…”

Von Bolschwing nodded, “Quite… I was wondering if Major Attlee had been drinking. He would have to far overestimate our defence expenditures and underestimate the strength of the national economy to deduce something like that. And Andres – you are from Klagenfurt – do you consider yourself ‘annexed’?”

“No, the union of the Austrian provinces with the rest of the Reich was probably the best thing that could happen – integration into a larger political and economic whole.” He went back to reading from Hansard.

“It is Germany's population who can look to our Welfare State while they wonder why their government chooses guns over butter and why stockpiling of raw materials is driving world commodity prices higher and causing the price of goods in the shops to rise further and further.”

“Driving commodity prices higher?” Schellenburg shook his head. “The last time I looked at Deutsche Börse commodity prices were down due to the bumper crops in Eastern Europe and the Americas.”

“That’s correct. The Major was probably listening to the porters at the London Commodity Exchange. Unlike the Deutsche Börse or the American Chicago Board of Trade the London prices for many commodities are skewed due to Britain’s crutch of ‘Imperial Preference’.” Von Bolschwing said the words as if they were an expletive. “Neither does he understand that moderate rates of inflation – reflected in rising prices – are an indication of the general higher wage rates in Germany. It would be anathema for him to admit that his ‘Welfare State’ policies have effectively capped wage growth and non-public investment across the board.”

Bosbach added, “And he certainly not read history books. Our social policies date back to the 1840s, certainly to the great Bismarck, with health insurance, the accident insurance, old age pensions, and disability insurance; not to mention the Sozialgesetzbuch adopted in 1927.”

“I think he was trying to defend Labour’s policies for the electorate.” Andres was a keen follower of the British political scene. “Despite their motorways, their New Towns, and all their talk of social welfare Labour is in trouble. Their parliamentary majority is paper thin and there are legitimate concerns that they will lose the next election.”

Andres went back to reading the remainder of Attlee’s speech.

“And to those who say this Government sits on its hands, I can confirm that talks have been held with several leading powers about defensive alliances, but of course secrecy prevents me of course from providing details at this stage.”

That got a chortle from Schellenburg. “Their intriguing with Italy? That would be a broken reed for them to lean upon.”

“I still feel our best course is to follow diplomatic courses that reduce the tensions between us. The age of Grand Alliances makes less sense in the new modern free-market world, no nation can gain by war. If Germany cannot see that then it is her ruin and not this country's for Britain is a member of the world open to all and not a closed shop.”

“Not a closed shop? Then what is the purpose of Imperial Preference and maintaining an empire that spans the globe?” Schellenburg shook his head in disbelief. “What then is PETA? It is practically a common market.”


Frankfurter Zeitung, Wednesday, 18 May 1949

Minister of Agriculture Hermann Höcherl dedicated the new storage facility at Ingolstadt today. The first phase of the project comprises sixteen steel storage silos for bulk grain and transfer facilities that permit direct discharge from river barges to its storage areas. Additional phases are anticipated to see construction of additional silos as well as climate-controlled warehouses for other agricultural products.

53

Wednesday, August 21st 2019, 9:52am

Being a rather tactiturn man, Attlee would probably not have intended his speech giving so much mirth to the German legation but would be glad to know that he has raised their spirits. :D

54

Sunday, August 25th 2019, 4:57pm

The Portuguese Fort, Bahrain, Thursday, 19 May 1949

The heat of the day had driven the archaeologists and their workers to the relative safety of their tents – at this point work was done in short shifts in the early morning or the late afternoon, before or after the sun had arisen to its zenith. Jones, who had insisted that they could work through the summer’s heat, had begun to rue his audacity, though they had continued clearing a portion of what they now knew to be an ancient city of noble proportions – the capital, perhaps, of the mystical land of Dilmun. At the moment though Jones sat beneath the tent’s open canopy, catching what breeze there was to be had to mitigate the oppressive heat.

It was then that he heard the sound of their car pull up on the other side of the fort’s ruined walls. It was Bessig, returning from Manama with the latest mail and supplies.

“It has come!” Bessig was waving a wad of papers as he made his way through the entrance.

“What has come?”

Bessig struggled against the blazing sun to make his way to the patch of shade in which Jones sat. ”Professor Hasan Dani’s latest report on his excavations at Mohenjo-Daro! Not only does he write extensively on the recent discoveries there but it includes photographs of stamp seals!”

“Let me have a look at that!”

Jones’ excitement shook him from his heat-induced lethargy. He took the report that Bessig proffered and quickly thumbed through it until he reached the illustrations. “Ah!”

Of the many artefacts that they had found in the course of their excavations – in the several levels of the city’s tel, at the temple complex that was being excavated at nearby Barbar, and even in the tombs that had first brought them here they had found a growing number of what they had christened stamp seals. These were small circles of steatite upon whose faces were incised a variety of designs and, on some, what looked to be inscriptions. Such seals had been found in small numbers in the lowest levels of Sumerian sites in Iraq; and the literature had hinted at finds of such in the buried cities of the Indus Valley; now at last they had illustrations of what had been found there.

“Doctor Jones, I think we have some serious reading ahead of us.” Bessig had picked up Jones’ habit of understatement.


Sächsische Zeitung, Friday, 20 May 1949

The prototype of the new Junkers Ju490 four-engine transport aircraft made its first flight today at the firm’s Dessau air field. The Ju490, powered by a quartet of turbopropeller engines, is intended to replace the Junkers Ju390 as Lufthansa’s premier aircraft for intercontinental routes.


Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Saturday, 21 May 1949

The Defence Ministry announce yesterday the formation of a permanent air demonstration squadron within the Luftwaffe. Its purpose would be to engage in aerobatic displays at home, and, if arrangements could be made, abroad as well. The name selected for the unit is “Die Grünen Hornissen”. Further details are expected.

55

Thursday, August 29th 2019, 2:40am

Hamburger Abendblatt, Sunday, 22 May 1949

The port rehabilitation ship Bottsand has completed her conversion at the Deschimag yard and will soon commence her builders’ trials and operational training. Her intended purpose is to transport and serve as a base for repair crews engaged in the reconstruction of port facilities damaged by disaster or calamity.


Kronen Zeitung, Monday, 23 May 1949

The formation of the Reichsverband Junger Unternehmer (National Association of Young Entrepreneurs) was announced today. The purpose of the association is to promote and protect the interests of young family businesses and owner entrepreneurs through reduction of bureaucratic burdens, providing information on tax law, and matching potential start-up firms with venture capital.


Berlin, The Cabinet Meeting Room, Tuesday, 24 May 1949

“Dehler, what do you make of it?”

The day’s cabinet discussions had rolled around to the latest news from the Netherlands, where Prime Minister Eduard Land’s proposal to include representatives from the Dutch colonies in the upper chamber of Parliament had received resounding rejections in both the East Indies and in Kongo.

“That it would be objectionable is of no surprise to me.” The Foreign Minister had said so on many occasions. “What does surprise me is that the governor of the East Indies would be so frank as to insist that The Hague permit formation of an independent government in Batavia. In effect, granting independence to the Indies.”

“Are they likely to do that?” Disbelief was written in the Chancellor’s face.

“Not while Land is prime minister, I believe. Or at least not with the current parliamentary coalition. I think we can see new elections in the Netherlands within the next year.”

Blank, the Minister of Defence then asked, “What happens if Batavia, or the authorities in Kongo decide not to wait for The Hague?”

Dehler shook his head. “That I do not know. Blank, would you please direct General Gehlen to make an assessment of the situation?”

56

Friday, August 30th 2019, 5:09pm

Lübecker Nachrichten, Wednesday, 25 May 1949

The small support tankers Leine and Löcknitz called here today following the conclusion of their operational training with the Kriegsmarine’s Lehrdivision. It is expected that following a few days of preparation they will transit the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal to join the Atlantic Fleet.


Frigate Gefion, Cam Rahn Bay, Thursday, 26 May 1949

The Gefion, Kapitän zur See von Haugwitz commanding, had returned the day before together with her sister Jaguar, following a month’s cruise north along the China coast. Von Haugwitz sat at the desk in his sea cabin pondering how best to compose his report to his superiors. The log books of the frigates practically bulged with the sightings of Chinese fishing vessels, cannery ships, and even big whale factory ships, all busily engaged in harvesting the bounty of the sea.

The extent of this exploitation of the pelagic resources of the eastern seas concerned him greatly. Modern efficient trawlers and seiners caught fish indiscriminately. The harvest might be bountiful this year, but could the seas sustain such levels into the future? It was an open question, and as a naval officer, was in fact peripheral to his principal interests. But von Haugwitz was aware that competition for fishing grounds had already sparked on war in these waters, and the growing Chinese marine industry might do so again.


Dithmarscher Landeszeitung, Friday, 27 May 1949

Two ships were completed today in the Wilhelmshaven Dockyard, the support tankers Lauter and Lesum. Following their builders’ trials they will deploy to the Baltic for a period of operational training before they join the fleet.

57

Monday, September 2nd 2019, 8:08pm

Kieler Nachrichten, Saturday, 28 May 1949

Special ceremonies at the Warnemünde naval station marked the completion of operational training for the destroyers Wesel, Apolda, Spandau, and Blankenburg. The ships are expected to join the Atlantikflotte early next month.


Deschimag Shipyards, Cuxhaven, Sunday, 29 May 1949

Captain Alfred Burcough, British naval attaché at the embassy in Berlin, had willingly accepted the invitation to visit one of Germany’s largest shipbuilding centres. With all the naval construction reported by his sources it was in Burcough’s interest to see for himself the truth of what was being fed to him. The journey to the rather drab city was long and boring, and Burcough kept his thoughts focused on what he hoped to see beyond the official purpose of his visit.

For reasons known only to themselves the Germans had made a big show of the scrapping of a substantial portion of their submarine fleet, and today he was to witness the start of the last phase. With his counterparts from other nations he dutifully watch as the hulks of U-108 and U-109 were hauled into dry dock where their final demolition would commence. It was a show the Germans were well practiced at, and Burcough knew it was a show for the world’s benefit – a distraction from what the Germans were doing elsewhere in the yards here in Cuxhaven and elsewhere. His hosts could not disguise the two destroyers at the fitting out basin that already wore bunting in anticipation for their imminent commissioning. Somewhere in the yard beyond his view another aircraft carrier was taking form, if the reports he had read were correct.

He would of course report the demolition of the submarines to the Admiralty; it would help keep their calculations of enemy strength up to date. He would also report his impressions of what the Germans were up to. Yet somehow he could not shake the idea that he was being played.

58

Wednesday, September 4th 2019, 6:36pm

Hamburger Abendblatt, Monday, 30 May 1949

The Torgau-class destroyers Plauen and Frankenhausen were completed today in the Bremerhaven yards of the Deschimag firm. Their sisters, Naumburg and Helmstadt, were completed at the firm’s facilities at Cuxhaven. Following their builders’ trials, they will commence operational training in the Baltic.


Rostocker Zeitung, Tuesday, 31 May 1949

Marinefliegergruppe 13, at Eckernförde, has completed its conversion to the Dornier Do330 long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The unit had previously operated Arado Ar196 float reconnaissance aircraft, which are in the process of being retired.