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Thursday, May 22nd 2014, 1:13am

German News and Events 1945

Kieler Nachrichten, Monday, 1 January 1945

Despite the bitter cold of winter crowds thronged to the city’s shipyards to witness the laying of the keels for the Kriegsmarine’s latest aircraft carriers, to be known as Tegetthoff and Zieten. These two leviathans follow on the heels of the smaller vessels of the Großer Kurfürst class, and are the largest aircraft carriers to be constructed for Germany’s expanding naval forces. It is expected that they will complete their construction in some three years’ time.

Cóndor (Santiago), Tuesday, 2 January 1945

A German cruiser squadron under the command of Rear Admiral Hans Langsdorff arrived at the naval base of Talcahuano this morning on a scheduled good will cruise. Formal salutes were exchanged between the visiting vessels of the Kriegsmarine and the vessels of the Armada then present. Reports from the German embassy indicate that the squadron’s visit will last several days, with exchanges between the visitors and the ships of the Armada as well as an open day for the public to tour the four great cruisers.

Wien, Wednesday, 3 January 1945

In Die Goldene Säule (The Golden Pillar) the latest number of the comic-magazin Von der Heydte, the castaway hero finds an apparently uninhabited island in the sea off Borneo. He subsequently finds a gem-studded and gold-encrusted pillar in a seemingly abandoned temple – but recent sacrifices there suggest that cannibalistic head-hunters visit periodically. Can he make an escape before they return?


Thursday, May 22nd 2014, 2:23pm

Deutsche Rundschau Special Feature - January 1945


Saturday, May 24th 2014, 12:44am

Hamburger Abendblatt, Thursday, 4 January 1945

The minesweepers Fuchelsee and Wolfgansee were completed today at the Deschimag works, and have embarked upon their builders’ trials. This will be followed by a period of working up, and they are expected to join their sisters in service with the fleet in the late spring.

Emder Zeitung, Friday, 5 January 1945

Trierische Landeszeitung, Saturday, 6 January 1945

The first of forty-eight examples of the Dornier Do330F maritime reconnaissance aircraft ordered by the French Aeronavale was turned over to representatives of the French embassy as part of special ceremonies at the Dornier Friedrichshafen facility. Company officials have expressed confidence in their ability to meet the delivery requirements of the French order, which stipulates completion before the end of the year, while maintaining the delivery schedule under their contracts to the Defence Ministry.


Saturday, May 24th 2014, 10:10pm

Bremer Nachrichten, Sunday, 7 January 1945

Nachrichten für Außenhandel, Monday, 8 January 1945

Schichau Maschinen und Lokomotivfabrik of Königsberg announced that it has taken a substantial equity position in the Warsaw firm Towarzystwo Techniczno-Handlowe ‘Polski-Diesel’. The Polish firm will undertake the manufacture of diesel engines for railway, marine and industrial uses. Under the terms of the agreement Schichau will acquire some forty percent of the shares of the venture, and will provide technical assistance for the startup of a factory in the Okecie district of the Polish capital.

Krakow (Poland), Tuesday, 9 January 1945

The report from Lonkowski lay on the desk, and Jan Pajak closed his eyes to contemplate its import. The agent reported that he had made a passing contact with a member of the German parliament, who, Lonkowski thought, might be developed as an agent capable of gathering valuable political intelligence. The two shared experiences from the Great War; the politician was a voluble; while officially in the opposition he might be in a position to pick up interesting tid-bits of information. He began to draft a message for transmission to Lonkowski, ordering him to begin to develop the contact, one Griebel, as an agent. At the same time Pajak began to consider how to establish a separate and secure channel to the potential source of information; if it was one thing that Pajak had learned through hard experience it was not to bunch his agents like grapes.


Saturday, May 24th 2014, 10:17pm

Oops... Alsthom missed that one!


Sunday, May 25th 2014, 9:25pm

Rheinische Post, Wednesday, 10 January 1945

Representatives of the Army Ordnance Office visited the Krupp Works at Essen yesterday to inspect the mockup of a new light antitank weapon presently under development for the Heer. Provisionally knows as the 8H63, the new design is intended as a replacement for the Heer’s current 7.5cm towed antitank weapons. Few details of the design have been announced but unidentified sources suggest that it relies upon the hollow-charge principle for its projectiles.

Erprobungsstätte Lipetsk, Thursday, 11 January 1945

Semyon Lavochkin greeted his German counterpart, Hans Multhopp with genuine enthusiasm. “It is good that you are finally here,” he said. “We have managed to make good much of the time lost with the crash of the prototype, and are ready to proceed with renewed wind-tunnel testing.”

“Excellent,” replied Multhopp. “Our metallurgists have determined that the failure of the empennage was induced by unexpected torque forces acting on the vertical fin.”

“Just so,” Lavochkin affirmed. “I have ordered construction of two alternate models for wind-tunnel testing; one in the existing design and one with a more conventional empennage arrangement. We shall see how they perform in comparison with one another.”

(The above information is strictly out-of-character.)

Wirtschaftswoche, Friday, 12 January 1945


Monday, May 26th 2014, 1:27pm

Frankfurter Zeitung, Saturday, 13 January 1945

Late yesterday a spokesman for the Defence Ministry announced its decision to order fifty examples of the Breguet-Nord N.1515 Noratlas to fulfill the Luftwaffe’s requirement for a long-range cargo transport aircraft. Citing a lack of response from German aircraft manufacturers to its request for proposals the spokesman praised the French design as well suited to the Luftwaffe’s requirements. The Noratlas will be paired with the Junkers Ju390C now in Luftwaffe service to fulfill long-range transport tasks – the Junkers product carrying troops and the Breguet design their heavy equipment.

Abwehr Outstation Breslau, Sunday, 14 January 1945

Walter Schellenburg reviewed the latest developments in his bid to infiltrate, and subsequently bring down, the intelligence network managed by Jan “The Spider” Pajak. Lonkowkski, now a tame ‘double-cross’ agent, had been accepted back into the fold and was providing to Polish intelligence what Schellenburg wanted them to know. “The Spider” seemed interested in the bait the Abwehr was dangling before him – the politician Griebel; it was time to set that hook. And the monitoring of the courier network established by Pajak had revealed two more spies, who were now under Abwehr surveillance. So far, so good.

Eisenbahn Kurier, Monday, 15 January 1945


Wednesday, May 28th 2014, 1:04am

Kieler Nachrichten, Tuesday, 16 January 1945

The Defence Ministry has announced that the Marineflieger will withdraw the remaining examples of the Dornier Do.24 flying boat from service before the end of this year. In the long-range search role it will be replaced by the Do.330 land-based maritime reconnaissance aircraft and in the search-and-rescue role by the Focke-Achgelis Fa300 helicopter.

Hamburger Abendblatt, Wednesday, 17 January 1945

The HAPAG freighter Uckermark departed today for Callao under charter to the Ministry of Defence. She is carrying the last shipment of surplus war material sold to Peru under the agreement signed late last year.

Bremer Nachrichten, Thursday, 18 January 1945

The Chilean consulate here has made arrangements with several hotels in anticipation of the arrival of several hundred Chilean naval personnel who are to form the nucleus crews of the Leberecht Maas class destroyers sold to that nation. Temporary housing for these visitors is complicated by the presence of Turkish naval personnel here for the same purpose. The hoteliers of the city are happy however, as their normally vacant rooms will now be occupied for some weeks as arrangements for the transfer of the vessels proceeds.


Saturday, May 31st 2014, 1:07am

Berlin, Abwehr Headquarters, Friday, 19 January 1945

Ferdinand von Schlabrendorff read the report of what had been dubbed “Operation Küster”; overall he was pleased with Schellenburg’s progress in infiltrating the Polish intelligence network operating in eastern Germany. It would take time to thoroughly unravel it – this was a given – but the ambitious Schellenburg promised much. Already they had used the avenue of Lonkowski to feed some suitably doctored ‘chickenfeed’ to the Poles; if this politician Griebel could be made use of, Schlabrendorff was certain that the Poles would strike at the chance.

He gathered up the papers on his desk and carefully placed them in his portfolio; he then arose and began to walk to his chief’s office, where Admiral Canaris waited for the weekly briefing.

Lüdenscheider Nachrichten, Saturday, 20 January 1945

The former Hapsburg emperor and present Reichstag delegate Otto von Hapsburg was seen earlier this week during an unannounced visit to the Veste Heldburg, seat of the ducal house of Meiningen. His Highness has been linked in the press with Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen, daughter of Georg, Prince of Saxe-Meiningen. Spokesmen for both families have refused to answer inquiries from the press.

Heavy Cruiser Graf Spee, Sunday, 21 January 1945, at sea off Talcahuano

After a lengthy stay in the friendly Chilean port it was with genuine regret that Admiral Langsdorff led his squadron again to sea. They had cleared the breakwater an hour before, and the ships were now headed north towards their next stop; Langsdorff was updating his personal log book.

During their stay Langsdorff, his officers and his crews had been given every courtesy; they had practically been adopted by the German expatriate community in Ailsen – the storerooms of his ships bulged with beer from the brewery there; there had been formal balls and informal dances galore so that few of his men had not had opportunity to enjoy the company of a Chilean senorita on at least one occasion; for the athletic there had been golf, tennis or squash with their counterparts, and for the truly adventurous, a chance to go horseback riding.

From a professional standpoint, they had equal opportunities. He and his senior officers had attended the launch ceremonies of the heavy cruiser O'Higgins, and had opportunities to see her sister Almirante Latorre as she neared completion. Langsdorff was particularly appreciative of the courtesy of Captain Paul Maldonado of the battlecruiser Almirante Cochrane for the thorough tour given to a delegation of officers from the squadron.

For his part, Langsdorff believed that his squadron had acquitted themselves well; by all press accounts they had left a powerful and favourable impression on their Chilean hosts. Langsdorff hoped that this reputation would precede him.


Sunday, June 1st 2014, 9:41pm

Handelsblatt, Monday, 22 January 1945

Bremer Nachrichten, Tuesday, 23 January 1945

The corvettes Dachs, Frettchen, Gepard and Hyäne have finished their operational training and have taken up their duties with the Seventh Escort Group at Bremerhaven.

Krakow (Poland), Wednesday, 24 January 1945

“So,” thought Jan Pajak, spymaster extraordinaire, “that is their policy?”

He read with interest the report from Lonkowski’s sub-agent Griebel, a well-placed member of the German parliament, on the policy formulated by the German Government vis-à-vis Poland. Frankly Pajak was doubtful that what he read was the whole story; Griebel, no matter how well connected, could know everything.

“Germany intends to pursue a course of peaceful economic penetration and infiltration,” the report read. “Firms are to be encouraged to seek investment opportunities in existing Polish companies and to create new ventures as the opportunity exists. The Schichau investment in Polski-Diesel is in keeping with this policy. The Reichsbank will make credits available to firms pursuing such investments.”

This much Pajak had to admit made sense. It was the policy Germany had pursued in Czechoslovakia and in Hungary – indeed, across the Balkans. He continued reading. “Discussions are underway between the Mannesman Group and the management of the Fitzner and Gamper boiler works in Warsaw.”

“But what of the military?” Pajak wondered. Economic power was one thing, military might another. Griebel’s report said nothing on that. It was, of course, his first report, and the précis of German economic strategy was useful. He made a mental note to demand information about German military and political policy towards Poland; he needed to know the enemy’s intentions.


Tuesday, June 3rd 2014, 3:46pm

Transradio Press Service, Bremerhaven, Thursday, 25 January 1945

“This Robert Trout, reporting from the Deschimag dockyard in Bremerhaven, where the hulls of three former U-boats of the German Kriegsmarine have been towed into graving dock for their final demolition. The scrapping of these vessels – none of which is that old – is an affirmation of the decision of the German Government to abide by its undertakings at the abortive London Conference on Naval Arms limitations. A total of twelve submarines are to be scrapped this year, to offset the construction of others that will be built; and, it is speculated, that the scrapping of further vessels will be undertaken to keep Germany’s undersea fleet within the constraints promised by Chancellor Adenauer.”

Kriegsmarine Survey Ship Meteor, 25 dgs 30 min South, 70 dgs East, Friday, 26 January 1945

The Meteor had continued her effort in conducting magnetometer and other scientific investigations of the complex underwater ridge formations of the Indian Ocean. Here, southeast of the island of Rodrigues, no fewer than three such ridges came together. The submarine geologists aboard the Meteor were fascinated at the implications of such a triple junction. If the Wegener hypothesis of sea-floor spreading had any validity – a topic of considerable debate in such circles – then here was a point where the data now being collected might answer many of the unknowns that clouded the debate. For the crew of the Meteor however, it represented hours of tedious sailing back-and-forth over nearly the same stretch of ocean, streaming the magnetometer and other instruments, and charting the seabed with the fathometer.

Heavy Cruiser Graf Spee, 10 dgs 23 min South, 79 dgs 20 min West, Saturday, 27 January 1945

For a day now Admiral Langsdorff and his cruiser squadron had had the company of a Peruvian flotilla – the heavy destroyers Confederacion and Republica under the command of Contra Almirante Hugo Torres Moreli. Their presence was reasonable; a foreign squadron cruising off a nation’s coast even in peace time needed to be reminded whose seas they were visiting. But the proper salutes had been exchanged, and the Peruvians had kept a respectful distance as the squadron went through its normal evolutions.

At the moment the corvettes Jaguar and Löwe were taking on oil and supplies from the replenishment ship Donau, and this kept the Peruvians quite entertained. From his place on the Graf Spee’s flag bridge he could see how the two destroyers had slowed and maneuvered for a closer view of the activity; not too close, Langsdorff was happy to see. Underway replenishment required vessels to maneuver close to one another and in event of problems they needed sea room to break-away. For small blessings such as this Langsdorff was thankful.


Thursday, June 5th 2014, 12:58am

Dakar, Senegal, Sunday, 28 January 1945

For Korvettenkapitän Rudolf Eberling, commanding the support tanker Spessart, it was another month in the distant African port of Dakar; his ship was in good physical condition – frequent exercises with the local French defence forces together with the efforts of his own crew, kept her hull from growing too foul; the spirits of the crew were in good condition too – the Etappendienst had arranged for frequent deliveries of mail. The Admiralstab had even sent Christmas parcels for every man – by air no less – delivered by a Lufthansa transport bound for South America. Their French hosts were ever polite and accommodating, and thanks to the admonitions delivered to his own crew by their officers and boatswains, there were very few serious incidents between German and French sailors.

Yet as time marched on, Eberling had to wonder about his assignment here. He expected that his ship’s deployment heralded much more, but the only information that came regarding movements of Kriegsmarine vessels was the occasional press report of Admiral Langsdorff’s cruiser squadron – last seen in Chilean waters. Still, he had a ship to command – and the best career move on his part was to carry out his assignments well. With a shrug he returned to drafting the monthly report, which he would transmit to Berlin in a few days.

Abwehr Headquarters, Berlin, Monday, 29 January 1945


Thursday, June 5th 2014, 1:06am

Ah, but it's a well-protected ostrich! ;)


Thursday, June 5th 2014, 5:57pm

Belgian beach guard "Hey kid get off that Element C, that's not a climbing frame." "Hey kid stop poking that, don't you know what an anti-tank mine looks like?" "Excuse madam, no photos of the scenic beauty, there's a super-secret gun bunker right there." "What Sir? Oh that's a medieval castle, sure they had 280mm guns in those days, yeah concrete... the Romans had it, of course the Army didn't add battlements on top to make it look phoney, no that's not the ice cream stand - that's actually a hidden flamethrower bunker." "Hey kid, stop filling that anti-tank ditch with sand, don't you know how long that took to dig out? Can you just go home now?" :P


Thursday, June 5th 2014, 6:02pm

Belgian beach guard "Hey kid get off that Element C, that's not a climbing frame." "Hey kid stop poking that, don't you know what an anti-tank mine looks like?" "Excuse madam, no photos of the scenic beauty, there's a super-secret gun bunker right there." "What Sir? Oh that's a medieval castle, sure they had 280mm guns in those days, yeah concrete... the Romans had it, of course the Army didn't add battlements on top to make it look phoney, no that's not the ice cream stand - that's actually a hidden flamethrower bunker." "Hey kid, stop filling that anti-tank ditch with sand, don't you know how long that took to dig out? Can you just go home now?" :P

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
-Siegfried Sassoon


Thursday, June 5th 2014, 6:26pm



Thursday, June 5th 2014, 10:34pm


no that's not the ice cream stand - that's actually a hidden flamethrower bunker
Don't you mean "ancient Greek Fire Projector that is part of the Medieval Fire Trap"? :)


Saturday, June 7th 2014, 11:24pm

Berliner Abendpost, Tuesday, 30 January 1945

It was announced today that Foreign Minister Thomas Dehler will lead a delegation to Brussels next month for talks with Belgian officials aimed at improving relations between Germany and her neighbor.

Heavy Cruiser Graf Spee, 7 dgs 26 min North, 78 dgs 25 min West, Wednesday, 31 January 1945

Admiral Langsdorff had led his squadron north from the Chilean port of Talcahuano without incident; their Peruvian escort had left them several days before as soon as they had left the Rio Tumbes in their wake. Aside from the occasional sighting of a commercial freighter their only company had been that of fishing vessels seeking to earn their keep by catching tuna in the cold waters of the Humboldt Current. Panama, their objective lay over the horizon, still several hours steaming.

“Seetakt contact!” came the announcement from the warning officer. “Large contact bearing 350 relative, distance 22 kilometers.

Langsdorff stepped to the open bridge and scanned the northern horizon; in the distance he could see the upperworks of a large warship slowly come into view. “Signal to all ships. Prepare to render honours portside,” he ordered.

The arrival of an escort from the Iberian Navy was to be expected at this point – the Graf Spee and her consorts were about to enter the Gulf of Panama and their intention to call at the port of Panama had been communicated weeks before by the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. The deck of the cruiser now rang with throngs of white-uniformed sailors as they crowded the port side of the ship; the ship’s band took their place, in readiness to strike up the appropriate music.

The form of the Iberian cruiser – a vessel of the Inigo Montoya class – was clear now, and it was apparent that she too was preparing to salute the German squadron as she passed. Langsdorff ordered the squadron to slow to ten knots, as the Iberian vessel, after exchanging salutes with each of the German vessels in turn, would reverse course and take position at the head of the column as they entered Iberian waters.

With clock-like precision the ships came close aboard one another and the Graf Spee’s band began to play the Marche Real; across the waters came the dulcet tones of the Deutschlandlied. Officers and men on all the ships came to attention and stayed at their positions by the rails as salutes were exchanged. Formalities accomplished, the Iberian vessel – the Inigo Montoya herself – took her place and signaled, “Follow me!”


Sunday, June 8th 2014, 3:19pm

German News and Events, February 1945

Wien, Thursday, 1 February 1945

In Das Letzte Wunder (The Last Miracle), the latest number of the eponymous comic-magazin Von der Heydt has been captured by blood-thirsty headhunters and threatened with death for desecration of their gold-encrusted temple. As the witch-doctor is poised to cut out the heart of our hero a fusillade of rifle fire announces the timely arrival of a contingent of Dutch police, with Von der Heydt’s friend, the King of the Beggars, at their head. Presumed lost at sea, the King of the Beggars reveals himself as an agent of the Netherlands intelligence service charged with finding the secret lair of the headhunter pirates who have terrorised the nearby seas.

Berliner Tageblatt, Friday, 2 February 1945

The Defence Ministry announced today the preliminary results of a recently-completed review of the state of the nation’s air defences, which include significant reductions in the air strength of the Luftwaffe. During the course of the coming year two fighter wings will be stood down, reducing their number to thirteen; one ground attack wing will be disbanded, leaving three; the number of medium bomber wings will be reduced to twelve from the current sixteen as the number of Ju88 and Do217 bomber aircraft in service decline. The number of heavy antiaircraft units to be retained in service has been set at twenty-eight, and that of light antiaircraft units at fourteen. In all the changes announced represent a reduction on the order of sixty thousand officers and other ranks.

Heavy Cruiser Graf Spee, Panama, Saturday, 3 February 1945

For Hans Langsdorff and the crews of the German ships in harbour, today was a day of semi-rest, in preparation for the morrow – when the squadron would receive visitors from the general public. The formal exchanges and inspections had taken place the day before and today – to the accompaniment of tropical rain on the awning spread over the ship – work crews made ready. Some lucky sailors had the day for liberty, under the watchful eyes of petty officers. Langsdorff prayed that there would be no incidents to mar their stay.


Tuesday, June 10th 2014, 3:17am

Abwehr Outstation Breslau, Sunday, 4 February 1945

He read the copy of the questionnaire that Lonkowski had received from “the Spider”; the Polish spymaster seemed quite interested in the bait being dangled before him. For Walter Schellenburg it was but one more small step towards his goal of turning “the Spider’s” network inside out.
“What are Germany’s intentions towards Poland?” the missive asked. “Has the German Government issued contingency instructions on dealing with a sudden emergency?” it continued. “Details of contingency plans are required.”

Griebel was not on any of the Reichstag’s important committees – and would have little direct knowledge of such matters; but arrangements could be made for him to catch hints in passing conversations that would begin to answer the questions put by “the Spider”. Schellenburg put pen to paper to set such in motion; he could afford to play a patient game.

Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, Monday, 5 February 1945

The Defence Ministry has announced its decision to continue funding for development of the Fieseler Fi220 single-seat naval strike aircraft. The new design is intended to succeed the Fieseler Fi168 Haifisch two-seat dive and torpedo bomber. The first flight of the new aircraft is expected sometime later this year.

Gazeta Polska (Warsaw), Tuesday, 6 February 1945

The German Mannesmann concern has announced a tender for twenty-five percent of the share of the diversified industrial firm Lilpop, Rau i Loewenstein. The proposal was met with some concern from the Ministry of Commerce but no order forbidding the transaction has yet been issued; share prices for Lilpop, Rau rose on the Warsaw Exchange in response to the announcement.