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Sunday, September 29th 2019, 3:15pm

Nachrichten für Außenhandel, Monday, 7 June 1949

It has be previously reported that the American firm Kearney & Trecker Company have reached an agreement with the Dornier aircraft firm to act as its representative in North America for sale of the Dornier Do35 light amphibian. Confirming these reports a spokesman for Dornier today stated that the American firm has placed orders for an initial quantity of twenty-five aircraft, of which five are to be delivered complete and twenty in kit form for assembly in the Kearney & Trecker factory at Milwaukee, in the state of Wisconsin. He indicated that if sales warrant it, Kearney & Trecker have the option to manufacture the Do.35 under licence for the sale throughout North America, where the type will be marketed as the Royal Gull.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Tuesday, 8 June 1949

In naval news, the light cruisers Heidelberg and Braunschweig were launched today in Bremerhaven and Kiel. The shipyard at Kiel also launched the coastal escort Ostwind while its sister vessel, Passat, was launched at the Wilhelmshaven naval dockyard.

Berlin, Abwehr Headquarters, Wednesday, 9 June 1949

Reinhardt Gehlen reviewed the latest report on the activities of Britain’s ‘official spy’ in Berlin. Tanner, with no small amount of disdain; then the spymaster had never given much credence to the skill of his British opponents. The report summarised the Briton’s efforts to penetrate the veil of Germany’s oil stockpile program – something hinted at in Churchill’s last speech before the British Parliament.

That an internal report from the American-owned Vacuum Oel firm had been leaked to the British sparked their quest; the agent who had leaked it was currently in custody awaiting her trial. In March a man had been shot to death attempting to penetrate the Kriegsmarine’s depot at Farge; though Gehlen suspected that the man worked for Tanner there was not sufficient proof to act upon. Similar incidents had been reported at petroleum depots in the Austrian provinces, with at least one other agent dying in the process.

That was not all… Source Merlin in Budapest suggested that the British had organised a network to monitor ship traffic on the Donau… Agent reports from around Europe spoke of ‘shopping lists’ of information sought by the British, at the top of which was German oil purchases. Schellenburg in London had confirmed that the Admiralty in particular wanted to know more about the Kriegsmarine’s fuel reserves.

The simple expedient of eliminating Tanner would not solve the problem. His own people would have to root out the sources the British were exploiting and either eliminate or corrupt them. He picked up the telephone…

“Have Oberstleutnant Giskes report to headquarters at once.”


Thursday, October 3rd 2019, 3:14pm

Steamer Lichtenfels, Bangkok Harbour, Friday, 10 June 1949

Captain Karl Ahlers was confident enough in the ability of his deck officers to attend to the process of loading the Lichtenfels for her homeward voyage that he left them to it while bringing his log up to date and filing the manifest of the Lichtenfels’ cargo. He had commanded the veteran Hansa Line freighter for five years, and visited the Thai capital on many occasions. Some things had changed since his last visit five months ago – the city seemed to be more bustling than it once was, and there were many more officious personages overseeing the business of the docklands.

Yet other things had not changed. As usual the Lichtenfels had brought out a mixed cargo of machinery, consumer goods, steel and other metals in bars, billets, and shapes, crated automobiles, and the like – Thailand imported a variety of good from the Reich – though on this voyage Ahlers did not need to worry about locomotives filling his holds. Now they were loading cargo for their homeward voyage – a less diverse but certainly freight-earning cargo. The items in the manifest told their own story – in the ship’s deep tanks were stowed nearly a thousand tons of soybean oil destined for the Reich’s margarine factories, and many pallet-loads of bagged soybeans, tapioca, and sago had been brought aboard by the ship’s derricks. More than two thousand tons of rubber were stowed below deck, along with such oddities as fifty cases of carved Buddhist idols and forty bales of raw silk. Soon his officers would commence the last phase of loading their home-bound cargo – teak logs that would be carried on deck.

He folded up the manifest and returned it to its proper place, and then made his final log entry for the day; the longshoremen should complete their loading of the ship on the morrow and then, with luck, the Lichtenfels would begin her voyage on Sunday’s morning tide.

Dithmarscher Landeszeitung, Saturday, 11 June 1949

Yesterday the Ministry of Defence announced that the new cruisers Nürnberg and Leipzig will undertake a good-will voyage to the Americas. A brief stop in the Nordish possession of Vinland followed by calls in the American ports of New York and Norfolk were a part of the initial itinerary. The voyage is expected to start early next week.

Die Welt Am Sonntag, Sunday, 12 June 1949


Saturday, October 5th 2019, 8:51pm

Hamburger Abendblatt, Monday, 13 June 1949

The Deschimag yards launched two vessels for the Kriegsmarine today, the escort aircraft carrier Oldenburg at Bremerhaven and her sister Mecklenburg at Cuxhaven. Their construction will continue, with delivery expected in June of next year.

Berlin, The Cabinet Meeting Room, Tuesday, 14 June 1949

“Herr Dehler, does the situation in the Far East continue in a state of flux?” The Chancellor’s voice betrayed a sense of irony mixed with exasperation.

“Yes Herr Chancellor, it does. Despite the Chinese climb down from their confrontation with our French allies over Macclesfield Bank tensions remain high. You have seen General Gehlen’s precis suggesting a possible split with the Chinese leadership over the question of a forward policy or a more cautious one. The situation remains quite unclear. Coming in the wake of the Bering Sea Affair not so long ago it seems but a part of a trend towards more contentious acts on China’s part.”

“Should we reinforce the East Asia Squadron at this time?” The Chancellor looked inquiringly at Blank.

“No Herr Chancellor. Staff discussions with our Grand Alliance partners indicate that France and Russia have sufficient forces in the region to deter further provocations by China. While these discussions have explored what might be necessary should hostilities actually break out, sending stronger forces to the Far East at this time might be seen as a provocation.”

The Chancellor nodded. The balance of naval forces was a touchy subject. “And what of Thailand?”

The emergence of the Thai kingdom under Bhumibol Adulyadej was seen in Berlin as an imponderable. Blank continued.

“They have begun to amass a formidable quantity of modern weaponry to overhaul their air, ground, and naval forces. France and Britain have been quick to offer to fulfil their needs. When the Macclesfield Bank incident was at its height is seemed as if Thailand was willing to commit itself against China, despite their past friendships. As it was, the Thai Navy is taking a more forward stance. Reports indicate that they have begun a series of exercises and, somewhat surprisingly, sending a flotilla to the Philippines.”

The Cabinet had met on prior occasions to decide whether to agree to Thai requests for arms, equipment, and aircraft. An unwillingness to throw fuel on the potential fires in the Orient had resulted in Thailand turning elsewhere. Germany would, at the present time, not be Thailand’s principal arms supplier.

“What’s next?” The Chancellor was indicating a desire to move on.

Hamburg, The Waterfront, Wednesday, 15 June 1949

“Fido” had finally worked himself up the dockland ladder to a position of Hafenarbeiter, stevedore, or more accurately cargo handler. Not only did it bring a more regular pay packet than the odd-jobs he’d had previously, but he now had opportunity to more closely examine the contents of what was being loaded aboard or discharged from freighters in one of the busiest ports in Europe.

Today he was working seeing to cargo being loaded aboard the Hansa Line ship Marienfels, due to sail for the Far East at the end of the week. What caught his eye was the numerous crates bearing the half-defaced markings of the Luftwaffe being loaded aboard her. Despite persistent though discrete questions he could learn little more than that they were consigned to the Thai Government in Bangkok. Nevertheless “Fido” was confident that his contact would pay him something for the information.


Tuesday, October 8th 2019, 7:22pm

Berliner Morgenpost, Thursday, 16 June 1949

The Dornier-werke of Friedrichshafen has received a contract from the Ministry of Defence to adapt its Do330 maritime reconnaissance aircraft to use turboprop engines in place of the current conventional powerplants. Specific details of the programme were not disclosed at this time.

Frankfurter Zeitung, Friday, 17 June 1949

The Ministry of Transportation announced that it will fund the construction of two pre-production examples of the new Junkers Ju490 long-range civil airliner which, when available, will be used by Deutsche Lufthansa for route-proving flights to the Americas and the Far East.

Kleine Zeitung, Saturday, 18 June 1949

It is reported that the government of the Kingdom of Thailand has placed orders with the Wiener Neustadter Flugzeugwerke for the supply of a number of the firm’s Wf14 utility helicopter to the Thai armed forces. It is understood that some two dozen machines are to be supplied initially, with options for additional purchases, subject to reaching suitable financial arrangements.


Saturday, October 12th 2019, 1:41am

Die Welt Am Sonntag, Sunday, 19 June 1949

Light Cruiser Nürnberg, The Irish Sea, Monday, 20 June 1949

Kapitän zur See Wilhelm Rollman, Nürnberg’s captain, checked the charts again. His ship, together with the Leipzig under Kapitän zur See Helmut Neuss, had put to sea three days ago on a westward course, navigating the constricted waters of Le Manche under the watchful eyes of British, Dutch, and even French maritime reconnaissance aircraft – though the latter were primarily there to assure that the passage of the German cruisers provoked no harassment. Now the ships were more than a hundred kilometres west of Ushant, or Falmouth, depending on your point of reference; in either case, they were free to run as they wished.

“Helm, make your course two-six-five, speed fifteen knots. Signals, inform Leipzig of course and speed. Our next stop is Vinland.”

The Nordish port near the mouth of the St. Lawrence was a familiar haunt of the Kriegsmarine’s inspection ships and other craft monitoring the weather patterns of the Atlantic, but it had been many years since a German cruiser had ventured to those waters. Rollman wondered what sort of reception his ship might expect – it was nearly nine years since the ships of the old Third Cruiser Squadron had sailed the waters off North America; Rollman had served on the old Kiel on that voyage, Undernehmen Sonnenschein.

Berlin, H.M. Passport Control Office, Tuesday, 21 June 1949

The latest dispatch from the Circus had been brief but not unwelcome. Tanner was directed to stand down his efforts to prise open the secrets of German oil stockpiles. He did not question the reasoning behind London’s change of direction – he presumed other arrangements were being made and if, and when, his further assistance was required he would receive further orders. Given his relative lack of success in meeting his masters’ expectations on that score, he was, to some degree, relieved that he did not receive a rocket. For the moment, at least, he could go back to monitoring the growing strength of the German Navy – which was troubling enough.


Tuesday, October 15th 2019, 6:54pm

Der Ostasiatische Lloyd (Bangkok), Wednesday, 22 June 1949

Our correspondent in Manila reports that the Philippine Government has negotiated an agreement to purchase twenty examples of the Dornier Do.27 short take-off and landing utility transport for use by its recently established army air corps.

Operations Room of the Admiralstab, Thursday, 23 June 1949

Kapitän zur See Karl-Friedrich Merten, Director of Naval Operations, arrived in the morning and checked the current plot as was his usual routine. There had been no major developments since the prior evening, just the steady westward movement of the cruisers Nürnberg and Leipzig. They were half-way to Vinland at their last report, with fine weather. Their cruise had been dubbed Unternehmen Mondscheinsonate – Moonlight Sonata – suggesting the peaceful intent behind it. Satisfying himself that it would be a quiet morning Merten went to his office to prepare for meetings later in the day.

Berlin, Abwehr Headquarters, Friday, 24 June 1949

General Gehlen read the several reports from the Far East with mounting disquiet. The China, the great imponderable, was sulking in the aftermath of its confrontation with France over a patch of sea bottom in the South China Sea – even the Abwehr’s best minds could not fathom what the Chinese had hoped to accomplish there. Inscrutable as ever, where China might turn next to cause trouble was anyone’s guess.

The same could not be said for Thailand. Here the new king was ambitious enough to try to intrigue with the Philippines – from all accounts the dispatch of a naval task force to Manila had gained the Thais little for their efforts – but it signalled that Thailand wished to be seen as a major player on the Asian scene. Gehlen doubted that anyone would notice. The notice from the Technical Mission in Bangkok that the Thai Army had organised a jungle warfare training centre suggested that Thailand was willing to prepare for its own confrontations with its neighbours at some point in time. He made a note to bring this up in his next conversation with his French counterpart, and he resolved to continue his recommendation that Thailand be kept at arm’s length.


Thursday, October 17th 2019, 8:19pm

Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, 25 June 1949

The heat and oppressive humidity of the Persian Gulf summer had defeated the archaeologists determined to uncover the island’s past. Hans Bessig, leader of the German expedition, had been brought low by heat exhaustion and now lay recovering in hospital.

“I’m sorry to have gotten you into this Hans”. Jones had come to visit his companion and to recover his own strength; for now their work was suspended. “I never realised how the humidity would get to us.”

“It is not your fault Jones. I too wanted to press ahead; and our delay is only temporary – as soon as they discharge me…”

“Klaws has arranged a nice air-conditioned house in which you will stay until the weather breaks. Sallah and a skeleton crew will see that the most important work progresses – I’ll be visiting the site every day.”

“But the responsibility is mine…”

“Hachmann sent a telegram. This ought to cheer you up.” Jones handed over the flimsy for Bessig to read.

“University authorities deeply impressed with discoveries to date. Funding increased for next season. Will arrive 7 September.”

“That is good. Does he know of my condition?”

“I’ve told him but he has yet to acknowledge. So you better not croak on me.”

Dithmarscher Landeszeitung, Sunday, 26 June 1949

The naval cargo ships Kellerwald and Lichenswalde, together with the engineer landing ship Noordhinderbank have completed their operational training and are expected to join the Atlantikflotte within the next week.

Hamburger Abendblatt, Monday, 27 June 1949

The Reichsverband der Deutschen Luftindustrie has announced that its participation at September’s Paris Air Show will include the appearance of the prototype Junkers Ju490 long-range civil transport as well as the Wiener Neustadt Wf21 transport helicopter. Further details are expected to be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.


Thursday, October 24th 2019, 1:00am

H.M Passport Control Office, Vienna, Tuesday, 28 June 1949

Robinson was happy that the Circus had stood down the ‘Great Oil Search’; he had been walking on eggshells for the last several months, expecting more of his agents to be blown. Thankfully that had been avoided – of course, the flow of intelligence to London had slowed as well. Then one of his semi-freelancers had dropped word that a new food depot had begun operations in the Gmunden District of Upper Austria, near the village of Scharnstein. Despite the village’s seeming isolation it had good road connections and the river was navigable in the summer months, though limited to smaller barges. As far as he was aware, London was still interested in the growth of German stockpiles, and he thought it worthwhile to pass the information along.

Kleine Zeitung, Wednesday, 29 June 1949

Hard on the heels of its recent sale of helicopters to Thailand, the Wiener Neustadter Flugzeugwerke announced today the sale of four of its Wf14 utility helicopter to the Philippine Navy, who is expected to use them in the search-and-rescue role.

Port of Algeciras, Iberia, Thursday, 30 June 1949

The Hansa Line cargo ship Marienfels lay in the outer harbour, awaiting her chance to dock and discharge a portion of her cargo before continuing her voyage to the Far East.


Thursday, October 31st 2019, 7:59pm

German News and Events, July 1949

Elbinger Volksstimme, Friday, 1 July 1949

Work began today on the latest round of ships to be laid down at the Schichau Works at Memel. Four new vessels have been laid down for the Kriegsmarine – the corvettes Basilisk and Loreley and the infantry assault ships Pagenwerder and Ziegelwerder. Together with the vessels presently under construction, this work will demand a significant enlargement of the yard’s workforce, with the firm offering good wages to experienced shipwrights as well as those who might wish to enter the trade.

The British Embassy, Budapest, Saturday, 2 July 1949

John Strangways knew by long experience that the summer months represented a high point in the cycle of shipping along the Danube; this his decision to venture to the river port of Csepel was well rewarded. What he saw confirmed the reports he was receiving from Kerim Bey – the amount of German ship traffic on the river – in either direction – was considerably higher than in years past. But what he found most interesting was the increased amount of work in the Ganz Danubius yards.

Here the building ways were fully occupied in construction of river freighters and barges. Judicious inquiries elicited suggestions that the Ganz yard had been able to win several construction contracts due to the inability of shipping firms – including a German line – to place orders with Vienna yards due to the priority naval work they were engaged in. The Admiralty, he considered, might find this nugget interesting…

Hamburg, The Waterfront, Sunday, 3 July 1949

“Fido” sat in a quiet corner of the tavern together with his contact; their conversation carried on in a whisper.

“Two more merchantmen have been taken in hand for conversion as auxiliaries for the Kriegsmarine.”

“What sort?”

“A timber carrier, much like the one that was rebuilt as a salvage tender, as well as a big new cargo ship.”

“That nice, but it doesn’t tell me much.” The man made no movement towards the packet of bills in his jacket pocket. “Have any details on them?”

“Not yet – they were only warped into the yard on Friday – I am not a mind-reader, and the admirals don’t consult with me.”

“Well, when you find out something useful, let me know; we might be able to do business then.”

With that the contact stood and left. “Fido” watched his retreating form head out the door; his contact was correct – “Fido” had little information of importance to exchange at this time. At least that man had paid for the beer that sat on the table. It was something.


Thursday, November 7th 2019, 4:23pm

Fleet Tender Gustav Nachtigal, Cam Rahn Bay, Monday, 4 July 1949

Lieutenant Commander Juan Divarola appreciated the precision of the side-party as he was piped aboard the Gustav Nachtigal. His courtesy visit had taken some weeks to arrange – other, far more important matters having priority. He saluted his hosts, was taken to the ship’s wardroom for an introductions and an initial briefing, and was then taken for a tour of the ship.

Fregattenkapitän Günter Hessler welcomed the opportunity of the Philippine naval liaison’s visit – it broke up the tedium of the ship’s routine. Since arriving in the Far East some years ago the Nachtigal and strayed little from her anchorage, acting as repair ship, supply ship, ‘mother-ship’ for the Ostasiengeschwader. Across her decks came mail from home, spare parts, and replacement personnel brought out by commercial freighter or – sometime – by chartered aircraft. She was a vital if unsung component of the squadron.

Divarola was very impressed with what he saw on board the tender. He had served a six-month’s tour on the support ship Pamalican of his own service, and could see the basic similarities between her and the Gustav Nachtigal, but unlike to Pamilican the Nachtigal was intended to support all manner of vessels, not merely submarines. He toured the electronics maintenance shop, the metalsmithing shop with its own forge and casting facilities, the boat shop – and observed as German craftsman laboured to build the hull of a small sailing craft. Through an interpreter he asked his host why the yawl was being built.

Hessler thought a moment before replying. “It keeps the men busy… Some of them have spent their entire enlistment out here, and it takes their minds off the dull routine. It is my hope that when the craft is complete, we can show our neighbours how German sailors can race.”

Berlin, The Admiralstab, Tuesday, 5 July 1949

Kapitän zur See Heinrich Gerlach, Director of Naval Intelligence, scanned the photographs and accompanying reports that lay before him.

His staff had reviewed the photographs and he agreed with their assessment – the craft that seemed to shadow the school ship Roon was no ordinary fishing vessel – the absence of fishing gear aboard screamed her nefarious purpose – but otherwise the craft was unprepossessing. And since the Roon had only encountered the trawler on the high seas there was little enough that could be done. Reports indicated that it flew Lithuanian colours – Gerlach looked at the file again – inquiries had already been sent to the attaché in Kaunas and agents in Palanga in an attempt to identify the vessel further.

If these inquiries provided sufficient information, and the trawler strayed into German territorial waters, something might be done. He endorsed the report with the recommendation that all commands in the Baltic area be advised of the craft’s presence and description – and the photographs forwarded – in an attempt to catch it red-handed.

Marinestützpunkt Wilhelmshaven, Wednesday, 6 July 1949

He was back in Wilhelmshaven again; for Vize-admiral August Becker the recent past had kept him busy – traveling the length and breadth of the land, inspecting, inquiring, encouraging, exhorting. And the shipyards had responded – the managers and the shipwrights both. The evidence lay before his eyes. Five utility landing ships lay alongside the fitting-out wharves of the dockyard, while the frames of five more began to take shape in the docks and on the slipways.

Similar progress was being made in other shipyards – he had just come from Memel and would depart for Wien the day after tomorrow. Das Rätsel der Sandbank was taking shape before his eyes.


Monday, November 11th 2019, 3:27am

Berlin, The Admiralstab, Thursday, 7 July 1949

The unconfirmed reports of the disposal abroad of the Belgian cruiser Wandelaar rather surprised Kapitän zur See Merten; as Director of Naval Operations for the Kriegsmarine it was his duty to weigh the potential strength of allies as well as opponents. One less elderly light cruiser would not detract much from the might of the Belgian Navy; what caught him unawares was the report that the Wandelaar had been sold off to the nascent Indochinese naval force.

Considering it for a few moments more, he could see a certain logic in it. For several months rumours had circulated that the Indochinese government had been lobbying for the transfer of one of the Marine Nationale’s older but serviceable vessels to serve as a flagship; with tensions in the Far East still high in the wake of the Macclesfield Bank incident, the French would be reluctant to agree to such a proposal. While the Wandelaar had limited capabilities, it was still a useful ship, adaptable to the flag or training ship role, and available.

Militär-Wochenblatt, Friday, 8 July 1949

Zerstörergeschwader 78 has been redesignated Jagdbombergeschwader 78 and begun conversion to the Focke Wulf Fw340, displacing its Focke Wulf Fw190F fighter bombers. The conversion process is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Kieler Nachrichten, Saturday, 9 July 1949

Marinefliegergruppe 41, formerly stationed at Barth, has been relocated to its new home station of Heringsdorf. Its fixed-wing component, Marine-Bordfliegerstaffel 323, will continue to operate the Arado Ar196 floatplane in the air/sea rescue role while its rotary-wing unit, Marine-Seenotstaffel 501 is converting from the elderly Focke-Achgelis Fa300 to the Wiener Neustadt Wf14.


Thursday, November 14th 2019, 3:54pm

Hamburg, The Waterfront, Sunday, 10 July 1949

“Fido” had worked assiduously through the week to discover what was afoot about the two merchantmen then in the Deschimag yard undergoing conversion for the Kriegsmarine. His last meeting with his contact had left him uncompensated for the paucity of information he brought to the meeting. Today’s session he hoped to do better. The two sat in a back corner of the tavern, half-hidden in the shadows.

“The timber carrier has started conversion into to a salvage tender, work has begun on fitting her holds with pumps and other equipment; work on expanding her existing deckhouse should begin next week. She is supposed to be named Eversand when she is turned over to the Kriegsmarine next month.”

His contact raised an eyebrow, “That fast? Interesting. Go on.”

“The other vessel I haven’t had a chance to visit yet, but I overhead some of the lads talking about her. The described the project as a Kranschiff, a crane ship – some sort of oversize floating crane I suppose. I need to work a transfer to the pier where she is being outfitted.”

“Sounds interesting…” The man reached inside his jacket pocket and drew out a small parcel. "Get us some snaps when you have the opportunity…” He left the parcel on the table and departed, mixing with the growing crowd in the tavern.

“Fido” returned to his rooms and only there opened the parcel, which to his surprise contained not only a hundred marks but a small Mixox camera with instructions for use. Obviously his contact would pay for pictures, which, as the old adage said, were worth a thousand words.

Der Tagesspiegel, Monday, 11 July 1949

The Heereswaffenamt has announced the successful conclusion of an initial round of trials of MG3 machinegun adapted for the Polte 7.92x45mm intermediate cartridge as used in the Heer’s new Maschinenkarabiner G6. An order has been placed for fifty examples of the adapted MG3 for troop trials, which, if successful, would be followed by further production orders.

Port Said, Egypt, Tuesday, 12 July 1949

The Hansa Line cargo ship Marienfels having discharged and loaded cargo in Algeciras, Naples, and Athens, now awaited her turn to enter the Suez Canal. After making her transit to the Red Sea she was due to call at Jeddah and Aden before entering the Indian Ocean. Thus far, at least, the voyage had been uneventful.


Tuesday, November 19th 2019, 2:20am

Sächsische Zeitung, Wednesday, 13 July 1949

The Ardeltwerke of Eberswalde has received a contract from the Ministry of Defence for three hundred examples of its "Lowe" light tanks, which are to be supplied to the Kriegsmarine’s Marinelandungsverbande, replacing the Panzerkampfwagen IV. As the vehicle is presently in production for the Heer, deliveries are expected to commence immediately.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Thursday, 14 July 1949

The Luftwaffe has issued a request for proposal to industry for design of a large, long-range transport aircraft to provide its strategic airlift capability in the forthcoming decade. The project, referred to as the Große Transportflugzeug, is expected to draw proposals from Arado, Dornier, Heinkel, Junkers, and Vereinigte Flugtechnick.

Der Tagesspiegel, Friday, 15 July 1949

Debate opened today in the Reichstag on the naval estimates for next fiscal year. Details are not available at the present time.


Friday, November 22nd 2019, 9:10pm

Berliner Morgenpost, Saturday, 16 July 1949

The prototype of Henschel Flugzeugwerke’s latest venture, the Hs132 multi-role support aircraft, made its initial flight test yesterday at the firm’s Berlin–Schonefeld airfield. The fifteen-minute flight was considered successful, and a spokesman for the firm indicated that a full test programme will continue through the summer months.

Die Welt am Sonntag, Sunday, 17 July 1949

The first pre-production example of the Wiener-Neustadt Wf21 transport helicopter was delivered the Rechlin test station for evaluation by the Heer. The remainder of the initial series are expected to be delivered over the next three months.

Hamburg, The Waterfront, Monday, 18 July 1949

“Fido” had spent a nervous night waiting for his contact to respond to a request for a meeting. The previous afternoon he had risked entering one of the shipyard offices to take photographs of the plans of the crane ship being converted there. He had only had time to snap pictures of the first and second pages of the plans – they had been left on one of the drafting tables – before he heard someone returning to the office. Obviously, someone was working overtime, which explained why he found the plans left out.

While he believed he had escaped notice – no alarm seemed to have been raised – the thought of being apprehended by the Abwehr preyed on his mind. He had secreted the camera after removing the tiny film cartridge which had burnt a metaphorical hole in his pocket throughout the night. Right now all he wanted was to pass the cartridge to his contact. He had waited since before dawn in the grubby tavern where they were to meet; at last the man arrived and sat down at the table across from him.

“What was so important?”

“Fido” slid the film cartridge across the table. “I’ve got the pictures you wanted… they better be worth it.” He then explained what had transpired. His contact pocketed the film.

“They will be evaluated, and if they are worth something, you will be paid commensurately.”

“Fido” did not wait for further conversation. “Fine. You know how to contact me.” He rose and hurried out, relieved of his dangerous burden.


Monday, November 25th 2019, 8:43pm

Berlin, The Cabinet Meeting Room, Tuesday, 19 July 1949

“Herr Blank, what is your recommendation regarding Hungary’s request?” The Chancellor’s visage suggested he had not yet made up his mind on the subject of providing advanced jet aircraft to that nation.

“Their request is certainly not excessive. We can certainly spare two-dozen Bf262 aircraft from our inventory without adversely impacting readiness.” The defence minister was quite truthful in his assessment.

Dehler, the Foreign Minister, moved to speak, but the Chancellor anticipated him. “I know Dehler – there is a balance to be maintained. The Poles, the Romanians, and the Yugoslavs, despite their current peaceful relations with Hungary, have deep-seated reservations. And then there are our allies to be considered. Have our ambassadors in Paris and Petrograd make inquiries as to whether they would raise any objections.”

Nachrichten für Außenhandel, Wednesday, 20 July 1949

Kieler Nachrichten, Thursday, 21 July 1949

The vehicle landing ship Scharnitzpass was launched today at the naval dockyards here, where her construction will continue. The graving dock she vacated is being prepared for the keel-laying of a follow-on vessel.


Thursday, November 28th 2019, 10:18pm

Militär-Wochenblatt, Friday, 22 July 1949

Nachtjagdgeschwader 3, based at Jüterbog-Waldlager, has begun conversion to the Heinkel He319 all weather fighter aircraft. The first unit to equip with this type it is anticipated that its full conversion will be accomplished well before the end of the year. Replacement of the veteran He219 is a priority of the Luftwaffe’s re-equipment programme; at the present time three factories are engaged in the manufacture of the type.

Wirtschaftswoche, Saturday, 23 July 1949

The Dresdener Bank has concluded a loan agreement with the Czechoslovak firm Oravské Ferozliatinová Závody, of Istebné. The funds will be used to expand the firm’s productive capacity for ferroalloys – principally ferrosilicon and ferromanganese – using electric arc furnaces. The firm is a major supplier of materials to the metallurgical industries of Silesia as well as foreign markets.

Steamer Marienfels, the Gulf of Aden, Sunday, 24 July 1949

The ship had discharged some of her cargo at Jeddah, and more at Aden; manufactured goods, steel for construction, some motor vehicles. At each she had taken on small cargos of frankincense, and at Aden larger cargos of alfalfa, millet, and salt. She steamed eastward, her next scheduled port of call Mumbai in Bharat. Successor to the dhows and other sailing craft that had plied between Arabia and India she perpetuated a traffic that was at least two millennia old. She rode perceptibly higher in the water than when she had left Hamburg, despite the water ballast she had taken on; if not for the tons of salt freighted on behalf of the Aden Salt Works it would have been worse. At least at Mumbai she could be assured of a decent cargo to carry eastward to the markets of the Dutch Indies and Thailand.


Monday, December 2nd 2019, 7:37pm

Hamburg, The Waterfront, Monday, 25 July 1949

“Fido” had spent the previous days in great apprehension, fearing that he had been noticed attempting to photograph the plans of the crane ship now being converted in the Deschimag yard. For several days he had avoided the pier where that work was being done, finding temporary assignments elsewhere. After several days he and calmed down and no longer expected the police to knock at his door. He had made his way to the back-up “dead drop” arranged some time ago with his contact to ascertain whether instructions had been left for him. That he found something left for him was an unwelcome surprise.

Returning to his room at a waterfront pension he unwrapped a wad of banknotes amounting to three hundred marks – the most his contact had ever paid over – a cartridge of film for the camera he had been provided, and a note directing him to redouble his efforts. “Fido” now lay trapped between avarice and the distinct possibility of risking his freedom.

Handelsblatt, Tuesday, 26 July 1949

The recently organised Czechoslovak Sea Shipping Company (Československá námořní plavba a.s.) has taken delivery of two ocean-going freighters – the Blanik and the Krivan – to initiate operations from Hamburg’s Moldauhafen. Under the terms of the Versailles Czechoslovakia has the right of transit for its exports and imports through the harbour and along the river and canal system of north Germany. The establishment of a national shipping line is a natural outcome of Czech determination to take advantage of world markets for its products.

Rheinische Post, Wednesday, 27 July 1949

Chancellor Adenauer and Minister of Economics von Hapsburg were keynote speakers at the dedication and opening of the latest phase of expansion at the Wesseling plant of the Rheinische Olefinwerke.


Monday, December 9th 2019, 8:55pm

Trierische Landeszeitung, Thursday, 28 July 1949

The Commercial Registrar in Freiburg has reported the formation of Heckler und Koch Maschinen-und- Anlagenbau GmbH in Schramberg-Waldmössingen. The venture is a specialist design and manufacture firm formed by the engineers Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch, and Alex Seidel, who were formerly employed by Mauserwerke AG.

Frankfurter Zeitung, Friday, 29 July 1949

Heliopolis, the latest work by novelist Ernst Jünger, debuted today at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The book follows the setting and themes of the author’s previous work, On the Marble Cliffs, and explores a world of conflict between the henchmen of a Proconsul and a Landvogt in the great city-state – an environment called utopian by some critics and dystopian by others. The book is published by Heliopolis Verlag and has had considerable advance sales.


Friday, December 13th 2019, 6:32pm

Hamburg, Deschimag Shipyard, Saturday, 30 July 1949

“Fido” had wrestled with the question of attempting a second time to photograph the plans of the crane ship being outfitted in the yard. That his contact had supplied a second film cartridge signalled interest in the product; the substantial cash payment whetted his appetite; and in the end his greed won out.

He had arrived in the yard with the morning shift and went through the motions of his regular assignments until mid-day, when the skeleton staff in the shipyard office would be at their lunch. He discovered that the locks had not been changed – obviously his previous visit had not been noticed, and went swiftly to work photographing the blueprints that were boldly labelled Siebengebirgen.

Engrossed in his work he did not hear the office door open.

“Hey! You! What do you think you are doing?”

He turned and saw one of the engineers had returned; not bothering to answer he ran towards the office’s other exit, only to carom into another pair of workers; the three fell together in a heap and while “Fido” struggled to regain his feet he found a pair of powerful arms clench around his shoulders and thrust him against the far wall of the building.

“I caught him photographing plans in the office. A spy! Summon the works-police!”

They arrived a few moments later. “Fido” was handcuffed and taken to the shipyard security office. The camera was prima facia evidence of his guilt. Within hours he had been transferred to the custody of the Kripo in downtown Hamburg and a call had been made to the Abwehr outstation. “Fido” was just beginning his journey.

Die Welt Am Sonntag, Sunday, 31 July 1949

The annual Berlin auto show opened this week, showcasing the latest developments in automotive engineering from around the world. In addition to offerings from domestic manufacturers like Auto Union, Mercedes-Benz and Opel there were representative showings by all the major European manufacturers – Panhard, Renault, and Citroen of France, Hillman, Humber, and Sunbeam of Britain, Aero and Tatra of Czechoslovakia, and, from America, the likes of Packard, Chevrolet, and Plymouth.


Saturday, December 14th 2019, 12:39pm

Poor Fido!