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Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

Article about: Steve: Thanks for the follow-up on Mont Alto. It looks like Prusse was probably the engineer superintendent of construction on both the Deutschland and the Bremen. His official designation i

  1. #21

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Rudolph: The photo is a tad fuzzy, but the stamped submarine looks like the sort of thing that John Bull stamped on their products. Is the name Deutschland printed on the side of the submarine or somewhere above or below it? The fact that there are no napkin rings offered in my copy of the John Bull catalog probably doesn't mean anything. The catalog is a single sheet of folded paper, printed on both sides. Since the boat was an attraction for nearly two years, and items offered often sold out, and it's possible--even probable--that new items were added to the offerings and appeared in different "issues" of the catalog. Thanks again for posting the photos. Dwight

  2. #22

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The name Deutschland is stamped in relief and is between the two masts of the sub.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Rudolph: That's interesting. The submarine is similar to the John Bull version, but it lacks the John Bull guarantee that the metal came from the Deutschland. Even the ship breakers, Robert Smith & Sons, stated that their tray was made of Deutschland metal. Without the guarantee, I am suspicious that it is likely a knock-off made for the collector market. A few years ago a couple of guys in Germany were trying to sell pewter slabs with a knock-off version of the John Bull sibmarine stamped on it, and they even included the guarantee. I won't go so far as to say with absolute certainty it's a knock-off, but that's what it looks like to me. Thanks for posting it. Dwight

  4. #24

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Hi Dwight

    Great thread mate, all I have is a postcard, which I just posted here before I saw your thread I have ordered Captain Paul König's book, (before I knew you had written one), what do you think of his book?

  5. #25

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Hey Troy,
    You should get, The Merchant U Boat. I just finished reading it and enjoyed it very much. Very good book. Anyone interested in U boats should pick this one up.
    The Merchant U Boat- Adventures Of The Deutschland 1916-1918 Dwight R Messimer.

    Luke

  6. #26

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Will do!

  7. #27

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Troy: What do I think of König’s book, Voyage of the Deutschland? Well, it’s certainly well written in the style of the times and very interesting from the historical perspective. And from a historian’s perspective the book is a valuable primary source. The book’s primary purpose was propaganda with three editorial points. Germany’s technical supremacy, the illegality of the British blockade, and the violations of international law associated with Britain’s decision to arm merchant ships. The first point, Germany’s technical supremacy as illustrated by the U-Deutschland’s construction and accomplishment, is overstated. But the other two points were basically true. The most interesting features of the book for me are the things that were omitted.

    The first omission is that Paul König didn’t write the book. Dr. Ernst Bischoff was employed by the German Foreign Officer to ghost-write it. Dr. Bischoff started writing the book while the U-Deutschland was still in Baltimore, using newspaper accounts for material while the Imperial Navy provided background and the Foreign Office provided the slant. Dr. Bischoff met the U-Deutschland in Helgoland upon her return there on 23 August 1916 and spent two days aboard with König gathering specific details about the trip.

    The second omission was describing Captain König as an out-of-work merchant officer when he was offered the post as captain of the U-Deutschland. König was a merchant officer in peacetime, commanding the SS Schleswig. But at the time he was selected to command the U-Deutschland, he was on active duty in the KaiserlicheMarine as First Watch Officer aboard the SMS Brandenburg. In fact, both König’s officers were active duty naval officers and every man in the crew was drawn from active U-boats. And the boat itself, along with her seven sisters, was entirely a naval undertaking.

    The most interesting omission has to do with her trip home. The first Atlantic crossing took fifteen days. But the homeward trip took twenty-two days. The sea conditions in both directions were identical, but there is no explanation for the additional seven days returning to Germany. Also left out is the fact that U-Deutschland was carrying $4000,000 in gold bars taken from the interned liner, SS Kronprinzessin Cecelie, which was interned in Baltimore. The unanswered question is; where did the gold go? The British, who had broken the three German naval codes, believed she was headed toward the Mediterranean and stationed ships across that route to intercept the boat. The U-Deutschland’s logs were destroyed in air raids during WWII, so the whereabouts of the boat for the unexplained week remain a mystery.

    The book enjoys sufficient historical interest and information to cause the United States Naval Institute to reprint the book in 2001 as part of its Classics of Naval Literature. I wrote the introduction to that edition.

    I appreciate all of you who have joined this thread, and I hope there will be more posts with new information. If you have any questions about the U-Deutschland and the entire cargo-submarine project in 1915-17 post your question or send me a PM. Dwight

  8. #28

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Quote by drmessimer View Post
    Rudolph: That's interesting. The submarine is similar to the John Bull version, but it lacks the John Bull guarantee that the metal came from the Deutschland. Even the ship breakers, Robert Smith & Sons, stated that their tray was made of Deutschland metal. Without the guarantee, I am suspicious that it is likely a knock-off made for the collector market. A few years ago a couple of guys in Germany were trying to sell pewter slabs with a knock-off version of the John Bull sibmarine stamped on it, and they even included the guarantee. I won't go so far as to say with absolute certainty it's a knock-off, but that's what it looks like to me. Thanks for posting it. Dwight
    Just a thought, could the napkin ring be from the Captain's tableware and not a souvenir?

  9. #29

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Rudolph: I doubt that the napkin ring you have came from the boat's service setting. The Boat's service was porcelain and bore the logo of the Deutsche Ozean Reederei. Below is a rather poor photo of a piece of the service that is displayed in the DeutschesShiffahrtsmuseum, Bremerhaven. If the napkin ring you have was a part of that service, it probably would have had the same logo on it, rather than one resembling a logo created by John Bull after the war. Dwight

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #30

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Hello everyone,

    first let me introduce myself. My name is Claas and I live in Bremen, the home port of U-Deutschland. I'm collecting everything about the merchant u-boats.
    I also run the website www.handel-u-boote.de

    If someone tells me how I can adjust images here,( especially the image size) I can upload a few pictures on the weekend, which could be interesting.

    I hope that my English is not too bad to be here to share informations with others

    All the best

    Claas

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