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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. #481

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

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    The chart above shows the estimated relative positions of HMS Alsatian and the U-Bremen from 26 to 30 August 1916. The U-boat's track and positions are largely speculative, but are based on the existing practices followed by the high seas U-boats when going north-about. The U-Bremen's rate of advance is based on a speed of 10 knots. The Alsatian's positions are taken from her log and are noon positions. What this chart indicates, even allowing for variations in the U-boat's speed and actual track, the two ships were never close to one another, and certainly not close enough for the Alsation to have rammed the U-boat, even accidentally. And as I wrote in the earlier post, there is nothing in the Alsatian's log to indicate that she had hit something. After I made this chart I saw something that I had overlooked before. On 29 August, Alsatian left Patrol Line "D" (black line) and headed toward Liverpool. But instead of heading directly there, she laid a course to 56.5N-14.4W where she was at noon on 29 August. From there Captain Wardel laid a course for Liverpool. It looks to me that Captain Wardel, who was aware the U-Bremen was at sea, concluded that the U-boat had already crossed "D" Line on or about 28 August and moved his ship into a position to intercept the boat farther south. If that is the case, then the estimated track shown in the chart above is probably close to being correct. Dwight

  2. #482

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model


    It looks like Dwight truly put the last nail in the coffin concerning the possibility #3, on post 224. There was always the chance HMS Alsatian struck the U-Bremen instead of the HMS Mantua, but apparently this didn't happen. Dwight, I like to thank you so much for your help in translating the pages from the HMS Alsatian log (for time in question), and the exceptional chart of the progress of both ships that you laid out for us. That was fascinating to see. I would also like to thank the volunteers who are taking the ship’s logs from the National Archives and putting them online. Your services will be appreciated for centuries to come. Oh, and by the way, in private e-mail Dwight explained that the National Archives in Britain apparently does not have the German radio transmissions cataloged in an orderly manner. They invited him over to look, but it truly would be looking for a needle in a haystack. So I am afraid trying to pinpoint the U- Bremen's location via its radio transmissions is a dead-end. Bugger…
    Now on to other things, since my last post I had received several e-mails concerning my man cave. Most people wanted some better descriptions of the meters, while others just wanted more pictures. So, with hurricane Sandy blasting Pennsylvania, and my house in particular, I have decided to take some time and give you a better tour.

    The first two pictures are of a bourbon decanter that I paid four dollars for at flea market a few years back. It was truly a unique piece and well worth the money for me.

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    The next two pictures are of large amp meters from an old foundry. The center meter mounted to the wood is actually a power factor meter. Either you know what that is, or you don't, I'm not going to take the time here to explain it. These meters were made before World War I, and meters just like these were used in all American ships and submarines in both world wars.

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    The next picture shows three kWh meters that date back to the 1920s or 1930s (best guess). The two top ones are pressure gauges probably for air and steam.

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    The next picture is of the coffee table I made for my man cave of parts from the foundry. The big gear was used as a pattern they would stick in the sand to make a cavity to pour the metal. All the meters under the glass are amp meters, except for the center one which is a pressure gauge. Nearly all the gauges date back to the late 1800s.

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    The next picture is of an AC milliamp meter that also dates to the 1800s. I've had a use it several times and it works great. The explosives detonator belonged to my grandfather who was a coal miner. He didn't leave me any explosives, in case you were wondering.

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    The next picture is of an antique wind gauge, and a book I got off of eBay several years ago. The book was issued to German ship captains at the start of World War I. It shows all the warships possessed by foreign powers up to that time along with their armaments. It is a real prize.

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    The next picture shows a clamp on ammeter within interchangeable face. I don't think this is anywhere near as old as the other stuff but it's still pretty old and looks great hanging on a wall.

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    The next four photos to show a general overview of two other walls in my man cave. The fish tank is a 92 gallon freshwater aquarium containing about 20 tropical fish and a huge portion of my disposable income. Sometimes I think a drug habit would be cheaper. Oh yes, there is a sunken U-boat at the bottom of the tank. I am in the process of doing some remodeling down here so please excuse the wires over the stereo equipment they will be dressed up soon enough. The cat on top of the bookcase is named Gooie. He climbs up there using a special set of shelves off to the right that were installed for just that purpose. He's been helping me with my U-boat research since the very beginning. Out of all the things in the man cave, including the three heavenly recliners that aren't shown, the thing I am most proud of are all the books I have acquired. The pictures, knickknacks, and doodads are fun to acquire and hang, but it's the knowledge and understanding I acquire from the books is what means so much to me.

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    In closing this epic post I'd like to share the last group of photos. I got a 1932 copy of Raiders of the Deep off of the Internet. When I open it I got an amazing surprise! Somebody glued in several magazine clippings. I have included them here for your enjoyment.

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    Hopefully for the next post we will be able to take up the chase again. I just need to fall back, regroup, and in scratch my head (I do have a few ideas), and hope I live through hurricane Sandy.


  3. #483

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Great man cave.
    Really like the coffee table and the detonator with great family history.
    Books rule!

    (ditch the cat though)

  4. #484

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Steve: Where did you get the Taschenbuch? That's a really nice example. Dwight

  5. #485

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model


    I was looking for a copy of the hard to find, multi-volume Seaborne Trade by C. Ernest Fayle. I thought there may be something in it on the U-Bremen that I could use in my book. As luck would have it, I ended up on e-bay somehow and the guy selling a 1997 reprint of Seaborne Trade (with maps, and rapped in the original shrink rap from the publisher for about $100, {I just checked, an original, 1920s, set with maps on sells for $903}) also had the Taschenbuch for sale. I saw from the condition in the pictures it was good, but what I got looked like I just bought it from the publisher. I believe I got it for around $90. The bidding was uneventful at the end. I guess everyone was looking the other way.

    Most of the books on WW I in my collection are out of print and impossible to find. Thank god for I am still trying to find Lloyd's War Losses: The First World War: Casualties to shipping through enemy causes, 1914-1918.

    I have been starting to think about what to do with my collection of books and U-bout stuff in my man cave. If I die my wife will toss the whole thing, maybe get a few bucks at a yard sale. All this amazing stuff will be truly be lost to history. I am going to need to get it to fellow collector somehow…


  6. #486

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model


    All Is Ready for the Undersea Liner’s Dash – Von Hatzfeldt Says “Very Soon.”

    BALTIMORE. Aug. 1. – Arrangements were made, it was said, by an official connected with the company operating the Deutschland for the submarine to leave this afternoon or this evening.

    [Samuel] Owen Coleman, the pilot who brought the subsea freighter safely into port, will take her out again. Plans of the promoters call for him to pilot her down the [Chesapeake] bay before night. This was learned authoritatively early to-day, and it was understood that Coleman was then at the dock where the Deutschland and the tug Timmins lie.

    Shortly after the information concerning the pilot became known the Timmins and the smaller launch Efco started out toward mid-channel carrying a drag, apparently to pick up any mines or obstructions. The drag was cast at the Deutschland’s berth, but brought up instead of mines a ton of mud and a dozen hardshell crabs.

    The revenue cutter Apache lay in the Patapsco [River] a short distance below the Deutschland, apparently ready to see that she had a fair play on her way out to the high seas.

    While the promoters of the United States-Germany subsea freighter line refused to be specific to-day as to how long the submarine Bremen had been out, information here was that she sailed eighteen days ago. One story, though, had it that she had never sailed.

    WASHINGTON. Aug. 1. --- Prince von Hatzfeldt, Councellor of the German Embassy said to-day after a call at the State Department that he had talked on the long distance telephone with Baltimore and that the departure of the merchant submarine Deutschland was imminent.

    “Maybe to-day; I don’t know, but very soon.” said the Prince. He added that he felt the arrangements for protection of the Deutschland when she leaves was adequate.

    Source: The Evening World., [NYC] Tuesday, August 01, 1916, Final Edition, Front Page, Col. Two
    Last edited by STBaltimore; 11-09-2012 at 12:03 PM. Reason: spelling

  7. #487

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Hi Guys, just remembered, I was at a show at the weekend and I saw the same item for sale as shown by Dwight in post 6. It was priced at £48.

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

  8. #488

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    Ahoy and thanks for the ashtray alert Ade.

    It would be interesting to see if £48 was actually realized. It seems to me that £48 would be a lot of moola for a butt-kit but I'm more of a researcher then a collector and wouldn't have a handle on prices and most museums are quite poor.

    What interests me more about the ash tray is where it comes from and the fact that there seems to be painfully little information (and no yard photos or drawings that I have been able to unearth showing details) about the the U-DEUTSCHLAND'S dismantling or a biographical sketch describing Smith & Sons Birkenhead facility. What little there is on the Internet about Smith, as viewed from my crow's nest, appears to be by a family member of the late firm who is more interested in letting the world know that there existed such a shoreline firm while at the same time keeping all who inquire at arms-length and continuing dead-end [no pun intended] e-mail leads. Hope I'm mistaken here but it does seem this way.

    Should you know of anyone upon the shores of Merry Old England perhaps be willing and able to assist the rest of us non-globe-trottering buffs with images, that would be most helpful in gain'g an insight into the last days of the U-DEUTSCHLAND? In fact... That would be 'super'!


  9. #489

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model

    great Display of your man cave!!! Love the coffee table.

  10. #490

    Default Re: Cargo Submarine U-Deutschland Artifacts and Model


    I've had some time over last couple of days to do some more research on a few leads that I developed as this thread progressed. Several posts back I mentioned I picked up a book by Lyle Cummins titled Diesels for the First Stealth Weapon: submarine power 1902 – 1945. I ordered the book directly from Lyle over the phone and we got to talking about the U- Bremen and U- Deutschland. During the course of the conversation he talked to me about doing research at Krupp in Germany, I knew I would need to get back in touch with him when I had more time. Well I finally found the time, I gave him a call the other day and asked him if he still had friends over Krupp that might possibly go through the files and see what they could come up with on our two U-boats in question. He explained to me that virtually every record on U-boats was lost at Krupp due to Allied bombing in World War II. He said it was so bad that during his last visit his friends at Krupp were emptying out old desk drawers looking for anything that could help him and his research. I do believe, as several people have stated on this forum, that trying to get anything out of Krupp is like beating a dead horse (metaphorically speaking), but I still had a try. It is a pity because my minions were already trying on lederhosen, making travel arrangements, discussing Oktoberfest, and I do believe planning several acts of mayhem.

    Lyle has given away all of his research material, but he felt that there may be some information concerning the U- Bremen and U- Deutschland in the following German books:

    Die Motorenentwicklung in Werk Augsburg der M.A.N. 1898-1918, copyright 1956, by Kurt Schnauffer

    Geschichte des deutschen Verbrennungsmtorenbaues von 1860 bis 1918, copy right 1962, by Friedrich Sass

    Die Probleme der Olmaschine und ihre Entwicklung {Development} auf der Germaniawerft in Kiel by Otto Alt,(in I believe a trade journal), Jahrbuch der Schiffbautechnischen , Springer, Berlin, 1920

    Der Bau of Unterseebooten, copy right 1922, by Hans Techel

    I am hoping that Dwight or maybe one of our German readers may be able to get their hands on a few of these old books and see what's inside because this is as far as I can run with the information. I desperately need to get my hands on one minion who is fluent in German.

    Now, onto the second point of discussion, while carefully examining the book The U-boat, The Evolution and Technical History of German Submarines by Eberhard Rossler, page 69, which shows the blueprints for the Deutschland, and trying to figure out just where he acquired these prints, I made an interesting observation. Back in post 306 Dwight discussed unique bumps on the deck of the U- Bremen, a discovery made by Claas, in frame 60 there is something showing as lifting hooks located on the top of the pressure hull, and I believe they're also shown again in the topmost blueprint on page 68 just under the deck line (I added arrows). I am thinking that those unique bumps were positioned approximately just over those lifting hooks. Being that these were lifting hooks they have to be put on the most structurally robust locations of the U-boat in order to lift it. It just so happens that back on page 69 if you look at the position of the main guns on U-155 they are approximately over where the lifting hooks had been. As a structural engineer, if you are going to locate a whopping big gun on a U-boat you are going to want to put it at that position.
    Dwight strongly felt the bumps were added just before the U- Bremen’s trip to New London Connecticut, USA {post 310}. If that were true, it may be that the bumps were custom made attachment points, connected to the lifting hooks, for a cargo that could be carried on the deck for its return to Germany. It is a pity we do not have the return trip cargo manifest.

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    Like I said I was trying to figure out where Eberhard Rossler acquired his blueprints. I was toying with the idea that maybe he hired a draftsman involved in the building of U-boats to make up the sketches for his book. But after taking a closer look at them, I realize there's just far too much detail involved on all these prints to be just a quick sketch. Mr. Rossler’s book will outlive him by hundreds of years, and be the go to book for any historian or researcher that comes along for the next millennia. It is just a crying shame that as far as we can determine all these blueprints have been lost in time. Because clearly some incredibly detailed information did survive the war. It's just a pity it's collecting dust in someone's attic or basement and slowly being destroyed by time. This is the kind of detailed information that truly does need to be preserved. In post 323, Dwight thought the Bundesarchiv may have some blue prints, or other information. That is a possibility I have yet to explore.

    Claas, have you tried the Bundesarchiv? Do they have anything on our two U-boats?

    Happy Thanksgiving (an American holiday today) to all,


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