Ask and it will be given unto you... Danke Dwight!
Ask and it will be given unto you... Danke Dwight!
Jensen: That's a hard question to answer with any certainty. The diesel engines used in the U-Deutschland were not originally intended to be used as propulsion engines in any sort of vessel. They were six-cylinder, 4-stroke diesel generators taken from the Ersatz Gneisenau. Dwight
Today I received the 1937 edition of the three Paul König books dealing with the U-Deutschland. Not only are the five editions of the book an integral part of the history of Germany's attempt to break the British Blockade in WWI, they also offer a physical comparison of three economies. The higher quality of the 1916 US editions reflects the robust economy of the United States at the time, whereas the very poor quality of the two wartime Ulstein editions reflects a struggling economy on the verge of collapse, and the superior quality of the 1937 edition reflects the improved postwar German economy.
There are five editions of the U-Deutschland book, all based on the same manuscript that was supposedly written by Paul König. In fact, Dr. Ernst Bischof ghost-wrote the manuscript used for all five editions, beginning while the U-Deutschland was still underway to Baltimore in June 1916. The manuscript was completed on 22 September 1916 and delivered to the Hearst representative in Berlin, Baynard Hale, who had negotiated the First North American Rights for Hearst International Library. Hearst was to have the German manuscript translated into English so that two editions--English and German--could be published in New York.
The original plan was to send the entire manuscript to New York by telegraph, but wartime conditions at the time prevented that and the manuscript was taken to New London aboard the U-Deutschland in October-November 1916.
Publication of the German edition started at once in November, followed by the English edition in December, just in time for Christmas. Other than being written in two different languages, the Hearst-published books are identical in every respect. Both editions were 5.5 by 7.5 inches and sold for $1.25. The run was very brief, less than five months, ending abruptly on 6 April 1917 with the United States declaration of war. Below are the German and English editions published in 1916 in New York.
Ulstein in Berlin published the second pair of König books in 1916 and 1917, the first a paperback shown on the left below in 1916 and the second a hardback shown on the right in 1917. These books are physically smaller than the Hearst editions being roughly 4.5 by 6.5 inches. Though the German text in these editions is identical to what was printed in the Hearst edition, the photos are almost all different. In the American editions the photographs depicted the boat in Baltimore whereas in Germany edition used photographs that were directed at the German audience.
In 1937 Ulstein published Fahrten der UDeutschland im Weltkrieg. The hardback, 5.25-inch by 7.75-inch has essentially the same text as the earlier editions, but with a mix of old and new information. Of particular interest is that the color of the book's binding is sea green, the same color used to paint the U-Deutschland's hull for her first Atlantic crossing. The cover story that Paul König was an unemployed captain when Alfred Lohmann contacted him on 22 September 1915 was retained, but the fact that most of the crewmen were culled from the active U-boats was openly stated. The departure and route taken across the North Sea are more accurately reported in this edition, with none of the fiction about a Channel route. An interesting addition is a fairly detailed description of the boat's instability in heavy seas, something that was first mentioned in a newspaper report while the boat was in Baltimore. There are also fairly frank accounts of the horrible conditions below deck, which are described in greater detail than in the earlier editions. The Atlantic crossing is taken from the original text, as is the arrival in Baltimore, the stay there, and the return trip. The arrival in Bremen is shortened considerably and a new section on the U-151 was added. The last entry in the book is a short piece on the probable fate of the U-Bremen. The biggest difference between this edition and the earlier Ulstein editions are the photos, the most notable feature being their superior quality from the earlier Ulstein editions. This particular copy is in excellent condition, in fact it's in almost new condition, which is unusual for a book that is 75 years old. The fact that the book is in such good shape reflects the stronger German economy in 1937 compared to the poor quality of books published in the wartime economy. Dwight
As a follow-up on the last post, I will now post some of the photos taken from the books. I'll try to post photos that we haven't seen before and maybe a few for comparison.
This photo is also from the 1937 edition, showing the boat in New London on her second trip. If you enlarge the photo you can see her name painted in white letters on the side of the deck casing, just aft of the fo'c'sle and directly over the forward slot in the hull.
Both of these photos are from the 1937 edition, both purporting to show the U-Deutschland on her sea trials in the Balitc. The boat in the upper photo is actually the U-Bremen, evidenced by the absence of the black exhaust skirt on her port quarter, and the crewmen wearing white coveralls. The lower photo is the U-Deutschland, evidenced by the presence of the black exhaust skirt and the absence of crewmen in white coveralls. Claas was the one who discovered the purpose for the U-Deutschland's unique black skirt. Here again, if you enlarge the photo you can see the U-Deutschland's name painted in black letters just aft of the fo'c'sle.
Deutschlandentering Helgoland either on her outbound leg to new London or upon her return. The photo can be dated by the darker paint on the deck casing, which was used during the second trip.
Last edited by drmessimer; 11-30-2012 at 12:31 AM.
Awesome books, Dwight. I can clearly see having these from a collectible standpoint but how accurate do you think they are? I've thought about buying one before but wasn't sure if there was a lot more propaganda than fact. Are all five books yours?
Luke: They are propaganda and much of what is written in them isn't true or is misrepresented. But there are parts that are true and the trick is recognizing them. For example, the nearly fatal out-of-control crash dive is true. There is no reason for it not to be. It was used in the book because it made König and his crew look calm under stress and resourceful in extracting themselves from a near disaster. Had they not been lucky, there would have been no book. The fact that the book was written for its propaganda value does not detract from his historical value and thus it's a collectiable item. Dwight
Let's start with the interior photos.
This photo probably should have been included with the other interior shots.
Next up, the people who appeared in the photographs
This photo of the Deutsche Ozean-Reederei board of directors was used only in the 1937 Ulstein edition. Sitting around the table are (L-R) Paul König, Karl Stapelfeld, an NDL Director, Alfred Lohmann, President of the Board, Philipp Heineken, General Manager of NDL, and Paul Millington-Herrmann, Director of the Deutsche Bank
Last edited by drmessimer; 11-30-2012 at 10:48 PM.