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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. #781


    Good evening gentlemen,

    Last week I stated that I had the granddaddy of all U-Deutschland artifacts, well here goes. Seven years ago, just after I started getting interested in the U-Deutschland, I was looking on eBay and discovered somebody selling this model for around $5000, and it was gorgeous. I just started trading e-mails with Dwight and sent him the link and we both laughed about it because it was so expensive. However, I kept the man's name and telephone number and I contacted a few years later, but the price was still a little too high. Now after 10 years (the amount of time he has had it) he was ready to do some horse trading. He lived in Buffalo New York and it was a 4.5 hour drive away from my house. It just so happened the day of the Memorial in Baltimore three weeks ago, I had a be in Erie Pennsylvania for training the next day. Therefore, I could not make it to the event in Baltimore. I had to travel on Sunday. So I figured Erie he was pretty close to Buffalo, so I decided to give the owner of the model a call and see if he would allow me to stop and at least photograph it. He agreed and off I went.

    When I got there I could not believe the detail of the model. It was a thing of beauty; the workmanship was extraordinary! I was told they purchase it at an estate sale from a gentleman, who after World War II, traveled extensively in Europe collecting war souvenirs. He brought this back from Germany. The glass cases is 6 foot long and had been removed so that I could take pictures. The warehouse in which it was located was packed and I had a photograph it in the aisle, so these photographs are the best I could get. After about 15 min. of photographing the model, we lifted up the base to see if there was a date or any markings underneath to try to place where and when it was made. There was nothing we could see on it. I then decided to wrap the hull with my knuckle to listen to the tone it had in order to determine if it was made out of plastic or wood. I was shocked out of my gourd when instead of a dull thud I heard the clang of metal. At this point in time it dawned on me just what I was looking at. According to Dwight Messimer's book, The Merchant U-boat, page 14, Krupp was awarded the contract to build the Deutschland and Bremen. This was their model!!!!

    I am not 100% sure, that's why need Dwight in Claas help out. Have either of you to come across information stating that Krupp had a model built? I know it was common practice at the turn-of-the-century. Even if somewhere down the road it turns out that this thing is not Krupp’s model I still consider myself lucky to own it. Eventually this will make its way down to Baltimore and into a museum. It just so happens my man cave came equipped with a bar, which I never use. It will make a great display location for the model. The sad part is the current owner had his dates mixed up and will not be able to drop it off at my place until next Friday. However, after my build up I just couldn't keep everybody hanging fire until then. So without further ado, he are the pictures.

    Steve Zuke

    P.S. BAH HA!, BAH HA HA HA!!

    P.P.S I am sorry to poste this so late. My neighbor split his head open a little after 7:00 pm and needed a ride to the hospital. Needed seven stiches.

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  2. #782


    It is such a splendid model indeed and your images are no less than excellent, Zuke! Whether or not this model turns out to be what you hope it is, a builder's model, there's no doubt that it is one of the best five-foot representations of U-DEUTSCHLAND most of us have ever seen.

    Way to go, Steve!

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    ... and the card reads:

    "Deutschland - The commercial sub which ran the blockade between Bremen and Baltimore" Name:  emoticon-0137-clapping.gif
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  3. #783


    Steve: It is an extraordinary model with accurate detailing that is truly over the top. Whether or not it’s a manufacturer’s model I have no way of knowing, but it is definitely professionally built. Given the exceptional detail, my opinion is that whoever built it was working from original plans and had first-hand knowledge about the boat’s construction and layout.
    Krupp did make manufacturer’s models but they were usually wood supported on brass posts, and mounted on a flat wood base. And, like the one you show here, they were highly detailed. To me, this model that you are showing looks like a museum piece. It would be good to know exactly where the fellow who brought it to the U.S. found it and how he came to acquire it.
    I have some photos of Krupp Werftmodelle but unfortunately my scanner has gone west. I’ll set up the copy stand and shoot photos of them in the morning and post them so that you can compare.
    Whether it’s a Krupp model or a former museum piece, it would definitely be the center piece in my collection. Dwight

  4. #784


    Steve: I have a question about this note that I saw in STB's post immediately above, "...and the card reads, "Deutschland - The commercial sub which ran the blockade between Bremen and Baltimore" Is that card something that was attached to, or attendent to, the model? What is the story on that? Dwight
    Last edited by drmessimer; 10-12-2013 at 02:35 PM.

  5. #785


    Steve: You're right you knocked my socks off with this awesome find! Now I can see why you were so excited. Congratulations! What a great piece for you to add to your collection. Thanks for sharing this with us and I really look forward to some new pictures of it when you get it home and set up in your cave. Please let us know if you find any information on it. Good luck!


  6. #786



    I will try and find out the name of the estate they bought this from ten years ago. Maybe he had children and they may know the history of the model. It will be an interesting research project.

    Dwight, thank you for the insight into Krupp’s model layouts, if it turns out that this is not the manufacture’s model I assure you it will only hurt a little bit.

    I was pressed for time when I was examining the model. It was late, and I still had a long drive in a thunder storm that never let up. While we were digging the model out I thought the building was going to blow away. Typical Great Lake storm I would assume. Anyway, I said that we looked under the wooden base for any clues on the maker and found none; we never did think to look on the bottom of the U-boat. {If it says Made in Japan I will spit} I also think some of the hatches open, but I was scared to try in case I broke it off. There may be a clue inside. I think we are all going to have some fun with this one.

    Dwight, St. Baltimore was correct in reading the note. It was a folded piece of 8.5” x 11” paper with that note typed on to it. The note sat inside the glass sarcophagus. The paper looked very old and faded, but I do not think it to more than 40 years old (just my wild guess). It was surely put there after it made it to the States. Dwight, as soon as I get the model I will re-photograph it with a less cluttered background and send you a CD. My new Nikon SLR does 24 Megapixels. I look forward to your photographs of Krupp models. Your research on the medal was solid and a lot of fun to read.

    The model also comes with a copy of Konig’ s book (English, first edition, Hearst), and one of the standard post cards that I will post later.
    By the way, should anybody find themselves in the Allentown Pennsylvania area, or traveling north on the PA turnpike please let me know you can stop in for a beer, a tour, and a good laugh.

    Until next time,
    Steve Zuke
    P.S , St.Baltimore, I love that little sub Icon that is animated, it is way cool!
    P.P.S Luke you got to come out here one of these days. At least for the 2016 shindig.

  7. #787


    Steve: This is an example of a Werftmodell made by Krupp. This one would be about 28 inches long and is made of wood. The scale is generally 1:8 in which one inch equals eight feet. Dwight

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  8. #788


    That U-Boat model you posted is a work of art! We need to see more of this kind of stuff making its way to E-Bay. Thank you for sharing.

    You said the model is 28 inches. The one I am getting is right around 58 inches, and it weighs a hell of a lot. I do not think the brass pedestals would work very well. If it is Krupp’s model, they may have decided to make a bigger one for propaganda purposes (maybe). Stay tuned...

    Steve Zuke

  9. #789


    Steve: I won't rule out the possibility that the model you bought is a Werftmodell, but I really don't think that is the case. In the first place the scale is wrong. In the second, metal of any kind is not usually the material of choice, even for a manufacturer who has unlimited supplies of metal, which Krupp did not have. Your model has all the earmarks of being a museum piece, which I think it was (is). I wish I could see that beauty in the flesh so to speak, because i suspect that several materials were used to make it. Two features about it puzzle me, and mitigate against it being a Werftmodell--there are no slots in the casing for the tall radio masts, and according to her launch photos, the Deutschland had no forward diving plane guards, which were a warboat feature. Have you applied a magnet to it to see if the metal is ferrous or not? Those are interesting questions but in no way diminish the fact that you have a truly magnificent display and one that makes the rest of us dangerously envious. I am looking forward to the photos you can post after it arrives in its new home. Dwight

  10. #790



    It is really starting to look like it was not a Krupp model, but I am fine with it. Your observations are sound. You are correct about other materials being used in its construction. It is not all metal. I will map it out when I get it home with a magnet. The dive plane guards and radio masts were a nice catch. I may not spend a lot of time on this project this weekend, fall muzzleloader season starts Friday. I only have a few days to get a doe. Don’t worry I will post something. I do hope to get some of these questions answered. It’s the questions we have not thought of yet that intrigue me.

    As far as being “dangerously envious” I have put a lot of thought into that. St. Baltimore will end up with it for display on S.S Savannah eventually. He has no room for it at home, and if he did show up with it his wife would kill him.

    Luke is only in Ohio, which does have me worried.

    You are in California, which does finally work out well for me, I hope…

    Nearly everyone else is in Europe which also works out well.

    And then there is Claas, with the biggest U-Deutschland collection of us all. He lives in Germany which you would think is protection enough… But I have had two people in my bushes, below my bedroom, late last night speaking German. By the time I got outside they were gone. Plus, there has been a big black staff car driving around the neighborhood. Not to mention the local restaurant owner said he had two Germans in the other day asking for bratwurst and sauerkraut; and dressed in black leather trench coats. This smells like German minions to me. I am starting to worry…

    Paranoidly yours,
    Steve Zuke

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