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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. #791


    Magnificent model, Steve!
    Thanks for posting it.
    'Werft' model or museum piece makes not an iota of difference to me. Still beautifully made no matter what.
    Good luck with the muzzleloading season - save some Pyrodex for scaring off the minions!

  2. #792

    Default should be worried, Steve! That's a straight shot for me. Maybe a 5 hour drive unless I stop in Altoona first for some Mallo Cups!
    What day is it arriving?


  3. #793



    The U-Deutschland docked at 11:00 EDT in Palmerton Pennsylvania! It fits great on the bar in my man cave. It is 64 inches long (162.5 cm). The glass case was damaged several years ago, so we loaded it into my truck and I already took it to the glazer to be repaired. Nearly all of the hatch covers open and close over little cutout compartments. Only one round hatch on the top deck goes all the way into the interior. It would appear I made a mistake, even though when you tap on its hull it sounds like metal I am nearly certain the hull is all wood. The hatch covers seem to be made out of metal. There are no marks on it anywhere, even the bottom, telling who, where, or when it was made. As you can see they got the hatches with the small boats included. The detail is amazing! I need to barrow an endoscope from a proctologist to check out the inside. The wood on the inside looks very old.

    It just so happens a man, who was a good friend of the person, whose estate the model came from, will be at a war relic/gun/military show in Allentown (45 minutes from my house) tomorrow. I plan on meeting him and extracting any information he may possess. I have ways of making him talk…

    The model also came with a copy of the Koenig’s book. I was flipping through it while in my contemplation chamber this afternoon and low and behold the receipt falls out for the model. The owner (that died) purchased it from an individual on 9/4/87 in Warminster Pennsylvania (right down the street from where I worked from 1999 to 2005, small world). I looked for the seller on the internet, and it turned out he died in 2006, but he did have a child. So I will try tracking her down. The price on the receipt is $180.00, or $18,000. I just cannot be sure. I doubt it was larger number.

    Dwight, if you look in Rossler, The U-Boat, page 68, the mechanical drawings for the merchant boat clearly show guards around the forward diving planes. If you were looking at the dock yard photos you need to remember they were most likely taken at different times during construction and may not have shown the guard installed. They could have been installed the next day. However, there are no channels for the radio masts to lie down in on model .

    Well, it is getting late and I need some sleep. Dwight you have the watch.

    Best wishes,
    Steve Zuke

    P.S I think I will sleep in my cave tonight in case Luke or Claas get any bright ideas.

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  4. #794


    Man, what details.
    Ill be following this closely. How very interesting.
    Look forward to hearing what the endoscope reveals from the inside of the sub model.

    I have a contemplation chamber as well. It has a porcelain throne.

  5. #795


    Steve: Congratulations on having such an outstanding model in your collection. I am greatly impressed and seriously jealous. You are right that Rössler's drawing shows the forward plane guards, but the photo immediately to the right of the drawing is the Deutschland on the day she was launched and there are no plane guards visible. For them to be added after being launched, she would have to be out of the water. It's possible that they were added during her first overhaul between trip 1 and 2 or when she was hauled out after being rammed by a tug in Wilhelmshaven during the same period. There was a big flap about British agents hiring American fishermen in Baltimore to deploy nets in the Deutschland's path, and though the whole thing was unfounded, König was convinced it was true and reported it to the RMA in his report. The fear of nets would justify adding the guards, but, again, there is no mention of them in the Yates Sterling report that was made in New London, which would be an interesting oversight given the length of, and the detail in, the report. But in the end, whether or not the Deutschland had or didn't have forward plane guards is of no consequence since the model is hands-down the most accurate representation any of us have ever seen. Dwight

  6. #796



    I have the poop on the model from someone that was there at the time!!

    Firmin F. Michel is the person that died and whose estate sold the model about ten years ago. Now, as the story goes, back in the 1980’s the US navy was scrapping Liberty ships in Camden New Jersey. Welders were needed to do the work. One of the welders came over from Germany and would stay for a few months and then return home to Germany then come back to the States to work for a few months, you get the idea. He became friends with another welder that was a friend of Mr. Michel (the collector of war memorabilia). One thing lead to another and the German welder brought the model over from Germany in the 1980’s and gave it to the second welder; and then… it ended up with Mr. Michel. I have no idea if any money changed hands along the way. The sad part is the gentleman telling me the story had no idea where the German got the model from in Germany (which is what I really cared about most). So for now, that part of the story is a dead end.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Michel now has the U-boat. The problem was that it was really in rough shape. Apparently, it looked as if children had once played with it. Not much, but only once is enough. So Mr. Michel went to Baltimore Maryland and found a master model builder that worked for a museum (I have no idea which museum) and had him completely restore the model. It took about five or six months and cost well over one thousand dollars. Mr. Michel then had a glass case made in 1987. This is what I found the receipt for in the book. It was not for the case AND model (even though it was written that way), it was a case FOR the model. The case cost one hundred and eighty dollars.

    But wait, there is a little more. Mr. Michel gave the model builder a folder full of pictures of the U-Deutschland. I may be able to track that folder down yet, I have a few leads. I am not sure if the German welder brought over the pictures or not, but I am going to try and get my hands on them.

    And that gentleman is the story of my model. I think it was a good one.

    Scout- That was the contemplation chamber I was referring to. I was not kidding about the endoscope. It may take me a little bit to line things up, but it will happen. I am sure there is nothing in there, but I just have to look…. to make sure. It is a guy thing....

    Dwight- I think we will say no plane guards unless we find pictures to the contrary. That’s why we are here to get the facts straight. Before I put the glass back on it, I need to photograph the bottom. The detail on the hulls bottom with its three keels is amazing. I need to post that.

    So until next time, keep her nose into the wind.

    Steve Zuke
    P.S I think I hear something in my bushes again…

  7. #797


    I thought I'd share this plate with you guys that I found for sale today. 1,200 Euros!


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  8. #798


    Luke; It's an interesting plate, but not for 1200 Euros, and that translates into $1647.13. For that price we could probably commission our own full set of dishes. Dwight

  9. #799



    It is your turn to go broke. I am flat busted. It is something we have never seen on this site before, thank you for sharing. I would love to own it, but I agree with Dwight. You know, I wonder how much it would cost for us to have plates, or beer steins made for the group? Luke, if you fine some time can you check into for us? I may be fun. It cost around $600 to have a die made for a coin, then the blanks.

    Steve Zuke

  10. #800


    Steve: Ha, I'm already broke! The Homer Laughlin China Company is nearby so I sent them an email. I'll let you know what they say.


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