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
10-23-2013, 03:42 PM
I was sorting my photos of the Deutschland when I discovered something I had missed all these years. One of the small, but important, facts that this thread produced is that the Deutschland sported a black skirt painted over the exhaust ports on her port quarter whereas the Bremen did not have that feature. The difference makes it possible to make a positive identification of which boat we are looking at. Or so we thought. Take a look at these four photos of the Deutschland.
Here we have the Deutschland on her sea trials in the Baltic with the black skirt clearly shown.
Though incorrectly identified as the Bremen this is actually the Deutschland in Helgoland, outbound on her first trip. Claas was the person who spotted the black skirt on the boat's port quarter. The point here is that when she left Helgoland, the black skirt was in place.
OOOPs! What happened? Did the Bremen sneak into Baltimore ahead of the Deutschland? The black arrow is pointing at the two port side exhaust ports which are conspicuously evident in the absence of the black skirt.
Here is the Deutschland in full dress headed up the Weser toward Bremen. The black skirt is back in place, though a bit worn.
What does it all mean? Not a thing, it's just an interesting historical point. My guess is that the black paint wore off on the trip across, though I don't know why it would wear off on the outbound trip and not the homebound trip too. Dwight
10-23-2013, 08:07 PM
Yours above about a missing black aft port apron needs addressing as seeing isn't always believing to be sure. The images shared in your posting No. 402, viz:
... shows U-DEUTSCHLAND coming to Baltimore and returning to Bremen.
The image at Baltimore, with the Steam Tugs THOS. F. TIMMINS and perhaps the GREYHOUND pasted in, shows a wet decking because that is exactly what had occurred on the morning of July 10th. The OOOPs image you present of U-D being manœuvered into the Baltimore's McLean leased pier 'reflects that slickness created on smooth metal when it rains.
Isn't it great that we've finally been able to identify the little motor launch EFCO shown on the forward starboard quarter in your post No. 801 with the added black arrow?
As you can see, when focusing just forward of the round-hole exhaust running vertically between the two rectangular deck plates, the black apron is there. The same apron edge can be seen just ahead of the round exhaust hole as U-D arrives in home waters.
On another note, I'm pleased to have also identified the image of our heretofore elusive Gotthold Prusse. He's the only one on deck who isn't wearing a cap. Another image discovering Gotthold on deck with a camera dangling from around his neck foreshadows another incident of just over a year later. Supercargo Prusse would place a waist belt around his neck and end his life while being detained in a Baltimore City jail.
P.S. Isn't Prusse actually holding that camera up to his eye in the image above? What else could it be? Who may have gotten the film from that day... the Feds or NDL/DOR? Maybe one day these images may resurface too.
10-23-2013, 08:24 PM
We know from cemetery records that the day after the remains of Gotthold Prusse were cremated they were then turned over to a Baltimore undertaker representing Norddeutscher Lloyd Lines representatives A. Schumacher & Company. The question now is whether or not those ashes ever made it back to Germany sometime after the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.
Maybe you can help on your end of the issue. If Dwight can produce a few answers to these questions, e.g. where was Prusse born and where was he and/or his family living in German at the time of his death, this might help. The records might then be traces using a post-war timeline.
10-24-2013, 02:39 AM
I have the honor to present an excerpt from THREE YEARS IN AMERICA by Johann von Bernstorff, Charles Scribner & Sons, NY, 1920:
"...the few days after the arrival of the _Deutschland_ were the pleasantest I experienced in America during
the war. Feeling on all sides was openly friendly, and Captain König was the most popular man in the United States. If we had sent ten such merchant submarines to America and for the rest had carried
on the submarine campaign according to the principles laid down for cruiser warfare, we should have attained far greater political results than has been the case.
"The arrival of the submarine _Deutschland_ at Baltimore and Captain König's first visit to the town resembled a triumphal procession.
"I had intended to go there at once to welcome the hero of the day and his bold seamen, but thought it better to wait and see what would be the American attitude towards the protests of the English and French Ambassadors, who had both claimed that the _Deutschland_, as a submarine, should be regarded without hesitation as a ship of war. On the 13th July a most minute inspection of the _Deutschland_ was made by an American Government Commission consisting of three naval officers, and she was recognized as a genuine merchant vessel.
"In consequence the _Deutschland_ had a right to lie at Baltimore as long as was necessary to take a cargo on board for the return journey. It was now possible for me to pay an official visit to Baltimore and to view the _Deutschland_. The Mayor of the town [James H. Preston] accompanied me and went down with me, in spite of the terrific heat of about 40° centigrade, into the lowest parts of the submarine, which cost the stoutly-built gentleman considerable effort and a good deal of perspiration. In the evening the Mayor gave a banquet which passed off as in the good days before the war. The rooms were decorated with German and American flags, the band played the "Wacht am Rhein," and many speeches were made on the good relations between the two countries.
"Again on her second visit, which took place in October in New London (Connecticut), the _Deutschland_ met with a very friendly reception, even though the atmosphere was appreciably cooler. Feeling in the New England state has always been particularly unfavorable to us.
"But there, to[o], I passed a very pleasant day with Captain König.
"In contrast to the moral gain of the visit of the _Deutschland_ was the generally unfavorable impression created by the visit at the same time of the U53. Quite unexpectedly I received the news that a German submarine had arrived at Newport, the captain of which had reported himself to the American commandant and had handed him a letter addressed to me. The letter attracted a good deal of attention in the Press, but it actually contained nothing further than the introduction of the captain. The episode of the U53 was, from a political point of view, most undesirable and of no military value. When, moreover, a few days later the news arrived that the U53 had sunk several ships off the American coast--always, it is true, according to international law--the incident assumed a fairly serious aspect. Meanwhile I travelled direct to Shadow Lawn, the President's beautiful summer residence on the New Jersey coast, to hand to Mr. Wilson a letter from the Emperor. The President had appealed to the Heads of all the combatant States to urge them to permit relief to starving Poland, as had been done for Belgium.
"As was to be expected, the Entente rejected the proposal while the Central Powers agreed to it. The Emperor's approval was contained in the letter which I brought to Mr. Wilson.
"The President took this opportunity to speak to me very seriously on the cruise of the U53, and urged me to see to it that this incident was not repeated. Otherwise he could not be responsible for public feeling in the United States, which might again become very bitter.
"The affair was very disagreeable to me personally, because I was building hopes on Mr. Wilson's mediation and because I feared that the cruise of the U53 would be interpreted as an attempt on our part to put difficulties in the way of the President's re-election.
It might be assumed that his Republican opponents would say that Germany could now do what she liked, as Mr. Wilson had never adopted energetic measures."
10-24-2013, 08:58 AM
by Steve Zuke
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10-25-2013, 04:49 AM
Possible New Footage of DEUTSCHLAND Leaving New London in Nov 1916
Do we perhaps have a brand new snippet of motion picture footage of the U-DEUTSCHLAND leaving New London? We may wish to check out frame 8:05 of the following link:
This piece of footage may also be one done by Pathe but then again it might be that of another film crew.
Haven't watched this You Tube all the way through to the credits but will do just after I post this up.
10-25-2013, 05:19 AM
OOOP's. No roll-by credits with the film: "John "Black Jack" Pershing - Famous Generals - The Big Picture " but the film was produced by the US Army Film Service.
10-25-2013, 05:25 AM
Those Strange Bumps in U-D's Main Deck
I believe that the humps were hatch covers which opened down to the heavy lifting hooks Zuke has described. In fact, the DEUTSCHLAND had no fewer than four such hooks affixed to the main shell of her fabric down below the main deck walkway and we may assume that these lifting hooks were connected to struts that travelled into the subsea freighter's frame (perhaps even as far down as her keel).
Dwight - The more I think of it the more I'm convinced that these particular humps with accompanying top hold down bars were made to be removed by salvage crew divers so as to access those rigger hooks between the deck and the vessel's hull.
Anyone else wish to jump in here with your thoughts?
Last edited by STBaltimore; 10-25-2013 at 03:57 PM.
Reason: New info added about hatch cover bars
10-25-2013, 03:46 PM
Claas, I really like this image. Might the white, single stack passenger vessel, moving from right to left in the image, be the Chesapeake Bay Steamer TANGIER perhaps?
10-27-2013, 03:38 AM
Yes I can Dwight! Well not the Baltimore article but here's one from the NY Times:
"INSPECTED BY OFFICIALS: They Find Deutschland's Errand Peaceful; Capital Delays Approval. MAILBAGS FOR BERNSTORFF Three Pouches from Foreign Office in Berlin Are Rushed Here to Envoy. HER CARGO WORTH MILLION It Weighs 750 Tons, According to Reliable Estimate, and Will Be Followed by Others.
Special to The New York Times, 11 July 1916: 1"
Sorry for the excessive delay in replying to your request for a citation but I just now reviewed yours.
Please refer to postings No's 356, 58 & 59, especially:
"In early June, the Prince and Princess of Prussia paid a visit to the U-DEUTSCHLAND prior to her departure for Baltimore [and offered a poem written especially for the ship and her crew]. Kaptiän König is said to have dubbed the poem his “Lucky Star”."
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