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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. #871

    Exclamation Deutschland Agents Deny Craft Sunk or Captured

    Big U-Freighter is Causing Anxiety

    Agents of the Deutschland Deny Craft Has Been Sunk or Captured.

    Special to The Washington Post.

    New York, Jan. 29. [1917] – Despite reports of her capture by British patrol boats, officials of the Eastern Forwarding Company, 17 Battery place, agents of the German merchant submarine Deutschland, assert today that they expect the giant undersea craft to arrive in New London, Conn. in a short time.

    “we have had no news of her capture,” one official said today. “We know nothing about such a report. Preparations for her arrival in New London are still going on.”

    The Deutschland was reported to have left Bremen for New London on January 2 or 4, and was due to arrive at the Connecticut port not later than January 22. The delay in the coming of the freighter has caused considerable anxiety among her agents on this side.

    The officers of both the American and British passenger steamship which arrived here last week from Liverpool said that they had been informed that the Deutschland had been captured by a British light cruiser of the Arethusa type and taken to the naval yard dock at Pembroke, South Wales. They assert that at Pembroke was also the German merchant submarine Bremen which was reported captured by the British on her first voyage to New York.

    [In retrospect, we know that the U-DEUTSCHLAND was never captured during her active service and the U-BREMEN has never been accounted for after beginning her solo journey across the Great North Atlantic Ocean.]
    Last edited by STBaltimore; 11-24-2013 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Clarification

  2. #872

    Exclamation U-168 To-day... U-BREMEN To-morrow?

    A friend sent me a hot-off-the-press link which led to a Spiegel Online article about a recent U-Boot discovery. It is believed that the discovery is U-168. Perhaps there is still hope for locating the U-BREMEN?

    The American Broadcasting Company picked up and posted der Spiegel article on November 23, 2013. Here's the link:

    World War II U-Boat Found With Skeletons - ABC News
    Last edited by STBaltimore; 11-24-2013 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Tweaking

  3. #873


    The following was forwarded to me by John Lowens, who received it from James Castellan. James has been researching a biography of Oswald F. Schuette, WWI correspondent for the Chicago Daily News covering the Central Powers out of Berlin from very early 1915 until July 1917. He was the last American correspondent to leave Berlin after the US declared war in early April. It was a dispatch from Oswald F Schutte. I would think the reference to the second ship on the way refers to the U-Breman. I thought you might find it of interest.

    The Chicago Daily News; July 12, 1916
    Cable from Berlin, Germany, July 12

    President of German Submarine Merchant Line Says Venture Is a Success

    Berlin Greatly Elated
    Another “U” Boat on Way to Secret Destination – No Infringement of U. S. Patents

    “Submarine freight service to America is now an established success,” says Alfred Lohmann, president and organizer of the Deutsche Ocean Reederei, Limited, of Bremen, who was in Berlin to-day. “The arrival of our first ship, the Deutschland, in Baltimore, demonstrates it. This is the second ship from Bremen that is already swimming.” And he added with a smile, “You must judge for yourself whether it is swimming to America. We feel that we must keep its destination secret at present.”

    Alfred Lohmann is the head of a big export firm in Bremen, president of the Bremen chamber of commerce and one of Germany’s leading international business men. He is a smiling, blithe eyed, upstanding sort of man of 47 years. If you met him in a Chicago street you would take him for a prosperous Chicago business man. He has traveled in all corners of the earth and at one time was Australian agent of the North German Lloyd Steamship company.

    Father Was Ship Builder

    Lohmann’s father was a director of that company and built the first steamship flyers on the Elbe and the Trave rivers in the ‘80s. Both are well known in the United States. I first met Alfred Lohmann when we traveled together in January as the guests of the German government on the first train through the Balkans to Constantinople. Since then we have often discussed trade relations between Germany and the United States after the war.

    “I wish I could have told you of our freight submarine plans,” he said to me to-day. “But we had to keep this a secret. Not even the German navy department knew the exact date of our sailing. The Deutschland has been completed many weeks and made many long trial trips before she ventured to sail for America. We hope that your government will give us protection while in your waters. We can take care of ourselves in the ocean. The ship is absolutely unarmed. The sailors do not even carry revolvers. The ship is not even armed for defense.

    Says Patents Are Not Violated

    “As for the threatened suit of the Lake Torpedo company, we do not fear it. We have not violated any American patents. The entire ship was built under German inventions. Do you think,” he added, “that Germany’s experiments with submarines in this war have not given us hundreds of new ideas that American inventors never thought of? I do not believe that any such suit is really contemplated, but even if it is I am certain that it will not interfere in any way with out plans. We are still building additional ships, confident that we have found the most effective way of breaking England’s illegal blockade.

    “You know,” he ended, “that my mother was English and I have many cousins fighting in the British armies.”

    Besides being president of the new submarine company, and of the Bremen Chamber of Commerce, Herr Lohmann is also director of the Bremen Washing company, of the Union Chemical company of Stettin, of the Nordpham Superphosphate company and of the Mercury Insurance company of Bremen.

    Big Sensation in Berlin

    The announcement of the arrival of the Deutschland in Baltimore is the biggest sensation of the day. The German press devotes columns to the story of the ship, the company and Herr Lohmann. All the newspapers see in it a heavy blow to the British mastery of the seas. They couple with it new discussions of the Skager-Rak battle and recent exploits of the fleet on the British coasts and the straits of Otranto.

  4. #874


    Howie: Thanks for posting that war very interesting article. Alfred Lohmann certainly played his front man role very well, particularly his claim "... Not even the German navy department knew the exact date of our sailing..." Alfred's brother, Walter, was a senior officer in the German Navy's very secret Etappendienst who after the war directed the so-called "Black Fund" rearmement. Many of the methods he used to finance weapons research were based on the Navy's experiene with the cargo submarine project that produced the U-Deutschland. He came to grief in 1926-27 when his clandestine activities were exposed. Dwight

  5. #875


    Included in a group of photographs that I received yesterday was one taken in New London that completed the collection I need to show in detail the security measures that the Eastern Forwarding Company took in New London to conceal the Deutschland from public view. Dwight
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    This drawing shows the general layout of the Connecticut State Pier at New London. The Eastern Forwarding Company built the warehouses on the pier with the specific purpose to conceal the Deutschland from public view on two sides. The Willehad was anchored on the unobstructed side of the berth to block the view from that direction, and a 15-foot high, floating fence, was pulled across the front of the berth
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    The only glimpse the public got was through the wagon gate whenever it was opened, and it was a short glimpse.
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    The Willehad blocked the view from the other side of the berth. The house in the background, behind the Willehad, belonged to Ruth Baker who allowed anyone to view the Deutschland from her second floor for a fee of 25 cents. You get what you pay for and it wasn't much of a view, but she made $95 while the Deutschland was in New London.
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    I don't know what vantage point the photographer used to get the shot. It's taken from a position looking toward the land and just off the Willehad's starboard bow
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    This shot was taken from the foot of the long pier at the junction of the short pier. The EFCO office is behind the photographer on his right and the wagon gate is directly behind him. (Library of Congress)
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    This is taken on the long pier looking toward land. That is Ruth Baker's house on the hill in the background. The Willehad provided quarters for the Deutschland crewmen and the African-American stevedores who were not allowed to leave the EFCO compound while they were in New London. Access to their quarters on the Willehad was up that ladder that goes to her starboard quarterdeck
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    I posted this unauthorized photo before, but it's here again to show the relationship of the photographic angles used for these photos. The EFCO office is off the Deutschland's port bow and the wagon gate is immediately adjacent to the building on the right. The tank car is on the long pier, having arrived there on a spur track into the compound through the wagon gate. The photographer was in a canoe hard against the Willehad's starboard bow and just inside the floating fence

  6. #876


    Dwight: Two of the images have to be mirrored.


  7. #877


    Claas: You're right one of us has a reversed photo, that is one that was printed with the emulsion side of the negative away from the printing paper. But which one? The Deutschland went into her berth at New London without assistence. At the time (1916) the Connecticut State Pier had only one pier, whereas today there are two. Below is a scan of NOAA Navigation Chart 13205 showing the Connecticut State Pier as it is today. As you can see the Thames River runs north and south, so when she went into her berth she was laying roughly north-south.
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    Photos of the EFCO office and the open wagon gate showh the Deutschland port-side-to, and the company name on the building is correct--left to right. So, that means that the photo I received from the Library of Congress is the reversed print because it shows the boat clearly as starboard-side-to. Good call on your part because the drawing I made is 180 degrees off. Luckily I didn't commit myself to port-side-to or starboard-side-to in the text. I'm a victim of my own preference, which has always been to lay starboard-side-to when possible. Dwight

  8. #878


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    Claas caught the 180 degree error in the layout that I posted yesterday and this is a corrected copy, with a few minor additional corrections and additions. Dwight

  9. #879



    I am sorry it has taken me so long to post. I have been enjoying a weeks vacation working around the house and bear hunting (no bear yet, just cold toes). While I was hunting I had a chance to catch up on the forum and emails with Dwight. He thinks things may be slowing up, but I see it more of a steady stream now. As compared to the disgorging of information everyone had early on.

    Well let me catch up. In post #842 STBaltimore made some claims I disagreed with and he took my reply apart line by line (nice work by the way). Anyway, over the next couple of days I tried to put together a rebuttal, but failed at every point. The image used in post #838 that Dwight’s son found was a stock photograph taken in Baltimore. I reviewed several video clips and it is obvious. Good catch STBaltimore. It is not the first time, nor will it be the last that we get tripped up by mislabeled information.

    I would like to thank Luke and Dwight for setting me straight on Captain F. Hinsch as the survivor. I was traveling at the time and had no reference books to look it up.
    Dwight, great score with the pictures from the Library of congress! It is always fantastic to find new pictures and a good layout. Claas, nice catch on the orientation.

    In post #828 there are pictures of both sides of the U-155. Take a close look; did this boat have two stern torpedo tubes? I can find no reference to them other than the interesting photographs. If it did that would bring the total up to eight tubes. The next U-boat I heard of with eight tubes was built by Germany long after WW ll.
    Meanwhile, Howie has been trying to identify his grandfather. It just so happens while I was looking for U-155 deck gun photos I came across a posting from Jensen #302 that appears to have a crewman called out. You may want to take a look.

    The next topic for your consideration, Antony Preston’s book titled U-BOATS pages 70-71. The very book that got interested in the U-Bremen/Deutschland has some interesting pictures that may not have been posted yet. I spent the afternoon working with Photoshop to present these to everyone. The first picture is of the torpedo room of U-Boat (not the U-155). If anyone knows the U-Boat number please post it. I took the photo of my own copy of the stereoscopic picture.

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    The next picture is the forward torpedo room of the U-155 showing the 50 cm tubes. If anyone has a better image of this please let me know.

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    The next picture is unique; it is the inside of the conning tower showing the voice pipes and the counter weight system for lifting the periscope.

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    The next picture is of the 15 cm stern deck gun. This is what I was tracking down today using other pictures posted on the forum. Posts # 247, 268, and 283 also show pictures that I believe can be used to safely say that this is a picture of U-155’s stern gun and not some other U-cruiser. I also have this stereoscopic picture and that is what I have posted here.

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    The last picture was printed upside down. I flipped it here and cleaned it up the best I could. This picture clearly shows the gyrocompass and its remote companion removed in the control room. (Just think, this could be sitting in someone’s attic. Adrian, if I were you I start making discrete inquiries. It would be the next big score!). If anyone has a good copy of this picture please let me know, I wish to make a poster out of it.

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    One last picture that I stumbled across today from Eberhards Moller & Werner Brack’s book, The Encyclopedia of U-Boats, From 1904 to Present. It is a new picture of the U-Bremen that I do not think we have had posted (sorry if we did, it would take half a day to check). You can clearly see the hand/foot holes cut into the superstructure and the mystery humps (which I examined with a jewelers loop and still cannot figure out what there are).

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    Until I can find the time to write again folks please keep up the fascinating flow of information, and PLEASE do not worry about getting every detail correct. We have a good crew here that will kindly help track the facts down and correct any misinformation. Hell, that is where we have the most fun!


    Steve Zuke

    P.S Dwight, we all wish you the best of luck on getting your book published!

    P.P.S Claas, you have the con.

  10. #880


    Steve: You asked if the U-155 had stern torpedo tubes, and the answer is "yes" and "no." When first converted to a U-cruiser in 1917, she had two stern tubes mounted between the pressure hull and the casing that exited the casing very near the after 150mm gun and well above the water line. After her first war patrol, her torpedo tubes were moved inboard and she, like the other Deutschland-class U-cruisers (U151-157) had only two bow tubes. Below is an interior layout drawing from Rössler showing the location of the class's bow tubes and the absence of stern tubes. Below that is a shot of the U-155 taken in 1919 being disarmed before she became a Bottomley showboat. As you can see, there are no torpedo tubes in her stern. The slots you see are drain holes.
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    Regarding the holes you see in the side of the Bremen; the Deutschland had them too. I think they are climbing grab-holds so that a man could climb up onto the deck from a boat or raft. The distance from the waterline to the top of the tank deck was just over six feet, which given the boats essential tumblehome hull shape, would have made making the climb very difficult, if not impossible. Several types of German warships had grab-holds that were similar, especially on ships that featured extreme tumblehome. Below is a photo of the Deutschland in New London in which you can see the same holes in her casing. The long slot is a drain hole. Below that is a Siegfried-class costal battleship with grab-holds clearly visible. They were also called ladder holds. Dwight
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