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Mutiny in 1945?

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Kriegsmarine except those dealing with the U-Boat forces.

Mutiny in 1945?

Postby PF on 13 Oct 2005 19:03

There was an account called "The Boat" (real-not movie) about voyage of U-96 I think. (For reference only). At the end there was a remark that several seamen who tried to mutiny at a German nval base in 1945 were shot and buired at sea in a Norway fjord.
Confirmed?
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Re: Mutiny in 1945?

Postby Rauli on 14 Oct 2005 05:37

PF wrote:There was an account called "The Boat" (real-not movie) about voyage of U-96 I think. (For reference only). At the end there was a remark that several seamen who tried to mutiny at a German nval base in 1945 were shot and buired at sea in a Norway fjord.
Confirmed?


I´m afraid you have probably made a mistake. Incident that you are referring is described in Herbert Werner´s book Iron Coffins. IIRC three members of flottilla were celebrating the end of the war and when a flottilla commander heard about this, he order the men to be executed because "there will be no 1918" - he was referring to what happenned in German navy during the end of WWI. After that a pretty gruesome happennings took place, all into the book.

What Werner does not mention in his book was that the real name of the flottilla commander was Ernst Mengersen, http://www.uboat.net/men/mengersen.htm

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Postby PF on 14 Oct 2005 12:54

Thanks for clearing that up
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Postby SES on 17 Oct 2005 08:25

On 5 MAY 1945 11 sailors from a German minesweeper (M 612) were executed aboard their ship a little north of Sønderborg Denmark. The day before the MS had been orderd to sail into the Eastern Baltic to participate in the evacuation of German troops still fighting in pocktes. On receiving this order part of the crew committed armed mutiny and took over the ship. They were however detected and boarded by another ship, the sailors were arrested, trial was held, 11 were sentanced to death and they were executed the next evening. Their bodies were dumped at sea, Mafia style, and their bodies drifted ashore later. 7 were given a proper burial, 4 have never been found. BTW: German forces had surrendered 5 MAY 1945 0800.
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Re: Mutiny in 1945?

Postby philipp0408 on 17 Oct 2005 11:39

Rauli wrote:
PF wrote:There was an account called "The Boat" (real-not movie) about voyage of U-96 I think. (For reference only). At the end there was a remark that several seamen who tried to mutiny at a German nval base in 1945 were shot and buired at sea in a Norway fjord.
Confirmed?


I´m afraid you have probably made a mistake. Incident that you are referring is described in Herbert Werner´s book Iron Coffins. IIRC three members of flottilla were celebrating the end of the war and when a flottilla commander heard about this, he order the men to be executed because "there will be no 1918" - he was referring to what happenned in German navy during the end of WWI. After that a pretty gruesome happennings took place, all into the book.

What Werner does not mention in his book was that the real name of the flottilla commander was Ernst Mengersen, http://www.uboat.net/men/mengersen.htm

Regards,

Rauli


Werners book is among most of his former comrades not welcmomed and Werner was expelled from his crew when I remeber right. Fact is, that some important content of his book is wrong and that causes some historical missinterpreation.
On the other hand Ive heard from a "observer" who knew the commanders very good, that Mengersen was an ardent nazi, without any doubt.
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Postby Simon Orchard on 17 Oct 2005 12:33

SES wrote:On 5 MAY 1945 11 sailors from a German minesweeper (M 612) were executed aboard their ship a little north of Sønderborg Denmark. The day before the MS had been orderd to sail into the Eastern Baltic to participate in the evacuation of German troops still fighting in pocktes. On receiving this order part of the crew committed armed mutiny and took over the ship. They were however detected and boarded by another ship, the sailors were arrested, trial was held, 11 were sentanced to death and they were executed the next evening. Their bodies were dumped at sea, Mafia style, and their bodies drifted ashore later. 7 were given a proper burial, 4 have never been found. BTW: German forces had surrendered 5 MAY 1945 0800.
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That's very interesting. That's now the second 'large scale' (ie. a whole or substantial part of a unit) mutiny i've heard of in the final days of the war in Scandinavia (the other being the mutiny of 4./Geb.Art.Rgt.118 in North Norway on the 8th May).

Now i'm wondering what others occured?
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Postby Peter on 17 Oct 2005 16:06

It would be interesting to know how the actions of the officer who sat in judgement were viewed after he was taken prisoner. Is his name known ?
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Postby Simon Orchard on 17 Oct 2005 16:22

Iltis wrote:It would be interesting to know how the actions of the officer who sat in judgement were viewed after he was taken prisoner. Is his name known ?


Mutiny is mutiny, a criminal offence punishable by death it's as simple as that. In this case it seems we're talking about some sailors refusing to go to the aid of their comrades trapped in East Prussia, i doubt they'd have had much sympathy amongst most German troops.
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Postby SES on 17 Oct 2005 16:31

Hi,
When viewed to-day with our crystalclear hindsight, the passing of capital punishment at this stage of the war seems unduely cruel. But the Wehrmacht and the Allies had an equal interest in maintaining discipline. The officers of the forces retreating from Denmark were permitted to keep their side arms and ammunition. The retreating forces were under German command and Allied control. The Wehrmacht was responsible for column control, bivuaks during the march and the feeding of the troops. Within the Allied and Wehrmacht command structure there were cooperating HQs at equal levels. There were not sufficient Allied forces to guard the number of personel formally as POWs, and neither did the allies have the capacity to cope with the number of POWs iaw the 1907 Geneva convention. It is another one of those less pretty stories of WW II. So the German troops in Denmark were merely told: "Get up and get out, find a place in Schleswig-Holstein were you can settle until we sort things out". They were on the move within 48 hours. Since the Wehrmacht communications structure to a large extend was intact, it was used extensively by the Allies long after the surrender. German troops remained in Denmark, under German command until 1947, in order to do mine clearing. WW II in Europe did not end from one day to the next, it merely faded away.
If you want a subject for a Ph.D. thesis there it is.
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Postby Peter on 17 Oct 2005 19:07

Do not mis-understand me, I am not offering judgement, I am interested in the assessment or judgement of the Allies in May 1945 if any complaint was raised.
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Postby SES on 17 Oct 2005 19:50

I'm not sure that the Allies ever pursued the matter or could have. Technically speaking the State of Germany did not surrender until 9 MAY 1945 0001. The passing of the sentance - by a military judge, not his CO - was not a war crime nor a criminal act under civil law, it was performed by a member of the armed forces of a soverign state; very difficult case. But if memory does not fail me, eyebrows were raised at the number of executions performed by the Kriegsmarine after 1 MAY 1945. And again from memory, I think it was one of the counts against Dönitz at Nüremberg.
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Postby Simon Orchard on 17 Oct 2005 19:51

Ah i see. Well, as it happens i have a copy of a signal sent by British HQ in Norway to SHAEF asking for clarification as to the status of German troops serving sentences for desertion dated 24th May 1945 (PRO ref. WO19/1483) . It's not very long, it simply states that they should be returned to their or other suitable units, no distinction was to be made on the grounds of nationality (ie. Austrian, Polish,Czech etc.). Individuals could however be retained in detention (allied) at the discretion of the British commander.

What can be seen from that signal is that the allies clearly wanted the Germans to take responsibility for their own people and their army's discipline.
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Postby PF on 31 Oct 2005 14:56

Just found the book I thought the reference to executions came from--checked it-no mention.
So the orginial reference MUST HAVE BEEN WALTER"S "IRON COFFINS" after all
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Postby ohrdruf on 16 Nov 2005 15:26

In "The German Destroyers" (Greenhill Books 2002) there is mention of sabotage aboard "Paul Jakobi" in the last few days of the war preventing the ship making another run to pick up refugees in the East. The men were arrested apparently but there is no report as to their fate.
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Re: Mutiny in 1945?

Postby Andy H on 18 Jul 2010 20:17

At the beginning of May 1945 3 men from an Schnelbotte deserted but recaptured by German forces after being handed by armed Danes. The 3 were held aboard the S-Boote tender Bau at the time of the German surrender. However they were tried and found guilty, and sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out on May 10th 1945.

British Military HQ in Norway requested clarification from SHAEF on May 24th 1945, as to the status of German troops serving sentences for the crime of desertion. The stated that they were to be returned, either to there own, or to other suitable units, for the execution of their sentences. However individuals could be retained by the Allies at the discretion of the British commander

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