German merchant marine

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Kriegsmarine except those dealing with the U-Boat forces.
Peter89
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German merchant marine

Post by Peter89 » 21 Mar 2022 17:08

Hello guys,

I just read a very good compendium of the German merchant marine in World War II; Die Deutsche Handelsflotte 1939-1945. Although I have never seen it mentioned anywhere, but the German merchant marine was actually larger than that of Italy, and most of its ships got back to home ports.

It is in direct contrast with the often-quoted site ( http://www.regiamarina.net/detail_text_ ... id=1&cid=5 ), which claims that:
In August 1939, Germany, because of its failure to provide a precautionary warning to its merchant ships steaming in faraway oceans, had lost over half of them, as they were stranded in neutral ports, captured by the enemy or self-destroyed to avoid capture.
Also, there must be some conflict with the sources mentioned here: viewtopic.php?f=61&t=70974

Which source is more reliable and why? Does anyone have any idea?

Maybe
Felix C wrote:
can help me out, who quoted this very book cca. 7 years ago?
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Felix C
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Re: German merchant marine

Post by Felix C » 21 Mar 2022 19:38

Hello Peter89,

https://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/v ... h-3912.htm is the link to access German losses due to capture and other warlike activites.

Peter89
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Re: German merchant marine

Post by Peter89 » 21 Mar 2022 19:41

Felix C wrote:
21 Mar 2022 19:38
Hello Peter89,

https://www.wlb-stuttgart.de/seekrieg/v ... h-3912.htm is the link to access German losses due to capture and other warlike activites.
Hello Felix, thank you.

It seems regiamarina.net is very wrong about the German losses.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Felix C
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Location: Miami, Fl

Re: German merchant marine

Post by Felix C » 21 Mar 2022 20:07

I read what Regiamarine.net indicated regarding German shipping as well in books prior to the Internet. The link above indicates loss only if sunk or seized. Safely Interned at the war's outbreak would not be listed until their status changed later as you see where "beschlagnahmt" is indicated. There is also this https://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Merchant- ... 1591149592 and/or the World Ship Society published "List of German merchant ships 1939 and their fate during World War II" by Hind and Munching in 1952. 74 pp the latter.

There is also a dedicated merchant shipping during wartime forum: http://warsailors.com/ships/viewforum.php?f=5 Someone there may have the World Shipping Society information. I know at least one person there has most if not all of the Belgian Ship Lover issues which also detail wartime merchant shipping and maybe have more info you seek in that source.

Peter89
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Re: German merchant marine

Post by Peter89 » 21 Mar 2022 20:17

Felix C wrote:
21 Mar 2022 20:07
I read what Regiamarine.net indicated regarding German shipping as well in books prior to the Internet. The link above indicates loss only if sunk or seized. Safely Interned at the war's outbreak would not be listed until their status changed later as you see where "beschlagnahmt" is indicated. There is also this https://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Merchant- ... 1591149592 and/or the World Ship Society published "List of German merchant ships 1939 and their fate during World War II" by Hind and Munching in 1952. 74 pp the latter.

There is also a dedicated merchant shipping during wartime forum: http://warsailors.com/ships/viewforum.php?f=5 Someone there may have the World Shipping Society information. I know at least one person there has most if not all of the Belgian Ship Lover issues which also detail wartime merchant shipping and maybe have more info you seek in that source.
Thank you very much, again!!
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Felix C
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Posts: 1101
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: German merchant marine

Post by Felix C » 21 Mar 2022 20:39

Anytime and good luck. I changed area of research to german merchant shipping in the 1914-1918 war so do not have more information to provide.

I would be remiss if I did not also recommend these good people: https://www.forum-marinearchiv.de/

igorr
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Re: German merchant marine

Post by igorr » 22 Mar 2022 05:11

If you want to see overall situation, without digging in each ship's fate, you must read original german docs about subject. This is source much reliable than any book and site, because it is primary source. German SKL has almost "on-line" monitoring of German Handelsflotte beginning from 6.9.39, with exact numbers of ships returned or not returned to Heimat. It deals with ships more than 1600 brt (858 with 3888000 brt). It can be found in NARA T-1022, ROLL 1710. Also there is narrative about 09.39-04.40, made for SKL by Ludwig Dinklage in 1943 (T-1022, roll 3227).

Peter89
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Re: German merchant marine

Post by Peter89 » 22 Mar 2022 18:42

igorr wrote:
22 Mar 2022 05:11
If you want to see overall situation, without digging in each ship's fate, you must read original german docs about subject. This is source much reliable than any book and site, because it is primary source. German SKL has almost "on-line" monitoring of German Handelsflotte beginning from 6.9.39, with exact numbers of ships returned or not returned to Heimat. It deals with ships more than 1600 brt (858 with 3888000 brt). It can be found in NARA T-1022, ROLL 1710. Also there is narrative about 09.39-04.40, made for SKL by Ludwig Dinklage in 1943 (T-1022, roll 3227).
Dear Igorr, thank you very much as well!

The thing is, that I read the book by Dinklage and it had detailed informations about the overall picture.

I was pretty much interested in four topics:
- First, the size, position and cargo of the merchant fleet, because I wanted to cross-reference it with the Statischtisches Jahrbuch. I saw it as a big inconsistency that natural rubber arrived to Germany even after Barbarossa - something that was not consistent with the view of a perfect and unbreakable blockade
- Second, the forewarning system, so I wanted to cross-reference it with other sources such as regiamarina.net and other secondary and terciary sources; it seems that the Italians not simply made a mistake, but effectively kicked themselves by declaring war while having 37 ships in their enemies' ports: compared to 3 by the Germans and 0 by the British, French or Polish fleets
- Third, the merchant ship building programs before and after the war
- Fourth, the merchant ship acquisition; and how exactly that resembled the Lufthansa / Luftwaffe relationship.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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