Let's Build: Schwerer Kreuzer Prinz Eugen

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Kriegsmarine except those dealing with the U-Boat forces.
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Marcus
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Let's Build: Schwerer Kreuzer Prinz Eugen

Post by Marcus » 18 Oct 2003 13:39

In an effort to improve and expand the unit histories on the site, we will be launching a new series of "Let's Build" threads.
The object is to pool our collective knowledge and reconstruct these units. No contribution is too small, no fact too obscure, equipment, armament, manpower strength, high award holders, biographical information, photographs or combat reports, everything is welcome, just remember to mention the source of your information.

This thread is dedicated to information on Schwerer Kreuzer Prinz Eugen.

/Marcus
Last edited by Marcus on 01 Jan 2004 13:20, edited 2 times in total.

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 18 Oct 2003 13:39

An interesting piece of trivia: Schwerer Kreuzer Prinz Eugen took the tradition of the Austro-Hungarian Navy by an order dated 12 June 1940 and was permitted to fly the War flag of Austro-Hungary, though this only happened once due to the war.

/Marcus

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Post by varjag » 22 Oct 2003 11:07

some more trivia; after the Anschluss of Austria in 1938 it was decided that a ship of the new German navy, should carry a name of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, defunct since 1918. It was decided to name the new cruiser ADMIRAL TEGETTHOFF. The surviving Fleet Admiral of the Austro-Hungarian Navy and then Regent of Hungary, Admiral Nicolas Horthy, discreetly pointed out to the Germans that TEGETTHOFF might not go down too well with their new bosom-buddies, Mussolini and the Italians, as Admiral Tegetthoff had inflicted a stinging defeat on the Italian Navy under Count Persano at Lissa in 1866. So the name was changed to PRINZ EUGEN (of Savoy) who had fought the Turks some hundreds of years earlier and was s.t.s. 'neutral' in 1938. Anyway - at the launching of the PRINZ EUGEN on 22nd August, 1938 - the lady that swung the champagne-bottle onto her bows - was none other than Magda von Horthy, the Hungarian regents wife.

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Post by varjag » 24 Oct 2003 11:34

Prinz Eugen's commanding officers from her commissioning into the Kriegsmarine on 1.8.40 were;

1. 8. 40 - 4. 8. 42 Helmuth Brinkmann
8. 9. 42 - 28. 2. 43 Hans Eric Voss
28. 2.43 - 5. 1. 44 Werner Erhardt
5. 1.44 - 8.5. 45 Hans Reinicke

They all held the of Captains (Kapitän zur See)
Brinkmann and Voss were promoted to Rear-Admirals (Konteradmiral), Voss was in the Bunker entourage in April 1945 and said to have been the man that told the Russians, the Hitler look-alike corps found in a fire-cistern in the Reichskanzlei-gardens - was definitely NOT Hitlers. Erhardt was a Training officer, reflecting the cruisers relegation to training duties in the Baltic for all of 1943 and early 1944. With Capt. Reinicke - she again became a fighting ship performing mostly against the Russians in an artillery support role until she sailed into Copenhagen on Hitlers birthday, April 20th 1945, which ended her war.

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Post by Andy H » 26 Oct 2003 20:50

Whilst fitting out in July 1940 she was hit by several aerial bombs, and then hit a magnetic whilst going through working up trials with Bismarck.

After the sinking of Bismarck, she returned to Brest due to machinery problems and again was hit by several bombs on July 2nd 1941 which caused severe internal damage.

She remained in Brest till the famous Channel Dash (Op Cerberus) of Feb'42, which saw her head home to Germany and then onto Norway. Whilst heading for Norway she was torpedoed by HMS Trident, which caused her to lose part of her stern. Makeshift repairs were undertaken in Trondhiem before heading for Kiel, which she reached on Feb 18th.

She was finally repaired in the October and twice unsuccessfully tried to make her way to Norway, but then moved into the Baltic for the rest of the war. Firstly as a training ship, then as the Russian army advanced westwards she bombarded enemy shore posistions, operating as part of 2nd Task Force. She surrendered in Copenhagen in May 1945, handed over to the USA in 1946 and used on the Bikini atoll atomic bomb trials, finally foundering on December 22nd 1946.

Info from Cruisers of WW2 by M.J.Whitley

Andy H

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Xavier
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x

Post by Xavier » 26 Oct 2003 20:58

well:

this site is dedicated almost entirely to the Prinz Eugen, with a link to the actual resting place of the wreck (with pics)

most forum members know the site, but is worth mentioning.

http://www.prinzeugen.com (as yet unfinished, but lots of photos)

best regards

Xavier
the (isn't obvious?) link scrounger

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Post by varjag » 30 Oct 2003 11:55

After the PRINZ EUGEN's return to fighting status in 1944, her first assignment was fire-support for the desperatly fighting German armies, trying to hold back the Russians in Latvia. On 20.8.44 she slipped into Riga Bay and unleashed her fire-power on Soviet forces in the town of Tukkum, west of Riga. It was the first time the PRINZ EUGEN had fired at land-targets and all her three Arado 196's were 'catapulted' to provide artillery observation. Appearently this was also a 'first' for the army - in discovering the devastating effect of well-aimed naval artillery. Something as we shall see, made the army increasingly plead for naval fire-support as the fronts where pushed towards the Baltic coast. She fired several salvoes from 8 o'clock in the morning and 'resumed the bombardment' two hours later.Afternoon the following day 21.8. - she was back at Gotenhafen.
On September 14-18th we find her in the eastern entrance to the Gulf of Finland, acting as support for the ill-fated light flotilla, sent on Hitlers orders, to capture the island of Hogland in that gulf, from the Finns. But also to provide a backing for German shipping, hastily escaping the Gulf of Bothnia from the Finnish port of Kemi - after the Finnish signing of surrender terms with the Soviets.
11.10.44 PRINZ EUGEN with LÜTZOW and seven destroyers/torpedo boats, the force now dubbed Kampfgruppe Thiele after it's commanding Vice-Admiral, sailed for Memel to assist in the defence of Köningsberg. On 11-12/10 and resumed 14-15/10 after a quick call at Gotenhafen, PRINZ EUGEN bombarded the Soviet assault on Memel - one might say, energetically. Her total expenditure of 8" (20,3Cm) ammunition was a phenomenal 1196 rounds! That amounts to a full 150 broadsides - which speaks for itself. Late evening on the 15th, returning to Gotenhafen in patchy fog and near zero visibility conditions, east of the Hela peninsula, the PRINZ EUGEN collided square on, with the port side of the stationary Light Cruiser LEIPZIG and, despite her own low speed, almost cut LEIPZIG in two. Only frantic pumping of the badly damaged and leaking LEIPZIG by desperatly called tug-boats, saved the light cruiser and it was a full 14 hours before the PRINZ EUGEN could 'disconnect'. The damages to the P/E were serious but not devastating and she made her own way to Gotenhafen. A lot has been made in various accounts of the fantastic speed with which she was repaired. Obviously an 'old boys network' sprang into action. The shipyard C.O. at Gotenhafen, had helped design the PRINZ EUGEN, his son had been killed onboard her in Brest during a British bomb-attack so he pulled out all stops. She was Admiral Thiele's flagship - whatever and despite Germanys rapidly shrinking resources at this time - the 'impossible' was done and the PRINZ EUGEN put to sea again on 13.11.44. One might add, that the 'secrecy' that seems to have surrounded the speedy repairs to the PRINZ EUGEN, may not have been entirely unrelated to Admiral Thiele's and the ship's commands desire to keep some of the sordid details of the collision as far away from the German Naval High Command as possible - something that the flagship's speedy return to the fleet would have made easier. As for the LEIPZIG she had been a lame duck since being torpedoed in 1939 - and was of less importance.

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Post by varjag » 05 Nov 2003 05:24

On Nov. 19th, 1944 - the PRINZ EUGEN provided fire-support for German troops retreating south on the narrow Sworbe peninsula on the island of Ösel (present day Estonia). In three fire-missions during the day she expended 514 rounds of 8" (some 64 broadsides) as well as some 200 rds of 4,1" AA amunition as the last bombardment was close enough to the coast for the AA to take part. She withdrew 'because of shortage of ammunition'. Sworbe was evacuated the night 23/24 November. By this time the sleeves in her heavy gunbarrels were near their use-by date. (Appearently they were the 'originals' from 1940.) During December this major refit was undertaken in Gotenhafen.Surprisingly, given Germany's dire straits at this time - the job was finished in little more than a fortnight.
Between 29.1. and 31.1.45 we find her in battle again. This time bombarding the Soviet advance on Samland peninsula, east of Königsberg in protection of the masses of refugees that were trying to escape the Russians, by way of small craft from the icy shores between Cranz and Brüsterort - to the evacuation fleet standing bye offshore. Again - her ammo use was prolific - 871 rounds of 8" equalling more than 100 broadsides and she again returned with empty magazines. By this time supplies of ammunition for her 8-inch guns was running so low she was withdrawn from further fire-support missions until quantities of such ammo, held in Norway could be shipped to Germany.

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Post by Letland » 06 Nov 2003 00:21

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
The Prinz Eugen's Main Weapon Specifications Include:
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

  • Designation 20.3cm (8") SK.C/34 in Drehturm T.L/C/34
    Mechanism Electric training, hydraulic elevation
    Turret Weight A & D Turrets: 249 tons; B & C Turrets: 262 tons
    Armor Front 160mm; Sides 70mm; Top 70mm; Rear 90mm (A & D) 60 mm (B & C)
    Elevation/Depression +37/-10 degrees
    Rate of Fire 4 - 5rpg/min (loading at 3 degrees elevation only)
    Muzzle Velocity 925 m/s
    Shell Weight 122 kg (269 lbs)
    Maximum Range 33,500 meters
    Ammunition Approximately 320 HE shell with nose fuze; 320 HE with end fuze; 320 AP; 60 rounds star shell
    Approximate Barrel Life 300 - 500 rounds
    Service On Board Continuous
    Number 8 guns in four turrets
Image



Image Source - Military Art Image Homepage @ http://www.military-art.com/

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Post by varjag » 07 Nov 2003 11:45

March 10th, 1945 and PRINZ EUGEN is at immediate readiness, at anchor in the roads at Gotenhafen. She now belongs to Kampfgruppe Rogge after it's commander, Vize-Adm. Rogge. (Q: Is this the same B. Rogge that was the CO of the raider ATLANTIS, sunk in 1941?) On 11/12th of March she doesn't have to go far to find battle - only a few knots to assist in the defence of Danzig, now under relentless pressure by Soviet armies. Her targets still lie east of Danzig near the towns of Tiegenhoff and Ladekopp. The next day, 13.3. the crisis has shifted to the south-west of Danzig and Zoppot where she bombards road-junctions, troop-concentrations and assembly areas...the army's wish-list is endless. These days the PRINZ EUGEN also suffers the first Soviet air-attacks, both by bombers and strafing fighters. A crew member is killed on the 26th by aicraft MG-fire. Gotenhafen is lost to the Russians on the 28th and the following day she targets advancing Russians in Danzig itself. The town falls on the 30th. All that remains is a small bridgehead on the Oxhöft meadows on the left bank of Vistula and Hela peninsula - crowded with thousands of wounded and civilian refugees that the Germans are trying to evacuate on anything that will float. On the 31st she is hit by Soviet rocket-projectiles from attacking aircraft that kills nine crew and wounds several others. On the 4th of April the cruiser fires off her LAST 40 8-INCH ROUNDS in the evening. The evacuations continue, this is a German Dunkirk - but the naval units, incl. our cruiser are ordered to stay on and provide FLAK-cover for the evacualtion fleet. This forces PRINZ EUGEN so close inshore that she even suffers hits from Red Army artillery - she looses another 12 crew to splinters, near misses and machine-gunning fighters. On the 8th of April the last man to die on the cruiser, CPO Botterbusch -is killed in 'a three-hour machine-gun attack' by Soviet fighterplanes.
Somewhat surprising - there are no reports of any Soviet aircraft shot down by her AA during these March and April days - despite the numerous targets presented to her AA. On the 10th of April PRINZ EUGEN is ordered west and leaves the battlefield. During those last 26 days of her deployment she has fired an unbelievable 4871 8-inch rounds on 210 targets and 2644 4-inch rounds on 100 targets which is ample testimony to the ferocity of the battle. (She must have replenished her ammo supply at least 3-4 times, though I don't know where and when) Calling first at Swinemünde, then Sassnitz, where her Capt. Reinicke is decorated with the Knights Cross, she arrives in the Danish capital, Copenhagen on Hitlers birthday, 20th of April and ties up to join the light cruiser NÜRNBERG. These two, PRINZ EUGEN and NÜRNBERG are the last two remaining big ships of the once proud Kriegsmarine.
One is entitled to ask why the trip from the Hela to Copenhagen, even including the calls at Swinemünde and Sassnitz took a full ten days, when,under normal circumstances it would have been an easy days steaming. On May 7th a signal was received from Adm. Dönitz that her colours were to be struck on that day and at 16.oo hours (4PM) the swastika war-flag was hauled down for the last time. PRINZ EUGEN's war was over.

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Post by varjag » 09 Nov 2003 12:23

On the 8th of May PRINZ EUGEN was handed over to the British who were already in Copenhagen. Liason officers from the Royal Navy came onboard but seem to have left the running of the ship to the Germans. Admiral Holt, in charge of R.N. affairs in Denmark gallantly ordered that officers and warrant officers were to be allowed to keep their swords, presumably the same order also covered the same ranks in the NÜRNBERG and perhaps other Kriegsmarine ships (minsweepers etc.) then in Copenhagen. The cruiser was de-ammunitioned in the next days. Most contemporary pictures of both PRINZ EUGEN and NÜRNBERG shows aspects of this process. The picture texts commented mainly on the absence of the hated swastika-flags on the ships. Yet there was little public gawking - the quaysides were tightly cordoned off and guarded by German sailors with steel helmets and rifles. Of some note are the pictures of the PRINZ EUGEN's moored port side, taken after May 8th in Copenhagen. Given her logbook entries in March and April of repeated and heavy air-attacks by Russian aircraft - one would have expected her hull and upperworks to show - if not a Swiss cheese appearence,at least signs of blisters from Mg and cannon-fire. Surprisingly - the pictures show no such damage evident. (I can't believe that Soviet pilots were totally focussed on her starboard side...) Could those 'wasted days' between Hela and Copenhagen have been used to repair and spruce her up to show the stiff upper lip?
On the 26th of and still under the command of Capt. Reinicke, the PRINZ EUGEN left Copenhagen with the NÜRNBERG for Wilhelmshafen. What flag, if any, she flew then I do not know. But she was 'escorted' by the RN cruisers HMS DIDO and DEVONSHIRE with attendant destroyers. When they arrived on the 28th of May 1945 outside the Jade and the British force detached, DIDO's Captain flashed a signal to PRINZ EUGEN;

"Captain to Captain - May we meet again in happier circumstances"


Most of the narrative in above posts about the PRINZ EUGEN, but including occasional comments of my own, were taken from the book
'Prinz Eugen'(Futura, 1975) by Fritz-Otto Busch. The author was a naval officer, Editor of the journal 'Der Kriegsmarine' and served as an observer on the PRINZ EUGEN during the Rheinübung Operation with the Bismarck 1941. It would appear that his book is largely based on close study of the Prinz Eugen's war-log.

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Post by Peter » 14 Dec 2003 14:24

I see that somebody has posted the names of the Captains, so here are the other senior officers:


First Officer

F.Kapt. Otto Stooss Aug 40 – Jul 41
F.Kapt. Bodo-Heinr.Knoke (temp) Dec 40 – Feb 41
None
F.Kapt. Karl Heinz Neubauer Oct 41 – Jan 43
K.Kapt. Wilhelm Beck (temp) Jul 42 – Sep 42
Kapt z.S. Wilhelm Beck Jan 43 – Oct 44
F.Kapt. Bernhard Busse Oct 44 – May 45


Navigation Officer

K.Kapt. Wilhelm Beck Aug 40 – Jan 43
F.Kapt. Hans-Eberhard Busch Feb 43 – Mar 43
K.Kapt. Oscar Brödermann Apr 43 – Jun 43
K.Kapt. Frhr v.d.Recke Jun 43 – Oct 43
K.Kapt. Hansfrieder Rost Oct 43 – Jun 44
K.Kapt. Heinr. Bredemeier Jun 44 – Oct 44
F.Kapt. Hans v. Salisch Oct 44 – Jan 45
Oblt z.S. Graf Saurma-Jeltsch Jan 45 – Mar 45 (temp)
K.Kapt. Wilhelm Wolf Mar 45 – May 45


Senior Gunnery Officer

K.Kapt. Paul Jasper Aug 40 – Jul 42
K.Kapt. Alfred Gohrbrandt Aug 42 – Mar 43
K.Kapt. Paul Schmalenbach Mar 43 – May 45


Chief Engineering Officer

F.Kapt. Walter Graser Aug 40 – Apr 42
K.Kapt. Karlheinz Kurschat Apr 42 – Nov 43
K.Kapt. Guenter Hielscher Nov 43 – May 45.


_____________________
The Last member of her crew killed aboard ship was

Heinrich Botterbusch
Oberbootsmannsmaat
Born 21 Feb 1920 Löhne
Killed 8 Apr 1945
Buried at War Cemetery Kamminke-Auf dem Golm (Germany) .
Grave 1333

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Re: Let's Build: Schwerer Kreuzer Prinz Eugen

Post by NASAFAN101 » 04 Mar 2009 03:25

Guys,
On the the morning Bismarck got sank, Did PE's Commander Helmuth Brinkmann Ever hear about the lost of his friend Ernst Lindemann? and When would he get the news? Or Would they have waited to say
it when he fgot back to Brest?
Nikki

varjag
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Re: Let's Build: Schwerer Kreuzer Prinz Eugen

Post by varjag » 04 Mar 2009 20:20

NASAFAN101 wrote:Guys,
On the the morning Bismarck got sank, Did PE's Commander Helmuth Brinkmann Ever hear about the lost of his friend Ernst Lindemann? and When would he get the news? Or Would they have waited to say
it when he fgot back to Brest?
Nikki
Officers of the P/E were kept 'in the picture' of what happened to Bismarck. Within an hour or two after her sinking they were aware of this. Regards CO and crew of Bismarck, they could have had few illusions - the British were 'out for blood' and they knew it. Varjag

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NASAFAN101
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Re: Let's Build: Schwerer Kreuzer Prinz Eugen

Post by NASAFAN101 » 04 Mar 2009 22:38

varjag,
Did Helmuth and Ernst, ever radio eachother to say good-bye and all that?
NIKKI

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