German Merchant shipping?

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Kriegsmarine except those dealing with the U-Boat forces.
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Bronsky
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Post by Bronsky » 03 Jan 2006 09:05

Paul Lakowski wrote:Your probably right, I was just trying to image what the cost of adding a second hull, if that hull was made of copper??? Have you or any one heard anything to confirm that? I do recall that each auxiliary cruiser cost only 200,000 RM and took ~ 6 months to convert.Given that even one of their pukie 'torpedoboot 35/37' cost 8-9 MRm & 3 years to build , I think I know where I would have spent my money and resources.
I don't know anything specific about these particular vessels, saw them mentioned in a couple of sources but don't have a detailed source on their construction.

What I wanted to point out regarding cost was:

1. You mentioned 2,500 tons of copper and cork, which isn't the same as 2,500 tons of copper, let alone an outer hull made entirely of copper (yes, I know, copper is far heavier than cork). That would be expensive, but if we're talking about an outer hull made primarily of cork with some copper grid for the electromagnet then it looks more affordable.

2. The reason why such conversions weren't as expensive as they look is that the merchant ship itself is a sunk cost, if you'll forgive the pun.

seadog86
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by seadog86 » 23 Aug 2009 05:34

Most cargo in the Baltic bound for Germany rode on Swedish bottoms, and this was a huge source of consternation for the British during the war, as their intelligence services knew the cargoes were German-owned and German-bound, but they were unwilling to sink these ships because Sweden was an extremely important staging ground for British clandestine operations inside Germany itself, and did not want to do ANYTHING to potentially draw Sweden in on the Axis side.
Another interesting footnote, this one on Danish merchant vessels. During the thirties, A.P. Moller, the owner of Moller Shipping Ltd.(now A.P. Moller/Maersk and its US subsidiary Maersk Line Limited) foresaw the rise of Adolf Hitler and the expansion of Germany through WW2, and had sealed orders placed in the captain's safes on all Moller vessels. These orders, to be opened only in case of war, stated to the ship's master that if his vessel was at sea upon outbreak of war, he was not to return to Denmark or any other European port, but was instead to steam to New York, turn over the vessel to the care of Moller's branch offices there, who in turn would hand the vessel over to the U.S. War Shipping Administration.

varjag
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by varjag » 23 Aug 2009 12:40

Most cargo in the Baltic bound for Germany rode on Swedish bottoms,
I'm not certain that's quite true....there were plenty of German, Danish and Finnish ships also involved in Blatic trade.
Besides - how could the Swedish shipowners just ''lay up'' their ships - most of the cargoes were paid for by Germany :roll:
but they were unwilling to sink these ships because Sweden
In the Baltic they couldn't - apart from mining....once exposed west of the Kiel Canal - they did! By mines, aircraft and surface forces. That's' why, for instance the freight rates to ports like Rotterdam and Antwerpen - were very much higher than those to German ports in the Baltic.

my tuppence, Varjag

Freebird
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by Freebird » 01 Mar 2011 22:04

varjag wrote:
but they were unwilling to sink these ships because Sweden
In the Baltic they couldn't - apart from mining....
And mines were the single most effective method of sinking Axis ships
604 ships totalling more than 660,000 tons to mines laid by the RAF/RN
289 ships totalling more than 574,000 tons to air attacks from the RAF's Coastal Command.
104 ships totalling more than 314,000 tons to RN submarines.
86 ships totalling more than 303,000 tons to RN suface ships (including MTB's )
I take that to mean that they wouldn't mine the entrances to Swedish ports.
The RAF did lay mines at night in the Baltic, it's only 900 miles to Stockholm, well within reach of the "Gardeners"

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Polar bear
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by Polar bear » 02 Mar 2011 09:17

hi,
Freebird wrote:And mines were the single most effective method of sinking Axis ships
604 ships totalling more than 660,000 tons to mines laid by the RAF/RN
289 ships totalling more than 574,000 tons to air attacks from the RAF's Coastal Command.
104 ships totalling more than 314,000 tons to RN submarines.
86 ships totalling more than 303,000 tons to RN suface ships (including MTB's )
I would like to emphasize that the term "effective" used by Roskill is to be interpreted correctly as "in comparison to own (RN/RAF) losses" and not just read as "most successful".

greetings, the pb
Peace hath her victories no less renowned than War
(John Milton, the poet, in a letter to the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652)

igorr
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by igorr » 02 Mar 2011 11:09

Is this (604 ships) correct figure? Or maybe this is ALL mincaused losses of Axis ships (french, soviet, norwegian, axis own?) If correct, what is total summary axis losses on mines?

John-Paul DeRosa
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by John-Paul DeRosa » 19 Nov 2012 19:08

My question is only distantly related to this thread but the posts have been so well-informed and friendly that I'll take a shot and hope someone can help. I am trying to figure out what trade there was between the Axis powers and Argentina and Brazil during the Second World War, on either South American or European ships. Can any one give me some pointers on what sources to check? Thank you!

varjag
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by varjag » 25 Nov 2012 22:40

John-Paul DeRosa wrote:My question is only distantly related to this thread but the posts have been so well-informed and friendly that I'll take a shot and hope someone can help. I am trying to figure out what trade there was between the Axis powers and Argentina and Brazil during the Second World War, on either South American or European ships. Can any one give me some pointers on what sources to check? Thank you!
Hi there,

There were quite a number of Blockade-breakers that reached German and French ports in 1939-1941. Most if not all came from Brazilian ports, I cannot off hand recall a single ship that ''made it'' from Argentina. All the ships were Italian or German, there were no south-american keels involved.

This link is written in Swedish - but U may be able to decipher at least something from it's tabular contents....

http://forum.skalman.nu/viewtopic.php?f ... adbrytarna

As for trade in the opposite direction - NIL!

Rgds, Varjag

kgvm
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by kgvm » 28 Nov 2012 23:29

Sorry, Varjag, but that's incorrect.
The liner "Monte Pascoal" left Buenos Aires 09.09.39 and arrived at Hamburg 14.10.39.
"Patagonia" had left Buenos Aires 01.09.39 for Montevideo. After coaling she left Montevideo 15.09.39 and arrived at Narvik 06.11.39. Having loaded iron ore there she left again 10.11.39 to arrive at Hamburg 19.11.39.
"Bahia Laura" left Buenos Aires 09.10.39. In Montevideo she coaled and took some additional cargo. Having left the port 14.10.39 she arrived at Hamburg 05.12.39.
Two other ships, which had left Buenos Aires before the declaration of war by France and Great Britain came home, too:
the "Asuncion" left Buenos Aires 31.08.39 and arrived at Las Palmas 27.09.39. She left there again 10.11.39 and arrived at Hamburg 29.12.39.
the liner "General Artigas" left Buenos Aires 01.09.39 in the afternoon and got to Hamburg 13.10.39.
And there was trade from Germany to South America!
Three German merchant ships left Bordeaux for South America in 1941:
"Hermes" ex "Karnak" (7209 GRT), "Lech" (3290 GRT) and "Natal" ex "Joao Pessoa" (3023 GRT).
"Hermes" left Bordeaux 15.03.41 and arrived at Rio de Janeiro 10.04.41, but she was lost on the return voyage 11.07.41.
"Lech" had left Bordeaux 08.03.41 and arrived at Rio de Janeiro 07.04.41. She was lost on her return voyage, too (28.05.41).
The third vessel was more lucky: having left Bordeaux 26.03.41 "Natal" arrived at Santos 29.04.41. She left Santos again 27.06.41 and got safely to Bordeaux, arriving 31.07.41 off Royan. She made a second voyage to Santos in 1942, but was lost 08.06.42 off Spain - not sure, if it was on the way to South America or the return voyage.

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Urmel
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by Urmel » 29 Nov 2012 09:06

Polar bear wrote:hi,
Freebird wrote:And mines were the single most effective method of sinking Axis ships
604 ships totalling more than 660,000 tons to mines laid by the RAF/RN
289 ships totalling more than 574,000 tons to air attacks from the RAF's Coastal Command.
104 ships totalling more than 314,000 tons to RN submarines.
86 ships totalling more than 303,000 tons to RN suface ships (including MTB's )
I would like to emphasize that the term "effective" used by Roskill is to be interpreted correctly as "in comparison to own (RN/RAF) losses" and not just read as "most successful".

greetings, the pb
The comparison by Freebird, while interesting, really doesn't make a lot of sense to me, since the areas did not overlap that much. Mines were employed in the Baltic Sea because planes, surface ships, and submarines could not reach it. On the other hand, where the other three means could be employed (channel, Mediterranean), they were more successful than mines, I believe. It would be interesting to get this comparison broken down by relative successes by theatre/area of operations (e.g. Med/Norway/Baltic Sea/North Sea/Channel).
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

varjag
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by varjag » 29 Nov 2012 11:51

by kgvm on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:29 pm

Sorry, Varjag, but that's incorrect.
Thank you kgvm, I appreciate every addition to my knowledge about the German blockade-breakers!

Rgds, Varjag

Freebird
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by Freebird » 26 Apr 2013 17:38

Urmel wrote:
Polar bear wrote:hi,
Freebird wrote:And mines were the single most effective method of sinking Axis ships
604 ships totalling more than 660,000 tons to mines laid by the RAF/RN
289 ships totalling more than 574,000 tons to air attacks from the RAF's Coastal Command.
104 ships totalling more than 314,000 tons to RN submarines.
86 ships totalling more than 303,000 tons to RN suface ships (including MTB's )
I would like to emphasize that the term "effective" used by Roskill is to be interpreted correctly as "in comparison to own (RN/RAF) losses" and not just read as "most successful".

greetings, the pb
The comparison by Freebird, while interesting, really doesn't make a lot of sense to me, since the areas did not overlap that much. Mines were employed in the Baltic Sea because planes, surface ships, and submarines could not reach it. On the other hand, where the other three means could be employed (channel, Mediterranean), they were more successful than mines, I believe. It would be interesting to get this comparison broken down by relative successes by theatre/area of operations (e.g. Med/Norway/Baltic Sea/North Sea/Channel).
Indeed, but it should also take into account the relative investment required & losses expected as well.
Dropping mines at night was far less risky than daylight attacks against Axis coastal shipping, as evidenced by the high losses of Blenheims on this type of mission in 1941-1942
The Channel was more difficult because Allied ships used it as well. The effort in the Med was hampered by the reluctance of the RAF to send long range bombers outside of the UK, despite the fact that their effectivness before 1942 was very limited.

varjag
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by varjag » 27 Apr 2013 12:52

Memory flash - :idea:
there were plenty of German, Danish and Finnish ships also involved in Baltic trade
by a veeery young varjag - when he sailed under The Swastika!

My father was a Marine Pilot - in the northern Baltic for the important iron-ore port of Luleå.
It was the summer of 1943, I was seven at the time.
Now to send a seven-year old up the Pilot-ladder of a ship in open sea - would today probably send the father to jail...
she was high as a house....jpg
- but in those days ''climbing the ladder'' - was a rite of passage - if you were the son of a pilot.....
The ship was german, s/s ADOLF BINDER of DDG Hansa -
houseflag.PNG
I remember dad said - ''never look down, just look up...'' - and with him close behind me I slowly saw that railing come closer...
I had no time to figure out how to get over it - a couple of sturdy Matrosen just grabbed under my arms - and before I knew it, I stood on her deck :)
I had been on ships before - but ADOLF BINDER was exciting! They had GUNS! Certainly discreetly shrouded in canvas - but - still real guns.....I was quite free to wander her decks and explore. Passing the galley - a kind cook, offered me
a huge pork-chop straight from the pan, plate fork and knife....speise speise! he said.
There was no way I could eat all of that chop - he seemed very disappointed....
I also remember that the steering, was not the usual wheel - but a console of three buttons. Something I've never seen
after. The helmsman just clicked the buttons for Starboard/Port - and the centre one for Midships.

The pilotage to Luleå was about two hours - when the Pilot-boat came for pickup the Germans had mercifully dropped
their ''accomodation-ladder'', I didn't have to negotiate the Pilot-variety down... :D (much harder)

(s/s ADOLF BINDER struck a mine in the Arctic Ocean near Hammerfest i Norway, November 1944. She was damaged
but did not sink. Towed to Germany and repaired, she was part of German reparations to Belgium in 1946 and became
s/s LIEGE)

...remembers Varjag
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nebelwerferXXX
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Captured Ships

Post by nebelwerferXXX » 01 Jun 2013 03:28

Paul Lakowski wrote:Belgium had 186 ships
French had 110 ships
Dutch 247 ships
Denmark had 118 ships
Italy 88 ships
Finland had 3 listed and Poland also had 3 listed
All were captured by the Germans during the early war years I presumed ?

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LWD
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Re: German Merchant shipping?

Post by LWD » 03 Jun 2013 14:41

Without knowing more about the list I would say that there is little or no reason to presume that.
For instance many Dutch ships continued opeations as allied vessels. Italy was another Axis power so why would the Germans capture them? Indeed I believe many were captured by the allies. Some French ships continued to serve under the Free French and likely some of Belgiumss and Denmark's were either interned in netural ports or were under allied control.

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