German Zerstörers in Narvik 1940

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Gauntlet
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German Zerstörers in Narvik 1940

Post by Gauntlet » 11 Dec 2005 01:58

So.

Basicly, I need a little help from you experts.

I have two main questions:

1.) Do any of you guys have pictures of all the Kriegsmarine captains/commanders involved?

Overall zerstörer operation commander:
Commodore Friedrich Bonte

1st Zerstörer Flotilla commander:
FK Fritz Berger

3rd Zerstörer Flotilla commander:
FK H.-J. Gadow

Z2 "Georg Thiele":
KK Max-Ekkart Wolf

Z9 "Wolfgang Zenker":
FK Gottfried Pönitz

Z11 "Bernd von Arnim":
KK Kurt Rechel

Z12 "Erich Giese":
KK Karl Smidt

Z13 "Erich Koellner":
FK Alfred Schulze-Hinrichs

Z17 "Diether von Roeder":
KK Erich Holthof

Z18 "Hans Lüdemann":
KK Herbert Friedrichs

Z19 "Hermann Künne":
KK Friedrich Kothe

Z21 "Wilhelm Heidkamp":
KK Hans Erdmenger

Z22 "Anton Schmidt":
? ? ?

2.) Which ships belonged to which flottila?



In advance, thanks.
- Eirik

Ron Klages
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Some Data

Post by Ron Klages » 12 Dec 2005 22:20

Eirik,

No pictures but here is what I have on the structure of the Narvik Force:

Gruppe I [Narvik]

KzS Friedrich Bonte

Z-2 “George Thiele” KK Max-Eckart Wolff
Z-9 “Wolfgang Zenker” FK Gottfried Pönitz
Z-11 “Bernd von Arnim” KK Kurt Rechel
Z-12 “Erich Giese” KK Karl Schmidt
Z-13 “Erich Koellner” KKAlfred Schulze-Hinrichs
Z-17 “Diether von Roeder” KK Erich Holtorf
Z-18 “Han Lüdemann” KK Herbert Friedrich
Z-19 “Hermann Künne” KK Friedrich Kothe
Z-21 “Wilhelm Heidkamp” KK Hans Erdmenger
Z-22 “Anton Schmitt” KK Friedrich Böhme

This gruppe was to sail at midnight on 6 April for Narvik with Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 139 with three battalions [about 2,000 men]. Two battle ships, the Gneisenau and the Scharnhorst, were to escort the group until it was off Namsos late on 8 April at which point the battleships would turn northwards to create a diversion.

On the morning of 7 April, Hudsons from RAF Coastal Command spotted German ships sailing north and that afternoon 12 Blenheims of No. 107 Wing spotted the ships 80 miles south of Cape Lindesnes and they attacked the convoy with no success. At about 0900 hours on the morning of 8 April the British destroyer Glowworm came across Z-11 “Bernd von Arnim” and the German destroyed attempted to engage the British destroyer but the seas were to rough. The Admiral Hipper was called in and it soon sunk the Glowworm with only 31 survivors being picked up by the Hipper.

On 9 April in the early morning hours the Narvik Gruppe sailed up the Ofotfjord with nine destroyers [Z-12 “Erich Giese” was 3 hours late because of damage suffered in the heavy seas.

Z-17 “Diether von Roeder”, Z-18 “Han Lüdemann” and Z-22 “Anton Schmitt” landed troops at Ramnes, 30 kilometers west of Narvik, to capture Norwegian batteries that quickly proved not to exist.

Z-9 “Wolfgang Zenker”, Z-13 “Erich Koellner” and Z-19 “Hermann Künne” sailed up the Herjangen fjord to land troops at Bjerkvik, 10 kilometers north of Narvik, to take the Norwegian army depot at Elvegardsmoen.

Z-2 “George Thiele”, Z-11 “Bernd von Arnim” and Z-21 “Wilhelm Heidkamp” headed for Narvik. At about 0415 hours, in a squally snowstorm, the squadron came across the Norwegian ironclad Eidsvold at the entrance to the harbor. In the leading Z-21 “Wilhelm Heidkamp” KzS Bonte lowered a small boat and sent an officer across to explain that the Germans were coming to Norway as friends to protect the Norwegians against the British. The German officer returned to his ship and the Norwegen Captain Odd sachsen Willoch called to his superior, Captain Petter Askim, on board Norge, the second Norwegian ironclad at Narvik. As Askim ordered Willoch to open fire, the German envoy was called back whereupon Willoch told him that he had orders to resist. The german departed again and Captain Willoch ordered the port side battery to open fire but, before he could do so, the Eidsvold was hit by three torpedoes from Z-21 “Wilhelm Heidkamp”. She quickley broke up into two pieces and sank and only six survivors could be rescued.

Then at 0440 hours the Norge spotted the other two German destroyers calmly tying up amidst the other ships moored in the harbor and quickly opened fire with her 210mm and 150mm guns. Z-11 “Bernd von Arnim” returned with a series of torpedoes and two of them found the Norge which listed and went down in less than a minute. Ninety of the crew were saved.

Soon the Gebirgsjäger jumped ashore and the surprised Norwegian garrison offered no resistence. At 0615 hours Narvik was surrendered to the Germans and only one battalion of Norwegian troops, about 250 men, escaped eastward amidst the confusion.

Gruppe Narvik was scheduled to sail back to Germany on the evening of 10 April but the Norwegian patrol boat Nordkapp had intercepted the German tanker Kattegat at the entrance to the Ofotfjord and the German captain had scuttled the tanker resulting in no fuel to refill the 10 destroyers.

On the evening on 9 April destroyers Z-21, Z-18, Z-22, Z-17 and Z-19 moored for the night in the Narvik harbor while Z-9, Z-19 and Z-12 went to Bjerkvik at the head of Herjangen fjord, 10 kilometers north of Narvik. The remaining two destroyers, Z-2 and Z-11 went to Ballengen bay on the south side of the Ofotfjord, 25 kilometers west of Narvik.

Early the following morning, 10 April five British destoyers steamed out of the morning mist into Ofotfjord and caught the destroyers moored there offguard. Z-22 was sunk and Z-17 and Z-21 were seriously damaged and sinking. KzS Bonte yhad been killed on board. The British lost the destroyer Hunter and the destroyer Hardy had to be grounded.

On 13 April a strong British force of the battleship Warspite and nine destroyers had entered the Ofotfjord to engage the remaining seven German destroyers. Z-12 and Z-13 were sunk and Z-18 was struck by a torpedo. The remaining German destroyers lacking fuel were scuttled by their crews and went ashore to continue to fight as infantry with the Gebirgsjäger.

That about covers a brief description of the ten German destroyers in their fights for Narvik. I do not have any photos and I do not have info on the assignment of the destroyers to which flotilla. In fact my source only notes that the 10 destroyers were from the 1. Zerstörer-Flotille [FK Fritz Berger] and the 4. Zerstörer-Flotille.

Best regards,

Ron Klages

Source:

The magazine After the Battle Number 126

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 13 Dec 2005 02:14

Ron Klages posting on a Kriegsmarine subject? I've seen everything now..... :D

Best,
David

Simon Orchard
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Post by Simon Orchard » 15 Dec 2005 20:26

This is what i've come up with during my own research. As you can see the flottillas were not complete at Narvik, the 3rd for example was missing Z-20 'Karl Galster'

Commander: Kommodore Friedrich Bonte
Z-21 ”Wilhelm Heidkamp” – Korvettenkapitän Erdmenger – Bonte’s command ship

1 Zerstörer Flotille – Fregattenkapitän Fritz Berger
Z-2 ”Georg Thiele” – Korvettenkapitän Wolff

3 Zerstörer Flottille – Fregattenkapitän Hans Joachim Gadow
Z-18 ”Hans Lüdemann” – Korvettenkapitän Friedrichs
Z-22 ”Anton Schmitt” – Korvettenkapitän Böhme
Z-17 ”Dieter von Roeder” – Korvettenkapitän Hottorf
Z-19 ”Hermann Künne” - Korvettenkapitän Kothe

4 Zerstörer Flottille – Fregattenkapitän Erich Bey
Z-9 ”Wolfgang Zenker” – Fregattenkapitän Ponitz
Z-12 ”Erich Giese” – Korvettenkapitän Smidt
Z-13 ”Erich Koellner” – Fregattenkapitän Schulze-Hinrichs
Z-11 ”Bernd von Arnim” – Korvettenkapitän Rechel


Out of interest, here is Gadow's promotion document to Fregattenkapitän


Image

an example of his signature on an EKII doc and in the position he held at Narvik after he'd lost his ships

Image

Also an example of Berger's signature whilst commander of Marine Regiment 'Berger', the position he held after losing his ships.
Image

All documents are from my collection.


**forgot to mention. Bey, Erdmenger, Berger, Bonte and Wolff all received the Knight's Cross for their actions at Narvik

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 15 Dec 2005 22:40

All documents are from my collection.
Thats some real goodies you got there Simon!
Thanks for sharing :)

Erik

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Xavier
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Post by Xavier » 15 Dec 2005 23:11

a somewhat related stuff
a Z2 Georg Thiele crewman album:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... %3AIT&rd=1
regards
Xavier
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Balsi
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Post by Balsi » 10 Nov 2006 08:17

Fritz Berger
Image

varjag
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Post by varjag » 10 Nov 2006 12:05

O/T I know - but this is a private photo - taken of one of the wrecked German destroyers at Narvik in April 1940...any clue to which one it is? Varjag
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Post by Simon Orchard » 10 Nov 2006 15:51

varjag wrote:O/T I know - but this is a private photo - taken of one of the wrecked German destroyers at Narvik in April 1940...any clue to which one it is? Varjag
That's Hermann Künne

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Post by varjag » 10 Nov 2006 21:46

Simon Orchard wrote:
varjag wrote:O/T I know - but this is a private photo - taken of one of the wrecked German destroyers at Narvik in April 1940...any clue to which one it is? Varjag
That's Hermann Künne
Thank you Simon! Varjag

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AxisWolf
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Re: German Zerstörers in Narvik 1940

Post by AxisWolf » 07 Apr 2012 05:16

In memory of Zerstörer Hermann Künne's April 6th departure from Germany with Korvettenkapitän Friedrich Kothe and father aboard 72 years ago...
Complement-323 officers and men.
Are ship's crew names?/records still available?
Fate: beached on 13.04.1940
Three April 6th timeline/co-incidents? by plan?
95 years ago=>
President Wilson called for war on Germany,[101] which the U.S. Congress declared on 6 April 1917.
72 years ago=>
This gruppe was to sail at midnight on 6 April 1940 for Narvik with Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 139 with three battalions [about 2,000 men].
TODAY. Friday, April 6, 2012 - Easter's Good Friday.

Enjoy links. Wikipedia Norwegian Bokmal language version can be Google Chrome browser page translated into English.
http://dykkepedia.com/wiki/Hermann_Kunne
One newsreel of Operation Weserübung=>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d_S1IFy ... r_embedded
Click 'Show more' below film to expand large history of YOUTUBE '1940 2nd Naval Battle at Narvik'; select 'All Comments (39)'.

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tigre
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Re: German Zerstörers in Narvik 1940

Post by tigre » 17 Oct 2015 18:18

Hello to all :D; a little complement............................

Destroyer Z-22 "Anton Schmitt" (die untergang).

Fragment of the letter sent to the wife of a sailor killed in action by kplt. Gerhart von Diest.

"Your man, Steward Martin Mende, on April 10, 1940 due to the sinking of our destroyer found a heroic death for our leader and country ....... The destroyer was hit by two enemy torpedoes and sank in few minutes............... Your man's body was found some days later at the beach together with that of several other comrades and was buried here in the cemetery of Narvik. A Norwegian priest gave the ceremony in German and General Dietl spoke before the graves. "

The destroyer had the taktische Kennung 41 (tactical identification 41)

Source: http://www.ebay.de/itm/Foto-Brief-Narvi ... 23484fb575

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Erred riches
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Re: German Zerstörers in Narvik 1940

Post by Erred riches » 31 Jan 2016 20:18

If you are still searching for photos of personnel of that battle, I a have couple of photos of the Captain of the Z 18 Hans Lüdemann destroyer Herbert Friedrichs. He was my paternal grandfather
Last edited by Dieter Zinke on 31 Jan 2016 23:38, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Lüdemann - not Ludeman !

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tigre
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Re: German Zerstörers in Narvik 1940

Post by tigre » 25 Mar 2016 14:50

Hello to all :D; a little complement............................

German Destroyers in Narvik.

Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-758-0056-35 / Ehlert, Max / CC-BY-SA

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
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Reader+Writer
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Re: German Zerstörers in Narvik 1940

Post by Reader+Writer » 20 Aug 2016 09:02

Erred riches wrote:If you are still searching for photos of personnel of that battle, I a have couple of photos of the Captain of the Z 18 Hans Lüdemann destroyer Herbert Friedrichs. He was my paternal grandfather
That is so cool! I have been looking just about all over online for as much as possible on KKpt. Herbert Friedrichs. So far what I have been able to glean has been very minimal. For instance, I understand he provided excerpts of his journals to some WWII authors. And I also read somewhere that he chose not to captain another vessel. I am very curious about Kapitan zur See Herbert Friedrichs, so I'm hoping you can tell me a bit more about his biography -- e.g. his formative years and what else he did after the scuttling of the Hans Ludemann and what his personal interests were -- kind of like in the style of Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica biographical entries. I have not been able to find any biographical reference (nothing on Wikipedia, for instance), so if you can provide me with a biography of Kapitan zur See Herbert Friedrichs, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much.

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