Muslim sailors from SS GENERAL on secret mission

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
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Tanzania
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Muslim sailors from SS GENERAL on secret mission

Post by Tanzania » 04 Apr 2013 18:27

Muslim sailors from German S.S. GENERAL (II) on secret mission to Medina in 1915


(BACKGROUND)
The German adventurer Karl Neufeld (1856-1918) was, near the more famous Rudolf Carl Frhr. von Slatin Pasha,
many years imprisoned in Sudan by Abdullāhi bin Sayyid Muhammad Chalīfa during the Mahdiya-uprising of the
80s and 90s in the late 19th century. In spring 1915 Neufeld started a secret propaganda mission to the Hedschas,
commissioned by Dr. Max Curt Prüfer, political adviser and intelligence service agent of the German foreign office.

Image



``At least on paper, Neufeld was a Muslim, and could therefore (unlike Roloff) travel without disguising himself. His
Muslim name was “Shaiykh Abdallah Naufal al-Almani” After 30 years residence in the Sudan Neufeld was thoroughly acquainted with Arab society and Islamic customs, which came in handy when an irate fellow pilgrim suspected him
of being a Christian in Medina. Neufeld´s travelling companions, four Muslim sailors from the German steamer
“General”, the yacht of the German embassy in Istanbul, had rescued him by vouchsafing for his Muslim credentials.”

Source:
Chapter 6: German and Ottoman Propaganda – Case Studies, Part 4, “The prisoner of the Mahdi as Propagandist”
Carl Neufeld, page 172, In: Ottoman and German Propaganda and Intelligence Operations in the First World War,
Tilman Lüdke, Thesis University Oxford 2006.
http://www.lit-verlag.de/isbn/3-8258-8071-0


(All this happen one year before Neufeld´s secret mission in 1916 with Major Frh. Othmar von Stotzingen to reach
as the original objective the Yemen, as a part of the Hejaz Expeditionary Force leaded by Ferik Fahreddin Pasha!)


(Reichspostdampfer (German: Royal Mail Steamer) GENERAL: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 1&t=193287)

Image



Has anybody any idea where I can find the names of these four (German?) sailors from the ship S.S. GENERAL?

Regards Holger
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

Osman Levent
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Re: Muslim sailors from SS GENERAL on secret mission

Post by Osman Levent » 06 Apr 2013 21:57

Tanzania,
Most interesting read about German sailors from General. But if I'm not terribly mistaken the picture of the ship in the Golden Horn might be wrong. Even though it pictures the Golden Horn and the Old Bridge across, the ship in question appears to be S/S Reşîd Paşa; formerly the Port Antonio of the 'Elder Dempster Line' until 1901 and before this date of the 'Imperial West India Mail Service Co.' between 1873 and 1901. Apparently sold to the Ottoman Maritime Agency in July of 1901; was to become stationary in the Golden Horn by April 1911 and used as barracks for navy personnel. Transformed into a Hospital Ship during First World War; Medical services were rendered by Count Fritz von Höhertz, a volunteer working for the Red Cross. The "General" [i.e. the "General II" to be precise] on the other hand, was always kept at anchor off Tarabya on the European side of the Bosphorus.
Best Regards, Osman Levend

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Re: Muslim sailors from SS GENERAL on secret mission

Post by Tanzania » 07 Apr 2013 04:17

Dear Osman,
Many thanks for your professional comments. For my understanding the silhouette of this ship looks like the General.
But yes of course, there were no writen indications that this is the General. The other `proved´ photos from the
General during this time period in Constantinople I haven´t with me, so I took the first aviable photo as a sample.

The photo has been taken from the Zeppelin L59 in 1917 and is a scan from page 41 of the book:
“Afrika zu unseren Füßen, 40.000 km Zeppelin-Kriegsfahrten, Lettow-Vorbeck entgegen“
http://de.scribd.com/doc/122622342/1925 ... egsfahrten

regards Holger
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

Jochen Kruesmann
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Re: Muslim sailors from SS GENERAL on secret mission

Post by Jochen Kruesmann » 14 Apr 2013 16:36

Dear Osman,
I beg your pardon, but the vessel on the photo supplied by Holger is indeed the German steamer GENERAL which was anchored in the Haliç as depot- and barracks vessel for the Ottoman Navy from 14.11.1914 - 17.04.1918. From 18.04.1918 it was used as a transport under German flag in the Black Sea. She was never anchored at Tarabya.
Best regards,
Jochen Krüsmann

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Re: Muslim sailors from SS GENERAL on secret mission

Post by Tanzania » 20 Apr 2013 16:27

One confirmed photo from the S.S. GENERAL (II 1910-1937), but not in Konstantinopel.

Source: Die Deutsche Ost-Afrika Linie 1890-1908, page 32, In: Fünfzig Jahre deutscher Afrikaschiffahrt ,
Dr. K. Brackmann, Berlin 1935
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“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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Re: Muslim sailors from SS GENERAL on secret mission

Post by Tanzania » 21 Apr 2013 09:16

Another photo from S.S. GENERAL (II 1910-1937) but not known location.

Source: Kriegsfahrten Deutscher Handelsschiffe, page 181, Kapitän Carl Herbert, Hamburg 1934
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Re: Muslim sailors from SS GENERAL on secret mission

Post by Jochen Kruesmann » 22 Apr 2013 18:05

Hello Holger,

The last photo send by you was taken in 1918 at Constanza port.

Best wishes.
Jochen

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Re: Muslim sailors from SS GENERAL on secret mission

Post by Tanzania » 24 Apr 2013 04:19

The last photo send by you was taken in 1918 at Constanza port.
Dear Jochen,
Many thanks for the information.


___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Back to the original question about Karl Neufeld and his companions. I found an article and
photo in a German newspaper about him, but without names of the four Sailors. Karl Neufeld
alias Shaiykh Abdallah Naufal al-Almani after his mission to Medinah and return to the German
General Consulate in Constantinople during October 1915. At this time he was nearly 60 years
old, before he started a few months later to his next and last mission to Hedschas and Yemen.

Image
Source: Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, XXIV. Jahrgang, Nr. 47, 21. November 1915, page 2




Neufelds original (War) Travel Diary mentioned many details but not the names of the four Sailors!
Source:
PA / AA, Political Archive of the German Foreign Office in Berlin, Aktionen gegen unsere Feinde in Ägypten
und Indien, Reise Tagebuch Karl Neufeld, File R21141, AZ L268705, Konstantinopel 12th October 1915





Furthermore, I found this notice about a history seminar in Basel / Switzerland; but unfortunately too
late. Karl Neufeld alias Abdallah Naufal al-Almani: From prisoner of Khalifa to agent of the Emperor
Image




My last hope is, some of our Allied Turkish friends have access to other sources?

. . . . . . about the names of the Muslim (German?)companions of Neufeld in spring 1915.
I am sure that Djemal Pascha has confirmed the Names and gave his agreement, before
Neufeld and the four Sailors from the S.S. GENERAL entered Medinah on 12th July 1915

Very best regards
Holger Kotthaus



P.S.: If somebody is interested about more background information:

A prisoner of the khaleefa; twelve years' captivity at Omdurman 1899
http://archive.org/details/prisonerofkhalee00neufuoft

Charles Neufeld´s story, in The New York Times from 28th October 1899
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-fr ... 5B8985F0D3
“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. . . . All History was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary” – G. ORWELL 1984

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