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German Naval Battle Scene with a Surprise

Discussion in 'Art of War' started by Jba45ww2, May 10, 2019.

  1. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Active Member Patron  

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    A friend of mine who ran a small antique store called me one time telling me a veterans family just sold him a naval painting that was brought back by their father. It was a small painting and he knew I collected so asked if I was interested so of course I said yes. It came in a small wooden frame and for years just hung on my wall with some other Kriegsmarine items. I decided that I wanted to reframe it and protect the work better. As I was taking the back apart under multiple layers of carboard I found an award document. It was hidden for all those years and I assume the original family in Germany had also hidden it to protect it. I guess you never know what you will find until you open things up. It now is protected properly under museum grade glass. The document is pretty worn but is a great story that comes with the picture
    art1.JPG
    art7.JPG art8.JPG art9.JPG art10.JPG
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Very interesting.
    I'm trying to ID the flags and not having an easy time of it.
     
  3. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Active Member Patron  

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    Not sure if this makes it any better.
    flg2.JPG
    flg1.JPG
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That's the Imperial War Ensign. According to Wiki only flown on the Anniversary of Jutland.

    I was also wondering about the red flag with the orange X on the ship in the foreground. I was thinking a signal flag but colors don't quite match up with anything.

    There's also some signal flags on the ship flying the Imperial War Ensign. Can't quite make them out either. Any idea what ships ae suppose to be represented of what action?

    If I had to guess I's say a Konigsberg class light cruiser and another in the background. See:
    Königsberg class cruisers - naval encyclopedia

    *** edit for ***
    After reading the battle histories of that class on the link above Norway would seem to be the only time 2 of them were operating together.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  5. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Active Member Patron  

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    Just read Battle of Jutland on Wiki and found very interesting and detailed. Also going back to take a closer look at the signal flags.
     
  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that the document and print have nothing to do with one another. The print appears to depict Hartog's (Scheer was on TB G-39 and was out of command) Todesfahrt at Jutland. The document is the "Property of the Machine Gun Training Company of the Replacement & Training Battalion 451" and is the "[something, can't quite make it out] Equipment Directory for Company-owned Equipment", signed by the company leader, who was a 1st lieutenant and the company first sergeant at Fulda on 1 September 1944.
     
  7. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    My congratulations on finding what is apparently a period painting of some note by a credible artist. I am glad it is in the hands of a Kriegsmarine collector who clearly knows how to care for it. I appreciate the photography that increases the detail. Researching the scene shown hopefully will be fruitful.

    Gaines
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  8. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Active Member Patron  

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    I wonder if it was being hidden under the multiple layers of cardboard?
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Doubt it...The large ships are Pre-Dreadnoughts, not battlecruisers.

    The one in the foreground despite appearing to ride low in the water very closely resembles the SMS Wittelsbach class
    [​IMG]
    and
    [​IMG]

    The Pre-Dreadnought in the background is either...
    one of the SMS Braunschweig Class
    [​IMG]

    or else one of the SMS Deutschland class
    [​IMG]

    The lack of detail makes it hard to tell.


    The smaller vessels appear to be Großes Torpedoboot of the 1906, 1911, or 1913 classes, as details differed amongst the same classes.
    Liste deutscher Großer Torpedoboote (1898–1919) – Wikipedia
    There are similarities, but no exact match.

    But, my guess is that the painting has nothing to do with the Kriegsmarine at all.
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Well, the two-stacker in the foreground doesn't have much detail...which is why I immediately thought of the Death Ride based on the composition, but looking at it it doesn't look much like any of the battlecruisers. Wittelsbach looks like a good bet.. The three-stacker in the background could be any of the early German battleship classes, Braunschweig, Deutschland, or Helgoland...ah, wait a minute! It's the night action at Jutland. It may show the ramming of the Elbing by Posen?
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The two-stacked does not have much detail, but those cylindrical towers roughly the height of the stacks are fairly unique to the class.

    However, upon closer examination of the painting, I don't think it is WW1 at all, but pre-war maneuvers.

    If you look closely at the destroyer's bow in the foreground you can make out G 108. This boat was renamed T 108 in September, 1914.
     
  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Youse got better eyes than me... :D It may well be pre-war maneuvers, but I would think such a non-event didn't really deserve a painting?

    Anyway, I just remembered I have a book of German WW I propaganda postcards I picked up in a flea market in Darmstadt in 1968. The naval ones have a similar style to this, but I don't have a copy of that particular one.
     
  13. Jba45ww2

    Jba45ww2 Active Member Patron  

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    It’s great having so many eyes and references available. Thank you for all of the information and I am very glad that I posted the item
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, the plot thickens...It may be just a knock-off, and we may both be correct in that it is pre-war maneuvers and the Battle of Jutland death ride of the destroyers.

    To start with we have had this presented to us as genuine.
    [​IMG]

    However, I have come across drawing & painting by Willy Stower(also spelled Stoewer) found here:
    Stock Photo - events, First World War / WWI, naval warfare, attacking torpedo boat, drawing by Willy Stoewer (1864 - 1931), Germany, circa 1915, Additional-Rights-Clearances-NA

    Looks remarkably similar, yet the torpedo boats are traveling in the opposite direction. Alamy says circa 1915, but I have seen it dated as early as 1913...Nothing I'd bet the farm on, but makes me go Hmmmm. Take note of the lack of signal flags.

    Now, Willy Stower also did a more detailed painting, and this is supposed to be of the torpedo attack at Jutland
    [​IMG]


    So, the answer may very well be...All of thee above.
     
  15. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Nice find ! I know absolutely nothing about naval related material but had to look up the Jutland battle that Rich mentioned in post #10, just out of curiosity. After noticing many pictures and paintings saw a resemblance to your painting and an artist named Claus Bergen. He specialized in WWI naval ships. I looked through several pages of his paintings but didn't see this one. The style, size, framing, format are just like the one you posted. Maybe dig into Bergen.
     
  16. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Oh sure the time it takes me to tap out on this tablet Takeo throws in another painter :oops:
     
  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Don"t misunderstand me, I'm not saying that Stower is the painter of Jba45ww2's painting. Only that his painting may have served as an "inspiration." The same ships, same setting, only the direction of travel of the destroyers has been reversed.
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Jba45ww2,

    Can you read the painter's name in the lower left corner of the painting?

    It's too blurry to make out in your photo.
     
  19. Biak

    Biak Adjutant

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    Good point. There are dozens of painting of the Posin, Elbing. I was noticing the similarity of the comparison of the waves ect:
    Found a copy of his sig: One of them, also found a different style ??
    [​IMG]

    Just found this picture, compare the sky and see what ya'll think.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    After looking at the sig in the painting a going back to other German naval painters, I am confident that the artist is/was Hans Bohrdt.
    Hans Bohrdt - Wikipedia
     

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