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Survivors of the Scharnhorst

Discussion in 'Germany at Sea!' started by Watspoon, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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  2. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    2222222

    Dear Mick,
    So glad you shared this information about Helmut Boekhoff. Did he ever speak of where he was sent as P.O.W,
    Canada,or the U.S.A.? and if he was sent back to Germany after the war, prior to his choosing to settle in Britain ?
    I recall seeing him in several photographs of meetings of the Scharnhorst Survivors association, when they came
    to Great Britain and also in the interview he had with Sir Ludovic Kennedy, which I believe can be viewed on U-Tube.

    Lance
     
  3. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    With much time on my hands at present, I have been able to do a little more research on my Father's
    meeting with Winston Churchill, when Mr Churchill asked my Father what the survivors had been
    given to eat, whilst on board H.M.S. Duke of York. I have recently been in receipt of a copy of
    Churchill's engagement diary for January 1944. The Survivors from Scharnhorst arrived at Latimer
    House for interrogation London Camp no 1. on January 3rd, 1944, Churchill's diary had
    no inclusion of the arrival of the survivors. However on January 19th. 1944 ,Churchill had Mr John
    Winant [U.S. ambassador to Britain during WW2] Adm. Sir Bruce Fraser [C.inC. Battle of the North
    Cape] together with Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr, [H.M.Ambassador to Moscow] to dine at 8.30pm.
    The American Ambassador Mr Winant had a residence within the grounds of Latimer House, and
    Mr Churchill spent much time at Latimer House, There is a strong possibility that my Father may
    have been tasked with guarding Adm. Sir Bruce Fraser, whilst attending this dinner, and where he
    was in conversation with Mr Churchill.
    Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr, was a man with a dry sense of humour, and famous for a letter he wrote
    to Lord Pembroke at the Foreign Office on the 6th April 1943. regarding a new Turkish colleague.
    A copy of the letter can be found by searching Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr letter. The content is
    somewhat risque.

    Lance Shippey.
     
  4. richard boyce

    richard boyce New Member

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    IMG_5472.jpg About 1989 an older gentleman with an English accent came into my work. He was wearing a hat with a Kriegsmarine High Seas Badge. I like to collect miltary badges and inquired as to how he came to own it. He told me that he served in the British navy during WW2 and that they had sunk a German Battle Crusier north of Scapa Flow and had taken it from one of the surviors.Because of my interest he offered it to me and I accepted. After researching I can find that the Scharnhorst was the only Capital Ship of the German Kriegsmarine to be sunk in these waters. Thought I would share, The picture although not of the badge I have, it is exactly the same
     
  5. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Dear Richard.
    Thanks for sharing this, A little more information you may be interested in.
    The High Seas Fleet Badge, or Flotten Kriegsabzeichen was awarded from
    30th April 1941 on the instruction of Grossadmiral Dr, Erich Raeder to crews
    of Battleships Bismark, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Scharnhorst was
    considered a Battleship rather than a Battlecruiser by the Krieegsmarine
    The awarded badge was issued to ALL crew of the Scharnhorst. The badge
    was also awarded Posthumously Most badges were awarded Posthumously
    to crew of the Bismark. No badges were awarded to the Graf Spee crew
    interned in Uruguay
    The Badge was made from Tomak [Bronze](Buntmetal) until 1943, and then
    from 1943 from Zinc. The largest producer was the company Adolf Bock, On
    the pin side [backside] of the badge should be FEC Adolf Bock Ausf.. Schwerin
    Berlin. It came with a certificate and case. It should have been worn on the left
    breastside, and if the recipient had been awarded an Iron Cross 1st Class, It
    should have been worn under the Iron Cross, There are quite a few of these
    badges finding there way to German, and European auction houses. The
    value differs. Euros150-500, but with certificate and box can reach over Euro1000.

    The Gentleman that sold you the badge, and said he was in the R.N. on the Ship
    that sank the Scharnhorst In my view, could have been serving on HMS Matchless,
    or HMS Scorpion, but more than likely HMS Duke of York. Matchless and Scorpion
    rescued the 36 survivors. then transferred the 36 survivors to HMS Duke of York.
    I would think that the Gentleman was crew of Duke of York, however It was the
    Royal Marines, whom were in charge of the survivors, and more likely to have
    been given a gift from a survivor.The survivors were stripped naked, and put under
    hot showers, to warm them up when rescued by HMS Matchless, and HMS Scorpion
    I am not sure what happened tho their German naval uniforms. There were given
    Merchant Navy clothing when transferred to the Duke of York. I don't think the
    survivors would be carrying the badge, apart from on their uniform.

    My Father was one of the 6 Royal Marines on the Duke of York. charged to guard
    the survivors on Duke of York, and their journey from Scapa Flow to their interrogation
    at Latimer House near Amersham [England] My father was given a watch, possibly
    by survivor Johnny Merkle, which did not function. Not surprising, when submerged
    in the freezing waters of the Barents Sea. On arrival at Scapa Flow, the 36 survivors
    were accommodated for one night on the Iron Duke, a residential ship, before their
    journey by rail from the Scottish mainland to Latimer House. German survivor "Kruse"
    wrote in his memoirs "Treated Royally, and no Thefts" It is a little unusual that the
    gentleman saying he was on the ship that sank the Scharnhorst North of Scapa Flow.
    and didn't refer to the "Battle of the North Cape".

    Thanks again, Richard for your information about the High Seas Fleet Badge.
    I was not aware that ALL the crew of Scharnhorst were awarded. until researching a couple
    of German language websites.Of the 1968 crew members from the Scharnhorst 1932
    were either killed during the Battle of the North Cape, or died in the freezing waters of
    the Barents Sea. There must have been considerable Posthumous badges for the cadets
    who joined Scharnhorst on Christmas day 1943,

    Lance Shippey


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  6. richard boyce

    richard boyce New Member

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  7. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Britain's largest P.O.W. camp recently discovered.
    Hidden under Forest and Moss near the city of Sheffield,
    LODGE MOOR has recently been unearthed, together
    with documents from WW1 and WW2.
    In 1944 there were up to 11,000 German, Italian and
    Ukrainian p.o.w.s at Lodge Moor. however perhaps the
    most interesting prisoner was on 04th October 1918
    just before WW! ended on 11th November 1918.
    U-Boot 68 in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, became
    damaged, the crew were captured and brought to Lodge
    Moor. Amongst the prisoners from U-68 was Karl Doenitz.
    He spent six weeks at Lodge Moor, before being transferred
    to Wythenshawe hospital {nowadays near Manchester Airport)
    due to Doenitz claiming he had mental health problems.
    (This would have helped him to avoid being tried for war crimes.)
    News of the discovery of the camp has been given by Sheffield
    University. You can find more information about Lodge Moor
    by searching. Lodge Moor P.O.W. Camp ,or Lodge Moor
    Kriegsgefangenenlager for German Language websites.

    Lance Shippey
     
  8. lance shippey

    lance shippey Member

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    Scharnhorst Crew Losses.
    Apart from the 1932 soles lost after the sinking of the Scharnhorst
    on 26th December 1943 in the freezing waters of the Barents Sea,
    Scharnhorst was no stranger to the loss of life amongst her crew.
    8th. June 1940,"Operation Paul" Scharnhorst, and sister Gneisenau
    were involved in a sea battle with British carrier HMS Glorious, and
    two escort destroyers HMS Ardent, and HMS Acasta, HMS Glorious
    was known as "Not a Happy Ship" and had requested to leave the
    convoy, and return to Scapa Flow. Neither HMS Acasta, nor HMS
    Ardent were fittle with radar. and HMS Glorious had no look out in
    the crows nest. The three British vessels came as a surprise to the
    two German battleships, Scharnhorst was under the command of
    Kaptn zur see Friedrich Huffmeier.. He was known as a walking
    disaster, and not popular with his men, due to his strict allegiance
    to the "Party". He would take up a posting in Guernsey, Channel
    Islands, and would be arrested on May 1945, and imprisoned
    Special camp 11, with was known as "Island Farm" p.o.w. camp at
    Bridgend, South Wales.. Scharnhorst at 16,30 hrs The third salvo
    hit was a distance of 24 kms., considered the greatest hit distance
    on a moving ship in WW2. HMS Acasta launched torpedoes, of which
    one hit Scharnhorst. killing 48 crew.( 2x Officers, 48x sailors.).
    HMS Glorious, HMS Ardent, and HMS Acasta were all sunk with a
    loss of life of 1519 soles.

    On April 4th 1943, an explosion below deck in "Department 111, a
    storage room on Scharnhorst killed 17 men. This is thought to have
    been an act of sabotage in Gotenhafen, during repairs to the ship.

    Operation Paul, and the sinking of HMS Glorious, Ardent, and Acasta
    have been very controversial. There are very interesting comments
    on an aviation website which is very worthwhile taking a look at.
    PPRuNe HMS Glorious and Operation Paul.
    There is also an very interesting account of the battle, which is a little
    difficult to locate, but possible by searching in German ,
    Versenkung HMS Glorious. (77). Click on to the Wikipedia website in
    GERMAN, go to the bottom of the pages, and click on The loss of HMS
    Glorious by Captain V.W. Howland. (This is in English)

    Lance Shippey.
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