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                                                                                                                 COPY No.
This book is invariably to be kept locked up when not in use and is not to be taken outside the ship or establishment for which it it issued without the express permission of the Commanding Officer
C.B.  4051 (28)
Report of Interrogation of
Prisoners of War
from German Supply Ships
September, 1941



          This book is the property of His Majesty's Government.  
          It is intended for the use of the recipients only, and for communication to such Officers under them (not below the rank of Commissioned Officer) who may require to be acquainted with its contents in the course of their duties.  The Officers exercising this power will be held responsible that such information is imparted with due care and caution.  


Attention is called to the penalties attaching to any infraction of the
Official Secrets Acts
C.B.  4051 (28)
Report of Interrogation of
Prisoners of War
from German Supply Ships
September, 1941
  N.I.D. 2 114/41  


          The following report is compiled from information derived from prisoners of war.  The statements made cannot always be verified; they should therefore not be accepted as facts unless they are definitely stated to be confirmed by information from other sources.  


  Introductory Remarks  
  Supply Ship Ports  
  Supply Ships operating from French West Coast Ports  
  Organisation of Supply Ships  
  Instructions as to Mission of Supply Ships  
  Instructions for Execution of Mission  
  Avoiding Enemy Forces  
  W/T and R/T Communications  
  Returning to Harbour  
  Methods of Recognition employed between Supply Ships, Warships and Aircraft  
  German Method of Oiling and Watering at Sea  
  "Friedrich Breme"  
  Other Supply Ships  
  "Altmark" (or "Uckermark")  
  "Nordmark" (or "Dixie")  
  "Kota Pinang"  
  Unknown Supply Tanker in Canary Islands  
  Unknown Tanker Supplying Italian Submarines  
  Other Ships believed to be operating with the Supply Ship Unit  
  Other Ships  
  "Walter Rau"  
  Hapag Steamers  
  "Sachsenwald" and " "August Wriedt"  
  "Ole Jacob"  
Translation of extracts from a document obtained from a prisoner  
  (C42449)                                                                                                                            B*  


  (i)  Supply Ship Ports  
          (a)  The following ports have facilities but may be considered too close to Channel and bombing:  Ostend, Antwerp and Boulogne.  
          (b)  The following commercial ports, with facilities, although further from bombing attack than those ports mentioned in (a), are, in respect to bombing attack, not so favourably situated as Biscay ports:  Rotterdam, Le Harve, Rouen, Cherbourg and St. Malo.  
          (c)  The following Biscay ports have facilities and may be considered as probable Supply Ship ports:  Brest, Lorient, St. Nazaire, Nantes, La Pallice, La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Gironde ports.  
          Of these Brest, Lorient, St, Nazaire, Bordeaux and La Pallice are in use as operational bases for U-Boats and surface craft.  
          Brest, being well defended, is the main surface craft naval base on the French coast.  
          Lorient, being primarily a U-Boat base, it seems more probable that St. Nazaire, Bordeaux and particularly La Pallice are the principal Supply Ship ports.  
          Bordeaux and Grionde ports, if used by Supply Ships, would have the added advantage of not arousing suspicion because of the large merchant ship tonnage usually present.  
          Archachon and Bayonne, although only small ports, might be used as far distant "hide-outs" should other ports become threatened or damaged.  
          (d)  C.B. 1804X (11/40), Section V, set out base facilities and Section VI the port details.  
  (ii)  Supply Ships operating from French West Coast Ports  
          Of the German supply ships sunk recently in the Atlantic, prisoners from the following ships were interrogated:  
         "Alstertor," "Egerland," "Esso-Hamburg," "Friedrich Breme," "Gedania," "Gonzenheim" and "Lothringen."  
  All these ships were operating from bases on the French West coast.  
          Information obtained from prisoners has been supplemented from documents taken from prisoners and from official reports.  
          All seven supply ships mentioned above are known to have been operating as part of the "Trossschiffverband der Kriegsmarine (Zweigstelle West)" (Naval Supply Ship Unit, Western Section), which has its headquarters in La Bauls, under Korvettenkapitän (Commander) Stiller.  
          The German Section of this unit is believed to have its headquarters in Wesermünde although, from statements made by some of the officer prisoners, it appears that the administration of this unit is situated at the German Admiralty in Berlin.  It is possible however, that the Wesermünde Section has been confused with the "Marine Tanker Gruppen Kommando Nord" (Northern Command of the Naval Tanker Group), which is known to be situated in Wesermünde  
          (N.I.D. Note:  It is known that as late as 7th May, 1941, the following tankers belonged to the above-mentioned organisation:  "Egerland," "Ermland," "Nordmark" and "Spichern.")  
          As far as can be ascertained, the operational direction of the Supply Ship unit comes directly under the control of the Marinegruppen-Kommando West (Western Command of the German Navy), with headquarters in Paris and St. Quentin and local offices in most of the main French, Belgian and Netherlands ports, and also under the orders of the Seekriegsleitung (S.K.L.) (Operations Directorate) at the Admiralty in Berlin.  
  (C42449)                                                                                                                     B* 2  


          The technical organisation of the Supply Ship Unit is said to be under the command of Konteradmiral (Ing.) (Engineer Rear Admiral) Dr. Lüttge.  
          Other officers known to be on Lüttge's staff are:  
                  Kapitän zur See (Ing.) (Engineer Captain) Voss.  
                  Korvettenkapitän (Ing.) (Engineer Commander) Dr. Wilhelm Meyer.  
                  Korvettenkapitän (M.A.) Commander of Naval Gunnery) Ernst-Adalbert Schmidt.  
                  Korvettenkapitän (Ing.) (Engineer Commander) Wolf-Heinz Schäfer.  
          One of the officer prisoners stated that Voss was most knowledgeable in all matter concerning supply ships and that he had actually had some practical operational experience.  
          Voss's assistant was said to be Schäfer.  
          It was generally agreed by prisoners that the most brilliant member of the staff was Dr. Meyer.  When alterations had to be carried out in the tanker "Gedania", her captain, Paradies, was called to Berlin for an interview with Dr. Meyer and from him received all the necessary instructions to be handed to the dockyard authorities in St. Nazaire.  Schmidt was responsible for all the armament and ammunition arrangements in supply ships.  
          Although supply ships are manned and fitted out according to instructions received direct from the Supply Ship Unit, it was stated that these vessels were at the disposal of the Naval Western Command, if, as in the case of the ships in question, they were operating from bases over which this command had control.  They were being employed by the Western Command for the purpose of co-operating with surface warships and U-Boats.  When at sea, however, orders might be received from the Operations Directorate (in Berlin).  Before sailing, the supply ships receive detailed instructions as to their respective missions, these, however, can only be given as a general guide, so much depending on the course of events.  Instructions for executing the mission are received from the Western Command and are liable at any time to alteration when the supply ship is at sea, on receipt of a signal either direct from the Western Command or the Operations Directorate or indirect from the warship with which they are to co-operate.  
  (i)  Instructions as to Mission of Supply Ships  
          Before leaving harbour it appears that the captain of a supply ship is informed as to what type of ship he is to supply, what type of supplies certain ships are likely to need and the method of supplying them.  A position for the rendezvous is given provisionally and almost certainly the name of the warship to be supplied (except in the case of U-Boats).  
          Captain Braunwarth of the tanker "Esso-Hamburg," however, affirmed that in February, 1941, when his ship refuelled the battle-cruiser "Scharnhorst," he was only told to rendezvous on a certain day in a certain position and although he himself had a good idea which ships he might have to refuel, the names of the battle-cruisers were omitted from his instructions.  
          In the event of a U-Boat being supplied neither the number nor the name of the Commanding Officer would be divulged; the captain of the supply ship would be told to patrol a certain area and wait for instructions.  
  (ii)  Instructions for Executing of Mission  
          It is believed that Supply Ships are furnished with a number of different rendezvous, within the area in which they are intended to operate, each rendezvous being denoted by a code name.  On arrival at the rendezvous the Supply Ship would receive more detailed instructions by W/T.  
          Another question which is pre-arranged is that of the time at which to arrive at the rendezvous.  Usually two hours of the day are selected at which a rendezvous is to be kept; in the case of the tankers "Egerland" and "Alstertor," it was at 0800 and 1600, and it is possible, though never actually admitted, that all supply ships operating at that period were allotted the same hours.  It is, therefore, only necessary for the supply ship to be informed the date on which the rendezvous is to be kept.  


          Should a supply ship fail to arrive on time, for example at 1000, she is instructed to put about and not to return to the rendezvous until 1600.  
          The procedure for arranging a rendezvous is organised by the Operations Directorate, Berlin.  It was stated that the U-Boats or Raiders, in need of ammunition fuel or stores, make their request to Berlin and the nearest suitable supply ship to the Raider's or U-Boat's position is then ordered, via Norddeich, to a certain point where the rendezvous is made.  These points are known under Code names, as mentioned above; three code names mentioned by "Alstertor" prisoners were "Veilchen," "Georg" and "Heinrich."  Latterly, to ensure extra security, rendezvous have been made at positions on bearings and distances relative to code points.  
          In the event of a supply ship being unable to reach a rendezvous, owing to the presence of enemy forces, the Western Command must be informed.  In order to facilitate this, a pre-arranged signal group can be sent in the form of a short signal (Kurzsignal).  Western Command would then reply giving an alternative rendezvous.  
          One supply ship may receive further detailed instructions from another on taking over patrol.  
  (iii)  Avoiding Enemy Forces  
          Among instructions given to supply ships before leaving harbour, it appears that considerable importance is attached to the various methods of avoiding British or Allied ships of any kind.  The following methods employed were ascertained from prisoners:  
          (a)  Should a supply ship have to cross or approach any of the known regular convoy routes to reach her area of operations, this must be done at night.  
          (b)  In the event of sighting any British or Allied vessels the supply ship must immediately alter course to let it appear that she is bound in any direction other than that leading to her destination.  "Alstertor" was given very definite instructions to meet only the ships to which she was ordered.  She was to turn away immediately and proceed at full speed from any other ships.  
          On one occasion "Alstertor" was waiting at an indicated position when a French ship arrived at approximately the correct time.  This ship refused to answer signals and the "Alstertor" accordingly turned away.  "Alstertor" returned to the rendezvous some hours later to find the correct ship, described as a "merchant ship disguised as a warship."  This ship took charge for some days before the two ships parted company.  
          (N.I.D. Note.  This incident may refer to "Alstertor's" meeting in March with Raiders 33 and 41.  Prisoners from "Alstertor" have stated that occasionally at night time their ship rigged two dummy funnels to simulate the silhouette of a three-funnel cruiser).  
          (c)  If need be, a supply ship must disguise herself as any British vessel or neutral vessel known to be of similar appearance.  It is known that this instruction was carried out on 14th May, 1941, by "Egerland" who on being informed of the presence of a British submarine and further of a British convoy in the vicinity, altered her identity to "Gallia," a Panamanian tanker with whose appearance the Captain of "Egerland" was aquatinted.  
          (d)  Supply ships must report to Western Command the types and numbers of any warships or convoys which they may have sighted.  In the event of the supply ship being attacked it is essential for her to signal immediately her position and the strength of the enemy forces to Western Command, who would than broadcast the information for the benefit of any German ship known to be in the vicinity.  An instance of the importance of this instruction is illustrated by the case of the "Esso-Hamburg."  On being intercepted by H.M.S. "London" on 4th June, 1941, she failed to notify "Egerland," whom she knew to  
  (C42449)                                                                                                                          B* 3  


  be in the vicinity, as they were to rendezvous on that day or the following day.  This failure on the part of "Esso-Hamburg" to carry out instructions was certainly instrumental in the interception of "Egerland" on the following day.  
          (e)  Officer prisoners stated that "Alstertor" carried special written orders, signed by Admiral of the Fleet Raeder, instructing her if attacked by warships not to defend herself, but to scuttle the ship immediately.  The 20 mm. guns were intended as defense against aircraft only.  The ship carried no German War Flag on board.  
          All disposition of British and Allied forces known to the Operations Directorate are regularly passed to any supply ships situated in the area concerned.  
  (iv)  W/T and R/T Communications  
          (a)  Little information is available on this subject from prisoners but a brief resumé is given herewith and the fullest information obtained from all sources can be obtained from CB 4002 FTN/D.  
          (b)  The services mostly used by raiders are Kootwijk, for ships whose operations are limited to the North Atlantic, and Series B, Norddeich, Nauen L/F and Nauen beamed H/Fs for all other raiders and supply ships.  
          (c)  Kootwijk being excepted, traffic on the other services is identical and raiders need keep watch on only one service out of the four.  Choice of service depends on technical considerations alone (not on type of ship, etc.) and ultimately, therefore, on the area occupied.  
          (d)  For ship transmissions the silent periods are available, and must be used, on the Kiel and Norddeich services.  Norddeich is preferred, presumably because three Norddeich frequencies are simultaneously in use.  These, with the Kiel frequency for the hour and with silent periods suitably arranged, offer every possibility of getting signals home.  Yet the occasions when ships may transmit are strictly limited; the use of short signals, whenever adequate, is rigidly enforced; and a permanent eye is kept on the dangers of our D/F.  
          The silent periods are arranged as follows:  
5-10 minutes past the hour
Series B.
15-20 minutes past the hour
25-30 minutes past the hour
Series B.
35-40 minutes past the hour
55-60 minutes past the hour
Series B.  Norddeich
          (e)  Direct communication between units at sea is to be avoided as far as possible and is only allowed in emergency and at time of rendezvous.  
          (f)  Prisoners stated that there was exceptionally little wireless traffic.  Continuous watch was kept on 600 metres to ascertain if any merchant vessel was in the neighbourhood.  
          (g)  Prisoners stated that every supply ship was given code letters and a special code name which they could select themselves.  "Alstertor's" code letter was "P" for "Paula"; her code name was "Gazelle".  
          (N.I.D. Note.  The use of the name "Gazelle" is of interest as Raider 16 is known to have used Gazelle Basin, Egerland Island in December, 1940.)  
          (h)  Ships break W/T silence only:  
                  (a)  On the orders of the German Admiralty.  
                  (b)  To make a W/T signal before scuttling.  This signal may be either a pre-prepared coded signal or P/L.  
                  (c)  To make necessary short signals, e.g., the sighting of warships and convoys, to the effect that Rendezvous is unsuitable, or that arrival at rendezvous is expected.  


  (v)  Returning to Harbour  
          Unless otherwise instructed no supply ship is to return to harbour before her task has been completed.  Instructions for her return may be received from Western Command, Operations Directorate, or from the Commanding Officer of a warship.  
  (vi)  Methods of Recognition employed between Supply Ships, Warships and Aircraft  
          The following information was (unless otherwise stated) mostly supplied by a Polish seaman, Karol Rezning, from the tanker "Egerland."  Rezning has never been in any other supply ship, but it is likely that the procedure would vary little from one ship to another.  
          Visual recognition signals were said to consist of star rockets with a specified colour and the number of stars changing every hour.  They are fired from a double-barreled pistol.  Challenge and reply are the same.  It was stated by prisoners that "Alstertor" carried a set of six recognition lights on the port side of the forecross trees.  These lights were white and red, fitted in pairs vertically, about 2 ft. apart, and could be switched on in any combination.  
          According to Bahr of the "Egerland," his ship could be recognised by four men standing on the forecastle.  The same informant stated that if a submerged U-Boat wanted to identify a certain ship as a supply ship, this could be done by means of a special listening device fitted on the bridge of the supply ships.  
          The Senior Naval Officer also had aircraft recognition signal code books for one year.  These are changed daily.  
  (vii)  German Method of Oiling and Watering at Sea  
          The following, according to prisoners' statements, is a description of the method now said to be in general use for oiling and watering all types of German surface craft and U-Boats at sea:  
          (a)  The tanker steams at about 8 knots, usually upwind and pays out astern a grass line, on the end of which is an air-filled float.  
          (b)  On the end of the grass line is a special quality wire hawser to which is stopped the oil hose, with an air-filled float attached.  
                  (N.B.  When watering a U-Boat the water hose is also stopped to the wire.)  
                  The oil hose has enough buoyancy to float, supporting the wire in the water.  In really good weather the wire hawser is dispensed with.  
          (c)  The grass line is picked up by grapnel and the wire and hoses are secured to the bows of the warship.  The length of hose employed varies with the type of ship and weather conditions and may be about one cable for a heavy cruiser or above.  The bight of the hose sinks when pumping starts.  
          (d)  Oil hoses are of thick rubber, supplied in lengths of 40 metres (131.2 ft.) the texture of the hose is such that when there is no oil in it, it is not completely flat like a canvas hose, nor completely round like a leather hose.  Hoses of varying diameter are available.  
          (e)  Ships have been oiled in a wind force of 7 to 8 and at speeds up to 10 knots.    
          On completion the wire and hoses are hove into the tanker by special winches and are flaked down along the whole length of the ship.  
          It was stated that this method of oiling was first carried out by the Germans off Madeira and in the Baltic in 1936 and that it has superseded the "Bridge" method.  
          Further details regarding oiling and watering are given in the Appendix.  
  (C42449)                                                                                                                      B* 4  


  (i)  General  
          The interrogation of prisoners from "Alstertor" proved very complex.  Of nine men selected only two, the Master, Captain Wilhelm Nielsen, and the Chief Engineer, Rudolf Gross, could be regarded as regular members of the crew.  Both men belonged to the German Merchant service and were formerly employed by the R.O.B. Slomann Line, running from Hamburg to South America.  Nielsen was a crafty and evasive type, whose testimony was soon found to contain many obvious falsehoods and was, therefore, discarded as worthless.  Gross knew little of the value which he was prepared to communicate.  Of three further officers, Hermann Koehncke, Chief Purser, was a man of over 60, whose health had been completely wrecked by a series of grave diseases contracted during many years' service in the tropics.  He had also been employed by the Slomann Line, but had left the sea, at his own request, in 1937 and had then been given a position in the company's Hamburg office.  As a reservist he was called up by the German Navy in February, 1940, and sent to Kiel where he was placed in charge of a Government Bill Proofing Department.  He was appointed to "Alstertor" in January, 1941, under protest, and he complained that there had not been such a shortage of suitable officers in Germany, it would have been a crime to order a man of his years on such a hazardous undertaking.  
          Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve (Lieutenant of German Naval Reserve) Walter Block, age 57, was also an elderly man for his rank, but he enjoyed robust health.  He had been appointed to "Alstertor" as Officer Commanding German Naval Personnel.  Block was formerly a merchant navy captain employed by the Hamburg South America Line.  His last ship was the 4,500 ton m/v "Bahia."  This ship was lying in Bahia harbour at the outbreak of war and in her Block succeeded in running the British blockade back to Germany.  
          Throughout 1940 Block, who had been called up by the German Navy, was attached to a battalion of Army Engineers as naval advisor.  This battalion had concentrated on invasion tactics.  
          The remaining officer, Leutnant zur See der Reserve (Sub-Lieutenant of German Naval Reserve) Gerhard Ulpts, had also been employed by the Hamburg South America Line before the war.  Ulpts first alleged that he had been laid up aboard the 4,600 ton m/v "Babitonga" in Santos (Brazil) harbour from the outbreak of war, till the ship sailed on 28th April, 1941, to rendezvous with Raider 16 and later with "Alstertor."  Ulpts stated that he had been given naval rank and a uniform by the Commander of Raider 16, who had then made him responsible for the welfare of British prisoners transshipped from Raider 16 to "Babitonga."  It later became apparent that Ulpts had, in fact, been called up by the German Navy before the outbreak of war and had been appointed to the pocket battleship "Graf Spee."  Ulpts had served in the "Graf Spee" throughout her raiding cruise up to the time she was defeated and scuttled at the battle of the Rio Plate.  Ulpts had escaped from internment at Montevideo and had made his way to Santos where he had embarked in the "Babitonga," hoping to get back to Germany.  An account of Ulpt's service in "Graf Spee" is included in a separate report on Raiders now being compiled.  
          The four ratings interrogated had had time and opportunity to concoct an alibi, perfect in detail to mask their true activities.  The allege that they had left Brest in January in the m/v "Alsterufer" and had been transferred to Raider "16," as warders, and had then left with the British prisoners who were turned over to "Babitonga."  Individual interrogation of the four ratings failed to disclose any inconsistencies in this story and some time elapsed before the men finally confessed that they were, in point of fact, members of the ship's company of Raider 16 and had served over a year in her.  Their statements are included in the separate report on Raiders.  


  (ii)  Crew of "Alstertor"  
          According to prisoners, the crew of "Alstertor" comprised 98 officers and men.  The proportion of German Navy officers and men to those of the German Merchant Service had been given as follows:  
                  Officers:  Four Navy; 10 Merchant Service.  
                  Petty Officers:  Eight Navy.  
                  Men:  Forty-six Navy; 30 Merchant Service.  
          Oberleutnant Block has volunteered the information that, in addition, a further 62 naval ratings were carried on the "Alstertor's" last cruise and were transferred to various ships, including Raiders, which were met en route.  Specific details of these transfers are lacking.  The men were described as a representative selection of a warship's requirements in personnel, and were supplied, in whatever numbers desired, to ships who were short of their full complement.  It was stated emphatically that no U-Boat crews were carried.  One Engine Room Rating had previously seen service in a U-Boat.  
  (iii)  Early History of "Alstertor"  
          "Alstertor," 3,062 gross tons, was stated to have been, formerly, the Norwegian ship "Rosen."  She was purchased by the R.O.B. Slomann Line, Hamburg, in July, 1939.  She was a comparatively new ship and had been fitted with Danish Diesel Engines giving a full speed of 16 knots and 12 knots cruising.  
          "Alstertor" was lying in Hamburg at the outbreak of war and was laid up until April, 1940, when she was hurriedly fitted out as a troop-transport and supply ship during the Norwegian campaign.  
          "Alstertor" was loaded with munitions at Hamburg and sailed for Stavanger on 19th April, 1940.  The cargo was discharged safely and "Alstertor" returned to Hamburg at the beginning of May.  For protection she had been fitted with two light machine guns, manned by naval guns' crews.  
          "Alstertor" sailed from Hamburg again at the beginning of June, 1940, loaded with munitions which she discharged at Trondjhem.  At Trondjhem she embarked Austrian Alpine troops which she conveyed to Narvik, arriving on, or about, 16th June.  She remained two days at Narvik while a number of wounded men were taken on board.  These men were brought back to Trondjhem.  The ship suffered an air attack here, but escaped unharmed.  The return trip between Trondjhem and Narvik was repeated three times between the end of June and September, on each occasion troops being taken up and wounded and sick men brought down.  
           At Trondjhem, in September, 1940, "Alstertor" embarked police whom she took to Hammerfest, together with members of the German Labour Corps, who were to be employed there on building roads.  On the return journey the engines broke down and the ship put into Trondjhem again where repairs were effected.  
          At the end of November "Alstertor" returned to Hamburg.  
  (iv)  Preparations for the Third and Last Cruise of "Alstertor"  
          "Alstertor", having returned to Hamburg, immediate preparations were made to fit her out as a prison and supply ship intended for use in distant seas.  
          Prisoners stated that "Alstertor" was painted a light grey colour.  She had two masts and two sets of dummy Sampson posts, forward and aft.  
          The forward holds were converted to provide accommodation for between 300 and 350 prisoners.  Four 20 mm. anti-aircraft guns were mounted in position and extra tanks for oil and water, was well as large containers for supplies, were fitted on deck.  The containers were stated to be about 6 yards square and held the large ammunition and torpedoes, presumably without warheads.  Smaller cases, containing provisions and 20 mm. ammunition, were stowed below decks.  According to one prisoner, the ship was fitted with a special cooling plant for use in the tropics.  Had this plant become damaged in action the ship would have been filled with ammonia fumes and to protect the ship's company special gas masks were issued.  It was stated that the plant leaked in some parts of the ship and at times during the cruise men had to work in gas masks for many hours at a stretch.  
  (C42449)                                                                                                                       B**  


          The following list of supplies carried by "Alstertor" has been given:  
                  (a)  1,500 15 cm. shells.  
                  (b)  A very large amount of smaller shells and anti-aircraft ammunition.  (No authentic figures have been obtained).  
                  (c)  10 torpedoes.  
                  (d)  20 leather hoses, each approximately 22 yards long.  These hoses were intended for supplying oil from a tanker to another ship.  Six of these hose lengths were supplied to one ship.  
                  (e)  2 Arado 196 Seaplanes (partially dismantles), which were supplied, one each, to two raiders.  
                  (f)  300 Iron Crosses (2nd Class).  158 Iron Crosses (1st Class).  1 Knight Insignia of the Iron Cross.  
                  These decorations were intended for the officers and men of Raider 33.  
                  (g)  A large number of cases of provisions, chiefly tinned goods, as well as sacks of potatoes and other less perishable vegetables.  
                  (h)  50 scuttling charges.  
  (v)  Third and Last Cruise of "Alstertor"  
          "Alstertor" sailed from Hamburg on 15th January, 1941, and, proceeding through the English Channel by night, arrived at Brest approximately three days later.  The majority of naval personnel had been embarked at Hamburg, but it has been stated that a few came overland to join the ship at Brest.  
          "Alstertor" remained one week in Brest during which period some burst pipes were repaired and the ship completed with fuel.  She sailed on 25th January, 1941, escorted for the first day by two Motor Torpedo Boats.  
          Her first contact with another German ship is believed to have been made on, or about, 8th February.  This ship was stated to have been of approximately 8,000 tons.  An officer prisoner has stated that the sole object of this rendezvous was the communication to "Alstertor" of Secret Orders.  The meeting apparently took place at a position about three days sailing North of the Equator for among captured documents belonging to prisoners, were a number of "Crossing the Line" Certificates, dated 11th February, and signed by the Master.  
          The next ship to be met by "Alstertor" is stated to have been a 10,000 ton tanker.  This rendezvous took place at the end of February.  The only clue to the identity of this tanker is that the name is believed to have had the suffix "Holm", but it must be pointed out that this name may merely have been an assumed one.  "Alstertor" remained with the tanker for one day and received oil from her by means of two lines of hoses.  She also shipped some fresh water.  "Alstertor" transhipped provisions and large and small cases of ammunition.  
          The next encounter is believed to have taken place in the Indian Ocean where, at the beginning of March, "Alstertor" is stated to have met Raiders "33" and "41" and "33."  "41," who was senior officer's ship, instructed "33" to bring ammunition from "Alstertor" to his own ship.  The Commander of "33" is alleged to have been furious, but was helpless in view of his juniority.  The situation was retrieved as the weather was far too bad at the time for this operation to be carried out.  "Alstertor," therefore, accompanied "33" and "41" to Kerguelen Island, where the transfer of supplies took place in a sheltered bay.  "41" is stated to have gone alongside "Alstertor" first and it is inferred from prisoners' statements that she received 750 15 cm. shells and 20 mm. ammunition.  "33" followed and was supplied with one aircraft, 600 15 cm. shells and 20 mm. ammunition, four torpedoes and between 40 and 50 naval ratings.  
          "33" supplied "Alstertor" with 500 cases of eggs taken from the s.s. "Duquesa."  This ship was captured by the pocket battleship "Admiral Scheer" in the South Atlantic in December, 1940.  "Scheer" had passed her on to "33" and she had remained in company with this raider for four weeks before finally being sunk.  


          On leaving Kerguelen Island "Alstertor" is stated to have sailed for a week before making her next rendezvous, this time with a ship described as a 10,000-ton cargo boat whose name bore some similarity to "Wonku."  Cases of 20 mm. ammunition were transferred as well as provisions, which included 50 cases of the eggs from "Duquesa."  
          One week later "Alstertor" made contact with a second large tanker, which may possibly have been "Nordmark" (or "Dixie"), as these names were mentioned by prisoners in connection with this rendezvous.  Some prisoners also state that this tanker was the same as the second ship met.  It is alleged that this rendezvous took place on, or about, 6th April.  Six torpedoes, some small cases of 20 mm. ammunition and provisions were transhipped.  
          The next rendezvous was said to have taken place in the Indian Ocean on 10th April and was again with a raider.  This ship has been described by prisoners as Raider 36, and again as "The Black Ship."  It has been stated that "Alstertor" expected to receive British prisoners from this raider but it was found that the men held on board had already been transferred to another supply ship.  "Alstertor" supplied cases of 20 mm. ammunition and possibly her second aeroplane, although this had not been confirmed.  "Alstertor" received fresh water and a certain amount of oil and she also took on board a sick rating from the raider,  
          No large cases now remained on the deck of "Alstertor" and it is possible that her primary role as supply ship had been fulfilled.  It should be pointed out that the above list of ships supplied may not be complete.  There is some evidence to support the view that"Alstertor" also met Raider 16, as two prisoners have identified three figures on a captured photograph as being the Commander and First Officer of "16" and the doctor of "Alstertor."  
          The intended function of "Alstertor" was now as a prison ship.  According to prisoners she remained cruising off the coast of South AFrica for two weeks, not sighting a single ship, till on 24th April, orders were received from the Berlin Norddeich Short Wave Station that she was to proceed home at once.  After four days' sailing these orders were countermanded and "Alstertor" was instructed to return to the Indian Ocean and take off prisoners from Raider 33.  After ten days' sailing, according to an officer prisoner, when they were nearing the indicated position for the rendezvous, a signal was intercepted from Colombo wireless station stating that "33" had been sunk.  "Alstertor" remained where she wa for four days awaiting further instructions.  These instructions, when they arrived, ordered her into the Atlantic to take off prisoners from m/v "Babitonga."  
          "Alstertor" proceeded on the course given her and met "Babitonga," now bearing the name "Japara," in position 13° N., 45° W. on 15th June.  
          "Alstertor" took off 48 English prisoners, 1 Australian, 14 Malays, 10 Chinese and 6 Arabs, who had formed the crews of the two ships "Rabaul" and "Trafalgar," victims of Raider 16.  These prisoners had been transferred to "Babitonga" from Raider 16 on 30th May, when the two ships had met in the South Atlantic.  
          In addition a certain amount of baggage, the property of passengers taken from the liner "Zam Zam," when this ship was sunk by Raider 16 on 17th April, 1941, had been transferred to "Babitonga," and was now transferred to "Alstertor."  
          Included in the baggage were some cabin trunks marked "Laughinghouse" presumably the property of an American citizen, Mr. Ned Laughinghouse, a tobacco dealer, who had been wounded in the head during the "Zam Zam" action, and, at the time of the "Babitonga" rendezvous, was still considered too ill to be removed from Raider 16's sick bay.  
  (vi)  Sinking of "Alstertor"  
          After parting company "Alstertor" shaped course for her base while "Babitonga" set course southward.  
          At 0944 of 22nd June, H.M.S. "Marsdale," on patrol L.2, reported that she had sighted a suspicious vessel, adding, in a subsequent signal, that this vessel had disappeared in position 35° 52' N., 18° 42' W. at 0905, speed about 17 knots.  The vessel was reported to resemble the German "Alstertor."  
  (C42449)                                                                                                             B** 2  


          Captain (D), 8th Destroyer Flotilla in "Faulknor," with "Fearless," "Foxhound," "Fury" and "Forester," were sailed at 1430, 22nd June, to patrol in the vicinity of 42° 00' N., 12° 00' W.  Two Catalinas were ordered to search by Vice-Admiral Commanding, North Atlantic, and at 1945 Catalina W.8410 reported she was engaging the enemy in position 37° 17' N., 16° 20' W., course 045°, speed 12 knots, and at 2100 that she had attacked with level bombing but secured no hits.  Position was then 37° 30' N., 16° 04'W., course and speed as before.  
          According to prisoners they replied with lively anti-aircraft fire to this bombing attack and they claim that the plane was considerably damaged.  
          At 2245 Catalina W.8415 joined the first and bombed the enemy without result.  Touch was lost at 0030 on 23rd June.  
          Meanwhile the crew of "Alstertor" had been thrown into the utmost confusion.  The men had come to believe that their safe return to a home port was a certainty and, according to prisoners, they had already taken out, brushed and pressed their shore-going clothes.  With the appearance of British aircraft Oberleutnant Block, as senior naval officer, assumed command.  He had had no previous experience of fighting a ship and at night, when the Catalinas dropped flares to disclose "Alstertor's" position, he presumed they were signalling to warships in the immediate vicinity and ordered that all documents and codes be at once thrown overboard.  This action was described by prisoners as foolhardy and precipitate, for although the ship continued to receive a series of wireless signals from a shore base, giving her instructions how best to avoid capture, they were entirely worthless, there being no longer any possibility of decoding them.  
          Block stated that no U-Boats were supplied during the final cruise and that when he was given his course for the homeward voyage, he was informed by the German authorities that there would be no German U-Boats sixty miles to port or starboard of his ship, as from the latitude of the Cape Verde Islands.  He was given to understand that German U-Boats had also been given orders that should a ship be found within this 120-mile wide channel they were only to attack if they were certain that the vessel was not "Alstertor."  
          The "Alstertor" was next sighted by Captain (D) 8's force, who had been operating on a modified conforming curve of search, at 1442 on 23rd June.  
          At 1609 the enemy was observed to be stopped and abandoning ship.  Scuttling charges, which exploded at 1635, were believed by observers in H.M. ships to be of considerable size, as debris was thrown several hundred yards.  According to Captain Nielson these scuttling charges were, in point of fact, only 18 in. long by 9 in. in diameter, but they were lowered on the outside of the ship, which, he presumes, was the explanation of their spectacular explosion.  The explosions occurred just as the destroyers reached "Alstertor."  The ship took a heavy list and settled, making boarding too risky an operation to be justified.  The survivors, consisting of the entire crew and the 79 prisoners who had been on board, were picked up by "Faulknor," "Fearless" and "Fury."  
          It may be regarded as certain that "Alstertor" was stripped of supplies at the time she was sunk and there is no evidence to show that she had embarked any cargo from other ships apart from the baggage already mentioned and a number of mail-bags containing letters, written by the crews of the raiders she had met.  
  (vii)  Transhipment of Supplies  
          Prisoners from "Alstertor" stated that the method of transhipping aircraft was to mount them on their floats, lower them over the side and tow them across to the ship requiring them.  
          Torpedoes were transshipped by fixing practice heads and towing them with a motor boat.  (See also IV (vii),)  
          The proportion of provisions supplied to any one raider was left to the discretion of the supply ship.  The Commanding Officer of a raider was only entitled to state his requirements and these would be met as far as the supply ship thought fit.  


  (viii)  Treatment of Prisoners  
          In response to a signal from Captain (D) 8 to "Fearless," requesting information as to how the British prisoners had been treated in "Alstertor," "Fearless" replied: "Very well indeed.  They were given the same food as the crew, who shared their few cigarettes with them."  
          Leutnant z. See Gerhard Ulpts, who was placed in charge of "Alstertor's" prisoners, stated that he had tried to divide the ship so that officers were separated from men, and coloured men from whites, but owing to the number of prisoners he regretted that this was not entirely practicable.  He had done everything possible for the comfort of prisoners.  He added that when he had been given command of prisoners, Kapitan z. See Rogge, Commander of "16," had told him:  "You are responsible for seeing that the prisoners are well treated.  You are to remain with them until they are safely home.  If the ship is in danger you are not to leave her until all the prisoners are safe."  
          At the time of capture the Captain of "Alstertor" had in his possession a letter which read:  
  "To the Commander of the British Warship:  
          Sir, I see myself obliged to surrender to superior force.  At the same time I bring to your notice the fact that, apart from my own crew, 79 British prisoners are present in this ship. I am quite determined to scuttle my ship even in view of possible consequences, but I want to point out to you that by shelling us, or ny trying to get control of this ship by other means, the prisoners will be in serious danger of life and all casualties will be your responsibility.  I suggest, therefore, that you lend your boats to transfer first the prisoners and then the German crew.  At the same time I cannot tolerate an armed party to come aboard and I am willing to explode and set on fire the ship, on the instant, if this should be tried.  I have an armed military party at my disposal for this purpose."  
          This letter, which was signed by the Captain and the Senior Naval Officer, was never delivered.  
  (ix)  Morale  
          Morale on board the "Alstertor" is believed to have been fairly high.  It was stated, however, that one Engine Room Petty Officer had previously served in "Admiral Scheer" and was then transferred by the "Scheer" to the "Duquesa."  While on board the "Duquesa" it was found that this Petty Officer did not give satisfaction, and when the "Duquesa" was sunk by "33" he was transferred to the raider, subsequently to another vessel and finally to "Alstertor" as a passenger.  It was presumed that he was being taken back to Germany to face a court-martial.  
  (i)  Details of Supply Tanker "Egerland"  
          Under her former name of "North America," "Egerland" was completed in Hamburg in July, 1940.  This ship had been intended, when laid down, for the Panamanian Government, but later, possibly at the outbreak of hostilities, it was decided that she should be transferred to the Texas Oil Company.  "Egerland" had 30 fuel tanks and carrying capacity of 14,000 tons.  There were said to be other tanks apart from the above mentioned 30.  These were probably intended for the ship's own use, carrying diesel oil for the two sets of 8-cylinder M.A.N. diesels and fuel oil for the two cylindrical boilers, for operating steam auxiliaries such as winches, evaporators, etc., and also for carrying lubricating oil.  
          "Egerland" was capable of a maximum speed of 14 knots, with a cruising speed of 12-1/2 - 13 knots, according to a statement made by her captain, Korvettenkapitän Bahr, and confirmed by other prisoners.  The armament of "Egerland" consisted of three Polish 7.5-cm. guns and three German 2-cm. H.A. guns, this information being volunteered by most members of the crew.  
  (C42449)                                                                                                                 B** 3  


  (ii)  Crew of "Egerland"  
          "Egerland" had a complement of 93, comprised as follows:  
                  Officers:  Navy, 6; Merchant Service, 11.  
                  Petty Officers;  Navy, 6; Merchant Service, 4.  
                  Men:  Navy, 45; Merchant Service, 21.  
          The captain, Korvettenkapitän (Commander) Friedrich Bahr, belonging to the naval reserve, was a man of 42 years, with considerable experience in tankers.  The first lieutenant was Leutnant zur See (Sub Lieutenant) Max Richter, another reservist, who had served in U-Boats in the last war.  Although Richter and several P.O.s and men proved to be ardent supporters of the National Socialist Movement, they and all the rest of the crew made quite a good impression and were most appreciative of their treatment.  Among the crew there was one Pole, Karol Rezning, who had been captured by the Germans in September, 1939, during the attack on Gdynia.  He was, as was to be expected, most antagonistic towards the Germans and was willing to supply all the information he could when interrogated.  
          The only supernumerary on board was Oberfähnrich zur See (Midshipman) Günther Feddersen, who was transferred to "Egerland" from "U 105" on 19th May, to undergo an operation.  
          The efficiency of the crew was severely criticised by Bahr and he summed them up in these words:  "These so-called naval ratings cannot tell one ship from another, they are all young fellows.  For such an enterprise the authorities should have chosen the men more carefully.  My oldest merchant seaman was 19 and their ages went down to 17, 16 and 15 years."  
  (iii)  Early History of "Egerland"  
          On completion in July, 1940, "Egerland" carried out trials in the Baltic and in September, 1940, was lying at Gdynia under the command of Korvettenkapitän Bahr, who at this juncture appeared to be having considerable difficulty in collecting an adequate crew.  
          In February, 1941, "Egerland" proceeded via Danzig, Pillau and Memel to Tallinn, where it is believed that she refuelled with Russian oil.  It was stated that while in Tallin, much to the annoyance of the Germans, the Russian officials confiscated all landing permits, with the result that the Germans had to remain on board throughout their stay in that port.  
          For another month "Egerland" remained in the Baltic, for the most part at Kiel, where the majority of the naval personnel joined the ship.  The reason for the delay of several months before leaving the Baltic is a little obscure, but, in view of certain statements made by Bahr, it appears that the delay was mostly due to a shortage of suitable men to form the crew.  
          According to one report "Egerland" was engaged for some time in transporting oil fuel from one port in the Baltic to another, which may have accounted for her visit to Tallinn.  This report has not been confirmed.  
          (N.I.D. Note.  From now on a reconstruction of "Egerland's" early history has been considerably facilitated by the capture of a diary belonging to a naval rating.  Matrosengefreiter (Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class) Josef Kern.  All dates given exactly will for the most part have been taken from this diary.)  
          On 15th March, 1941, "Egerland," who was from this day onwards no longer the "North Africa," left Kiel and proceeded from 0900 until 1730 through the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal.  After being fog-bound for a day off Brünsbüttel"Egerland" arrived at Wilhelmshaven, where she stayed two days, leaving on 19th March for the Hook of Holland, escorted by two whaling vessels, one as a patrol boat, the other as a submarine chaser.  Leaving the Hook of Holland on 21st March, "Egerland" proceeded to Cherbourg in convoy along the French coast escorted by three minesweepers, which kept station on her starboard beam, also acting as A.A. guard.  This passage was carried out at a steady 12.5 knots day and night.  


          While at Cherbourg "Egerland" was subjected to a heavy attack from the air during which she fired all her A.A. ammunition, consisting of 2,000 2-cm. shells.  Apart from an attack by a British submarine shortly before reaching Brest, when two torpedoes were said to have passed within 50 yards of her bows, the remainder of the journey to St. Nazaire, which was to be "Egerland's" destination, was uneventful.  She reached St. Nazaire on 25th March and lay alongside the tanker "Uckermark" (formerly "Altmark").  
  (iv)  Preparations for First and Last Cruise of "Egerland"  
          Before leaving Germany it was almost certainly clear to Bahr that his ship was to co-operate with warships in the Atlantic, but the actual nature of this co-operation was first made known to him when, shortly after the arrival of "Egerland" in St. Nazaire, he was ordered to report at the offices of the "Marinegruppenkommande West" (Western Command of the German Navy) in Paris.  On arrival in Paris Bahr was told that "Egerland" was to operate as a supply ship for surface craft in the North Atlantic.  This information is based on a statement made by Bahr himself and to quote the phrase used by Bahr, they were to be engaged in "Nordversorgung" (Northern Supply).  Bahr then returned to St. Nazaire to make the necessary arrangements with the representatives of the "Tossschiffverband der Kriegsmarine Zweigstelle West" (Western Section of the Naval Supply Ship Unit), Korvettenkapitän (Commander) Stiller, whose offices were in La Baule.  
          Another matter to be settled before sailing was the replenishment of "Egerland's" 2-cm. ammunition, which had been expended during the air attack off Cherbourg.  The naval authorities in St. Nazaire were, however, unable to supply the necessary ammunition and, to quote Bahr again, there was apparently no ammunition of this calibre to spare in all France.  It was perhaps fortunate that at this juncture "Egerland's" plans were suddenly altered.  Bahr received notification that instead of carrying out "Nordversorgang" "Egerland" was to supply the U-Boats operating in the South Atlantic, the so-called "Süd-U-Boote," and was ordered to report at the offices of the Naval Supply Ship Unit at the German Admiralty in Berlin.  On arrival in Berlin Bahr was given various instructions as to the method of transfer.  This opportunity was of course seized to complain about the inefficiency of ammunition supply in the French bases and the matter was taken up very strongly by Korvettenkapitän (M.A.) Schmidt, Chief of the armament section, and Korvettenkapitän (Ing.) Schäfer, Assistant Technical Officer of the Naval Supply Ship Unit.  After about two days in Berlin, where, according to Bahr, he was treated with exceptional courtesy and friendliness, the captain of "Egerland" returned to St. Nazaire to make the necessary arrangements.  The port naval authorities were now most helpful and apologetic and within the next few days all the necessary ammunition arrived.  
          The loading of "Egerland's" supplies followed.  Fifty torpedoes were hoisted on board, but before very many of them had been stowed, it was decided that "Egerland," in view of the inadequate reconstruction which she had undergone, was not suitable to carry more than a few torpedoes.  The exact number finally stowed has never been established, but all prisoners agree that the number carried did not exceed ten, stowed in the forward hold.  These were said to be all air torpedoes.  
          The following is a list of the remaining supplies carried:  
                  (a)  500 barrels of lubricating oil for U-Boats.  
                  (b)  Drinking water for U-Boat's crews.  
                  (c)  Spare anchors.  
                  (d)  Provisions in special packing including smoked meat, stowed aft, which went bad in the heat, canned fruit, lemons and tobacco and cigarettes for about 500 men for four months.  
          It was stated that each smoker was allowed six cigarettes per day.  
          Although "Egerland" had only supplied U-Boats up to the time of her sinking, it appears from a remark made by Bahr that a great deal of supplies were intended for raiders.  
  (C42449)                                                                                                                      B** 4  


          An idea of the amount of provisions carried by "Egerland" is given in a statement by Bahr, who said that "Egerland" had sufficient provisions to victual a battleship for one week, and to enable his ship to stay at sea for nine months.  The crew of "Egerland" were all issued with tropical kit.  The exact amount of oil fuel carried is not known, but according to most prisoners, "Egerland" was not loaded to her full capacity.  
          Although ten torpedoes seems a very small number to be carried by a large tanker, the statement that she was unable to carry more is given credence by the fact that two torpedoes out of the ten were damaged and were undergoing repairs at the time of "Egerland's" interception.  According to Bahr it was better to carry a few and then take over a supply from another ship when at sea.  Like all ships of the Naval Supply Ships' Unit, "Egerland" received orders to ship an Otter sweeping gear, but as no one knew how to operate the gear it was discarded shortly before sailing.  
  (v)  First and Last Cruise of "Egerland"  
          On the 25th April, 1941, "Egerland" sailed from St. Nazaire and proceeded for two days with an escort of two corvettes.  On the afternoon of the second day anti-submarine patrol was taken over by Heinkel float-planes for eight hours, a relief plane arriving every two hours.  The crew of "Egerland," according to Rezning, was so apprehensive of attacks by British aircraft that when the Heinkels arrived, fire was almost opened before recognition was established.  British submarines were another considerable source of anxiety because, as stated by some of the crew, the German ship "Pollux" had recently been torpedoed and sunk by a British submarine in this area.  
          Course was first shaped northward of the Azores and then, according to prisoner's statements and confirmed by Kern's diary, "Egerland" proceeded south, approximately down the 30th meridian.  On 7th May, according to the diary, "Egerland" was in position 10° N., 31° W., and still proceeding southwards.  
          One day, in early May, the exact date has not been established, but according to Kern's diary it was the 8th, while still on a southerly course "Egerland" met the tanker "Brake" according to plan and arrangements were made to take over her patrol.  Bahr and Richter conferred with the captain of "Brake" and a little later, oiling hoses and large floats for the transfer of torpedoes to U-Boats were embarked from "Brake."  On the advice of the captain of "Brake," who had presumably more practical experience in supply ships than Bahr, "Egerland's" 7.5 cm. gun, mounted in the bows, which was of a somewhat antiquated Polish make, was unshipped and jettisoned, together with a certain amount of the superstructure; the reason given for this being that it looked too conspicuous.  
          On the night of 8th May "Egerland" sighted a U-Boat on the surface some way off, which was stated to have been recognised as "U 107," commanded by Kapitänleutnant Hessler.  The method of recognition in this case, according to Rezning, who seems to be a willing though inaccurate informant, was by coloured stars being fired in the same way as for recognition of the Heinkel seaplanes.  Hessler had fired all his torpedoes and was apparently much upset that he had recently had a large merchant vessel in sight, but had been unable to attack.  It was, however, stated by one of "Egerland's" crew, who had conversed with men from the U-Boat, that Hessler had fired his last two torpedoes at a merchant ship and that both of them had missed.  
          Although Hessler asked for a large number of torpedoes, Bahr only agrees to let him have two and, according to some prisoners, not more than one torpedo was transferred.  At 0730 on 9th May, according to Rezning, "Egerland" started to refuel "U 107" and this, together with watering and re-victualling, took several hours.  The amount of fuel transferred is not known.  During the transfer of the torpedoes, a member of "Egerland's" crew who was in the float had his foot broken.  The method of transferring torpedoes and supplies was said to have been by means of rubber floats towed to the U-Boat by "Egerland's" motor-boat.  (See IV (vii).)  
          It appears from statements made by Bahr that frequently during refuelling, the members of a U-Boat were entertained with beer and cigarettes, sometimes their washing was done and they were even shown a film on board "Egerland."  


          On 11th May, "U 38", Kapitänleutnant Liebe, was met in approximate position 7° N., 30° W., and, according to Rezning, one or two torpedoes were transferred.  During this operation a British convoy was reported and "U 38" made off.  On the following evening, 12th May, "Egerland" met a U-Boat commanded by Korvettenkapitän Schütze, which, according to the diary, was "U 37", but it is possible that this may have been "U 103", which Schütze is believed to have commanded at that time.  
          According to the diary torpedoes were supplied to this U-Boat during the night, the number supplied being unknown.  On the morning of the 13th May, when in approximate position 7° N., 31° W., Schutze parted company, having completed fuelling.  Later in the day, according to the diary, some 150 miles further south, "Egerland" once more met and fuelled "U 38".  The reason for "U 38's" second appearance may be due to the fact that a convoy arrived while he was being supplied on the previous occasion, which necessitated the interruption of the operation.  Once more on the evening of 13th May, a British convoy was sighted.  On the following day, 14th May, according to the diary, a British submarine was reported in the vicinity, so that it was decided to rename "Egerland" and disguise her as the Panamanian vessel "Gallia".  To achieve this, "Gallia-Colon" was painted on the ship's sides, together with the national colours of Panama.  
          During the night of the 15th/16th May, the U-Boat commanded by Kapitänleutnant Oesten, believed to be "U 106", was refuelled and on the morning of 16th May Oesten parted company.  On 17th May, "Egerland" was apparently somewhere between the 6th and 7th parallel, North, and there is no indication of any further incident until about 1100 on the 19th May when "U 105", commanded by Kapitänleutnant Schewe, broke surface quite close to "Egerland".  From this U-Boat Oberfähnrich Feddersen was transferred with injuries incurred during an action between "U-105" and some British vessel.  Feddersen was operated on immediately in the sick-bay and remained on board "Egerland".  After receiving supplies of various kinds, "U 105" departed.  Later in the day "Egerland" met "U 69", which is believed to be commanded by Kapitänleutnant Metzler.  This U-Boat also received supplies and parted company the same evening.  
          There is no reference to torpedoes being supplied to the last mentioned three U-Boats, "U 106", "105" and "69", possibly because "Egerland" may already have supplied all her torpedoes, except two which are known to have been damaged.  
          On the following day, 20th May, according to the diary, "Egerland" proceeded some 200 miles further south at 12 knots, and on 21st May was in Latitude 3° N., or S., Longitude 31° W.  (As no position has been given in the diary since 17th May, it is not clear whether the position given for the 21st is north or south of the Equator, although the fact that the diarist states that on the 21st "Egerland" was in the South Atlantic seems to indicate the possibility that the Equator had already been crossed.)  From now on until the 29th "Egerland", according to the diarist, was in the South Atlantic, her approximate position being given as from 6° - 7° N. or S. most of the time.  
          It is perhaps possible that the South Atlantic may be used in a vague sense and that all positions given are degrees north.  
          After the departure of "U 69" on 19th May, the next U-Boat met by "Egerland", was that commanded by Korvettenkapitän Eckermann, on 28th May, which is described in the diary as a U-Boat cruiser.  This seems to bear out the theory that Eckermann is commanding "U A", the only German U-Boat of 1,000 tons known to be operating then.  Some details of the supplying of this U-Boat have been provided by Bahr.  Eckermann had apparently submerged without his exhaust being properly closed so that sea water had got mixed with the lubricating oil.  The mixture had to be cleaned out and 7 tons of lubricating oil were supplied from "Egerland".  Of all the U-Boat Commanding Officers met by "Egerland", Eckermann, according to Bahr, was the only one to give an impression of nervousness and unreliability.  After taking over supplies at night "U A" departed on the morning of 29th May.  This was the last U-Boat to be supplied by "Egerland", and from this day until her sinking the time passed uneventfully.  


          On 29th May, according to Bahr, "Egerland" received a signal from the Naval Western Command ordering her to rendezvous with "Esso-Hamburg" in position 7° N., 31° W., on about 4th-5th June, from which ship they would be able to receive some torpedoes.  
          In the meantime, as there were no U-Boats to supply, it appears from Bahr's statements that "Egerland" proceeded some 300 miles away from the intended position of rendezvous with "Esso-Hamburg" until 4th June, when they kept their rendezvous at the usual hours of 0800 and 1600.  As there was no sign of "Esso-Hamburg" they made off again, intending to keep the rendezvous on the following day at the usual hours.  In the early morning of 5th June, while proceeding towards the rendezvous "Egerland" was intercepted by H.M.S. "London," with H.M.S. "Brilliant" in company, and in order to gain time she signalled that she was the Panamanian vessel "Gallia," from Colon.  The scuttling charges were then ignited and the crew abandoned ship.  Before doing so, according to Bahr, a signal was sent to the Naval Western Command notifying them that their ship had been scuttled.  
          "London" reported that as she and "Brilliant" closed "Egerland," "London" opened fire with A and B turrets at 1010/5th June, at a range of 21,000 yards, with the object of forcing the crew into their boats as soon as possible.  "Egerland" appears to have transmitted a signal on 12,700 kc/s at 1013/5th June.  Later the boarding party from "Brilliant" reported that the ship could not be saved and accordingly "London" ordered her to be sunk.  
          "Brilliant" reported that "Egerland" proved difficult to sink and that gunfire was most ineffective.  Six depth charges, set at 50 ft. and fired from throwers, whilst "Brilliant" passed at 24 knots close alongside, strained the ship but did not sink her.  A torpedo, set to 15 ft. struck about 50 ft. abaft the centre of the ship, did extensive damage and put her considerably down by the stern.  Finally one depth charge, which had landed on board amidships, having rolled aft, exploded and cracked the upper deck down the centre line and the ship sank stern first at 1530/5th June.  
          From statements made by Bahr and confirmed by Captain Paradies of the tanker "Gedania," it appears that "Egerland" was very shortly to have been relieved on her patrol in this area by "Gedania."  It has not been discovered whether "Egerland" was then to have returned to harbour or not, but in view of the large amount of supplies on board this seems unlikely.  It was stated, but without confirmation, that "Egerland" was later to have proceeded to the South Atlantic to co-operate with German raiders.  Should this in fact be the case, it would perhaps explain the presence among "Egerland's" equipment of several rolls of cinematograph film which could not have been of use to U-Boats, whereas in raiders there would probably be facilities for the exhibition of films.  
          Full instructions would probably have been handed over by "Gedania" before assuming patrol.  The date of the intended rendezvous of "Egerland" and "Gedania" has not been established and it is quite likely that this was still undecided at the time of "Egerland's" sinking.  
  (vi)  Preparations for Scuttling in "Egerland"  
          According to Bahr, he well realized the difficulties of scuttling "Egerland" and on arrival at the Admiralty in Berlin was somewhat annoyed when the authorities seemed not to appreciate these difficulties.  "Egerland" had thirty separate fuel tanks and in order to flood any of them from the sea fourteen valves had to be opened.  Before leaving St. Nazaire, Bahr said that he arranged for explosive charges to be placed in the empty tanks with hatch covers taken off, in order to give a larger radius of effect.  Unfortunately, he said, this measure did not produce the desired result.  
          The Polish seaman, Rezning, stated that charges 12 in. by 4 in., were fitted about every 10 ft. along the ship's side, below the waterline, and that they were controlled electrically from the bridge.  
          In conversation with an Engineer Officer of "Egerland" it was ascertained that special arrangements had been made for flooding the engine room.  Branch pipes had been fitted, leading from the Kingston valves to vital parts of the machinery and by means of specially fitted valves these parts could be readily flooded.  


  (vii)  Transhipment of Supplies to U-Boat as Carried out by "Egerland"  
          Information on this subject was supplied by the Polish seaman Rezning; as this prisoner had never served before in any other supply ship, it is not known whether the system as described by him is the normal procedure.  
          In order to receive fuel, the U-Boat takes station astern of the tanker, whose motor boat assists in passing a hawser and the oil fuel hose.  The hawser is then secured to the bows of the U-Boat.  To prevent the hose sinking on the way over to the U-Boat, it is filled with air and the end to be fitted to the U-Boat is closed.  The hose is then connected and the oil is pumped through.  Dueling the process, should the U-Boat come too close to the tanker, she is easily kept away by a few revolutions of her diesels.  On an average the actual fueling was said to have taken approximately two hours.  Further details regarding refuelling are given in II (vii).  At the same time as the fuelling is in process, stores and torpedoes are transported to the U-Boat in rubber floats said to be about 20 ft. long, which are towed by the motor boat.  One torpedo only can be carried at time in the float which is manned by two ratings from the tanker.  The torpedoes are hoisted by a davit in the U-Boat situated close to the forward torpedo-hatch.  
  (i)  Details of Supply Tanker "Esso-Hamburg"  
          Under her present name, "Esso-Hamburg" was completed at about the end of December, 1939, at Hamburg for the Standard Oil Company.  She was a tanker of 9,840 tons displacement with a carrying capacity of approximately 14,000 tons.  With a maximum speed of 14 knots, her cruising speed, according to her Master Captain Braunwarth, was about 12-13 knots, with a fuel consumption of about 17 tons per day.  The armament of "Esso-Hamburg" consisted of three 7.5-cm. Creusot guns and three 2-cm. German H/A guns.  She was said to be equipped with D/F apparatus.  
  (ii)  Crew of "Esso-Hamburg"  
          "Esso-Hamburg" had a complement of 87, composed as follows:  
                  Officers                        1 Navy; 10 Merchant Marine.  
                  Petty Officers               7 Navy.  
                  Men                             48 Navy; 21 Merchant Marine.  
          The one Naval Officer was the ship's doctor, Helmut Wurker.  Captain Braunwarth was not a member of the Naval Reserve; a man of 39 years, he had served in tankers before the war, and at the outbreak of hostilities was in Panama as Master of the German ship "Mowinkel."  After securing a passage in a Japanese ship about to cross the Pacific he left his tanker at Panama, and returned to Germany via Vladivostok and Moscow.  The Naval ratings were mostly young and ineperienced and seem to have made a bad impression on some of the older merchant seamen.  According to one of them, after "Esso-Hamburg" had been intercepted, the younger naval ratings were in a highly nervous state.  They kept clenching their fists and saying;  "What will the English do with us now?"  In the opinion of one of the merchant service stokers "Esso-Hamburg" had a large complement in order to expedite the refuelling of U-Boats and surface craft.  It was stated that in this ship there was some friction between the merchant seamen and naval ratings.  
  (iii)  Early History of "Esso-Hamburg"  
          In March, 1940, Captain Braunwarth assumed command of "Esso-Hamburg," and in June sailed from Hamburg with a cargo of fuel to Norway via the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal.  Soon after her arrival in Norway, "Esso-Hamburg" whilst refuelling a torpedo boat of shallow draught in Bergen, ripped open her bottom on a reef.  All repair yards were occupied at this time, but after trying in vain at Bergen and Kiel "Esso-Hamburg" found a berth in Akers' yard in Oslo, where she spent two months in the dry and floating docks.  


          In November 1940, "Esso-Hamburg" returned to Kiel for a few days and then sailed for Rotterdam where her guns were mounted.  A few days were then spent in Wilhelmshaven where most of the naval personnel joined and on Christmas Eve, according to Braunwarth, "Esso-Hamburg" sailed for Cherbourg.  It was stated that two weeks were spent in Cherbourg, where with French labour, the gun platforms were strengthened and extra fresh water tanks fitted.  
  (iv)  First Atlantic Cruise of "Esso-Hamburg"  
          On about 10th January, 1941, "Esso-Hamburg" left Cherbourg for the North Atlantic with instructions to proceed to a position some distance to the South of Cape Farewell.  According to Braunwarth it was not officially stated which ship or ships they should meet in that position, but it was rumoured in Cherbourg that "Esso-Hamburg" was to rendezvous with the battle-cruisers "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" and refuel them.  It seems unlikely that Braunwarth sailed without this knowledge.  
          Approximately four weeks out from Cherbourg, according to prisoners' statements, "Esso-Hamburg" sighted two battle-cruisers and, as was usual on sighting a warship, turned away.  The two battle-cruisers gave chase and before long they identified themselves as "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau."  
          "Esso-Hamburg" then proceeded to oil "Scharnhorst."  According to prisoners, this was done on or about 14th February, while proceeding at 7 knots and in a wind force 7.  It was further stated that two sets of fuel hose were employed and that the whole operation lasted three hours.  It has not been ascertained how much fuel was transferred.  
          In the meantime "Gneisenau" was being oiled by the tanker "Schlettstadt" a few miles away.  It appears, although it has never been admitted, that "Esso-Hamburg" was from the start intended to relieve "Schlettstadt," who had apparently been at sea for a considerable period and was stated to be running short of fuel.  According to Braunwarth, whose statements have frequently proved unreliable, "Schlettstadt" transferred all her surplus fuel to "Esso-Hamburg" and returned to port.  For the next two months, according to prisoners' statements, "Esso-Hamburg" remained in an area to the north of the Great Banks quite close to the ice-flows.  The cold was stated to have been intense and warm clothing lacking.  It has been denied by all on board that any more ships were refuelled and the only ships which were said to have been sighted, were American ice patrol vessels, capable of 20 knots.  In the opinion of some of the prisoners these American vessels fired at the "Esso-Hamburg" which made the captain think that they were being shadowed and finally decide to return to port.  According to the captain, he decided to return because the rudder had been damaged in the heavy seas.  
          On 12th April, "Esso-Hamburg" arrived in St. Nazaire and the ship's company proceeded in watches to Germany on leave.  
  (v)  Preparations for the Last Cruise of "Esso-Hamburg"  
          According to various statements the following supplies were shipped at St. Nazaire before "Esso-Hamburg's" last cruise:  
                  7,400 tons of fuel oil.  
                  1,200 tons of Diesel oil for own consumption.  
                  20 crated torpedoes.  
                  2,000-3,000 tons of fresh water (said to have been stored in 4 tanks).  
                  300 tons of special boiler water.  
                  2,500 20.5 cm. shells.  
                  Provisions for 2,000 men in special packings.  
          It was stated that, all told, "Esso-Hamburg" had on board one week's provisions for a battleship.  
          The crew of "Esso-Hamburg" said that their own supplies on the last cruise were of much better quality as they came from France and not from Germany.  
          Although 7,400 tons of fuel was much less than "Esso-Hamburg's" full carrying capacity, this amount was said by Braunwarth to have been sufficient for the particular undertaking in view.  A heavier cargo, it was stated, would mean a considerable decrease in speed.  


  (vi)  Last Cruise of "Esso-Hamburg"  
          On 20th May, 1941, "Esso-Hamburg" sailed from St. Nazaire and shaped course westward.  According to Braunwarth they were to refuel the battleship "Bismarck" only, no orders having been issued regarding the "Prinz Eugen."  Other members of the crew, who were frequently more reliable informants, stated that it was intended from the start that "Esso-Hamburg" should keep in touch with both "Bismarck" and "Prinz Eugen" and supply fuel when it was needed.  
          It was stated that "Esso-Hamburg" kept W/T watch on the same frequencies as "Bismarck" and "Prinz Eugen" and consequently was well informed as to their movements and the subsequent action between the German and British warships.  
          Braunwarth stated that on 24th May the German Admiralty suggested that "Esso-Hamburg" should rendezvous with "Bismarck," by now badly in need of fuel.  Admiral Lütjens, however, stated that this would be impossible in view of the fact that "Bismarck" was being shadowed by two heavy cruisers.  
          On 25th May, according to Braunwarth, after giving the slip to the shadowing cruisers, "Bismarck" turned sharply eastward towards Brest.  This seemed to be the opportunity for "Esso-Hamburg" to play her part and the disappointment was considerable when it became known that "Bismarck" was to make direct for Brest.  
          Not for long, however, did "Esso-Hamburg" have to remain inactive in the midst of such violent and large scale activity surrounding her.  On 25th or 26th May, she received orders to rendezvous with the heavy cruiser "Prinz Eugen" in the early hours of 27th May.  According to prisoners' statement the appointed time was at 0545.  
          As day broke on 27th May, "Prinz Eugen" was sighted in a position which has been given as approximately 48° N., 33° W.  As usual, pending recognition "Esso-Hamburg" turned away and had to be chased for a while by "Prinz Eugen."  According to most statements "Prinz Eugen" was camouflaged in green, grey and black paint, and appeared quite undamaged.  Oiling commenced at about 0700 with "Prinz Eugen" about 200 yards astern of "Esso-Hamburg."  The speed at which this was carried out is not known but from most statements it seems to have been at about 7 knots.  By about 1130 the operation was complete and "Prinz Eugen" made off eastward.  Opinions differ considerably as to the amount of oil transferred, but a figure can be reached from a statement made by Braunwarth that "Esso-Hamburg" had 6,700 tons of fuel left when she was sunk.  As no other vessel was refuelled besides "Prinz Eugen" it appears that approximately 700 tons must have been transferred.  Several prisoners, on the other hand, are of the opinion that only 300 to 400 tons were transferred.  
          According to the Master of "Esso-Hamburg" he remained in the same area for two days after the departure of "Prinz Eugen" in case this ship should require any more fuel in the event of further contact with enemy forces on the way to Brest.  This appears to be quite a credible statement.  The Master then maintained that without receiving any further orders he proceeded south between the 30th and 32nd meridians to what he termed a safer area.  
          As it is known that on the 29th May Captain Bahr of the "Egerland" received orders to rendezvous with "Esso-Hamburg" in position 7° N., 31° W., on 4th or 5th June, it seems more than likely that after waiting for two days in 48° N. "Esso-Hamburg" also received similar instructions on 29th May, and then proceeded south to the rendezvous near to which she was intercepted by H.M.S. "London", in company with H.M.S. "Brilliant" at 1400 on 4th June.  
  (vii)  Scuttling of "Esso-Hamburg"  
          In conversation with an officer from "London" Captain Braunwarth described the scuttling of his ship.  This, like all statements made by the Master, should be accepted with considerable reserve.  Charges seem to have been placed aft, amidships and forward.  In the engine room one large and one small charge were placed together along the ship's sides, the large one to blow a hole in the ship's side, and the small one to fracture the fuel pipes and cause fire.  In the pump room two large charges were placed one on each side of the sea valve boxes, which were stated to  


  have been along the ship's side.  Finally a large charge was placed on each side of the forward hold.  All these charges were stated to be individually operated, a rating being sent to each position to press the igniting plunger.  According to one of the stokers, two additional sea cocks had been fitted in the engine room to increase the rate of flooding.  
          Braunwarth stated that the scuttling charges had been set to detonate after twelve minutes, but actually did not explode until twenty-five minutes after firing, the fuzes having been lit at the same time as she was observed to be lowering her boats.  When boarded, by "Brilliant's" boarding party, she was already listing 35° to port, the port side being awash amidships.  
          "Brilliant" stated that the "Esso-Hamburg" carried two spare U-Boats' crews, but this statement has not been confirmed.  
          "London" reported that although keeping watch on 500 kc/s and 12,700 kc/s no transmissions were heard.  
  (viii)  Rendezvous with "Egerland"  
          Although Captain Bahr of the "Egerland" blamed Braunwarth for omitting to report that a warship was in the vicinity, Braunwarth was of the opinion that "Egerland's" capture was due to an inefficient look-out being kept.  According to him "Egerland" should have seen the black smoke rising from the sinking "Esso-Hamburg."  
          Information concerning the activities of this tanker as a supply ship for "Hipper," "Scharnhorst," "Gneisenau" is contained in C.B. 4051 (22).  
          The last cruise of "Friedrich Breme," when she was intended to act as supply ship to "Bismarck" and "Prinz Eugen," is contained in C.B. 4051 (24), "German Battleship 'Bismarck.'  Interrogation of Survivors."  
          The Appendix gives some details of fuelling of "Gneisenau" from tanker "Friedrich Breme."  
  (i)  Details of "Gedania"  
          Completed in Kiel in 1919, this 8,922-ton tanker was owned by the Waried Tankschiff Rederei of Hamburg.  Her armament on her first and last operational cruise consisted of two 7.5 cm. guns with large stereoscopic rangefinders and four 2 cm. H/A guns.  There were two short-wave transmitters on board which, according to a P.O. telegraphist, usually operated on 24 metres, 38 metres and intermediate wavelengths.  It was stated that the various code books on board "Gedania" had been thrown overboard shortly before interception by H.M.S. "Marsdale."  Further details concerning "Gedania's" equipment are to be found in VII (iv).  
  (ii)  Crew of "Gedania"  
          The crew of "Gedania" consisted of 101 men of whom 45 belonged to the German Navy.  The only naval officer on board was the ship's doctor.  Since 1935 the Master of "Gedania" had been H. Paradies.  He seemed to be an experienced merchant navy officer and complained of the inefficiency and lack of experience of most of the naval ratings drafted to his ship.  
  (iii)  Early History of "Gedania"  
          At the outbreak of war "Gedania" was on passage to Germany from Aruba in the Netherlands West Indies and decided to put into the neutral harbour of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.  Here she remained until 15th October, 1940.  According to Paradies, "Gedania" was taken over by the German naval authorities on 1st October, 1940.  On 15th October "Gedania" left Las Palmas for St. Nazaire,  


  the journey taking about three weeks.  On one occasion it appears that a British convoy was sighted and course was altered to the south-east in the direction of the Cape Verde Islands.  This would account for the long time taken to complete a comparatively short journey, which, according to Paradies, was covered at an average speed of 8-1/2 knots.  On 2nd November, 1940, "Gedania" anchored in St. Nazaire.  
  (iv)  Preparations for First and Last Operational Cruise of "Gedania"  
          "Gedania" remained in St. Nazaire until 25th May, 1941, and this long period in harbour may account for the fact that she was better equipped as a supply tanker than some of the others.  Whereas"Egerland" carried at the most 10 torpedoes "Gedania" had 48 on board.  In spite of this, however, in the opinion of Paradies, the torpedoes were stored in a way that transfer would have been almost impossible without damaging them.  
          When it was decided that "Gedania" would be employed as a supply tanker, Paradies, made several journeys to Berlin to confer with Meyer of the Supply Ship Section at the German Admiralty.  By February, 1941, having received full instructions from Berlin, Paradies conferred with Vollbrecht, the Chief of Naval Constructor at St. Nazaire.  As a result of this conference the following alterations and additions for "Gedania" were decided upon:  
                  (a)  Store rooms were to be built on each side of the forward "between-deck."  
                  (b)  A refrigerator was to be built in.  
                  (c)  On the after "between-deck," rooms were to be built for the housing of prisoners.  It had been requested by Meyer that accommodation be found for 300 prisoners, but according to Vollbrecht this was an impossibility.  It was finally decided that not more than 120 could be accommodated.  
                  (d)  An ammunition store to be built in the forward cargo space.  
                  (e)  Two outboard motor boats to be carried.  It was decided that a large motor boat would be too conspicuous.  
                  (f)  Guns were to be mounted on the after extended boat deck.  
                  (g)  A Gyro compass of the Anschutz type to be fitted.  Also a more modern and accurate D/F apparatus to be substituted for the old one.  
          A fairly comprehensive list of the supplies to be carried by "Gedania" was given by prisoners as follows:  
                  (a)  48 torpedoes with fitted warheads.  
                        48 torpedo pistols, detonators and primers being kept separate.  
                        Approximately 200 gallons each of lubricating oil and fuel oil for torpedoes.  
                  (b)  500 shells and 500 cordite charges for 15 cm. guns.  
                        1,600 rounds of fixed ammunition 10.5 cm.  
                        1,000 rounds of fixed ammunition 7.5 cm.  
                        2,000 rounds of fixed ammunition 2.0 cm.  
                  (c)  Engineers tools, including a portable welding plant and a new 8-in. lathe.  
                  (d)  A large cargo of Diesel and Bunker oil.  
                  (e)  W/T of a normal type, including D/F, 2 portable transmitting sets with harness and aerials and two small sets for setting up ashore.  
                  (f)  Large quantities of canned provisions, including butter, sausage and fruit.  
                  (g)  Bacon, frozen meat and potatoes, all of which were unfit for consumption at the time of interception by H.M.S. "Marsdale" on 4th June.  
          It was stated that there were sufficient supplies of provisions and water on board to last the ship's company three months and 200 prisoners for two months.  Further, that there were supplies enough to provision a battleship (2,000 men) for one week and the crews of three large U-Boats for six weeks.  


  (v)  First and Last Operational Cruise of "Gedania"  
          "Gedania's" mission on this cruise appears to have been, in the first place, the supplying of fuel and torpedoes to the so-called Southern U-Boats.  She had however, a certain amount of ammunition for surface craft, but at what period and in what area she was to have co-operated with surface craft has not been established.  It is clear, however, that this was to have been an important part of "Gedania's" mission in view of the fact that she had accommodation for 120 prisoners who would probably only have been taken as the result of action by surface craft.  
          In the opinion of some of the crew it was intended that "Gedinia" should rendezvous, if necessary, with "Bismarck" and "Prinz Eugen," though up to the time of sailing no detailed instructions to this effect had been received.  
          The immediate mission of "Gedania" was apparently to proceed into the Central Atlantic and take over patrol from the supply tanker "Egerland."  Further details would then have been supplied by "Egerland" and "Gedania" would have remained in her appointed area until all the torpedoes had been transferred.  At this juncture, according to Paradies, the Western Command would have been notified and further instructions would have been passed to "Gedania."  
          The course taken after leaving St. Nazaire on a journey which, apart from interception, proved uneventful, has been indicated by a diary taken from one of the prisoners.  On 25th May "Gedania" sailed at 0800 and anchored off La Pallice at 2130 on the same day.  At La Pallice, "Gedania" waited for further orders and on the afternoon of 29th May, after taking on board approximately 60 tons of fresh water, she sailed with an escort of armed trawlers.  
          Course was first shaped approximately towards Bilbao and then along the north coast of Spain, finally crossing the 44th parallel to the west of La Corunna.  On the afternoon of 4th June, when in approximate position 44° N., 27° W., "Gedania" was intercepted by H.M.S. "Marsdale" and the whole crew was taken prisoner.  It seems evident from the diary and from prisoners statements that after leaving La Pallice no German vessels of any kind were encountered.  
          The activities of this freighter (formerly the Norwegian "Kongsfjord"), after her inclusion in the Western Section of the Supply Ship Unit, is contained in C.B. 4051 (24) "German Battleship 'Bismarck', Interrogation of Survivors."  
  (i)  Details of "Lothringen"  
          Commissioned at Rotterdam on 23 January, 1941, this 11,000-ton tanker was taken over from the Dutch, while still under construction, when the Germans entered Holland in the early summer of the preceding year.  According to members of her crew, "Lothringen" of "Papendrecht," as she was named by the Dutch, should have been ready considerably earlier, but completion was hindered owing to the lack of raw materials in Rotterdam.  Although this tanker was soon to be taken over by the German Navy, it was stated that she became the property of and continued to be managed by the Ersts Deutsche Walfang G.m.b.H., of Hamburg.  
          "Lothringen's" armament on her first and last operational cruise was said to consist of two 3.7 cm. Polish and three 2 cm. German H.A. guns.  These were manned by the Naval members of the crew.  The two range-finders were of the 77 cm. and the 1.25 meter type.  
  (ii)  Crew of "Lothringen"  
          The crew of "Lothringen," all of whom were saved, consisted of 45 members of the German Navy, the only officer being the doctor, Stabsarzt Hans Hermann Schieckel, and 35 members of the German Mercantile Marine, including the  


  Master, Maz Friedrichsen, a man of 61 years.  Most of the merchant seamen and many of the older naval ratings appeared glad to be out of the war, and it was noticeable that a considerable percentage of them were antagonistic to National Socialism.  Friedrichsen, for instance, who was making his last cruise, was a Freemason and for that reason barred from entering the Nazi party, while several others had formerly been Communists and still appeared to sympathize with their old party.  According to one of these men there is still a Communist club in in Hamburg, which is run with the outward appearance of an athletic association.  Several of the merchant seamen including the Chief Engineer Bramman, stated that they were forced to undertake this trip much against their will.  
          The crew all agreed that the food on board had been good, but it was stated that special food, consisting of turkey and chocolate among other delicacies, were reserved for the crews of U-Boats and surface raiders.  All were apparently issued with Vitamin C tablets.  
  (iii)  Early History of "Lothringen"  
          The activities of "Lothringen" up to the time she left on her operational cruise for the Atlantic have been recounted in the diary of a rating who subsequently transferred to "Gedania."  
          The naval crew joined "Lothringen" at Rotterdam, where the guns were mounted and a considerable supply of fuel taken on board.  After a few days at Schiedam, "Lothringen" sailed in the early hours of 7th March, 1941, for Cherbourg, arriving during the afternoon of 8th March.  Here slight repairs were carried out to the telemotor and on 11th March "Lothringen" left Cherbourg for Brest, where a few days were spent before leaving for St. Nazaire, which was reached on 20th March.  The next day "Lothringen" proceeded to La Pallice, where she remained until 11th May.  
  (iv)  Preparations for First and Last Operational Cruise of "Lothringen"  
          Few details are available concerning the supplies taken on board at La Pallice, nor is it known whether any constructional alterations were necessary.  The following information has, however, been supplied by prisoners, and it is believed to be accurate.  Taken on board at La Pallice:  
                  (a)  32 torpedoes.  
                  (b)  1,000 tons of Diesel oil for U-Boats.  
                  (c)  Fuel oil for surface craft, received from the tanker "Rheum," which, together with that received at Rotterdam amounted to 11,000 tons.  
                  (d)  A number of metal canisters, the contents of which were not divulged, but which in the opinion of some of the crew contained lubricating oil for U-Boats.  
                  (e)  A large amount of provisions and fresh water, which, as in the case of other supply ships was stated to be sufficient to victual a battleship for one week.  
          From this information it appears that "Lothringen" carried approximately the same as all the other supply ships and according to statements by Friedrichsen and others, her mission in the Atlantic was the supplying of torpedoes, ammunition, fuel and provisions to U-Boats and surface raiders, including "Bismarck" and "Prinz Eugen."  
  (v)  First and Last Operational Cruise of "Lothringen"  
          This cruise, which started from La Pallice on 11th May, proved to be singularly uneventful.  According to all members of the crew neither surface ship nor U-Boat was encountered, although it was stated by Chief Engineer Bramman that "Lothringen" was due to rendezvous with a U-Boat on 17th June.  He claimed to be unaware of the position arranged for the rendezvous.  In the early afternoon of 15th June "Lothringen" was sighted by aircraft from H.M.S. "Eagle" in approximate position 19° N., 35° W., and attacked with 250-lb. bombs and machine-gun fire, the latter being directed on the ship's boats.  


          Insufficiency of seaworthy boats for the crew and the demoralising effect of machine-gun fire from "Eagle's" aircraft may have been the reason for "Lothringen" not firing the scuttling charges.  "Eagle" reported that this may have been the first occasion on which a ship is known to have surrendered to aircraft.  
          At 1700 on the same afternoon"Lothringen" was closed by H.M.S. "Dunedin" and the whole crew taken prisoner.  
  (vi)  Scuttling Charges  
          "Dunedin's" boarding party reported that the scuttling charges found in the pumping compartment appeared to have extra devices on them, which may have been clockwork fuses; these charges were thrown overboard without delay.  In all six scuttling charges were found secured in the following compartments:  
                  (a)  One large charge each side of the engine room, bolted to the ship's side and fitted to fire electrically or by time fuse.  
                  (b)  One large charge each side in the bilges under the pumping room, fitted to fire electrically or mechanically.  
                  (c)  Two large charges in bilges under the fore peak; these charges were found lashed to rib plates and were fitted to fire electrically or mechanically.  
          The large charges were composed of six 901/2 lb. T.N.T. charges in metal containers and contained their own primers.  Fuses when tested had a period of 7-9-1/2 minutes.  
          It is believed that the scuttling charges are normally kept in place.  
  (vii)  General  
          "Dunedin" reported that an order was found instructing all German ships operating in the North Sea, to have Swastikas painted on deck and covered up, in order to identify themselves to German aircraft.  
          A quantity of 6-in. rubber lengths of hose, for oiling, and a 6-1/2 in. wire hawser,for towing, were found on board.  
          "Dunedin" also reported that the naval ratings in "Lothringen" pronounced as a failure the experiment of manning the ship with merchant marine and naval personnel.  
  (i)  "Spichern"  
          This tanker appears to have changed her name on being taken over by the Naval Supply Ship Unit.  "Spichern" is reported to be the Norwegian "Krossfonn," of 6,000 tons, which is believed to have been captured by a raider in June, 1940.  The earliest information available concerning the activities of this tanker as a supply ship is from February, 1941, when she was due to refuel "Scharnhorst."  It was stated by a rating from "Friedrich Breme" that "Spichern's" fuel hose broke soon after the refuelling of "Scharnhorst" had begun, with the result that "Friedrich Breme" had to transfer 3,000 tons to "Scharnhorst."  
          According to prisoner's statements, "Spichern" was lying in St. Nazaire at the end of April, 1941, and shortly afterwards sailed for the Atlantic to refuel "Bismarck" and "Prinz Eugen."  Kapitänleutnant Wunderlich, of the "Gonzenheim" said that "Spichern" was the first of the supply ships to receive orders to return to port.  On 29th May she turned back for the French coast and in Wunderlich's opinion this may account for her safe arrival.  
  (ii)  "Ermland"  
          From statements made by Ernst Shackleton, the Bo'sun of the s.s. "A.D. Huff" (Owners International Paper and Pulp), his ship was sunk about 600 miles off Cape Race on 22nd February, 1941, by the "Gneisenau."  Some days later,  


  about 27th February, after the "Gneisenau" had steamed south at high speed, the fleet tanker "Ermland" was met and the following day the "Scharnhorst," in company with the supply ship "Altmark," made contact with them.  It was stated that at this time the four ships were in the Sargasso Sea.  (See Appendix - "Ermland" watered "Gneisenau" 27th February, 1941)  
          Shackleton and other British prisoners were transferred to the "Ermland," in which ship there were strong indications that the crew had been in Mexico on several occasions.  
          The crew of the "Ermland" bore traces of bad sunburn and appeared to have, besides their German uniforms, Dutch and also Japanese kit, from which Shackleton deduced that the tanker could disguise herself completely as a Dutch or Japanese vessel, the latter presumably when in Indian or Pacific Oceans.  
          The "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" parted company with the "Ermland" about 2nd March, but met her again about 11th March, when stores and fuel were transferred from the tanker to the battle cruisers.  About 19th March the "Gneisenau" was again fuelled by "Ermland" and it is thought that "Scharnhorst" and "Altmark" were also in the vicinity and all four ships were proceeding towards Cape Finisterre.  
          (N.I.D. Note.  C.B. 4051 (24) "German Battleship 'Bismark,' Interrogation of Survivors," Page 8.  It was erroneously stated that "Jervis Bay" was sunk in March, 1941, by "Gneisenau."  In point of fact the "Jervis Bay" was sunk by "Admiral Scheer" on 5th November, 1940).  
          About 22nd March "Ermland" and "Altmark" arrived at La Pallice, where the prisoners were disembarked and later, whilst proceeding by train to Germany, Shackleton and another British prisoner escaped.  
          According to Shackleton, whilst on board "Ermland" addresses were given to the crew by a propaganda officer.  These addresses were accompanied by a cinema crew intended to illustrate the decadence of the British.  
          "Ermland" was reported to be lying at La Pallice at the end of April and, according to Wunderlich of the "Gonzenheim," "Ermland" received orders to rendezvous with "Bismarck" shortly before the sinking of this battleship.  It is believed that "Ermland's" sailing orders were cancelled just before sailing or shortly afterwards, which would account for her having been able to reach port.  
          The "Ermland," reported to be of 20,000 gross tons, was stated to have been constructed for the German Navy and was capable of a maximum speed of 19 knots.  Shackleton stated that this ship mounted a 5.9 in. gun on the poop in a collapsible deck house and carried four pom-poms and a number of machine guns.  Between the funnel and 5.9 in. gun a large rangefinder was fitted and further aft there was a fitting which might have been a torpedo tube.  Fuelling could be carried out fro either bow or stern, exceptionally large fairheads being used for hawsers and hoses.  
          A smoke screen apparatus was installed beneath the poop.   
  (iii)  "Altmark" (or "Uckermark")  
          The movements of the supply ship "Altmark," during February and March, 1941, have already been mentioned above, in connection with the tanker "Ermland" and the battle cruisers "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau."  
          "Altmark" was reported to have arrived at La Pallice about 22nd March, 1941.  According to Rezning, the Polish rating from "Egerland," his ship arrived in St. Nazaire on 25th March and berthed alongside the "Altmark," which had by then been renamed "Uckermark."  Rezning stated that the "Uckermark" was undergoing reconstruction and that her armament was as follows:  
                                                             One on Forecastle  
                  Four 3-in. or 4-in. guns        One each side of the bridge        camouflaged.  
                                                             One aft  
  It was also considered possible that one 5.9-in. gun was mounted aft, camouflaged as a galley.  
          The "Uckermark" is known to have fuelled and watered "Gneisenau" on 11th March (see Appendix), which suggests that her name was changed prior to arriving at La Pallice.  


  (iv)  "Nordmark" (or "Dixie")  
          According to statements from escaped British prisoners the "Nordmark" is a tanker of the "Altmark" class,  She is probably armed with a 5.9-in. gun, concealed in a collapsible house on the poop, has H.A. guns on the bridge and was stated to have a powerful rangefinder mounted on top of Monkey Island.  Some reports mention that she was fitted with torpedo tubes, but this has not been confirmed and may have originated in the fact that she carried spare torpedoes for the "Admiral Scheer" and armed merchant raiders and had in fact been observed transferring torpedoes to the "Scheer," in what was described as a large Carley float, towed behind the motor boat.  Her speed is reported to be in the region of 18-20 knots.  
          "Nordmark" is known to have masqueraded as the American ship "Dixie," of San Pedro, California, having this name and the American flag painted on both side of the ship.  Her principal duty would seem to have been to act as supply and prison ship for the "Admiral Scheer" during the latter's cruise, from October, 1940, to April, 1941.  
          She is known to have been in company with "Admiral Scheer" at the end of December, 1940, apparently remaining in the vicinity of 20°-25° S., 15°-20° W., while the pocket-battleship was operating on the U.K.-Cape Town trade routes.  The "Duquesa," captured by "Scheer" on 18th December, 1940, was in company with the "Nordmark" for a period of 33 days, and during this time the tanker supplied the "Scheer," the armed merchant raiders No. 10 and No. 33 and various prizes made by these ships.  
          When the "Scheer" proceeded to the Indian Ocean, in February, 1941, "Nordmark" appears to have remained in the South Atlantic.  At the beginning of March she met a ship, which was probably the merchant ship "Ermland" (not the fleet tanker of that name), from Japan.  This vessel was taking prisoners from one of the Pacific raiders back to Germany.  The two ships remained in company for two days until "Scheer" returned from the Indian Ocean.  The date would be about the first week in March.  
          The "Ermland" arrived at La Pallice on 7th April and found the "Nordmark" already there.  It was stated, in the diary of a prisoner from "Gedania" that the "Nordmark" entered La Pallice on 23rd March with 800 prisoners on board.  An officer prisoner, well aquatinted with supply ship organisation, mentioned that the "Nordmark" reached Hamburg on 20th May.  
  (v)  "Kota Pinang"  
          All information available concerning this 7,200-ton vessel, formerly belonging to the Rotterdam Lloyd Line can be found in Section VIII, C.B. 4051 (24).  The "Kotanupan," as which ship "Kota Pinnang" was masquerading, formerly belonged to the same line.  
  (vi)  Unknown Supply Tanker in Canary Islands  
          Korvettenkapitän Bahr, of the "Egerland," stated that in the Canary Islands a tanker, belonging to his former firm, had been operating.  This tanker, with the connivance of the Spanish authorities, was in the habit of taking on board more provisions than she needed and putting to sea at night to supply U-Boats.  
  (vii)  "Brake"  
          This tanker, of 9,925 gross tons, was built in 1937 by Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack, for Jurgens Van der Berg Margarine Verkaufs Union G.m.b.H.  She is reported to be Diesel driven and to have a cruiser stern.  
          This tanker was reported at Vigo in September, 1939.  During July and August, 1940, she was reported to have discharged 4,500 tons of petrol at Vigo.  "Brake" was reported to have sailed from Bilbao on 6th March, 1941, for a French Port and is presumed to have become a supply ship from this date.  
          According to prisoners from "Egerland," their ship relieved the "Brake" on 8th May, 1941, in approximate position 10° N., 31° W., taking over her surplus stores.  "Brake" was said to have had a crew of two hundred on board.  


  (viii)  Unknown Tanker Supplying Italian Submarines  
          According to Bahr, captain of "Egerland", a tanker, whose name he refused to mention, had received, towards the end of April, 1941, a series of D/F signals from three Italian submarines, which, according to Bahr, proved to be three of the four submarines making for Bordeaux from Massawa, via the Cape.  This unknown tanker was stated to be disguised as an American and was stated to have been warned of the approach of the submarines by patrolling British aircraft.  
          In due course the tanker met what the Germans described as three very old-fashioned submarines, badly in need of fuel and supplies.  It was stated that these submarines used crude oil and were unable to operate on volatile oil and it was accordingly necessary for the tanker to supply them with a mixture of crude and volatile oil.  Having been refuelled in this manner, the Italians proceeded, but, in the words of the Germans, "they were smoking like factory chimneys."  
          (N.I.D. Note.  Three Italian submarines of the "Brin" class (896 tons) and the "Perla" (618 tons) arrived in Bordeaux at the end of April, 1941.  These submarines were completed in 1934-1938.)  
  (ix)  Other Ships believed to be Operating with the Supply Ship Unit  
          (a)  "Adria."  A 6,000 ton tanker formerly belonging to the Essberger Line.  She was known to have refuelled "Gneisenau" in Oslo Fjord on 30th-31st January, 1941 (See Appendix.)  
          (b)  "Belchen."  A tanker, which was stated to have been at Pauillac as late as 3rd May, 1941.  
          (N.I.D. Note.  Reports have been received that this tanker has been sunk and it is possible that this ship was the tanker sunk by C.S.2 on 3rd June, 1941, in 59° N., 47° W.).  
          (c)  "Nordmeer."  A 6,900 ton tanker formerly belonging to the Essberger Line was stated to have been at Le Verdon as late as 3rd May, 1941.  
          (d)  "Dittmarschen."  This naval tanker of 20,000 gross tons was stated to have been operating with the Northern Section of the Supply Ship Unit in January, 1941.  
          (e)  "Heide."  A tanker.  
          (f)  "Ill."  A tanker, stated to have been at La Pallice in early May, 1941.  
          (g)  "Jasois."  A tanker.  
          (h)  "Kärnten."  A tanker.  
          (i)  "Memelland."  This vessel was stated to have been at St. Nazaire during the first week of May 1941.  
          (j)  "Nordvaard."  A tanker.  
          (N.I.D. Note.  The Norwegian ship "Nordvaard" was captured by Raider 33 in the Indian Ocean in September, 1940, and arrived at Bordeaux some time before December, 1940.  This ship is not a tanker, but it is possible that the Germans intend to use her as a reporting ship.)  
          (k)  "Palmyra."  A tanker.  
          (l)  "Passat." A 6,600 ton tanker completed for Kauffahrtei A.G. Hamburg, in 1920.  
          (m)  "Polykarp."  This ship was stated to have been at Nantes as late as 25th April, 1941.  
          (N.I.D. Note.  Presumably the Norwegian tanker of 6,405 tons, captured by "Scharnhorst" on 15th March, 1941, and believed to have been sent to an occupied French port.)  
          (n)  "Python."  A 3,300 ton fast banana boat formerly belonging to the Laiesz Line.  
          (o)  "Sandefjord."  A tanker of 8,038 tons was stated to have been at Nantes as late as April, 1941.  
          (N.I.D. Note.  Escaped British prisoners stated that this Norwegian tanker was captured by "Admiral Scheer" in the South Atlantic on 17th January, 1941, when fully loaded with crude oil.  British prisoners were transferred to "Sandefjord" whilst in the rendezvous in approximate position 25° S., 14°. W., this ship then proceeded to Bordeaux.  These British prisoners stated that the route followed lay almost due north from the rendezvous mentioned above until  


  approaching our convoy routes from Halifax, when course was altered to the eastward for the Gironde River.  The passage was uneventful, the last few days being foggy and favourable to the Germans.  On arrival off the Gironde, at the end of February, 1941, the ship, which flew no flag and which to all intents and purposes appeared to be an allied tanker, was machine gunned by a Messerschmidt.)  
          (p)  "Schlettstadt."  This tanker is known to have supplied water and fuel to "Gneisenau" about 14th February, 1941 (See Appendix), and then, according to Braunwarth, of the "Esso-Hamburg," transferred her surplus fuel to his ship and returned to port.  
          (q)  "Vendee."  A tanker.  
          (r)  "Weissenburg."   
  (i)  "Unitas"  
          Bahr, captain of the "Egerland," stated that he sailed for three years in this 22,000 ton tanker.  According to him she is still lying at Gotenhafen, where she supplies distilled water to ships in the Baltic at the rate of 500 tons per day.  
  (ii)  "Walter Rau"  
          This tanker was stated to have been at Gotenhafen and lying next to "Unitas" in May, 1941.  
  (iii)  Hapag Steamers  
          "New York," "Hamburg," "Deutschland" and "Hansa" were stated to have been in Gotenhafen in May, 1941.  "Ammon" and "Monte Pascoal" were said to be lying at Swinemünde as depot ships for the Naval Gunnery School (Schiffs Artillerie Schule).  "Milwaukee" was said to be lying at Kiel and at the disposal of the Admiral commanding the port ("Kommandenteur").  
  (iv)  "Sachsenwald" and "August Wriedt"  
          Details concerning the activities of the weather reporting ship "Sachenwald" appear in Section VIII of C.B. 4051 (24), and it has since been established that she was to have been relieved by "August Wriedt," another weather reporting vessel and former trawler, which was intercepted on 29th May, 1941, shortly after leaving Bordeaux.  
  (v)  "Ole Jacob"  
          The "Ole Jacob," a Norwegian tanker, was stated by prisoners to have been captured by the Germans in the Indian Ocean when she was loaded with petrol.  As the German Navy did not require petrol, she was ordered to Japan, where the Japanese took over the petrol, which they exchanged for fuel oil.  This ship subsequently acted as a supply ship for raiders and is believed to have returned in ballast to Bordeaux.  Her presumed date of arrival was given as 25th July, 1941.  She was sailing under the Norwegian flag.  
          (N.I.D. Note.  "Ole Jacob" was captured in 06° 29' N., 090° 16' E., on 10th November, 1940, by Raider 16.  She was sent to Kobe with a prize crew, arriving 5th December.  She sailed again on the same day and has not since definitely been located.  It is, however, possible that, after exchanging her cargo of petrol for fuel oil, she met one of the two Pacific raiders in January, 1941.)  
  (vi)  "Lech"  
          It was alleged by an officer prisoner that when the merchant ship "Lech" was sent to Brazil, early in 1941, with spare parts for a German Air Line, the Brazilian Government was asked whether it would allow a German U-Boat to escort her.  The Brazilian Government is alleged to have replied that it could not give official permission but it would instruct the Brazilian Navy not to "see" the U-Boat.  
          (N.I.D. Note.  It seems possible that a U-Boat did accompany the "Lech" during part of her journey from Rio de Janerio towards the Azores.  A merchant vessel of 3,290 tons, the "Lech" was reported to have loaded, in March, 1941, with coffee and hides for her return journey but was intercepted and scuttled herself in position 45° 33' N., 23° 23' W., at 1300/22nd May, 1941.)  


  "Experiences with Supply: Provisions in Supply Ships  
          A.  The Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet requested that Supply ships should be supplied with provisions for two Battleships for fourteen days each.  
          B.  The bills of lading show the following state of provisions supply; in supply ship "Ermland," 301.5 tons, in supply ship "Uckermark," 270 tons.  The supply is enumerated down to the smallest detail in respect of quantity, weight and stowage.  As the quality of this supply appeared to be considerably greater than was asked for, the question of the organization was raised. . . . The battleships "Gneisenau" found that the weight of victualling supplies for one battleship for one month was about 110 tons, so that the supplies carried in the supply ships could only have been sufficient for three months instead of six. . . .  
          C.  According to the bills of lading the following quantities of U-Boat supplies were carried in supply ship "Ermland," 2.3 tons, in supply ship "Uckermark," 4 tons or 6.6 tons. . . .  In this case also there is no information regarding the number of men and the time for which these supplies have been calculated.  
          D.  The victualling supply carried on board the supply ships must have been calculated according to definite figures regarding the number of men, the time, the quantity per man and the menu.  This information is a necessary prerequisite of an economical use of the supply.  It cannot be tolerated that Commanding Officers should take what they like from the supply at their disposal on the basis of a menu designed by themselves.  In this way calculation can never be exact.  It would take very much to much time if every Commanding Officer before taking over his supply drew up a menu, then calculated on that basis the quantities required, the weights and the corresponding number of crates, barrels, sacks, etc., then laid the documents containing the results of his calculations before the supply ship, and then sought out for himself the required victuals with the help of the personnel of the supply ship. . . .  
          The following procedure would seem to baa practical:  The proper authority should draw up a fortnightly menu for the greatest number, if possible taking into account the climatic conditions in the operation area of the supply ship, and the possibility that supplies may have to be taken on at infrequent intervals.  The quantities for 100 men may be worked out; such a quantity for 100 men for 14 days will be a unit with standard packing and marking.  It will consist of a definite number of crates, sacks, barrels and buckets which, if necessary, can be stored separately (refrigerator).  The victualling of a supply ship with food supply for a crew of 1,500 men for eight weeks would then consist simply of 15 X 4 = 60 of such supply units.  The ship to be supplied orders a definite number of units of supply which must quickly be prepared if the available stock is economically used.  It is obvious that the basis of calculation of a unit of supply must be stated in the bill of lading, i.e., it must include a menu.  
          E.  In calculating the food supply of the supply ships themselves for a definite time, the possibility that they may have to carry large numbers of prisoners for a considerable time must be reckoned with.  
  Experiences in Provisioning  
          A.  Taking over goods from the supply ship "Ermland" on 18th March, 1941, was effected on the basis of experience in connection with the pocket-battleship "Admiral Graf Spee" roughly as follows:  The battleship placed on the supply ship a working party commanded by an officer.  The supplies were transported by tenders of the battleship and of the supply ship.  In a heavy swell with both ships rolling the boats approached as close as six metres, the stores to be transported were packed in the supply ship in large nets and tallied exactly, whereupon it was lowered down with a crane into a boat.  In the battleship the net was attached to an aircraft or boat crane, hoisted on board and tallied again.  This procedure works quickly and without friction if: . . . .  
                  (d)  If sufficient nets are available in supply ships and warships so that the stores can remain in the nets when transferred to the boats, and  
                  (e)  If the goods are sufficiently strongly packed to stand being loaded and unloaded in this way.  Paper sacks are therefore not suitable.  
          B.  According to experience with battleships, the supply ship in favourable weather can transfer provisions for 2,000 men for 14 days in about 10 hours.  
          C.  Due care must be given to the packing of food.  As the stores have to be loaded in nets by cranes into moving boats and ships, only strong and solid packing should be chosen.  In "Ermland," for instance, sugar was packed in paper sacks of 100 kilos, jam in tins with an ordinary lid, and groceries in light cartons. . . .  


  Experiences in taking over fuel oil from Supply Ships and Tankers  
          1.  The battleship 'Gneisenau" reported relative to refuelling from "Adria" on 30th January, 1941:  
1010 hours: The tanker steamed seven knots against the wind.  The speed had to be chosen in order to allow "Gneisenau" to answer the helm in weather conditions prevailing.  Although the floats on the towing hawser were not seen, the "Gneisenau" approached as the visibility was so bad that it was thought that they would not be seen further than 100 metres away.  This hope was not fulfilled as the hawser, contrary to regulations, carried no floats but only a tin can which was half underwater so that the hawser could not be taken up.  After having steamed for a considerable time 300 metres astern of "Adria," the starboard tow was successfully taken up, after "Adria" had attached a raft to it as a marker.  The use of the raft had the desired effect, but the use of the tin can was not effective as it immediately sprang a leak and therefore dragged the tow rope under water.  As starboard and port ropes were connected, it was finally possible to take the port rope on board as well.  When this rope was hauled in it was discovered that it was too weak to carry towing gear.  Although "Gneisenau" was immediately astern of "Adria," the port rope parted at 1140, thereupon the starboard line was cast off and "Adria" was ordered to take in the whole gear to buoy the port line better and then cast out the tackle again.
1955 hours: In spite of the strong wind and the unusually difficult conditions of work on the port side, which was entirely iced up due to the prevailing temperature of minus 15° C, and in spite of the swell, the rope was taken on board without any special difficulty, as this time it was safely buoyed up with floats.  It should, however, be noted that the swell was comparatively slight.
1422 hours: The starboard tow rope parted; this could easily have been avoided by "Adria" veering only a few metres.
1730 hours: Wind north-west 9, sea 5.
2106 hours: Port hose line burst as it had worn through by friction.
0300 hours: Oil tanking broken off because of drift ice.
        2.  Battleship "Gneisenau" reported relative to refuelling from "adria" on 31st January, 1941:
1354 hours:
The evolution was delayed by the fact that the end of the port hose had broken adrift from the towing tackle.  For this reason the towing gear could not be taken up because otherwise the hose would then have been separated from the towing gear and sustained damage against the anchor.  The hoseline, therefore, had to be taken in separately and led up through the hawsepipe.  This appears to have been due to faulty adjustment of the hose on the part of "Adria."
1443 hours:
Tow restored.
1505 hours:
Pumping started from the port hoseline.  The discovery is made that pumping with full pressure is impossible, as there is a kink in the hoseline.
1514 hours:
Pumping began from starboard hoseline.
1530 hours:
Pumping from the port hoseline cannot be continued, as no oil will come through it by reason of the kink, which is about 50 metres off the bow of the "Gneisenau."  This kink existed before the hoseline connection was established.  An attempt to remove it during refuelling was unsuccessful.
          3.  Battleship "Gneisenau" reported that on 27th February, 1941:  
At 0910 hours:
The tanker "Brerne" steered a course of 310° against a very long and very heavy swell, speed 6 knots, own speed revolutions for 4 knots.  Occasionally with the ship rolling, water came over the forecastle, men on the forecastle had to be lashed on with ropes.  Nevertheless the establishment of the tow provided no particular difficulties.  The ships, however, were rolling so heavily that the possibility of the hoses wearing through after some time had to be taken into account.  The starboard hose was not sufficiently securely attached to the towing gear.  After ten minutes it hung down in great lops from the bow.  It was, therefore, only a question of time before it would part.
0955 hours:
Port hose parted, pumping ceased.  The port hose probably parted, because in the heavy sea it became loose, rubbed against the starboard hose, and in this way slowly wore through.  It was again found that the tanker, contrary to instructions, had only used one 8-meter length of flexible metallic hose.  It is particularly important that two 8-metrer lengths should be used immediately behind the nozzle so that the metallic hose lengths lie on the edge of the bow.
1000 hours:
Running before a long swell the ships rode more easily and work on the forecastle was rendered more simple.  Running before the sea was ea sire than steaming against it.


          4.  "Gneisenau's" first fuelling from the "Uckermark" on the 11th March, 1941, caused greater difficulties.  "Gneisenau" has related her experiences as follows:  
                  (a)  It is not advisable to lash two hoselines at the same time to the towing gear.  In a heavy swell there is a very great strain on the towing gear.  As a result the hoses chafe against one another and are inclined to part easily; they come adrift, thrash about and get damaged.  While refuelling, one hoseline became unserviceable for a comparatively short time.  It has to be replaced by a second hose.  
                  (b)  The manilla rope with the two floats was extremely short.  It is recommended that the manilla rope should be lengthened by 150 metres.  Apart from this the oil hoses must be paid out at the right time and also far enough so that the ship refuelling does not have to steam up too far.  
                  (c)  At the end of the hoseline there must be two lengths of flexible metallic hose, as otherwise the rubber hose becomes too heavily worn on the bows.  
                  (d)  The hoses must be taught against the towing gear and lashed to it by strong canvas lashings about one metre apart.  While oiling, the hoses broke away from the lashings by the action of the waves, whereby heavy strain on the hoses was caused.  
                  (e)  The towing gear must be so secured in the tanker that with the first tension it does not come adrift at the end.  
                  (f)  With two oil hoses in use they must be kept as far apart as possible in the supply ship so that the hoses do not cross in the water.  If they cross the result is that in a heavy sea the hoses wear each other through in a short time.  
                  (g)  It is desirable that supply ships and tankers should always have reserve hoses ready to be cast out so that when one hose comes adrift the reserve can immediately be attached.  
                  (h)  The reserve hose passed over later was also badly lashed to the wire rope, so that it came adrift during the night in many places.  
                  (i)  It is advisable to lash the second oil hose to a strong manilla rope and not to a wire rope.  
          Summary:  It must be emphasized that refuelling at sea occurred without any friction on occasions when supply ships and tankers followed the instruction given to them.  This must be impressed again upon supply ships.  Full concurrence is expressed with the suggestions in paragraph 4.  They must be used and included in the instructions.  The battleships "Bismarck" and "Tirpitz" will refuel under certain circumstances with three hoses.  There are no serious objections to this procedure.  
The Experiences relating to Taking in Water from Supply Ships and Tankers.
          A.  To collect information and experience in this matter, the battleship "Gneisenau" took in water at sea three times.  
                  (a)  On the 14th February, 1941, from "Schlettstadt."  
                  (b)  On the 27th February, 1941, from "Ermland."  
                  (c)  On the 11th March, 1941, from "Uckermark."  
          Water was taken in from "Schlettstadt" and "Uckermark" through rubberized canvas hoses of 45 mm. (1-3/4 in.) diameter:  from "Ermland" with flexible metallic hoses of 65 mm. (1-2/4 in.) diameter.  The Captain of "Uckermark" maintained that he had no special gear for water supply.  
          From "Schlettstadt" 90 cu. metres (88 tons) were taken in 10-1/2 hours (with a pumping pressure 4 atmospheres (60 lbs./sq. in.), that is to say, on an average of 8.6 cu. metres (8.5 tons) per hour.  
          From "Ermland" 23 cu. metres (22.5 tons) were taken in two hours, with a pumping pressure of 4 to 5 atmospheres (60/75 lbs./sq. in.), that is to say, on average of 11.5 cu. metres (11 tons) per hour.  Later on 5 hours 16 minutes 27 cu. metres (26 tons), that is to say, on an average of 5.15 cu. metres (5 tons) per hour. . . .  
          These examples show that the arrangements for taking on distilled, washing and drinking water are not yet sufficiently developed and must be further developed quickly.  Apart from the unreliability of the hose material, quantities averaging 5 to 11 cu. metres (5-10.7 tons) per hour are insufficient.  If a battleship must take more water it is a matter of 300 to 400 cu. metres (295 to 390 tons), which must be taken in 12 hours at the longest.  Thus an average of 30 to 35 cu. metres (29.5 to 34.3 tons) per hour is necessary.  
          B.  The distilled water taken over was in both cases unfit for use as drinking water. . . .   The chloride content was just tolerable, but this at any rate shows that both in the supply ships and during the transfer no sea water found its way into the distilled water . . . . .  
          C.  Taking in water should be done concurrently with refuelling with oil."  



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