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Friday, November 10th 2017, 2:52pm

Kieler Nachrichten, Tuesday, 25 May 1948

The frigates Stockach, Gailingen, Chemnitz, and Mohlsdorf have completed their assignment to the Lehr-Division and are now fully operational for service with the fleet.

Rostocker Zeitung, Wednesday, 26 May 1948

The dockyard at Kiel today saw completion of the new frigates Ottendorf and Drachhausen, while the Flensburger Schiffsbau delivered the frigates Pirow and Roggenstede. These comprise the last four vessels of the Manching-class, and are expected to be followed by a new class of frigates due to be begun next year.

Dithmarscher Landeszeitung, Thursday, 27 May 1948

Peat cutters Otto and Max Müller of Osterby, Rendsburg-Eckernförde, while cutting peat on their father’s land, discovered the mummified partial remains of human body buried long ago in a bog. Classed by archaeologists as a bog-burial, the remains – comprising a head was wrapped in fragments of a deerskin cape – feature hair tied in a Suebian knot, which the historian Tacitus describes in his Germania as a characteristic of free men among the Germanic tribe of Suebi. The find is now undergoing analysis at the Provincial Archaeological Museum.


Sunday, November 12th 2017, 11:38am

Kieler Nachrichten, Friday, 28 May 1948

The destroyers Torgau, Bautzen, Dessau, and Gustrow have completed their assignment to the Lehr-Division and are now fully operational for service with the fleet.

Bremer Nachrichten, Saturday, 29 May 1948

Ceremonies at the Deschimag shipyard at Bremerhaven marked the completion today of the destroyers Limburg and Oppeln; similar ceremonies at Cuxhaven marked the completion of the destroyers Schwarzburg and Altenburg. The newly-completed vessels will be undergoing builders’ trials for the next several weeks before joining the Lehr-Division in the Baltic for a period of operational training.


Monday, November 13th 2017, 9:27pm

Base Aéronavale de Lann Bihoué, France, Sunday, 30 May 1948

Kapitänleutnant Ganzer and Oberleutnant zur See Offermann were comparing notes after their most recent rides in the Breguet-Nord Br.930 Pêcheur antisubmarine aircraft. For a design that derived from the Breguet Br.693 ground-attack aircraft they found it serviceable enough, if rather small. Of course, its small size was not necessarily an impediment for operating off the Kriegsmarine’s own flight decks. The fact that the design was still ‘flexible’ was also an element in its favour – the officials of the factory in Toulouse had been very clear that the airframe could be readily modified to suit any of the Kriegsmarine’s needs. As an interim type the Br.930 was certainly worth considering.

As they waited for transportation back to Paris they began to write the report they would submit. They would recommend that the French Marine Nationale be invited to send one or two of its aircraft for evaluation and carrier-testing. If these tests confirmed the aircraft’s suitability, it was their considered opinion that the Br.930 be acquired to fill the immediate needs of the Marineflieger, while a domestic aircraft capable of meeting all the needs of the service was developed.

Világgazdaság (Budapest), Monday, 31 May 1948

Our correspondents in East Africa report that on Tuesday of last week armed gunmen robbed the Banco di Roma branch in Addis Ababa, capital of the East African State, escaping with a considerable amount of cash and wounding two policemen in the process. No further details are available at this time, and local authorities have described it as an isolated incident of banditry.


Monday, November 20th 2017, 2:01pm

Berlin, The Cabinet Meeting Room, Tuesday, 1 June 1948

“And thus thanks to our expanding trade with our alliance partners” concluded von Hapsburg, “we are no longer as dependent upon Nordmark for the importation of iron ore or forest products as we once were. Nordish supplies of high-grade ore are still useful, but for most steel products our own sources, such as the ores at Salzgitter, are adequate.” He then continued, “Our metallurgical industries have arranged very advantageous contracts for ferroalloys with Russian sources, and the nations of south-eastern Europe remain a trove of resources yet to be fully developed.”

The question of developing the resources in question had long been a sticking point. German firms had long been willing to invest, if given a free hand by the governments in question to ‘guide’ their exploitation to Germany’s advantage. Von Hapsburg’s policies had championed a partnership with local interests to develop the mineral wealth of the Balkans to the advantage of both parties.

“Then there is less of a risk if we take a stronger line in our negotiations with the Nords?” asked Dehler, the Foreign Minister.

“To the economy, yes,” replied von Hapsburg. “Though there is no reason to take a stronger position merely for the sake of taking one. The Nordish government is not led by a set of fools.”

“Very well,” said Adenauer. “What is next?”

Blank, the Defence Minister spoke. “There is the question of Yugoslav inquiries regarding the outright sale of Arado light bombers. The matter has been raised before and deferred; they have raised it again.”

“Herr Dehler,” replied Adenauer, “given our present circumstances, would the state of our relations with Italy still preclude a positive response?” The rising level of tensions with the increasingly chaotic Italian Government baulked greatly in everyone’s thoughts.”

“I would like my staff to consider the details of the Yugoslav request before providing a definite answer,” Dehler responded.

“I would like your answer by our next meeting,” the Chancellor concluded.

Berliner Morgenpost, Wednesday, 2 June 1948

The Army Ordnance Office has announced the results of the new rifle competition. The Maschinenkarabiner G6, developed by the Mauser-werke, has been selected for production to replace the MP36 machine pistol and rifles in certain units. In a surprise move though the Industriewerke Karlsruhe has been awarded a contract to develop an adaptation of the current G5 rifle for the new Polte intermediate cartridge.

Berlin, The Admiralstab, Thursday, 3 June 1948

Kapitän zur See Heinrich Gerlach, Director of Naval Intelligence, pored over the reports that had arrived regarding the recently-concluded British fleet exercises in the mid-Atlantic. They were fragmentary at best, and somewhat contradictory, despite deploying several vessels to observe matters at a distance. Signals analysis suggested that the British were attempting to practice how to handle large numbers of aircraft carriers in independent operations, as well as to protect convoys against submarine attacks. This was no surprise, and the same signals analysis reinforced the conclusion that the British were utilising some sort of aerial command post for direction of their aircraft.

What did surprise Gerlach was the movement of a substantial portion of the British Mediterranean Fleet to play the part of aggressor in the second phase of the British exercise. French and Atlantean sources suggested that the British had treated this force as far larger in theory than it was in practice – a reflection of the fact that in European waters the Royal Navy’s resources were stretched quite thin. What annoyed Gerlach was the lack of sufficient information to determine what conclusions the British might have reached. No doubt they had learned much; the question was whether they had learned the right things, or merely confirmed the Royal Navy’s prejudices regarding its doctrine.


Friday, November 24th 2017, 1:24am

Militär-Wochenblatt, Friday, 4 June 1948

The concluding ceremonies of the International Military Games saw the teams drawn from the Heer achieving a respectable performance in peaceful competition with teams from across Europe. Eleven events were entered; in these, Germany took first place in three, second place in two, and third place in another two.

The Wachbataillon took first place in the Presentation Event, while the team drawn from the Kommando Spezialkräfte nearly took a first place win in the Parachute Raid Event, settling for the silver medal. The team from Panzerdivision 11 was awarded first place in the 1,200 kilometre rally event, establishing a clear victory over Poland, the second-place team. The entrants from Panzerdivision 9 achieved third place in the Armoured Spearhead event, edged out by teams from France and the Netherlands. The team of Panzerdivision 2 likewise took third place in the Flying Column event, narrowly besting a team from France. The pioniers of Infantriedivision 1 took first place in the Pioneers’ Challenge, while their counterparts of Panzerdivision 2 took second place in the Sappers’ Challenge.

All in all, for a first time showing, the Heer did well, and all members of the armed forces look forward to the next games.

Dithmarscher Landeszeitung, Saturday, 5 June 1948

The survey ships Komet and Meteor have sailed from their home port of Emden. The Komet will carry out a survey in the Indian Ocean while the Meteor will return to survey the waters of the South Pacific

Cruiser Novara, Suva Harbour, Fidji, Sunday, 6 June 1948

Konter-admiral Rogge took the opportunity to commence writing his report of the East Asia Squadron’s participation in Exercise Guette 48, the Marine Nationale’s regional training exercise. His ships were engaged in reprovisioning and refuelling from the next leg of their journey, a long stretch northward to Hawaii. The last weeks had seen his ships play cat-and-mouse with French vessels while criss-crossing the Pacific and the Coral Sea – edging even the southern reaches of the Solomon Islands. The complacent mood into which some of his men had fallen had been shaken out of them by realistic drills and the opportunity for live-firing exercises. His principal concern at this point would be the typhoon season; already such a storm had formed east of the Philippines, and who knew what storms might brew up in the southern seas.


Saturday, November 25th 2017, 9:15pm

Der Tagesspiegel, Monday, 7 June 1948

The Ministry of Defence has authorised the Heinkel aircraft firm to proceed with its proposed He319 design for a new night fighting aircraft.

Hamburger Abendblatt, Tuesday, 8 June 1948

The three harbour ice-breaking tugs building here for Latvian account – the Krisjanis Barons, the Karlis Baumanis, and the Janis Poruks – were launched today and moved to the fitting-out wharf of the Deschimag works.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Wednesday, 9 June 1948

Ship Movements

The Inspection Ship Goldener Löwe has sailed for the Arctic Sea, where she will undertake the servicing of automated weather stations on located on the Arctic ice pack; the Inspection Ship Roter Löwe will continue its weather and iceberg patrols in the North Atlantic, operating southeast of Greenland. The buoy tenders Dänholm and Mährens have sailed for the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic respectively to service and expand the automated weather buoy network in support of the Deutscher Wetterdienst. Craft of the Landungs-Lehr-Division engaged in amphibious exercises near the island of Rügen, which are expected to continue over the next week.


Tuesday, November 28th 2017, 1:16am

Frankfurter Zeitung, Thursday, 10 June 1948

The Ministry of Defence has announced plans to withdraw from service and scrap the Kriegsmarine’s Type IV submarines, in order to keep within the limits of Germany’s undertakings at the last London naval conference. The first units are expected to be withdrawn by the end of the month with demolition to commence in July.

Die Rheinpfalz, Friday, 11 June 1948

In the wake of the recent explosion at the Diogenes munition storage facility in the Netherlands the Ministry of Defence has ordered a review of safety protocols at all military ammunition handling and storage facilities with the intended purpose of preventing any similar accident.

Münchener Post, Saturday, 12 June 1948

With opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games little more than a month-and-a-half away officials are still predicting that construction work on the venues scheduled to be used in the games will be completed on time.


Wednesday, November 29th 2017, 3:32pm

Le Courrier du Indochina (Saigon), Sunday, 13 June 1948

The German corvettes Blitz and Pfeil have returned to the naval anchorage at Cam Rahn Bay following a lengthy cruise along the coast of China and the Philippines.

Fliegerhorst Nordholz, Monday, 14 June 1948

The crew of the Breguet-Nord Br.930 Pêcheur taxied their aircraft to the apron following an uneventful landing. Following a close examination of the aircraft by technicians of the German Marineflieger they would, in the days ahead, demonstrate the antisubmarine aircraft in anticipation of its adoption by the German Kriegsmarine. There was hope on both sides that the trials would go well.

Berlin, The Cabinet Meeting Room, Tuesday, 15 June 1948

“Herr Dehler,” asked the Chancellor with an edge to his voice, “has your staff completed its review of the Yugoslav requests for military equipment?”

The Foreign Minister lowered his eyes. “Yes Herr Chancellor,” he replied apologetically. “I see no reason to block the sale at this time.” Within the Foreign Ministry there had been some opposition to the move, fearing possible backlash from Italy – the power most likely to be concerned by the sale – and from France, the Yugoslav’s traditional supplier.

“Good,” Adenauer continued, dropping the point of the delay involved. “Herr Blank, your final recommendations then?”

“The Yugoslav’s have requested one hundred Arado aircraft; in view of the Luftwaffe’s needs however, I would recommend the sale of forty aircraft at this time.” He nodded in Dehler’s direction, “This should minimise the understandable concern of the Foreign Ministry, and, matched with an agreement for the sale of Jumo engines to Yugoslavia, should keep them happy for the moment.”

Adenauer looked about the table and noted the general consensus. “Very good – so the Yugoslavs will be thus advised. What’s next?”


Friday, December 1st 2017, 6:06pm

Cruiser Novara, 4 dgs 6 min North, 168 dgs 7 min West, Wednesday, 16 June 1948

The beneficent weather of the South Pacific was one of the attractions for the sailors of the East Asia Squadron, and this day was much to their liking – brilliant sunshine, calm seas, and a breeze to supplement the fifteen-knot speed of the ships’ northward movement. The weather reports augured well for the present weather pattern to continue; the tropical storm that had formed off the China coast had dissipated quickly, and for the moment at least nothing indicated formation of a typhoon in the region ahead of them. Rogge expected to arrive in Pearl Harbour in five days, and had already advised the consul there of their anticipated needs.

Dire Dawa, East African State, Thursday, 17 June 1948

To the Oromo speakers of this region the name of the town meant "Place of Remedy”; to those who spoke Somali however it meant "Where Dir hit his spear into the ground". The Somali Dir clan was prominent in the neighbourhood, and many of its scions were employed on the railway that ran inland from the coast and brought the city its prosperity. It was they who had spearheaded the formation of the Railroad Workers Syndicate of Dire Dawa, a nascent labour union – whose members were presently engaged in industrial action that had halted traffic on the line.

The workers sought both higher wages and improved safety conditions on the line – their pay had seen no increase for the last five years despite rising prices brought about by inflation, and the number of workers injured this year alone had already reached the double-digits. Strikes, of course, were forbidden by the Government, as the rail line was of national importance; such facts were of little account to the hard pressed workers who had banded together to peacefully seek redress.

An official, backed by police and troops brought in by truck for the occasion, ordered the assembled railway workers to disperse and return to work immediately. They refused, proclaiming that they would continue their demonstration until their demands were met. The official, having again ordered the demonstrators to disperse, ordered the assembled security forces to clear the workers from the square they were occupying. They did so with alacrity and with excessive force, firing on the crowd, killing and wounding many.

The German vice-consul, witnessing the affray, immediately set off by car for Berbera; he knew he should not even try to send a report by telegraph for it would likely be intercepted.

Berlin, The Admiralstab, Friday, 18 June 1948

Siegfried Engel was still getting used to the new shoulder-boards of his rank, and being summoned to Berlin by the Chief of Naval Operations left him with many questions. He knew, of course, that his assignment to the Lehr-Division would end with his promotion; the chief matter on his mind at the moment was what his next assignment might be. However, he forced himself to be calm when he knocked at the door of Generaladmiral von Fischel’s office and announced himself.

“Come in Engel,” said the Chief of Naval Operations. “I trust that you had a pleasant journey from Warnemünde?”

“Well enough Herr Generaladmiral,” Engel replied.

“Then take a seat while I go over a few things.” Von Fischel seemed unusually friendly, but Engel did as he was bidden.

“So tell me,” von Fischel began. “Who do you recommend to replace you?”

“Glaser Herr Admiral, my chief of staff.” Engel was prompt with his reply in recommending his chief of staff. “He has good working relationships with all the staff, particularly the Russians. He is the logical choice.”

“Does he speak French?” Von Fischel dropped the question quite casually.

“He does…” replied Engel, somewhat surprised.

“Good. Our French allies are sending a contingent to participate in Wachsame Entschlossenheit. Avoiding communication errors will become ever more important. Now, as for you, I believe you will find serving in the Atlantikflotte quite a change.”

Von Fischel reached for the telephone and summoned Kapitän Merten, the Director of Operations. Replacing the receiver he smiled. “We have a little plan I want you to look over.”


Sunday, December 3rd 2017, 3:39pm

Berlin, Abwehr Headquarters, Saturday, 19 June 1948

General Gehlen read the Wilhelmstraße’s report of the Dire Dawa incident with interest. The shooting by police of striking railway workers was in no way linked to his own intrigues in East Africa, but it certainly worked in concert with them. Such brutality would no doubt recruit for the nascent insurgent movement of Tafari Makonnen, and world opinion would be inflamed by it. He drafted a memorandum to accomplish that end, directing the placement of suitably-worded items in the press.

Aircraft Carrier Graf Zeppelin, the North Sea, Sunday, 20 June 1948

The deck crew stood at their stations as the ship’s landing signals officer guided the twin engine aircraft on its final approach. The first day of carrier trials for the French-built Breguet-Nord Br.930 Pêcheur were in his experienced hands. The aircraft steadied on its course, slowed, and cleared the end of the Graf’s deck with a small margin; its hook caught the second wire and came to a sudden halt. So far, so good, as landings were concerned. As the aircraft was towed forward for examination the deck was prepared to launch the Pêcheur – and then the cycle would begin again.

Cruiser Novara, 20 dgs 50 min North, 158 dgs 3 min West, Monday, 21 June 1948

An American patrol aircraft had overflown the approaching East Asia Squadron the previous afternoon; thus it came as no surprise when not long after dawn an American vessel was sighted approaching from the northeast. Signals were exchanged, and the newcomer identified as the US Coast Guard cutter Algonquin; her mission was to escort the German flotilla to Pearl Harbour.


Wednesday, December 6th 2017, 12:45am

Survey Ship Meteor, Recife, Brazil, Tuesday, 22 June 1948

The warm and friendly port of Recife was familiar to some of the Meteor’s crew, but exotic and alluring for most of them. Having arrived to take on water, fuel, and provisions her captain allowed his men forty-eight hours liberty; knowing the long hours they would spend in the vast reaches of the South Pacific giving them the opportunity to relax would be some compensation. The ship would call in Argentina before rounding Cape Horn, and would then call again in Chile; but once they ventured into the open ocean between South America and New Zealand it would be weeks, if not months, before they made landfall.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Wednesday, 23 June 1948

The Office of the Chancellor has announced the sale of forty Arado Ar234 light bomber aircraft to the Royal Yugoslav Air Force. The aircraft are to be delivered in several batches between now and the close of the year.

Truppenübungsplatz Döberitz, Thursday, 24 June 1948

Despite the failure of the factories to deliver the unit’s full quota of Ardelt light tanks Oberst von Hauser of the First Armoured Cavalry Regiment was satisfied with its performance during the recent manoeuvres against elements of Panzerdivision 10. The combination of the Löwe light tank, the Luchs reconnaissance vehicle, and the unit's helicopter scout company had permitted it to skirmish the Red Force battlegroup to a halt, permitting air attacks to deal a ‘death blow’ to its Panther tanks. Fighting a good delaying action was but one aspect of the armoured cavalry mission; to fight offensively though Hauser knew he needed his full complement of light tanks. In response to his last inquiry he had been told, “September, perhaps”. He could only grit his teeth and soldier on.


Friday, December 8th 2017, 3:42pm

Militär-Wochenblatt, Friday, 25 June 1948

With the tempo of deliveries mounting, three more interceptor wings of the Luftwaffe have converted to the BFW Bf262 – Jagdgeschwader 51, Jagdgeschwader 52, and Jagdgeschwader 53. This leaves only two units – Jagdgeschwader 55 and Jagdgeschwader 71 – still flying the Focke Wulf Fw190A. It is expected that these units will re-equip in the near future as more modern aircraft become available.

Transradio Press Service, Saturday, 26 June 1948

The German Navy’s survey ship Komet has called at the French port of Dakar on her passage to the Indian Ocean, where she will resume exploratory work on the ocean floor.

Berlin, Abwehr Headquarters, Sunday, 27 June 1948

General Gehlen gave a small chuckle – a most unusual event for him – as he read the summary of the latest report from Source Merlin, the Hungarian secret service. According to Merlin the Italian authorities in Rome had mounting concerns about the stability of their hold on the East African State – its colonial satellite. A group calling itself the Arbegnoch, Patriots in Amharic, were increasing their level of direct action against what they saw as a foreign occupation. The report made no mention of the recent massacre in Dire Dawa – no doubt it was written prior to that incident – but to Gehlen’s mind such heavy-handed repression could do nothing but exacerbate the situation. Such good return for his small initial investment suggested that arranging for additional supplies of arms to pass into the hands of Mulugueta Bulli and his Rastafarians, or these so-called Arbegnoch, if they were not one in the same, would go far towards his goals.


Sunday, December 10th 2017, 5:49pm

Cruiser Novara, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, Monday, 28 June 1948

Concluding their pleasant stay in America’s “Gibraltar of the Pacific” Admiral Rogge again led his ships to sea. Crewmen not on watch gathered at the rails of the Novara to photograph the Aloha Tower, the great lighthouse that greeted every vessel arriving and departing Honolulu. The American coast guard cutter Taney shepherded the East Asia Squadron to sea, and would follow them north-westward until they left American waters south of Midway Island.

Admiral Rogge had dispatched a lengthy report of his participation in the French exercise Guette 48 to be delivered to the Admiralstab by courier. He also had received orders to ‘show the flag’ in the North Pacific, at his discretion. He still pondered his options in this regard.

Kieler Nachrichten, Tuesday, 29 June 1948

The air defence cruisers Lissa and Saida have completed their operational training and departed the Baltic Station to join the Atlantikflotte.

Bremer Nachrichten, Wednesday, 30 June 1948

The Deschimag shipyards saw the launch today of the Kriegsmarine’s newest escort aircraft carriers – the Westfalen in its yards here, and the Pommern in its Cuxhaven facilities. Work will continue on both vessels, with their completion scheduled for March of next year.


Sunday, December 17th 2017, 12:54am

German News and Events, July 1949

Emder Zeitung, Thursday, 1 July 1948

Our correspondent in Bremen reports that four new destroyers have been laid down for the Kriegsmarine in the Deschimag yards – the Plauen and the Frankenhausen in Bremerhaven itself, and the Naumburg and the Helmstadt at Cuxhaven. They are due to complete next spring.

Cruiser Novara, 27 dgs 23 min North, 179 dgs 56 min East, Friday, 2 July 1948

Midway Atoll lay to the northeast, and at this point Admiral Rogge was leading the East Asia Squadron into the broad expanse of the North Pacific. His only concern at this point was the weather – the infrequent weather reports from Garapan on Saipan hinted that a storm might be brewing to the south; if the Japanese had any better information, Radio Edo was not sharing it at the moment.

Deschimag Shipyards, Cuxhaven, Saturday, 3 July 1948

The contingent of ‘official spies’ – naval attaches from Berlin – numbered more than a dozen, and a special tour had been laid on for them – mainly to keep their attention focused on what they were there to witness, and not let their eyes wander to things that they should not see. Vizeadmiral Theodor Krancke, now retired, shepherded the party, on their way to the great Number One dry dock, which contained three U-boats, already under demolition.

“As you can see gentlemen,” Krancke announced, “Germany keeps its word. In the wake of the abortive London Conference in August 1944 it was announced that Germany would hold its submarine fleet at the number then current, forty six. This we have done.” He gestured to the submarines in the graving dock. “These are but the latest boats to be scrapped – and they will be followed by seven more over the course of the next year.”

There were polite murmurs of agreement and head-noddings from those assembled. One could be sceptical of the German’s intent, but there was no denying that the boats – refitted not many years before – were being demolished.


Wednesday, December 20th 2017, 6:43pm

London, The German Embassy, Sunday, 4 July 1948

Air intelligence was not Walter Schellenburg’s specialty – most Abwehr residents were trained as generalists – but had noted the recent announcement of the Royal Air Force’s decision to update those Avro Lancaster bombers remaining in service, and included it in the report he would forward to Berlin by the next courier. But he did wonder of the implications of the decision.

The Lancaster was an old design, dating back to 1939, and long a workhorse of the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command. The Vickers Type 447 Windsor had presumably been intended as a successor, but according to Air Ministry press releases only a few hundred of the initial variant had been ordered, and, more importantly, the improved Windsor Mk.III had suffered from engine development problems. Perhaps these had proven difficult to overcome, necessitating the continuation in service of the elderly Lancasters. And then there was the Type 497 Westminster – the winner of the ‘Giant Bomber’ competition. The artist’s impression of the Westminster showed a truly huge but ungainly aircraft, with its six engines and stabilisers stuck on the end of an oversized wing. He did not recall reading any details of its entry into service, though had seen that a contract for seventy aircraft of an improved model had been raised – the first was due to be delivered sometime in the coming year. This, combined with the questionable status of the Windsor might well explain the survival in service of the Lancaster. But he would leave the speculations to Referate VI of the Luftwaffe’s Abteilung Fremde Staaten.

Cruiser Novara, 23 dgs 12 min North, 164 dgs 18 min East, Monday, 5 July 1948

Admiral Rogge had slowed the squadron’s speed to twelve knots, in part to conserve fuel but more importantly to await clarification of the weather. Reports from Pacifican weather stations were now confirming the formation of a typhoon to the southwest of his present position – and given the usual movement of the storms its forward progress could intersect his squadron’s track. He hoped that by giving the putative storm time to clear the area the East Asia Squadron might avoid serious misfortune.

Sächsische Zeitung, Tuesday, 6 July 1948

The final example of the Junkers Ju252M twin-engine navigation trainer has been handed over the Luftwaffe. More than one hundred examples of this type are presently in service in the trainer and staff transport roles. The improved Ju352 – which features turboprop engines – remains in production at Dessau to meet both domestic and foreign orders on the civil market.


Monday, December 25th 2017, 5:29pm

London, Several Locations, Wednesday, 7 July 1948

Schellenburg’s ‘Baker Street Irregulars’ functioned as discrete chains, with a minimum of interconnections. In this way the capture of any one agent limit the exposure of others. And so it was that when David Birkoff, one of the ‘Irregulars’ opened the box at Harringay Post Office to discover it lacking an expected letter from Bootle in the north of England, he suspected the worst. But he remained outwardly calm. Checking to see if he was being followed made his way to the nearest telephone kiosk and dialled a number in Stamford Hill.

Charles Schrod ran a small antiques shop, and the ringing of the telephone interrupted what was proving to be a very slow business day. He answered and heard a voice say “Schakal ist geblasen”. Schrod hung up while the implications ran through his mind. He went to the door of the shop and flipped the small sign to say, “Closed”. He then went to his room above the shop and gathered up a small travel bag which he normally used when he visited the Continent on short buying trips. From the Stamford Street Station he caught the next train for Liverpool Street, and took a taxi to Blackfriars, where he managed boarded the boat train for Dover, from whence he sent a postcard to an address in Belgravia with the word “Leistungsschalter”. When he boarded the French steamer Cote d’Azur he felt somewhat safer, but could not rest until he was beyond the reach of the British authorities.

Cruiser Novara, 11 dgs 31 min North, 144 dgs 3 min East, Thursday, 8 July 1948

Rogge had detoured the course of the East Asia Squadron to the southwest upon evaluation of the latest weather reports. A typhoon was reported to be passing northwest between their present position and the Philippines, and had the German vessels continued on their original course toward the Formosa Strait it was probable that they would run into it. By heading southwest, Rogge hoped to turn north once the storm had passed; but the implications for the future was ominous.

Marburg, Friday, 9 July 1948

Hans Bessig and Rolf Hachmann pored over a table-full of books, maps, photographs, and other documents, planning the forthcoming campaign of excavation in Bahrain. A telegram from Klaws, the Hansa Line agent in Manama, had confirmed that the requisite permissions had been obtained. In addition to their colleagues from the prior year’s investigations, this year they would be joined by Doctor Henry Jones of America – and they would broaden their search to include the location of ‘Alexander’s Haven’.


Saturday, December 30th 2017, 2:03am

London, The German Embassy, Saturday, 10 July 1948

Schellenburg had worked quickly to safeguard the viability of his “Baker Street Irregulars”, and, for the moment, believed that he had limited the impact of any damage by the British security services. “Schakal”, a Mancunian with Irish connections named Palmer, had missed forwarding the product of his sub-agents, and was presumed to have been blown by the authorities – or so the cut-out “Nachtigall” had warned. Schellenburg had yet to hear more from “Nachtigall”– he hoped that he had followed protocol and made his way beyond the reach of “Five”; thankfully “Konservendose”, intermediate collector for that portion of his network, had made his way to the Continent. The loss in terms of information would be kept to a minimum, and the exposure of the “Irregulars” much reduced. But from his own experience Schellenburg knew that even small things could have a disproportionate impact.

Berlin, The Cabinet Meeting Room, Sunday, 11 July 1948

The day’s meeting had been brief; after the others had left Otto von Hapsburg had sat alone in thought. In a few hours he and Chancellor Adenauer would depart for Belgrade, to attend the funeral for the late King Alexander of Yugoslavia. Part of him felt a sense of satisfaction – the upstart House of Karađorđević he held responsible for precipitating the Great War that had cost the Hapsburgs their throne – his throne; but that was a past that the German Foreign Minister had put behind him.

Now the balance of power in south-eastern Europe would need to find a new balance; Alexander, by some hailed as “the Unifier”, was one of the pillars that kept the Serbs, Croats, and Montenegrins joined together. Would his successor be able to do as much? What opportunities might beckon to increase German influence, or might other powers be able to bend Yugoslav policy to their advantage? Such questions would occupy his time for the next days, weeks, and perhaps months.

Survey Ship Komet, 23 dgs 25 min South, 59 dgs 36 min East, Monday, 12 July 1948

As his ship slowly made its way across the broad expanse of the Indian Ocean her captain, Fregattenkapitän Hans Detmar pondered the import of his brief orders: “Survey and investigate uncharted island reported by Gefion near 12-5 South, 78-17 East.”


Friday, January 5th 2018, 1:13am

Belgrade, The German Embassy, Tuesday, 13 July 1948

For Otto von Hapsburg the gathering of European leaders for the funeral of King Alexander was an occasion for many informal discussions aimed at shoring up the balance of power in the Balkans. He had met with his French, Russian, and other Grand Alliance counterparts and there was general agreement that any move by Italy to take advantage of the situation in Yugoslavia would be opposed. He also spent several hours with Boris Furlan, the Yugoslav foreign minister, making it clear that unrestrained Yugoslav adventurism vis-à-vis Italy would be equally opposed. He also had cautionary words regarding Yugoslavia's expanding horizons in the Levant, warning that fuelling the ambitions of the Syrian nationalists was playing with fire.

Kieler Nachrichten, Wednesday, 14 July 1948

Work was completed today on the refitting of numerous auxiliary vessels for the Kriegsmarine – the armament store issuing ships Schurwald and Hardtwald, the fleet store issuing ships Merseburg and Marienburg, and the aviation store issuing ships Hagenow and Hoyerswerda. Following yard trials, they will join the Lehr Division for operational training.

Cruiser Novara, Manila Harbour, 15 July 1948

Rogge had brought his ships to Manila on their way back to Cam Rahn Bay; of course, given their frequent visits to the Philippine capital, it could almost be called a second home. His caution regarding possible typhoons had proved its worth – a major storm had passed to the northeast of Cape Engaño not but a few days ago, going on to strike the northern tip of Formosa and the China coast before moving on to bring heavy rain to the Chosen peninsula. He planned to stay in Manila no longer than necessary to refuel and take on stores.


Sunday, January 7th 2018, 6:37pm

London, The German Embassy, Friday, 16 July 1948

Schellenburg’s assessment of the potential damage to a part of his ‘Baker Street Irregulars’ was still unsettled. “Nachtigall”, alias Birkoff, had reported his safe escape to Holland, and “Konservendose”, alias
Schrod, was busy hunting antiques in the French countryside. “Schakal”, alias Palmer, and his sub-agents in northwest Lancashire were assumed to be blown. Of these, Aston, the former beggar and British spy, was one. A warning to “Rattenfänger”, alias Stoben, an itinerant prediger who did occasional jobs, had been sent but not yet acknowledged. That was the problem; “Rattenfänger” had not been heard from in several months – a not all-together unheard of circumstance. Contact with him was tenuous at best. Schellenburg had toyed with the idea of attempting to search for “Rattenfänger”, but dismissed it as risking attracting too much attention. In a surfeit of caution, he had broken off all other contact with “Rattenfänger”, which, he felt, should contain any breach.

Münchener Post, Saturday, 17 July 1948

The first athletes to participate in the forthcoming Summer Olympic Games have arrived at the Olympic Village. The games themselves are scheduled to commence in less than two weeks, and it is anticipated that all the competitors will be arriving in the next week.

Survey Ship Komet, 12 dgs 5 min South, 78 dgs 17 min East, Sunday, 18 July 1948

A sharp-eyed lookout aboard the survey ship noted the small plume of smoke on the horizon, and the ship turned to the northwest. Her captain and crew did so with a sense of anticipation, as they had been ordered to investigate something appeared on no chart.


Saturday, January 13th 2018, 6:27pm

Hamburger Abendblatt, Monday, 19 July 1948

The Deschimag yards here saw completion today of the new air defence destroyers Erfurt and Altona. The ships have embarked on their builders’ trials and will soon join the Lehr Division in the Baltic for operational training.

Transradio Press Service, Tuesday, 20 July 1948

The German Navy marked another milestone in its progress today with the formal arrival of the aircraft carriers Tegetthoff and Zieten at the naval base of Wilhelmshaven. Each of these two behemoths displaces nearly thirty-thousand tons will operate up to eighty aircraft, and are likely to be the first German carriers to operate the new Dornier Do335 jet fighter aircraft. Their successors, the forty-thousand ton Spaun and Yorck, are already under construction at dockyards in the city of Kiel.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Wednesday, 21 July 1948

In the wake of the recent parliamentary election in the Netherlands the Office of the Chancellor has announced that a formal invitation has been extended to the new Dutch Prime Minister, Herr Eduard Land, to visit Berlin for talks aimed at improving relations between both nations. The new coalition government in the Netherlands is thought to be more open to such discussions.