The German Surface Raiders of WWII

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Angus Mac Kinnon
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The German Surface Raiders of WWII

Post by Angus Mac Kinnon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:32 pm

The German Surface Raiders of WWII

The nine surface raiders that between them accounted for the destruction of 138 Allied vessels amounting to almost 900,000 tons of shipping.

Name as a Raider : Atlantis
Schiff No. : 16
Raider Letter : ‘C’
Previous Name : Hansa Line’s ‘Goldenfels’
Year of Build : 1937
Builder : Bremer Vulcan, Bremen-Vegesack
Tonnage : 7,862
Propulsion : Diesel Engine
Speed : 17 knots
Dimensions : 488 x 61 x 31 feet
War Patrols : 1 @ 601 days (31-03-1940 to 22-11-1941)
In Command : Captain Bernhard Rogge
Ships Taken : 22 including six prixe ships totalling 145,697 tons
Victims : Scientist, Tirranna, City of Bagdad, Kemmendine, Talleyrand, King City, Athelking, Benarty, Commissaire Ramel, Durmitor, Teddy, Ole Jacob, Automedon, Mandasor, Speybank, Ketty Brovig, Zam-Zam, Rabaul, Trafalgar, Tottenham, Balzac and Silvaplana
Fate : Sunk by HMS Denonshire on 22-11-1941 whilst posing as the Dutch freighter ‘Polyphemus’.


Name as a Raider : Orion
Schiff No. : 36
Raider Letter : ‘A’
Previous Name : Hamburg-Amerika Line’s ‘Kumark’
Year of Build : 1930
Builder : Blohm & Voss of Hamburg
Tonnage : 7,021
Propulsion : Steam turbine
Speed : 14,8 knots
Dimensions : 463 x 61 x 27 feet
War Patrols : 1 @ 510 days (06-04-1940 to 23-08-1941)
In Command : Captain Kurt Weyer
Ships Taken : 8 including one prize ship, plus others shared with ‘KOMET’ and mined, totalling 73,576 tons
Victims : Haxby, Tropic Sea, Notou, Turakina, Ringwood, Triadic, Triaster, Chaucer, Triona, Rangitane, Niagara, Puriri
Fate : Renamed ‘Hektor’, she was bombed by Russian planes on 04-05-1945 at Swinemunde


Name as a Raider : Widder
Schiff No. : 21
Raider Letter : ‘D’
Previous Name : German freighter ‘Neumark’
Year of Build : 1929
Builder : Howaldtswerke of Kiel
Tonnage : 7.800
Propulsion : Steam turbine
Speed : 14.8 knots
Dimensions : 477 x 63 x 28 feet
War Patrols : 1 @ 180 days (05-05-1940 to 31-10-1940)
In Command : Captain Hellmuth von Ruckteschell
Ships Taken : 10 including one prize ship totalling 58,645 tons
Victims : British Petrol, Krossfonn, Davisian, King John, Beaulieu, Ostplein, Kiloran, Anglo Saxon, Cymbeline, Antonios Chandris.
Fate : Returned to Occupied France 31-10-1940 for urgent repairs.


Name as a Raider : Thor
Schiff No. : 10
Raider Letter : ‘E’
Previous Name : Oldenburg-Portugiesische Line’s ‘Santa Cruz’
Year of Build : 1938
Builder : Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg-Finkenwarder
Tonnage : 3,862
Propulsion : Steam turbine
Speed : 17 knots
Dimensions : 380 x 55 x 26 feet
War Patrols :
(1) 329 days (06-06-1940 to 30-04-1941)
(2) 324 days (20-11-1941 to 10-10-1942)
In Command :
(1) Captain Otto Kahler
(2) Captain Gunther Gumprich
Ships Taken :
(1) 12 including one prize ship totalling 96,546 tons
(2) 10 including three prize ships totalling 56,037 tons
Victims :
(1) Kertosono, Delambre, Bruges, Gracefield, Wendover, Tela, Kosmos, Natia, Trollenholm, Britannia, HMS Voltaire, Sir Ernest Cassel
(2) Pagasitikos, Wellpark, Willesden, Aust, Kirkpool, Nankin, Olivia, Herborg, Madrono, Indus.
Fate : Destroyed by accidental explosion whilst tied up alongside the oil tanker ‘UCKERMARK’ in Yokohama Harbour on 30-11-1942


Name as a Raider : Pinguin
Schiff No. : 33
Raider Letter : ‘F’
Previous Name : Hansa Line’s ‘Kandenfels’
Year of Build : 1936
Builder : Deschimag Werk Weser, Bremen
Tonnage : 7,766
Propulsion : Diesel Engine
Speed : 17 knots
Dimensions : 486 x 61 x 31 feet
War Patrols : 1 @ 328 days (15-06-1940 to 08-05-1941)
In Command : Captain Ernst-Felix Kruder
Ships Taken : 28 including 16 prize ships totalling 158,256 tons
Victims : Domingo de Larringa, Filefjell, British Commander, Morviken, Benavon, Storstad, Nowshera, Maimoa, Port brisbane, Port Wellington, Ole Wegger, Pol 8, Pol 9, Pol 10, Thorlyne, Solglimt, Pelagos, Star 14, Star 19, Star 20, Star 21, Star 22, Star 23, Star 24, Empire Light, Clan Buchanan, British Emperor. ( Thrpough mining - Millimulmul, Nimbin, City of Rayville )
Fate : Sunk on 08-05-1941 following an action with HMS ‘Cornwall’.


Name as a Raider : Komet
Schiff No. : 45
Raider Letter : ‘B’
Previous Name : North German Lloyd’s ‘Ems’
Year of Build : 1937
Builder : Deschimag Werk Weser, Bremen
Tonnage : 3,287
Propulsion : Diesel Engine
Speed : 14.5 knots
Dimensions : 359 x 50 x 20 feet
War Patrols :
(1) 515 days (03-07-1940 to 31-11-1941)
(2) 8 days (06-10-1942 to 14-10-1942)
In Command :
(1) Captain Robert Eyssen
(2) Captain Ulrich Brocksien
Ships Taken : 6 plus 2 shared with ‘Orion’ totalling 40,567 tons including half-share of two
Victims : Holmwood, Vinni, Komata, Australind, Kota Nopan, Devon, Rangitane, Triona
Fate : Torpedoed by HMS MTB 236 14-10-1942 whilst trying to break out for 2nd war patrol


Name as a Raider : Kormoran
Schiff No. : 41
Raider Letter : ‘G’
Previous Name : Hamburg-Amerika Line’s ‘Stiermark’
Year of Build : 1938
Builder : Krupp-Germania Werft of Kiel
Tonnage : 8.736
Propulsion : Diesel-Electric
Speed : 18 knots
Dimensions : 515 x 66 x 31 feet
War Patrols : 1 @ 352 days
In Command : Captain Theodor Detmers
Ships Taken : 11 including one prize ship totalling 68,274 tons
Victims : Antonis, British Union, Afric Star, Eurylochus, Agnita, Candolite, Craftsman, Nicholas D. L., Velebit, Mareeba, Stamatios G. Embiricos
Fate : Sunk in an action with HMAS Sydney on 19-11-1941 200 miles off the West coast of Australia


Name as a Raider : Michel
Schiff No. : 28
Raider Letter : ‘H’
Previous Name : Gdynia-American Shipping Line’s ‘Bielsko’
Year of Build : 1939
Builder : Danziger Werft
Tonnage : 4,740
Propulsion : Diesel Engine
Speed : 16 knots
Dimensions : 436 x 55 x 25 feet
War Patrols :
(1) 358 days (09-03-1942 to 01-03-1943)
(2) 170 days (01-05-1943 to 17-10-1943)
In Command :
(1) Captain Hellmuth von Ruckteschell
(2) Captain Gunther Gumprich
Ships Taken :
(1) 14
(2) 3
Victims :
(1) Patella, Connecticut, Kattegat, George Clymer, Lylepark, Gloucester Castle, William F. Humphrey, Aramis, Arabistan, American Leader, Empire Dawn, Sawokla, Eugenie Livanos, Empire March
(2) Hoegh Silverdawn, Ferncastle, India
Fate : Torpedoed and sunk by American submarine USS ‘Tarpon’ on 17-10-1943 near Tokyo


Name as a Raider : Stier
Schiff No. : 23
Raider Letter : ‘J’
Previous Name : Atlas-Levant Line’s ‘Cairo’
Year of Build : 1936
Builder : Krupp-Germania Werft of Kiel
Tonnage : 4,778
Propulsion : Diesel Engine
Speed : 14.5 knots
Dimensions : 405 x 57 x 21 feet
War Patrols : 1 @ 142 days (09-05-1942 to 27-09-1942)
In Command : Captain Horst Gerlach
Ships Taken : 4
Victims : Genmstone, Stanvac Calcutta, Dalhousie, Stephen Hopkins
Fate : Sunk as a result of her action with the Liberty ship ‘Stephen Hopkins’ on 27-09-1942


Name as a Raider : Coronel
Schiff No. : 14
Raider Letter : ‘K’
Previous Name : Woermann Line’s ‘Togo’
Year of Build : 1938
Builder : Bremen Yard
Tonnage : 5,054
Propulsion : Diesel Engine
Speed : 17 knots
Dimensions : 405 x 57 x 21 feet
War Patrols : None – failed numerous attempts to break out to the open sea
In Command : Captain Ernst Thienemann
Ships Taken : None
Victims : None
Fate : Converted for raiding at Holland;s Wilton Yard, and completed at Stettin, it was planned that ‘Coronel’ would break out from the Baltic in February 1943. During her attempt to break out she was severely damaged by bombing at the hands of British Whirlwind aircraft and returned to Boulogne for repairs and to land the dead and wounded. During a subsequent attempt to break out, the raider was damaged by British Hudson aircraft with more crew killed and injured, and her magazine and rudder room torn apart. After this she returned to Germany for major repairs and reverted to her old name of ‘Togo’ for employment as a radar fighter-control ship. She was again bombed several times during 1945 whilst bringing troops back from Poland and East Prussia. She survived the war however and was passed over to the Americans for repatriation of Polish POW’s. Later she was sold to the Norwegian Government who used her for transporting occupying forces in Germany. In 1954 she was sold off to private interests and was later purchased by her original Owners and re-named ‘Togo’ once more. She was still around in the 1980’s at least.


Name as a Raider : Hansa
Schiff No. : 5
Raider Letter : None designated
Previous Name : Alfred Holt’s ‘Glengarry’
Year of Build : 1939 / 1940
Builder : Burmeister & Wain of Denmark
Tonnage : 9.838 tons
Propulsion : Diesel Engine
Speed : Not established
Dimensions : Not established
War Patrols : None
In Command : Captain Horst Gerlach (temporarily)
Ships Taken : None
Victims : None
Fate : Repossessed by representatives of her original owners-to-be (A. Holt of Liverpool)
Angus Mac Kinnon

yorkieman
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Re: The German Surface Raiders of WWII

Post by yorkieman » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:47 pm

An excellent article Angus.
Here are details and some photos for the CORONEL in her post-war life. I did log her myself as TOGO passing Hoek van Holland on 6/9/1966 and have a feeling she was at Hull at a later date also.

At Rotterdam on 11/5/1966
TOGO1938.jpg
1938, 5054grt
Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack (754) as TOGO for Woermann Linie, Hamburg
3/194 Kriegsmarine as a repair ship
8/1940 converted to a minelayer
12/1942 CORONEL, converted to auxiliary cruiser
Later intended for conversion to a Sperrbrecher
10/1943 TOGO, night fighter direction ship
1947 SVALBARD, Norwegian Government / Navy
1954 TILTHORN, Jacob Lind, Narvik
1954 renamed STELLA MARINA
1956 TOGO, Deutsche-Afrikanische Schiff.
1960 Deutsche-Afrika Linie
1968 LACASIELLE, Panama
1976 TOPEKA, Panama
At Buenos Aires on 24/12/1980, photo by Markus Berger
TOGO1938asTOPEKA.jpg
Wrecked on 21/11/1984 8 miles east of the Coatzacoalcos River 18.10N 94.19W
on passage Tampico for Barranquilla
George Robinson
Freeman of Eriskay

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Angus Mac Kinnon
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Re: The German Surface Raiders of WWII

Post by Angus Mac Kinnon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:34 pm

Thanks for that, George. Now that I think of it, I am sure I saw a photograph of her as a shipwreck, still intact, and very close under a hilly land mass. Wish I could remember where. I'm sure I will have it somewhere but where is the question.
Angus Mac Kinnon

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riverman
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Re: The German Surface Raiders of WWII

Post by riverman » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:11 am

A couple of the raiders.
GOLDENFELS.jpg
'ATLANTIS' ex GOLDENFELS
KANDELFELS.jpg
'PINGUIN' ex KANDELFELS
paul hunter

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Angus Mac Kinnon
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Re: The German Surface Raiders of WWII

Post by Angus Mac Kinnon » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:16 am

How innocent they look - yet more lethal than the better-known 'big guns'.
Angus Mac Kinnon

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E28
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Location: Hampshire

Re: The German Surface Raiders of WWII

Post by E28 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:43 pm

To see more on the loss of the Kormoran and her mutual destruction with the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney,
please proceed to the new HMAS Sydney thread to learn more, under the war at sea here on this very site.
Thanks. E28
Raid - Trade - Aid
Thats all folks. Sean. E28

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