Fanatical Kriegsmarine Officers

Discussion in 'History' started by seafarer1939, Nov 15, 2011.

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  1. Reading a book recently I was amazed to find that when men jumped overboard after their ship was lost German Officers used to stand on the sinking ship shooting all those in the water!this was a common occurrence so it must have been an unwritten Order of sorts as it was on different ships.
    How can supposed Officers be that inhuman?at least they all went down with the ship,best place for them I reckon.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2011
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    An interesting topic.

    Slightly less harsh but equally abhorrent, if true (I sincerely doubt): Whilst undergoing my first NBCD 25 (Advanced Firefighting Course) in 1988 at Phoenix, we were told that during the sinking of HMS Coventry a swimmer was turned-away from a liferaft by the occupants, being told it was an Officer (or Senior Rates, depending on the version) raft.

    I personally find it unlikely in the extreme, but the myth was perpetuated to the extent that some now believe it to be fact.
  3. Very interesting topic.

    Despite being a bit of a history buff on the " Kriegsmarine " this is new to me. Seafarer could you let me have the names of the ships so that i can research a bit ? Many thanks
  4. I heard that one too. Sounds like the sort of gash buzz that I used to spread around.

    I did hear that on one of the rafts, just as the Coventry finally went under, a lad piped up to one of the officers: ''Does this mean we are excused evening rounds tonight Sir?''
  5. Ninja

    See Page 2 of this thread:
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  6. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    :-D...oh yeah.

    Erm, stop me if you've heard me spin that dit again.
  7. It''s in the "Imperial War Museum book of War at Sea" by Julian Thompson.
    It's too late for me to look back tonight but I'll have it by tomorrow.
    Concerns the battle for the Falklands in WW1.
    One sub fired on it's swimming men and another German Cruiser whilst sinking from UK fire.
    Two Officers stood on the deck smoking and smiling as they fired at their own men.
    The RN sailors were horrified and asked them to jump,they just smiled and went down with the ship.
    It's all there in the book and it's a great read for RN history buffs.
    Mines on Kindle so I'll have to backtrack a bit but I'll have the name of the German Ship tomorrow,the subs name was never mentioned,just the facts.
  8. 1st Ref 1864 "Konigen Liuse" Paraphase "As her crew abandoned her the German Officers started to fire at them in the water,5 German Officers and 70 men were pulled out of the water many with wounds of German bullets"
    2nd ref 2083/4 as HMS Lurcher drew near taking of the crew of the Mainz two officers smoked and smiled as they went down,another officer was busy shooting at men in the water so it seems I did those two a disservice but some other Officer from the ship did.
    I may have the Battle wrong as it was late at night when posted but look it up for yourselves if interested.
    It's a great book re.accounts from below decks of being on the receiving end of heavy shells,one shell exploded and the splinters went through 5 steel bulkheads!that's some kinetic energy right there!seems you weren't safe anywhere!
  9. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    The thread title was a little bit too broad and dipped in too much tar. Our 'Articles of War' until recently still awarded 'death' as the punishment for rather a lot of niff naff and trivia. I can't remember if abandoning ship before the old man says so was one of them but in 1914-18, we shot a lot of pongo chaps who lost their nerve.

    I don't doubt that there was the odd fanatical Party Member officer in the Kriegsmarine who would shoot those Bunters and WAFUs queuing for lunch at 1130 (quite right too). Overall though, the Kriegsmarine were pretty chivalrous and apolitical (naval salutes trump Nazi salutes). However brutal torpedoing merchant ships was/is the brotherhood of the sea caused risks to be taken by both sides to rescue the men once the ship/submarine had been sunk. There is at least one tale of a write up for gallantry awards being made by the German CO on the receiving end (delivered via the Red Cross) of a determined attack. U Boat aces numbers one and three (Kretchmer and Topp) made Flag Rank in the post war German Navy.

    From 'personal' experience, I've met one of the circa 30 survivors from SCHARNHORST (the WWII one) who had nothing but the greatest admiration and kameradenschaft for the RN who rescued him and his more fortunate shipmates and no tales of 'commissars' shooting frightened men.

    Commissars you say? Russian officers had the motivation of frightened men weighed off. Not been issued with a weapon? Not a good enough excuse....BANG.

    In 30 years of enjoying the kameradenschaft of naval types the world over, I'd say we are closer to the Germans than even our USN special relationship chums or our cousins in Canada, Oz and NZ.

    Although if you are doing BSSC, ISSC or CBRN 35 presently, a German Navy CPO may be trying to sink your DRU 'ship' so get those wedges banged in schnell like.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  10. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Seadog, if you are referring to the Damage Control trainer at Whale Island, some years ago when I was given a tour I was told that the Germans had ordered one but theirs had the water warmed. Of course I believe anything someone says if they are wearing a blue suit.
  11. I too would happily shoot anyone who refused to go out like a man.

    Good on them. The Germans have always had the best rules.

    And uniforms.
  12. Blackrat

    Blackrat War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    According to rumour control, the SS uniforms were designed by Hugo Boss.
  13. Bloke I worked with at York Uni was ex boats WW2, he 'aquired' a German officers leather trench coat, really thick leather and heavy as fook . He had treated it with dubbin and it still looked the biz after all those years.
  14. What's the rationale for shooting their own men? An act of kindness? Y'know, you're a dead-man swimming so stay still ya bugger and stop ducking under while I ...
  15. They tried to survive the cowards.
  16. That's not a rumour.

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