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Commander of Lutzow?


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#1 Fire_spit

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Posted 05 September 2004 - 08:19 PM

Hi everyone,
I am new to the WWII forum and was referred to you by a friend from Armorama where I am having a lot of fun in scale modeling.
What I am trying to find out, with no luck yet, is the name of the commander of the WWII German pocket battle ship "Lutzow". This ship was originally called the Panzerschiffe Deutschland and then I believe if I remember this correctly was renamed in 1939 as the Lutzow.
I just purchased a WWII German double-sided postcard. On each side is a picture of Hitler posing with part of the crew under one of the big guns. On the other side is Hitler posing with two men and I am figuring one of those is most likely the commander of the ship. The other one I do now know who he is. Others have helped me correctly indentify the ship in the pictures but I would really like to know the name of the commander.
I have the picture inserted here below if you are interested in looking at it. If anyone can tell me who the two men are standing with Hitler are I would be thrilled.

Thanks,
Fire_spit
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#2 TheRedBaron

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Posted 05 September 2004 - 09:11 PM

You found us then!

Which guy have you ID?

RED
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#3 Fire_spit

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Posted 05 September 2004 - 11:18 PM

Hi RedBaron,
Thanks for telling me about this forum and nice meeting you over here too.
I am not absolutely sure yet and am going to still try some research to see if I can find some actual photos of the guys. But that could be difficult. I am going kind of on the assumption of what you mentioned on Armorama about Hitler visiting the ship probably around the time it changed over its name to the Lutzow which was 1939. Since that was October and fairly late in the year that could still mean that Hitler possibly might not have visited the ship until maybe 1940. Within that time frame there were three commanders listed... Robert Weber - August Thiele and then also Heller (no first name for the last one listed.
Of the two men beside Hiter, I am not sure if the one on the left is wearing a scarf..or if his coat is open and folded out??? Also he is wearing binoculars and the other guy isn't. I don't know if I am correct in assuming that he would probably be the commander. He also has markings/epaulets on his shoulder that the other man doesn't seem to have which would I think mean he would be of higher rank. If I could just track down some pics somewhere of these three guys listed above I just might nail it down.

Thanks so much for your interest and help.
If you come across anything else that might help me it would be very much appreciated.

Wayne
If the enemy is in range...SO ARE YOU!!

#4 Erich

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 02:47 AM

could be wrong as the lower pic does not seem clear but the chap on the left, Rader ? and no the wool coat is not faded out.......
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#5 TheRedBaron

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 09:25 AM

Does look a bit like Raeder...

I was thinking of date of around 37-38 for the piccy being taken going on the uniform and the fact that the Furher is aboard. I cant see him goin to sea with a war on... Plus Hitlers outfit is very similar/same to the one he wore on a vist to Wilhelmshaven in 1937.

Then again, I could be way off!
"Watch that Fu*ker, he'll 'ave someones eye out!" King Harold at Hastings 1066.

#6 TheRedBaron

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 10:43 AM

Erich Raeder...

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#7 Fire_spit

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 03:18 PM

RedBaron..
I think I might have come up with something but see what you think. I found some pics of a few of the commanders..Fanger, Wenneker, and Thiele. That is the order of when they commanded the Lutzow/Deutschland. Below I have pasted the faces of the three against the photo.
The one on Hitler's left I think I have the right guy. It really looks like Thiele to me. The on on Hitler's right is kind of tricky because the only pics I could find of Wenneker are from 1913 and 1989 which is around 25 years before and 50 years later than the postcard. I couldn't find one of him during the war yet. The pic of Fanger resembles the guy on the left but I think it makes more sense to be wenneker...
If the one on the right is Thiele then the commander before him was Wenneker which could make sense as to why both of them would be on the ship at the same time. Maybe this was around the time of the change over of command on this ship which would be around late 1939 to early 1940.
Since Wenneker was INBETWEEN Fanger and Thiele I just believe the one guy would be Wenneker.

Does any of this make any sense?? What do you think? Have I come close or does it really not look right yet?

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[ 06. September 2004, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: Fire_spit ]
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#8 TheRedBaron

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 04:48 PM

At first glance it looks like Thiele...

I still think it looks more like Raeder than Wennecker but it could be either. I suppose the next step would be to ID the rank on the uniform...

The mystery deepens...
"Watch that Fu*ker, he'll 'ave someones eye out!" King Harold at Hastings 1066.

#9 Erich

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 05:35 PM

the gent on the left in the threesome pic is Admiral Raeder. The Admiral is wearing the greatcoat for his position with the cornflower blue facing lapels

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#10 TheRedBaron

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 06:09 PM

Well spotted Erich...

Any thoughts on the other Gent?

I still cant imagine Hitler going to sea during wartime...
"Watch that Fu*ker, he'll 'ave someones eye out!" King Harold at Hastings 1066.

#11 Erich

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 07:27 PM

that maybe August Thiele but from my perspective that maybe a pre war shot look at the turret with the name on the armored structure. From what I remember during war-time names like this were painted over......... ? just a thought

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#12 TheRedBaron

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 07:30 PM

I think its a pre-war pic as I doubt Hitler would go to sea during wartime, plus he is wearing an identical oufit as on his visit to Wilhelmshaven in 1937.
"Watch that Fu*ker, he'll 'ave someones eye out!" King Harold at Hastings 1066.

#13 TheRedBaron

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 07:32 PM

Thiele has a very pronounced double chin. The guy on the right doesnt seem too...

Any pics around of the pre-war Lutzow/Deutschland commnaders???
"Watch that Fu*ker, he'll 'ave someones eye out!" King Harold at Hastings 1066.

#14 TheRedBaron

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 07:48 PM

Right...

I think its Raeder on the left and Wennecker on the right.

It looks like him, plus if its a pre-war pic, which seems the most likely, he was captain from 01/01/37 till 01/12/39. This would also fit with the 1937 date of Hitlers visit to Wilhelmshaven, was the Deutschland there at that time???
"Watch that Fu*ker, he'll 'ave someones eye out!" King Harold at Hastings 1066.

#15 Fire_spit

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 03:05 AM

There were three pre-war commanders I find listed.
Hermann Von Fischel 1933-35, Paul Fanger 1035-37, and Paul Werner Wenneker 1937-39. Fangers pic is there along with Wenneker. I wasn't able to find a pic anywhere yet of Von Fischel.

Fanger doesn't look at all like the guy on the right so I think we all probably agree..he is out.
Also RedBaron...good eye on the double chin. I believe Thiele should be eliminated too. Plus I agree with the idea that Hitler would have visited the before the war which eliminates Thiele.

This may sound silly..but the more I stare at the young pic of Henneker and the man in question on the postcard I do see quite a resemblence. Even sillier...the way the light shines on his cheeks in the young pic and the man on deck looks the same. I know it's not near enough to make a definite ID on tho.

So far we have a definite Raeder on the left and almost sure of Wenneker on the right. If any of us can come up with anything to pinpoint the time of Hitler's visiting the ship that would give us our answer.

Thanks everyone, this is really interesting stuff
Wayne
If the enemy is in range...SO ARE YOU!!

#16 TheRedBaron

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 08:18 AM

Wayne,

Not at all silly. The guy on the right has the same cheek bones as Wennecker, hence the light reflection. Its what I thought!

Right now just the date!
"Watch that Fu*ker, he'll 'ave someones eye out!" King Harold at Hastings 1066.

#17 Fire_spit

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 12:48 AM

I have been searching around trying to find pieces of the puzzle to attempt to get dates for things.
I have found a few references that point to Hitler visiting the Deutshland at Wilhelmshaven.
Here is what I have found so far..just quotes from pages I have come across.

"Hitler had just come back from Wilhelmshaven, whither the Deutschland had returned to bury the thirty-odd sailors who had been killed in the bomb attack at Ibiza
Plus I found a site with a little history of the bombing of the Deutschland. Here is the link if you want to check it out. But the main part is that it was bombed 29th of May 1937 with Wenneker as the commander.After being bombed it eventuall arrived in Wilhelmshaven on June 16th 1937..Is this the time period Hitler was in Wilhelshaven giving his speech?
http://www.ibiza-hotels.com/history/

So if the first quote is correct about Hitler visiting the Deutschland after returning from being bombed then that would make it 1937 which is right at the time RedBaron guessed. very good!!
That would most likely be Wenneker in the photo if these facts are correct.

Plus RedBaron...very good eye on guessing Raeder as the other guy on the deck. By chance I happened on a site that sells photos and pics from WWII Germany. He just happens to have that exact same photo of Hitler with the two men in front of the small cal. gun.
Here is his description of the photo. He names Raeder in the photo. But also he is totally wrong on the name of the ship since we are pretty darn sure it is the Deutschland.

"Hitler with Grand Admiral Raeder on the Gun Deck of a battleship (probably the SCHARNHORST, possibly the TIRPITZ)"
I don't know anything about the Scharnhorst but I know it cannot be the Tirpitz since it does not have any single barrel low cal. guns.

One last thing..on that same site I found another pic of, according to the website' Hitler on the Deutschland. He is wearing that exact same outfit he has in my pics... here is the pic below.
Posted Image
But with this photo is the name of another man..Luftwaffe Major General Bodenschatz and he sort of resembles the man on Hitlers left side??????

So what does everyone think?? Raeder, Hitler, and Wenneker??? Definitely on the Deutschland? Or is there still not quite enough facts yet? Or possibly not Raeder, Hitler, Bodenschatz?????

[ 07. September 2004, 07:55 PM: Message edited by: Fire_spit ]
If the enemy is in range...SO ARE YOU!!

#18 Bill Murray

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 04:58 AM

I would definately go with Raeder as the one on the left....those are binoculars around his neck ... facial features are consistant with the solo pic of Raeder that Red Baron sent earlier...and rank insignia on shoulder boards may be same (hard to tell on the pic of three), also the hat of the man on the left appears to have a double row of oak leaves, the mark of an admiral thus ruling out Major General Bodenschatz.
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#19 TheRedBaron

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:37 PM

Bodenschatz on the left???

Different hat..?
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#20 Fire_spit

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 10:14 PM

I kind of get things more confused with my description. I always talk about Hitler's left or which is the guy on the right and Hitler's right which is the guy on the left? Sorry about that. I'll stick with just guy on left or right by looking at the photo.
The guy on the left is still definitely Raeder. I was almost thinking that the guy on the right might now be Bodenschatz instead of Wenneker but by looking at the hats..the markings are not the same between the two pics. So it looks like I am sticking with Wenneker as the third man in the pic on the right. Unless anyone still has some good arguements to the contrary..
Any more ideas or observations..???
If the enemy is in range...SO ARE YOU!!




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