They often gave themselves the look of an existing allied merchant to deceive other allied ships. Before World War I, the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) had well-developed plans to convert liners into auxiliary cruisers for use as raiders. Built for the Royal Navy, the cruiser was purchased by the Australian government to replace HMAS Brisbane, and was commissioned into the RAN in September 1935. Lee — The Forgotten Logistical Mastermind Behind the Allied Invasion of Europe, Full Blast â How the High-Explosive Known as ‘RDX’ Helped the Allies Win WW2 →, Little Shots – The Cold Warâs Smallest Nukes, Meet the Landsknechts â 10 Wild Facts About the Most Murderous Mercenaries of the Renaissance, Bloodletting â The Deadliest One-Day Battles in Military History, P-82 Twin Mustang â Meet America's Strangest Piston-Engined Fighter, War in Peace â How the End of WW1 Triggered an Explosion of Revolution, Rebellion and Armed Conflict Throughout Europe and Elsewhere, Brute Force â Historyâs Largest Armies. Before the war, the fast passenger ships were seen as the ideal auxiliary cruisers, therefore many of the new passenger ships build after 1900 were prepared to be equipped with guns from the beginning. Nevertheless, German misinformation had created phantom raiders in the minds of Allied naval planners which disrupted maritime trade and unnecessarily allocated warships from important operations in other theatres to counter a non-existent threat. We are constantly looking for original WWII German Auxiliary Cruiser War Badge : Steinhauer & Luck - Variation 2 to buy. I think they took a bit of idea of Q-ships. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. With their six 15 cm guns, they were even capable to fight against "real" warships if they could surprise them. The Dutch Navy was placed on alert to prevent Allied warships stopping German ships in their waters. He has worked at the Department of Veteransâ Affairs researching British atomic weapons tests and as a policy officer in the Department of Defence. Despite the sceptical reports from the Qantas pilots, Allied naval authorities continued to fear a mass breakout of German ships from the Dutch East Indies. Quality reproductions of the WW2 Navy Auxiliary Cruiser Badge, finished with crisp detailing and the correct vertical pin back and maker's mark. Auxiliary cruisers are civilian cargo vessels that have been converted into warships. Auxiliary cruisers are civilian cargo vessels that have been converted into warships. The German Auxiliary Cruisers, however, heavily armed and usually carried torpedo tubes as well as guns and even sometimes their own aircraft. The German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis, seen disguised as a neutral freighter in the Indian Ocean, seized a British merchant vessel en route to Singapore in late 1940. One of the first auxiliary cruisers operated by Germany in World War II, Orion left Germany on 6 April 1940, under the command of Korvettenkapitän (later Fregattenkapitän) Kurt Weyher.She passed south through the Atlantic disguised as a neutral vessel, where she attacked and sank SS Haxby, a 5,207-ton freighter.. Commander Long feared that a pocket battleship might be heading towards the Indian Ocean to link up with supply ships from the Dutch East Indies, an alarming prospect which would completely disrupt Allied dispositions in Asia and allow German merchant vessels in the Far East to breakout and head home. 23:53. After the Karlsruhe armed the liner Kronprinz Wilhelm near Cuba, she captured 15 vessels in the South Atlantic before a lack of coal forced her internment in America. The British have never forgotten the depredations of the German light cruiser Emden, which ranged the Indian Ocean in the autumn of 1914. . Post by Jon G. » 30 Apr 2006, 14:53 Here follows a preliminary list of disguised German merchant raiders and the tonnages they sunk or captured in the course of WW2. ~ WW2 German Auxiliary Cruiser War Badge ~ A decent unmarked example with a great patina through age. . There were three different kinds of auxiliary cruisers used by the Imperial German Navy. In May 1940 Orion rounded Cape Horn and entered the Pacific. As the naval stand-off between allied and German forces continued, the Kriegsmarine mobilised merchant ships to patrol key shipping lanes. ISBN 978-5-699- This list may not reflect recent changes . The German breakout never materialized and Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. After merchant warfare operations in the Baltic Sea, she was converted into a mine layer and was planned to be used during Operation Sea Lion. (Image source: WikiCommons), However, the Germans had actually invented these rumours as part of a deception operation to trick the Allies into unnecessarily altering their naval dispositions and merchant shipping routes. After Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914, cruisers operating from colonies, such as the Emden and Karlsruhe, initiated a campaign of commerce raiding and auxiliary cruisers quickly saw action. When the Australian CL Sydney The auxiliary cruisers of the Kriegsmarine were converted merchant, equipped with guns and torpedoes to attack Allied merchant shipping. Their armament was obsolete (old cannons â¦ These assurances were the outcome of a British inquiry in Tokyo following a report in the newspaper Hochi Shimbun that the German liner Scharnhorst, of 18,000 tons, was being converted at Kobe into an armed marauder to prey on British trade routes. Part I: Ships and deployment of Royal Navy and French Navy. He studied Asian history and politics at the University of Western Sydney. On April 24, 1941 Grand Admiral Raeder ordered a special badge be introduced to recognize the bravery and heroism of the men of these vessels. British Royal Navy, French Navy and German Kriegsmarine at the beginning of World War II in September 1939. The military equipment on board was camouflaged in a way that those ships still appeared to be "normal" merchant ships. The raiders Atlantis, Orion, Thor, Pinguin, Komet, Kormoran and Michel would in time initiate a real commerce raiding campaign in the Far East. Commerce Raiders. On March 12, 1940, the Allies received an intelligence report from Singapore indicating that German merchant vessels in the Dutch East Indies were planning a mass breakout. However, the unprepared Kriegsmarine had no plans to arm freighters at sea or in friendly neutral ports. During I WW 17 single-operating cruisers were searching for merchant ships on the seas oceans. After Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914, cruisers operating from colonies, such as the Emden and Karlsruhe, … Any merchant vessel could be fitted with guns and converted to an auxiliary cruiser. German WW2 Navy Auxiliary Cruisers Moscow, Jauza,Eksmo Publ., 2009 -192 p., 205x 290 mm., hardcover. Free delivery for many products! Those ships archived some remarkable results. (Image source: WikiCommons). As late as Jan. 3, 1941, The Canberra Times reported fears expressed by the Australian Navy Minister âBillyâ Hughes: Commenting upon a BBC broadcast that the German freighter Scharnhorst had arrived at a Japanese port, Mr. Hughes said that any suggestion that it was just there in the guise of a merchant ship was a bedtime story. The pictures and drawings are well presented and placed in the narrative and make for a very informative, concise account. The German Auxiliary Cruisers, however, heavily armed and usually carried torpedo tubes as well as guns and even sometimes their own aircraft. The Auxiliary Cruiser Badge (German: Kriegsabzeichen für Hilfskreuzer) was a World War II German military decoration awarded to officers and men of the Kriegsmarine for service on Auxiliary Cruisers or the supply ships that supported them for a successful large voyage. Commerce Raiders. Auxiliary Cruiser The auxiliary cruisers of the Kriegsmarine were converted merchant, equipped with guns and torpedoes to attack Allied merchant shipping. Another Qantas pilot, Captain Adair, likewise reported that a German breakout from the Dutch East Indies was unlikely due a lack of coal and also because most of their crews had been paid off. HMAS Sydney was one of three "Modified Leander" or "Perth" class light cruisers of the RAN. The Auxiliary Cruisers, also designated, HSK, Handels-Stör-Kreuzer, (Merchant/Trade-Disruption-Cruisers), were an assortment of German merchant ships, in the 7,000 GRT displacement range, that were secretly refitted with armaments and sailed under the pretense of neutral ships, flying neutral countryâs and even Allied flags thereby taking the Allies by surprise. It was armed, not merely with defensive armament, and any suggestion that a German ship should be innocently so far from its home port was absurd. Crews returned from Scotland were often acquired in the communist cause and constituted revolutionary paramilitary militias, a fact that did not help to establish discipline. Sydney, with Captain Joseph Burnett commanding, and Kormoran, under Fregattenkapitän (Commander) Theodor Detmers encountered each other approximately 106 nautical miles (122 mi; … On March 24, 1940 a Royal Navy report incorrectly stated that only one German pocket battleship was in home waters, fuelling speculation of a surface raider offensive. Many of them in the Far East made for ports in Japan and the Dutch East Indies. The battle between the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney and the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran  was a single ship action that occurred on 19 November 1941, off the coast of Western Australia. In October 1939, a spy in Singapore informed Commander Rupert Long, Director of Naval Intelligence in Australia, that the Scharnhorst had been armed with six 4.7-inch guns and four torpedo tubes. The Allies logically feared that German freighters harbouring in Japan and elsewhere might be converted into armed auxiliary cruisers, ushering in a war against merchant shipping in all oceans. Despite being relatively unknown compared to famous ships like Graf Spee or Bismarke, or the more famous U-boats, the During their operations, the nine auxiliary cruisers sunk over 140 ships with over 700000 t. They operated in all major Oceans of the world, some of them had were temporarily stationed in Japan for Pacific operation. . . The Japanese would also never allow German freighters in their ports to be converted into raiders as this would compromise their neutrality. This list may not reflect recent changes (). Commander Long also feared that some of the 20 German freighters in the Dutch East Indies might be auxiliary cruisers. This badge is as found in Beadle Directory. They carried enough material and paint to change their outer appearance often, like adding a second funnel, modifying the superstructure and repaint the whole ship. Before World War I, the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) had well-developed plans to convert liners into auxiliary cruisers for use as raiders. The Thor was one of the few German auxiliary cruisers that did two operations. alexeyd805 StoreHitler's Raiders. The Erhardt Brigade among others, composed of sailors and even some junioâ¦ Raider voyage. The Argus, an Australian newspaper, similarly reported: U.S. Navy Officers are giving very close attention to the reported arming for raiding in the Pacific of at least 12 German vessels in Japanese controlled harbours in China. But not only, as Germans had camouflaged auxiliary cruisers in service during I World War. The longest voyage was the one of the Atlantis They ships were generally recent, powerful and fast, roomy and adaptable (and equipped) to fake numerous identities. He is an officer in the Australian Army Reserve and has served as an instructor at the Royal Military College. The Allies hoped to inflict maximum damage on what they feared was aÂ German auxiliary cruiser fleet in the Far East. British residents are conducting a water patrol at night to prevent the transferring of the ammunition, which is likely to be carried out by either shipâs lifeboats. 6 were lost for an exchange rate of 23:1, which makes them the most efficent commerce wafare vessels in the German fleet. English: German Auxiliary cruisers, Commerce raiders or Merchant raiders were civilian ships, often passenger ships, which were fairly heavily armed during World War II to become warships for convoy escort or attacking other merchant ships. It began its first combat cruise on June 6th, 1940, under the command of Captain Otto Kaehler. . Copyright © 2020 MilitaryHistoryNow.com. The British Admiralty knows the Scharnhorstâs mischief-making capacity if she were armed as a raider, and it is determined not to tolerate anything of the sort. Learn how your comment data is processed. In 1939, facing a lack of ships to launch an effective commerce war, the concept was reactivated with new ships converted, even more heavily armed than in teh first world war. After this operation was canceled, the now renamed Stier was modified into an auxiliary cruiser in April 1941, first at the Wilton shipyard Rotterdam and later at Oderwerke, Stettin, and Kriegsmarinewerftâ¦ wanted to inspect the auxiliary cruiser Kormoran A German auxiliary cruiser underway in the South Pacific. THE MOMENT THE Second World War broke out in September of 1939, German merchant vessels at sea sought refuge in neutral ports across the globe. 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