Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club

Recommended Posts

The latest item to join my collection and one that I am thrilled to get is this wehrpass to an original ships company member of the Bismarck who sailed with her on her first and final war cruise and went down with her.

Karl Burichter joined the Kriegsmarine in April 1940 aged 19 and by June 1940 he was assigned to the newest ship, and pride of the German fleet, Bismarck. During this period the battleship was crewing up and was in drydock for her propellers to be attached.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As would be expected for a sailor who only served in 2 units - his initial training Abteillung and then his first/only ship - the Wehrpass has minimal entries but it does show that he served on the Bismarck for a total of 290 days...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The story of Bismarck's war cruise has been told many times and the engagement with HMS Hood & HMS Prince Of Wales is well known and that engagement is listed in the Wehrpass as is the sailor being listed as missing on the 27th May 1941 after the Bismarck was engaged by the battleships HMS King George V, HMS Rodney and torpedoes from HMS Dorsetshire, having been attacked by Swordfish aircraft from the Fleet Air Arm in the preceeding days.

Here is a very good timeline for the life of the Bismarck....

http://www.kbismarck.com/histoperi.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Wehrpass does not show any awards.

Finally Karl Burichter is listed on the Volksbund Database with his name being on the Laboe Memorial in Germany and his name does appear on the crew list for Bismarck's war cruise...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kevin,

A very nice and desirable Wehrpaß! I remember seeing this when it came up for sale and of course we had a chat about it...

What I did like about it is the stamp on the cover! Giving details of him being missing in action in action due to sinking of the Bismark!

Also, your's is still open! An example I have confirmed he was killed in action six weeks later. The MiA entry is signed off by the same officer, Oblt. M.A. Kubler.

nov2201.jpg

Additionally, although there are no awards mentioned in your Wehrpaß he would at least be entitled to one award:

nov2202.jpg

In recognition of the heroic commitment of the men of this ship to sacrifice their life for the Führer, people and country the whole crew is awarded the High Seas Fleet War Badge.

/Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If he went down with the ship how did the wehrpass survive? I thought the wehrpass was always kept by the person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Wehrpass was always kept in the home ships base port hence why the few examples of Bismarck WP's I have seen all bear the same signature of 'Kubler' in them who worked under the office of 2. Admiral der Ostsee.

Edited by hucks216

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×