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SKL Diaries: Kleinkampfverbande Info!

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Researchers and Collectors:

I have spent the last six weeks going into the SKL Ops division archives looking for references to auxiliary cruisers. I literally went through hundreds of thousands of pages from 15 August 1939 to 31 Mar 1945. Unfortunately crucial files and data for the “core” Hilfskreuzer months were missing. Missing records were the files for: Sep-Dec 1940; Jan-Nov 1941; Oct-Dec 1942; Jan, Feb and Aug 1943; Feb, Apr, May, Jul, Sep-Nov 1944, and Jan 1945 were missing!!!!!!! I went through hundreds of thousands of pages during the nights in the archive and I have over 400 pages of data and references about the auxiliary cruisers. FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!

I am not a Kleinkampfverbande researcher, but I saw this reference and it resonated with me, so I copied it down. Can anyone shed any light on the action mentioned? What was it and why was this action being discussed at the staff and Admiral level? It really got me interested, but as I have mentioned it is not my area, so I don’t want to research it! Here is the text:

War Diary of the German Naval Staff Operations Division, 04 August 1944, Section III. Chief of Operations Branch, Naval Staff, Operations Division, Paragraph a., Subparagraphs 1 and 2, Page 53: “Admiral, Small Battle Units reported on the evening of 03 August: ‘Before the commencement of last night’s successful operation I sent a message to each man taking part. In which I challenged them to act as “Winkelriede” for the hard-fighting land front.”

“Today Kapitän zur See Böhme reported the following: The following soldiers who took part in this action have not yet reported as yet returned deserve extra special mention. Before starting they reported to the Commander of their Unit that they would not return without having sunk a large Man-of-War or a transport and thus earn then name “Winkelriede.” These men were: Oberleutnant Winzer, Oberleutnant Schiebel, Leutnant Hasen, Fähnrich Pettke, Obersteuermann Schröger, Maschinenmaat Guski, Matrosen Glaubrecht and Matrosen Roth.”

“We are convinced that these men were especially connected with successes which we may never be able to attribute to them directly as they have not returned. Apart from the visible success it seems to me that the spirit of these men is both an example and encouragement, and an indication of the absolutely unconquerable spirit of the Kriegsmarine. Therefore, I suggest that they be cited as outstandingly brave men in the Naval Gazette, unless they are to be mentioned in a High Command Communique.”

“The Commander-in-Chief, Navy has issued orders for these men to be specifically mentioned in the Naval Gazette.”

Incredible bit of history, I hope it helps some of you!


If you have ANY Auxilary Cruiser paperwork (or especially photos) available---I AM interested!!!!!!!!!!

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