German sailor Heinz Stahlschmidt refused to obey Nazi orders to blow up Bordeaux
A World War II German sailor who refused to obey a command to blow up the French port of Bordeaux has passed away at 91 - in France. Heinz Stahlschmidt - a weapons and demolitions expert - was that rare thing in the Third Reich: a man who followed his morals instead of his orders. He saved thousands of lives, and a key component of the post-war recovery of France, because Bordeaux was the country's most important harbour city. Celebrated as a hero by France - and granted the country's highest civilian decoration of the Legion d'Honneur - he was treated as a traitor in a post-war Germany.
Without Wings: The Story of Hitler’s Aircraft Carrier by Stephen Burke
Aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin would be the biggest ship ever built in Nazi Germany. It would also be the Fatherland's only aircraft carrier, a main weakness in a nation about to enter a war on land, air and sea. 9 years later she had seen no action at all, and was sunk while being used as target practice. Graf Zeppelin could carry 42 aircraft; BF109s, the Fiesler torpedo-bomber and a converted Stuka dive bomber - an aerial force with a greater potential than British Sea Gladiators, Fairey Swordfish and Blackburn Skua fighter/dive bombers. The Cold War prevented any exploration of the wreckage, so it was not until 2006 that divers were able to locate her.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)
An album of WWII postcards collected by a German naval officer up for auction
There are nearly 150 black and white shots of German ships and naval personnel in the album given at the end of the war by the German officer to a British soldier. Perfectly organized, the album folds out like a concertina to 12 feet in length, allowing half the postcards to be on show at the same time. The cards give a humorous insight into life on board. One shows a line of beautiful women washing the deck, being watched by a band of sailors - captioned: "Getting ship shape, it was too good to be true". Another postcard shows a smiling Hitler on the bridge with two other high ranking Nazi officers.
Wreck of German World War II merchant raider Kormoran discovered
The wreckage of a German ship thought to have sunk the HMAS Sydney during World War II has been found off the Western Australian coast, increasing hopes that a wartime mystery will soon be solved. The German merchant raider Kormoran was discovered 150km west of Shark Bay - an important clue to concluding the search for the cruiser HMAS Sydney, which went down in November 1941 with the loss of all 645 on board after a furious battle. The HMAS Sydney was sunk in battle with the Kormoran while sailing to Australia from Sumatra but the location of the wreck was unknown.
Plea to restore only WWII Kriegsmarine's torpedo boat
The Kriegsmarine's Schnellboot, considered to be the best torpedo boat of WWII, is now set for a refurbishment thanks to overwhelming interest by enthusiasts bent on saving the historic Nazi relic. At a top speed of 55 knots, Schnellboot was far better than US Navy's PT boat or the Royal Navy's MTB, and it could be gauged from the fact that surrendered Schnellboots like the S130 was used even after the WW2 for covert military operations. After the fall of the Third Reich, S 130 was surrendered to the British who used it to drop agents on the Baltic coast.
Nazi Germany's first and last aircraft carrier: Graf Zeppelin
Construction on the aircraft carrier "Graf Zeppelin" began in 1936: It was to be a prestige object for the Nazis and the 33,000-ton colossus was capable of 33 knots. The 1,720-man aircraft carrier could only hold about 40 planes, half as many as Allied equivalents, but it was heavily armored. Though the Graf Zeppelin was launched in December 1938, construction was never fully completed. U-boats took priority when WW2 began and it was sidelined and never saw action. As the war came to a close and the Nazi Wehrmacht foresaw their demise, demolition squads sank the carrier on April 25, 1945, just days before Adolf Hitler's suicide.
Nazi Germany's only aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin found
Divers have discovered the rusting wreckage of Nazi Germany’s only aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin, near the Bay of Gdansk - solving one of the maritime riddles of the Second World War. When the Graf Zeppelin was launched in 1938, Adolf Hitler raised his right arm in salute to a warship that was supposed to help Third Reich to become master of the northern seas. But, when fleeing German troops scuttled her in April 1945, she had never seen service — a casualty of infighting within the Nazi elite and the changing tide of war. The Graf Zeppelin was scuttled in shallow water near Szczecin and it proved easy for the Red Army to recover her.
Erich Raeder: Admiral of the Third Reich's Kriegsmarine (Article no longer available from the original source)
This book focuses on Erich Raeder, the Commander in Chief of the German Navy or Kriegsmarine. Raeder is often shadowed by the Nazi Adm. Karl Donitz, chief of Hitler's submarine forces. Raeder's biography is more revealing than Donitz's, because he served under 3 different German navies: the Imperial Navy, the Reichmarine (Weimar Republic) and under Hitler's Kriegsmarine. He oversaw the expansion of the German Navy in preparation for Hitler's entry into WWII and the design of the panzerschiff, or pocket battleships. He pushed for the Plan Z: A Nazi Navy of 500 ships, which included the Nazi's only incomplete aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin.
British navy before nazi trial: We had similar tactics (Article no longer available from the original source)
Britain told prosecutors after World War Two not to press charges against Nazis for sinking ships on sight because the British navy had similar tactics. Admiralty voiced the worries in an secret 1945 letter: "We have to bear in mind the fact that ultimately, by way of reprisal, we ourselves adopted a total sink-at-sight policy in prescribed areas. British naval officials were concerned about the trials of German naval commander Erich Raeder and his successor Karl Doenitz: "We have been a little anxious concerning the possibility that the trials of Doenitz and Raeder might involve a controversy concerning legal principles of maritime warfare."
Relics of Nazi navy battleship Graf Spee stokes controversy
Six decades have passed since the pride of the Nazi navy, the "Admiral Graf Spee", was sunk off the coast of Uruguay, but the once feared pocket battleship stirs up argument. The recovery of a giant bronze eagle from the Nazi ship has triggered a standoff between Alfredo Etchegaray and the German government, which is against a public sale of the WWII-era relic. An imposing Nazi emblem with wings spread out and a swastika under its talons could fetch a huge sum at auction. Teams have raised a gun and a tower which are on display. The recovery of these artifacts has push ahead project of raising the entire battleship from its muddy grave.
Submariner hero of the Tirpitz raid - Richard Kendall
Former naval diver Richard Kendall was one of the bravest participants in the Royal Navy's most daring operational success of the WWII - the midget submarine attack on the Tirpitz, Hitler's mightiest warship, in its Norwegian base in autumn 1943. At 53,000 tones and armed with eight 15-inch guns, the battleship had been the bane of the British home fleet since Jan 1942, threatening allied convoys taking munitions to Murmansk. British air attacks on the battleship at anchor failed, but from May 1943 the navy began to develop the X-craft, a midget submarine only 51ft long and displacing 35 tonnes. Its only armament was a pair of detachable mines.
The Graf Spee bronze eagle is landed - Could fetch 15M
A bronze eagle salvaged from the Admiral Graf Spee, the German pocket battleship scuttled after the Battle of the River Plate, could fetch more than £15 million at auction. It said a collector in south-east Asia had offered $15 million (£8.6 million) and the owner of an American hotel chain had topped that with $26 million (£15 million). Capt Hans Langsdorff scuttled the Graf Spee on Dec 17, 1939, to prevent it from falling into British hands.