PRINZ EUGEN

Prinz Eugen - a name provides links

The person

Prince Eugen was born in Paris on 18th October 1663, the son of Moritz Eugen of Soissons and Olympia Banini. He had the title "Prince Eugen of Savoy" because he belonged to a collateral line of the Italian Savoy Dynasty.

Early on, he encountered rejection at the French court of Louis XIV, and because of an intrigue he had to flee from France in 1683. He fled to the German Empire and entered the service of Kaiser Leopold I of Austria. As a private soldier in the service of Austria, he fended off the Turks outside Vienna, and in the subsequent battles against the Turks he began to make a name for himself. Thus, with the Peace Treaty of Karlovitz in 1699, he succeeded in making Austria a great power and eliminated the danger of further Turkish incursions. The present-day conflicts in the former Yugoslavia have their origins in the turmoil of that time.

Up until 1700, alliances in Europe were loose and were aimed mainly at driving out the Turks, but in 1701 this situation changed radically. A year earlier, King Charles II had died, and a dispute over the Spanish crown broke out, in which France and the Electorate of Bavaria, which formed part of the German Empire, took the field against England and Austria. In this fourteen-year war, the prince fought together with his best friend, the British general Marlborough, against members of his own family, for example the Elector Max Emanuel of Bavaria.

This War of Spanish Succession clearly showed the extent to which the histories of the European states are intertwined. Near the village of Blindheim (English "Blenheim"), Marlborough and Prince Eugen fought against the combined Bavarians and French. Approximately 240 years later, a descendant of the Duke of Marlborough, namely the British Prime Minister Churchill, dispatched Bristol Blenheim bombers to sink the heavy cruiser PRINZ EUGEN. But Prince Eugen linked Germany, Italy and France in another way as well: he signed his name as "Eugenio von Savoy" - first name Italian, "von" German, and "Savoy" French.

As a general, Prince Eugen was anxious to achieve the best possible results. In doing so, he paid no heed to the suffering of the civilian population. It was only as he became older that he paid attention to the troubles of the ordinary citizens in war. Thus, quite unusually for that time, he asked his French adversary to prevent his soldiers from committing further atrocities.

The cruiser's predecessors

(From the Kiel newspaper "Kieler Neueste Nachrichten" dated 22nd August 1938)

The latest German cruiser whose grey mass is now floating in Kiel Firth is the fourth warship to be called "PRINZ EUGEN". A brief glance at the Prinz Eugen tradition of the Austrian Navy reflects the fleet development in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Perhaps the first "PRINZ EUGEN" from the founding days of the Austrian Fleet, when a general transition took place from pure sailing ships to engine-powered vessels, scarcely deserves to be called a warship: it was the naval steamship "PRINZ EUGEN", which was part of the Dalmatian Squadron. Around 1859, when France took the field against Austrian rule in Upper Italy, the commanding officer of this ship once captured the French barque "Raoul" without any specific orders while on a cruise in the Adria. As a result of that episode, the first "PRINZ EUGEN" took its place in the naval history of Austria.

The second ship which bore the name of the "noble knight" was built in the second main construction period of the Austrian fleet. At that time, as a result of a chance discovery made by the resourceful commanding officer of a warship, the Crimean War had led to the invention of iron armour for ships. In line with the endeavours of all fleets at that time, Austria too built a ship type of this kind - the armoured frigate. An armoured frigate launched in Vienna in 1862 was given the name "PRINZ EUGEN". The "casemate ship", which was quite large for its time, had a displacement of 3670 metric tons, a length of 73 metres, a beam of 15 metres and a draught of 6 metres, and possessed among other things eight 21-centimetre guns. However, it was taken out of service in the course of later modernisation of the fleet without ever having been in action.

The third Austrian "PRINZ EUGEN" was an impressive battleship. Similarly to the other ships of its class, which were called "turret ships", it had a displacement of 20,000 metric tons, a length of 151 metres, a beam of 27 metres and a draught of 8.2 metres, and was strongly armoured and heavily armed. The ship was launched in 1912 and had not been finally completed at the outbreak of the First World War, when the fleet of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was being assembled in Pola Harbour. Then, soon after the beginning of the war, it was assigned as the third unit to the 1st Battleship Division. Towards the end of the war, in February 1918, Rear-Admiral von Horthy, who had performed brilliantly on the cruiser "Novara" in various advances in the Adriatic, especially in the attack in the Straits of Otranto, became the commanding officier of the "PRINZ EUGEN", and later commander-in-chief of the entire Austro-Hungarian Fleet. In the last advance to the Straits of Otranto initiated by the aggressive spirit of the new commander of the fleet, the "PRINZ EUGEN" sailed in convoy with the battleships "Viribis unitis", "Tegetthoff" and "Szent Istvan", which sank during that operation after suffering a major torpedo attack.

The Ship

After the First World War, names of prominent naval and historical personalities were chosen for the Navy's large new vessels. The series of heavy cruisers began with the Admiral Hipper (Battle of the Skagerrak), followed by the Blücher (Napoleonic Wars). After the annexation of Austria, this new link was to be visible in the Navy as well, thus maintaining the tradition of the earler Austro-Hungarian Navy, which had long regarded itself as THE German Navy. It is now hardly known at all that, until the end of the First World War, Austria was a sea power with Trieste as its naval harbour.

Together with Prussian ships, Austria fought against Danish ships off Heligoland to protect Schleswig-Holstein from take-over by the Danes. The commander of this fleet, which achieved further glory in 1866 as the victor in the Battle of Lissa against the vastly superior Italian Fleet, was Commodore Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, whose ancestors came from Warstein in Westphalia. An Austrian battleship had already been named after him. In 1918 this ship, together with the other ships of the fleet, was handed over on the orders of the Austrian Kaiser by the commander-in-chief of the fleet and former commanding officer of the last Austrian predecessor, the battleship "PRINZ EUGEN", Rear-Admiral Nicolaus von Horthy, to the Council of State of the united Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, representing the victors. (How times can change!) The "Tegetthoff" went to Italy in 1920 and was broken up there.

To fittingly honour the link between Germany and Austria, after this prior history the name "Tegetthoff" was considered initially for the third cruiser, but this idea was soon abandoned because it was 1938 and Italy was now an ally! The choice of the name "PRINZ EUGEN" solved this dilemma. It certainly did not harm the relationship with Italy and in addition it incorporated Austria's special relationship with Hungary (which was now a next-door neighbour of the German Empire) into the on-going tradition, especially since von Horthy as the "Regent of the Empire" had meanwhile become the head of state of the Kingdom of Hungary. His wife, Magda von Horthy, named the new cruiser at its launch at the Krupp-Germania Shipyard in Kiel on 22nd August 1938.

In the press, the event was dealt with in the dramatic manner that was usual at that time. In view of the ship's future use, a sentence from the newspaper "Kieler Neuste Nachrichten" of Monday, 22nd August 1938, seems to me to be very good and almost prophetic: "The cruiser slips into its element, a symbol of strength and at the same time a bulwark of honour and of peace for all people of good will." It was not the ship's fault that such was not the politics of that era. The ship now offers politics an opportunity to make amends to some extent.

The war flag was lowered at 4 p.m. on 7th May 1945. The war was over. On 8th May 1945, the British cruisers Dido and Devonshire entered Copenhagen Harbour, and the PRINZ EUGEN was handed over to the British. They escorted it to Wilhelmshaven. There, the British cruiser Dido bade farewell with the flashed message, "See you again in better times!"

Because the allies were unable to reach agreement, lots were cast for the ship; it was won by the USA.

In the period from 5th January to 1st May 1946, for test purposes and for hand-over, the ship sailed to San Diego with a mixed German-American crew under the simultaneous command of two commanding officers - one German and one American. Some of the American crew members from that time, including the commanding officer, still attend the reunions.

The ship PRINZ EUGEN is thus a pioneer of postwar German- American cooperation and friendship which has meanwhile brought us the longest period of peace in modern history. It has long been deserving of a monument.

PRINZ EUGEN - an unforgotten ship

Technically, the design of the ship was ahead of its time. The propulsion system consisting of three sets of four boilers and three three-stage geared turbines operated at 450°C and 73 bar steam pressure. The 132,000 horse power thus achieved gives the ship a top speed of 32.5 knots (60.19 km/h).

It is unanimously agreed that the quality of the artillery and of the fire control systems has never been surpassed. Because artillery has meanwhile been replaced by missiles, this statement will probably always remain valid.

Regarding the design of the vessel, the available literature offers not only much fascination but also some critical remarks: unreliable propulsion system, inadequate range, too much wasted space, unsatisfactory configuration of the turbines - these are just a few examples. However, anyone who examines the thinking behind the construction plans and at the same time considers the constraints which stood in the way of grandiose solutions might be inspired by the concept and its implementation. The fact remains that a brilliant technical feat was accomplished under unfavourable conditions and despite a very unclear specification of the vessel's purpose.

The first and best-known mission of the cruiser was the operation "Rheinübung" ("Rhine Exercise") together with the battleship "Bismarck", in which the intention was in fact to attack merchant shipping in the Atlantic. Instead, the largest British battleship, the "Hood", was sunk in a five-minute battle, and a second one, the "Prince of Wales", was almost completely put out of action in 25 minutes by gunfire. The first hits were achieved by the PRINZ EUGEN, and the decisive ones by the "Bismarck". Following orders, the commander-in-chief of the fleet, Admiral Lütjens, broke off the engagement and shortly afterwards parted company with the PRINZ EUGEN. Three days later, he went down with the "Bismarck" and about 1500 men. The PRINZ EUGEN returned alone.

Together with the battle cruisers "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau", the PRINZ EUGEN returned from Brest to Germany on 11th February 1942 in the Channel break-through, which likewise caused a sensation at that time; it was the only ship to get back undamaged.

Many older people can still remember the mission of the PRINZ EUGEN in the Baltic to protect the civilian population fleeing from the former eastern territories. With the heavy artillery, shells were fired over the heads of the refugees, thus holding back the advance of the Red Army for long enough to allow escape across the Baltic. With this task, the PRINZ EUGEN performed its longest mission (from 20th August 1944 to 8th April 1945). I consider this in particular as another reason why the ship is a positive symbol, because the primary objective of a country's armed forces should always be to safeguard security and thus the peaceful lives of the people. It is beyond doubt that politics at that time and even today far too often perpetrates criminal abuses with such performance of duty. We should not blame firstly those on both sides who paid with their lives for the errors of their leaders.

Among enthusiasts, the ships remains a constant topic of conversation to this day because of its technical elegance and the never-ending publications about its history and technology. It is impossible to describe, but I have the impression that, in addition to the very "large" ships, it has become simply THE ship. An international legend, not least because it is still visible today even although it has sunk. In our visit in November 1992, a film crew took shots while the aircraft was making its approach prior to landing on Kwajalein; the approach was extended somewhat, specially for this purpose. They were Japanese. Why were Japanese people interested in the PRINZ EUGEN if it was just a ship like many others?

Numerical data of the PRINZ EUGEN

As is usual in any technology, for naval ships too there are many characteristic data and abbreviations which provide definitions commonly used by professionals so that they can make comparisons between ships. For this, detailed specialist literature [1] exists which contains better and more comprehensive information. Therefore, only a brief selection of data is stated here which might also be of interest to the layman. For this reason, specialist technical terms are avoided to some extent.

Dimensions [2]

Length over all / at the design waterline [3] 212.5/199.5 metres

Width over all / at the design waterline 21.7/21.48 metres

Height - Keel to upper deck 12.45 metres

- Waterline to top of mast 49.13 metres

- Waterline to upper deck, maximum 5.88 metres

Draught - At the design waterline 6.57 metres

- Maximum 7.22 metres

Maximum displacement (weight) 19,042 metric tons

Propulsion

Three propellers, each with a diameter of 4.1 metres [4] and a weight of almost 12 metric tons, were each driven by three turbines. The 132,000 horse power that was developed in total was obtained from steam at 73 bar pressure and 450 degrees Celsius from twelve boilers, and gave the ship a top speed of 32.5 knots (60.19 km/h). The achievable range without refuelling was 3,825 kilometres at top speed, but was 14,075 kilometres at the most economical speed. [5] The fuel capacity which existed for this varies from 3,400 to 4,300 cubic metres, depending on the source.

Armour (maximum values)

Outer plating 30 mm ST52 52-64 kg/mm2

Side armour 80 mm Wotan, hard 85-95 kg/mm2

Upper deck 30 mm Wotan, hard 85-95 kg/mm2

Armoured deck 30 mm Wotan, hard 85-95 kg/mm2

Torpedo bulkhead 20 mm Wotan, soft 65-75 kg/mm2

Command station 150 mm Wotan, hard 85-95 kg/mm2

Gun turrets 160 mm Wotan, hard 85-95 kg/mm2

Armament

Type Number Calibre Range Ammunition

(barrels) (cm) (km) (number of

rounds)

Heavy artillery 8 20.3 36 960

Heavy anti-

aircraft guns [6] 12 10.5 12 6,200

Medium anti-

aircraft guns 17 4 Approx. 34,000

Light anti-

aircraft guns 28 2 Approx. 84,000

Torpedoes 12 53.33 24

Electric power generation

Approx. 290,000 Watt at 230 V was generated on board.

Distance travelled

- Under the German flag [7] Approx. 30,000 nautical miles

- Under the American flag Approx. 12,000 nautical miles

- Total: Approx. 77,800 kilometers or 42,000 nautical miles

The crew

Normal strength of the crew: 1,400 men.

A total of about 4,000 Germans and 526 Americans sailed on the PRINZ EUGEN at various times.

As a result of the war, a total of 112 fatalities occurred among the crew from various causes.

Final technical evaluation: [8]

After the war, the ship was inspected in detail for two weeks by a person who was said to be the most senior officer of the Royal Navy's Construction Corps. Afterwards, he bade farewell to all heads of department and said in German: "... and now the most difficult task lies ahead of me, for I have to explain to the Admiralty that we are not capable of building such a ship!"

The book by Paul Schmalenbach

In fact, it is all his fault. All that Paul Schmalenbach, as the traditions officer, wanted to do was to create a monument to his "steamer", and he indeed managed to do so. Available only as a paperback today [9], the book has appeared in various editions and seems to be a perennial. However, Schmalenbach achieved more than that: it is astonishing how many perspectives such a ship permits and how vividly he wrote. The ship and the book together enable one to immerse oneself very realistically in past history, and allow one to understand what the feeling was at that time and how things functioned in and on the ship.

Schmalenbach's book breathes life into the history and the ship, without which the history would remain superficial and banal. At many places, quotations have been unavoidable, because no other source containing such detailed technical information exists now. For the naval tradition, he has created a document which gives even a "landlubber" like myself an insight into and an understanding of this world. It is recommended reading for anyone with a technical interest in the ships of that period.

A meeting with the crew

Shortly after my return from the first trip to the PRINZ EUGEN, the possibility of getting to know its crew occurred in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance on 2nd and 3rd September 1988. There were about 500 men [10], some of them accompanied by their wives.

They had been brought together randomly at that time from all parts of Germany and Austria, and so they were a very varied mixture of people. Naturally, I was interested among other things in the question of the present-day attitude towards the political aspect of that time. I found the answers rather surprising at first, but upon closer examination they are not extraordinary at all: the common bond between the members of this group consists not of politics or the Third Reich but of

- the shared experiences,

- the psychological pressure of the war at that time,

- the mutual help at critical moments,

- and last but not least the group awareness of the "PRINZ EUGEN".

I assume that the experiences of that time were tolerable only by suppression. The results are tidy, positive memories. I did not hear a single word about the people killed in the war.

It was not politics but the terms "navy" and "military service" that brought the people together on this ship. According to my impression, the common denominator is simply the ship.

The bond consists of the experiences of that time, supplemented by the comradely meetings afterwards. There is a feeling of community resulting from a shared past. It is taken for granted that their families too form part of this community today.

Some of the veterans were stunned by the fact of hearing and seeing news of the "Prinz" [11]. For them, this chapter had long since come to an end and was now only the foundation for the present-day sense of community. Who would want to shake the foundation? It turned out that there were many rumours about the ship - that it had broken up or had been scrapped, or that it had slid into deep water, or had been blown up. Much was corrected and there were many doubts.

A sailor's yarn - or is it true?

On the PRINZ EUGEN, there were only respectable people. Delinquents and ruffians were only found aboard other ships, unless you yourself had once sailed on some "boat" or other. Furthermore, everything that follows is definitely true. That is how I interpreted the accounts given by individual crew members.

Here are two examples:

"After the end of the war, the ship was lying in Wilhelmshaven and we had nothing to do. Somebody had the idea that something practical should be done so that work could be found in the uncertain times that lay ahead: truck-drivers' licences. So we learned to drive a truck in order to acquire these licences. Someone who held a technical inspection post on the PRINZ EUGEN was appointed as the test panel. There was still petrol left over from the aeroplanes. The British guards were persuaded and a truck was organised. The test route was a trip round a warehouse. And lo and behold, you had your driver's licence."

Or: "We got the order that all alcohol was to be handed over. Nobody wanted the British to have the beer. There were almost 70,000 bottles. It was nearly all hidden. Less than 500 bottles were handed over. All of the other alcohol had disappeared - except for the juniper schnaps. That too was hidden, but it rendered good service for the purpose of bribery: the British thought it was a kind of German whisky." [12]

Upon departure, the Chairman of the Association of Former Crew Members of the "PRINZ EUGEN", Mr. Janssen, said to me, "Mr. Brandes, don't take everything they say too literally. The tales get wilder from one year to the next. I sometimes wonder what ship I was really on. I simply don't recognise the vessel that's being talked about here!

The history of the PRINZ EUGEN

16th November 1935

The order to build the PRINZ EUGEN was awarded to the Krupp-Germania Shipyard, Kiel.

The design task was assigned to the Navy's Design Department under Professor Hermann Burkhardt.

23rd April 1936

The work of building the ship was started.

1st January 1938

Corvette Captain (Engineer) Graser became the commander of the "new construction acquaintance" function, i.e. the later core crew of technical experts began to acquaint themselves with the ship under construction and with its details. At the same time, they began to generate or modify the equipment documents needed for use on board.

22nd August 1938

Naming and launching of the new cruiser.

1st January 1940

The ship's regular crew, i.e. the normal crew which had to be on board from the time the ship entered service, began to prepare themselves for their duties.

31st July 1940

The crew went aboard the ship.

1st August 1940

To put the ship into service under Captain Helmuth Brinkmann, the flag was hoisted for the first time at 8 a.m.

18th May 1941 - 1st June 1941

Operation "Rheinübung" ("Rhine Exercise") under the command of Admiral Lütjens. Together with the battleship "Bismarck", which was also brand new, the PRINZ EUGEN sailed through the Danish Straits into the Atlantic to wage war on merchant shipping in accordance with orders. Detected for the first time with the use of radar on both sides, the ships were shadowed by two British cruisers, and a battle took place with the battle cruiser "Hood" and the battleship "Prince of Wales". Within six minutes [13], the "Hood" sank after a direct hit, and the Prince of Wales turned away, badly damaged. The "Hood" was considered to be the world's most powerful battleship; the "Prince of Wales" was still undergoing trials and still had shipyard workers on board. From relief at the reduced danger to their own lives, the crew of the PRINZ EUGEN rejoiced over the sinking of the "Hood". The rejoicing was cut short by the commanding officer with the memorable sentence, "... remember that in England too, there is a mother waiting for each man." [14]

The PRINZ EUGEN escaped damage, but the "Bismarck" was damaged so badly that its radius of action was reduced by the loss of fuel reserves. Therefore, Admiral Lütjens released the PRINZ EUGEN so that the latter could continue cruiser combat independently, and attempted to reach a French port directly for repairs. On its way there, it was engaged by a much larger force, consisting of two aircraft carriers, three battleships, two cruisers and five destroyers. In the end, when defence was no longer possible, the "Bismarck" was forced to scuttle itself, and sank on 27th May 1941. The PRINZ EUGEN ceased operations because of malfunctions in the propulsion system, and sailed into Brest on 1st June 1941.

2nd June 1941 - 11th February 1942

Period spent in Brest. During that period, the ship was hit by a bomb on 2nd July; there were 60 victims altogether, including the son of the designer.

11th February 1942 - 13th February 1942

Together with the battle cruisers "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau", a break-through along the English Channel, passing through the Straits of Dover in broad daylight. Of these ships, the PRINZ EUGEN was the only one to reach Germany undamaged. This withdrawal was a tactical success on the one hand, but on the other hand it was a strategic defeat, because it was an admission that the war with large surface ships in the Atlantic was no longer feasible in the form originally planned.

23rd February 1942

On being moved to Norway, the ship suffered a torpedo hit in the stern and lost its rudder. The stern was bent. After emergency repairs in Norway, the ship cruised back to Kiel for final repairs. En route, it was attacked by 54 aircraft on 17th May 1942.

1st August 1942 - 8th January 1943

Period of repair in Kiel. On 22nd November 1942, the bell of the Austrian battleship "Tegetthoff" was presented to the PRINZ EUGEN by the Italian naval attaché. [15]

9th January 1943 - 30th September 1943

Used as a training ship for navy recruits.

1st October 1943

Beginning of renewed preparation for active service. Trial of novel methods for bombardment of land targets not directly visible.

17th June 1944 - 30th June 1944

Visit by the fleet to Finland.

19th August 1944

First bombardment of land targets to support the army in retreat - as would happen frequently in the coming months.

20th September 1944 - 25th September 1944

Protecting a convoy of freighters in the retreat from Finland.

15th October 1944

The PRINZ EUGEN rammed the light cruiser "Leipzig" amidships. The two ships remained locked together for 18 hours. Without conformity with official channels and waiting periods, the PRINZ EUGEN was restored to a fully operational state within two weeks in a fast procedure by Professor Burkhardt, who at that time was the director of the local branch of Deutsche Werke Kiel.

1st February 1945

Beginning of the land target bombardment to protect the civilian population escaping across the open sea. Embarkation frequently took place off the beach using small boats travelling to and fro, which were reached by the refugees wading through the ice-cold water. Children were carried above the heads of adults. Under the protective "umbrella" of the PRINZ EUGEN's gunfire, many thousands of people literally saved nothing but their lives. [16]

10th April 1945

After the entire ammunition had been used up, apart from a remainder for the anti-aircraft guns for self-defence, the vessel began its cruise westward, destined for Copenhagen.

7th May 1945

At 4 p.m., the war flag was lowered. For the PRINZ EUGEN, the war was thus over.

8th May 1945

At 3 p.m., the ship was formally handed over to a British commanding officer. According to a report by a contemporary witness, the two commanding officers embraced each other: they are said to have become friends during a course of study in England before the war. [17]

26th May 1945

Escorted by British ships, the PRINZ EUGEN left Copenhagen en route for Wilhelmshaven. Off Jade Bay, the accompanying British cruiser "Dido" bade farewell in German with the flashed message, "Commanding officer to commanding officer: See you again in better times!"

5th January 1946

The ship, for which lots had been drawn among the allies, was put back into service as an American vessel, the "USS IX 300 PRINZ EUGEN", with a mixed German and American crew.

1st May 1946

The last members of the German crew, whose numbers had already been gradually reduced, left the ship.

1st July 1946

In the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb test "A", performed by dropping the bomb from an aircraft onto an entire test fleet of ships from the USA and Japan and the PRINZ EUGEN, many ships sank, but the PRINZ EUGEN survived the event.

25th July 1946

Atomic bomb test "B"; here, the bomb was detonated under water among another group of ships. The PRINZ EUGEN survived this test too.

22nd December 1946

The PRINZ EUGEN, which had meanwhile been towed into Kwajalein Atoll, capsized on the inner reef of the atoll.

September 1993

This book appeared and the project office was opened in order to pave the way for salvaging the PRINZ EUGEN and for "putting it into service" for the third time so that it can fulfil its final destiny as a platform for peace and dialogue, as was stated at the time of its naming:

"Dedicated to all people of good will." [18]

Drawing lots for the PRINZ EUGEN

Warships can also be bought, but after wars the victor likes to take them home as booty. That is how things were at the end of the Second World War too. With regard to Germany, there was only one problem: there was not much left of the German fleet, and at the same time there were three victors who were interested in the remains.

In the case of the submarines, Great Britain had performed a fait accompli at an early stage. In "Operation Deadlight", most of them were towed out to the Atlantic and were sunk there. With the larger ships, however, an amusing episode occurred. [19] When the Naval Control Commission of the three allies Britain, the USA and the USSR met to decide the fate of the ships, the officers were unable to agree which country should acquire the PRINZ EUGEN. The American delegate, Captain A.H. Graubart, explained later what had happened: "The British officer stated that they had the strongest claim because the cruiser was present during the sinking of the "Hood" and had taken part in the channel break-through. The Russians declared that the loss of human life inflicted upon their country by this ship was a much greater loss. I (Graubart) asked both parties to consider whether this ship would ever have fallen into their hands without material assistance from the USA. Naturally, the PRINZ EUGEN would therefore have to go to America! Because of this situation, we divided the ships into three lots - a group of destroyers, the light cruiser "Nürnberg" with one or two destroyers, and as the third lot the PRINZ EUGEN. I wrote the name of each lot on a separate piece of paper, folded them, and put them in my cap. My British and Russian colleagues each drew out one of the folded pieces of paper, and as a result I became the commanding officer of this ship."

Sea crossing and cooperation

Life as "employed enemy personnel".

Memories of USS PRINZ EUGEN (IX-300)

by Helmut "Teddy" Raumann

In Bremerhaven, the Stars and Stripes were hoisted on the heavy cruiser PRINZ EUGEN in 1946; the ship thus became part of the US Navy. It was to go to sea with two commanding officers and two crews coming from two nations which had been deadly enemies. Probably a unique event in the history of naval warfare.

A look back at the capitulation

Copenhagen, Denmark, May 1945:

We had fallen in on the afterdeck of the heavy cruiser PRINZ EUGEN - our commanding officer, the first officer and ourselves, the weapon control officers. Facing us stood the commanding officer and weapon control officers of the British cruiser HMS DIDO. The ship was handed over to the Royal Navy with typical British ceremony. The German flag and pennant had been hauled down earlier on the orders of our commanding officer in the presence of the assembled crew, who were all moved by the occasion, and had been replaced with the randomly chosen alphabet pennant for the letter "C" of the international alphabet. Our ship had lost its identity.

Some time later, we put to sea, sailing round Skagen to Germany together with the light cruiser NÜRNBERG, escorted by British cruisers and destroyers. Off Wilhelmshaven, our escorts turned away.

In Wilhelmshaven, the majority of our comrades were in a hurry to be discharged. We, the others, remained on board for one reason or another. The PRINZ was put into dry dock: by order of the British harbour commandant, the ship was to be kept ready for sea and the complicated engine systems, weapons and equipment were to be maintained. Recognisable war damage was repaired. Unfortunately, there is not enough space in this book to report on the many "curious" events that occurred during the time spent in the shipyard, when Canadian guards and German seamen "fraternised". For several months, the cruiser remained under British supreme command.

At the Potsdam Conference in July/August 1945, the PRINZ EUGEN was awarded to the Americans. We were worried that the ship might be put under Soviet control, with the prospect of our becoming prisoners of war of the Russians. However, the question remained: What would become of our PRINZ? The Allies rewarded our cooperation with a short period of home leave: in full uniform, officers and chief petty officers were allowed to wear their daggers - and that at a time of strict non-fraternisation [20] when even the possession of a penknife was forbidden.

The fateful year 1945 drew to an end. However, the wild rumours about the future of our ship continued. Every individual thought he knew the truth: "The PRINZ EUGEN will be put into the US Navy." - "No, that's nonsense, with the different weapons system every spare part would require special manufacture." - "An American multimillionaire has bought the PRINZ to convert it into a lucrative hotel ship." - "No, the US Admiralty would never agree to that." "It is going to be scrapped." - "But if that is the case, then why the expensive repair work?"

In the service of the US Navy

Before Christmas, the ship was moved to Bremerhaven, a US enclave in the British zone of Germany, and at last the veil of secrecy was lifted: the German crew would be brought up to strength and would transfer the cruiser PRINZ EUGEN to the United States in the service of the US Navy with the status "employed enemy personnel". "Lieutenant Commander, you were right when you advised me to stay on board and to wait and see what would happen to the PRINZ," said my steward. A new era as members of the US Navy was beginning for us. The first signs - we had meanwhile tied up at the fitting-out pier - consisted of large US Army trucks discharging enormous quantities of provisions, cigarettes and other goods. There were beaming faces, not only ours but also those of the crews of numerous German units and hospital ships present in the harbour, to which our own plentiful supplies were being distributed. These had been "saved" just in time before the arrival of Polish troops by our provisions officer shortly before the end of the war in a lightning raid at a depot in the Eastern Baltic.

On board, eager and comprehensive preparations were being made for the voyage across the Atlantic. As the first step, missing technical personnel had to be hired again. The call was answered by large numbers of applicants; the selection process was very rigorous, and there were many disappointed faces. Accommodation had to be created for a regular US crew of ten officers and 60 seamen. Several compartments had to be "prepared" for the "bluejackets". Our ratings were amazed when bunks had to be procured; they learned that American seamen on a warship the size of the PRINZ did not sleep in hammocks. We were told that a separate cabin had to be found for a coloured seaman. The small telex room - which was not needed anyway during the crossing - was accepted as a "single cabin".

From films, we knew that the Americans were a coffee-drinking nation. But the Navy? Now, one of the top priorities was the installation of coffee machines distributed abundantly over the entire ship, all of them within sight and complete with all of the accessories needed to ensure round-the-clock readiness for use.

Special requirements for the officers' quarters? YES! "Your leather bunks are damned hard," said the Americans. "Put a soft mattress on top." While some of my comrades had to move to different quarters, I myself - recently appointed as the liaison officer between the US and German crews - was allowed to keep my comfortable communications officer's [21] cabin.

The US commanding officer, Captain A.H. Graubart, moved into the admiral's cabin of the cruiser, which had been designed as the flagship of a fleet task force. Our German commanding officer, Captain H.J. Reinicke, kept his cabin next door: an ideal solution for the social interaction and intellectual cooperation of two distinctive personalities, but one which also reflected the fact that, in future, Captain Graubart would be the commanding officer responsible for running the ship.

5th January 1946: The Stars and Stripes were hoisted and the cruiser entered the service of the US Navy as the USS PRINZ EUGEN (IX-300).

A very good feeling: our ship was carrying a flag once again. And we had an exciting task - crossing the Atlantic on board!

The stormy crossing with hurricane-force winds required "all hands" and did not leave much time for making personal contact with our American comrades, with whom we were going to be together for months.

The first test and confirmation of smooth cooperation occurred in the field of radio: the US liberty ship F.C. HICKS sent an SOS radio signal for assistance a thousand miles east of New York. We retraced our steps at top speed. Later, there was general relief when we received the message that the HICKS was manoeuvrable again and was able to continue its voyage under its own steam.

It was an exciting experience to see the American coast coming into view and to tie up in Boston Harbour. We were able to have our first conversations with American civilians - dock workers, engineers, and employees of the port authority. One of them said, "Hey, you look just like us and you also behave like us!" What had he expected? A "guy" with a knife between his teeth?

On the following day, we were surprised by the great interest shown by the press in the arrival of the PRINZ EUGEN. The headlines and press reports varied - objective, unbiased, eccentric, spiteful. And no wonder. One interview was quite amusing: "These fellows are perplexed at not finding any sign of serious bomb damage in Boston Harbour, as they had been told by Nazi propaganda." I am fairly certain that none of our crew had expected that. However, we were undoubtedly all amazed - at that time - that, apparently, every dock worker had his own car and not a bicycle as in our country.

Both the Americans and the Germans showed great interest in exchanging experiences and in clearing up misunderstandings caused by a lack of true information. Our commanding officer and I were invited by the radio station "WCOP" of Boston to give a report on the history of the PRINZ EUGEN and a description of post-war life in Germany. The interview was transmitted live without interruption throughout the whole of America.

We were all very disappointed that neither the officers nor the crew were granted shore leave; however, we heard that tours in groups were planned. One of the "all-knowing" press correspondents knew better: Washington had vetoed such excursions. That is what he wrote. We were certainly all very disappointed about this.

Detailed as a "guinea-pig"

Naturally, the press also knew the ultimate fate of the PRINZ EUGEN. It was to put to sea again as a "guinea-pig" for an atomic bomb test in the Pacific. Our commanding officer's comment on this during an interview: "I would rather see the ship destroyed by bombs than lying on a scrap-heap. It is very sad for me to be the last commanding officer of such a proud vessel; it would be better for it to be sunk than to decay. As a result of the test, it might perhaps be of great value to science."

The announcement of the ultimate fate of the PRINZ provided no motivation at all for the American crew on board to familiarise themselves with the strange and complicated technology of the ship that was soon to be sent to the bottom of the ocean. At the fleet base in Philadelphia, most non-technical members of the German crew were sent home and replaced by US officers and crewmen, and the process of instruction was continued. This training did not always proceed smoothly; for example, finding the appropriate English terms for valves, operating-levers and pointer instruments caused headaches on both sides. It was said that the compactness of the engine system and the cramped conditions in the ship - in contrast to American units of the same size - prevented proper ventilation on the PRINZ EUGEN. Thus, there were many sources of irritation, which did not exactly help the instruction process. Occasionally, there were personal disputes between members of the two crews in matters of money or gambling, which required arbitration. Such cases were brought before the American captain. Arriving at a verdict was problematical when the statements made by the crew members were clearly contradictory: who was to be believed - the bluejacket or the German seaman?

There were no problems among the members of the officers' and chief petty officers' messes. The atmosphere was relaxed during duty and leisure time, during joint attendance at showings of American and German films, and in other pastimes. Where language was not a barrier, personal friendships were struck up. I made music together with the American executive lieutenant whenever the opportunity arose. Now and then there was also time for chatting with shipyard workers on board and for occasional observations which were strange at that time: a fitter, already grey-haired, threw a large carboard box containing brass nuts and bolts over the ship's side after he had taken out two or three of them. To my astonished questioning, he explained, "Well, brother, giving it back requires form-filling and clerical work (five copies) and time spent standing in line." And after all, the boys from the company are pleased when they keep their jobs.

Shortly before the midday break: in the pantry of the officers' mess, a bluejacket opened cans of pineapple; almost every second can landed in the rubbish bin! His simple explanation: "According to the menu, there are supposed to be pineapple rings for dessert at lunch today; I'm just sorting out the diced ones."

On a peaceful evening: there was a bluejacket leaning against the railing, lovingly cutting up a saveloy with his sailor's knife and throwing the slices to the squawking seagulls. Impressive scenes? Not for present-day conditions. But at that time, when at home turnip-tops on water-maize bread were a delicacy?

At the beginning of February 1946, the PRINZ EUGEN was at sea again, handled by the German crew under US control and with many US technicians on board as observers. En route, the cruiser's heavy artillery and anti-aircraft guns, with accurate fire control systems and radars, were able to demonstrate their capabilities for one last time as they destroyed floating waterborne targets within minutes. Our entry into the Delaware Estuary along a seemingly never-ending string of dry docks for the building of liberty ships was very impressive and unforgettable. In the docks, there were still a large number of units awaiting completion. It was said that, during the war, there was one ship launched here every day, ready for installation of the engine system and the equipment!

At the pier in the harbour of Philadelphia, the PRINZ had two of its "teeth" extracted: the 20.3 cm barrels of the forward gun-turret were removed for thorough inspection, together with parts of the fire control system. However, the relevant US experts showed much less interest in our radar systems. After I had explained the functions of the units, the specialists declined to study the extensive technical documentation. "German radar is far inferior to American," they stated as their reason. "We will install US radar units for navigational safety." OK, but when and how? The solution of the problem was quite simple: the wheels were removed from a large US Army bus equipped with the very latest radar units, the bus was hoisted by a shipyard crane onto the roof of the bridge deck and was welded in place there, the power supply unit was lashed to deck of the foreship, and the cables were routed up to the equipment. The units were then calibrated and a trial run took place: everything was OK - and all within two days! I wished that we had earlier been able and permitted to improvise in this way on the PRINZ.

The steadily growing number of visitors aboard the PRINZ aroused the displeasure of some influential newspaper correspondents who, it appeared, were against contacts of any kind. Their headlines: "5,000 gifts showered upon Germans during party aboard PRINZ EUGEN." - "Alcohol flows in torrents on Nazi ship." - "Germans and Americans with flushed cheeks bawling German beer-tent songs." "Whisky smuggled aboard despite strict ban." And so on. The Admiralty in Washington ordered a full enquiry into the objections raised, but the investigators concluded: "Absolutely no evidence of drunkenness, either among visitors or within the crew, whose behaviour was at all times correct."

En route to the Pacific

Mid March 1946: we were under way to the Pacific Ocean. One of the highlights was the passage through the Panama Canal with its six double locks. In Gatun Bay, where the canal widens, we encountered a liberty ship with several hundred German prisoners of war on their way home. It was a moving scene, with the tightly packed German servicemen at the railings of both ships and with loud greetings passing to and fro. The event was overshadowed shortly afterwards by the attempt of two of our seamen to escape. Their venture was foolish, because we were in the most heavily guarded zone of the entire continent. Naturally, they were both captured that same night, and were brought back on board with quite considerable consequences for the deserters - but unfortunately also for the entire German crew: not only was possible shore leave at the end of the voyage cancelled, but also since the incident an armed police vessel circled around us whenever the ship was lying at anchor. The anger directed at the runaways was understandable.

The underwater acoustic detection system of the PRINZ EUGEN had already aroused particularly great interest on the part of specialists of the US Navy in earlier inspections. Here in the Pacific, not far from the Balboa naval base, this system was thoroughly tested. In spectactular "attacks", four US submarines launched a total of 34 exercise torpedoes. Every one of them was detected by the sonar operators in my division and - much to the astonishment of the experts - the trajectory was reported to the bridge soon enough to enable the commanding officer to dodge the torpedoes in all cases. All attacks were recorded by means of recorders and gramophone records - for noise analysis later on. The grand spectacle of the PRINZ sailing at top speed corresponded exactly to the tastes of a Hollywood film crew. I was asked by the producer whether I would like to take part in a sketch later on. "Of course, with pleasure," was my immediate response. But then the cat was let out of the bag: "Are you familiar with the decorations and badges of rank of the German SS?" My reply: "No, sir, and many thanks for the offer."

The "all-powerful" US press was everywhere. One of their headlines: "Today, we again paid 18,000 US dollars to German seamen. Are our bluejackets incapable of handling the spoils of war?" However, the difference was remarkable: here on the west coast, they wrote about "German seamen"; on the east coast of the USA, we had mostly been "Nazi seamen". Was this the "Pearl Harbour trauma"?

In the harbour of San Pedro, the German crew was reduced again; only a minimal technical crew was left. Those of us remaining on board were informed that our voyage would end in San Diego, California, and not on Hawaii or even Bikini Atoll as we had been told earlier and which was what we were secretely hoping for.

Taking leave of the PRINZ - the end of the line: Bikini Atoll

San Diego, May 1946: we spent a pleasant time of farewell on our ship. Was it because of the agreeable climate? The cheerful way of life of the US Westerners? Whatever the cause may have been, even more than in earlier ports of call during our voyage my time was filled with the interesting and pleasant task of conducting visitors through the ship and of explaining the technical systems: naval officers from other US units lying in the harbour, civilians, engineers, company bosses and managers. Some of them came back several times, and friendships lasting up to the present day were struck up. The visit by the senior proprietor of the USA's leading radio set manufacturing firm at that time led to an offer to employ me as soon as the immigration barriers had fallen. But when would that be able to happen?

The time for saying goodbye to friends, comrades and the good old PRINZ was drawing near all too quickly. Reassuring for our professional futures and consoling in the hour of final farewell was the moment at which our American commanding officer, Captain Graubart, handed each of us a detailed testimonial certifying "cooperative, comradely behaviour and extremely effective work on board the USS PRINZ EUGEN (IX-300)". This commendation would would be of inestimable value for the "better days" at home in Germany.

The sinking

Official American report according to information dated 29th January 1968 from the Library of Contemporary History [22], Stuttgart:

Early on 21st December 1946, the PRINZ EUGEN was lying at anchor near Enubuj Island (Carlson Island), in Kwajalein Atoll. There was no crew on board. The ship was normally investigated daily to check its radiological condition. At 7.00 hours on the morning of 21st December 1946, the "USS Conserver" (ARS 39) sailed out of the lagoon and observed that the ship had a draught of 22 feet 9 inches forward, instead of 22 feet 6 inches, and a draught of 27 feet 6 inches aft, instead of 23 feet 6 inches, and that it had developed a 3 3/4 degree list to starboard, whereas it normally had a list of only 1/2 degree to starboard. These original markings had not changed since the wreck was towed from Bikini in September, and no pumps had been used in the meantime. At 12.30 hours, the inspection team returned to shore and reported to the responsible officer that the stern of the PRINZ EUGEN was lying lower in the water. At 13.40 hours, two tugs YTM 469 and YTB 407 and also the landing craft LCI 615 and LCI 549 arrived at the ship and set up a pumping station on shore. At 14 hours, LCI 615 began pumping. Two pumps were connected; LCI 549 connected one pump. However, the inflow of water increased faster than the pumps could pump it out; Lt. Barrie, who was in command of the operation, decided to beach the ship. The anchor chain was therefore slipped and one tug attached a line to the foreship; the second tug attached a line astern on the port side. At 16 hours, towing towards Carlson Island began. With the means available, it was only possible to tow in the direction of the wind. Because of the increasing rate of water inflow and the approach of darkness, it was not possible to wait any longer. At about 19 hours, the PRINZ EUGEN was beached, with its port side lying on the shore of Carlson Island. At this point in time, the list had increased to over 10 degrees and the lower portholes on the starboard side were under water. Although the pumping was continued, the list continued to increase. However, the tugs did not succeed in giving the ship sufficient speed to put into onto the reef. It was hoped that the wind and the sea would finally achieve that. However, the attempt was unsuccessful because the tide was receding. At 20 hours, the ship was sitting on the bottom with the tide going out; from the shore, hawsers were put aboard the ship. After that, the work had to be discontinued because of darkness and the exceeding of the permissible radiological tolerance values for the operating personnel. On the morning of 22nd December 1946, the ship was still sitting on the reef; the list had increased to more than 35 degrees and part of the upper deck was under water. At 12.43 hours, the ship capsized [23] and was soon lying bottom-up [24].

Additions following my researches on site in 1988 - 1992:

According to an eyewitness report, the ship was lying in the middle of the lagoon between Ebeye and Carlson, i.e. about two nautical miles from the shore in the wind direction. The place of sinking, which had been carefully planned for all eventualities, was situated upwind and was impossible to reach because a typhoon was blowing at the same time. For the same reason, the low-powered tugs were unable to put the huge ship onto the gently sloping beach between Carlson and Carlos because the distance from the reef was too small from the outset to tow the ship sufficiently side-on to the wind. They therefore missed this region by about 200 metres. For the ship, whose bow was pointing north, the easterly wind was coming from the starboard side, to which the ship was also listing.

Off the shore at this place, there are individual coral mounds lying in deep water; these mounds are not visible from the surface. One of them rises steeply from a depth of about 30 metres to a depth of approximately seven metres. At a point level with the forward bridge-superstructure, the starboard side of the PRINZ EUGEN's bottom got stuck flat on the top of this mound. Aft, the starboard propeller and its bossing touched ground in water about eight to ten metres deep; this caused a dent in the plating of the propeller bossing and a scarcely perceptible bend in the starboard propeller shaft. These two points defined the place of sinking. (Drawings No. 3 to 6)

The ship rolled down over the coral mound, which left a scarcely perceptible depression in the bottom and a dent about four metres long and 20 centimetres deep in the ship's side beside the foretop. During the capsize, the foretop, observer's post and mainmast touched ground first and prevented the ship from quickly sliding sideways off the reef. As a result, the hull tilted over the vertical edge of the reef so closely that, today, there is a gap of only about 1.5 metres relative to the reef block.

The fighting top, foretop rangefinder, funnel and ship's cranes were bent. The 14 millimetre thick base of the forward port anti-aircraft gun rangefinder ("wobble-pot") was distorted in the bend region, disintegrating like veneer, and the funnel was completely detached from the base. All of the parts mentioned are still 50 to 60 per cent visible today. Regarding the area that cannot be seen, it is not clear whether it was severely damaged by a hard sea bed or whether it has meanwhile merely been covered by sand that has been washed onto it. Hope that the latter possibility is the case is provided by the funnel, which has only suffered minor mechanical damage. The port crane was loaded transversely, and as a result it has crush damage a short distance above its boom pivot. The starboard crane is lying beside the funnel. Its base has become detached from the deck; the condition is unclear.

The aft rangefinder was standing with its booms in the longitudinal direction, and its ball bearing mounting was pressed into the 20 millimetre thick roof of the aft command station.

For its on-board aircraft, the PRINZ EUGEN had a hangar integrated into the superstructure. At the time of American command, a large generator had been installed there so that 110 volts could be generated for the US equipment. This generator fell down with the roof of the hangar. The dome of the starboard aft anti-aircraft gun rangefinder [25], which became detached, is lying under the aircraft hangar.

Finally, the heavy gun-turrets B, C and D [26] came off and fell about three metres onto the sea bed in advance of the ship. With their lower storeys, they fixed the hull to the sea bed. As a result of the preceding contacts with the sea bed, the hull was pushed a short distance towards the reef again when "settling", so that the internal equipment (elevators etc.) in the turrets was distorted by about a metre. Turret A remained in its place, because it is additionally fixed in a visible manner.

The hull came to rest on three superbly suitable points:

- On the forward command station which, standing on two bulkheads because of its strong armouring, distributes the forces well into the hull.

- On the starboard edge between the upper deck and the ship's side from the fighting top to the aft warping capstan.

- On the barbette [27] of turret C, which - slightly offset - has eaten its way firmly into the side edge of the turret housing, which with its large roof area has thus become the foundation.

The resting points are positively connected to the strongest load-bearing bulkheads and frames of the ship.

Over the entire hull, there are no visible leaks which might have caused the ship to sink. At many places on the ship, mainly in the region of the aft superstructure, there are pump hoses leading from the lower decks to the upper deck; these hoses were evidently used in an attempt to save the ship. According to my estimate, there must have been at least fifteen of them, with a diameter of about six inches, made of wire-reinforced rubber or corrugated metal. However, there are also hoses with a diameter of about four inches. Probably a lot more than the three pumps reported were used, because a few of them have been found. Since the pump power was evidently insufficient, there must have been a large leak which is not directly visible. We looked for it, and at a cooling water inlet we found water movements, a sign that there is an opening leading to the inside.

As the official cause of the sinking, "sea valves possibly damaged in the aft part of the ship" were quoted. [28] In addition, there was a rumour that the surveillance team wanted to go home for Christmas and had therefore opened sea valves. I support the following supposition: On ships that are laid up and deserted, all valves are securely closed beforehand. However, for the nuclear tests, the ships were deliberately put into operational condition, so the valves were undoubtedly open. Afterwards, no-one was keen to look for the valve hand-wheels deep down in the pitch dark and irradiated ship with its unknown layout. And so they remained open. In the absence of maintenance, the entry of water was only a matter of time after the preceding years and the stresses caused by the tests. The walls of cooling water pipes are generally weak points on ships because of the high speed of the water and the lack of corrosion protection, and so, according to present-day knowledge, the entry of water may have begun here.

Only a few ships survived the tests. They too were lying in the lagoon, and after completion of some investigations they were sunk in deep water outside the lagoon. Because of its independent exit, the PRINZ EUGEN survived the end that had been planned for it, as it has still not vanished from the surface of the sea, in other words it has not finally sunk.


Footnotes

[1] For example Gröner / D. Jung / M. Maass, "Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815 - 1945" ("German Warships 1815 - 1945") and Siegfried Breyer, "Marinearsenal" ("Naval Arsenal").

[2] According to Schmalenbach and the Freiburg Military Archive.

[3] The design waterline (DWL) is derived from the weight or draft used as the basis for planning the construction of the ship. Because of additional superstructures and other changes, this value can never be kept to in practice. It indicates only how far the bow and stern protrude in total.

[4] Federal German Archive in Freiburg, document on the heavy cruiser "Blücher".

[5] According to Schmalenbach.

[6] German term: "Flak" (Flieger-Abwehr-Kanone). Here, 10.5 cm.

[7] 1 nautical mile = 1.852 kilometres.

[8] Schmalenbach's book page 249, and statements by crew members.

[9] Schmalenbach's book, see List of Sources.

[10] With a crew of 1,400 men, a total of about 4,000 men sailed on this ship in the course of time.

[11] With rare exceptions, ships of the German Navy are always regarded as female. PRINZ EUGEN is one of these exceptions. According to the crew, "their" Prinz was always male. I accept this as a historical fact and act accordingly in the rest of the text.

[12] In spite of a precise description of the hiding places, I have never found a bottle.

[13] Schmalenbach, page 152 - see List of Sources.

[14] Schmalenbach, page 236 - see List of Sources.

[15] The battleship "Tegetthoff" had been handed over to Italy in 1920 and had been broken up there.

[16] Schmalenbach page 234 - see List of Sources.

[17] According to a letter which arrived recently, written by an (at that time) young refugee. A contemporary witness is not necessarily an eye witness. Officers of the PRINZ EUGEN who were present at the hand-over cannot remember any such event. In the situation at that time, rumours were certainly easily started.

[18] Commissioning procedures:

1st August 1940 - active service 5th January 1946 - hoisting of the American flag

[19] Described in more detail in "Death of the Prinz Eugen" by Harold Fowler; the manner and place of publication are not known.

[20] Prohibition of fraternisation.

[21] German term: BNO (= Bordnachrichtenoffizier).

[22] Reproduced here in uncorrected form.

[23] The ship fell over onto its side; the superstructure was the first part to go under.

[24] Keel

[25] Anti-aircraft gun rangefinders were stabilised in their position relative to the horizontal and did not follow the wave-induced motion of the ship; they therefore "wobbled" relative to the rest of the ship, and were consequently nicknamed "wobble-pots".

[26] The large guns were grouped in pairs in "turrets", because with their equipment they projected almost ten metres down into the ship. They are designated by the letters A to D, beginning at the forward end of the ship.

[27] Armoured shaft as a casing for the parts rotating in the ship together with the gun-turret.

[28] Harold Fowler and Schmalenbach, page 254.