|GETTING STARTED – No, this building is not going to tip over or sail off into outer space. This is the way it was designed – we think……..
Sharkhunters Member, our friend and our guide for this day DIETER FUNK (7368-2008) helped Sharkhunters honor the fallen soldiers at this Soldiers’ Cemetery. It is very rare that there can be a sign indicating that a cemetery is for the fallen of World War Two. It is here in Hamburg.
|Okay, we are not even going to try to describe this mural, but it will take you to the next day of our 2012 Northern Germany Patrol.
This was a slow day as we are just assembling. The “Patrol” officially begins tomorrow but we are assembled and go to a rather interesting restaurant for dinner. The food was excellent and the service just as good. The decor and the menu were a bit confusing as you see below.
In no particular order we meet:
Our good friends KLAUS KLEMME (7519-2010) visited with his wife Hanni and his big black dog Rocki
Wanting to let our travelers get “up to speed” with the jet lag, today was spent in Hamburg. We began by walking a short distance to the Elbe River where we would board our boat for the hafenrundfahrt – the harbor tour. Hamburg is now the largest container port in Europe and second only to Rotterdam in the number of bridges. Okay, let’s begin our walk and along the way, we pass under a beautiful old bridge that has a rather unusual “apartment complex”………you will understand.
We have no idea how many are living in this makeshift dwelling beneath this bridge but from the number of sleeping bags and individual areas, there is apparently a small community living here. Okay………..let’s move on.
We pause for refreshments atop the Blockhouse restaurant while we wait for our hafenrundfahrt and look over this historic section of Hamburg.
Our harbor cruise boat is ready for boarding, so let’s get comfortable.
Either way, our cruise boat is shoving off for the tour of this huge harbor.
All too soon our harbor patrol ends and we walk to the Blockhouse for lunch.
|We are off to the FISCHMARKT (Fish Market) then aboard a Soviet TANGO Class submarine……and an interesting dinner.
CLICK on this photo and come aboard.
|A hafenrundfahrt is a great way to see the city by water and for our participants to meet each other.
Today we visit U-995, the only Type VII-C left in existence and this was the boat of our great friend HANS-GEORG HESS (125-1985). But first, we stop on the Autobahn for breakfast. Most of the restaurants along the Autobahn are clean, modern with great food at decent prices. For some reason however, they don’t like photos being taken of their facilities.
Using the iPad GPS of Colonel CAL DELAPLAIN(1002-1989) rather than maps, we arrived quickly and without incident.
From U-995 we cross the street to the Marine Ehrenmal – the Navy Memorial
LEFT – the Memorial to the 3,505 Americans who perished aboard U.S. Navy submarines
Our host at the Marine Ehrenmal (Navy Memorial) was WOLDEMAR TRIEBEL (197-1986), known to his friends as ‘BOBBY‘. Here he takes the time to pose with some of our group high atop the Memorial.
WOLDEMAR TRIEBEL (BOBBY) was I.W.O. (Executive Officer) aboard U-978 under GÜNTHER PULST (330-1987) until the end of the war.
It’s time for lunch at the Seeterrassen then we drive on to the U-Bootehrenmal as you see here.
At the entrance to the Memorial Chamber we see many wreaths of remembrance, placed there by loved ones of the U-Bootfahrer who did not return.
In the Memorial Chamber………
…..there is a Memorial bronze with the number of each U-Boat lost in each World War. The name of the Skipper is on each plaque whether he was lost or not – then there are the names of each man who was killed in action. There are about 30,000 names on these plaques as about one man in seven came home – the other six of seven were killed in action. This is the worst attrition rate of any military force ever in history yet these men still went to sea, did their duty without deserting – and died for their country. MARK LENZ (1728-1991) pauses here for reflection.
As we depart the Memorial Chamber…………
No public funds maintain this Memorial – it all comes from donations. This day Sharkhunters gave another €200 (about $300) to the Memorial, which brings to total so far to about $7,000 Sharkhunters has donated to this beautiful Memorial. 10% of all the money Sharkhunters receives from the sale of our hand-signed fine art prints is donated to the U-Boot Ehrenmal.
Tomorrow we head for Wewelsburg Castle, taken over by Heinrich Himmler to be used for training his new SS officers. Click below and come with us.
|We tour the only Type VII-C left in the world and it is U-995, the boat of our best friend in Germany, HANS-GEORG HESS (125-1985) and we tour with TWO U-Boat veterans.
As always, photographs are allowed – but NOT inside the tower. This is a major change. We will see why shortly.
Other changes – previously one could walk right into the underground crypt called Valhalla Halle by some, as well as the meeting room on the floor above. Not any more. One must have a guide who will tell the sanitized and enhanced version of this history and one must spend minimum of an hour in the newly built museum with the guide telling this ‘history’. Join us – you will be surprised.
Photos were allowed in the museum and we shot some as we whizzed through, headed for the North Tower. Following are just some random photos we took in the museum.
Finally we were in the crypt beneath the North Tower where young SS officers swore their oath of allegiance. Photography was not allowed so you might want to look at any of our previous Northern ‘Patrols‘ where we visited Wewelsburg Castle when photography was allowed. Look also at our DVD-11 “Castles of the SS” and we give a thorough tour of this castle. Log onto www.sharkhunters.com and click on ‘DVDs’ in the left margin. You may click on these scenes to get a brief idea what is on this DVD. SCENE 1 SCENE 2
Okay, we go into Valhalla Halle where photography is strictly forbidden. There are security cameras everywhere and other electronic monitoring devices we couldn’t identify. However, the camera of one of our group malfunctioned and took photos – doggone!
These pictures on the walls depicting what the artist felt showed the anguish and suffering………whatever, are all new here. Previously there were just the plain stone walls. We asked our guide what was the reason for them and he told us “they are meant to terrify right radicals“. None of our group ran out of the hall screaming, so I guess none of us are ‘Right Radicals’.
We walked a few hundred meters to our restaurant. This had been turned into an Officers’ Club for the SS by Himmler. it is now a restaurant with excellent food – and quite a history. A group of WW II veterans had finished their lunch was departing, leaving the restaurant to us.
During the days of the Reich, the basement was given over to the Hitler Junge for their meetings and to be used as sort of clubhouse as well. This HJ Keller is preserved in the same way as it operated in the days of the Reich (photos below). A few years ago our entire Sharkhunters ‘Patrol‘ group enjoyed our lunch in this Keller.
We decided to go upstairs for our lunch – into the rooms that had been the private rooms of Himmler and other high-ranking SS men.
Sharkhunters $300 donation to the Memorial!
|Once again we visit Wewelsburg Castle, but in the few years since we have been there, a lot has changed – a WHOLE lot!
CLICK on this photo and come with us.
|U-2540, the last Type XXI submarine left in the world, waits for our Sharkhunters ‘PATROL‘. This was the world’s first true submarine, meant to operate entirely underwater.
Today we tour the only Type XXI U-Boat left in the world. The Type XXI was the world’s first true submarine and even though they were forced to operate near the surface much of the time to run their diesels with the snorkel, they had a higher top speed underwater than they did surfaced. After the war, the victorious Allies raced to scoop up as much German advanced technology and the Type XXI was a great prize. Using the technology from the Type XXI, the French built the DAPHNE Class; the Soviets built the WHISKEY Class – the US Navy and the Royal Navy also used the Type XXI as a model for their post-war submarines. U-2540 is waiting for us – we drive to Bremerhafen.
This will be a quick overview without too much narrative just to give you a brief look at this submarine that was so advanced for its time.
We saw other museum ships as we walked to the very nice restaurant for our lunch.
This boat above has a special significance for our Sharkhunters ‘PATROLS‘. She was built in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1906 and hauled freight for many decades. She is now a museum ship and floating restaurant. When we ‘met‘ this ship in 1988 (First Sharkhunters European ‘PATROL‘) she was in Hamburg and our Sharkhunters group of 40 went aboard for a lunch of Lobskaus, the traditional German U-Boot meal. It was here that we met OTTO KRETSCHMER (122-1985), and PETER HANSEN (251-1987) also joined us for lunch way back 24 years ago.
Time flies………….when is the last Sharkhunters ‘PATROL‘ you enjoyed? Don’t keep putting it off – time flies!
We enjoyed lunch together in an excellent restaurant on the waterfront. It was a quiet lunch as it would be our last lunch together on this ‘PATROL‘ as this is our last day. We had our ‘Farewell Dinner‘ in the evening near our hotel and the 2012 Sharkhunters ‘Northern Germany Patrol‘ ended. Were YOU with us? If not, save your vacation days for 2013 and join us. Remember – the clock is ticking.