Crew Quiz

Anything about the crew, families, origins, etc.
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José M. Rico
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Crew Quiz

Post by José M. Rico » Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:21 pm

Here is a little quiz for you all:

What did Fregattenkapitän Paul Ascher (from Admiral Lütjens' staff) and Kapitänleutnant Reckhoff of Prinz Eugen have in common?

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Herr Nilsson
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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by Herr Nilsson » Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:55 pm

Both were crew members of Graf Spee and were interned in Argentinia after the scuttling
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Marc

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José M. Rico
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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by José M. Rico » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:19 pm

Correct!
What took you so long Marc? :D

Since the quiz has been solved so fast, maybe we can use this thread to research the rank, name and fate of the men from Graf Spee who managed to escape back to Germany after the scuttling of the ship.

Anyone?

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RF
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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by RF » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:38 am

I recall from years ago that the book compiled by Millington-Drake ''The Battle of the River Plate'' did contain an appendix detailing the fate of a number of Germans who managed to get out of Argentina and return to Germany. It mentioned two officers who crossed the border into Chile and took passage on a ship to Japan, and eventually got back to Germany through the USSR travelling on the Trans-Siberian railway. Another officer got back via a blockade runner, only to end up serving on the hilfskreuzer Komet and was killed in October 1942 when that ship was sunk in the English Channel.

Unfortunately this book is now decades out of print and I last saw it probably around 1978.
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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by tommy303 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:53 pm

Another was Juergen Wattenburg, the navigation officer of AGS. He managed to escape internment, although he never to my knowledge said how. Subsequently became commander of U161 and in four patrols sank about 81,000 tons of shipping before being sunk and taken prisoner. During captivity he was senior officer at the Papago Park POW camp near Phoenix, Arizona and led the escape of 25 prisoners. He was last one to recaptured after being at large for nearly a month. After the war he became director of St. Pauli Brewery in Luebeck. He died in 1995.

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RF
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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by RF » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:13 am

Its interesting about the escape from the POW camp in Arizona - how did he plan to get back to Germany?
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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by tommy303 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:36 pm

Several groups planned to hike to Mexico and contact German sympathizers or Volksdeutsch who lived there. One group planned to go to raft or float down the Salt River to the Gila River and from there float down past Yuma to Mexico. Of course, as anyone who had lived in Arizona could say, neither the Gila nor the Salt have water in them most of the year. For the most part, the escape was more of a lark to some and a way to break the boredom.

http://www.historynet.com/the-not-so-gr ... g-wwii.htm

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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by RF » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:09 pm

I would have thought that going through Mexico would be risky, especially for the German sympathisers, given that Mexico was at war with Germany.
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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by tommy303 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:04 pm

Good point, but also true of the neighbor to the north, Canada. The US was bordered by fellow members of the Allied cause against Germany, so there probably was no realistic expectation of getting back to Germany. Still as has frequently been pointed out in movies and narratives, a prisoner of war's duty is to try and escape if possible, and these fellows did just that, although their time on the loose was short.

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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by lwd » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:02 pm

I've heard there were a number of German POW's that iscaped and simply disappeared into the US civil population. Especially in the Dakota's or other areas with a farily large population of ethinic Germans that wouldn't have been all that hard for someone who spoke passible English at the time.

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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by RF » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:54 am

The US civil population of ethnic Germans wouldn't be nazi and would be loyal to the US - I can't see hard core nazis simply vanishing into that ethnic group as they are not the type to keep their mouths shut.
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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by lwd » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:57 pm

RF wrote:The US civil population of ethnic Germans wouldn't be nazi and would be loyal to the US - I can't see hard core nazis simply vanishing into that ethnic group as they are not the type to keep their mouths shut.
Certainly a hard core nazi isn't likely to be able to just dissapear into the general population. But if for instance an American German farmer in the Dakota's has an individual with a strong back show up looking for a job (when a lot of his workers are now in the military) is he going to turn him down? Most likely thought is that he might be a draft dogger but as long as he works hard and doesn't say anything pro nazi I suspect he's got a job. If he's been in the South for a year or so might even have enough of a Southern accent to his English to mask any German accent.

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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by RF » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:05 pm

But how would the US regulatory frame work concerning identity cards, payroll taxes etc not catch such a person?
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Re: Crew Quiz

Post by lwd » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:54 pm

RF wrote:But how would the US regulatory frame work concerning identity cards, payroll taxes etc not catch such a person?
Identity cards? What identity cards? Farmworkers were probably expected to file income tax at the time but if he didn't how would they even know he existed?

Note even today we don't have national identity cards. In most states you are suppose to carry some form of ID I believe which is usually a drivers license but I don't think there's any federal law about it.

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