Skip to main content

Thank you!

I want to post a THANK YOU to all my readers, 6,200 read and discussed controversial about the controversial design of Le Nouveau FRANCE ... As a soothing I post this design idea of mine.

HISTORY - For nearly 39 years skeletons from CAP ARCONA were being washed ashore



C





RAF attac
RAF attack; 4,500 concentration camp victims were killed by the Allies
RAF attac
The Cap Arcona was a large German luxury ocean liner formerly of the Hamburg-South America line that was sunk with the loss of many lives when laden with
prisoners from concentration camps.The 27,500 gross ton Cap Arcona was launched in 1927, it was considered one of the most beautiful of the time. It carried
upper-class travelers and steerage-class emigrants, mostly to South America. In 1940, it was taken over by the Kriegsmarine, the German navy, and used in the
Baltic Sea.
The tragic WWII story of how the RAF attacked and the CAP ARCONA maritime tragedy, the loss of life in the CAP ARCONA sinking is among the highest in maritime history. For weeks after the sinking, bodies of the victims were being washed ashore, where they were collected and buried in a single mass grave at Neustadt in Holstein. For nearly thirtynine years, parts of skeletons were being washed ashore, until the last find, by a twelve-year-old boy, in 1971.
There are several versions of what happened and why the RAF sunk the ship:  
(1) One version of the story is that the boarding of the prisoners with the knowledge that the ships would be attacked by Allied aircraft was a cynical trick by the German police authorities to have the prisoners killed. 
(2)  Another version is that Count Folke Bernadotte, the Vice President of the International Red Cross had arranged for the transfer of prisoners to Swedish hospitals and that this was the purpose of the CAP ARCONA’s last tragic voyage. Such transfers had previously taken place. 
(3)  To this day, the responsibility of the German and British participants in the tragedy near Neustadt have not been judicially examined since the circumstances are not entirely clear. It is said that Red Cross radio operators attempted to warn the English against attacking the ships and to have notified them of the true situation on board. 
(4) The last word is that the RAF has sealed all records connected with the attack on the CAP ARCONA until 2045.  
CAP ARCONA, named after Cape Arkona on the island of Rügen, was a large German ocean liner built for the HAMBURG SÜDAMERIKANISCHE DAMPFSCHIFFAHRTS-GESELLSCHAFT (HAMBURG-SÜD / HAMBURG-SOUTH AMAERICA LINE). She carried passengers and cargo between Germany and the east coast of South America, to Rio de Janeiro and had its final port in Buenpos Aires, and in her time was the largest and one of the fastest ship on the route.
In 1940 the Kriegsmarine requisitioned her as an accommodation ship. In 1942 she served as the set for the German propaganda feature film Titanic. In 1945 she evacuated almost 26,000 German soldiers and civilians from East Prussia before the advance of the Red Army. On 30 March 1945 CAP ARCONA finished her third and last trip between Gdynia and Copenhagen, carrying 9,000 soldiers and refugees. However, her turbines were completely worn out. They could only be partially repaired and her days of long-distance travel were over. She was decommissioned, returned to her owners HAMBURG-SÜD and ordered out of Copenhagen Harbour to Neustadt Bay.
During March and April 1945, concentration camp prisoners from Scandinavian countries had been transported from all over the Reich to the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg, in the White Bus programme co-ordinated through the Swedish Red Cross - with prisoners of other nationalities dispaced to make room for them. Eventually Himmler agreed that these Scandinavians, and selected others regarded as less harmful to Germany, could be transported through Denmark to freedom in Sweden. Then between the 16 and 28 April 1945, Neuengamme was systematically emptied of all its remaining prisoners, together other groups of concentration camp inmates and Soviet POWs; with the intention that they would be relocated to a secret new camp, either on the Baltic island of Fehmarn; or at Mysen in Norway where preparations were put in hand to house them under the control of concentration camp guards evacuated from Sachsenhausen.
RAF attac
RAF attack; 4,500 concentration camp victims were killed by the Allies
In the interim, they were to be concealed from the advancing British and Canadian forces; and for this purpose the SS assembled a prison flotilla of decommissioned ships in the Bay of Lübeck, consisting of the liners CAP ARCONA and DEUTSCHLAND, the freighter THIELBECK, and the motor launch ATHEN. Since the steering motors were out of use in THIELBECK and the turbines were out of use in CAP ARCONA, ATHEN was used to transfer prisoners from Lübeck to the larger ships and between ships; who were locked below decks and in the holds, and denied food and medical attention. On 30 April 1945 the two Swedish ships, MAGDALENA and LILLIE MATTHIESEN, previously employed as support vessels for the White Bus evacuations, made a final rescue trip to Lübeck and back.
Amongst the prisoners rescued were some transferred from the prison flotilla. On the evening of 2 May 1945 more prisoners, mainly women and children from the Stutthof and Mittelbau-Dora camps were loaded onto barges and brought out to the anchored vessels; although, as the Cap Arcona refused to accept any more prisoners, over eight hundred were returned to the beach at Neustadt in the morning of 3 May, where around five hundred were killed in their barges by machine-gunning, or beaten to death on the beach, their SS guards then seeking to make their escape unencumbered.
The order to transfer the prisoners to the prison ships came from Gauleiter Karl Kaufmann in Hamburg. Marc Buggeln has challenged Kaufmann’s subsequent claim that he had been acting on orders from SS Headquarters in Berlin; arguing that the decision in fact resulted from political and business pressures from leading industrialists in Hamburg, who were already at this stage plotting with Kaufmann to hand the city over to British forces undefended and unharmed, and who consequently wished to whitewash away (literally so in the case of the Neuengamme concentration camp) all evidence for the prisoners’ former presence within the city and its industries.
By early May however, any relocation plans had been scotched by the rapid British military advance to the Baltic; so the SS leadership, which had moved to Flensburg on 28 April,  discussed scuttling the ships with the prisoners still aboard. Later, at a war crimes tribunal, Kaufmann claimed the prisoners were intended to be sent to Sweden; although as none of the ships carried Red Cross hospital markings and nor were they seaworthy, this was scarcely credible. Georg-Henning Graf von Bassewitz-Behr, Hamburg’s last Higher SS and Police Leader (HSSPF), testified at the same trial that the prisoners were in fact to be killed “in compliance with Himmler’s orders”. Kurt Rickert, who had worked for Bassewitz-Behr, testified at the Hamburg War Crimes Trial that he believed the ships were to be sunk by U-boats or Luftwaffe aircraft. Eva Neurath, who was present in Neustadt, and whose husband survived the disaster, said she was told by a police officer that the ships held convicts and were going to be blown up.









Cap Arcona RAF attac
Loading 60lb RP-3 rockets onto a Typhoon
On 2 May 1945, the British Second Army discovered the empty camp at Neuengamme, and reached the towns of Lübeck and Wismar. No. 6 Commando, 1st Special Service Brigade commanded by Brigadier Derek Mills-Roberts, and 11th Armoured Division, commanded by Major-General George P. B. Roberts, entered Lübeck without resistance. Lübeck contained a permanent Red Cross office in its function as a Red Cross port, and Mr. De Blonay of the International Committee of the Red Cross informed Major-General Roberts that 7,000–8,000 prisoners were aboard ships in the Bay of Lübeck. In the afternoon of 3 May 1945, the British 5th reconnaissance regiment advanced northwards to Neustadt, witnessing the ships burning in the bay and rescuing some severely emaciated prisoners on the beach at Neustadt, but otherwise finding mostly the bodies of women and children massacred that morning.
On 3 May 1945, three days after Hitler’s suicide and only one day before the unconditional surrender of the German troops in northwestern Germany at Lüneburg Heath to Field Marshal Montgomery, CAP ARCONA, THIELBECK, and the passenger liner DEUTSCHLAND were attacked as part of general strikes on shipping in the Baltic Sea by RAF Typhoons of 83 Group of the 2nd Tactical Air Force. Through Ultra Intelligence, the Western Allies had become aware that most of the SS leadership and former concentration camp commandants had gathered with Heinrich Himmler in Flensburg, hoping to contrive an escape to Norway. The western allies had intercepted orders from the rump Dönitz government, also at Flensburg, that the SS leadership were to be facilitated in escaping Allied capture—or otherwise issued with false naval uniforms to conceal their identities—as Dönitz sought, while surrendering, to maintain the fiction that his administration had been free from involvement in the camps, or in Hitler’s policies of genocide.
The aircraft were from No. 184 Squadron, No. 193 Squadron, No. 263 Squadron, No. 197 Squadron RAF, and No. 198 Squadron. Besides four 20 mm cannon, these Hawker Typhoon Mark 1B fighter-bombers carried either eight HE High Explosive “60 lb” RP-3 unguided rockets or two 500 lb (230 kg) bombs.
None of the ships were Red Cross marked (although the DEUTSCHLAND had previously been intended as a hospital ship, and retained one white painted funnel with a red cross), and all prisoners were concealed below deck, so the pilots in the attacking force were unaware that they were laden with concentration camp survivors. Swedish and Swiss Red Cross officials had informed British intelligence on 2 May 1945 of the presence of prisoners on ships at anchor in Lübeck Bay, but the information had failed to be passed on. 
The RAF commanders ordering the strike believed that a flotilla of ships was being prepared in Lübeck Bay, to accommodate leading SS personnel fleeing to German-controlled Norway in accordance with Dönitz’s orders.”The ships are gathering in the area of Lübeck and Kiel. At SHAEF it is believed that important Nazis who have escaped from Berlin to Flensburg are onboard, and are fleeing to Norway or neutral countries”.
RAF attac
Equipped with lifejackets from locked storage compartments, most of the SS guards managed to jump overboard from CAP ARCONA. German trawlers sent to rescue CAP ARCONA‘s crew members and guards managed to save 16 sailors, 400 SS men, and 20 SS women. Only 350 of the ~4,500 former concentration camp inmates aboard Cap Arcona survived. From 2,800 prisoners on board the THIELBECK only 50 were saved; whereas all 2,000 prisoners on the DEUTSCHLAND were safely taken off onto the ATHEN, before the DEUTSCHLAND capsized.
RAF Pilot Allan Wyse of No. 193 Squadron recalled: “We used our cannon fire at the chaps in the water … we shot them up with 20 mm cannons in the water. Horrible thing, but we were told to do it and we did it. That’s war.
Severely damaged and set on fire, Cap Arcona eventually capsized. Photos of the burning ships, listed as Deutschland, Thielbek, and Cap Arcona, and of the emaciated survivors swimming in the very cold Baltic Sea, around 7 °C (44.6 °F), were taken on a reconnaissance mission over the Bay of Lübeck by F-6 Mustang (the photo-reconnaissance version of the P-51) of the USAAF’s 161st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron around 5:00 pm, shortly after the attack.
On 4 May 1945, a British reconnaissance plane took photos of the two wrecks, THIELBECK and CAP ARCONA, the Bay of Neustadt being shallow. The capsized hulk of CAP ARCONA later drifted ashore, and the beached wreck was finally broken up in 1949.
As a light rain began to fall on the afternoon of May 3, 1945, British soldiers of 6 Commando, 1st Special Services Brigade, searched the beaches of Neustadt, Germany, on the Baltic Sea for survivors. The bodies of men, women, and even small children lay by the hundreds on the sands. Offshore, under a gray, smoke filled sky, the soldiers could see the the still-smoldering hulk of the former luxury liner, CAP ARCONA, and scores of other damaged ships. A highly effective RAF bombing and rocket raid had destroyed the fleet and killed over 7,000 concentration camp inmates who had been imprisoned on the ships.
One soldier found a girl of about seven clutching the hand of a woman beside her. He presumed she was the girl’s mother. Both bodies were clad in black-and-white-striped wool garments of concentration camp prisoners. The heads and shoulders of floating corpses were visible just offshore, as victims of all ages drifted in. Even a full year later, the bodies were still washing up.
It’s a story no one would tell. The British government ordered the records to be sealed for 100 years. The sinking of one of the most glamorouse ocean liners of the early twentieth century just had it’s 62nd anniversary, appears in no history books. The governments of Germany and Great Britain continue to to refuse either to discuss it or release pertinent records. So another war atrocity remains mostly a secret, like several other sinkings during the time period. 7000 dead is an awfully lot to not even be able to mention it.

HISTORY - Why RAF destroyed Cap ARCONA with 4,500 concentration camp prisoners on board

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Design - Call me FRANCE again - will the mythical ship be back at sea

Le FRANCE, the famous and mythical French ocean liner, will he be back at sea again? President Charles De Gaulle claimed, during the christening (by Yvonne de Gaulle) ceremony May 11th, 1960, that FRANCE III is a true revival of glamorous NORMANDIE ... Those having sailed on NORMANDIE and had the luck of experiencing his grandeur and then top luxuries on board, named FRANCE "vulgar" ... as my aunt and others able to compare.
Didier Spade, a French naval architect and businessman, connected to FRANCE via his father´s and grandfather´s engagement in the outfitting of the famous and last French Transatlantic liner, created a new interpretation of the famous and still loved FRANCE.
by Earl of Cruise
Didier Spade´s vision of the Nouveau FRANNCE - courtesy Mer et Marine When FRANCE was purchsed by visionairy Kloster, the once liner lost its character after the transforming into the then biggest cruise vessel. What was left was only a last glance of the 1950/60s design and character of…

ss NORMANDIE 1935-1942 XII - The Most Beautiful Ocean Liner Ever Built

For many, or should I say for "a great many" Ocean Liner Lovers, NORMANDIEis the most beautiful liner ever built. Me, I am amoung those aficionados.
NORMANDIEwas technically decades ahead of time. The vessel got implemented technologies that would have been copied by others, who then claimed to be the first to have. Alternative facts are not a modern days invention of a certain chrétien and his backward oriented entourage ... NORMANDIE´s interior was the peak of ART DECO in France, and was, still is, the peak of chic. Never again any liner, or passenger vessel, except NIEUW AMSTERDAM had been designed exterior and interior that strict in the "guide lines" of the ART DECO (Link in German) movement - as ART DECO is "only" a movement and not a school like BAUHAUS. Therefore the style was in a permanent "move" and development. NORMANDIE, the perfect ocean liner, Le Vaisseau de Lumière, Le Deesse de la Mer - courtsey coloured by Daryl LeBlanc
While res…

Gathering of the three QUEENs - Cruise vessels meet in Southampton to celebrate the 175th anniversary of CUNARD

CUNARD´s 175th anniversary brought the existing three QUEEN´s, the "shadow of a once great fleet" together in the now abandoned port of register, Southampton. It was the first time the vessels have sailed together in daylight from CUNARD's once (2015) port of register, now Hamilton, Bermuda, on the southern coast. QUEEN MARY 2, QUEEN ELIZABETH and QUEEN VICTORIA sailed after to New York, Hamburg and Guernsey, respectively. You may ask, why so late about that long gone event? At first my last article about MAURETANIA and menues, and second, there is more to say ...And I am anxious about the future and a Bicentannial of CUNARD with CARNIVAL, if the revenues may drop significant.
by Earl of Cruise  Cunard's three Queens - flagship QUEEN MARY2 (centre), QUEEN ELIZABETH(and QUEEN VICTORIA (top), sailed together - © Daily Mail (file photo) A massive crowd was gathered when the ships reunited in Liverpool later that May 2015 to sail down the Mersey. Liverpool? There was somethi…

CRUISE - SAGA HOLIDAYS reveals pictures of the new SAGA OLYMPIC

Design - How to design a retro-futuristic cruise ship for families with children

To design a retro-futoristic cruise ship for families with children is and was quite a task, but we see it sailing in a fleet introduced by DISNEY CRUISE LINE. Among the `streamlined me-too´ design, typically choosen, in the mass market a soothing eye candy. Especially for those loving the `old lines´.
Actually to most critics the exterior design of the actual DISNEY fleet is named the most elegant, modern looking liner design - it seems to me a bit of  `Steam Punk´. And indeed the DISNEY vessels have the special look, that is recognized as that of the Golden Era of liners, the 1930s and ART DÉCO. by, editing by Earl of Cruise (in grey)
Early design idea presented by FROG DESIGN to DISNEY - courtesy FROG DESIGN FROG DESIGN was involved in creating the basic ship and brand designfor DISNEY cruises. Frog (styled as frog) is a global design firm founded in 1969 by industrial designerHartmut Esslinger in Mutlangen, Germany as "esslinger design". Soon after it moved…

HISTORY - Traveling with airliner LZ 129 HINDENBURG was the most luxurious airtravel

The real airliner LZ 129 HINDENBURG enabled the most luxurious airtravel for decades. Imagine, gliding through the air while the landscape or the sea below can be seen ... LZ 129 HINDENBURG marks the climax of airship construction. On May 6, 1937, the story of civilian airship ended in a tragedy. In Lakehurst, New Jersey, the largest flying object and has been with the similar sized LZ 130 GRAF ZEPPELIN II the most luxurious of all time. How this came about can be reconstructed logically, a series of fatal physics concatenations. The airship LZ 129 HINDENBURG marks the climax of airship construction. It was in its time the fastest and most exclusive traveling object between Europe and America. The challenges of the construction of the giant of the heaven were immense. by Earl of Cruise
LZ 129 HINDENBURG, 1936, in Lakehurst - digital copy of a coloured cover photo, originally by Bill Schneider, published in Dan Grossman´s book `ZEPPELIN HINDENBURG: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF LZ 129´ The d…

Liners - A comeback for classic ocean liners not as we know them A suggestion

Can the classic ocean liners make a comeback - No, not as we know these ocean liners with several classes and a huge number of passengers on board. But if these classic styled ocean liners will meet the needs and wishes of a well heeled group of guests, then yes!
My idea is based on researches. by Earl of Cruise My own design draft for le nouveau NORMANDIE (below is the longitudinal cut of the original NORMANDIE) The idea for this design draft started as competition between me and Mike Strasbaugh some time ago These new ocean liners then have to cater voyagers, similar to those that we once have found flying in the CONCORDE. BRITISH AIRWAYS and AIR FRANCE made huge losses in the beginning with the supersonnic airliner. But after a research among their passengers, they made those prices that these passengers thought they have paid, as most of them never booked for themselves, but via their PA´s or Concierge Travel Agencies. The payment was "automatic". And then after both airl…

Cruise - A new MEIN SCHIFF 1 is comming

The new MEIN SCHIFF 1 is comming 2018 to replace the existing MEIN SCHIFF 1 the former CELEBRITY CRUISES vessel GALAXY, later CELEBRITY GALAXY. After a multimillion € refit by transforming normal outside cabins into balcony cabins, and lengthening the up to 262 meter with a new sponson at the stern (beam 32,2m, draught 8,5m).
The existing and the new MEIN SCHIFF 1 are no luxury cruise vessels, but in the mass market a real premium product. The passenger numbers are near to 3,000 and the crew at 1,000, which will be stress for the crew per se.
I want to give a first glimpse at the interiors of the new MEIN SCHIFF 1. In comparison to the WOW and EFFECT hashing cruisers, a calm designed ship interior. by Earl of Cruise The new MEIN SCHIFF 1, rendering - courtesy TUI CRUISES The former GALAXY was the first new ship of the ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES Ltd. and TUI GROUP´s joint venture - TUI CRUISES. GALAXY lost its US American tastes related interiors at BLOHM+VOSS with the consulting of German…

PEACE BOAT is planing its first purpose built ship, a revolutionairy design

PEACE BOAT’s ECOSHIP Project is the first purpose built ship and a transformational programme to construct the planet’s most environmentally sustainable cruise ship. PEACE BOAT is a non-government organisation that is working altruistic for peace, understanding, human rights, enviroment protection and sustainability. So it is only consequent to build an enviroment friendly ship, with less carbon footprint than existing vessels. 
by Earl of Cruise Will this vessel and its concept become reality, it will be a breakthrough in enviromental technology on the seas. It will be a lighthouse, hopefully awakening the yesterdays dreaming brickheads, who proclaim global warming is a communist conspiracy. The ECOSHIP - rendering by Oliver Design, courtesy PEACE BOAT This is all the more interesting as the US just having withdrawn its responsibility for the climate and the environment on the G20 summit in Baden Baden , just as this Trump had cried out, loud enough to hear in the election campaign. The …

RITZ-CARLTON is building three luxury cruise vessels

I once wrote, being new in the cruise market, you have to be outstanding, and these three new cruise vessels for RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL COMPANY, L.L.C. There is NO other chance for a newcomer in this megalodon driven industry, as to be totally contrary to what these mass market tourist ventures are offering - e.g. VIRGIN VOYAGES or now RITZ-CARLTON YACHT COLLECTION.
by Earl of Cruise RITZ-CARLTON YACHT COLLECTION new luxury cruise ships - rendering courtesy RITZ-CARLTON YACHT COLLECTION RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL COMPANY, L.L.C., Chevy Chase, Maryland (USA), with over 90 hotels and resorts in over 40 countries, is a 100% subsidiary of MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), has announced its entry into the yachting cruise industry. A branch in the mega trend industry which is catering the well-off people. The RITZ-CARLTON is the first luxury hotel brand to bring its award-winning service and timeless style of the hotels to the high seas. Its industry-first brand extension, the RITZ-CARLTON YACHT…