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Command ship Möwe

Command ship Möwe

The photograph shows the German "Führerschiff" Möwe (sea gull), the lead ship of a coastal defense flotilla during World War II.

The Möwe (1309 GRT / 1500 tdw) was originally built by the Nordseewerke GmbH at Emden as a cargo steamer, for the Argo Reederei A. G., Bremen, and completed in June 1936;

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Thanks for the history! An interesting and unusual vessel with a long life. I would have loved to have seen the flamethrower in action - It has disaster written all over it!
Rgds.
Dave
 

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Hello Dave, some background information on the flame thrower: in June 1941 the Führerschiff Möwe was the first Kriegsmarine unit to be equipped with such a weapon for trial purposes. The pipe of the flame thrower can be seen on the top of the foremast. It was intended to force low-flying planes to climb up, but not to down them. The oil canister had a capacity of 50 blows, each 3 sec. long, the flame had a range of 115 to 160 feet. Several of the Sperrbrechers (mine destructor vessel) were also equipped with it from 1942 on.
It may have been an effective weapon, but in fact it was an unpopular one amongst KM crews. When the whole weapon was not absolutely timed, oil leaked out and could get ablaze on the foremast - a significant danger to the own ship. Commander and crew of these flame thrower-equipped vessels relied on the more "secure" AA-guns and machine guns to repel air attacks.

Regards,
Sebastian
 

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Torpedo carrying aircraft have to fly fairly low to drop the torpedo against a convoy this ship would be on "point duty" for I suspect, but as Dave has indicated I also would have liked to have seen it in action. Any photo's of it in action Sebastian?
 

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Thanks Sebastian. The flamethrower sounds really dangerous! I can imagine people running for cover when it was "fired up"! Remember, what goes up must come down!
Rgds.
Dave
 

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Navies of the World
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Sebastian
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