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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:20 am 
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Good day all! :wave_1:

as some may know --

I am actually coming to the end of a lengthy on/off project... 2014 -- 2022 ( !! )
14 pages of pain ... can be read at the link below--or skip fwd to page 13.... :cool_2: :thumbs_up_1: :wave_1:

viewtopic.php?f=59&t=154091


The SMS VULKAN, as in 1919---in the process of being towed away
from the mouth of the Elbe River ( Hamburg) to Harwich in England for breaking up/scrapping.
( war reparations-- ( and vessel obsolete/ superseded -ergo no interest to the English or the Germans...

So --to the question of flags...--

Both ocean going Tugs , one German RETTER ( 1885 ) and one ex-Dutch SCHELDE 1906 are in the employ of the 'Sea -transport department' of the Imperial Navy-- but neither vessel is offensively or otherwise armed --

.==> what Ensign--if any would they have flown ? Naval ?
.......==> indeed were any ships of the Navy flying their ensigns at this time?

I would think --that the VULKAN herself-- would not fly a Naval Ensign?
==> --having already been discarded by the Navy for breaking--and in any case being towed and not under her own power...?

I have only 1 x image of the Schelde (i) ex Dutch ) in 1918-- there is a 'flaglet' hoisted off the gaff--
but its very small and not of the size I would expect of an Ensign?

2 x img below

encs

Attachment:
Schelde-1918-01 reduced - cropped.jpg
Schelde-1918-01 reduced - cropped.jpg [ 1008.74 KiB | Viewed 775 times ]





Image

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 11:02 am 
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That's a tricky question ...

- the imperial naval ensign was still valid in 1919, but I am not sure until what date exactly

- any ship still commissioned into the fleet would (have to) fly this ensign

- if the tugs were not officially commissioned into the navy (as SMS XXXX), but only hired by the navy, they would fly the trade flag black-white-red

- if VULCAN was officially struck from the navy list already, she would not fly the naval ensign

- the question would be under which flag she has been registered at that moment, a German or a British flag - this would have been the decision of the buyer

- the question would also be, whether VULCAN was still considered a sea-going vessel at the time, or just a hulk; this would have had mainly insurance relevance (if that was an issue at that time); if she wasn't a sea-going vessel anymore, she would not fly any flag, just as pontons and the likes don't fly flags.

This is an assessment off the top of my head, I didn't check this against references.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 11:09 am 
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VERY interesting question!
See here: https://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/de1919~w.html#use
Scroll to the very bottom of the page for this line, under the last image: "Flag adopted 26 Sep 1903, abolished 27 Sep 1919, but used until 1921"

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2022 4:02 pm 
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Good evening gents;

thank you for your thoughts so far;
Info on German Tugboats of this era appears to be decidedly scant on the internet !!

searching via Google in both English as well as German
has brought up--hitherto-- not a single useful relevant image so far !

@ Wefalck -- your suggestion of Vulkan's status equivalent to a Pontoon... ()!) flies no Ensign - aye aye--that makes sense :thumbs_up_1:
.............................................................................................................................

the info from the link that Quaestor supplied .... :thumbs_up_1:
Flag adopted 26 Sep 1903, abolished 27 Sep 1919, but used until 1921"

would suggest that the ( ex Dutch ) Tugboat SCHELDE --

Attachment:
SCHELDE_Gröner 6_page 90.jpg
SCHELDE_Gröner 6_page 90.jpg [ 169.1 KiB | Viewed 716 times ]


which was by then a German naval Tug--having been purchased-... via Sweden ... by the Imperial Navy in 1915.
SCHELDE was stationed at the Naval Harbour @ Kiel when she was required to tow Vulkan (with RETTER ) on April 06

( she was re-located/ re-assigned from August 1919 to tow/ recover vessels from the South Americas)

ergo as a commissioned German Naval ship I think -- subject to my model-shipping Peers agreement...!"
- that on 05/06 April -- SCHELDE probably would have carried the Naval ensign as detailed above
............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Now... RETTER

Attachment:
RETTER_Schnake - Schlepper_page 53.jpg
RETTER_Schnake - Schlepper_page 53.jpg [ 454.54 KiB | Viewed 716 times ]



according to the summary above, RETTER was in Naval service from August 1914, from March 1915 serving as a Tender --
and returned to North German Lloyd at " Wars End "
that being 1918--ergo by April 1919 I would conclude that RETTER may have flown a NGL House-flag (?) ( what did that look like back then > ?)
and if going outside German Waters--- the the red/white/black trade flag as well...?


' waddaya-all think about that? any thoughts / comments or ultimate truths most welcome!

Thank you all in advance!

Jim Baumann

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2022 4:00 am 
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I just had a look at

HILDEBRAND, H., RÖHR, A., STEINMETZ, H.-O. (1999): Die Deutschen Kriegsschiffe – Biographien, 10 Vols., Hamburg (Koehlers Verlagsgesellschaft).

and they do not list SCHELDE or RETTER as official ships of the navy. They are mentioned only in the context of VULCAN.

The above work, together the original by Gröner is currently revisited by a group of naval historians with a view to publish an updated version that also takes account of the numerous auxiliary ships the navy used at one time or another.

I think flying the black-white-red 'Reichsflagge' would be safer.

However, I can post this question in the Forum of our Arbeitskreis historischer Schiffbau and see what answers the navy specialists can come up with.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:42 am 
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@ wefalck... YES PLEASE ! do ask our colleagues on that forum :thumbs_up_1:

whilst the Groener information IS concise to the point of being scant...(!! )

it is within the listings of other vessels in Navy ... errr... association / employ!

certainly information ON-LINE on vessels of that era at the bottom of the shipping feeding pile
is skinny to non-existenmt in a digital format

( I had a long and extensive search for SS Palm Strand--the vessel credited with causing the loss of SCHELDE 25 March 1920
ZILCH to be found...

bigger scan encs of the Groener listings .

Many thanks for your interest and looking in YOUR library! :thumbs_up_1: :wave_1:


Attachments:
SCHELDE_Gröner 6_S90.jpg
SCHELDE_Gröner 6_S90.jpg [ 842.9 KiB | Viewed 650 times ]

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2022 9:19 am 
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I offer these thoughts on the matter:

1. World War I did not actually end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919. As I have read it, Germany was in a difficult situation at that time and on into 1920.

2. Thus, if the two tugs were still in government service at the time of their being required for towing VULKAN away, it is likely that they were flying either the national/merchant service flag or, more likely, the Reichsdienstflagge der Kaiserliche Marine,[i] (RDFdKM), as no one would have had the time or inclination to promulgate and effect the need to change over to anything else.

3. Examples of the design of the RDFdKM can be found on the net. That said, whether it, or anything else was being flown, it would probably have been very comprehensively fouled with s(oo)t making almost difficult to see what it actually was. Neither tug would have been entitled to fly either the imperial German naval ensign nor the [i]Göschflagge;
which was what warships flew as only as the "jack."

81542


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2022 4:21 pm 
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81542 wrote:
I offer these thoughts on the matter:

1. World War I did not actually end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919. As I have read it, Germany was in a difficult situation at that time and on into 1920.

2. Thus, if the two tugs were still in government service at the time of their being required for towing VULKAN away, it is likely that they were flying either the national/merchant service flag or, more likely, the Reichsdienstflagge der Kaiserliche Marine,[i] (RDFdKM), as no one would have had the time or inclination to promulgate and effect the need to change over to anything else.

3. Examples of the design of the RDFdKM can be found on the net. That said, whether it, or anything else was being flown, it would probably have been very comprehensively fouled with s(oo)t making almost difficult to see what it actually was. Neither tug would have been entitled to fly either the imperial German naval ensign nor the [i]Göschflagge;
which was what warships flew as only as the "jack."

81542

I believe 81542 is correct in all three respects: from 11 November 1918 (which we still celebrate until the present day) it was only a period of 'armistice' or a cease-fire. One cannot say the First World War had ended until the instrument of the Versailes Treaty had been signed and invoked by all the nations, so until June 28st of 2019. So until that moment the Kaiserliche Marine was still in operation and so were her flags. The destruction (or transfer) of her warships was only to take place after that moment, but as we all know, the Admiral in charge of the fleet at Scapa Flow, Von Reuter, ordered his commanders to scuttle them in the morning of June 21st, to avoid them falling into Allied hands.

As for the supporting tug service of these were still under the command of the German admiralty at the moment of the tow of Vulkan to England in April 1919. So the RDFdKM should be applied. You can find this flag in Wikipedia under its full name:Image

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 2:05 am 
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...aye aye!

I reckon to agree with 81542 insightful findings !

= ..and Maarten's plain speak ! :thumbs_up_1: :wave_1:

Have commenced the process of the artwork to re-size, make and print these flags onto white decal sheet.

will update once we have 'hoisted' ....

Many Thanks to all who have contributed the their time, thoughts and analysis !

Best wishes to all

Jim Baumann

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 4:34 am 
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Yesterday I wrote to one of the Imperial Navy specialists, Lothar Wischmeyer, to ask for his view on this, but have not yet received a reply.

As the republic was proclaimed in November 1918, I am wondering, whether a flag with the 'Iron Crown', the crown of the Holy Roman Empire (which today is preserved in the Hofburg in Vienna) would still be used in March 1919 ...

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 8:35 am 
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I note wefalck's reservation. It will be interesting to read what Herr Wischmeyer has to say on the matter but it may not be conclusive.

81542


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 9:04 am 
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Maarten Schönfeld wrote:
81542 wrote:
I offer these thoughts on the matter:
I believe 81542 is correct in all three respects: from 11 November 1918 (which we still celebrate until the present day) it was only a period of 'armistice' or a cease-fire. One cannot say the First World War had ended until the instrument of the Versailes Treaty had been signed and invoked by all the nations, so until June 28st of 2019. So until that moment the Kaiserliche Marine was still in operation and so were her flags.


The Versailles Treaty had no impact on the existence of the navy, only on its number of ships and total strength. There was no break similar to 1945.

The much more dramatic event was the revolution in Germany starting with the mutinies of the sailors in October 1918. I.e., some ships had the red flag instead of the flag of the Imperial Navy, whereas the leadership of the navy was far right wing and was supporting proto-fascist death squads, which murdered a significant number of democrats including the foreign minister Walter Rathenau. Obviously, the leadership of the navy was also in favour of the old imperial flag and against the flag of the republic (black-red-gold). Officially, the black-red-gold flag was the national flag since the 11th August 1919. But for ships - both naval and merchant - the old anti-democratic black-white-red flag was still used, but with the flag of the republic added in the corner (since 11th August 1919):

Image

The Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) was re-named into Reichsmarine on 1st of January 1921, it changed its flag on the 1st January 1922 to this one:
Image

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_Flaggen_der_Weimarer_Republik

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 2:56 pm 
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Thank you all gents ...

I am ready on standby for printing ...
just awaiting the final word on these flags :big_grin: :thumbs_up_1: :wave_1:


Attachments:
flag 1 at 100 per cent actual size.jpg
flag 1 at 100 per cent actual size.jpg [ 214.03 KiB | Viewed 427 times ]
flag 1at 400 per cent .jpg
flag 1at 400 per cent .jpg [ 360.28 KiB | Viewed 427 times ]

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2022 3:59 am 
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Jim,

I sincerely hope and from my own point of view, that the last 2½% of the puzzle is solved for you. Just don't forget the "soot!"

81542


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 11:32 am 
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maxim wrote:
The much more dramatic event was the revolution in Germany starting with the mutinies of the sailors in October 1918. I.e., some ships had the red flag instead of the flag of the Imperial Navy, whereas the leadership of the navy was far right wing and was supporting proto-fascist death squads, which murdered a significant number of democrats including the foreign minister Walter Rathenau. Obviously, the leadership of the navy was also in favour of the old imperial flag and against the flag of the republic (black-red-gold). Officially, the black-red-gold flag was the national flag since the 11th August 1919. But for ships - both naval and merchant - the old anti-democratic black-white-red flag was still used, but with the flag of the republic added in the corner (since 11th August 1919)


Hi Maxim,

Yes, the German Revolution in October 1918 makes the story very confusing indeed, with red flags and all that. But officially nothing changed until 11th of August 1919 when the Weimar Republic was invoked. So the black-red-gold only applies after that date, also in the quarter of the Reichmarine flag after that date. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimar_Republic I believe the dating there 1918-1935 is not correct, and certainly not in line with the dating of the preceding flag of the Kaiserliche Marine (1903-1919).

Conclusion must be that in April 1919 (tow of SMS Vulkan to Harwich) when the Assembly of the Weimar Republic was still underway (from Febr 6th), the old flag protocol was still in force.

And Jim is therefore entirely correct printing these minute versions of the RDFdKM (Reichsdienstflagge der Kriegsmarine).

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Even now I see the foreign flag a-raising, their guns on fire as we sail into hell"
Roger Whittaker


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 12:37 pm 
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Maarten,

Please see Wefalck's Post of 5.02am 4 Dec in "Works in Progress:" "Building SMS VULKAN." Others would seem to differ.

81542


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2022 3:37 am 
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Maarten Schönfeld wrote:
Yes, the German Revolution in October 1918 makes the story very confusing indeed, with red flags and all that. But officially nothing changed until 11th of August 1919 when the Weimar Republic was invoked. So the black-red-gold only applies after that date, also in the quarter of the Reichmarine flag after that date.

The republic was already proclaimed at the 9th of November 1918. In August 1919, the constitution of the Weimarer Republic was proclaimed and that was the reason why the flag was officially changed.

I only wanted to remember that the Versailles Treaty had no influence on the history of German flags. The German state continued to exist after the First World War, only names, flags etc. changed, but these were the results of the German Revolution (in contrast, in 1945, the German state ceased to exist).

Maarten Schönfeld wrote:
And Jim is therefore entirely correct printing these minute versions of the RDFdKM (Reichsdienstflagge der Kriegsmarine).

According to the experts asked by wefalck, these ships most likely had the normal old national flag (black-white-red):
http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=154091&start=260#p1017525

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