Admiral Graf Spee
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Messages 25 to 49

May 19, 2019

I am a Kriegsmarine collector and recently acquired the internment card of one of the crew members of the Graff Spee, a sailor by the name of Herbert Krueger Masch. Obergefreiter, possibly? As with some personal artifacts I acquire, I always like to do a full research on the subject. I am seeking any information you may have with regards to this person and what became of him. Whether he remained in Argentina or returned to Germany, etc. Please see the attached photo. Thank you for your help.

Best regards,
Philippe Jeanneau

Reply 1
May 19, 2019

The only information I have on hime is;
Name: Herbert Krüger
Born: June 27, 1913
Rate: Obermaschinistmatt

Michael W. Pocock

Reply 2
May 19, 2019

With regard to Question Item 49, about Herbert Krüger, I can add: He was issued “Cédula de internación" Number 666 on the 4th of March 1940 as “Internado de guerra”.  Hispanized name Herberto. Born in HAMBURG 6/27/1913. Civilian training as “technician”. Although the photograph does not show it, his ID states he was blond. Of special note is that his cedula was stamped as “FUGADO” (escaped). It is not clear when he escaped and from which internment camp (there were several). These are possibilities: 1) recaptured or 2) turned himself in or 3) hid out in Argentina for the duration or 4) was shipped back to Germany with the Highland Monarch in 1946 or 5) returned to Argentina after the war. Searching of the records would clear this up.

Carlos E. Benemann


May 12, 2019

I am making a research about some of the members of the crew of the panzerschiffe Admiral Graf Spee. I know Robert Hoepfner was a Korvette Kapitän and I know he started working in Buenos Aires with Kay doing intellingence work. I want to know which was the destination of Hoepfner after the war, if he finally end up in Argentina and I also wonder if you have a photo.

Thanks a lot,
Alexandra Esteban

Feb 18, 2018

KKpt. Karl Heinz VAGT, Born 16/3/1915  Died 26/12/1943. Not Married.
None of the Scharnhorst's Officers survived her sinking on 26/12/1943. The "Luck", and subsequent tragic end of the life of Karl Heinz VAGT, deserves a mention. He served under Cpt. Hans Langsdorff as Officer on board pocket battleship "Admiral Graf Spee" 13,12.1939 Admiral Graf Spee involved in "Batlle of the River Plate" 17.12.1939 19.52hrs  Cpt Langsdorff scuttled his pocket ship . 20.12.1939 Cpt. Langsdorff takes his own life in a Buenos Aires hotel. 22.12.1939 Over 1000 crewmen were sent to Buenos Aires, and divided up into groups of about 100 men, and sent to the provincial towns of Florencio Varela, Rossario, San Juan, Villa Belgrano, Mendoza, and Santa Fe. which the Officers sent to the Island of Martin Garcia. The cost of the internment would be GBP6000. per month, and charged to the German Reich for payment. Argentina was a neutral Country for most of WW2, however there were, in certain areas, sympathies toward the German cause. There was also a  strong "Secret German Underground" operating in Argentina, assisting any escapees back to Germany, more often, crossing the Andes, and either by Air or Sea from Santiago, Chile. to Germany. The Kriegmarine were keen to get officers back, and reassign them to new vessels, and U-Boats.

Karl Heinz VAGT, was one such case, of of an eventual 200 or so men, successful in making it back to the "Vaterland" he was quickly assigned to  battleship "Scharnhorst". Under the command of Cpt. Fritz Julius Hintze, he would take part in the "Battle of the North Cape". His luck would run out, and he would die, either during the battle, or in the icy waters of the Barents Sea. Two other officers from the Admiral Graf Spee, were luckier. being re-assigned to "TIRPITZ" after their escape form Argentina, and arrival back in Germany.

KKpt. Gerfried BRUTZER born Kiel. 02/08/1909  Died 26/11/1991. He became commander of Destroyer Z-38, and thereafter on board TIRPITZ.

Gunnery Control Officer Friedrich Wilhelm RASENACK. born possibly in Danzig [now Gdansk, Poland] 04/04/1914  Died 23/03/2008. After escaping from Argentina, masquerading as a Bulgarian Wine Merchant, he was also assigned to TIRPITZ, After the destruction of TIRPITZ, he became Commander of Staff of Admiral Karl Dönitz. After WW2 He would return to Danzig [Gdansk], With the communists now taking hold. he decided to return and settle in Buenos Aires, becoming also known as Frederico Rasenack.

Also Interesting that three of the crew of the Admiral Graf Spee, had English surnames. F/O Walter KAY, ObMtrGefr. Hans LEWIN, and Kptleutnant Kurt DIGGINS [17/09/1912 - 01.03.2007] also commander of U-458. There were also 19 German civilians 3x Cooks, 7x Waiters. 3x Shoe makers  3x Hairdressers, 3x Tailors. 6 Chinese civilians. All Chinese worked in the Laundry. I am not aware as to the fate of the 6 Chinese laundrymen, and would be interested to learn of their stories?

For the Admiral Graf Spee's Internees that did not escape back to Germany, things would get a whole lot worse. Argentina would loose her neutral status when on 27/03/1945 Argentina decided to support the allies. The internees would now become POW's and treated accordingly. with forced repatriation back to Germany, by the British, on board Troopship "HMS Highland Monarch" in March 1946. On arrival back in Germany, a very different Germany awaited the men, from the Germany they had left more than six years before. Devastated Cities. Soviet Troops occupying the Eastern states of Germany, with factories stripped of machinery. and hunger. Many of the men decided to return to Argentina, and settling in the town of Villa Belgrano, near Cordoba, and some to Buenos Aires.

I think I am justified in believing that both Cpt. Hans Langsdorff [Graf Spee} and Cpt. Fritz Hintze [Scharnhorst] were men cut from the "Same Cloth." Both men had shown a respect for the men serving under them. Both had a sense of duty, and honour, which would eventually conflict with the ignorant views of those whom would later seek to judge them, and later discredit them. Both had shown to be "Menschlich" or "Human" respecting Humanity.{Menschlichkeit}

The Mayor of AJAX, Ont. Canada, A town named after one of the three ships involved in the" Battle of the River Plate" against Admiral Graf Spee, said of Cpt. Hans Langsdorff. "He was a remarkable Leader." Inge Neddin, daughter of Cpt. Langsdorff, was present, 60 years after the battle to name a road in Ajax after her late father. "Langsdorff Drive" In October 2007, She was one of the 120  guests, invited by the mayor in the naming ceremony.

Lance Shippey

Sept. 24, 2018

I am the son of Fransisco Ambrosetti. We are first generation immigrants to the United States from Argentina. My father has passed recently and I have inherited what he told me is a hand made model of the Graf Spee pocket battleship. The story he told was that he went to school with a relative (nephew I think?) of the Captain Hans Langsdorff. Supposedly the sailors of the Graf Spee once off the ship had to wait out most of the war in the German hospital in Buenos Aires. It is here where he believed they built the model and it was presented to the nephew. My father said that he was at his house one day and was admiring the model and it was offered and given to him because the family said it was just bad memories. That's the story I was told but I have nothing to correlate or prove anything. I was researching the history and ran across this web site and it seems to be the most authentic and well researched of anything I seen so far and wanted to reach out and see if I can get some answers. I have included a couple of pictures of the model in it's glass case.

Felix Ambrosetti

Aug. 24, 2017

Estimados todos,
hace minutos me llamó por teléfono la hija de Heinz Berger, comunicándome el fallecimiento de su padre. Ante mi congoja, le pregunté por el entierro, o alguna ceremonia o responso, a lo que me respondió que había fallecido el 8 de agosto, que fue cremado y que no hubo ceremonia alguna. No atiné a preguntarle más pues la comunicación terminó de manera abrupta. Mi tristeza es enorme, ustedes la compartirán y en este momento, no me animo a expresar del todo mis reflexiones. La hora siempre llega, Heinz se fue y nos debe dejar un recuerdo emotivo como el de Carlitos y de aquellos ausentes, cuanto que las tantas fotografías lo muestran allí, en la cabecera de la mesa de los sábados o en la ceremonia de diciembre, tranquilo, medido, sincero... Un marinero más nos deja definitivamente, pero sus ejemplos, y me refiero a los de toda la tripulación, padres, abuelos y bisabuelos, nos compromete a seguir renovando las tradiciones, las memorias, las enseñanzas y delegarlas en nuestros hijos y nietos. Heinz Berger, para nosotros descansas en la tumba del marino, y una gaviota solitaria te despide y te acompaña bien alto, mientras tu buque te escolta en navegación hacia sus destinos. Mis respetos a todos.

Gen. Enrique R. Dick

(Minutes ago Heinz Berger's daughter telephoned me, informing me of her father's death. Before my anguish, I asked him about the burial, or some ceremony or answer, to which he replied that he had died on 8 August, that he was cremated and that there was no ceremony. I did not try to ask her more because the communication ended abruptly.

My sadness is enormous, you will share it and at this moment, I do not dare express my reflections completely. The time always arrives, Heinz left and we must leave an emotional memory as that of Carlitos and those absent, as the many photographs show there, at the head of the table on Saturdays or at the ceremony of December, quiet , Measured, sincere.

One more sailor leaves us permanently, but his examples, and I mean those of the entire crew, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, commits us to continue renewing traditions, memories, teachings and delegating them to our children and grandchildren. Heinz Berger, for us you rest in the tomb of the sailor, and a solitary seagull fires you and accompanies you high, while your ship escorts you in navigation to your destinations.)

Feb. 15, 2016

My wife's father we believe may have been a crew member on the German Pocket Battleship, Graff Spee.  She was born in Bolivia (but had relatives from Germany who escaped to Uruguay) to a German man (reportedly from the Graff Spee) and Jewish mother who escaped from Austria in 1938 with two of her children.  We are simply trying to find more information on my wife's father.  Where should I search or are there lists available. Thank you for any information.  His name was “Kurt K. Prinz” and could have gone by the last name of “Zaier” The spelling of his name may have changed.

Thank you sincerely,
John Bergman

Reply 1
Feb. 16, 2016

Neither name Prinz or Zaier appear on the crew list I have.

Michael W. Pocock

Apr. 1, 2015

Announcing the English translation of Enrique Dick's book "In the Wale of the Graf Spee." This book is now published and is available on Amazon in the U.S.A. and the U.K. For full details click here. (New Releases)

Click here to order in the U.S.A.

Click here to order in the U.K.


Oct. 7, 2014

The National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy is currently planning an exhibition in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the River Plate. The idea for the exhibition is we are asking veterans of the battle, their families and currently serving New Zealand Navy personnel to choose museum objects and describe the significance to them. I would very much like to involve the family of a sailor from the Admiral Graf Spee. I saw your website and in particular the message board for the Graf Spee. Thank you for your help.

Kind regards,
Charis Charis Boos
Museum Programme Coordinator
National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy

July 17, 2014

El Matrosengefreiter KARL FENGLER, de la 3ra. División del Panzerschiff Admiral Graf Spee nos ha dejado hoy a las 7 de la mañana Al igual que otros camaradas que han partido, descansará en la tumba de los hombres de mar, rodeado de las gaviotas que lo acompañaron por los océanos, y lo recordaremos siempre.

Lo tendremos constantemente con nosotros por su alegría y espíritu divertido, contagioso y positivo. En nuestro corazón conservaremos siempre sus historias de vida, no solo da aquellas que disfrutábamos en el Club de Olivos, cada mes, sino especialmente en los dos grandes viajes que nos acompañó: uno a Montevideo, en navegación, hasta las boyas del Graf Spee y al año siguiente a Capilla vieja, el antiguo campamento que lo cobijó.

Te vamos a extrañar cada día por siempre, y jamás serás olvidado. Tus camaradas y amigos del Círculo de Camaradería en Argentina y Uruguay, y a su querida familia, un afectuoso abrazo. Nos encontraremos mañana en el Cementerio Alemán de Chacarita a las 10:45 horas.

Cantaremos “Yo tenía un camarada”

Er trat Seine letzte Große Reise Matrosengefreiter KARL FENGLER, 3. DIVISION Panzerschiff Admiral Graf Spee † Heute 17.07.2014. um 7. Uhr Morgens Buenos Aires, Argentinien . In Erinnerung wollen wir ihn in seiner immer positiven und lustigen Art behalten . Wir sollten auch seine herrlichen Geschichten von der Jugendzeit als Matrose an Bord der Graf Spee in unseren Herzen behalten, diese schöne Erzählungen nicht nur im Deutschen Klub in Olivos, sondern die Treffen in Montevideo, in der Nähe der Boje der Graf Spee und auch in Capilla Vieja, Córdoba, beim ehemaligen Lager. Es war so schön Karl.... Vermissen werden wir ihn immer aber er bleibt unvergessen. Wir treffen uns Morgen 18.07.2014 am Deutschen Friedhof von Chacarita, 10:45 Uhr. Deine Kameraden und Freunde vom Círculo de Camaradería in Argentinien und Urduguay.

General Enrique R. Dick

"Former Admiral Graf Spee crewman Karl Fengler passed away July 17, 2014 at 0730 hrs."

June 13, 2014

I wanted to know if you have a crew list of the men who were on the Graf Spee who stayed in Argentina or know of a good site that would have a list. My grandmother and her family were living in Nazi Germany during the war.  My Aunt is in her mid-70's now and her mind wanders a bit....every now and then she'll make a comment about a family member.  She told me a couple weeks ago that my grandmother's brother Bernard Engler was aboard the Graf Spee and that was how he ended up living in Argentina. I don't have any other information about this or on Bernard for that matter.  I only know he served in the war and lived in Argentina. If you know of any sites where I could research this it would be much appreciated.

Jean Mancuso

Reply 1
June 15, 2014

Yes he was a member of the crew of Admiral Graf Spee, he was an Oberbootsmannmaat. He was born on Sept. 8, 1914, but I don't have direct knowledge of his movements after the war. I assume your aunt must be correct.

Michael W. Pocock

Reply 2
Sept. 6, 2014

I've read the post above from Jean Mancuso requesting information about Bernard Engler. He lived in Buenos Aires and then moved out to Villa General Belgrano Cordoba. I'm his grandson and I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My father want to contact Jean. Could you could provide me her mail address? I'll appreciate it.

Thank you very much,
Fede Engler

Apr. 7, 2014

See below for the 2014 Reunion information.

Enrique R. Dick


Mar. 11, 2014

I have recently visited Montevideo navy museum and am in awe by the actions taken by British Ships during the battle. A fitting memorial to both British and German forces.

Lt. Colonel Tim Craven

July 21, 2013

Lamento tener que informarles que el pasado día viernes 28 de junio de 2013 falleció  en la provincia de Mendoza el ex tripulante del Admiral Graf Spee: Señor FRIEDRICH BACHMANN . Sus restos fueron trasladados y sepultados en su querida provincia de SAN JUAN.

Hugo R. Sochi

"I regret to inform you that on Friday June 28, 2013 former Admiral Graf Spee crewman Friedrich Bachmann died in the province of Mendoza, Argentina. His remains were transferred and buried in his beloved province of San Juan."

(Friedrich Bachmann Collection)

May 10, 2013

Hoy jueves 25 de Abril de 2013, en horas de la madrugada, en Villa General Belgrano, Provincia de Córdoba, República Argentina, falleció FRITZ SANDER, de la 7ª División del Graf Spee.

"Thursday April 25, 2013, in the early morning hours, in Villa General Belgrano, Province of Cordoba, Argentina, FRITZ SANDER, of the 7th Division of the Graf Spee, passed away"

Hugo R. Sochi

Apr. 29, 2013

He (Kapitän Langsdorff) was a true hero who decided that the lives of his 1,100 men were worth more than a useless final battle to the end.  Think of how many people exist today who would not have ever existed had he fought to the death.

Dana C. Arbaugh, Lt. Colonel, USAF (ret.)
California, USA

Jan. 21, 2013

In the photograph on page 1 of "Kapitän zur See Hans Wilhelm Langsdorff," Langsdorff (standing next to the High Commissioner of Spain in Morocco) is wearing a decoration on his right pocket that looks like a Star of David. What is it?

Glenn Rogers
Santa Maria, California

Oct. 26, 2012

Being ex military I respect the security applied to your site and the secrecy of the crew list for the Admiral Graf Spee, however I was wondering if you could advise me if there were any Finnish citizens who were crewman on the ship.

Semper Alacer,
Herbert David Broomfield

Aug. 24, 2012

I am the great granddaughter of one of the crew who perished at the Battle of River Plate aboard the Graf Spee. I am struggling to find any information on him. The trouble being his family was in fact Polish Jewish, and my grandmother (his daughter) changed her name. I believe his name should be Teske-Peshelke. Do you know where I am able to find a list of those buried at Montevideo? My Oma has a fascinating history and following her fathers death left Poland, was captured twice, eventually being sent to Ravensbrück. The ending is a happy one as they were liberated in 1945. She met my grandfather in Hamburg as she worked in a Displaced Persons centre due to being able to speak 4 languages. She traveled with my grandfather during the war. my mother being born in Malaysia and finally settling in the UK.

Kindest regards,
Catherine Francis

Reply 1
Aug. 24, 2012
The list of those killed in the Battle of the River Plate are shown here Roll of Honor. His name doesn't not appear on it or on the crew list I have.

Michael W. Pocock

Mar. 22, 2012


Feb. 26, 2012

Jan. 16, 2012

El nieto de KAPPLER, Karl, nacido el 03.05.1921, Matroseno de la 1ra. División del AGS, informa que su abuelo  falleció el 02.01.2012.

Hugo Sochi

(It is reported that Karl Kappler (Matrosenobergefreiter, Division 1) passed away on January 2, 2012 in Argentina.)

Nov. 19, 2011

My wife's uncle was a crewmember on Admiral Graf Spee and was interned in Argentina. His name was Rudi Mittag and I have found his name on the crew list. I would like to know if anyone remembers him and what his rank and job was aboard the ship. We know very little about his time in the service and would like to connect with our family history.

Thanks in advance,
Scott Martin

Reply 1
Nov. 28, 2015

Rudi Mittag was indeed a Graf Spee crew member and a neighbor of my family in Munro, Prov. Buenos Aires, Argentina. He lived on Calle Luis Maria Drago. He worked for the Schlottman's and at the Textile Factory COFIA right across the street from his factory owned house in Munro. He was a good friend of my father. Herr Mittag left internment/POW camp just before repatriation and eventually went to the then territory Misiones, Argentina. He married there after the war. (I believe in Eldorado Misiones). Strangely, his wife was an American schoolteacher there. He had two children that I know of in Argentina. They were born at the Hospital Schlottmann in Munro. May have been one more child later. One (son) lives with the Mother, the other (a girl) in Texas. In or about 1960/61 Herr Mittag left Argentina and went to live in the USA and took his whole family there. He passed away many years ago, but his wife was still alive back in the East of the US in 2012. (I have a letter from her from about that date) Herr Mittag's wife and my mother had been best of friends and wrote and phoned each other regularly for 50 years. I have an ID photograph of Rudi taken in early 1940 by Argentine immigration just after arrival in Dec. 1939.

Cordially Carlos (Karlheinz) Benemann
Ferndale California

Reply 2
Jan. 2, 2016

Below is a photo of Rudi (Rodolfo) Mittag, Admiral Graf Spee 1st division internment ID 316. Taken December 1939 Buenos Aires. Later married wife Virginia, son Gerhardt. Two daughters Erika and Ruth. Two great grandsons, all in US.

Carlos Benemann


Sept. 21, 2011

Because of my job, I spent some time at the beginning of this year in a little town called General Deheza, Province of Cordoba, Argentina. While there I visited Villa General Belgrano, in order to check out this German-style city in Argentina, and became somewhat familiar with the story of the Panzerschiff Graf Spee and its crew, eventually interned in Argentina. I even bought a very good book on this, written by General Enrique Rodolfo Dick, with emphasis on the life of his father, Matrosenobergefreiter Heinrich Dick.

In looking for more information on this interesting and real story I came across your website. I have read extensively on the life of crew members, and seen the photo collections of some relatives and descendants. All very well done. Unfortunately a good deal of the crew members is already gone. As matter of fact, I heard in Villa General Belgrano that there is only one still alive there, of all the 200 + interned in the area, a gentleman with the name Fritz Sander. My question is, how come he doesn't appear under the Crew Index in MaritimeQuest? I would like to know more about him. Thanks in advance for your reply, your commentaries would be most appreciated. Once again, my compliments on MaritimeQuest!

With best regards,
Pablo Hernandez Kellner
North Bergen, New Jersey, USA

Sept. 8, 2011

Döbler, Hans (A.K.A. Juan Ricardo) (q.e.p.d.) Falleció el 3/9/11 , a los 92 años, c.a.s.r. y b.p. Hijo: Enrique Ricardo Dobler; hija política: Valeria Ozarowski; nietos: Juan Ricardo Dobler y Carolina Elizabeth Dobler; nietos políticos: María Soledad y Octavio; bisnietos: Germán y Guillermo; sobrina de Alemania: Gerda Dobler; sobrino político de Alemania: Helmut Zitarec y d.d. participan el fallecimiento y que los restos fueron inhumados hoy, a las 10, en el C. municipal. Serv. Santa Lucía Sepelios SA. Diario El Litoral de Santa Fe.

Hugo Sochi

(Hans Döbler, veteran of Admiral Graf Spee, passed away in Santa Fe, Argentina on Sept. 3, 2011 at the age of 92. He is survived by several grand children and great-grandchildren.)

June 27, 2011

El veterano de guerra Sr. Friedrich Bachmann me pide que le informe que el pasado día jueves 23.06.2011 falleció en la provincia de San Juan, República Argentina, el Sr. ERICH TRELLA (Mtr. II de la 8va. División del Admiral Graf Spee, nacido el 18.09.1920, Cédula de Internación Nº 688). QEPD

Hugo Sochi

(Mr. Friedrich Bachmann, veteran of the Admiral Graf Spee asks me to report that last Thursday June 23, 2011 Mr. Erich Trelles died in the province of San Juan, Argentina. (Mtr. II of the 8th Division of the Admiral Graf Spee, born Sept. 18, 1920, Certificate of internment No. 688). Rest in Peace.)

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