Daily Event for April 1, 2011

On the 118th anniversary of Otto von Bismarck's birthday, April 1, 1933, the cruiser Deutschland was commissioned at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. She was placed under the command of Kapitän zur See Hermann von Fischel, former commander of SMS U-65, who said at the ceremony "Today Germany's fate has taken a new turn, thanks to its leader, Chancellor Hitler. Again the army, navy and people become united ." The cruiser was the first of the new Panzerschiffe to be placed in service. Following this ceremony the cadre of dignitaries moved to the slipway where the hull of the second Panzerschiff lay waiting to take to the water.

Dressed with the Reichsmarine ensign and christened by the daughter of the ship's namesake, the hull of the Admiral Scheer slid gracefully into the water at the Marine Werft while the crowd cheered and sang Deutschland Uber Alles. Before the launch both Admiral Erich Raeder and General Werner von Blomberg, the Minister of Defense, delivered speeches, among Blomberg's comments were the following;

"It has been built under the limitations of the Versailles dictates. This dictated peace still rests with the full weight on Germany and her peace loving people, who in their military policy have no other aim than to regain for their frontiers on land and sea the same security that every honor-loving sovereign nation claims as a matter of course."

Scheer died in 1928 and was buried in Weimar, at the same time the ship bearing his name was being launched, a wreath was laid at his grave with the inscription "Um den Sieger von Skagerrak" (to the victor of Jutland). Six years later another ship would be launched, this time the Versailles Dictates were ignored with impunity as the hull of the 50,000 ton Tirpitz was sent down the ways.
© 2011 Michael W. Pocock

Launch of the Admiral Scheer.

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