The subject was supposed to be recent acquisitions and queries, but Nick had been making use of his so-called retirement to write up some of his collection: he showed material not so much recently acquired, but recently written up (mostly).
His subject was Kriegsmarine mail, World War 2. Nick showed mail from some of the (in)famous German vessels: Scharnhorst, Tirpitz, Lutzow, Admiral Hipper and several from relatively minor vessels – minesweepers, the gunboat K1, and a type of vessel called ‘vorpostenboot’, which seem to be roughly equivalent to the RN’s requisitioned trawlers. The U boat arm of the Kriegsmarine was represented by an item from U46 in July 1940, and items from the 13th Flotilla at Trondheim, and from the U Boat base at L’Orient. Shore-based units were not forgotten: items from the naval garrisons on Crete and Lemnos, from the Boulogne Port Commander’s office, and from several coastal defence artillery units in France, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark were included.
The most interesting item was from the commerce raider Pinguin, dated in March 1941, some nine months after she had left Germany, never to return. It seems likely that the only way for mail to return to Germany was aboard the prizes she took. The March 1941 date would fit with the arrival at Bordeaux of some of the whalers Pinguin took as prizes in the far South Atlantic over two months earlier in early January 1941.
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