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hans langsdorff

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DieHardELOFan86 #1 Posted 19 December 2015 - 12:57 PM

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On this day December 19, 1939 seventy seven years ago (if I am correct on that) Kriegsmarine Captain Hans Langsdorff the captain of pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee commits suicide he written a letter which said.

 

"for a captain with a sense of honor, it goes without saying that his personal fate cannot be separated from that of his ship."

 

 

Who was Captain Hans Langsdorff?

 

 

Born on March 20, 1894 Rügen, Germany while Hans Langsdorff was growing up his family came from strong religious background and Hans didn't agree with what Nazis were doing and wanted to stay away from Berlin far as possible when he was older.

 

His parents moved to Düsseldorf while there they became neighbours with Vice Admiral Maximilian von Spee family, Langsdorffs wanting their son to become priest but Hans was influenced by Vice Admiral Maximilian von Spee famous World War I German commander to become sailor instead.

 

 

   Vice Admiral Maximilian von Spee

 

During World War I Lieutenant Langsdorff received his first Iron Cross a 2nd Class at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, he also worked on minesweepers for the rest of the war then he received his second Iron Cross 1st Class at some point during the war. In 1923, Hans was station to the navy office in Dresden, Hans met Ruth Hager. The two were married in March 1924, with their son Johann being born on 14th of December. In October 1925, Hans was posted to the Defense Ministry in Berlin to coordinate relations between the navy and the army in 1927, he was station to the command of a torpedo boat flotilla, and in April 1930 Hans was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. In 1931, he was recalled to Berlin, as his administrative abilities had become well-known and appreciated. Following the rise to power of the Nazis, Langsdorff requested duty at sea in 1934, but was instead appointed to the Interior Ministry.

 

In 1936 and 1937, while on board the new pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee as part of the staff of Admiral Bohen, Langsdorff participated in the German support of the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War. On 1st of January 1937, Langsdorff was promoted to Captain. He received command of the Admiral Graf Spee in October 1938. On 21st of August 1939, Admiral Graf Spee left port with orders to raid enemy commercial shipping in the South Atlantic following the outbreak of the Second World War. For the first three weeks of the war, the ship hid in the open ocean east of Brazil while the German government determined how serious Britain was about the war. On 20th of September 1939, Admiral Graf Spee was released to carry out its orders.

 

Over the next 10 weeks, Langsdorff and Admiral Graf Spee were extremely successful, stopping and sinking nine British merchant ships, totaling over 50,000 tons. Witnesses from both sides saw that Langsdorff adhered to the Hague Conventions and avoided killing anyone, his humane treatment won the respect of the ships' officers detained as his prisoners.

Which probably explains his religious background why he was so humane during World War II.

 

At Battle of the River Plate Langsdorff ship took some damage and some losses after the battle the Graf Spee headed neutral port of Montevideo in Uruguay to make repairs while in port the Uruguayan authorities told Langsdorff he had 72 hours to repair his ship or else have him, crew and the ship be interned for the duration of the war but the damaged to Graf Spee was so great there wasn't enough time. 

 

So Captain Langsdorff sought orders from Berlin, and was given instructions that the ship was not to be interned in Uruguay (which was sympathetic to Britain), or to be allowed to fall into enemy hands, but he was given no directive as to what action to take. He therefore considered that he could try to take the ship to the friendlier Buenos Aires in Argentina although it was thought that the channel was not sufficiently deep for the ship; he could take the ship out to sea to battle the British forces again (British propaganda was trying to persuade people that a large British force already lay in wait for him—though in fact it would not be able to arrive for five days); or he could scuttle the ship.

 

So as honorable German officer and sailor who cared about his well being crew he was well concern about safety of his sailors and put them first because he didn't want them killed for something that would have been worthless fight and more lives would have been lost. Then the decision was made... Hans Langsdorff would scuttle Graf Spee. When Nazis found out they called Hans Langsdorff a coward for not fighting British.

 

Some say Herr Langsdorff should have went down with Graf Spee but his sailors say otherwise, they needed him to get them through from all red tape and it wasn't long after Herr Langsdorff accomplish this on Dec. 20th or 19th the honorable Captain committed suicide by laying on top of German Imperal flag and not the Nazi flag which was big insult to the Nazis.

 

Another interesting note after Langsdorff killed himself both sides Great Britain and Germany sailors (from Graf Spee) show and pay their respects to a enemy who fought with honor and humanely and well beloved Captain respected by the crew. Funny thing about war is that there some enemies out there you would assume are all nutcases but there are very few enemies like Captain Langsdorff who will prove you wrong not all enemies are nutcases.

 

Today Hans Langsdorff including Admiral Gunther Lutjens and other Germans of Wehrmacht Forces are remembered and honored in Germany today for sake who they were because they didn't commit war crimes.

 


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X1thebeast29X #2 Posted 19 December 2015 - 03:12 PM

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Suicide is a cowardly way out.

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DieHardELOFan86 #3 Posted 19 December 2015 - 10:56 PM

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View PostX1thebeast29X, on 19 December 2015 - 09:12 AM, said:

Suicide is a cowardly way out.

Says someone who never has been a Captain of the ship. It's always a tradition to go down with the ship if some people onboard cannot get off to survive so in a way Captain Langsdorff saw this with those German sailors who lost their lives he felt that they were still onboard (even though they were buried in cemetery) he felt it was right thing go down with the ship and understood it but he was talk out of it.

 

Also Japanese taught that death was glorious and that surrendering was dishonorable.


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Sqn Ldr B #4 Posted 19 December 2015 - 11:18 PM

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View PostDieHardELOFan86, on 19 December 2015 - 10:56 PM, said:

Also Japanese taught that death was glorious and that surrendering was dishonorable.

That theory was ridiculous. And Langsdorff wasn't Japanese.


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DieHardELOFan86 #5 Posted 19 December 2015 - 11:50 PM

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View PostSqn Ldr B, on 19 December 2015 - 05:18 PM, said:

That theory was ridiculous. And Langsdorff wasn't Japanese.

 

I did not say Langsdorff was Japanese did I? I was simply stating that Japanese believe that commiting seppuku or killing yourself was honorable according to them that is not cowardly act... Surrendering is of course they no longer do that because "we change them". but that's how it is in their culture.

 

I know wikipedia isn't good for info but it is maritime tradition that Captain must go down with the ship because he holds ultimate responsibility for both his ship and everyone embarked on it, and he will die trying to save either of them.

 

https://en.wikipedia...n_with_the_ship

 

Captain Langsdorff believed that killing himself he was going down with the ship so in no way he is a coward.


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Uranprojekt #6 Posted 20 December 2015 - 12:15 AM

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View PostDieHardELOFan86, on 19 December 2015 - 11:50 PM, said:

 

 

"Some say Herr Langsdorff should have went down with Graf Spee but his sailors say otherwise, they needed him to get them through from all red tape and it wasn't long after Herr Langsdorff accomplish this on Dec. 20th or 19th the honorable Captain committed suicide by laying on top of German Imperal flag and not the Nazi flag which was big insult to the Nazis."

 

Except Langsdorff didn't commit suicide whilst laying on top of the German Imperial flag, he shot himself whilst laying over the battle ensign of the Admiral Graf Spee. If you'd like to see the Admiral Graf Spee with her ensign flying, please refer to the link below.

 

http://www.deutschla...speecommis.html


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DieHardELOFan86 #7 Posted 20 December 2015 - 02:43 AM

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View PostUranprojekt, on 19 December 2015 - 06:15 PM, said:

 

"Some say Herr Langsdorff should have went down with Graf Spee but his sailors say otherwise, they needed him to get them through from all red tape and it wasn't long after Herr Langsdorff accomplish this on Dec. 20th or 19th the honorable Captain committed suicide by laying on top of German Imperal flag and not the Nazi flag which was big insult to the Nazis."

 

Except Langsdorff didn't commit suicide whilst laying on top of the German Imperial flag, he shot himself whilst laying over the battle ensign of the Admiral Graf Spee. If you'd like to see the Admiral Graf Spee with her ensign flying, please refer to the link below.

 

http://www.deutschla...speecommis.html

 

Some  say it was Imperial flag some say it was battle ensign.

 

Problem I have is I don't want people to assume he was Nazi just because he layed over Nazi battle ensign flag.


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Uranprojekt #8 Posted 20 December 2015 - 03:01 AM

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View PostDieHardELOFan86, on 20 December 2015 - 02:43 AM, said:

 

Some  say it was Imperial flag some say it was battle ensign.

 

Problem I have is I don't want people to assume he was Nazi just because he layed over Nazi battle ensign flag.

 

He served the Nazi regime. That doesn't explicitly make him a Nazi, per se, but it does make him a part of the regime, whether you want it to or not.


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DieHardELOFan86 #9 Posted 20 December 2015 - 03:09 AM

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View PostUranprojekt, on 19 December 2015 - 09:01 PM, said:

 

He served the Nazi regime. That doesn't explicitly make him a Nazi, per se, but it does make him a part of the regime, whether you want it to or not.

 

That's why I defend him and others like him... People are so quick to judge call someone Nazi without looking at what person (humane) things that person done. Yes just because they wore a Nazi uniform doesn't make them Nazi look at Colonel Stauffenberg...

 

 


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WidowMaker1711 #10 Posted 20 December 2015 - 03:41 AM

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View PostDieHardELOFan86, on 20 December 2015 - 03:09 AM, said:

 

That's why I defend him and others like him... People are so quick to judge call someone Nazi without looking at what person (humane) things that person done. Yes just because they wore a Nazi uniform doesn't make them Nazi look at Colonel Stauffenberg...

 

 

 

Stauffenberg was a paid up member of the Nazi Party. Nobody forced him to be. What he was was a Prussian Officer who was pragmatic, realistic and not delusional. All those implicated in Valkyrie knew the Little Corporal was losing the plot and that Germany was going to lose the war. They wanted to save Germany and sue for peace. Would have been quicker and easier to get the Wehrmacht to attack the SS (the Wehrmacht really needed little reason to do so) whilst they arrested Hitler and shipped him off to the UK


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Radica1Cat #11 Posted 20 December 2015 - 04:34 AM

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To quote the internet:

Spoiler

 


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DieHardELOFan86 #12 Posted 20 December 2015 - 07:59 AM

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View PostRadica1Cat, on 19 December 2015 - 10:34 PM, said:

To quote the internet:

Spoiler

 

You are losing respect I had for you... Keep it up.


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Sqn Ldr B #13 Posted 20 December 2015 - 10:32 AM

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View PostDieHardELOFan86, on 20 December 2015 - 03:09 AM, said:

 

That's why I defend him and others like him... People are so quick to judge call someone Nazi without looking at what person (humane) things that person done. Yes just because they wore a Nazi uniform doesn't make them Nazi look at Colonel Stauffenberg...

 

 

 

Can I perhaps point out that shooting yourself wasn't really a particularly honourable or humane thing to do. He didn't save anyone doing it did he? The ship was in a dock, safe from the enemy. Sure, he had the option of fighting the British and being massacred, and not doing that was somewhat honourable. He could have just given in and turned him and his crew in to the Uruguayan authorities. But he shot himself, and I'm not particularly sure what that achieved. You say that his crew needed him to get them through the red tape. And that accomplished this by killing himself? In what way did his suicide accomplish that?

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View PostDieHardELOFan86, on 19 December 2015 - 09:09 PM, said:

 

That's why I defend him and others like him... People are so quick to judge call someone Nazi without looking at what person (humane) things that person done. Yes just because they wore a Nazi uniform doesn't make them Nazi look at Colonel Stauffenberg...

 

 

 

I feel ya man, not everyone is the same

 

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Radica1Cat #15 Posted 20 December 2015 - 03:45 PM

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View PostDieHardELOFan86, on 20 December 2015 - 12:59 AM, said:

You are losing respect I had for you... Keep it up.

It'd have been more honourable to tell Hitler to (insert profanity) off. Instead, he killed himself. He simply avoided the situation. #SuperHonourabroo

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DieHardELOFan86 #16 Posted 20 December 2015 - 04:38 PM

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View PostSqn Ldr B, on 20 December 2015 - 04:32 AM, said:

 

Can I perhaps point out that shooting yourself wasn't really a particularly honourable or humane thing to do. He didn't save anyone doing it did he? The ship was in a dock, safe from the enemy. Sure, he had the option of fighting the British and being massacred, and not doing that was somewhat honourable. He could have just given in and turned him and his crew in to the Uruguayan authorities. But he shot himself, and I'm not particularly sure what that achieved. You say that his crew needed him to get them through the red tape. And that accomplished this by killing himself? In what way did his suicide accomplish that?

 

Well after he blew up Graf Spee up he was label as coward not just by Nazis but those in Argentina anyone who supported Nazis in that area. Supposedly he probably felt ashamed and couldn't take it anymore and when I say he got his crew through red tape he wanted Uruguay accept Graf Spee crew to be interned and be citizens from what I been told. When he felt all that he had accomplished that's when he shot himself.

 

But real reason was he wanted stay onboard Graf Spee destruction but he was talk out of it by his crew and that they claim they needed him since there was no going home back to Germany.


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RPGStylee #17 Posted 20 December 2015 - 04:42 PM

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Obviously him, being part of the German military, never betrayed Poland(or sought to remove it from the map permanently). Other wise you wouldn't have made a thread about him. 

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Sqn Ldr B #18 Posted 20 December 2015 - 05:30 PM

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View PostDieHardELOFan86, on 20 December 2015 - 04:38 PM, said:

 

Well after he blew up Graf Spee up he was label as coward not just by Nazis but those in Argentina anyone who supported Nazis in that area. Supposedly he probably felt ashamed and couldn't take it anymore and when I say he got his crew through red tape he wanted Uruguay accept Graf Spee crew to be interned and be citizens from what I been told. When he felt all that he had accomplished that's when he shot himself.

 

But real reason was he wanted stay onboard Graf Spee destruction but he was talk out of it by his crew and that they claim they needed him since there was no going home back to Germany.

 

So essentially he just got depressed and killed himself?

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DieHardELOFan86 #19 Posted 20 December 2015 - 05:36 PM

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View PostSqn Ldr B, on 20 December 2015 - 11:30 AM, said:

 

So essentially he just got depressed and killed himself?

 

Maybe... I wasn't there. But if that is the case then one can understand why he did it and one would say there are some situations that you put yourself that you have no control over. 

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Sqn Ldr B #20 Posted 20 December 2015 - 05:36 PM

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So how was he honourable again?

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