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A while ago we discussed Schleswig-Holstein in a different thread. Now @TwoHeavens has posted a story idea revolving around her on the discord and the preparation for it and the post itself made me look again on Schleswig-Holstein.
Previously in this post I proposed this in regards to S-H:

I just imagine the Schleswig-Holstein Walküre waking up from the first shots and going all "WTF is happening?!" and ceases fire immediately and refuses to fire more rounds. And a totally baffled captain who tries to convince her to resume fire, but she won't accept such a lunatic as captain.:D .....

Or plain frightening for Poland: She likes what she's doing..... and annihilates the Westernplatte, because of incredibly more firepower. Just imagine any S-H attack, but totally devastating. :blink:

It's even possible for S-H to not have a Belle at all. And getting a big tin-can of major popcorn whoopass by a polish Belle.

Now, after all the deeper digging, I think she likes what she's doing. Here's why.

Let's assume S-H gets a Walküre. She was "born" as a ship of the line in the kaiserliche Marine of WWI. And was outdated on commission already in 1908.
As a young ship she traveled the world in the name of the Kaiser and probably felt at least proud herself, even if all the smarter, faster and more modernly designed ships looked down on her as outdated and old.
But the Kaiser valued her. Why else would she of all ships be sent on all those fleet voyages?
Then came the war.
She was late for the battle of Heligoland, because the chain of command was too slow.
She fought in the Skagerrakschlacht/Battle of Jutland, getting a few hits, shooting a bit. But only after the battle was concluded already and she never got to fire her main battery. While she got two good hits on herself by 30+cm grenades. And she didn't even see the enemy who did it! (Glasses, are really a good idea)
Subsequently only used for coastal protection and disarmed already in 1917, during the war!
She then served as quarters for U-Boot men in Bremerhaven and was brought home in 1918 to Kiel and moored there.
She was so outdated at the end of the war, the Entente allowed the Germans to keep her.
For me it forms a very melancholic picture of her life prior to 1926. She probably felt useless and in the end unloved. The war was over for her before it was over for everyone else. She served basically as a boathouse.
She's probably a very quiet, melancholic ship. With not much love for a Kaiserreich which never really appreciated her, sent her on pointless or at least fruitless missions.

But then came the Reichsmarine. And the dismantling of the fleet. While the other, modern ships refused to be handed over, she stayed in Germany. Alone and moored. Left and right ships were sold or scrapped. She was kept only in reserve. But she was kept, maybe to her own surprise. And probably with a bit of luck. At anchor most likely in her hometown Kiel, the capital city of her namesake.
Suddenly, in 1925 engineers came. They made the same old sneering, demeaning comments, but they did not scrap her. They gave her new equipment. Remodeling her and modernising her (giving her glasses, maybe?).

And when the 1st of February 1926 arrives.... suddenly she is introduced to the country as the new flagship of the fleet! A mature lady in a modern, fancy dress. Appointed as primus inter pares. The most important and highly honoured ship of the Reichsmarine. And she gets to travel the world again in her new position. Her cousin, the Braunschweig, was mothballed for her. Braunschweig had been the first flagship of the whole fleet after the organisation of a fleet command in 1923.
Finally she gets attention, and care and love and admiration. The young, new ships who are now build to replace the other old ladies find her as the mother of the fleet and the grand lady. And she shows them the world in fleet cruises to Spain, Portugal and Norway. And in 1928 a young, dynamic man is appointed supreme commander of the fleet: Admiral Erich Raeder. She knows him. He has been commanding Vice-admiral of the baltic station, based in Kiel for a while now. It was under him she got all those modernisations. And he probably advocated for her to become the flagship. And he will keep her when he hands over the Reichsmarine to Adolf Hitler.
Noteworthy is also the more than average enthusiasm of the people in Schleswig-Holstein for german nationalism in general and the national socialist movement under a man called Adolf Hitler in particular. The NSDAP got over 50% of the votes in July 1932 already. And in 1930 missed relative majority only by 2%. And the mayor of her hometown Kiel until 1933 is a man from the DVP, the nationalist party. I can see her being a german nationalist, looking for a new strong nationalistic power. Disappointed by the monarchy now looking for a strong politican to restore the Reich to its former glory.

When the Reichsmarine is rebranded into the Kriegsmarine at the 2nd May of 1935 and a wind of change sweeps, again, over her deck she already knows: She will remain the flagship. She's even reintroduced as flagship of the "new" navy, instead of simply kept in her position. The first flagship of the new Marine, of the new time. There is now a new, younger Deutschland-class around, but she is now in a position to hand over the banner to the new generation, with a calm mind. In September 1935 she hands over the position of the flagship to the younger ones and gets used in a new, appropiate position: Training vessel for the new officers of the Kriegsmarine. Just as she has teached the other ships, she now teaches the new generation of officers. She shows them the ropes and the world. Europe, South America, the Carribean, Africa. (Seriously, if she doesn't have glasses, Salmon88 missed out on something, imho) The Nazis are good to her, they respect her and treat her well. They first entrusted her with the leading of the fleet and now with all those young aspiring officers. And she gets to show the world the new german power and glory.

Then comes the August of 1939. She is send on a "visit" to Danzig. Much to her surprise, since the Königsberg was scheduled to make that visit six months ago. What's more surprising she is to sail to Memel beforehand to take up soldiers. The Marinestoßtruppkompanie..... Who? She takes on those unknown sailors. She doesn't recognise the few officers of the 225 men. Subsequently she sails to Danzig where a lot of polish ships patrol the area. Awkward. She's got a hunch, but nothing serious. In late August a crisis manifests, the Poles refuse to hand over a corridor and/or Danzig. They protest against her presence in the cities harbour the 28th. Don't they know who she is? Stupid slavs. When she was born, their stupid country didn't even exist. Then she gets the secret order: Surprise fire on the Westernplatte. Landing of the soldiers to take it. Excellent. If they don't let Danzig go, we'll take it. The target's just a small ammunition depot for the Poles. It should be easy.

Then the night of the 1st September arrives, her cannons go off without warning and in her enthusiasm she aims way too high. She puts on her glasses while she tries to make out the ballistic curve of the shells and says: "Huch, in der Aufregung glatt daneben, was Kapitän?" Only then she realises everyone is staring at her. They can see her. And she can feel "it" rising in the Danzig Bay, heading for the city. Something has to be done.....


Now those are just assumptions and I'm sure BCS writers have made completely different conclusions. But this text is about a ship and a Walküre -hence why it's here- to help @TwoHeavens to depict her. I hope it helps as a starting point.

Also for some reason I consider her to be the most fun of the Kriegsmarine to speculate on until the game is released.



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Thank you Korky, I couldn't ask for a more detailed analysis to build a character out of. Moral simplicity and character simplicity is a sin after all, and S-H in particular has incredible potential as a character. This little project will like as not be on the shelf as I finish other writing obligations elsewhere, but the possibilities are quite exciting. 

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  • 2 years later...

I'm currently reading her logbook from when she sets out from Swinemünde to Danzig. (Bundesarchiv RM 134/311)

And i was wrong. She knows why she's in Danzig. The Kapitän informs the crew on 24th of August at 1200 Zulu about the whole gig. BUT! Storming the Westerplatte was actually his idea. The original order told the Marineinfanterie and the Gruppe Erhardt to just "secure" it, so the Poles won't get out - and yes, everyone assures the Kapitän it would be easy. The Polish deceit worked.

On the 25th around noon, the Polish representative to the city of Danzig makes a visit under "peace ceremony" appearance. (Dunno, all Marineinfanterie was stacked bleow deck and the rest whistled innocently around?) 

S-H was received with great "Hurra!" (enthusiasm) in Danzig much to the dislike of the Police and Militia, who were on Germanys side and had made clandestine preparations for the attack until then. 

About said preparations: The original order to attack at 0430zulu (Y-time) on the 26th arrives at 1648z and gets taken back at 2120z....ten minutes before the Marineinfaterie was about to leave the ship and attack. "The company is very disappointed"

Problem on the 26th..... disguising and concealing the Marineinfanterie, because they "need to get some fresh air". In the greater picture.....finding the balance between "battle stations" and "appearing as a "peace visit". Sailors get shore leave as long as they stay on the pier.
Entry 0800z Westerplatte seems to have "calmed down"(?)..... do the Poles know what's (not yet) coming?
Entry 1200z: Yep, they know it. Defensive installations got faced towards the ship. 

Pharus-Shop - Bild  1792b-Pharus-Historischer-Stadtplan-Danzig-1923-Ausschnitt-Westerplatte -und-Neufahrwasser.jpg

Subsequently during the Afternoon: Relocation of the S-H on Kapitäns orders from the position A ~south ouf the "n" in Kanal in direct opposition to the street "Salz S."(peicher) to the position B on the very edge of the map right next to the word "Hafenoberkontrolle Zollwache". He fears a raid on the S-H by now prepared Polish troops. The Zollbuilding gets even mentioned later in the day, since there is a cinematic event that evening to get the morale back up. Crew gets ferried across the channel. Commander of the Marineinfantrie (yes, I refuse to call them Marines, since that's confusing a heck in a Kriegsmarine setting) sneaks out to scout the south of the Westerplatte.
Later that day Kapitän half-heartedly regrets to have put down a breakfast invitation by the Polish commissar for Danzig, who visited the ship the day before..... but the Reich wished it.

DURING THE MOVEMENT OF S-H FROM A to B THERE IS A ALARM GOING OFF ON THE WESTERPLATTE! OBSERVERS GET OBSERVED TOGETHER WITH MG POSITIONING AND "A GREAT UNREST" IS OBSERVED. During the night reports reach the ship of "great business" in the part of the Westerplatte facing the ship now. (Why not move it around the next days to xxx the Poles up for a few days? But this idea did not make it into the log)

27 of August: Great Katzenjammer in the top brass meeting. Everyone expected to be killing Poles by now. Accepting an invitation by the Netherlandic chairman of the LoN harbour commitee to give a peaceful impression..... at the same time air recon of Westerplatte (which apparently did not happen before?). Kapitän is a bit miffed about the discrepancy what he was expecting and what he finds in that regard. They figured the Westerplatte would be taken in one day.

28th: Nothing really new. Only now true coordination for the attack starts between ship and land forces. 

29th: Topp hoisted in memorial of the Tannenberg battle (of WW1), Kapitän gets the assurance of 500t petrol for the next day from..... the Polish Petroleum Company (is anyone else laughing in disbelief?).

30th: The PPC delivers 500to of petrol for the S-H..... 1920z: News of the Polish mobilization (those war mongers, right?) reach the S-H. Shore leave canceled. At 2100z three polish destroyer are reported heading North are reported 30gnm north of Rixhöft/Rozewie. ~2400z Report of Königberg about three "darkened" ships heading for the Sund (Danish waters) with high speed.

31st: At night a darkened trawler cruises near the harbour entrance. At morning, not possible to do recon on Gdingen or Hela, since the weather is shite. 0830z Report about the completed flight of the three Polish ships (Operation Peking). Report is allowed to be reported be the press. 1145z A "certain arranged" report reaches the Captain form the liaison of the Marineinfanterie, which indicates Y-time is now early 1st of September. 1615z Kapitän informs "I.O." (First officer - yes. That's corrrect. Kriegsmarine has first officers, not XOs) and Marineinfanterie commander are informed about the attack the next day, to recalibrate their preparations. 1500z meeting with the harbour builder in chief and the commander of the Marineinfanterie about Westerplatte. Marineinfanterie asks S-H to blast holes in the wall so a diversion can take place there, while the main body of the attack will face the "Iron Gates". 
1835z radio signal with code word for attack on Sep 1st. Affirmative radio sign at 2400z only makes its way to the Kapitän at 0345z.
Preparations start at 1850z however and are completed at 2100z, so no problem.
2100z: Marineinfanterie gets shored with heavy equipment.

1st of September: Done at 0100z. At the same time 6 MG crews get sent to the old position of the S-H to take up positions on buildings to strafe Westerplatte from the side.
0400z S-H ready to attack, dawn breaks fast, no special sighting on Westerplatte. Marineinfanterie is supposed to have taken positions on the Mövenschanze (Mewi Szaniec, if yo ulook for it). 
0430z "Alert!" to all stations. Since only one trawler can assist, so the other won't block the line of fire, S-H manouvres around to get into a favourable position.
0443z S-H clear and steams towards Westerplatte. Radio to all stations "Schiff geht zum Angriff auf Westerplatte vor!" (Ship moves in to attack westerplatte)
0447z Permission to fire!

0448-0455z 8 shots main battery, 59shots middle artillery and 600 rounds MG fired (all in 7 minutes!) towards the southwestern part of the Westerplatte. Main target is the "Hafenbauressort" (on the map on the right edge visible with the letters "Hafe"), because it blocks the line of fire towards the Westerplatte. It is immediately engulfed in flames since it is wooden and full of various fuels.

The German-Polish war has begun. ... and the rest is V-B history from here on out.

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