Lot 735

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Photo album, 16 1/2"x 11", with black leather covers bearing the coat of arms of the German state of Braunschweig, and the phrase "Linienschiff Braunschwieg" (lit." Ship-of-the-line Braunschweig"). The album contains 166 photographs, the majority of them real photo postcards, depicting the ships and crews of the Reichsmarine during the 1920's. The pre-dreadnought battleship SMS Braunschweig, which with her sisters formed the backbone of the post World War I navy, is shown undergoing training cruises, gun drills, goodwill tours to ports in Norway and the Far East, joint maneuvers with other Reichsmarine destroyers and minesweepers, and in port at Wilhelmshaven. Also well represented is the light cruiser SMS Emden, the first large warship to be constructed by Germany under the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles. A paper label bearing the name of the ship and its coat of arms is affixed to the inside of the front cover, leading us to believe that the album was assembled by a sailor stationed both on the Braunschweig and later on the Emden. The Emden is shown during construction, on her launch day, and underway with crew aboard, following her commissioning. Other Reichsmarine ships featured include the light cruiser SMS Arcona, the minesweeper M138, and various destroyers and torpedo boats. Other photos show sailors dancing with companions on the fantail of the Brauschweig, mountaineering in a fjord, exercising on deck, and eating in a cafe. Altogether, the album is a fascinating window into the German Navy as it existed following World War I, but before the rise of Hitler.

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May 25, 2016 10:30 AM EDT
Elkton, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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