Lot 732

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SMS Thueringen was the third vessel of the Helgoland class of dreadnought battleships of the German Imperial Navy. Thueringen's keel was laid in November 1908 at the AG Weser dockyard in Bremen. She was launched in 1909 and commissioned into the fleet in July 1911. Thueringen was assigned to I Battle Squadron of the High Seas Fleet for the majority of her career, including World War I. Along with her three sister ships, Thueringen participated in all of the major fleet operations of World War I in the North Sea against the British Grand Fleet. This included the Battle of Jutland on 31 May and 1 June 1916, the largest naval battle of the war. Thueringen was involved in the heavy night fighting at Jutland, including the destruction of the armored cruiser HMS Black Prince. The ship also saw action against the Imperial Russian Navy in the Baltic Sea, where she participated in the unsuccessful first incursion into the Gulf of Riga in August 1915. Great content presentation portfolio embossed on the cover with the coat of arms of the German state Thuringia and 'S.M.S. Thueringen 31.May- 1.June 1916. This scrapbook possibly belonged to the vessel's First Officer and Corvette Captain, Georg Roedenbeck. A small sampling of the items within includes: A large foldout of the Special Edition of the Wilhelmshavener Tageblatt from June 2, 1916 announcing the 'Great Victory at Sea Against the English'. The second page contains the battle report of May 31 and June 1, 1916, marked 'Geheim' ('Secret'), 5pp., dated 2 June 1916 and addressed to the Imperial Command of the 1. Squadron, (most likely written by Admiral Reinhard Scheer). At the end of the report, it is requested to award captain lieutenant Adolf Franz the Iron Cross, First Class for commanding the artillery. Also present is an 8pp. booklet 'S.M.S. Thueringen in Battle at Skagerrak' by Hermann Katsch, assistant doctor on board of the Thueringen and a 2pp. poem by Katsch. Very good. WITH: A radio telegram dated June 1, 1917 [typo, meant 1916] From [SMS] Friedrich der Grosse 'To Fleet In proud gratitude for the safe conduct of the units and ships and for the devoted skill of the crews, I express my warmest appreciation to the fleet by commemorating the comrades who gave their blood and life for our fatherland and our emperor. Hochseechef' [Admiral Reinhard Scheer]; a second radiogram dated June 1 'To I.O. [First Officer Roedenbeck] I express my appreciation to the commander [Captain at Sea Hans Kuesel] and crews for their excellent navigation, especially during the night, and their ability to fight. The crews must be informed of this. Hochseechef'; a copy page of congratulatory wishes from German nobility, followed by a copy of a news report from Henning von Holtzendorff, Head of the Imperial Admiralty Staff, and the typed text of the radiogram from Scheer, here dated correctly June 1, 1916. WITH: A typed document signed by Corvette Captain Roedenbeck to Imperial Lieutenant at Sea Ferdinand Schmidt, dated 20. July 1916, informing him that he was awarded the 'Ducal Saxe-Ernestine House Order Knight's Cross Second Class with Swords.' WITH: A typed telegram from the officers of the S.M.S. Thueringen to Corvette Capitain Roedenbeck congratulating him for receiving the Iron Cross First Class. After the German collapse in November 1918, most of the High Seas Fleet was interned in Scapa Flow during the peace talks. The four Helgoland-class ships were allowed to remain in Germany and were thus spared the destruction of the fleet in Scapa Flow. Thueringen was eventually ceded to the victorious Allied powers as war reparations; she was transferred to France in April 1920 and used as a target ship for the French Navy. She was sunk off Gavres and broken up in situ in 1923-1933, though some sections of the ship remain.

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May 22, 2021 10:00 AM EDT
Chesapeake City, MD, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $499 $20
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 + $10,000