Count Dohna and His SeaGull ©
Ships - Wolf II
Wachtfels was built by Flensburger Schiffbau at Flensburg, Germany and launched in 1913. She was a steam freighter of the Hansa Line, 442 feet in length and of 5,809 tons with a speed of 10.5 knots.
Wachtfels was requisitioned by the German Navy in 1916 and renamed Jupiter. After serving brief duty as a submarine depot ship in the Baltic Sea she was renamed Wolf and outfitted as a commerce raider. Her armaments included six 150-mm guns, one 105-mm gun, three 52-mm guns and four 50-cm torpedo tubes. She carried 458 mines and a Friedrichshafen FF.33e seaplane used as a scout.
With Korvettenkapitan Karl August Nerger in command of a crew of 346, she sailed from Hamburg on December 17, 1916 escorted by the German submarine U-66. The first task for the raider Wolf was to set mines to disrupt shipping from the Far East to the United Kingdom. Three minefields were set at the Cape of Good Hope and additional fields set in Colombo and Bombay, British India. She then started to prey on merchant shipping.
Wolf captured a total of 14 ships, totaling 38,391 tons. She set additional minefields in the Tasman Sea. Her mines claimed 13 vessels totaling 75,888 tons. Accompanied by the captured Spanish steamer, Igotz Mendi, she headed back to Germany. Off Skagen, Denmark the Igotz Mendi went aground and was seized by the Danish military. Wolf reached Germany on February 24, 1918 after a voyage of 1 year, 2 months, and 25 days. She was used as an auxiliary ship in the Baltic Sea until the war ended.
Wolf was surrendered to France on April 5, 1919 as war reparations. Her new owners, Compagnie Messageries Maritimes, renamed her Antinous. In 1931 she was scrapped in Italy.
Before this raider Wolf there was another German commerce raider named Wolf. That ship never made it to sea and the name was passed on.
List of ships captured by Wolf during the voyage from November 30, 1916 to February 24, 1918. All vessels are British steamships unless otherwise noted.
Turritella, 5,528 tons, captured on January 27, 1917. Converted to the auxiliary cruiser Iltis, scuttled to avoid capture on March 15, 1917.
Jumna, 4,152 tons, captured on March 1, and sunk March 3, 1917.
Wordsworth, 3,509 tons, captured on March 11, and sunk March 18, 1917.
Dee, 1,169 tons, three-mast schooner captured and sunk March 30, 1917.
Wairuna, 3,947 tons, captured on June 2, and sunk June 17, 1917.
Winslow, 567 tons, United States four-mast schooner captured on June 16, and sunk June 22, 1917.
Beluga, 507 tons, United States steam whaler captured on July 9, and sunk July 11, 1917.
Encore, 651 tons, United States four-mast schooner captured and sunk July 17, 1917.
Matunga, 1,618 tons, captured on August 6, and sunk August 26, 1917.
Hitachi Maru, 6,557 tons, Japanese freighter captured on September 26, and sunk November 7, 1917.
Igotz Mendi, 4,648 tons, Spanish steamer captured on November 10, 1917 and stranded off Skagen, Denmark on February 24, 1918.
John H. Kirby, 1,296 tons, United States schooner captured on November 30, and sunk December 1, 1917.
Marechal Davout, 2,192 tons, French three-mast barque captured and sunk December 15, 1917.
Storebror, 2,050 tons, Norwegian four-mast bark captured and sunk January 4, 1918.
The 169 officers, crewmembers and passengers from the following ships were aboard Wolf when she landed at Kiel, Germany, on February 24, 1918.
List of ships sunk by mines set by Wolf during the voyage from November 30, 1916 to February 24, 1918. Five other steamships struck the mines but were not sunk.
Matheran, 7,654 tons, sunk January 26, 1917, off Cape of Good Hope.
Cilicia, 3,750 tons, sunk February 12, 1917, off Cape of Good Hope.
Worcestershire, 7,175 tons, sunk February 17, 1917, off Colombo, British India.
Perseus, 6,728 tons, sunk February 21, 1917, off Colombo.
C. de Eizaguirre, 4,376 tons, Spanish steamship sunk May 26, 1917, off Cape of Good Hope.
Unkai Maru, 2,143 tons, Japanese steamship sunk June 16, 1917, off Bombay, British India.
Mongolia, 9,505 tons, sunk June 24, 1917, off Bombay.
Wimmera, 3,622 tons, sunk June 26, 1917, off Cape Farewell, New Zealand.
Croxteth Hall, 5,872 tons, struck a mine July 6, 1917, off Bombay. Sank July 11 while being towed to Bombay.
Cumberland, 9,471 tons, sunk July 6, 1917, in the Tasman Sea.
Okhla, 5,288 tons, sunk July 29, 1917, off Bombay.
City of Athens, 5,604 tons, sunk August 10, 1917, off Cape of Good Hope.
Port Kembla, 4,700 tons, sunk September 18, 1917, in the Cook Strait, New Zealand.
Following World War I, the Torpedo Boat Wolf was built for the Germany Navy. She was launched October 12, 1927 and Christened by Dr. Karl August Nerger, commander of the WWI Raider with the same name.
On January 8, 1941, the Torpedo Boat Wolf struck a sea mine and sank in the English Channel off the coast of Northern France, with the loss of 45 souls.
RELATED WEB SITES:
Prisoners of War 1914-1918 The 169 souls landed by Wolf are listed here.
NARA US National Archives Records Administration.
SMS Wolf German torpedo boat in WWII.
KRIEGSFAHRTEN DEUTSCHER HANDELSSCHIFFE, by Carl Herbert.
KRIEGSFAHRTEN DEUTSCHER HILFSKREUZER, by Hermann Albert Karl Jung.
Hermann A. K. Jung was the Gunnery Officer on the SeaGull.
THE KAISER'S COOLIES, by Theodor Plivier.
Theodor Plivier seved on the raiders Wolf I and Wolf II.
AUF KAPERKURS, by Walter von Schoen.
DIE DEUTSCHEN KRIEGSSCHIFFE, Hans Otto Steinmetz.
Last Revision: March 4, 2007.
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