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Widder HSK 3

Auxiliary Cruiser

Widder HSK 3 Auxiliary cruisers

Service Data

In Service: 30 November 1939 to 31 October 1941

Production Data

Builder: Howaldtswerke AG, Kiel
Construction No:
Laid down: 1929
Launched: 1930
Commissioned: 30 November 1939

Technical Data

Type: Auxiliary cruiser
Class: Hilfskreuzer (Raider), converted freighter

Displacement: 16,800 tons
Length: 152 m
Beam: 18.2 m
Draft: 8.3 m
Propulsion: 1 × geared turbine, 4 × boilers producing up to 6200 hp
Propellers: 1
Speed: 14 knots
Range: 34,000 nautical miles at 10 knots
Crew: 364 men and officers
Armament: 6 × 15 cm, 1 × 75 mm, 1 × 2 3.7 cm,
2 × 2 20 mm, 4 × 53.3 cm torpedo tubes, 92 mines
Aircraft: 2 × Heinkel He 114 seaplanes
Operators: Kriegsmarine

Other: Auxiliary cruisers


Widder (HSK 3) was an auxiliary cruiser (hilfskreuzer) of the Kriegsmarine that functioned as a merchant raider throughout the Second World War. Identified in the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 21, to the Royal Navy she was labelled Raider D. Widder set sail as part of the German Navy's primary wave of commerce raiders, launching on 6 May 1940 under the command of Helmuth von Ruckteschell. Departing Germany on 6 May 1940 she navigated through the Denmark Strait, with her destination being her patrol area in the Atlantic. Across a 5 month duration she captured and sank ten ships, totalling 58,644 GRT. She was decommissioned in 1941.


30 November 1939 The Widder is commissioned.

13 June 1940 The Widder sinks the British Tanker Petrol (6,891 t)

26 June 1940
The Widder captured the Norwegian tanker Krosffon (9,323 t)

10 July 1940
The Widder sinks the British freighter Davisian (6,433 t)

13 July 1940
The Widder sinks the British freighter King John (5,228 t)

4 August 1940
The Widder sinks the Norwegian tanker Beaulieu (6,114 t)

8 August 1940
The Widder sinks the Dutch freighter Oostplein (5,059 t)

10 August 1940
The Widder sinks the three masted Finnish barque Killoran (1,817 t)

21 August 1940
The Widder sinks the British tramp freighter Anglo-Saxon (5,596 t)

2 September 1940
The Widder sinks the British tanker Cymbeline (6,317 t)

8 September 1940
The Widder sinks the Greek freighter Antonios Chandris 5,866 t)

31 October 1941
The Widder was decommissioned.

3 October 1955
The Widder (renamed to Fechenheim in 1950) was beached near Bergen during a heavy storm and broke up six days later.


Helmuth von Ruckteschell
Takes command on 30 November 1939
Ends command on 31 October 1941


Widder HSK 3 picture 2

Widder HSK 3 picture 3

Widder HSK 3 picture 4

Widder HSK 3 picture 5

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German Warships, 1815-1945: Major Surface Vessels.
ISBN-10: 0851775330

German Warships, 1815-1945: U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels.
ISBN-10: 155750301X

German warships of the Second World War.
ISBN-10: 0668040378

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