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I commanded the captured City of Flint

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I commanded the captured City of Flint

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I commanded the captured City of Flint.
Great interest was taken all over the world in the adventures of the American freighter, City of Flint, which was captured by the German pocket battleship, Deutschland, and later released by the Norwegian authorities. The master of the steamer, Captain Joseph H. Gainard, broadcast his story from Bergen to the United States on 6 November 1939.

When we sailed from New York, on 3 October 1939, said Captain Gainard, or precautions were taken to ensure the neutrality of the City of Flint. We had one British passenger. The radio operator. But he has been replaced by an American operator. On 9 October 1939 we were halted by a flag signals from the Deutschland. She fired a warning shot. We thought at first that she was French, not German. Three officers and 14 men came alongside in a boat. We don't want your ship. We want to see the manifest, they told us. When they found the City of Flint could carry passengers. They put 39 members of the Stonegate's crew aboard. The Stonegate, a British ship was sunk by the Deutschland. Eighteen of a prize crew came on board, with 60 handgrenades 12 rifles with bayonets, 20 pistols and one machine gun. They were not used, and finally turned over to the Norwegians at Haugesund. Lieutenant Hans Pussbach as captain of the price crew, addressed the crew in good English. We are proceeding as a prize to Germany. You obey your Captain. My soldiers will obey me. Attend to the safety of the ship. If you interfere ill put you in the boats and sink the ship. He then told the members of the Stonegates crew that the Americans would take care of them and that they were to obey me.
We proceeded by various courses until 18 October 1939. The Germans painted out all the American insignia and painted in the name Alf. The Danish flag was painted on canvas, but was never flown. On 22 October 1939 the German flag was hoisted, and we entered Tromsø. We moored under the directions of a Norwegian pilot And I was left in charge overnight. The Stonegate's crew were set ashore. We then sailed for Murmansk, where the German flag was again hoisted, continued captain Gainard. I tried the six days to get in touch with our ambassador but never succeeded. Eventually we were told that the ship was a German prize, and we must leave at once. The condition of my crew was good. We proceeded and took on fresh water at Tromsø.
We were stopped outside Trondhjem by two Norwegian destroyers, one of which was later replaced by the minesweeper Olav Tryggvasson (later she went on to serve in the Kriegsmarine as the Brummer). Lieutenant Hans Pussbach got orders from the Schwaben, which met us outside Bergen. The orders were shouted over the side, as soon as the two ships were near enough for him to answer, to anchor at Haugesund. Then the Norwegian officers came on board and took of the German price crew. They returned the ship to me.

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Deutschland picture 2

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Captain Joseph H. Gainard picture 1

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Sources

The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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