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
When we sailed from New York, on 3
, 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 But he has been
replaced by an American operator.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
we were halted by a flag signals from the
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
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
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
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.
The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
2194 Days Of War.
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