Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung 1943 01 07 nr 01 (PDF)



Cover: Recently liberated inhabitants of the Caucasus now fighting against the Soviets ….. Sinking of German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis and the rescue of her crew by German and Italian submarines ….. Atlantis was involved in sinking of SS Automedon and capture of some top secret documents …. Here is the story from Wikipedia – At about 07:00 on 11 November 1940, Atlantis encountered the Blue Funnel Line cargo ship Automedon about 250 mi (400 km) northwest of Sumatra. At 08:20, Atlantis fired a warning shot across Automedon’s bow, and her radio operator at once began transmitting a distress call of “RRRR Automedon 0416N” (“RRRR” meant “under attack by armed raider”). ….. At a range of around 2,000 yd (1,800 m), Atlantis shelled Automedon, ceasing fire after three minutes in which she had destroyed her bridge, accommodation, and lifeboats. Six crew members were killed and twelve injured. ….. The Germans boarded the stricken ship and broke into the strong room, where they found fifteen bags of Top Secret mail for the British Far East Command, including a large quantity of decoding tables, fleet orders, gunnery instructions, and naval intelligence reports. After wasting an hour breaking open the ship’s safe only to discover “a few shillings in cash”, a search of the Automedon’s chart room found a small weighted green bag marked “Highly Confidential” containing the Chief of Staff’s report to the Commander in Chief Far East, Robert Brooke Popham. The bag was supposed to be thrown overboard if there was risk of loss, but the personnel responsible for this had been killed or incapacitated. The report contained the latest assessment of the Japanese Empire’s military strength in the Far East, along with details of Royal Air Force units, naval strength, and notes on Singapore’s defenses. It painted a gloomy picture of British land and naval capabilities in the Far East, and declared that Britain was too weak to risk war with Japan.[5]:117 ….. Automedon was sunk at 15:07. Rogge soon realized the importance of the intelligence material he had captured and quickly transferred the documents to the recently acquired prize vessel Ole Jacob, ordering Lieutenant Commander Paul Kamenz and six of his crew to take charge of the vessel. After an uneventful voyage they arrived in Kobe, Japan, on 4 December 1940. ….. The mail reached the German Embassy in Tokyo on 5 December. The German Naval attach Paul Wenneker had the summary of the British plan wired to Berlin, while the original was hand-carried by Kamenz to Berlin via the Trans-Siberian railway. A copy was given to the Japanese, to whom it provided valuable intelligence prior to their commencing hostilities against the Western Powers. Rogge was rewarded for this with an ornate Samurai sword; the only other Germans so honored were Hermann Gering and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. ….. After reading the captured Chief of Staff report, on 7 January 1941 Japanese Admiral Yamamoto wrote to the Naval Minister asking whether, if Japan knocked out America, the remaining British and Dutch forces would be suitably weakened for the Japanese to deliver a death blow; the Automedon intelligence on the weakness of the British Empire is thus credibly linked with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the attack leading to the fall of Singapore. ….. French POW going home ….. German soldiers building gun position on the Atlantic coast ….. Blue Division celebrates ….. Panic in Medrano