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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

german word for a Q-ship


Sue S
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Sue.

Some non-authoriatative suggestions (outright guesses) using Babelfish:

undercover boat = Innenabdeckung Boot

(along the same lines as undersea boat = Unterseeboot)

disguised ship = verkleidetes Schiff

decoy ship = Lockvogelschiff

(translated back to English, it returns bait ship)

Q-ship = Q-versenden Sie

raider = Räuber

regards,

Martin

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Sue,

"Ubootsfalle". Or simply "Falle" if the context was known.

Best wishes,

Michael

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Translating the name of WW2 U-boat commander Reinhard Hardegen into 'Pure Hard Hard Gene' has to rank as one of the great achievements of Babelfish.

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One of the issues here is the fact that the Germans, as far as I know, did not use disguised merchantmen for the same purpose as the British Q ships. However they did operate a system of Hilfskreuzer to influence the war against merchant shipping. This means that 'translation' of the expression 'Q Ship' will be just that - an explanation of a British system to a German reader.

The Royal Navy also had a system of auxiliary cruisers in both world wars, but I believe that they were always openly armed, whereas, by no later than early summer 1915 and following a fairly successful cruise by SMS Meteor which laid mines and sank a British merchantman and a British auxiliary cruiser before being sunk itself, the Germans shifted away from the use of heavily armed, high speed passenger ships which gobbled coal and were difficult to supply. Instead the Imperial German Navy moved over to the use of long-endurance merchantships with armament of up to seven 150mm guns and torpedo tubes in concealed mountings. They also laid mines; some of them being loaded with up to 600.

The primary idea was to threaten independent shipping and to force the Royal Navy to divert resources to the protection of the operations of the mercantile marine. After Meteor there were a further eight such ships converted, some of which were quite successful. SMS Moewe, operating as SMS Vineta sank 42 merchantmen during 186 days at sea and SMS Wolf(IV), which even had a seaplane on board, cruised for 444 days, sinking 27 merchantmen. Others were less obviously successful, so it is hard to see the Hilfskreuzer as a decisively important element in the war at sea.

Jack

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Jack,

The Germans did make limited use of Q-ships in the Baltic.

Best wishes,

Michael

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