Dithmarschen file photo [31572]

Dithmarschen-class Auxiliary

Ships in Class6
BuildersDeutsche Werke Kiel: 1
Howaldtswerke Kiel: 1
Deutsche Werft Hamburg: 1
F. Schichau Danzig: 3


This article refers to the entire Dithmarschen-class; it is not about an individual vessel.

ww2dbaseThe German Navy lacked overseas naval bases. After trials in the late 1920s and early 1930s, it decided upon the Dithmarschen-class design to address that particular need. Auxiliary ships of this design served several roles, including tanker, repair ship, ammunition ship, dry cargo ship, and hospital ship. They were fairly well armed, and were designed to be able to be at sea for an extended amount of time. Six ships of this class were launched, but only five would ultimately be completed.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Mar 2022

Dithmarschen-class Auxiliary Interactive Map

Dithmarschen-class Auxiliary Operational Timeline

11 Feb 1935 The order for the construction of Dithmarschen was issued.
6 Jun 1936 The keel of Dithmarschen was laid down by F. Schichau in Danzig.
14 Nov 1936 The keel of Westerwald was laid down by F. Schichau in Danzig.
18 Feb 1937 The construction of Franken was ordered.
18 Feb 1937 The order for the construction of Ermland was issued.
12 Jun 1937 Dithmarschen was launched by F. Schichau in Danzig.
5 Oct 1937 Westerwald was launched F. Schichau in Danzig.
17 Dec 1937 The keel of Ermland was laid down by F. Schichau in Danzig.
8 Jun 1939 Franken was launched at the Deutsche Werke Kiel shipyard in Kiel, Germany.
20 Jul 1939 Dithmarschen was commissioned into service.
22 Aug 1939 Westerwald began supporting German cruiser Deutschland in the Arctic Sea.
5 Oct 1939 Westerwald was officially commissioned into service, though she was already on a mission supporting cruiser Deutschland at this time.
28 Oct 1939 German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee received fuel from and transferred British prisoners to tanker Altmark near Tristan de Cunha in the South Atlantic.
12 Nov 1939 Westerwald completed supporting German cruiser Deutschland in the Arctic Sea.
14 Feb 1940 German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee's supply ship Altmark reached Norwegian territorial waters off Trondheim. It was Captain Heinrich Dau's intension to remain in neutral Norwegian waters to avoid an attack by the British.
16 Feb 1940 German freighter Altmark, former supply ship for pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee, was found by Hudson aircraft of No.233 Squadron RAF in Jøssingfjord, Norway. HMS Cossack captured Altmark and rescued 299 British prisoners of war aboard.
21 Jul 1940 Nordmark was damaged by British aircraft near Jutland, Denmark.
2 Sep 1940 Ermland was commissioned into service.
12 Sep 1940 Nordmark began supporting cruiser Admiral Scheer.
25 Oct 1940 Ermland was ordered to set sail on a supply mission for battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisneau.
28 Oct 1940 Ermland broke through the Denmark Strait into the North Atlantic Ocean, but since battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisneau could not do the same, Ermland was ordered to sail to Brest, France.
25 Jan 1941 Ermland was ordered to set sail on a supporting mission for battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisneau, as a part of Operation Berlin.
23 Mar 1941 Ermland officially completed its supporting mission for battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisneau as a part of Operation Berlin, as the two battlecruisers had arrived in Brest, France on the previous day.
21 May 1941 Nordmark completed supported cruiser Admiral Scheer.
27 May 1941 Ermland departed La Pallice, La Rochelle, France to support damaged battleship Bismarck, but the battleship's sinking led to Ermland's return before the end of the day.
8 Aug 1942 German 3rd Torpedo Boat Flotilla (T10, T13, and T14) began escorting oiler Ermland in an attempt to break out into the Atlantic Ocean.
11 Aug 1942 German oiler Ermland successfully broke out into the Atlantic Ocean via the Bay of Biscay, arriving at Royan, France; she was escorted by torpedo boats T10, T13, and T14 of German 3rd Torpedo Boat Flotilla.
15 Aug 1942 Uckermarck and Ermland departed Royan, France, escorted by torpedo boats T4 and T10, in an attempt to pass through the English Channel for coast of the Bay of Biscay.
16 Aug 1942 Uckermarck and Ermland arrived at La Pallice, La Rochelle, France; they were escorted by torpedo boats T4 and T10.
10 Sep 1942 Ermland struck a mine and suffered some damage.
17 Mar 1943 Franken was commissioned into service.
23 Sep 1943 Ermland was discovered and bombed by Allied aircraft, breaking in two, off Nantes, France.
11 Aug 1944 The wreck of Ermland was towed to Nantes, France and sunk as a block ship.
8 Apr 1945 Franken was struck by Soviet aircraft and sank near the Hela Peninsula off Danzig.
8 Aug 1945 Nordmark arrived at Rosyth, Scotland, United Kingdom.
15 Jan 1946 Dithmarschen was allocated to United States by the Inter-Allied Reparations Commission.
2 May 1946 USS Dithmarschen was commissioned into service with Captain Adolph Wilhelm Maddox in command.
8 May 1946 USS Dithmarschen arrived at Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, United States.
1 Oct 1946 USS Dithmarschen was placed out of service, renamed Conecuh, and reclassified as a fleet oiler.
24 Oct 1946 USS Conecuh was decommissioned from service.
4 Sep 1952 Conecuh was reclassified as a replenishment tanker.
16 Feb 1953 USS Conecuh was recommissioned into service with Commander Mason Behr Freeman in command.
3 Jun 1953 Captain Richard Ross Hay was made the commanding officer of USS Conecuh.
30 Jun 1954 USS Conecuh began an overhaul at Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, United States.
4 Mar 1955 USS Conecuh completed her overhaul at Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, United States.
4 Oct 1955 Northmark was scrapped.
10 Jan 1956 Lieutenant Commander John Louis Hostinsky was made the commanding officer of USS Conecuh.
3 Apr 1956 USS Conecuh was decommissioned from service at Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, United States and was transferred to the National Defense Reserve Fleet (James River Group, located at Lee Hall, Virginia near Newport News).
1 Jun 1960 Conecuh was struck from the US Naval Register.
1 Nov 1960 Conecuh was sold, for scrapping, to Southeastern Rail & Steel Company in the amount of $136,688.00.
23 Nov 1960 Conecuh was officially struck from the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

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Ships of this Class:
» Altmark
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» Ermland
» Franken
» Havelland
» Nordmark

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