Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Theodor Detmers


Branch: Kriegsmarine
Born: 22 August 1902 in Ruhr, Witten, Germany.
Died: 4 November 1976 in Rahlstedt, Hamburg, Germany.

Kapitän zur See
Oberleutnant zur See
Leutnant zur See
Oberfähnrich zur See
Fähnrich zur See


Hermann Schoemann
Takes command on October 1938
Ends command on July 1940

Takes command on 9 October 1940
Ends command on 20 November 1941

Personal Information:

Theodor Detmers was born on 22 August 1902 in Witten, Ruhr and was a serving member of the Kriegsmarine during World War II and managed to attain the rank of Kapitän zur See and went on to command the following Hermann Schoemann and Kormoran.

Theodor Detmers joined the German Navy in 1921 and served on the battleship SMS Hannover and SMS Elsass. He was schooled on the Segelschiff Niobe and also served aboard the SMS Berlin. Theodor Detmers became a sublieutenant on the Emden. From 1926 to 1928, he served on the Albatross and, as of 1927, was a lieutenant. From 1930 to 1932, he served as staff officer and was then based on the cruiser Köln, on which he visited Australia in 1933.
In 1934, he served on torpedo boats and destroyers of the German Navy. In October 1938, he was in command of the destroyer Hermann Schoemann and took part in Operation Weserübung in April to June 1940.

In July 1940, Theodor Detmers became captain of the commerce raider Kormoran, and captured or destroyed 11 enemy merchantmen. On 19 November 1941 the Kormoran was intercepted by Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney. Theodor Detmers tried to pose as a Dutch merchantman. Theodor Detmers allegedly lacked the essential naval ciphers, nevertheless, heodor Detmers was eventually forced to engage HMAS Sydney. Theodor Detmers sank the HMAS Sydneyher way in combat off Western Australia. His own ship was seriously damaged and had to be scuttled, after which Theodor Detmers was captured and became a POW (prisoner of war).

Theodor Detmers was held as a prisoner of war at HM Prison Dhurringile till January 1947. In December 1941, Theodor Detmers was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and in 1943, was promoted to the rank of Kapitän zur See. Theodor Detmers had originally received the first class Iron Cross. Theodor Detmers and the engagement between Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney and Kormoran was also mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht on, 3 December 1941. Whilst a captive, he wrote a encrypted account of the battle between HMAS Sydney and German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran that came through the war. Theodor Detmers tried to escape Australian imprisonment with other members of his crew, thru a tunnel and so hoping to appropriate a sailing boat to get to Indonesia nevertheless, the attempt was unsuccessful. Later during his captivity, he suffered a stroke.


Other: Personnel


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