SOME OF THE PRISONERS HELD AT
SPECIAL CAMP 11
Photo Courtesy Of Mark Lamerton author of: "Liberated By Force 135, The Liberation Of The Channel Islands In May 1945"
Vizeadmiral Friedrich Hüffmeier as a POW at Island Farm
NAME: Vizeadmiral Friedrich Hüffmeier
CAPTURED: St Peter Port, Guernsey, British Channel Islands
DATE: 9 May 1945
DATE OF BIRTH: 14 June 1898
PLACE OF BIRTH: Kunersdorf / Brandenburg
DATE OF DEATH: 13 January 1972
PLACE OF DEATH: Münster / Westfalen
OCCUPATION: Naval Officer
HAIR COLOUR: Dark Blonde
EYE COLOUR: Brown
NEXT OF KIN: Kaethe Hueffmeier, Muenster Westfalen,
NEXT OF KIN:
Kaethe Hueffmeier, Muenster Westfalen,(British Zone)
Commands & Assignments:
In Death of the Scharnhorst (Antony Bird, UK, 1983), author John Winton recounted the crew’s impression of Hüffmeier as commander:
“But it took only a short time for Scharnhorst’s ship company to decide, to a man that ‘Poldi’ Hüffmeier was a walking disaster area. They believed he owed his appointment more to social influence than to ability, and he quickly showed himself a poor seaman, with almost no talent at all for ship handling.”
The author recounted a few of the misfortunes experienced by Hüffmeier while commanding the Scharnhorst:
a) He ran Scharnhorst aground off Hela at 26 knots.
b) He managed to wrap a buoy wire around the starboard screw while leaving Gdynia harbor requiring dockyard repairs.
c) In August 1942, he collided with the submarine U 523 while on maneuvers in the Baltic requiring further repairs.
Decorations & Awards (included):
NOTE: It is likely Hüffmeier received the Iron Cross, 1st Class (1939) and the High Seas Fleet War Badge in World War II but no photographic or documentary evidence has been seen to support this assumption.
The Granville Raid
Vizeadmiral Hüffmeier directed a daring and highly successful raid on the French port of Granville, 8-9 March 1945. Although Hüffmeier took credit for the raid, Generalleutnant Rudolf Graf von Schmettow more than likely planned the raid before his dismissal. Despite the late stage of the war, German minesweepers and raiding parties sortied from the Channel Islands and boldly attacked the port. Kapitänleutnant Carl-Friedrich Mohr commanded the raiding force and was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 13 March 1945 for this action. Oberleutnant zur See der Reserve Otto Karl, commander of artillery lighter AF 65, also received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 March 1945 for his role in the raid. The following is a synopsis of the Granville Raid from The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II by Robert J. Cressman, Contemporary History Branch, Naval Historical Center, Chapter VII: 1945, supplemented with additional information from Michael Ginns’ article “The Granville Raid,” After the Battle magazine, Number 47, pp. 37-53.
8 March 1945 - Thursday
U.S. Submarine chaser PC-564 commanded by Lieutenant Percy Sandell, USNR, engages German minesweepers M 412, M 432, M 442 and M 452 and nine smaller craft off Chaussey. The Germans are bound for the port of Granville, France.
9 March 1945 - Friday
U.S. Submarine chaser PC-564, outgunned and badly damaged, manages to outrun the German force engaged late on 8 March and is grounded on the French coast at Pierre de Herpin light (15 men had prematurely abandoned ship of which 14 were captured by the German raiding force). French fishing boats arrive to help the wounded, and the next day, PC-564 is towed into St. Malo harbor. Shortly after PC-564 is knocked out of action, German raiding party attacks Granville, demolishing installations, releasing German POWs held there and sinking small British freighters Kyle Castle, Nephrite, and Parkwood, and Norwegian merchantman Heien. The Germans seize collier Eskwood and tow her to Jersey, in the Channel Islands. German minesweeper M 412 runs aground and is blown up when it is realized that extricating her from her predicament is impossible in the time allowed.
Generalleutnant Von Schmettow with Vizeadmiral Friedrich Hüffmeier
German band at St Peter Port, Guernsey
Note Lloyds Bank in the background - Gives you some idea of how a town in Great Britain
would have looked had Germany successfully invaded !
Click here to see a photo of Vizeadmiral Friedrich Hüffmeier in the company of fellow prisoners of war at Island Farm
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