SOME OF THE PRISONERS
SPECIAL CAMP 11
Vizeadmiral Thilo von Seebach
CAPTURED: Oslo, Norway
DATE: 2nd July 1945
30 June 1890
PLACE OF BIRTH: Leipzig
21 October 1966
PLACE OF DEATH: Rösrath / Nordrhein-Westfalen
OCCUPATION: Regular Soldier
HEIGHT: 5' 6"
HAIR COLOUR: Blonde
EYE COLOUR: Brown
NEXT OF KIN: Geraldine Seebach, Waterneveruorff. Ueber
Ostholstein, Luettjenburg (British Zone)
- Seekadett: 1 April 1909
- Fähnrich zur See: 12 April 1910
- Leutnant zur See: 19 September 1912
- Oberleutnant zur See: 30 January 1920 (RDA 2 May 1915)
- Charakter als Kapitänleutnant: 30 January 1920 (RDA 21 January 1920)
- Kapitänleutnant: 7 July 1920 (RDA 21 January 1920)
- Korvettenkapitän: 1 January 1928
- Fregattenkapitän: 1 January 1933
- Kapitän zur See: 1 October 1934
- Konteradmiral: 1 October 1938
- Vizeadmiral: 1 January 1941
Commands & Assignments:
- 1 April 1909: Entered the Imperial German Navy as
a Sea Cadet.
- 1 April 1909-31 March 1910: Initial training aboard
the protected cruiser Freya.
- 1 April 1910-30 September 1911: Naval School Mürwick
and Special Course.
- 1 October 1911-30 September 1913: Assigned to the
- 1 October 1913-20 April 1914: Company Officer in the
Cadre Detachment of the Matrosen-Artillery Battalion Kiautschou.
- 21 April 1914-10 June 1914: Outward voyage to Tsingtau,
- 11 June 1914-7 August 1914: Watch Officer aboard the
gunboat Iltis in the German East Asia Squadron. [On 27 January
1903, Kaiser Wilhelm II awarded the Prussian Order Pour le Mérite to the
gunboat Iltis for distinction in action during the bombardment
of the Taku Forts on 17 June 1900 during the Chinese Boxer Rebellion.
This was the only vessel of the Imperial German Navy to be so decorated.
On 28 September 1914, the Iltis was burned and scuttled to prevent
its capture by the Japanese at Tsingtau (see below). The gunboat’s weapons
were removed and, along with the crew, incorporated into the German land
defenses of Tsingtao.]
- 8 August 1914-7 November 1914: Commander of Battery
VIII on the landward side of Fortress Tsingtau. [A German colony and naval
base since 1897, Tsingtau was home to the German East Asia Squadron. On
18 September 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World War I, a powerful
Japanese Army force that ultimately numbered 60,000 troops with attached
British Army elements commanded by Lieutenant General Mitsuomi Kamio landed
north of Lao Shan Bay to besiege Tsintau from the landward side. The Japanese
Navy, with the British pre-dreadnought battleship HMS Triumph attached,
blockaded the port from the Yellow Sea. Approximately 4,800 German defenders,
including many recently recalled reservists, volunteers and members of
ships’ companies, manned a series of strong redoubts on the landward side
of the colony. After holding out under heavy attack from siege guns, naval
and air bombardment, and determined Japanese infantry assaults for as
long as possible, the German Governor, Kapitän zur See Alfred von Meyer-Waldeck,
surrendered Tsingtau on 7 November 1914.]
- 8 November 1914-26 December 1919: Prisoner of war
in Japanese captivity.
- 27 December 1919-26 February 1920: Return voyage to
Germany from Japan aboard the steamship Hafuken Maru.
- 27 February 1920-30 May 1920: Placed in “awaiting
orders” status and on leave.
- 31 May 1920-23 October 1920: Company Leader in II.
Battalion of Coast Defense Regiment Wilhelmshaven.
- 24 October 1920-11 April 1921: Company Leader in II.
Battalion of the North Sea Schiffsstammdivision [Ship’s Cadre Division].
- 12 April 1921-28 February 1922: Company Leader in
I. Battalion of the North Sea Schiffsstammdivision.
- 1 March 1922-24 September 1923: Third Artillery Officer
aboard the pre-dreadnought battleship Braunschweig.
- 25 September 1923-2 October 1927: Instructor at the
Coastal Artillery School.
- 3 October 1927-27 September 1928: Second Artillery
Officer aboard the pre-dreadnought battleship Schlesien.
- 28 September 1928-24 February 1930: Second Artillery
Officer aboard the pre-dreadnought battleship Schleswig-Holstein.
- 25 February
1930-3 September 1930: First Artillery Officer aboard the pre-dreadnought
- 4 September 1930-24 September 1936: Commander of the
Coastal Artillery School and, at the same time, Leader of the Land Artillery
- 25 September 1936-29 September 1937: Commander of
the pre-dreadnought battleship Schlesien.
- 30 September 1937-29 March 1939: Commandant of Fortifications
of the Pomeranian Coast.
- 23 January 1939-2 April 1939: At the same time, delegated
with the secondary duty position of Inspector of Naval Artillery and,
at the same time, presided over the Ship’s Artillery Testing Command and
the Land Artillery Testing Command.
- 3 April 1939-3 June 1941: Inspector of Naval Artillery
and, at the same time, presided over the Ship’s Artillery Testing Command
and the Land Artillery Testing Command.
- 7 April 1940-30 June 1941: At the same time, Coastal
Commander of the Western Baltic Sea.
- 4 June 1941-7 September 1941: On sick leave.
- 8 September 1941-31 March 1943: Inspector of Naval
Artillery and, at the same time, presided over the Ship’s Artillery Testing
Command and the Land Artillery Testing Command.
- 1 April 1943-31 May 1943: At the disposal of the Commander-in-Chief
of the Navy.
- 31 May 1943: Retired from the Navy and placed on “zur
Verfügung” status (“at the disposal” of the Navy for the duration of World
- 1 July 1943-8 May 1945: Artillery Inspector and Admiral
for Special Employment in the Navy High Command Norway.
- 2nd July 1945
-15 October 1947: Prisoner of war in British captivity.
- 21st March 1947
transferred from Camp 99 to Island Farm Special Camp 11
- 10th October
1947 transferred to Hamburg via ship "El Nil"
Decorations & Awards:
German Cross in Silver: 18 April 1945, Vizeadmiral, Artillery
Inspector and Admiral for Special Employment in the Navy High Command
Iron Cross, 1st Class (1939)
Prussian Iron Cross, 2nd Class (1914) with 1939 Bar
War Merit Cross, 1st Class with Swords
War Merit Cross, 2nd Class with Swords
- Prussian Life Saving Medal on Ribbon
Cross of Honor for Combatants 1914-1918
Armed Forces Long Service Award, 1st Class (25-year Service
Armed Forces Long Service Award, 3rd Class (12-year Service
Navy Coastal Artillery War Badge
Badge (“Elephant Order”)
–This official pin-backed breast badge was
established by the Reich Minister of Reconstruction in October 1921 and
awarded on 22 March 1922 to all Germans who, during World War I and in
the former German Colonies, were acting or serving on behalf of the Colonies.
The badge featured an elephant in the center with the inscription “SÜDSEE
* AFRIKA * KIAUTSCHOU” around the rim. Note that in the photograph, von
Seebach is wearing this badge next to his Navy Coastal Artillery War Badge
to see a tentatively identified photo of Vizeadmiral Thilo von Seebach in the
company of fellow prisoners of war at Island Farm.
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