Georg Freiherr von Maltzahn’s report

Reading summary by Willi Küllertz

Georg Freiherr von Maltzahn’s report deals with the analysis of the battle in Biscay on December 28, 1943.
The author, born in 1953, worked as a flotilla admiral in the German Federal Navy until his retirement in 2016.
The report describes that all the factors that led to the end result previously made any chance of success almost impossible.
The task of the overall operation was to provide escort protection and the introduction of blockade breakers, which, for example, were to be loaded with war-essential raw materials from Japan to reach the ports of the French Atlantic coast.
The 8th destroyer flotilla under the command of Captain at Sea Hans Erdmenger and the 4th torpedo boat flotilla under the command of Corvette Captain Franz Kohlauf had to do this task.
The mere fact of using the destroyer and torpedo boat to perform these tasks was not optimal, but the only feasible option.
The personnel situation was also extremely unfavorable: by filling the rows with fresh, relatively inexperienced personnel, the experienced seafarers were missing on board.
The number of combat ships used was also relatively small, as many of the planned ones were not ready for use or were under repair.
In addition to these unfavorable initial conditions, there were other factors such as poor aerial reconnaissance, early detection by the enemy, bad weather, unnecessary contact with the enemy and so on.
Mixed with wrong tactical assumptions and the conclusions and misjudgments drawn from them, this project ultimately failed.

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