German cruiser wreck  at Rabaul?

Good morning.

Myself, a swede, joined a WWII pacific tour in march/april this year. During the approach to Rabaul somebody (of the guides) did mention, that a german cruiser wreck was the base for a wave breaker in that harbour. My question now is, if this is correct, what cruiser? Maybe a WWI cruiser?

sincerely, Hans Andersson, Malmo, Sweden


I am unaware of any German cruiser being sunk off Rabaul in either WW1 or WW2.

During WW1 thetwo Australian Submarines AE 1 and AE 2 both operated off Rabaul, AE 1 disappeared, never to be found to this day.

AE 2 went off to distinguish herself by penetrating the Dardenelles during the Gallipoli landings in 1915.

I am unable to throw any light on the suggestion that a sunken German cruiser forms a breakwater at Rabaul,  and can only suggest this is a local myth.

I have visited Malmo, but it was many years ago now.

Nice to hear from you.



About Rabaul and a sunken cruiser this one may more close to the mark, a  Japanese one rather than a German cruiser, of which I had no knowledge.

A report in the London Times:

Dated 23 May 1942 "Allied aircraft operating over Rabaul on Friday set fire to and probably sank a Japanese heavy cruiser in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire from the ground and from ships in the harbour."

I do not have a ship's name.

Best regards, 
Mac. Gregory.


This came to me from a friend in Texas.

It seems a large number of wrecks are around Rabaul, as a result of WW2.

Best wishes, 
Mac. Gregory.

Hi Mac, I didn't know if Hans has seen this book but it might answer his question.
Shipwrecks - Rabaul

An excellent reference on this subject is:

"Rabaul's Forgotten Fleet"
Authors:  Monica Foster, and Peter Stone

A truly remarkable book, documenting in detail 15 large wrecks (from a total of 50) still resting in Rabaul waters, and an incredible variety of  facts covering all aspects of both war and peace in this paradise that has known such extremes.

Published by:
Oceans Enterprises
303 Commercial Road, Yarram  VIC  3971 Australia

To quote some fascinating statistics from this book:

"According to the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey, (The Allied Campaign Against Rabaul), 154 large freighters, 70 small cargo ships, 517 barges and four submarines were sunk in Rabaul waters during the war(WWII)".

Thank you for all messages. Ed Bears or was it Bob Reynolds from Valor Tours who mentioned about this wreck. Was supposed to be a German cruiser - towed to Rabaul and I thought it should be the one at Bikini-blast and perhaps not sunk there. However, as from Malmo town (I am 67) I still remember Liberators and Flying Fortresses who took refuge in Malmo after returned from bomb runs in eastern Germany. One pilot (at the hospital) married the nurse in our house and brought with him bananas and these were distributed by the nurse to families with children in the house.

My father got one banana; he cut it in 5 pieces for me and my brothers and I spit it out (had not been eating that before). The nurse, Karin Lindvall, married the pilot; he later became general in AAF, stationed in Germany. See, this is one of a story never told....

Sincerly, Hans Andersson, Malmo, Sweden

(Ed Bears from History America)

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