Witnessing the sea battle between the German Aux Cruiser "Stier" and the Liberty Ship "Harry Hopkins"
September 11, 2010
Sir, just read your article and decided to add some to it...My Father was returning from the States to his born
Three days into Russia Germany declared war on Russia. He was interned with other Germans in Omsk Siberia.
He was a licensed Merchant Marine in the past.All of this is somewhat conjecture on my part but not the tidbits of story he spoke of as far back as 1943-1945 when we sons were 10-15 years of age and before any real stories emerged in writing. All of his stories were of the eyewitness type and just repeated from second hand knowledge.
After he arrived in Japan Dec 12 1941 he resided in Tokyo and Yokohama until he boarded the Tannenfel supply ship back to France but not before witnessing the sea battle between the German Aux Cruiser "Stier" and the Liberty Ship "Harry Hopkins". they returned to france together (That is with the Stiers crew) in the Tannenfels Nov 1942.
He was awarded iron cross 2 as the history shows in todays books having been awarded for the Kormoran. He
My name is John Knackstadt alias Knackstedt one of three sons and a daughter of his living today in the States and Canada.
I guess you are refering to my piece about the fight with Stier and the Merchant Ship Stephen Hopkins at our URL:
What a fascinating story about your Father.
Thank you for sharing it with me.
Thank you for responding to my mail.
Yes I was responding to your "Stier meeting Hopkins" story. that is one battle I am not sure he witnessed whether directly in the Stier while assigned as paint and scrape crew from the Tannenfels or as a passenger crew of the Tannenfels. His stories to us were related early in time (1943-1945) in Germany before they were even written about in books and were later verified in our minds from books written in the 50's and later. He spoke of a shell hitting the door leading to the hospital section, being sprayed with light weapons fire from the Hopkins, and the last shell that penetrated the Stier at the waterline and that being the death blow for them. To his great surprise was
But his stories to us also included that period of Aug 22 1941 - 12 Dec 1941 where he disappears from the radar
His passport showed no exit stamps leaving china after his prisoner exchange at Manzhouli. He described that
Son #2 Johann (John) K.
My thanks for the additional information about your Father John Knackstadt.
What a charmed and interesting life he led in WW2.