Schiff 21 - Widder

Hilfskreuzer (HSK 3)

Schiff 21 Widder in Bergen, Norway 8.5.1940.




Denmark Strait



(Schiff 21)

Raider D

Swedish - "Narvik"
Spanish - "Astoi Mendi"
Spanish - "El Neptuno"


1940: supported by weather ship:
WBS 5 :
Adolf Vinnen

Widder (HSK III, SCHIFF 21) was formerly Neumark, belonging to Hamburg-Amerika-Linie in Hamburg, build 1930, 7851 gt, top speed 14 knots. Captain was Hellmuth von Ruckteschell. Widder went out from Kiel on May 5-1940 and returned to Brest in France on October 31-1940. On her 180-days voyage she sunk or captured 10 ships (58.644 gross tons). From 1941 Widder was used as repair ship Neumark in Norway.

Operations 5.5. - 31.10. 1940

Support from Weather ships and Weather flights:

2.5.1940: Seekriegsleitung issues following orders to Marinekommando West: New-moon period may has to used for the breakout of Schiff 21. Seekriegsleitung suggest following actions: First transfer from Kiel to Bergen to change identity. If weather is beneficial for at breakthrough into the area 200 sm northwest of Stadtlandet the ship leaves Bergen. Weather and Ship Reconnaissance by WBS 5 Adolf Vinnen. Schiff 21 stays under command of Marinegruppecommando West until it passed 60' north in the Atlantic. Schiff 21 will be ready on 4th May 1940.

4.5.1940: Bergen/Stavanger - Admiral Westküste receives order to fasten the deployment of WBS 5 Adolf Vinnen which should observe the area around Iceland.

5.5.1940: Bergen - WBS 5 Adolf Vinnen sets sail towards the Iceland area camouflaged as Belgian steamer.

"Widder" - Possible mail connections


Port / Ship


to 5.5.1940

Kiel, Germany

In & Out


Bergen and Hjeltefjord Out (?)

app. 5.6.1940

Meet supply ship Königsberg (from Belem, Brazil). After refuelling Köningsberg proceed to Vigo, Spain. On 16.6.40 Königsberg was scuttled by her crew as she was stopped by a french cruiser.



Widder release the captured Norwegian tanker Krossfonn and sends her with a prize crew to a French harbour. Krossfonn arrives at Loreint on 7.7.1940.



Widder reports to have received supplies sailed from the tanker Rekum (Sailed from Tenerife on 17.7.1940). Rekum proceed to supply Schiff 10 Thor.

In & Out


Meet tanker Eurofeld and receive fuel and supplies.

In & Out

from 31.10.1940

Brest, France

In & Out

Danzig 25.4.1940 to Feldpost M 29834 = Schiff 21 Widder in Kiel.       

Rottweil 27.11.1940 to Feldpost M 29834 = Schiff 21 Widder.
Forwarded to
Feldpost 15930 = Marine-Arsenal Brest in France.

M 29834 = Schiff 21 Widder.

Feldpost Nr.
M 29834

1939 - (14.2.42)
Hilfskreuzer III
Hilfskreuzer 3
Handelsschutzkreuzer 3
Schiff No. 21

From: "Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945" by Norbert Kannapin.


Schiff 21 Widder disguised as the Spanish freighter "El Neptuno"

Concealed gun on Widder


War Records  5.5.40 -  31.10.40

Prize Name Type Flag Date Tonnage Fate
British Petrol Tanker United Kingdom 13-6-40 6891 Sunk
Krossfonn Tanker Norway 26-6-40 9323 Captured
Davisian Freighter United Kingdom 10-7-40 6433 Sunk
King John Freighter United Kingdom 13-7-40 5228 Sunk
Beaulieu Tanker Norway 4-8-40 6114 Sunk
Oosplein Freighter Netherlands 8-8-40 5059 Sunk
Killoran Barque Finland 10-8-40 1817 Sunk
Anglo Saxon Freighter United Kingdom 21-8-40 5596 Sunk
Cymbeline Tanker United Kingdom 2-9-40 6317 Sunk
Antonios Chandris Freighter Greece 8-9-40 5866 Sunk
Total by Schiff 21 Widder:



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Update: 27.12.2004