SMS Gneisenau Far East Photo Collection, 1910-1911

This is the catalog page for a collection of 180 or so photographs taken during the 1910-1911 deployment of SMS Gneisenau to the Far East. SMS Gneisenau was an armored cruiser of the Kaiserliche Marine, or German Imperial Navy. As photos are scanned and posted, links to the posts will be added to this catalog listing below.

WARNING: Some images in this collection, particularly those depicting death or nonsexual nudity, may be disturbing to some viewers. If you are sensitive to these types of images, or if they are prohibited in your area, then do not view them. The pages that contain these images will be marked appropriately.

SMS Gneisenau

SMS Gneisenau

The dates and ports of call visited on the deployment were as follows. (A composite image of the travel chart is available below.)

  • 16 Nov: Malaga
  • 22 Nov – 25 Nov: Port Said
  • ~6 Dec – ~11 Dec: Colombo, (Sri Lanka)
  • 14 Dec – 4 Jan: Bombay
  • 4 Jan – 12 Jan: Yaigarh(?), just south of Bombay
  • 14 Jan – 18 Jan: Corhin (India)
  • 19 Jan – 29 Jan: Colombo, (Sri Lanka)
  • 2 Feb – ~17 Feb: Calcutta
  • 23 Feb – 27 Feb: Singapore
  • 5 Mar – 7 Mar: Hong Kong
  • 8 Mar – ~10 Mar: Amoy
  • ~14 Mar: Arrive Tsingtau
Travel Chart for Gneisenau 1910 travel to Far East

Travel Chart for Gneisenau 1910 travel to Far East

Additionally, there are scans of 380 Kaiserliche Marine postcards, as well as some of his other souvenirs.

About the images: These images were scanned and then digitally enhanced to correct for fading and tone. They were then reduced in size to no greater than 1000×1000 dpi. The captions provided were written underneath the photos. The image names consist of the name “Gneisenau” followed by a number and a letter. The number indicates the page number of the photo album on which the image was found, and the letter indicates the order of the images on that page, read from right to left, top to bottom, as in a book.

  • Set 1: 16 photos The photo album cover; Ankunft des Kronprinzen in Bombay; Ausflug nach Candy – Cylon; Japan; KohlenĂĽbernahme in Wilhelmshaven; Moschee in Heiderabad; Jagdchita – Indien; Walfischbeute, Korsakowsk – Sachalin; Seemannsgräber, Malaga – Spanien; Ruderblatt S.M.S. Gneisenau; Walfischfängerstation Korsakowsk —; — Sachalin; Gottesdienst im Mittelmeer; Unser Krokodil; Strassenbau in Bombay; Japans Beute, Russisches GeschĂĽtz
  • Set 2: 16 photos (some nudity) Bad an Bord; Cocospalme – Cylon; Forcierte Fahrt; Turmdeck, S.M.S. Gneisenau; Bewegte See; Eingeborene, Cylon; Torpedoboot S.90; Techn. Unteroffiz., S.M.S. Gneisenau; Auf der Back; Schimpansen, Indien; Flusslauf in Indien; Unser “Erster”; Offizierkorps, S.M.S. Gneisenau; Der Radja von Travancure; Elefantenwäsche, Indien; Französischer Kreuzer “Dupplex”, Colombo
  • Set 3: 16 photos Sonntagsmusik auf S.M.S. Gneisenau; Indischer Zauberer; Fischfang in der Castriesbay, Sibirien; Russische Soldatenwohnungen in Sibirien; Bumbootsleute an Bord, Port Said; Der FĂĽrst von Travancore geht von Bord; Indische Händler, Diamond Harbor, Ganges; Strand von Mallabar Hill, Bombay; Das Kronprinzenpaar an Bord, Colombo; Indische Fischer längsseits; Indische Textilarbeiter Familie; Nielpferd-fĂĽtterung, Bombay; Palast eines indischen Mahradjas; Das heilige Bad im Ganges, Calcuta; Fischfang am Indischen Ocean; Die Gemahlin des Radjas von Travancore
  • Set 4: 16 photos Ankunft des Kronprinzen in Bombay; Der Kronprinz an Bord der Gneisenau; Jagdleoparden zur VerfĂĽgung des Kronprinzen; Strasse in Shanghai; Der Kronprinz auf der Tiegerjagd; Japanischer u. Chinesischer Kreuzer, Yangsekiang; Torpedoboot Taku & Franz. Kreuzer; Chinesischer Zampan; Der Kronprinz beim Vicekönig von Indien; Landungskorps klar zum Maneuver; Strasse in Shanghai; Schärfen der Seitengewehre; Abnahme einer Parade durch den Kronprinzen, Indien; Yangtselotse; Chinesisches Militär; SteinwĂĽste bei Amoy, China
  • Set 5: 16 photos Der Kronprinz in Calcutta; Exerzieren chin. Rekruten in Woosung; Kulangsoo bei Amoy; Engl. Kreuzer New Castle; Salon des Kronprinzen in Bombay; KommandobrĂĽcke von Torpedoboot S.90; Torpedoboot S.90; Engl. Kreuzer Minotaur; Ort Cochin im State Travancore, Indien; Schiesscheiben; “Landsleute” von Tsingtau; Kohlen nehmen in Tsingtau; Hindu-Tempel, Colombo.; Elefantenritt, Bombay; Bild aus Japan; Heizraum, S.M.S. Gneisenau
  • Set 6: 16 photos (One photo depicts human death and cremation.) Strassenbild aus Yocohama; Sonntagnachmittag auf See in den Tropen; Japanische KĂĽstenlandschaft mit Fujiyama; Stoker beim Bilgereinigen; Garten eines Japanischen Teehauses; Tech. Unteroff. Corps vor den Zeltlangern in Calcutta; Strandbild aus Japan; Von einem Ausfluge ins Innere Indiens; Burma Pagode, Calcutta; Ausflug ins Innere Indiens; Itsikushima, die heilige Insel Japans; Bergdorf in Japan; Leichenverbrennung in Indien; Hindutempel, Bombay; Kesseljungen in der Werft Tsingtau; Japanischer Kaufladen
  • Set 7: 16 photos (One photo depicts human death and cremation.) Der Kronprinz mit seinem Jagdshita; Mussestunde an Bord; Mitteldeck S.M.S. Gneisenau; Ind. Begleiteskorte des Kronprinzen in Calcutta; Leichenverbrennung in Indien; Empfang des Kronprinzen in Bombay; Itsucushima die heilige Insel, Japan; Amoy (China) von der Insel Kolangsoo aus gesehen; “Gneisenau” beim japanischen Kaisersalut vor Nanking; Deutsch-Engl. Seemannsfest in Tsingtau; Die Kronprinzessin an Bord; Stadttor in Nanking; Engl Kreuzer “Minotaur” & Yacht “Alecrite” for Woosung; Wohn-und Fischerboote, Colombo, Ceylon; Ehrenwache und Bordkapelle; “Iltis” Friedhof beu Jung-tsching (Tschifu) China
  • Set 8: 16 photos (One photo in this set contains some nudity.) Dampfer “Silesia” auf dem Yangtsekiang, China; Eingeborene auf Ceylon; Badender Elefant, Candy, Ceylon; Schwimmendes Dorf auf dem Yangtsekiang; Chinesische Tschunke transportiert Bambus; Ehrenwache des Kronprinzen in Bombay; Suez Kanal, Einfahrt bei Port Said; Exellenz von Truppel’s Besuch auf S.M.S. Gneisenau; Ausflug zum Tiegertempel bei Amoy, China; Port Said; Port Said; Familie von Truppel und Kapitän von Uslar a.d. Iltisfriedhof; Governeur, Admiral von Truppel verlässt Tsingtau; Improvisiertes Seebad an Bord; Zeugwäsche an Bord; Unteroffiziere von S.M.S. Gneisenau & H.M.S. Minotaur in Tsingtau
  • Set 9: 16 photos KĂĽste von Tsingtau, China; Bootsmanöver; Ehrenwache und Bordkapelle; Von einem Ausfluge nach Tei-tu-sheng, Kiautschaugebiet; Frau von Truppel nimmt Abschied von Tsingtau; Governeur, Admiral von Truppel verlässt Tsingtau; Russisches Blockhaus, Castriesbay, Sibirien; Kameraden von “Gneisenau” & “Kaiser Franz Josef” in Tsingtau; Japanische Singspielhalle; Alter Tempel auf der Insel Elephanta bei Bombay; Das heilige Bad in Ganges, Calcutta; Japaner beim Fechtsport; Einfahrt bei Chimonosecki, Japan; Kameraden von “Kaiser Franz Josef” bei uns zu Gast; Shanghai; Gesandter, Graf Rex und Offizierkorps von “Gneisenau”
  • Set 10: 16 photos Teehaus in Miatsu, Japan; “Cesarewitsch” in Tsingtau; “Cesarewitsch” in Tsingtau; Inneres eines Shintoistentempels, Japan; Strassenbild aus Iokohama; Zahnziehen in unserm Lazarett; “Cesarewitsch” in Tsingtau; Geisha Tanz; Geisha Tanz; Korsakowsk auf Sachalin; Grenzposten auf Sachalin; Geisha Tanz; VergnĂĽgungspark der Japaner in Tsuruga; Gemäldeaufnahme: Japaner stĂĽrmen ein Fort; Gemäldeaufnahme: Battle of Cavite, Philipinen; “Titania” längseits zur MaterialĂĽbernahme, Castiesbay, Sibirien
  • Set x: y photos …more to come later.
Technical Information

Files are resized with imagemagick, using: convert *.JPG[1000x1000] -interlace line -quality 85 -gravity SouthEast -font Arial -pointsize 14 -fill black -annotate +2+2 "(c)2010 theFrankes.com" -fill white -annotate +3+3 "(c)2010 theFrankes.com" GneisenauZ%03d.jpg

  1. Colin’s avatar

    A truly interesting site well worth visiting.
    I always did like these old pictures and very pleased to see them here.

    Reply

  2. Peter Fischer’s avatar

    Thank you very much for posting your collection of SMS Gneisenau photos. The photos and captions have helped me greatly in identifying many of the photos in a similar collection which I have from my grandfather.

    My grandfather, Peter Pley, served onboard the Gneisenau from November 1910 to June 1913. As a remembrance of his service time, he made a similar photo album to the one Ernst Franke made. Unfortunately, my grandfather did not provide captions for any of the photos and they are not in chronological order. Together with his album are the two printed log books from the Gneisenau covering 1910 to 1913, and the play-like narrative of the crossing of the equator ceremony:

    Obersteuermannsmaat Lorenz, “Die Ausreise SMS Gneisenau nach Ost-Asien und die fahrten auf der ostasiatischen station, 1910-1911-1912”, (Tsingtau, China: Adolf Haupt Buchdruckerei, 1912);

    “Reisen SMS „Gneisenau” 1912-13”, (Tsingtau, China: Adolf Haupt Buchdruckerei, 1913); and,

    “Linientaufe and Bord S.M.S. „Gneisenau” am 13. Januar 1913 auf der Reise von Labuan nach Batavia”, (Tsingtau, China: Deutsche-Chinesiche Druckerei und Verlagsanstalt Walter Schmidt, 1913).

    Some of Ernst Franke’s photos are the same as my grandfather’s, but you have many additional photos. Some of my grandfather’s photos do not appear in your collection. I have prepared captions and notes to go with the photos I have. Unfortunately, I do not have scanned digital images of the photos. Also, I have prepared an English synopsis of the two log books giving the date, location, and usually the activity. This synopsis has helped me to identify and date many of the photos more accurately.

    On your website, you indicate that your photos are from 1910-1911. I assume that Ernst Franke was part of the crew change at the end of May 1911, and left Tsingtau on the transport vessel SS Nekar for the return trip to Germany. From the crew lists in the 1910-1912 log book, I note that Ernst Franke and Peter Pley were in the same stoker watch for about seven months, and in the crew list, they appear in the same group within the watch. They would likely have know each other by sight and name, and probably have stoked together.

    In 1913 at the end of his service time, my grandfather returned to Germany. He was discharged to the reserve with the rating of Oberheizer, leading stoker. In civilian life, he was a Fabrikschlosser, a machinist. In less than a year WWI started, and he was recalled to the navy. During the war, he served as a machinist in the 2 Kompagnie, II Werfdivision, (2nd Company, 2nd Dockyard division) Wilhelmshaven naval dock yard, building and repairing U boats.

    Again, thank you for posting your Gneisenau photos.

    Peter Fischer

    Reply

    1. admin’s avatar

      WOW! I’m stunned. I’d love to see the things you have some day — including the log books, the narrative, and the extra photos, and I’d be happy to help you get it all online somewhere if we can figure out a way to do that. Ernst was my grandfather and he also ended up as a machinist during the war. He worked in Kiel, and some of his story is chronicled in the postcards he sent to his girlfriend (later my grandmother), which I’ve also posted (http://www.thefrankes.com/wp/?page_id=527). He later worked at a Nedinsco (The Netherlands) building periscopes while living across the border in Kaldenkirchen. In 1930 he came to the United States and worked at Kodak and then Kollmorgen Optical, where he did the same kind of work.

      I have hundreds of pages of letters from the 30’s. I’ll keep an eye out for your grandfather’s name in them as I go through them — just in case they remained in contact.

      Thanks so much for your post!

      Reply

    2. Kathleen’s avatar

      Thank you for the interesting catalog! I’m enjoying looking at similarities and differences between what we have and your postings. My grandfather, Carl Eduard Krause, compiled yet another album of his S.M.S. Gneisenau travels during the years 1910 to 1911. I am currently in process of posting scanned images of these photos online. I’ve had captions to work with that have been translated to make the content of the photos more accessible. Many of the Krause album photos do not appear in your catalog, such as some taken in India and Africa. The are also several photos of crew members that I don’t see.

      I’m wondering if my grandfather’s name might be listed in log books and what his rank was.

      This website preparation has been a task that my husband and I have been working for over 2 years now. Maybe this serendipitous find will spur me on! I’ll let you know when the Krause album is available for viewing.

      Reply

      1. admin’s avatar

        That’s great, Kathleen! I’m very much looking forward to seeing it, and I’d love to link to it from my site or include any other information you have. I’m going to be adding additional photos and documents from Peter (another commenter on this post) as well to help fill in the collection. I’ll see if I can find a reference to your grandfather in the documents as well. Thanks for posting!

        Reply

        1. Kathleen’s avatar

          Hello–I sent a link to the Krause Gneisenau album. Did you receive?

          Reply

        2. Peter Fischer’s avatar

          Kathleen,

          Thank you for posting your grandfather’s Gneisenau photos on-line. I enjoyed them.

          The name Krause appears in both the 1910-1911-1912 printed log book and the 1912-1913 printed log book. The 1910-1911-1912 log book, page 7, “V. Division”, shows, “Mtr. Krause”, Matrose, or ordinary seaman, Krause. The 1912-1913 log book, page 41, “X. Division. Hülfsmasch. [auxiliary machine] Division.” shows, “Hzr. Krause’, or stoker Krause.

          Unfortunately, the crew are listed only by their rating and last name. Whether one, or the other, or both Krause entries are Carl Eduard Krause, your grandfather is unclear. If your grandfather was on board SMS Gneisenau only in 1910-1911, then I would assume that the first entry is your grandfather’s, and that he was an ordinary seaman. There were crew changes, that is a new draft of conscripts arrived from Germany and a draft of conscripts who had completed their term of service returned to Germany, on 27 May 1911, 30 May 1912, and 23 May 1913.

          I hope you find this information helpful.

          Peter Fischer

          Reply

          1. Anne Riesebeck’s avatar

            Hey,

            my great-grandfather Erich Riesebeck was also a crew member of the SMS Gneisenau. Unfortunately I have no photos, so thank you for your work!

            But I have the log book from 1910-1911-1912. There he is listed in the “IV. Division” as “Ob. Mtr.”. Peter, could you tell me, if he is also listed in the log book from 1912-1913?

            Generally, how did the crew get back to Germany? Did they have some specific crew changes? And if they had, are lists or other documents available?

            Thanking you in advance!

            Anne Riesebeck

            Reply

            1. Angela Levien’s avatar

              Hallo Anne,

              die Kinder vom Darsse-Ort ( 3 Jungen und 2 Mädchen),
              sind die Cousins und Cousinen meines Opas.
              Mein Opa hieĂź Bruno Franz Max Levien,geb. 02.01.1897
              in Greifswald/ Wieck.Patenonkel war Johann Wilhelm Eduard
              Riesebeck Oberleuchtfeuerwärter vom Darsser-Ort.
              Die Patentante von Deinerm UrgroĂźvater Erich hieĂź Fredericke
              Levien. Martha Christine Fredericke Riesebeck geb. Levien ist dei Tante meines Opas.Leider weiĂź ich nicht Ihre Geburtstort.Kannst Du mir eventuell helfen.
              Die Geburtsdaten der 5 Kinder vom Darsser-Ort habe ich alle.

              GruĂź Thomas

              Reply

            2. Jiri Osanec’s avatar

              Hello,

              I have a copy of the picture called Kameraden von “Gneisenau” & “Kaiser Franz Josef” in Tsingtau from your SMS Gneisenau Far East Photo Collection, 1910-1911! It was send in October 1911 by some Oskar Kasimir from Tsingtao to my great-uncle who served on the S.M.S. Kaiser Franz Josef I. So far I was not able to determine where and why the photo was taken. Thanks to your web I know more about it! Do you know something about the origin of the picture? I am writing a book about my relative and will publish the photo there probably. My first “navy” book see here: http://www.mare-czech.cz/naklweb/knihovna/MK-Plavcikem.pdf

              Best regards,

              Jiri Osanec

              Reply

              1. admin’s avatar

                Excellent! I’m afraid I don’t know much about the picture except for the caption that I posted. I can check later to see if anything was written on the back, though. I’ll take a look at your book a bit later — very interested…

                Reply

              2. Jiri Osanec’s avatar

                I forgot to say that my great-uncle (a brother of my grandmother) is on the picture, too. Unfortunately he is not on the second very nice picture called Kameraden von “Kaiser Franz Josef” bei uns zu Gast. But I would appreciate if it would be possible to publish the photo in my new book, too. Of course a better resolution would be necessary for it. I can send you my copy of the first photo including its back side.

                Best regards,

                Jiri Osanec

                Reply

                1. admin’s avatar

                  That would be great. I’ll contact you via email and we can discuss.

                  Reply

                2. Randy Roll’s avatar

                  My Uncle Carl Edward Krause 1888-1977 (died in Houston, TX) was a young sailor on the Crown Prince’s 1910-1911 tour to the far east. He has a scrapbook like yours. I am going tomorrow to scan its contents,
                  Do you have a list of the sailors on board the Gneisenau?
                  When the war broke out in Aug 1914, he was in the port of Houston on a German merchant marine ship. They gave the guys a choice of leaving the ship or going in to custody. My uncle settled in Houston. His wife lived to 105 years of age. I am interested in the further pics you have. I only saw the 2 sets of 16. Have you posted more?

                  Randy

                  Reply

                  1. Peter Fischer’s avatar

                    Randy,

                    The names of all the sailors on board the SMS Gneisenau appear in the printed log books. Those on board from 1910 to 1912, appear in the “1910-1911-1912” log book, pages 1 to 12, in total 773 men. The ship’s company as of May 1913, appear in the 1912-1913 log book, pages 29 to 41.

                    The name Krause appears in both the 1910-1911-1912 printed log book and the 1912-1913 printed log book. The 1910-1911-1912 log book, page 7, “V. Division”, shows, “Mtr. Krause”, Matrose, or ordinary seaman, Krause. The 1912-1913 log book, page 41, “X. Division. Hülfsmasch. [auxiliary machine] Division.” shows, “Hzr. Krause’, or stoker Krause.

                    Unfortunately, the crew are listed only by their rating and last name. Whether one, or the other, or both Krause entries are Carl Eduard Krause, your uncle is unclear. If your uncle was on board SMS Gneisenau only in 1910-1911, then I would assume that the first entry is your grandfather’s, and that he was an ordinary seaman. There were crew changes, that is a new draft of conscripts arrived from Germany and a draft of conscripts who had completed their term of service returned to Germany, on 27 May 1911, 30 May 1912, and 23 May 1913.

                    I hope you find this information helpful.

                    Peter Fischer

                    Reply

                  2. Carlos’s avatar

                    Muy interesante e importante todo lo aquĂ­ expuesto. En mi paĂ­s, Chile, se desarrollaron importantes hechos durante la primera guerra mundial, como son “La batalla de Coronel”, “El hundimiento del Dresden” y la “Guerra de Corso”.
                    En el año 1926-27 visitĂł mi pais el SMS “BerlĂ­n”, del cual me gustarĂ­a que pudiera subir fotos de los departamento interiores del buque y tambiĂ©n de su tripulaciĂłn.
                    Muchas gracias y Felicitaciones por tan digno trabajo.
                    Atte: Carlos C
                    Saludos

                    Reply

                    1. Peter Fischer’s avatar

                      Carlos,

                      SĂ­, los acontecimientos que mencionas son importantes.

                      Para ver fotos de Berlin SMS, hacer una bĂşsqueda en Internet Google por “SMS Berlin fotos”. Por desgracia, no parece haber ninguna fotos del interior o de la tripulaciĂłn de SMS BerlĂ­n, pero hay muchos otros.

                      SMS de BerlĂ­n fue un crucero ligero Bremen-clase de la Marina Kaiserliche, llamado asĂ­ por la ciudad de BerlĂ­n. Ella fue colocada en Kaiserliche Werft de Danzig en agosto de 1902, puso en marcha el 22 de septiembre de 1903 y comisionado el 4 de abril de 1905. Sus naves hermanas eran, SMS Hamburgo, Bremen, LĂĽbeck, Munich, Leipzig, Danzig y SMS.

                      SMS Berlín servido más en el extranjero hasta 1911, contestando a la flota en 1914. Durante 1915 y 1916 por un período corto fue utilizado como un minador. En 1917, se convirtió en un barco costero defensa. Después de la Primera Guerra Mundial, fue modernizado en 1921-1922 y luego se desempeñó en el Reichmarine como nave de entrenamiento para los viajes en el extranjero entre 1922 y 1929. En 1924-25 ella cruzó a América del Sur. En 1935, en Kiel, se convirtió en una nave de alojamiento para las tripulaciones de submarinos y se trasladó a Hamburgo, en el mismo papel. En 1944, fue bombardeado y hundido. Levantado en 1947, fue llevada al Skagerrak, cargado con municiones de gases no deseados y hundido 31 de mayo 1947.

                      Puede encontrar más información acerca de SMS Berlín, incluyendo los detalles técnicos, en
                      http://www.deutsche-schutzgebiete.de/sms_berlin.htm

                      Espero que encuentre Ăştil esta informaciĂłn.

                      Peter Fischer

                      Reply

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