Tuesday, 18 June, 2024
15December 1939

Hitler renames warship to avoid national embarrassment

Hitler ordered the renaming of the German warship Deutschland on this day, fearing the loss of a ship called ‘Germany’ would become a national embarrassment.

The Deutschland was renamed the Lützow. The newly-renamed warship was also reclassified as a heavy cruiser, having been first classified as a ‘Panzerschiff’ (‘iron clad’) warship.

Hitler was motivated to rename the warship after learning of the cornering of the Deutschland’s sister ship Admiral Graf Spee in Montevideo. The captain of the Graf Spee (Hans Langsdorf) had contacted the German command informing them he would scuttle his ship rather than risk capture or destruction at the hands of a Royal Navy squadron which is anchored just outside the port of Montevideo.

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