KaiFlagge   1902   MFMS-web   2002   BuFlagge

100 years of Naval Communications Training

at Flensburg-Mürwik


Review into history

 1873   Kaiser1   1918
 1873  The Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) opened activity in the new way of transmitting information through wire in 1873. The chief of the "Imperial Navy station of the Baltic Sea" requested the "Imperial Telegraph station" for assistance in technical training. The "Imperial Telegraph Station" in Kiel, training site for civil telegraphers since 1872, started its 15-week training course for "master-at-arms" and "master sergeant".
 1884  The chief of the Berlin Admiralty, General Leo von Caprivi, ordered further naval telegraphers to be trained solely at the "Command of the Batallion of Marines". So it was here that the term "telegrapher apprentice" was first used in naval area.
 1885  The first training installation for naval telegraphers was run in Kiel under the "Command of the Batallion of Marines". When its curriculum was set up in 1886 it was for the first time that the name of "Naval Telegraph School" was mentioned in written form.
 1895  The signalling training was withdrawn from nautical education in Kiel on 27th January, 1895, to become an independent course. The signalling course was given the badge of two crossed hand flags for identification.
 1889  Ever increasing demand of naval telegraphers called for an organisational change which led to the "Naval Telegraph School" be founded at Lehe near Bremerhaven. The chief of the Admiralty, Freiherr von der Goltz, ordered such school to be installed in the naval artillery barracks. The school directors were put under the command of the 3rd Naval Artillery Division and consequently that of the Supervision of Naval Artillery. Training commenced on 1st April 1889.
 1899  While operating technical equipment, the telegraphers of the Kaiserliche Marine were assigned to the 1st Naval Shipyard Division, whereas wireless telegraphy on the whole was put under the command of the Kiel torpedo supervision.
 1901  In a letter by the Secretary of the Imperial Navy Office it was for the first time that mention was made of Flensburg-Mürwik as "envisaged training site for wireless telegraphy courses to be run". The initial training installations used to be the torpedo training ships SMS "BLÜCHER" and SMS "FRIEDRICH CARL" from 1st October 1901 on.
 1910  By command of crown prince Wilhelm and mustering of the commander of the torpedo training ship SMS "WÜRTTEMBERG" in Flensburg on 18th June 1901, the anchor with a flash of lighting should become the official badge for the wireless telegraphy personnel throughout.
 1912  The "Section of Torpedo" was converted into a "Division for Torpedo and Wireless telegraphy".
Wireless telegraphy training was constantly gaining importance.
 1918  The wireless telegraphy school was moved from Flensburg to Swinemünde.
 1918   Weimar1   1933
 1920  Assigned to the torpedo division as before, the school was moved back to Flensburg named "Naval Signal School".
 1925  Baltic Sea station command No. 75 ordered the signal school to be combined with the torpedo school.
 1933   DR1935   1935
 1934  Separation of the torpedo and signal school into two independent training installations again was ordered by Baltic Sea station command No. 37.
 1935   DR1945   1945 *
 1937  The naval signal school was assigned under the command of the new "Naval Communications Inspection".
 1938  Each at Wilhelmshaven and Kiel, a "Means of Communication Resource" was established whose officers were combined in the "Naval Technology Branch". An additional naval signal school was installed at Aurich with further training units in Northern Germany to follow after the beginning of WW II (such as Rantum/Sylt, Waren/Müritz, Rügen).
 1941  What had so far been the "Naval Communications Inspection" got dissolved and substituted by the office of the "Superior Commander of the Naval Signal School" which was in charge of all signal/communications schools.
 1945  On 7th May 1945, the managing minister Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigh declared Germany’s unconditional surrender as of 8th May via Flensburg radio, using a transmitting vehicle in the yard of the post office (today’s "Alte Post").
 1956   BRD1956   2002
 1956  Opening of the naval communications school at Flensburg-Mürwik on 15th July 1956.
 1959  Beginning of the first competition in naval communication service whose history leads back to the age of the Reichsmarine.
 1962  The naval communications school was put under the command of the naval leadership services.
 1965  Hand flag training at the naval communications school was dropped, while the prospective signalling personnel was left choice to acquire such training on a voluntary basis.
 1967  The crew of the naval communications school acquired first prize in the NAVCOMMCOMP (NATO Naval Communication Training Competition) with Italy (equal scoring).
 1973  The naval communications school was put under the command of the Navy Department.
 1987  In an attempt to improve leadership capacity of the divisions in charge of the Navy Department, order was given for another administrative chain of command over the two following years. All schools and training groups were put under the command of the Admiral of Training which turned out to become a permanent institution.
 1990  Soldiers who had served in the Volksmarine before attended training courses at the naval communications school of the German Navy for the first time.
 1992  The last competitions in the field of naval communication services took place.
 1996  Wireless telegraphy training was stopped, thus putting an end to the traditional era of radio technology.
 1997  Attendant No. 100 000 entered training in naval communications at the naval communication school.
 2002  After 46 years of existence the naval communication school was dissolved during a final mustering by the Admiral of Naval Training on 26th September 2002. All technical training was moved to the naval technology school at Parow near Stralsund whereas operational training was assigned to the Naval Operations School in Bremerhaven. So this was the end of 100 years of history of naval signal/communication training for German navies in Flensburg.
The previous naval communications school Flensburg-Mürwik has become the new "Bundeswehr Center for Strategic Reconnaissance" under the command of the armed forces base.

We wish to thank our member Lieutenant Commander J. Beckh for his kind assistance.

source: Blitz und Anker by J. Beckh




LT last update: 15/07/2016  © dk9os

All drawings and photos herein are copyright protected and shall in no way be used unless authorised.

* (revised pursuant to § 86a StGB 8criminal code))