Operation Hannibal, Wilhelm Gustloff and the Cap Arcona

12 Oct 2002

I have been asked from UK, about Operation Hannibal, some one in the US, this guy is trying to assist, wants to write about troopships Lost At Sea in WW2, and of course our Tragedy At Sea, covers the loss of 5 Troopships carrying both   German Armed Forces and Refugees in January of 1945, was part of Operational Hannibal.

Dear Mac (hope you don't mind familiarity)

I am assisting a US author on a book about troopship disasters (any nationality). Have you any relevant info. I am also trying to get info on Operation Hannibal.

Barry Whatton Castle Cary Somerset

21 October 2002 Hannibal

Barry, Finally, I have searched my records, I have a hard copy of the Gustloff Memorial, this is Jason Pipes record, and I have given you the details how to get that site up, and you can get that off the net. I have  a hard copy of a chapter of a book Disaster in the Baltic Sea.which is out of the book: The Dentist of Auschwitz.  It runs to 25 pages, and covers the Cap Arcona, one of the ships used to shift refugees etc. at that time.

In my Tragedy at Sea piece, on my Web Site that ship is covered. Should you wish, I could have this photocopied, and mail it off to you, if you want a copy, E-Mail your snail mail address to me.

I forgot to mention. The History Channel on the 15th. of November 1999, aired the World Premiere of a documentary about Wilhelm Gustloff, you may be able to get a copy of that tape.

22 October 2002

I guess that is as far as I can go with any assistance Barry, sorry I cannot do more.

Hi Mac,
Am replying to each of you Emails separately.

Cannot thank you enough for all your help. really appreciated.

Can you possible give me any details of a contact for the TV channel you


Otis Willie, who is the Associate Librarian at American War Library, may be able to help,
I do not know him personally, the site URL is: http://www.americanwarlibrary.com


Hi Mac

This is a great bit of news. Scott Baron, the author, is researching both the Wilhelm Gustloff and the Cap Arcona. I do know there is quite abit available about the former but not too much on the Cap Arcona.

May I suggest, to save time,  and for me having to forward information on from the UK, you very kindly send the photocopies direct to Scott in California. His address is as follows:-

Scott Baron
25 Geneva Way
Ca 95076

I will also give you his E-mail address as you may have the facilities between you to scan the information.  ( get the capital letters right!!)  I will notify Scott you may be in touch with him.


Recieved your E-Mail to Barry W. Much Thanks. Already travelled those roads. :-)

Do you have any specific info on OPERATION HANNIBAL? Can you confirm it was initiated on 1/21/45?
Any help earns eternal gratitude.

Scott Baron

(PS You'll get a copy soon as its published by NIP)


I believe it was on Tuesday the 21st of January 1945 that the German Kreigsmarine commenced to evacuate thousands of Civilian refugees from East Prussia and Danzig as the Red Army had completely cut off all land communications with Germany. In my view that was the actual start date for Operation Hannibal. Look forward to seeing your work in due course.

Best wishes for the coming festive season.


Wilhelm Gustloff  Expedition - May, 2003 pictures a recent dive on th wreck of Wilhelm Gustloff

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