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Archival photographs from the early days of the war

These are photographs from an album belonging to German Leading Seaman and musician Willi Wittzack, who served on the Schleswig-Holstein in September 1939. The black-and-white photographs in the album show her entering the port of Gdańsk and shelling Westerplatte, the surrender of the Polish defenders of the Military Transit Depot, scenes from life in the barracks and Wittzack’s time in the military band. There are also newspaper clippings from the early days of the war and postcards of the Schleswig-Holstein as a passenger ship.

Harbour canal in Gdańsk. The New Port lighthouse is in the background. View from the deck of the Schleswig-Holstein. 25 August 1939.