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German "Raider" Appam Fake souviner 1918 !


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Below are the facts of the case, after arriving at an American port there began a court case over the ownership of the Prize Vessal. The purported Souvineer projectile is to my mind a post WW1 fake as no such German Navy projectile would have been on board - not to mention the ship was in no way a Raider ! There must have been quite a few of these made up just after the war from projectiles obtained elswhere. The projectile has a well made brass tip fitted and the Navel mark can be faintly seen under the plating over the m in Appam.
From a trial transcript.
The facts are not in dispute, and from them it appears: That during the existence of the present war between Great Britain and Germany, on the 15th day of January, 1916, the steamship Appam was captured on the high seas by the German cruiser, Moewe. The Appam was a ship under the British flag, registered as an English vessel, and is a modern cargo and passenger steamship of 7,800 tons burden. At the time of her capture she was returning from the West Coast of Africa to Liverpool, carrying a general cargo of cocoa beans, palm oil, kernels, tin, maize, sixteen boxes of specie, and some other articles. At the West African port she took on 170 passengers, eight of whom were military prisoners of the English government. She had a crew of 160 or thereabouts, and carried a 3-pound gun at the stern. The Appam was brought to by a shot across her bows from the Moewe, when about a hundred yards away, and was boarded without resistence by an armed crew from the Moewe. This crew brought with them two bombs, one of which was slung over the bow and the other over the stern of the Appam. An officer from the Moewe said to the captain of the Appam that he was sorry he had to take his ship, asked him how many passengers he had, what cargo, whether he had any specie, and how much coal. When the shot was fired across the bows of the Appam, the captain instructed the wireless operator not to touch the wireless instrument, and his officers not to let anyone touch the gun on board. The officers and crew of the Appam, with the exception of the engine room force, thirty- five in number, and the second officer, were ordered [243 U.S. 124, 144] on board the Moewe. The captain, officers, and crew of the Appam were sent below, where they were held until the evening of the 17th of January, when they and about 150 others, officers and crews of certain vessels previously sunk by the Moewe, were ordered back to the Appam and kept there as prisoners. At the time of the capture, the senior officer of the boarding party told the chief engineer of the Appam he was now a member of the German navy; if he did not obey orders his brains would be blown out, but if he obeyed, not a hair of his head should be touched. The Appam's officer was instructed to tell his staff the same thing, and if they did not obey orders they would be brought to the German officer and shot. Inquiries were made by the German officer in command of the Appam as to revolutions of the engines, the quantity of coal on hand and the coal consumption for different speeds, and instructions were given that steam be kept up handy, and afterwards the engineer was directed to set the engines at the revolutions required, and the ship got under way.

Lieutenant Berg, who was the German officer in command of the Appam after its capture, told the engineer on the second morning that he was then in charge of the ship, asked of him information as to fuel consumption, and said that he expected the engineer to help him all he could, and the more he did for him the better it would be for everybody on the ship. The engineer said he would, and did so. The engines were operated with a bomb secured to the port main injector valve, and a German sailor stationed alongside the bomb with a revolver. There was a guard below of four or five armed Germans, who were relieved from time to time, but did not interfere with the working of the ship. The German officer, Lieutenant Berg, gave directions as to working the engines, and was the only officer on board who wore a uniform. [243 U.S. 124, 145] On the night of the capture, the specie in the specie room was taken on board the Moewe. After Lieutenant Berg took charge of the Appam, bombs were slung over her bow and stern, one large bomb, said to contain about 200 pounds of explosive, was placed on the bridge, and several smaller ones in the chart room. Lieutenant Berg informed the captain of the Appam, pointing to one of the bombs, 'That is a bomb; if there is any trouble, mutiny, or attempt to take the ship, I have orders to blow up the ship instantly.' He also said, 'There are other bombs about the ship; I do not want to use them, but I shall be compelled to if there is any trouble.' The bombs were kept in the positions stated until the ship arrived at the Virginia Capes, when they were removed. Lieutenant Berg, on reaching Hampton Roads, asked the crew of the Appam to drop the anchor, as he had not men to do it.

During the trip to the westward, the officers and crew of the Appam were not allowed to see the ship's compass to ascertain her course, and all lights were obscured during the voyage. The German prisoners, with the exception of two who went on board the Moewe, were armed and placed over the passengers and crew of the Appam as a guard all the way across. For two days after the capture, the Appam remained in the vicinity of the Moewe, and then was started westward. Her course for the first two or three days was southwesterly, and afterwards westerly, and was continued until her arrival at the Virginia Capes on the 31st of January. The engine- room staff of the Appam was on duty operating the vessel across to the United States; the deck crew of the Appam kept the ship clean, and the navigation was conducted entirely by the Germans, the lookouts being mostly German prisoners.

At the time of the capture, the Appam was approximately distant 1,590 miles from Emden, the nearest German port; from the nearest available port, namely [243 U.S. 124, 146] Punchello, in the Madeiras, 130 miles; from Liverpool, 1,450 miles; and from Hampton Roads, 3,051 miles. The Appam was found to be in first-class order, seaworthy, with plenty of provisions, both when captured and at the time of her arrival in Hampton Roads.


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I have a complete round of this type. It has been re-crimped together so I cannot see the base of the projectile, and there are no marks on the projectile bands, unlike the projectile shown in the original post. The projectile in this round has not been chrome-plated. If I had to guess who put this round or these rounds together I'd guess it was Francis Bannerman, the famous New York purveyor of military surplus. He was well-known for "made up" and fantasy-marked items of all kinds.

Neatly engraved on the side of the proper German 1-pounder brass cartridge case is "From German Raider Appam 1918."

The large primer has been removed.

Headstamp reads:

(left, stamped deeply) X

(right, stamped deeply) 1905

(top, faint stamping) Crowned "M" over "C 97 98"

(bottom) Karlsruhe (stamped faintly, flanked by small faint logo of crab, bomb, or whatever) and "166" stamped deeply.

I would have posted photos but I don't want to use up my limited quota before posting photos associated with identifications I need.