Where's Erol's duffel bag

Mine transporter Steigerwald from Flensburg

Mine transporter Steigerwald A1438 from 1. MSG
The mine transporters of the Sachsenwald class (762) of the German Navy were commissioned from the Stülken shipyard in 1965 and after Blohm + Voss took over the Stülken shipyard in 1966, both newbuildings were completed by Blohm + Voss.
On August 20, 1969, the Sachsenwald and the Steigerwald were put into service by the fleet.
In 1970 and 1972 the 1st minesweeping squadron in Flensburg was expanded to include the mine transporters Sachsenwald and Steigerwald. The new ships, with a construction price of 7.3 million DM per unit, were rather “cheap” ships, but at the beginning they caused the German Navy quite a lot of problems; Due to the use of poor building material in the manufacture of the transverse bulkheads, extensive repairs had to be made.

In the 1980s it was planned to convert the mine transporters and strengthen them in combat strength. The renovation of the Steigerwald, which had already begun (including the elimination of the open bridge, installation of an operations center (OPZ) behind the control stand, reduction of the heat signature through a new chimney cladding) was canceled and the units were made available to the fleet again.


After their decommissioning in 1991 (Sachsenwald) and 1993 (Steigerwald), both units went to VEBEG and were then scrapped.



The story of the ship's dog Flecki von der Steigerwald



The young bitch Flecki as a corporal on a bunk in the stoker deck, ca 1971



Flecki with OMaat Meißner and OMaat Peter Schreiner on the stbd - side deck

Flecki with the “stokers” Boysen, Urbach and Weidlich from the years 70-71






Comrade E. Widder gave a belated report from his time on board the Steigerwald in 1971.



My next on-board command was the mine transporter Steigerwald, on which there was no dog on board when it was put into service. I can't say where Flecki came from or who brought him with him, but I mean that Seem No. II, Chief Petty Officer Schreiner, is looking around has taken care of him. In 1971 on a transport trip to Crombie / Scotland in spring € žFlecki got her first litter, I think four puppies from









On a TN voyage east of Fehmarn in the summer of 1972, the poor dog had to take a swim in the Baltic Sea, which for him was due to the height of the ship and the otherwise empty lake (except for the observing "€ žkrake" GDR- Supervisor) must have been a horror. However, it was quickly collected again and loaded into the dinghy for winching.











Life with Flecki is no picnic
SMUT KLAUS EHRHARD reports on his time on board
From July 1971 to June 1973 I drove as Smut (soup) on the Steigerwald
When I was on board, Flecki lived with us on U-Deck 8H4.
Two serious events occur to me about Flecki:
In Flensburg she had once fought a wild fight with the dog on board the "Bottrop" or "Bochum", both of which were moored there as workshop ships. It was a boxer. He dared to come to our position. Flecki like an oiled lightning bolt down from the upper deck and attacking the intruder. Before anyone could or would intervene, there was a fight. The boxer then pulled away. But Flecki had been bitten so hard that she could only drag her hind legs back. After the veterinary treatment, she ran around with a collar for a while. But she has fully recovered. If I remember correctly, this brave act was also the reason for her promotion to Maat or OMaat.
The other thing was their behavior towards people who wore "front laundry". When I got on the "Steigerwald", "laundry aft" was the order of the day until OMaat. That only changed during my service. Flecki always liked to lie behind the coaming in the UvD room. How she kept the people apart, I don't know. But when new people came on board, she would pinch the "tie straps" in the leg when climbing over the coaming. Not seriously, just a B (b) isish.
She was an absolutely loving animal with a tendency to become seasick. I'm not sure, but I think she had a litter of puppies once.



Visit of the sponsor town in Abstwind / Steigerwald in the late summer of 1972


Comrade Walter Meyer wrote about his time on board.
From January 1972 to June 1973 I drove as a 31 on the mine transporter. Among other things, I also took part in the sponsorship visit in the late summer of 1972 in Abstwind in the Steigerwald. Here are some pictures from this visit, in which Corporal Flecki also took part.



Big station for the crew of the Steigerwald, in their godfather town Abstwind. Reception of the crew by the mayor and the local band



Frigate Captain Otto Letz (the old man) has it
Took command of the band



Our commander Otto Letz had the honor of riding in the mayor's carriage.

We took part in the Sunday pageant with a float made for the crew of the Steigerwald.




Farewell to the beautiful Steigerwald women on the bus and Flecki watches.

Flecki, Maat Herrmann and I on the way back to Flensburg.





Here you can see Flecki with FK Peter Schantz.



Pictures of comrade Peter Catoir from 1973


Yes, comrades, it was a great time in 1973 in Flensburg at the 1st MSG.
Several dogs in the squadron vied for Flecki's favor,
when this was again in heat.
The winner was the male Porky vom Boot Schütze and made Flecki happy
with the result of the following pictures.


Two of the babies with about 4 weeks of feeding in the mine clearing room.

Here are all 6 rascals with about 8 weeks with mom in the background on the left, just before saying goodbye.






Maat (in) Flecki loved the all-round view, she was always on the lookout for prey



Comrade Peter Labs tells a lovely story about Flecki.


This story dates back to 1974


Like a dog, Flecki came to the team mess in the evening, suitable for dinner, and immediately began the strenuous work of scrounging up the additional evening food.
All weapons were used uncompromisingly:
Hold your head tilted, head on your thighs, shake your paws and look like you've starved to death 10 times!
OK!! - Flecki won and in front of me a large load of sausage slices grew over it. Flecki + Wurst then made themselves grateful from the field.
This was followed by our Schmadding's hobby - an evening clean ship with a large round shape. After I had moistened my station a little and made it halfway clean, I reported this to Schmadding at the Ronde. He went into the push-up and started “You're up to your neck in the dirt - old things…”. Unfortunately, I hadn't seen / didn't want to see Flecki's sausage stock under a switch cabinet and then there were easily 20 working hours on it. But I couldn't be angry with our piece of jewelry. When it was tiled, Flecki came to control room 4. There the tricks “port paw - give starboard paw” were practiced until nothing more. Error rate <0.5% !!!! Masterpiece: Put a crown cap on your nose - pull your hand back and Flecki threw the cork in the air and grabbed the cork with the snout.
Otherwise a dear animal, couldn't stand seagulls (Fetz- them away - Flecki) only from time to time (lake) you just had a terrier mix hanging on your pants!


Maat Flecki at the photo shoot!
These comrades also have information about Flecki



Here is the story of Obermaaten Rolf Mayschak,
who experienced Flecki from 04.75-06.78


In April 1974 I had my personal FIRST CONTACT with Flecki. This was not exactly pleasant for me. Exactly as comrade Peter Labs described it, I had this inconspicuous promenade mixture hanging from my trouser leg after our paths had crossed for the first time.
Flecki not only had something against seagulls but also something against cyclists, as long as they were in the saddle. Male civilians were generally not safe from her either. But Flecki was in no way malicious. Rather, I think she had fun hitting the plaster every now and then.

As a young OG / UA I had the task of showering the dog. After showering the dog, I, who had absolutely no idea about dogs, was just as wet as Flecki, to the amusement of the old NCOs. She shook her fur several times while showering, as dogs do of course when they get wet. The subsequent drying of the fur with the hairdryer was pure wellness for Flecki. This procedure was standard because Flecki had almost lost her natural urge to clean. You couldn't see Flecki, you could smell her.

Here one of the cleaning procedures recorded photographically,
when Flecki had practiced land combat again.
Pictures are from Ari-O. ​​Jürgen Hanisch

Flecki patiently endured rinsing with the hose




Patient but not enthusiastic




Blow dry by OMt?
When blow-drying the brush care here by the then FMO, LtzS Rühse




Like new: freshly showered, blow-dried and coiffed.



Flecki, although a seaman, always had her problems when the sea was rough. When it got too much, we took them to the control center - Department VI. The ship's movements there weren't quite as bad for the poor dog. We could then absolutely rely on Flecki, our animal heeling knife, because she sensed beforehand whether the ship was lying to one side beyond a certain angle. If this happened, Flecki stretched out all paws and then slid across the shiny floor covering on his stomach.
Keyword crown corks, Flecki really liked them. Whenever we had a few beers, Flecki usually lay in a corner somewhere and then waited to catch a bottle cap. She could put a certain number of bottle caps in her mouth without them falling out. Unfortunately, I can't remember the exact number, but “WETTEN DAS” would have managed all of them.

Flecki also had an animal friend who visited her every now and then. I think his name was PORKI and he went to sea on a mine sweeper “MARS” of our squadron.
So, that's my story of Flecki, with whom I was on the Steigerwald until the end of June 1978.
Perhaps we will learn something about the fate of from a younger comrade
FLECKI from the STEIGERWALD.



Comrade Andreas Döring from Essen writes this new episode about Flecki:
The pictures on the web, she was still young. In the pictures I am sending you, she was already at an advanced age. But still poisonous.
Her attacks on the harbor swans from the main deck of the Steigerwald were famous.



She was part of the team
You didn't like our commandant (Gerstenberg) at all.
Stroke or touch! No, she didn't allow it.
My first course on board on January 2nd, 1980
I just came from the Brake Marine School.
Recited my line.
"Sailor Döring reports from the Brake Marine School to the mine transporter Steigerwald".
Full of respect for the guard who stood in front of this huge ship.
"Go up, sailor" was his answer. (Maat Westermann ??)
I was received by a private. (with weapon)
He then explained to me how to get to the team fair.
I could also eat something there.
On the long way to the fair, past booths, plans and doors
suddenly a dog stood in front of me.
Flecki ”.

Didn't let me in.
I stood in front of the team mess with my packed duffel bag.
I wasn't afraid, just respect.
A corporal (Fetzer) who came from his shore leave then saved me.
He slurred something and the dog trotted off and lay down in front of a cabin.
That was my first encounter with the on-board dog ”Flecki”.
And I probably didn't eat anything either.
I would like to hear from my old comrades
who were on the ship at that time from 02/01/80 to 29/09/81.
This is my little story that I experienced with our board dog “Flecki”.

Flecki died while I was on duty.
A Petty Officer Oesterle (Rainer Oesterle from Bochum) always looked after you.
I think it was April 81. But I don't really remember anymore.






Farewell to Flecki!

Hello Steigerwald driver,
This is where the story that was written about Flecki ends.
Since Flecki was on board for at least 10 years, I thank you for the many letters from dog lovers who were on duty on the Steigerwald and who knew Flecki personally.