Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945


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Stier HSK 6

Auxiliary Cruiser

Stier HSK 6 Auxiliary cruisers

Service Data

In Service: 25 November 1939 to 27 September 1942

Production Data

Builder: F. Krupp Germaniawerft AG, Kiel
Construction No:
Laid down: 1936
Launched: 7 October 1936
Commissioned: 25 November 1939 9 November 1941

Technical Data

Type: Auxiliary cruiser
Class: Hilfskreuzer (Raider), converted freighter

Displacement: 11,000 tons
Length: 134 m
Beam: 17.3 m
Draft: 7.2 m
Propulsion: 1 × 7 cylinder diesel engine producing up to 3,750 hp
Propellers: 1
Speed: 14 knots
Range: 50,000 nautical miles at 12 knots
Crew: 324 men and officers
Armament: 6 × 15 cm, 1 × 2 3.7 cm, 2 × 2 20 mm,
2 × 53.3 cm torpedo tubes
Aircraft: 2 × Arado 231 seaplanes
Operators: Kriegsmarine

Other: Auxiliary cruisers


The German auxiliary cruiser Stier (HSK 6) was in the Kriegsmarine throughout World War II. Identified in the Kriegsmarine as Schiff 23, to the Royal Navy she was called Raider J. On 10 May 1942 she departed Germany for campaigns in the Atlantic. Moving in stages down the English Channel, following an engagement with British shore forces on the 13th which saw the destruction of 2 torpedo boats (German) and one MTB (British), Stier arrived at Royan in occupied France on the 19th. From there she left under the command of Horst Gerlach for work in the South Atlantic. However following a cruise of only 4 months, in which she attacked and sank 3 ships, she had a lethal encounter on 27 September 1942 the ship was sunk whilst battling an American cargo ship the SS Stephen Hopkins, which was also destroyed. Throughout her operation, which was a period of four and a half months, the Stier sank 4 ships with 29,409 tons (GRT).


25 November 1939 and 9 November 1941
The auxiliary cruiser Stier is commissioned.

13 May 1942
The torpedo boat Iltis is sunk while escorting auxiliary cruiser Stier by British MTBs.

4 June 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Stier sinks the British freighter Gemstone (4,985 t)

Stanvac Calcutta6 June 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Stier sinks the Panamanian tanker Stanvac Calcutta (10,170 t)

9 August 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Stier sinks the British freighter Dalhousie (7,070 t)

27 September 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Stier sinks the American freighter Stephen Hopkins (8.500 t)

27 September 1942
The auxiliary cruiser Stier engages the American freighter Stephen Hopkins and she puts up a valiant fight but is overwhelmed by Steir's 15 cm guns, The Stephen Hopkins had caused severe damage to Stier's engines and steering gear and the order to abandon ship was given. All but 2 of Stier's crew survived; they were rescued by the supply ship Tannenfels.


Sorry no image availableHorst Gerlach
Takes command on 25 November 1939
Ends command on 27 September 1942


Stier HSK 6 picture 2

Stier HSK 6 picture 3

Stier HSK 6 picture 4

Stier HSK 6 picture 5

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German Warships, 1815-1945: Major Surface Vessels.
ISBN-10: 0851775330

German Warships, 1815-1945: U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels.
ISBN-10: 155750301X

German warships of the Second World War.
ISBN-10: 0668040378

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