Virtual Sightseeing Tour "Kiel Mutiny" Nov. 1918

[01]   [02]   [03]   [04]   [05]   [06]   [07]   [08]   [09]   [10]   [11]   [12]

No. 04: At 4 November 1918 around 10 a.m. workers of the Torpedowerkstatt Friedrichsort and the Germania ship yard in Gaarden down tools

Julius Bredenbek describes the atmosphere within the workforce (interview 1983): " In general one can probably say, it was a mood being quite near to despair. People felt the end of the war coming. However they didn't know whether they were coming or going and there were different groups. In some factories there were already workers' councils, founded on their own, without any legal basis, just because of the strength of the organisation; which partly got to work with very great revolutionary pathos. In other factories there were also workers' councils, which were however more interested, necessary things, problems in food supply etc. largely to co-manage. One couldn't say there was a uniform atmosphere.
That changed when the sailors refused to obey orders. This then led to the collapse as we know. Then a general solidarity of the whole workforce in Kiel could be noted: in larger companies firstly the tools were downed. They declared solidarity. Workers' and soldiers' councils found themselves at meetings for talks in the union house."

Amonst the most consequent staffs were at that time those from the Torpedowerkstatt and the Germania ship yard, where the USPD had a strong position. They already downed tools before the decision of the workers' representatives assembly (Vertrauensmännerversammlung). Soon there was general strike all over Kiel.


Torpedowerkstatt, present day map Torpedowerkstatt, former map

Größere Kartenansicht
  A city map from xxxx (in progress).
Present day view Former view
Foto MaK/Caterpillar 2009  
MaK (at this place the Torpedowerkstatt was located) Nov. 2009, Foto K. Kuhl  
Germania shipyard, present day map Germania shipyard, former map

Größere Kartenansicht
Stadtpaln historisch
  Part of a town map 1910 (Stadtarchiv).
Foto Germaniawerft-Gelände 2011 Foto Germaniawerft  historisch
Photo: View at the Germania shipyard-area from ZOB 2011 (Kuhl) Photo Germania shipyard(town archive)

More expalanations of the events:

In progress ...

The virtual sightseeing tour at a glance:

  1. Holtenau viaduct and locks >>
  2. Large drillground (Großer Exerzierplatz) >>
  3. Karlstraße / Langer Segen >>
  4. Torpedo workshop Friedrichsort, Germania shipyard Kiel-Gaarden >>
  5. Barracks (Kasernen) in Kiel-Wik >>
  6. Marinestation Ostsee >>
  7. Arrestanstalt (military prison >>
  8. Trade union house (Gewerkschaftshaus) >>
  9. Town hall (Rathaus) >>
  10. "Schloßhof" >>
  11. Station (Bahnhof) >>
  12. Graves of the killed revolutionaries and soldiers >>

Real, guided tours on this subject are offered by:
- Geo-Step-by-Step >>
- Ernst Mühlenbrink, via Society for Kiel's Town History (Gesellschaft für Kieler Stadtgeschichte) >>
- AKENS, Asche Arbeitskreis >>


Last modified: 13 Nov. 2011


Sailors' Revolt / Kiel Mutiny November 1918 - here you'll find the following further information:

  • Interview with one of the leaders of the mutiny: Lothar Popp >>
  • CV Lothar Popp >>
  • Recollection of the other leader of the mutiny: Karl Artelt >>
  • CV Karl Artelt >>
  • Additional contemporary witnesses (Riedl, Bredenbek, Preßler, Pump; diary of an engineer, Jung, Völcker, ...) >>
  • Videofilm with contemporary witnesses: "Kiel schreibt Geschichte - Matrosenaufstand im November 1918" >>
  • Evaluations of the incidents in Kiel (Dähnhardt, Wette, ...) >>
  • Detailed timeline with documents >>
  • Virtual sightseeing tour >>
  • Commentary >>