Karl August Nerger
Fregattenkapitän (Naval Commander), Commanding Officer, Auxiliary Cruiser SMS Wolf (II), German Naval Forces.
Karl August Nerger was awarded the Pour le Mérite on Feb 24, 1918 in recognition of the sucessful 451 days trip througout the Indian Ocean, the Pacific and the Tasman Sea, placing mines in Singapore and other south Asian harbors. (Karl August Nerger wurde am 24. Februar 1918 mit dem Orden Pour le Mérite in Anerkennung seiner erfolgreichen 451 Tage dauernden Kaperfahrt im Indischen und Pazifischen Ozean sowie für das Minenlegen im Hafen von Singapur und anderen südasiatischen Häfen ausgezeichnet.)
During that successful 15 months war patrol, the SMS Wolf sank 214,000 tons of Allied warships and merchant vessels. Commander Nerger served on the SMS Iltis during the Boxer Rebellion in China during 1800-1901. There he displayed distinction in action during the attack on the Chinese Taku forts.
He was also one of six non-Bavarian recipients of the Military Max Joseph Order during WWI. He received this award on 1 May 1918.
Karl Agust Nerger was born 1874 in Rostock situated in the northern part of Germany, in the vacinity of the Baltic Sea. Brought up at the shore of the Baltic Sea he always wanted to become a naval officer as his brother Dr. Bruno Nerger also wanted, who was a doctor on several war ships like S.M.S. Kaiserin. Karl Agust Nerger became an officer in 1896, and as commander of S.M.S. Stettin he took part in the battle of Helgoland.
He also was enganged in the takeover of the so-called Toku-Forts in the Far East (China) on board S.M.S. Iltis in 1900. After his return to Germany in 1918 he was appointed to the Staff of Admirality. His last rank in the 30's was Konter-Admiral (Rear Admiral). He died as a prisoner of war Jan 10, 1947 in the concentration camp Sachsenhausen which had been overtook from the Soviets by the end of WWII. According to his family, he lived in Potsdam. At the end of the war, as Berlin was taken by the Soviet forces, they captured him as former high ranking officer and transferred him into the camp. The cause of his death is not known to his family.
Special Note: The photos, documents, and biographical information has been supplied by the courtesy of Klaus Nerger, who is the great grandson of Karl August Nerger.
The three photos below show the reception in Berlin in front of Brandenburger Tor (Gate) after surprisingly coming back to Germany after such a long time; the ship nearly was abondoned.
The SMS Wolf (II) was surrendered to France on 5 April 1919. It was renamed to the SS Wachtfels. In 1921 the ship was again renamed by the French as the SS Antinous and was later scrapped in Italy in 1931. Below is the mapped course that the SMS Wolf during WWI.
Below is shown the WÖLFCHEN which was a plane designated to carry out reconnaissance missions to find ships in the area.
Below is the group portrait of the crew after they arrived at Kiel.
Below is the invitation of the WOLF crew to a reception evening in Zirkus Busch which was a very famous place at that time in Berlin.