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    World War II

    Between mid-1942 until early 1944, seven cuban ships were sunked by German submarines (U-Boot) in actions where were killed more than eighty Cuban marines and three Americans.
    These ships were torpedoed and cannonaded by the ships from Germany that were marauding, acting as spies, on our territorial waters.

    As an evocation of these fatal encounters there are at least two monuments erected to the fallen Cuban sailors. One of these is located at Avenida del Puerto and O Reilley Street, on an obelisk in front of the sea in the municipality Habana Vieja and the other one is in the city of Cienfuegos, in the park The Mambí, which is opposite to the Recreation Center Los Pinitos. This monument was built thanks to the contribution of the residents of queen neighborhood, to leave a memory of the victims sailors aboard the ship Mambí. 

    Finally, in the maritime theme of war, says the book "Following the German mark in Cuba", that a Cuban flag hunting submarine (CS - 13) on May 15th 1943 was able to overturn the German spy submarine at the southeast of the lighthouse, located in Cayo Bahia de Cadiz, near Nuevitas.

    Continuing the theme of the Cuban-German relation during World War II, in the book we read that once the war was declared to Japan, Italy and Germany in our country were created internment camps, also called the enemy's concentration camps or prisons in the municipality of Arroyo Arenas for women and others for men in Tiscornia, Torrens and Isle of Pines. 

    In 1941 arrived to Cuba, the German Spy August Kunning Heinz, who using the false name of Henry Augustus Lunin and taking advantage of his knowledge of telegraphy and radio engineering, under the guise of a small trader of Latin American origin, gathered important information and data from diverse nature of sugar, coffee and tobacco productions in Cuba. 

    Also the German spy informed to the intelligence German corpes abput the tonnage, capacity and nautical posibilities of the Cuban maritime fleet, which made its voyages between Cuban ports and host ports in Europe, U.S. and other countries of Southern American Continent. These reports allowed the actions of sinking Cuban ships in Manzanillo and Santiago de Cuba, in 1942, as is quoted above.

    He was discovered by the Cuban intelligence forces who found maps, sketches and drawings of Cuban malls and different communication equipment both recipients and long-range transmitters and demostrative documents of his contacts with other Nazis, and a curious pen-gun, that is, at present, exhibited in the Museum and Public Library Oscar Maria de Rojas, in Cardenas, Matanzas.

    This curious firearm taken to the Nazi spy, measures 14.5 centimeters long and 2.5 wide. Was manufactured in the United States, because presented engraved an inscription: The Lake Erie Chemical Co., Cleveland Ohio, USA. 

    Of 12 mm caliber, with a single shot and a trigger in button form, this lethal weapon called Pocket Pistol or Pencil Gun, which was fashionable in the late 19th century and the first four decades of the 20th century. It was used mainly by travelers, players, professionals, light women and spies in many countries of the world.

    By: Raul Martell

    Source: Cubarte, Portal of Cuban Culture.



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