My question is inspired by reading about the Unsinkable Sam story, where according to Wikipedia the Unsinkable Sam was initially living aboard the German battleship Bismarck.

Now my question isn't whether or not the story of Unsinkable Sam is real or not, or whether there really was a cat aboard Bismark, but rather that I am simply wondering: Did the Kriegsmarine really allow crew to have pets on ships?

To summarize my question:

  • Did the Kriegsmarine officially allow crew to have pets on board warships?
  • If not, did crewmen still bring pets aboard ships as far historical evidence suggest and was it common?
  • 2
    en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship%27s_cat Says the Royal Navy banned pets aboard vessels in 1975.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 5, 2020 at 21:47
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    smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/… and so forth. Seems quite likely they were common in all navies in WWII.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 5, 2020 at 21:49
  • 3
    The german version of Ship's cat - Wikipedia (Schiffskatze) quotes the Jahrbuch der deutschen kriegsmarine, 1936 (Yearbook of the german navy, 1936): The Austro-Hungarian Navy had "official ship cats" whose keeping on board was covered by their own budget. Otherwise, it seems, they came with the rats. Oct 5, 2020 at 22:18
  • 2
    There is a difference between (ordinary) sailors being allowed to bring their pets and captains being allowed to organize a ship's pet/mascot. Your question should clarify if you are interested in one or both.
    – o.m.
    Oct 6, 2020 at 15:36
  • 2
    Cats need not be pets. You didn't want mice and rats to get into your stores.
    – Mary
    Oct 13, 2020 at 0:59


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