This article lists the various minor fictional characters who appear in Harry Turtledove's shared-universe novella "Last Flight of the Swan of the East". These characters play at best a peripheral role in the novella. Most were simply mentioned or had a very brief, unimportant speaking role that impacted the plot minimally, if at all, and never appeared again. Some were not even given a name.

Note: Per wiki policy, most Turtledove works shorter than a novel are not given a "Minor Fictional Characters" list. An exception has been granted here, as "Last Flight of the Swan of the East" is a longer novella, embracing a number of minor characters whose overall impact on the plot is negligible.

Franz-Walter Beyer[]

Lufmaat Franz-Walter Beyer (d. November 1914) was a tow-headed Bavarian member of the crew of the SMS Emden. He joined the landing team Hellmuth von Mücke led against an American electroid refinery in the Philippines in November, 1914.[1] Beyer was one of the five men who helped clear out the workers in the refinery and set explosive charges.[2] However, one of the charges went off prematurely. While all five men made it out of the refinery, an discharge of electricity struck Beyer, killing him almost instantly.[3]

Klaus Breitenstein[]

Klaus Breitenstein was a member of the crew of the SMS Emden. He joined the landing team Hellmuth von Mücke led against an American electroid refinery in the Philippines in November, 1914.[4] After the refinery was destroyed, he and the rest of the landing team saw the destroyed Emden. He was initially skeptical of Mücke's plan to sail off the island in the Following Sea, but ultimately agreed once Mücke invoked Karl von Müller, Emden's skipper. He participated in Mücke's piracy scheme.[5]

Captain of the Clan Matheson[]

The captain of the Clan Matheson was a Scottish-born American. Early in the Great War, the U.S. decided to disguise the Clan Matheson as a ship belonging to neutral Britain. However, when German leviathan Emden seized the Clan Matheson, Captain Karl von Müller saw through the ruse. After finding an American ensign under the captain's bed and other paperwork confirming the ship's American commission, the Germans shot a racing horse the ship had been carrying, then sank the Clan Matheson after transferring the crew to the Emden. Müller returned the American ensign to the Scottish captain, admonishing him for such a "filthy trick." The captain looked at the Emden's British paint scheme, but said nothing.[6]

Captain of the Dovre[]

The captain of the Dovre formally observed his country's neutrality in the Great War. However, she was still subject to inspection by belligerents. When the Dovre was en route to Rangoon, the German leviathan Emden stopped and searched her, but found no contraband of war. The captain of the Emden, Karl von Müller paid the captain of Dovre to take the crew of the previously captured Clan Matheson. The Norwegian even agreed to hold off arriving in Rangoon for an additional day so the Emden could disappear. The Norwegian also shared a rumor that Americans were coaling at Phnom Penh.[7]

Captain of the Kaiserin Elisabeth[]

On the eve of the outbreak of the Great War, the captain of the Kaiserin Elisabeth flew his leviathan into the German port of Tsingtao in July, 1914. He and his crew dined with Karl von Müller and the crew of the SMS Emden. The Austrian captain was confident that Austria would defeat Serbia, but he wasn't sure what would happen next, an admission that Müller found unfortunate.[8]

Commandant of Tsingtao[]

The German commandant of Tsingtao was aware that the United States would be attacking in the near future. He shared this realization with Karl von Müller, cheerfully admitting to Müller that the Germans would hold out a few weeks, but would ultimately be defeated. Müller was relieved that he'd already been ordered out to raid commerce in the Pacific.[9]


Drinkwater was the British commander of the American ship Jacob H. Gallinger. After the German leviathan was shot down in November, 1914, U.S. commanders believed shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean was safe. In early December, 1914, Hellmutch von Mücke, the Emden's one-time executive officer, successfully captured the Dutch civilian leviathan Meester Cornelis. The first ship they captured was the Jacob H. Gallinger, which was en route to Mangalore. Mücke allowed Drinkwater to believe that the Dutch ship was the Emden. When the Jacob H. Gallinger arrived in Mangalore, the crew spread that rumor. [10]

Dutch Neutrality Officer[]

A Dutch neutrality officer in Padang did not believe Hellmuth von Mücke's claim that his stolen schooner, the Following Sea was a warship. When Mücke reminded him that the laws of neutrality gave belligerents 24 hours to resupply (and when Mücke threatened to use the Maxim gun the Germans had with them), the officer finally relented. Nonetheless, the neutrality officer did try to convince Mücke to stay and inter himself in Padang for the duration of the war. Mücke didn't listen.[11]

John Glossop[]

Sky Captain John Glossop captained the Cincinnati during the first months of the Great War. In November 1914, the Cincinnati found the German leviathan Emden near the Philippines, as well as her collier, the Markomannia. The Cincinnati vastly outclassed both German ships, and successfully blew both out of the sky. The Cincinnati rescued the survivors from the Emden, but there was no one to rescue from the Markomannia. Glossop met with Karl von Müller, the captain of the Emden, telling him he'd fought bravely. Glsossop informed Müller that he would be transferred to Pearl Harbor.[12]

Literary Comment[]

British naval officer John Glossop commanded the HMAS Sydney, the ship that sank the water vessel Emden in November 1914 in OTL.

Peter de Graaf[]

Peter de Graaf was the captain of the Meester Cornelis, a Dutch civilian leviathan. In November 1914, the Meester Cornelis investigated a fire aboard a schooner. They soon discovered that the fire was a ruse; the schooner was crewed by German [1] Hellmuth von Mücke and his men. They quickly boarded the Meester Cornelis. Mücke secured paroles from skipper Peter de Graaf most of the crew, and all of the passengers. Mücke then ordered the Meester Cornelis out of Dutch airspace. Within a few days, they raided the ship Jacob H. Gallinger. When the Jacob H. Gallinger arrived at Mangalore, rumors began that the Emden was still active. Once the truth was established, the Germans were long gone.[13]

On December 24, 1914, the Germans raided the Savannah's Price, which gave them enough coal to reach the Arabian Nights. Avoiding British-held Aden and French-held Djibouti. Mücke's ultimate goal was Hodeida, which was under Ottoman rule. Once here, Mücke and his crew took their leave, returning the ship to de Graaf, who immediately flew from the area.[14]


Harris was the captain of the SS Hewitt. In September, 1914, the German leviathan SMS Emden captured the Hewitt southwest of Colombo. Harris and the rest of the crew were taken prisoner, and the Hewitt sunk.[15]

George Long[]

George Long was the skipper of the S.S. West Cobalt. In October, 1914, his ship was carrying eteroid ore to the USA's possesions in the Far East, attempting the cross the Indian Ocean despite the presence of German raiders. Although Long took a circuitous route, the German leviathan SMS Emden seized the West Cobalt. Captain Karl von Müller confirmed that the West Cobalt was carrying eteroid. With regrets, he ordered the West Cobalt sunk. The captured George Long was angry that he'd been caught, and that the lost eteroid cost his employers three million dollars.[16]

Jens Rasmussen[]

Jens Rasmussen was a member of the crew of the SMS Emden. He'd previously served on a herring boat before joining the military. He joined the landing team Hellmuth von Mücke led against an American electroid refinery in the Philippines in November, 1914.[17] After the refinery was destroyed, he and the rest of the landing team saw the destroyed Emden. Rasmussen was one of a half dozen men who had practical experience with water vessels, and was sure he could show the others how to sail the schooner, the Following Sea. In Mücke's opinion, Rasmussen became the master of the Following Sea.[18]

Horst Schild[]

Horst Schild was the German Empire's consul in Padang, Dutch East Indies. In November, 1914, German Oberleutnant Hellmuth von Mücke and a detachment of men arrived in Padang. The Germans had been part of the crew of the Emden; they'd been in a landing party in the Philippines when the Emden was shot down. Mücke and his party successfully sailed a schooner called the Following Sea from the Philippines to Padang. Schild made sure the Germans received money and supplies.[19]

Skipper of the Princess Alice[]

While flying over the Indian Ocean, the German leviathan Emden rendezvoused with the SS Princess Alice, hoping to secure more coal from the mail ship. Her skipper informed Karl von Müller of the Emden that the Princess Alice was having problems with its boilers and had just enough coal to get to Batavia. While Müller had his doubts, he gave mail to the skipper from the Emden's crew.

Müller's first officer, Hellmuth von Mücke, believed the skipper of the Princess Alice was lying, and that the Emden should bomb the mail boat.[20]

Skipper of the Rjäsan[]

The skipper of the Rjäsan surrendered to the Emden early in the Great War. In fair German, he asked Karl von Müller what would become of his airship. Müller said that it would be refitted for German service at Tsingtao. The skipper asserted that the United States would take Tsingtao shortly. Müller asked rhetorically whether the skipper knew what the Americans would do.[21]


Umbgrove was the captain of the Dutch leviathan, Tromp, which patrolled the Dutch half of Timor, Dutch East Indies. As the Netherlands had remained neutral in the Great War, Umbgrove was responsible for enforcing a policy of allowing belligerents to stay in Dutch airspace and waters for one day in three months. In late August 1914, Umbgrove forced a German collier steamship away from Timor in observation of this policy. Umbgrove informed Karl von Müller, captain of the SMS Emden, that he'd done this while they had a beer aboard the Tromp. Afterward, the Tromp escorted the Emden and its accompanying collier, the Markomania, out of Dutch airspace.[22]


  1. Leviathans: Armored Skies, loc. 5156.
  2. Ibid., loc. 5182.
  3. Ibid., loc. 5186-5244.
  4. Leviathans: Armored Skies, loc. 5300, ebook.
  5. Ibid., loc. 5300-5390.
  6. Leviathans: Armored Skies, pgs. 322-323, loc. 4650-4670, ebook.
  7. Leviathans: Armored Skies, pg. 323, loc. 4650.
  8. Leviathans: Armored Skies, pg. 296-297, loc. 4229-4240.
  9. Ibid., pg. 307, loc. 4407, ebook.
  10. Ibid. loc. 5396-5445, ebook.
  11. Ibid., loc. 5364-5377.
  12. Leviathans: Armored Skies, loc. 5113-5284, ebook.
  13. Ibid., loc. 5396-5445, ebook.
  14. Ibid., loc. 5497-5511.
  15. Ibid. pg. 329, loc. 4152, ebook.
  16. Ibid., pgs. 334-339, loc. 4823-4906.
  17. Leviathans: Armored Skies, loc. 5300, ebook.
  18. Ibid., loc. 5300-5390.
  19. Ibid., loc. 5364-5377.
  20. Ibid. pgs. 311, loc. 4469, ebook.
  21. Ibid., pg. 305-307, loc. 4387-4407, ebook.
  22. Ibid., pg. 313-314 , loc. 4489-4529.