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Some of the signatory states followed the recommendations of the treaty only half-heartedly.Whereas the original intention of the German naval presence had been the protection of German lives and property, aggression by the Republican side had tended to identify them as the "enemy".By then Germany had withdrawn from the international control following two submarine attacks on the light cruiser Leipzig off the Algerian port of Oran on 15 and 18 June.Deutschland called at the Italian port of Gaeta and spent the Christmas and New Year period at Napoli (Naples), with short excursions to Capri, Amalfi and Taormina accompanied by destroyers and torpedo-boats.About 9.300 refugees, including 4.550 Germans, were brought to safety.After a proposal from the French government four nations (Britain, France, Germany and Italy) signed an treaty to maintain an international non-intervention control of allotted sectors of the Spanish coast. The German Kriegsmarine accepted responsibility for the Mediterranean coast between Cabo de Gata (Almeria) and Oropesa.Deutschland and sistership Admiral Scheer set off for Spanish waters under command of Vize-Admiral Rolf Carls.
The worst of the casualties occurred to the personnel of "A" turret, and it was twenty minutes before these guns could be trained on the approaching Republican destroyers, which ceased fire and turned away when ready ammunition for the 15 cm starboard battery exploded at 1930.During the homeward voyage to Germany no effort was spared in repairing or camouflaging the damage.The bodies of three casualties interred at Ibiza arrived aboard Leopard on 9 June.At the time of the disaster no special state of alert was in effect aboard Deutschland and the AA guns were probably not manned - a grave omission after the warning in Mallorca a few days previously.Situation was under control and allowed Deutschland to weigh anchor and sail for a rendezvous with Admiral Scheer off Formentera.
In time, therefore, it would become apparent who was supporting whom.