MV Wilhelm Gustloff

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MV Wilhelm Gustloff was a German military transport ship which was sunk on 30 January 1945 by Soviet submarine S-13 in the Baltic Sea while evacuating German civilians, German officials and military personnel from Gdynia (Gotenhafen) as the Red Army advanced. By one estimate, 9,400 people died, which makes it the largest loss of life in a single ship sinking in history.

Constructed as a cruise ship for the Kraft durch Freude (Strength Through Joy) organisation in 1937, she had been requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine (German navy) in 1939. She served as a hospital ship in 1939 and 1940. She was then assigned as a floating barracks for naval personnel in Gdynia (Gotenhafen) before being put into service to transport evacuees in 1945.

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Wilhelm Gustloff was constructed by the Blohm & Voss shipyards. Measuring 208.5 m (684 ft 1 in) long by 23.59 m (77 ft 5 in) wide with a capacity of 25,484 gross register tons (GRT), she was launched on 5 May 1937.

The ship was originally intended to be named Adolf Hitler but was named after Wilhelm Gustloff, a leader of the National Socialist Party‘s Swiss branch, who had been assassinated by a Jewish medical student in 1936. Hitler decided on the name change after sitting next to Gustloff’s widow during his memorial service.

 

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3 comments

  1. Rudolf · June 6

    Reblogged this on rudolfblog.

    Like

  2. Rudolf · June 6

    Greatest naval Crime of ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • vikinglifeblog · June 6

      Absolutely horrible. How could the Russians not know, that there was a lot of women and children onboard!

      Like

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