Herman the German

Titan, better known by its former nickname Herman the German (US Navy designation YD-171), is a large floating crane currently serving in the Panama Canal Zone performing heavy lifts for lock maintenance. Prior to its move to Panama in 1996, the crane was based at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard (LBNSY) from the end of World War II until the closure of LBNSY in 1995. It was seized from the German Kriegsmarine following the end of World War II as part of war reparations. The crane was built by Demag Cranes AG as Schwimmkran nr. 1 in 1941 for the Kriegsmarine, where it had served in the Baltic Sea tending German U-boats.

The crane was one of four sister ships, two of which are still afloat and in service.

13 comments

  1. tonytran2015 · January 24, 2018

    Victors became vultures feeding off the dead bodies.

    Like

    • vikinglifeblog · January 25, 2018

      You are absolutely right.
      Did anybody say space program, jet planes and car industry.

      Like

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  7. Norbert · March 12, 2018

    About the Hamburg Schwimmkran:
    Actually this crane was the 2nd exemplar of the two floating cranes ordered by the USSR in 1939. Finished in 1942 or 1943 the crane was preliminary put in service for the harbour of Hamburg. It was not sunk during the Gomorrah raid but later in 1944 by another British bombing action. The pontoon was sunk in shallow water, the crane itself mostly remained intact.
    After the end of the war the Soviets claimed successfully for that wreck but they were unable to salvage and repair the crane on site.
    So the sunken floating crane stayed until March 27th 1949 when a British demolition squad made two shots. All attempts of the Hamburg Senate to retrieve the crane for wreck salvaging and bridge ruins removing were in vain.
    A first shot on the morning of that day resulted in a big burst cloud and an unimpressed, still standing crane structure. A second shot on the afternoon let the crane finally sink down.
    This demolition is documented by film and can be seen in a 2 minute sequence on: Christian Mangels, ‘Hamburg damals – Die Jahre 1945 – 1949’, NDR Hamburg, 2009, DVD from http://www.ardvideo.de
    Additional inormations:
    The mentioned 100 ton HHLA crane is a predecessor of the four 350 ton cranes and has been brought into service in 1937.
    The first Soviet (Leningrad) crane has been finished some day in the 1950-60ies on the base of the original DEMAG-drawings which were in the scope of delivery of the 1939 contract. Three or Four? other floating cranes based on this design were erected by the Soviets, possibly with the aid of the GDR company Bleichert, (later VTA) in Leipzig.
    The following three Soviet cranes of this family are known to me:
    1. Leningrad (today St. Petersburg), based on the DEMAG pontoon with inner tower
    2. Wladiwostok, reproduction
    3. Sewerodwinsk, reproduction
    Best regards
    Norbert

    Liked by 1 person

    • vikinglifeblog · March 12, 2018

      Norbert
      Thank you, for sharing the information. It is all new to me, I appreciate it.

      Like

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