Blohm + Voss (also shown historically as Blohm & Voss or Blohm und Voss), is a German shipbuilding and engineering works. It is a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. ThyssenKrupp announced in December 2011 that it had agreed the sale of Blohm + Voss' civil shipbuilding division to British investment company STAR Capital Partners, pending regulatory approval. The company built aircraft through Hamburger Flugzeugbau before and during World War II.
It was founded on April 5, 1877, by Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss as a general partnership named Blohm & Voss (Blohm und Voss English: "Blohm and Voss"). A shipyard was built on the island of Kuhwerder, near the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, covering 15,000 m² with 250 m of water frontage and three building berths, two suitable for ships of up to 100 metres length. The company's logo is a simple dark blue rectangle with rounded corners bearing the white letters "Blohm+Voss". Until 1955 the company name was shown with the ampersand.
The company has continued to build ships and other large machines for 125 years. Despite being almost completely demolished after the end of World War II, it now builds warships both for the Deutsche Marine and for export (see MEKO), as well as oil drilling equipment and ships for numerous commercial customers.
Today Blohm + Voss is (along with Howaldtswerke at Kiel and Nordseewerke at Emden) a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.
History during the Third Reich 
With the rise of the Nazi Party to power in 1933, Germany's rearmament in violation of the Versailles Treaty was begun. This began a sudden change in fortune for the company, run then by brothers Rudolf and Walther Blohm, which was taken out of a deep crisis. Blohm & Voss, which had until then specialized in shipbuilding, also began to design and build aircraft for use by both the German state airline, pre-war Deutsche Luft Hansa, and the air-force, Luftwaffe. The aeronautical section of the company was named Hamburger Flugzeugbau, therefore the first planes it produced had the code "Ha", but in September 1937 the aviation subsidiary was renamed Abteilung Flugzeugbau der Schiffswerft Blohm & Voss which was later replaced by "BV". Particularly noteworthy were the large flying boats the company produced-especially the largest aircraft designed, built and flown by any of the Axis forces, the Bv 238, and their ingenious approaches to aircraft building that even featured asymmetric designs.
From July 1944 to April 1945 Blohm & Voss used inmates of its own concentration subcamp at its shipyard in Hamburg-Steinwerder. The camp was a subcamp to the Neuengamme concentration camp. Now a memorial stands in the former site of the camp and the company continues to pay an undisclosed amount to the Fund for Compensation of Forced Laborers.
Ships and submarines 
Notable ships built by Blohm + Voss include:
Tall ships 
Ocean liners and other passenger ships 
- RMS Majestic, a White Star Line liner and the largest ship in the world from 1914 until the completion of the Normandie in 1935
- SS Cap Arcona, a Hamburg Süd liner sunk with great loss of life near the end of the Second World War
- Europa, a Norddeutsche Lloyd liner and Blue Riband winner
- MV Explorer, the ship currently used by the Semester at Sea university study abroad program
- Norway, originally built as the transatlantic liner France, was refitted as a cruise ship by Blohm + Voss.
- Potsdam, a Norddeutscher Lloyd turbo-electric liner that served as an Allied troopship and then the Pakistani pilgrim ship Safina-E-Hujjaj.
- Pretoria and TS Windhuk, Deutsche Ost-Afrika Linie passenger cargo liners.
- Prinzessin Victoria Luise, a Hamburg America Line ship and the World's first ship built exclusively for cruising
- MV Wilhelm Gustloff, KdF cruise ship and currently the World's worst maritime disaster when she was sunk towards the end of Second World War
Private yachts 
Warships of World War I 
Warships of World War II 
Modern ships 
|Blohm + Voss Shipbuilding
Blohm + Voss shipyard entrance
Blohm + Voss Dock 10 in Hamburg
The Cosco Brisbane at Blohm & Voss Shipyard, April 2005
From 1933 to 1945, Blohm & Voss also operated the Hamburger Flugzeugbau aircraft company. Although initially given the factory code Ha (for the factory's official name), the link with Blohm & Voss shipyards proved too strong and therefore the early aircraft designs were called "Blohm & Voss, type Ha..." followed by the design number. To end this confusion, in 1938 the Reichsluftfahrtministerium gave in to the unavoidable and changed the company code to BV.
Aircraft and projects designed under the Ha and BV designations can be found at
List of Blohm + Voss Aircraft and projects
Although Hamburger Flugzeugbau re-emerged after the war and, under different names and ownerships, continued to build aircraft until the present day, this company has no more ties to the Blohm & Voss shipyards.
See also 
- Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aircraft Manufacturers. Stroud, UK:Sutton Publishing, Second edition, 2005. ISBN 0-7509-3981-8.
- Meyhoff, Andreas. Blohm & Voss im »Dritten Reich«, Eine Hamburger Großwerft zwischen Geschäft und Politik (Hamburger Beiträge zur Sozial- und Zeitgeschichte, Band 38) (in German). Hamburg, Germany: Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg, 2001. ISBN 3-89244-916-3.
- Pohlmann, Herrmann. 'Chronik Eines Flugzeugwerkes 1932-1945. B&V - Blohm & Voss Hamburg - HFB Hamburger Flugzeugbau (in German). Motor Buch Verlag, 1979 ISBN 3-87943-624-X.
- Prager, Hans Georg and Bishop, Frederick A.(Transl.). Blohm + Voss: Ships and Machinery for the World. London: Brassey's Publishers Limited, 1977. ISBN 0-904609-14-6.
- Witthöft, Hans J. Tradition und Fortschritt - 125 Jahre Blohm + Voss (in German). Koehlers Verlag, 2002. ISBN 3-7822-0847-1.
- Wixey, Ken. Flugboots from Hamburg: An outline history of Blohm und Voss flying-boats Air Enthusiast No.82 July/August 1999 pp42–48
- Aviso Grille - Hitler's War Yacht - Revel Barker
External links