||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2009)|
Presidential Yacht Galeb
|Out of service:||1943|
|Fate:||Captured by Germany|
|Out of service:||1944|
|Fate:||Sunk by Allies|
|Out of service:||1991|
|Fate:||Docked after disbanding of Yugoslav Navy|
Yugoslav Navy (JRM) Yacht Galeb, also known as The Peace Ship Galeb (Brod Mira), was used by the late President of the Yugoslav Republic Marshal Josip Broz Tito on his numerous foreign trips and to entertain heads of state, as well as other persons of worldwide renown. The ship attained an iconic status among the peoples of Yugoslavia, as well as among the many diverse nations and members of the Non-Aligned Movement. "Galeb" is Serbo-Croatian for "seagull" (the Laridae family).
Galeb started its tumultuous career in 1938 in Genoa, where it was built as a banana-boat Ramb III. After the armistice in 1943, it was taken over by the Germans and they turned it into an auxiliary cruiser under the name Kiebitz. While she was in Rijeka, it was sunk on 25 November 1944 by allied aircraft. Brodospas (SHIPSAVING) from Split, raised Kiebitz in 1948, after which it was taken to the Pula ship building company Uljanik where in 1952 it was reconstructed as a school ship of the Yugoslav Navy under the new name Galeb. Tito embarked on it the first time in 1952 in Podgora, where he conducted an inspection of the boats in the YWN from the deck of the ship. In the next 27 years Galeb was in Tito’s service for a total of 549 days, of which, for 318 days, the Marshal was on board, sailing 86,062 nautical miles (159,387 km) over the Adriatic and other seas on political missions. By Tito’s death, 102 world statesmen had stayed on Galeb.
Galeb was 117 metres long and 15 m wide with a displacement of 5,754 tonnes. With the speed of 17 knots (31 km/h) it was powered by two Fiat diesel engines of 7,200 horsepower in total. The Italians, at one point, offered to SFRJ to remove them and exhibit them in the Fiat museum in Torino. In return, they offered to build an entirely new, modern, school ship, but the Yugoslavs declined.
The yacht first came to international attention in 1953 when Tito sailed up the Thames to meet Winston Churchill on the first visit to United Kingdom of a communist head of state. He was greeted on board by the Duke of Edinburgh. During the trip, the ship was to dock at Malta, but was prevented from doing so by the nation's governor.
Tito loved the glamour the yacht conferred on his regime. He used it for parties, foreign visits and diplomacy. World leaders entertained there included Nikita Khrushchev, Gaddafi and Indira Gandhi. Tito was particularly excited to welcome Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who played Tito in the 1973 war epic Sutjeska.
Galeb belonged to Marshall Tito from 1948 till his death in 1980 when the yacht became the property of the Montenegrin government following the nation's breakup in 1991. It was sold to John Paul Papanicolaou, the same Greek yachtsman who owns the yacht Christina O. It is currently moored on the quayside of the Viktor Lenac Shipyard in Kostrena, a suburb of Rijeka. The Croatian authorities placed a preservation order on the ship and hope to turn it into a museum if they secure ownership at the auction. In September 2008 the boat partially sank on its right side after a leak developed in its hull.
On 30 October 2009, the High Mercantile Court of Croatia confirmed the verdict of the Regional Mercantile Court in which the ownership of Galeb was awarded to the City of Rijeka.
List of (guest) heads of state
The following heads of state have been entertained on the Galeb:
- Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru - India
- President Gamal Abdel Nasser - Egypt
- Queen Elizabeth II - UK
- Secretary General Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev - USSR
- Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev - USSR
- Emperor Haille Selassie - Ethiopia
- UN Secretary General and President Kurt Waldheim - Austria
- President Nicolae Ceauşescu - Romania
- Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi - Libya
- Prime Minister Indira Gandhi - India
List of (guest) famous people
The following people have been entertained on the Galeb:
- "Rijeka is buying Galeb :: Visit-Montenegro News Archive". Visit-montenegro.com. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
- SPEHNJAK, Katarina (2005). "Josip Broz Tito's Visit To Great Britain In 1953". Review of Croatian History 1 (1): 273–294. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
- "Marshall Tito’s 384″ Yacht, Galeb To Be Auctioned Off – Sybarites". Sybarites.org. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
- "Titov Galeb počeo tonuti" [Tito's boat Galeb has begun to sink]. jutarnji.hr (in Croatian). 9 September 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
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