Galeb (yacht)

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Galeb Rijeka 05072013 2 roberta f.jpg
Presidential Yacht Galeb
Career (Italy)
Name: RAMB III
Builder: Ansaldo, Genoa
Acquired: 1938
Out of service: 1943
Fate: Captured by Germany
Career (Germany)
Name: Kiebitz
Acquired: 1943
Out of service: 1944
Fate: Sunk by Allies
Career (Yugoslavia)
Name: Galeb
Acquired: 1952
Out of service: 1991
Fate: Docked after disbanding of Yugoslav Navy

Yugoslav Navy (JRM) training ship Galeb, also known as The Peace Ship Galeb (Brod Mira Galeb), was used as an official yacht 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 Croatian for "seagull".

History[edit]

See also: Ramb III

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.[1]

The ship first came to international attention in March 1953 when it brought Tito from Yugoslavia to the River Thames, following the invitation from the British Government headed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. It was the first visit to United Kingdom of a communist head of state.[2][3] Due to the yacht's size, Galeb moored at Greenwich. Proposals for the ship to dock at Malta en route to Britain were refused by the islands' Governor.[3]

Galeb in dock, Viktor Lenac shipyard, Kostrena, Croatia, 2008

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, Muammar Gaddafi and Indira Gandhi. Tito was particularly excited to welcome Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who played Tito in the 1973 war epic Sutjeska.[citation needed]

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 owned 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 Galeb in the hope of acquiring the vessel to become a museum ship.[4] In September 2008 the boat partially sank on its right side after a leak developed in its hull.[5] On 22 May 2009, the ship was sold to city of Rijeka for US$150,000, subsequently confirmed by the High Mercantile Court of Croatia.

On 16 July 2014, the Mayor of Rijeka announced that the Galeb would be leased out for mixed use, partly as a museum incorporating the former President's private rooms and some of the engineering space, and partly for commercial activities such as restaurants and bars. Tenders for a thirty-year lease will be invited during 2014 and it is expected to raise about €10 million.[6]


List of (guest) heads of state[edit]

The following heads of state have been entertained on the Galeb:

List of (guest) famous people[edit]

The following people have been entertained on the Galeb:

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rijeka is buying Galeb :: Visit-Montenegro News Archive". Visit-montenegro.com. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  2. ^ "1953: Marshal Tito makes historic visit to London". BBC, London. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b 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. 
  4. ^ "Marshall Tito’s 384″ Yacht, Galeb To Be Auctioned Off – Sybarites". Sybarites.org. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  5. ^ "Titov Galeb počeo tonuti" [Tito's boat Galeb has begun to sink]. jutarnji.hr (in Croatian). 9 September 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-30. 
  6. ^ "Tito's legendary yacht to become permanent museum". ANSAmed. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 

External links[edit]