SS Deutschland (1923)
The SS Deutschland
|Port of registry:||Germany|
|Route:||Hamburg to New York|
|Builder:||Blohm & Voss, Kommandit Ges auf Aktien, Hamburg, Germany|
|Launched:||28 April 1923|
|Maiden voyage:||27 March 1924|
|Fate:||Transferred to the Kriegsmarine in 1940.|
upper works white
funnels buff with red, white and black tops
|Career (Nazi Germany)|
|Fate:||Capsized and sank on 3 May 1945 as a result of a British air attack.|
|Class and type:||Ocean liner|
|Tonnage:||21,046 gross tons|
|Length:||196.6 m overall|
|Installed power:||8 steam turbines|
|Crew:||422 officers and crew|
One of a group of four ships that included the SS Albert Ballin, SS Hamburg, and SS New York, the Deutschland was launched on 28 April 1923. She began her maiden voyage on 27 March 1924, to Southampton and then on to New York City. The ship had tremendous problems with vibration, becoming known as the "Cocktail Shaker"; she was re-engined in 1929, with service speed reduced to 19 knots.
Second World War
In 1940, she became an accommodation ship for the German navy at Gotenhafen. In 1945, on seven Baltic voyages as part of Operation Hannibal, she carried 70,000 soldiers and refugees from the German eastern territories to the west.
In April 1945, she possibly began conversion to a hospital ship. The story goes that an attempt was made to paint the vessel white, but there was only sufficient paint available to paint her funnels white, and to paint a Red Cross on one side of one of her funnels. On 3 May 1945, she capsized and sank in the Bay of Lübeck off Neustadt after a British air attack. The same British air attack sank SS Cap Arcona and Thielbek.
In 1949, her wreck was raised and scrapped.
- Sometimes called Deutschland IV to distinguish from others of the name
- Roy Nesbit – Cap Arcona: atrocity or accident? – Aeroplane Monthly, June 1984.
- Williams, David, Wartime Disasters at Sea, Patrick Stephens Ltd., Nr Yeovil, Somerset, UK, 1997, pp. 236–37.