SS Gneisenau (1935)

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SS Gneisenau
Namesake: August Neidhardt von Gneisenau
Owner: Norddeutscher Lloyd
Builder: Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG
Launched: 1935
Fate: Sunk 2 May 1943
Notes: Refloated 12 July 1950 and scrapped
General characteristics
Type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 18,160 GRT
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)

SS Gneisenau was a 18,160 GRT Norddeutscher Lloyd ocean liner that was launched and completed in 1935. Like several other German ships of the same name, she was named after the Prussian Generalfeldmarschall and military reformer August Neidhardt von Gneisenau (1760–1831).

Gneisenau was the second of three sister ships built for NDL. DeSchiMAG in Bremen built Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, while Blohm + Voss in Hamburg built the third sister, Potsdam.

Until the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the trio worked NDL's express service between Bremen and the Far East. At 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)[1] they were some of the fastest ships on the route.[2]

On 2 May 1943, Gneisenau struck a mine in the Baltic Sea, capsized, and sank. The wreck was raised on 12 July 1950 and scrapped in Denmark.[3]


  1. ^ Harnack 1938, p. 549.
  2. ^ Talbot-Booth 1942, p. 405.
  3. ^ "SS Gneisenau (+1943)". Wrecksite. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 

Sources and further reading[edit]

  • Harnack, Edwin P (1938) [1903]. All About Ships & Shipping (7th ed.). London: Faber and Faber. p. 549. 
  • Rothe, Claus (1987). Deutsche Ozean-Passagierschiffe 1919 bis 1985. Berlin: VEB Verlag für Verkehrswesen. ISBN 3-344-00164-7. [page needed]
  • Talbot-Booth, E.C. (1942) [1936]. Ships and the Sea (7th ed.). London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd. pp. 405, 518.