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Name: Usaramo
Owner: Deutsche Ost-Afrika Linie
Route: Europe-Africa
Builder: Blohm + Voss
Launched: 1920
Completed: 1921
Fate: Commandeered by Abwehr, scuttled 1944
General characteristics
Type: Steamship
Displacement: 7,758 t
Installed power: Steam
Propulsion: Single screw
Capacity: 264 passengers
Crew: 107

The Usaramo was a German passenger ship named after a location in the central highlands of German East Africa (now Tanzania).[1][2] She had a crew of 107, could carry 264 passengers and was powered by steam turbine. Her building number was 389 and her home port was Hamburg. Her sister ships were the Ussukuma of the Deutsche Ost-Afrika Linie and the Wangoni of the Woermann-Linie.

She was launched on 1920 at the Hamburg shipyard of Blohm + Voss and entered service with the Deutsche Ost-Afrika Linie the following year. On 6 August 1936, 18 days after the start of the Spanish civil war, the Usaramo arrived at Cadiz on a secret mission, with a load of 16 aircraft, including a single Ju 87 A-0 (the V4 prototype) with allocated serial number 29-1 that was assigned to the VJ/88, the experimental Staffel of the Condor Legion's fighter wing; along with 30 antiaircraft guns, ammunition and supplies that were hurriedly carried by train to Seville.[3]

In 1938, Austrian author Franziska Tausig acquired two tickets for the Usaramo, a ship that was supposed to be scrapped in Japan, which transported Jews to Shanghai on the way.

In 1940, she was requisitioned by Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine and apparently used as an accommodation ship, bombed and sunk at Bordeaux, was refloated but in 1944, was sunk and used as a blockship in the Gironde estuary.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Deutsches Kolonial-Lexikon 1920, Vol III, page 595
  2. ^ USUKUMA - map of the location after which the ship was named.
  3. ^ [1]