Zeitung Hamburger Illustrierte no 18 6 mai 1933 Gorch Fock


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History and details

The German school ship Niobe, a three-masted barque, capsized on 26 July 1932 in the Baltic Sea near Fehmarndue to a sudden squall, killing 69. The loss prompted the German Navy to order a new training vessel built. The contract went to the shipyard of Blohm & Voss in Hamburg, where construction began on 2 December 1932. She was completed in only 100 days. On 3 May 1933 the ship was launched and named Gorch Fock in honor of German writer Johann Kinau who wrote under the pseudonym "Gorch Fock". Kinau had died in the 1916 Battle of Jutland aboard the cruiser SMS Wiesbaden.

Commissioned by the German Navy on 26 June 1933, Gorch Fock is a three-masted barque. She has square sails on the fore and main masts, and is gaff rigged on the mizzen. The steel hull has a sparred length of 82.1 m (269 ft), a width of 12 m (39 ft) and a draught of 5.2 m (17 ft). She has a displacement at full load of 1510 tons. Her main mast stands 41.30 m (135 ft) high above deck and she carries 23 sails totalling 1,753 m2 (18,869 sq ft). She is equipped with an auxiliary engine of 410 kW (550 hp).

The training ship was designed to be robust and safe against capsizing. More than 300 tons of steel ballast in the keel give her a righting moment large enough to bring her back in the upright position even when she heels over to nearly a 90°.

Gorch Fock served as a training vessel for the German Reichsmarine prior to World War II. During the war, she was a stationary office ship in Stralsund, until she was officially reactivated on 19 April 1944. On 1 May 1945, the crew scuttled her in shallow waters off Rügen in an attempt to avoid her capture by the Soviets, who already had fired at her for 45 minutes with tanks.

Hamburger Illustrierte no 18 6 mai 1933 Gorch Foch

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