german Kraft Durch Freude - Deutsche Arbeitsfront - KDF MV Wilhelm Gustloff (+1945)
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nationality german
purpose transport
type passenger ship
propulsion motor vessel (diesel)
date built 1937
is nickname no
live live
weight (tons) 25484  grt
dimensions 208.5 x 23.5 x 7.9 m
engine Four 8-cylinder MAN diesel engines, twin screw, 4 blades/prop
power 2360  n.h.p.
speed 15.5  knots
yard no. 511
call sign
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 30/01/1945  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.9000rank: 1
about people
Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Kraft Durch Freude - Deutsche Arbeitsfront - KDF, Hamburg
about the wreck
status well broken up
depth (m.) 61 max. / -- min. (m)
orientation 90°
position on seabed to port
visibility average
protected yes
war grave yes
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 20/06/2007
last update Lettens Jan
last update 05/06/2013
[1] Pablobini13/05/2010
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  The Wreck today  

Allen Tony02/02/2010

In 2006, a bell recovered from the wreck and subsequently used as decoration in a Polish fish restaurant was loaned to a privately funded "Forced Paths" exhibition in Berlin. In 2007, the ship's bell was placed on display at a Gdańsk museum in Krantor.
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Lettens Jan10/08/2011Wilhelm Gustloff holds the record of most dramatic sinking ever and also happens to be one of the least known disasters ever.

Titanic´s tragic sinking, with 1.500 people lost, is smashed by her staggering over 9.000 no of victims, including 4.000 children.
Designed to have only 1.800 passengers and crew, she was carrying over 10.000 people.

Well aware this was a passenger ship, she was cruely sunk on 30th January 1945 in the cold Baltic Sea by 3 torpedoes from the Soviet submarine S-13, commanded by Capt. Alexander Marinesko.

The first torpedo having struck her at 9:16PM, the ship slips below the surface 70 minutes later. Weather conditions in the cold Baltic Sea were reported to be -16°C degrees in a stormy sea.

Some 11 days later, S-13 sank again a passenger liner, the General Von Steuben, again with a great loss of life (3.600 killed).


1. Incomprehensible, Marinesko, having sunk only passenger ships and no warship at all, was awarded 'Hero of the Soviet Union' posthumously in May 1990 by the Sovjet government, while condemning his actions as a war crime or error would have been more appropriate.

2. Even more forgotten than the Wilhelm Gustloff was the Zyunyo Maru (Junyo Maru), torpedoed by HMS Tradewind. Packed in her old rusty cargo holds and trapped like rats, there was no escape possible for 5.620 of the 6.500 POW.
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[2] Lettens Jan

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About Builders
 Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
The name Blohm & Voss has stood for quality in ship construction and marine and mechanical engineering for 125 years. Blohm & Voss was founded in 1877 by Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss as a general partnership. A shipyard was built on the island of Kuhwerder having three building berths along a 250m water front. - - -

Although the company was almost completely demolished at the end of World War II, it still builds warships both for the Deutsche Marine and for export. Today Blohm + Voss is an innovative German shipyard specializing in the construction of naval vessels and technically sophisticated megayachts from building facilities in Hamburg including repairs, refits, and modification of such vessels as well as merchant ships.

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Lettens Jan  07/10/2014
Wilhelm Gustloff
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Wilhelm Gustloff
Wilhelm Gustloff
Wreck dive on the Wilhelm Gustloff
Wreck dive on the Wilhelm Gustloff
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MV Wilhelm Gustloff (+1945)
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