german German Navy (Kriegsmarine) 1935-1945 SS Cap Arcona (+1945)
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  Details  
 
general
nationality german
purpose transport
type ocean liner
propulsion steam turbine
date built 1927
status
live live
details
weight (tons) 27561  grt
dimensions 205.9 x 25.8 x 12.8 m
material steel
engine Two steam turbines, two propellers.
power 17500  kW
speed 20  knots
yard no. 476
about the loss
cause lost air raid
date lost 03/05/1945  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  5000~7000rank: 3
about people
builder
Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
last owner
[1]German Navy (Kriegsmarine) 1935-1945
SS Cap Arcona (+1945)
period 1940 ~ 1945
prev. owners
[2]Hamburg-Sudamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts Gesellschaft, Hamburg
SS Cap Arcona
period 1927 ~ 1940
captain
about the wreck
status sold for scrap
depth (m.)
orientation
protected
war grave
updates
entered by Allen Tony
entered 26/02/2008
last update Lettens Jan
last update 03/05/2014
 
  Position  
 
Piertaucher12/08/2008
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  The Wreck today  
 
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copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu
 
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: silvares.fotoblog... 
 
   copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
 
 copyright: Sammlung Bernt Schultz copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Lettens Jan copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
 
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu    
 
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  History  
 
Allen Tony26/02/2008On May 3rd 1945, four days after Hitler´s suicide but four days before the unconditional surrender of Germany, the Cap Arcona, the Thielbek, and the passenger liner SS Deutschland, possibly converted to a hospital ship but not marked as such, were attacked by RAF Typhoons of 83 Group of the 2nd Tactical Air Force commanded by Sir Arthur Coningham as part of general attacks on shipping in the Baltic.

Typhoon 1 B with four 20 mm cannons.The attacks were by No. 184 Squadron, based at RAF Hustedt, led by Derek Stevenson, by No. 263 Squadron, based in Ahlhorn (Großenkneten) and led by Squadron Leader Martin Trevor Scott Rumbold by No. 197 Squadron RAF, led by Squadron Leader K. J. Harding also at Ahlhorn, and by No. 198 Squadron based at Plantlünne led by Group Captain Johnny Baldwin. These Hawker Typhoon Mark 1B fighter-bombers used High Explosive 60 lb rocket projectiles, bombs, and 20 mm cannons. ...

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About Owners
 
German Navy (Kriegsmarine) 1935-1945

Kriegsmarine is the name of the Navy of Germany during WWII, not to be confused with Imperial German Navy, which is the German Navy during WWI and before.
 
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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  Movies  
 
Lettens Jan  06/10/2014
Cap Arcona, launching 1927 and in better days.
copyrights
 Unknown - onbekend - inconnu
ref. used
 Sterkens, Josef
Cap Arcona, launching 1927 and in better days.
1:49
Cap Arcona, launching 1927 and in better days.
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  History  
 
Allen Tony26/02/2008On May 3rd 1945, four days after Hitler´s suicide but four days before the unconditional surrender of Germany, the Cap Arcona, the Thielbek, and the passenger liner SS Deutschland, possibly converted to a hospital ship but not marked as such, were attacked by RAF Typhoons of 83 Group of the 2nd Tactical Air Force commanded by Sir Arthur Coningham as part of general attacks on shipping in the Baltic.

Typhoon 1 B with four 20 mm cannons.The attacks were by No. 184 Squadron, based at RAF Hustedt, led by Derek Stevenson, by No. 263 Squadron, based in Ahlhorn (Großenkneten) and led by Squadron Leader Martin Trevor Scott Rumbold by No. 197 Squadron RAF, led by Squadron Leader K. J. Harding also at Ahlhorn, and by No. 198 Squadron based at Plantlünne led by Group Captain Johnny Baldwin. These Hawker Typhoon Mark 1B fighter-bombers used High Explosive 60 lb rocket projectiles, bombs, and 20 mm cannons.

Unknown to the RAF, the ships were carrying between 7,000-8,000 prisoners from the German concentration camps in Neuengamme, Stutthof and Mittelbau-Dora, half of whom were Russian and Polish prisoners-of-war, along with others from 24 nations, including French, Danish, and Dutch.

The survivors of the attack who reached the shore were shot by SS troops, although 350 prisoners managed to escape the massacre. Allan Wyse, formerly of 193 Fighter Squadron, said "We used our cannon fire at the chaps in the water … we shot them up with 20 mm cannons in the water. Horrible thing, but we were told to do it and we did it. That´s war."

Among the survivors was Erwin Geschonneck, who later became a notable German actor, and whose story was made into a film in 1982. About 490 of the guards, SS, and crew were rescued by German boats. Photos of the burning ships, listed as Deutschland, Thielbek, and Cap Arcona, and survivors swimming in the cold Baltic Sea (seven degrees Celsius), were taken on a reconnaissance mission over the Bay of Lübeck by F-6 aircraft of the USAAF´s 161st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron around 5:00 PM, shortly after the attack.

The capsized hulk of the Cap Arcona later drifted ashore, and the beached wreck was salvaged in 1949. For weeks after the attack, the bodies of victims washed ashore, where they were collected and buried in a single mass grave at Neustadt in Holstein. For nearly thirty years, parts of skeletons continued to wash ashore, until the last find, by a twelve-year-old boy, in 1971.

According to documents at the Dutch Institute of War Documentation (NIOD), the government of Sweden had warned the British government that prisoners were aboard the ships. Memorial to Cap Arcona victims at Neustadt in Holstein. The prisoners were of 28 different nationalities: American, Belgian, Canadian, Czechoslovakian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourger, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swiss, Ukrainian, Yugoslavian and others.
 
 
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