MS Wilhelm Gustloff - before World War II, German passenger ship, cruise ship fleet flagship Nazi organization Kraft durch Freude (KdF). Was named after the murdered in 1936, a member of the Nazi Party, Wilhelm Gustloff. During the war, enrolled in the Navy, in turn converted into a hospital ship and floating barracks for school division staff U-Bootwaffe. In 1945, sank in the largest maritime disaster in the history of mankind.
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55° 7' 29" N , 17° 42' 14" E
Depth above the wreck: 36m
Depth at the bottom: 45m
MS Wilhelm Gustloff - before World War II German passenger ship, cruise ship fleet flagship Nazi organization Kraft durch Freude (KdF). Named after murdered in 1936, a member of the Nazi Party, Wilhelm Gustloff. During the war, enrolled in the Navy, in turn converted into a hospital ship and floating barracks for school division staff U-Bootwaffe. In 1945, sank in the largest maritime disaster in the history of mankind.
The ship was built in Hamburg in the shipyard of Blohm und Voss in 1937. The launch took place with the participation of Adolf Hitler. The godmother of the ship was the widow of William Gustloffie, Mrs. Hedwig Gustloff home Schoknecht, onetime secretary of Hitler. He had a 208.5 m in length and capacity of 25,484 GRT. He developed the speed of 15.5 knots. He had 221 double cabins and four-bed cabins 239. Number of seats was in 1465 in one class, the crew consisted of about 500 people. At the time of his entry into service of MS "Wilhelm Gustloff" was the fifth-largest German passenger ship.
In his last trip unit set off January 30, 1945, under the escort of torpedo boat "Lowe". On board the "Gustloff" there were 173 crew, 918 officers and men of the Division II school submarines (U-Boot second Lehr Division), who had a cast or crew completed 70 U-boats, 400 women with secondary corps Navy, which former military telephonists, telegrafistkami, typists or nurses, 162 wounded soldiers of the Wehrmacht and the 4424 refugees, among whom were officers of the organization Todt, Junkers, police officers and their families. In total, according to the latest findings on the ship were at least 10 thousand. people, as confirmed by a telegram sent from the unit.
At 21:16 ship's time while passing Slupsk Bank " Wilhelm Gustloff " was hit by three torpedoes , wystrzelonymi by the Soviet submarine S-13 , commanded by Lieutenant Commander Alexander Marineskę . The first one was torn canopy bow. The second hit the ship in the middle of the swimming pool and a third in the engine room . The explosions caused a great panic. Almost all women with secondary care militarized in the bottom drained pool died almost immediately ( survive only two ) .The ship quickly leaned to the left side. Directed at the masses glazed windows armored promenade deck , where almost no one has been able to get out on the deck. Not all lifeboats could drain as davits were frozen . Several boats were detached too early, and they rolled into the sea , others tumbled down on the waves because of heavy congestion. On board were fought for access to boats and life rafts went down to fighting , fell even shots , including suicide . The deck was tilting more and more. Anyone who got into the water , died as a result of hypothermia in a matter of minutes. At about 22:25 , 65 minutes after the torpedoing , ship completely submerged in the sea.
In 1994, Poland recognized the wreck of MS Wilhelm Gustloff at the grave of war, and therefore it is prohibited to dive to the wreck and within 500m of it.
Recent dives on it was held at the funeral of Mr. Heinz Schon - last survivor of Gustloff tragedy in the summer of 2013.
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