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GENERAL VON STEUBEN 1923

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GENERAL VON STEUBEN 1923

Postby aukepalmhof » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:36 pm

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Built as a passenger ship under yard No 669 by AG Vulcan-Werke, Stettin for the Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen.
1920 Keel laid down.
25 November 1922 launched as the MÜCHEN.
Tonnage 13,325 grt, dim. 167.8 x 19.8m.
Powered by two triple-expansion steam engine 8.500 hp, twin screw. Speed 15.75 knots.
She was coal-fired.
Passenger accommodation for 170 first, 350 second, and 558-602 third class.
June 1923 completed. Homeport Bremen.

SS GENERAL VON STEUBEN was a German passenger liner and later an armed transport ship of the German Navy that was sunk during World War II. She was launched as MÜCHEN (sometimes spelled Muenchen), renamed in 1930 GENERAL VON STEUBEN (after the famous German officer of the American Revolutionary War), and renamed STEUBEN in 1938.

During World War II, she served as a troop accommodation ship, and from 1944 as an armed transport. On 10 February 1945, the ship was torpedoed by the Soviet submarine S-13 during Operation Hannibal and sunk. It has been estimated there were around 4,000 deaths.


Early history
In 1923, MÜCHEN was the first German trans-Atlantic passenger liner both to be launched and to enter New York Harbor, since the end of World War I. 21 June 1923 She sailed for her maiden voyage, she arrived in July 1923 trans-Atlantic voyage in Hoboken, New York.
In the winter of 1925 – 1926 her accommodation was altered to Cabin 494, tourist 266, and third 251 passengers. Where after in summer 1925 she was used as a cruise vessel.
1930 fire and sinking
On 11 February 1930, after docking in New York and discharging passengers and most of her crew from a voyage from Bremen, Germany, a fire broke out in a paint locker which quickly spread to another storage hold; the massive fire and explosion resulting in a five-alarm fire with all fire equipment in New York City being sent to the burning ship. The fire could not be controlled and the ship sank next to the wharf where it had docked
In one of the largest shipping salvage efforts of its time, MÜCHEN was raised, towed to a dry dock in Newport News, and partly repaired where after she on 09 May 1930 sailed for Bremen.
There it was restored at the Deschimag shipyard AG "Weser" from 01 July 1930 to 18 January 1931, received new chimneys and a new passenger facility. The installation of a steam turbine of 10,560 hp increased the speed to 16.3 knots. It also fitted out for oil firing. Her promenade deck was glassed in and more extended to aft.
Tonnage increased to 14,690 grt.
Accommodation for 214 cabin, 358 tourists, and 221 third-class passengers.

20 January 1931 she left for her first voyage under her new name GENERAL VON STEUBEN.as a sign of German-American friendship.
The namesake Freiherr von STEUBEN was a successful Prussian officer and American general of the American War of Independence and became a hero of the Continental Army. He is also the namesake of the STEUBEN Parade, which takes place annually in New York.

From 1935 did only „Strength through Joy cruises and her hull was painted white. At that time she was a one-class passenger ship with 496 passengers.
1936 Again modified by the Deschimag yard, her forward kingposts removed and she was fitted out with a tiled pool.
1938 Renamed in STEUBEN.

World War II
She was commissioned in 1939 as a Kriegsmarine accommodation ship in Danzig. In August 1944, she was pressed into service as an armed transport ship, taking German troops to eastern Baltic ports and returning wounded troops to Kiel.
22 December 1944 staff ship for Commodore Submarines where after she was armed, and painted gray.

Operation Hannibal
Along with the WILHELM GUSTLOFF and many other vessels, she was part of the largest evacuation by the sea in modern times. This evacuation surpassed the British retreat at Dunkirk in both the size of the operation and the number of people evacuated.
By early January 1945, Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz realized that Germany was soon to be defeated. Wishing to save his submariners, he radioed a coded message on 23 January 1945 to the Baltic Sea port Gotenhafen (the Polish city and port of Gdynia under German occupation) to evacuate to the West under the code name Operation Hannibal.
Submariners were then schooled and housed in ships lying in the Baltic ports, with most of them at Gotenhafen. Among them were DEUTSCHLAND, HAMBURG, HANSA, and WILHELM GUSTLOFF. Notwithstanding the losses suffered during the operation, the fact remains that over two million people were evacuated ahead of the Red Army's advance into East Prussia and Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland).
In the winter of 1945, East Prussian refugees headed west, away from the city of Königsberg and ahead of the Soviet advance into the Baltic States and East Prussia. Thousands fled to the Baltic seaport at Pillau (now Baltiysk, Russia), hoping to board ships that would carry them to the relative safety of Western Germany. STEUBEN was in the fleet of ships sent for the purpose.

Final voyage
On 9 February 1945, the 14,660-ton liner sailed from Pillau, near Königsberg, on the Baltic coast for Swinemünde (now Świnoujście, Poland). It was officially reported that there were 2,800 wounded German soldiers; 800 civilians; 100 returning soldiers; 270 navy medical personnel (including doctors, nurses, and auxiliaries); 12 nurses from Pillau; 64 crew for the ship's anti-aircraft guns, 61 naval personnel, radio operators, signalmen, machine operators, and administrators, plus 160 merchant navy crewmen: a total of 4,267 people on board.[4] Due to the rapid evacuation ahead of the Red Army's advance, many Eastern German and Baltic refugees boarded the STEUBEN without being recorded putting the total number of those on board at around 5,200.
Just before midnight on 9 February, the captain of the Soviet submarine S-13, Alexander Marinesko fired two torpedoes with a 14-second interval; both torpedoes hit STEUBEN in the starboard bow, just below the bridge, where many of the crew were sleeping. Most were killed by the impact of the torpedoes. According to survivors, she sank by the bow and listed severely to starboard before taking her final plunge within about 20 minutes of the impact of the torpedoes. An estimated 4,500 people died in the sinking. Thanks to the torpedo boat T-196, which hastily pulled up beside STEUBEN as she sank, about 300 survivors were pulled straight from STEUBEN’s slanting decks and brought to Kolberg in Pomerania (today Kołobrzeg, Poland). A total of 650 people were rescued.

Wreck
The wreck was found and identified in May 2004 by Polish Navy hydrographical vessel ORP ARCTOWSKI. Pictures and graphics appear in a 2005 article in National Geographic.
The wreck lies on her port side at about 70 meters (230 ft) depth, and the hull reaches up to 50 meters (160 ft) depth. The ship is mainly intact.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_General_von_Steuben Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen by Edwin Drechsel.
Maldives 2020 MVR20 sg?, scott? and MS. in margin
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