She was 684 feet long, 77.5 feet wide, weighed 25,484 gross tons, and could accommodate 1,465 passengers in 489 cabins. She was armed with antiaircraft weapons and was also carrying a sizable number of military personnel. The sinking ship resulted in the loss of an estimated 9,300 victims, including 5,000 children.Those on board included 9,000 civilians fleeing an advancing Red Army, …
The German-Russian Museum exhibits the document, which was drawn up in English, Russian and German. Snow flurries swirled out of the darkness over the Baltic Sea. At around 9 p.m. on January 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler was speaking to the German people.
At 208 meters (680 feet), the Gustloff wasn't the largest ship used to transport wounded soldiers and civilians. As the ship awaited her orders to load passengers and leave Gdynia, there were daily bombing raids on shore, and the city’s electricity and water systems had broken down. Grievously overloaded with its human cargo, the ship took 40 minutes to sink, casting the majority of its estimated 10,000 passengers to their deaths in the freezing waters of the Baltic. The ship, once an elegant cruise-liner of Hitler’s Reich, was evacuating German refugees, civilians and military personnel from the port of Gotenhafen when she was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine on the night of January 30th, 1945.
If the ship were escorted by a convoy, been provided flank protection, and traveled at a faster speed, experts have said the Soviet submarine S-13 would never have been able to hit the Wilhelm Gustloff with its torpedoes. Giving in to the pleading, the Gustloff’s officers ordered boarding nets to be dropped from the ship, and refugees scrambled aboard. The story of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff is still unknown to a majority of non-Germans. On January 30, 1945, the greatest maritime disaster in history occurred when the MV Wilhelm Gustloff, a German luxury liner turned military transport ship sank in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Russian submarine. It was launched in 1937 and began as a luxury liner. The permanent exhibition provides information about the the war of annihilation led by the Nazis against the Soviet Union from 1941, which claimed around 25 million lives.
But the assassination attempt failed and the officers involved were executed. A comprehensive study has been published about the operation titled "Rescue Mission Baltic Sea 1944/1945: One of Humanity's Great Deeds." The Gustloff along with other liners, fishing boats, cargo ships, pleasure craft, and other vessels had been pressed into service to evacuate these refugees and military personnel, military technicians, and wounded soldiers in an operation that has been called the German Dunkirk. Sea mines were feared along the Baltic coast, so the planned route was to traverse the open sea. Read more: The Nazi archives: Where Germany's dark past is stored on paper. Six million Jews, and also homosexuals, gypsies and communists, were murdered by Nazi Germany. From January to May 1945, as the Red Army advanced from the east, German refugees, military and civilian,were being evacuated through German-held ports on the Baltic Sea. (27.01.2015), Millions of Germans tuned in to a television film about the 1945 sinking of a Nazi ship full of refugees in the Baltic, which cost 9,000 lives and surpassed the Titanic as the worst maritime disaster in modern times. It is still under special protection by the British Crown. © Copyright 2020 History Today Ltd. Company no. The German Resistance Memorial Center remembers those who died while resisting the Nazi regime. The Wilhelm Gustloff was the most lethal shipwreck in history, but some details of the sinking remain unknown. Why is the Gustloff maritime disaster not known very well? Send Facebook Twitter google+ Whatsapp Tumblr linkedin stumble Digg reddit Newsvine, Seventy years ago, the Soviet Red Army liberated Auschwitz. The center of the US forces was the Zehlendorf district. We carefully sifted through the auxiliaries and gave seaborne priority to those who had family or other responsibilities.”. She was launched in May 1937 and was named after Wilhelm Gustloff, the head of the Nazi Party in Switzerland, who had been assassinated in 1936. The ship had been hit by three Soviet torpedoes within an hour; the temperature outside was minus 18 degrees Celsius. She sank taking down with her as many as 9,500 people. She sank taking down with her as many as 9,500 people. Read more: Auschwitz, 75 years later: A race against time, Red Army factions had already reached German territory by late 1944. It was the first village in German territory reached by the Soviets and there were already rumors circulating of the draconic revenge on the part of the Soviets for German war crimes.
The Gustloff was a sitting duck. Lifeboats and rafts aboard the Gustloff could, if the need arose, accommodate only 5,060 people.
German intelligence had already informed the Gustloff that there were no known Soviet submarines or surface ships in the area. As a result, the 71-meter-high (233-foot-high) tower ruins were preserved as a highly visible memorial against war and destruction, for peace and reconciliation.
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