German naval ship Deutschland (A59)
|Deutschland (A59) in New York City harbor|
|Career||Deutsche Marine Jack|
|Laid down:||11 September 1959|
|Launched:||5 November 1960|
|Acquired:||10 April 1963|
|Commissioned:||25 May 1966|
|Decommissioned:||28 June 1990|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, October 1993|
|Class and type:||Type 440 cruiser|
4,880 long tons (4,958 t) standard|
5,684 long tons (5,775 t) full load
130 m (426 ft 6 in) w/l|
138.2 m (453 ft 5 in) o/a
|Beam:||16.1 m (52 ft 10 in)|
|Draft:||5.1 m (16 ft 9 in)|
2 × Mercedes-Benz and 2 × Maybach diesel engines, all 16-cylinder, 4-stroke (Maybach engines replaced in 1981 with Mercedes-Benz engines), 2 shafts
2 × Wahodag boilers feeding 1 set of geared Wahodag steam turbines driving center shaft, 16,000 hp (12,000 kW)
3 × 4-bladed Escher-Wyss controllable pitch propellers; 2 rudders
643 tons of oil and diesel fuel
|Speed:||22 knots (25 mph; 41 km/h)|
|Range:||3,800 nmi (7,000 km) at 12 kn (14 mph; 22 km/h)|
|Boats and landing|
3 motor pinnaces|
3 motor cutters
30 life rafts
|Complement:||172 officers and men, and up to 250 cadets|
Radar: LW-08, SGR-114, SGR-105, SGR-103, M-45|
Sonar ELAC 1BV
• 4 × 100 mm/55 main guns (4×1)|
• 6 × 40 mm/70 AA guns (2×2, 2×1)
• 2 × fixed 533 mm torpedo tubes aft (removed in the mid-1970s)
• 4 × trainable 533 mm anti-submarine torpedo tubes
• 2 × 375 mm anti-submarine mortars
• Mine laying capability
|Notes:||2 cranes; 3 anchors (one aft, two fore)|
Deutschland (A59) was a naval ship of the Bundesmarine, the West German Navy. She was constructed and used as a training cruiser ("Schulschiffe") in peacetime and planned for multi-role missions in the event of war: troop ship, hospital ship, minelayer, and escort. For this reason the ship was only lightly armed for its size (no guided missiles), the machinery was rather impractical and diverse, and large teaching rooms were included. Also civilians served alongside military personnel.
In her time Deutschland was the largest naval vessel of West Germany. Permission to built the ship was granted despite being larger than allowed by tonnage restrictions imposed by the WEU on West Germany. (The later Berlin class replenishment ships of the reunited Germany are much larger.) Like most German post-war naval ships she was completely NBC protected. Deutschland was the smallest German cruiser since the 4,385-ton SMS Brummer and Bremse of 1915.
Career and fate
Ordered in the autumn of 1958, the training cruiser Deutschland was laid down by Nobiskrug at Rendsburg on 11 September 1959. Launched on 5 November 1960, it was originally intended that she be named Berlin, but for political reasons this name was dropped and the vessel named for the Nation. The two previous warships of this name were battleships launched in 1904 and 1931, respectively.
Delivered 10 April 1963, Deutschland was commissioned on 25 May 1966 at Naval Academy Mürwik near Flensburg. She remained in service until she was decommissioned on 28 June 1990. Sold for scrap in October 1993, she was towed to Alang, India in January 1994 and scrapped.
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Owing to the cruiser's unusual design, she was nicknamed Lego-Dampfer Lego-Steamer). It was also joked that she was designed by a Rendsburg girl's school class. During her 27-year career Deutschland made 35 foreign voyages; visited 120 foreign ports; travelled 700,000 nautical miles (1,300,000 km); crossed the equator 23 times, and the Arctic Circle twice; transited the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal each 9 times; rounded Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope each once; and visited all continents with the exception of Antarctica.
- Verein Schulschiff "Deutschland" 1989 e.V.
- Robert Gardiner (ed. dir.), Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1982, Part I. London: Conway Maritime Press, Ltd., 1983.