SS Deutschland (1923)

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The SS Deutschland in 1923
Career (Germany) 50px
Name: SS Deutschland
Owner: Hamburg-Amerika Line
Port of registry: Germany
Route: Hamburg to New York
Ordered: 1921
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Kommandit Ges auf Aktien, Hamburg, Germany
Launched: 28 April 1923
Maiden voyage: 27 March 1924
Homeport: Hamburg, Germany
Fate: Transferred to the Kriegsmarine in 1940.
Notes: Paintwork :
black hull
red boot-topping
upper works white
funnels buff with red, white and black tops
Career (Germany) War Ensign of Germany 1938-1945
Name: SS Deutschland
Acquired: 1940
Fate: Capsized and sank on 3 May 1945 as a result of a British air attack.
General characteristics
Class and type: Ocean liner
Type: Steamship
Tonnage: 21,046 gross tons
Length: 196.6 m overall
Beam: 22 m
Depth: 12.8 m
Decks: 4
Installed power: 8 steam turbines
Propulsion: Twin screw
Speed: 20 knots
Complement: 976 passengers
Crew: 422 officers and crew

SS Deutschland [1] was a 21,046 gross registered ton (GRT) German HAPAG ocean liner sunk in a British air attack in 1945, with great loss of life.

One of a group of four that included the SS Albert Ballin, SS Hamburg, and SS New York, the Deutschland was launched on 28 April 1923. She began her maiden voyage on 27 March 1924, to Southampton and then New York City. The ship had tremendous problems with vibration, becoming known as the "Cocktail Shaker"; she was re-engined in 1929, with service speed reduced to 19 knots.

In 1940, she became an accommodation ship for the German navy at Gotenhafen. In 1945, on seven Baltic voyages, she carried 70,000 soldiers and refugees from the German eastern territories to the west.


In April 1945, she possibly began conversion to a hospital ship. The story goes that an attempt was made to paint the vessel white, but there was only sufficient paint available to paint her funnels white, and to paint a Red Cross on one side of one of her funnels.[citation needed] On 3 May 1945, she capsized and sank in the Bay of Lübeck off Neustadt by the same British air attack that sank SS Cap Arcona and Thielbek.

In 1949, her wreck was raised and scrapped.


  • Roy Nesbit - Cap Arcona: atrocity or accident? - Aeroplane Monthly, June 1984.
  • Williams, David, Wartime Disasters at Sea, Patrick Stephens Ltd., Nr Yeovil, Somerset, UK, 1997, pp.236-37.

See also


  1. Sometimes called Deutschland IV to distinguish from others of the name

de:Deutschland (1924) fr:Deutschland IV ja:ドイッチュラント (客船・3代)