Pamir German Sail Training Ship


Dec 24, 1997
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Back in the mid 50's a great film was produced in Cinerama (Cinemiracle) about the voyage of the Norwegian sail training ship the Christian Radich. During the filming of the crossing they passed the German sail training ship Pamir and exchanged greeting. Later the boy's on the Christian Radich would learn that after the two ships met the Pamir ran into a hurricane and was lost with most of its cadets. Now a film is being made of the story of the Pamir and I thought some of you might be interested. Regretfully at this writing it appears that it will not be a US film but maybe some film company might consider a US release and dub in english as was done with Das Boot. So here is the MFS release and a photo. Enjoy Jon Hollis MFS NEWS UPDATE

SHOOTING “DER UNTERGANG DER PAMIR”
AT MEDITERRANEAN FILM STUDIOS — October 2005

Pamir, the full working title of which is “Der Untergang der Pamir”, meaning ‘The Sinking of Pamir’ - a rare type of four-masted sailing boat, or tall ship, which sank in 1957 - was filmed at the MFS’ water tanks in September/October 2005.
PAMIR was also filmed in Germany and Tenerife on Pamir's sister ship, built at the same time as the ill-fated vessel.
The film is based on the true story of the sailing ship, which had a dual role as a military cadet training vessel and a merchant ship. The Pamir sank on the 21st September 1957, on its way back from Buenos Aires, where it was picking up grain. For some reason, it had to leave port quickly and, due to the captain's inexperience, the cargo was not stowed properly, causing an imbalance. As a result, and also due to bad weather conditions — the Pamir hit a surprise hurricane - the vessel sank. Of the 86-strong crew, only six survived.
It is the hurricane scenes that were shot in Malta, chosen because of the tanks at the Mediterranean Film Studios. The production designer on U-571, Goetz Weidner, knew of the tanks and came back to use them again.
The local film crew totaled 20, including about 10 semi-stunt talents. A considerable construction crew of about 40 from MFS, and others from Cassar Ship Repair, were also involved. The MFS construction workers were responsible for building a large model of the Pamir, over 20 metres long, as well as other props, including a fake shark and the keel section of the boat.
Cassar Ship Repair built a life-size 70-metre deck, made of steel and weighing 110 tons.
All the special effects, including the capsizing of the deck section, were carried out by MFS.
"That was one impressive feat... quite a mission... and an achievement," Mr Sansone, the local production coordinator, maintained. He quoted director Kaspar Heidelbach as saying that Malta had a lot of filming potential, adding it was possible he would work on another production here.
‘Der Untergang der Pamir’ is produced by Polyphon Film for ARD-Degeto, one of Germany’s main public channels. The low-budget production is made up of two episodes with a running time of ninety minutes each and is scheduled for transmission in October 2006.

The drama features a German cast and will be shot in German. It is directed by Mr. Kaspar Heidelbach and produced by Matthias Esche.
Polyphone Film is a member of the Studio Hamburg Group, the largest European Film and Television Studio. It won various prestigious awards in Germany for television films and documentaries. ARD/Degeto is one of two public broadcasters in Germany, comprised of a network of 16 local stations, each of which is owned by a state government. The film will also be shown on two subsidiary channels of ADR, NDR and Arte. The film will be distributed internationally by Telepool GmbH, however to date there are no international sales confirmed for this project.
Thanks to the recently introduced incentives, the production could be successfully completed without having to reduce local expenditure.
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Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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As I recall, the ships' cook was one Karl Dummer (with an umlauted 'u'). He was one of the survivors and gave evidence at the inquiry.

I append that because my powers of recall have been called into question of late.

Noel
 
Dec 24, 1997
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Hi Noel, Yes it was Karl Otto Duemmer and he was the a cook and saved. Sent this earlier but added photo. Cheers Jon
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John Clifford

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Mar 30, 1997
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There is one ship disasters book that mentions the PAMIR tragedy, along some other disasters that most people are unaware of, such as the Flying Enterprise, Hans Hedtoff, and I believe the Carl Bradley. The author, in his forward, makes it a point to not mention the Titanic and Lusitania. I will have to see if that book is still available in our local library.

The loss of the Pamir, it was mentioned, was that at the time forecasters expected the hurricane which struck to head to the Caribbean or the East Coast of the United States, instead of heading north in to the Atlantic.
 
Dec 24, 1997
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> [Good clues John. I remember well following the story abput Captain > Carlson staying on the Flyong Enterpridse for days trying to save the > ship. There is a segment of it on beam ends and sinking in the National > Gepgraphic video Superliners. Have been in touch with some folks in > Hollywood to see if they might be interested in opicking up this > production for a U.S. Release for either theater or TV. Naturally there > will be a lot of work dubbing in the enlisg but Wolfgang Petersen had it > done well with "Das Boot" so maybe. Cheers and all the best Jon]
 

John Clifford

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Mar 30, 1997
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This evening I found the book that mentions the PAMIR tragedy, along some other disasters that most people are unaware of. It is called "Abandon Ship!" and is written by Hal Butler. The copywright of the book is 1974.

Ship stories that are noteworthy and included in this book are "Medusa", "Birkenhead", "Atlantic", "La Bourgogne", "Volturno", "Eastland", "Noronic", as well as the "Flying Enterprise", "Hans Hedtoff", and the "Carl Bradley".

The loss of the Pamir is Chapter 14, entitled "The Sudden Death of the Pamir (1957)".

If "Abandon Ship!" is not available for sale, you may want to check your local library.
 
Sep 3, 2007
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For those with a keen interest in the Pamir- get ahold of Richard E. Wells' "The Vancouver Voyages of the Barque Pamir" (1992, So No Nis Press, Vancouver). It is a terriffic book filled with rare photographs of the ship and Wells'superb pen and ink illustrations.
As you probably know, after her heyday in Laises' "Flying P" Line, she was accquired by Gustav Erikson and operated in the grain trade from the baltic to Australia and then later carrying guano to New Zeland. A Finnish-flagged vessel, with Finland having the misfortune to have been invaded by Russia, she became classed as an 'enemy" ship when Russia switched sides and joined the allies and was impounded by New Zeland authorities. new Zeland being virtually cut off by the war and with virtually no shipping of her own, employed the vessel in several trans-pacific voyages to Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Among the splendid photos are a series of her charging ahead of the big tug Snohomish as it was taking her out of the straight of Juan De Fuca in a full gale. in danger of the lee-shore of vancouver island the captain set upper and lower topsails and staysails. The Snohomish crew had to cut the tow line to avoid being hauled around and towed by the stern into the open pacific.
The sinking was only mentioned in this briefly in this book and I just came accross another reference to it in Bernard Motessier's The Long Way where he states that most of the crew survived the initial sinking but died "of despair" ( the implication being inexperience and lack of resourcefulness). I found this site looking for more info on that tragic event. Interesting discussions floating around here.
 
May 3, 2002
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Wellington, New Zealand
While on the subject of German film
A TV movie is being made about the last voyage of the Wilhelm Gustloff which will go to air next January. Hafen der Hoffnung is the title [Harbour of Hope]

...but that's for another thread.

Martin
 

Chris Newman

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Mar 12, 2016
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I have stumbled upon about 35 seconds of colour footage of the Pamir in Falmouth bay, probably 1949, if anyone is interested?

Pamir.jpg
 
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