STEUBEN

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Michael Cundiff

Member
Leave it to the folks at NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC...a splendid article on the STEUBEN appears in the Feb. '05 issue.

A two-page foldout of the wreck via sonar image is stunning. Considering the 235' depth, the ships wheel (Pictured) is amazingly intact and preserved.

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
 
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Jeremy Lee

Member
Damn over here the National Geographic comes in almost 2 weeks late every month even with subscription due to the fact they have to ship it in!

I'd love to see the pics!
 
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Tarn Stephanos

Member
I feel foolish- I never heard of this liner, but there is a splendid article in NG with nice photos of the wreck-
Any Steuben buffs here, with any pre sinking photos?
Anyone know any additional details of the Steuben's life and death that was not covered in the article? At the moment, I know zip about this ship...
Regards


Tarn Stephanos

ps- letters regarding the NG Ballard Titanic article will be in the next issue of National Geographic
 
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Michael Cundiff

Member
Jeremy:

I also noticed two different cover issues. The library issue has an OWL photograph while the supermarket issue bears the sonar image (in part) of the STEUBEN.

BTW, there is a rather *sad* photograph in the Feb. '05 issue...a woman and child boarding STEUBEN for the fateful voyage. The caption states that their fate is unknown!

Michael Cundiff
USA
 
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Jeremy Lee

Member
Yeah, thanks for the link Adam, I think the one I subscribe here is the library (as libraries do subscribe) while the supermarket one is for retail.
 
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Richard Coplen

Guest
Hey guys,
glad to see this link. For the past few months I'v been scanning the "German liners" section for "Steuben" to appear. I actually bought a postcard in a stall in the St.George's Street Arcade in Dublin recently. It was of a German liner I wasn't familiar with - NDL's "Munchen" - a 2 stack ship not as elegant as those other ships of the time like "Europa" or "Bremen". I bought it anyway as it was only 2 euros. It had been sent from on board the liner to a woman by the name of Lilly in Rush, Co. Dublin. The postmark isn't clear but appears to be from the late 20s/early 30s. When I got home I checked it's history only to discover the liner once known as Munchen was later re-named "General von Steuben" and later just as "Steuben". This is the liner in question. Little did I know when I bought the postcard that it came from such a historic ship. Needless to say I've added the card to my much-prized collection of maritime artefacts. Anyone else with postcards from the Munchen/General von Steuben/Steuben?
Rich.
 
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Jeremy Lee

Member
Nope, don't think they are that common. There are lots of German postcards prior to 1914 but after WWI I don't think the Weimar Republic and the Nazis churned out that much ship PCs as before. Especially those in the 1930s besides the Europa and the Bremen, the rest are rather hard to find. On the other hand it seems that those cards printed during Imperial rule featuring the Imperator and Vaterland are plentiful, as well as the earlier four-stackers.
 
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Richard Coplen

Guest
Hey guys,
well these are the photos of that postcard I told you about. Sorry they aren't clearer - they're as good as I could get them. On the front is a photo of Norddeutscher Lloyd's "München" (III) at sea. On the back is the message:

"Dear Joe,
this is the old steamer. What a crowd they have - 1000. We expect to get in on Saturday. Shall write later.
Love,
Lil"

The postcard is in turn addressed to:
Mr. J. Walsh,
Whitestown Rd.,
Rush,
Co. Dublin,
Ireland.

The postmark is unclear due to the removal of the stamp. However it must have been posted from onboard between 1923 and 1930 as that period saw the ship sailing as part of the Norddeutscher Lloyd fleet under the name "München". Between 1930 and 1938 she was called "General von Steuben" and then from 1938 to 1945 she was just called "Steuben". The words "Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen, "München" are printed in the top left hand corner of the rear of the postcard along with the German word "Postkarte". So this is the "Steuben" as she would have looked prior to her 1930 re-fit. She would'nt have changed in appearance that much. Another postcard of her as she looked as "Steuben" can be seen at this address: http://www.greatships.net/steuben.html. I believe my postcard would've been posted by an Irish passenger (possibly a woman by the name of Lilly) travelling on the New York to Cobh, Ireland leg of a voyage ultimately terminating in Bremen, Germany. I understand that the German liners frequently called at Cobh on their transatlantic runs just as Cunard and White Star did. Hope this is of interest to you and enables you to picture what this fascinating and historic liner looked like.
Best wishes,
Rich.

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Jeremy Lee

Member
Great company postcard too bad the stamp has been removed. Do you collect ship postcards?
 
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Tarn Stephanos

Member
Was the Steuben owned by the same firm that owned the Wilhelm Gustloff?


Regards


tarn Stephanos
 
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Richard Coplen

Guest
Hey Jeremy,
yep - I've recently started collecting ship postcards - but only those from liners that ended up sinking through accident or intention (torpedoing). So far I have collected postcards from White Star's RMS Arabic, Cunard's RMS Laconia, P&O's SS Persia, the Allan Line's SS Corinthian and the above from Munchen/Steuben. Like I said I've only just started collecting so I have'nt amounted much to date. I hope to get ones from the Lusitania and Empress of Ireland and am keeping my eye out for good ones on Ebay. Also I make a point of buying postcards which I know to have been sent from onboard and not just everyday postcards. Do you collect ship postcards also Jeremy?

Tarn, as far as I'm aware the Wilhelm Gustloff was constructed as a "Strength through Joy" cruise liner - specifically intended to carry working class Germans on once-in-a-lifetime cruises to the Mediterranean and around the Baltic Sea during the Third Reich. The intention was purely propagandist (like the construction of autobahns, the availability of cars like the Volkswagon, etc). Hitler hoped to win over the German people by boosting their standards of living. Cruises aboard such ships as the Wilhelm Gustloff was one such method. The Wilhelm Gustloff didn't belong to any of the big German lines as far as I'm aware and was run directly under the Nazis. The ship was named after a Swiss Nazi official murdered by a Jewish student. Hitler, hoping to highlight the assassination and promote anti-Semitism, plastered Gustloff's name everywhere including this ship - which was launched by Gustloff's widow. Towards the end of it's life I believe the Steuben also passed from NDL's hands into the direct control of the Nazis. Towards the end of it's life it also operated as a "Strength through Joy" ship, an accomodation ship and a troop transport. Such activities would'nt have been carried out under NDL management.
Hope this helps,
Rich.
 
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Richard Coplen

Guest
Just came across this postcard on Ebay - maybe postcards of NDL's "München" aren't as rare as I thought! At least it shows you what the liner looked like in colour.
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Jeremy Lee

Member
Yeah, I collect postcards especially those from White Star, Cunard, Hamburg-America, NDL. I also have some letter cards and maiden voyage first day covers, but unfortunately there is very little supply of these over here so I either get them from Ebay (God knows how much I spend on shipping!) or stamp shops if I'm lucky.

This col. postcard isn't bad, shows the "München" in the conventional NDL colours. A question - NDL didn't take part in any Nazi activities during the Third Reich at all?
 
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Richard Coplen

Guest
As far as i'm aware the only activities NDL participated in during the Third Reich would have been involuntary. Their liners would most likely have been requisitioned by the Nazi authorities for use as troop transports and accommodaton ships. This is comparable to the British government's requisitioning of such ships as the Olympic, Britannic, Mauretania and Aquitania during the First World War. All the governments snapped up their nation's ocean liners in times of need. I'd doubt the shipping line's were quite so enthusiastic seeing their profitable pride and joys being taken over and used in hazardous activities that would probably never see their return. I'd say NDL was just as peeved to see such ships as Europa, Bremen and München used and abused. Just a thought. The Bremen and Europa would merely have served the purpose of boosting the image of a flourishing Nazi Germany between their style and elegance and their success in the Blue Riband contests that is all that they were guilty of - in peacetime at least. They were the Hindenbergs of the sea if you will. München/Steuben most likely passed out of NDL's hands after the renovations resulting from the destructive fire of 1930 and passed into the hands of the Nazi regime shortly after for use as a "Strength through Joy" cruise ship.
This is my opinion anyhow. Any thoughts?
Rich.
 
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