Wilhelm Gustloff

Mike Poirier

Member
Dec 31, 2004
1,472
0
106
Does anyone know about the black and white movie made about the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff. The History Channel showed clips of it a month ago.
 

Jan C. Nielsen

Senior Member
Dec 12, 1999
1,002
0
0
Not in response to Michael's query, but here's some information on the Wilhelm Gustloff, which is purportedly the worst maritime disaster of all time. On January 30, 1945, the 25,484 ton German luxury cruise liner (converted to a 500 bed hospital ship) set sail from the port of Danzig overcrowded with 6,050 persons, all fleeing from the advancing Red Army. Just before midnight, in the Baltic sea, the ship was hit by three torpedoes from a Russian submarine. It sank in about fifteen minutes. It is likely that at least 7,000 souls perished.
 

Mike Poirier

Member
Dec 31, 2004
1,472
0
106
It did not sink in 15 minutes. The Wilhelm Gustloff sank in under 70 minutes. The time frame is also off. It was not about midnight. It was earlier in the evening. If you want to learn more about the ship, I suggest you read ' The Cruelest Night ' by Chris Dobson.
 
Apr 11, 2001
4,565
4
168
The History Channel ran a one hour special about 3 weeks ago on the Gustloff-go to their website to get a video copy-it was fantastic!
 

John Clifford

Member
Nov 12, 2000
1,686
0
166
56
THe estimates of the Gustloff's passengers and crew also estimate that the total aboard was about 8,000. Casualties were about 7,500.
 
L

lisagay harrod

Guest
To Any & All,

I'm looking for information of the sinking of the "Wilhelm Gustloff".

I'm aware of a film called "Nacht Fiel Uber Gotenhafen", that is about the sinking, and a book titled "SOS Wilhelm Gustloff", by Heinz Schon. I've not had any luck finding either...

According to what I have read, there were actually 3 ships (Wilhelm Gustloff, Stuben & Goya) sunk during this time period, as Russia was closing in on Germany at the end of WWII. These boats were being used to ferry German refugees across the Baltic to German held regions.

There are estimates that as many as 15,000 were killed in the sinking of the three ships.

Again, if anyone has more book titles I'd appreciate it. I'm looking for hard copy as I've hit most the the net sites that are in English.

Thanks,
Lisa Harrod
 
Mar 28, 2002
1,015
0
166
I believe several liners were sunk during an Allied air raid on Lubeck in Germany during WW2 and that several thousand people lost their lives. Does anyone know which ships were involved?

Cheers,

Boz
 
J

John Meeks

Guest
Iain,

Since I occasionally make noises about being the aviation buff around here - I pledge to try and find out the answer for this one!

"Right off the top" - I'm sorry, no answer! But there does appear to have been a major raid on the night of March 28/29 which did major damage to the city, and might be a starting point - apparently approximately half the city was destroyed by fire that night.

Will keep in touch...back to the bookshelves!

John M.
 
J

John Meeks

Guest
Iain,

Since I occasionally make noises about being the aviation buff around here - I pledge to try and find out the answer for this one!

"Right off the top" - I'm sorry, no answer! But there does appear to have been a major raid on the night of March 28/29, 1942 which did major damage to the city, and might be a starting point - apparently approximately half the city was destroyed by fire that night.

Will keep in touch...back to the bookshelves!

John M.
 

Tracy Smith

Member
Apr 20, 2012
1,646
0
66
South Carolina USA
There is a book in English about the Wilhelm Gustloff: "The Cruelest Night" by Christopher Dobson, John Miller, and Ronald Payne. It was published in 1979, so I'm sure it is long out of print. But you might be able to turn up a used copy at a used book site.
 
J

John Meeks

Guest
Iain,

Think I might have the answer you're looking for...

1945 - Right at the end of the war - approximately 10,000 prisoners from a concentration camp and others were herded onto several "believed unseaworthy" hulks in or near Lubeck Bay.

Unfortunately, the RAF didn't know about the prisoners, and conducted a raid on the ships (sorry..haven't nailed the exact date yet!)

About 8000 lost their lives aboard:
Cap Arcona
Deutschland
and
Theilbeck - a freighter.

Very sad...of use to you?

Regards,

John M.
 

John Clifford

Member
Nov 12, 2000
1,686
0
166
56
Interesting piece of trivia: the Cap Arcona was the ship used for the German propoganda film, Goebbel's TITANIC.
 
J

John Meeks

Guest
John...

Was it really?

Is that the film that was put out to show how "decadent" the British Empire et al was?

I didn't know that. Thanks for the info.

John M
 
Mar 28, 2002
1,015
0
166
Thanks for that, both Johns! I was visiting Lubeck in 1997 during the Hamburg beer festival and our guide's favourite subject was "what the allies did to Germany". He touched on the bombing of the harbour but never went into any detail (that I can remember, it was a beer festival!), bit I always remembered that part. Concentration camp prisoners too. As if they hadn't been through enough.

Thanks again,

Boz
 
J

John Meeks

Guest
Iain,

You're welcome!

Can't think of a better reason to visit Germany! Er schmeckt gut, Ja?

A few years ago, I was working in Canada for a German company and had the pleasure of visiting our head office in the Black Forest - truly, very pleasant and I enjoyed the company of some wonderful folks. But my 'boss' insisted in giving me the 'guided tour' of the beautiful city of Freiburg. Mentioning the partial destruction of Freiburg in '44/45, he too complained about "what the allies did to Germany".....he didn't seem too amused when I gave an inadvertant wry smile.

Don't think it did my career a lot of good!

Your guide's name wasn't "Gerhard" by any chance...?

Best Regards,
John M
 
Mar 28, 2002
1,015
0
166
Morning John,

Believe it or not, it was "Brian". It got pretty heated on the tour bus, actually, as every corner we turned he would point out when that building was destroyed, how many died in that air raid. Most of the people on the bus had woke very bleary-eyed from the night before and they were not in the mood for a history lesson, and there were shouts of "what about Coventry, mate?". I just ducked...

Cheers,

Boz
 
Mar 5, 2001
125
0
146
Hi !

Yes - The Wilhelm gustloff, the Steuben, the Goya has all many thousand of fugitive's on board. They where all sunk by russian U-Boats.

Yes - The German Titanic Movie from 1943 has the Cap Arcona as background. The Cap Arcona lies at this time in Gotenhafen (where also lie the Gustloff at this time) as a Trainingship.

and

Yes the Cap Arcona, the Deutschland (from the Ballin-Class of the Hapag) and the Thielbeck was sunk after an British Bomber Attack in the Luebecker Bucht.

I have many Material about this Ships but only in German (I life in Norderstedt near Hamburg/Germany)

Sorry for my bad English - my German is much better :)

greetings from cold Germnay

Thorsten www.LostLiners.de www.OceanLiners.de
 
L

lisagay harrod

Guest
Tracy,

Thanks for the info! Will put my feelers out for "The Cruelest Night".

Thorsten,

Thanks for your input...and by the way, your English is just fine!

Thanks again to the both of you,
Lisa Harrod
 
J

John Meeks

Guest
Thorsten - Guten abend! Wei geht es Ihnen?

Thank you for confirmation of our notes on this subject!

I have visited your website - very interesting! ...and please excuse Iain and myself for our little jokes!

I agree with Lisa - your English is fine!...much better than my German!



Besten Dank!

John M
 
Mar 5, 2001
125
0
146
Hi John!

Your German is also very good :)

Thank you very much for your praise about LostLiners. I will forward it to the rest of the Team!

If everywhere has questions about the Ships in this Thread ask me an i will look for an Answer.

At the moment i plan an Article about the Wilhelm Gustloff for LostLiners and also for the Magazin of the German Titanic Society. But i will write about the Gustloff as cruiseship. nearly 90% of the sources i have report only about the sinking.

At the moment i look for dates from original Memorabilia to make an complete List of the Trips which has the Ship made in the Time from April 1938 to November 1939...

By the way i have an little Wood-Splinter from the Cap Arcona in my Collection.

best regards

Thorsten