Ships from Danzig



Flag of Danzig on stern of steamer "Paul Beneke".


Sea playd always important role in history of Danzig. There were many ships named after the city, there were also other ships, which history was bounded with history of the city. The first known ship named after Danzig was caravel "Peter von Danzig" commanded by Paul Beneke. Later, there were more other ships with names connected to Danzig, we can finde in the archives names like: "Die Stadt Danzig", "Die Liebe von Danzig", "Das Zeughaus von Danzig" or "Das Wappen von Danzig".

The first modern ship named "Danzig" was built in 1825 gun-boat driven by sails and paddles, which was the training ship for students of Königliche Navigation-Schule in Danzig. Than, the name "Danzig" was given to steamer built in Klawitter's shipyard in Danzig, which was used as passenger ship on route between Danzig and Königsberg. The next one was corvette "Danzig", modern steam ship with sails built in 1851 in Kaiserliche Werft in Danzig.


Corvette "Danzig" from 1851


The next was small passenger ship "Danzig" built in 1886 / 87 in Vulkan shipyard in Stettin for Norddeutscher Lloyd. New warship named "Danzig" was light cruiser Bremen class. S.M.S. Danzig was laid down in Kaiserliche Werft in Danzig 23rd September 1905, which came to service 1st December 1907. The cost of production was 4.8 millions Mark. It was used as patrol ship at the beginning and in 1910 became artillery-training ship. During the 1st World War all the light cruises Bremen class were obsolete but they were still used. At the beginning of the war S.M.S. Danzig was used in patrol group on North Sea and in 1915 was used on Baltic Sea. Since June 1917 the ship was used as aim-ship for submarines' crew trainings. It has never came back to Danzig and in 1920 was scrapped in Great Britain.



S.M.S. Danzig on postcards.



Crewmembers of S.M.S. Danzig.


Technical data of S.M.S. Danzig:

Displacement:3.783 t
Length:111,1 m
Length (water line):110,6 m
Width:13,3 m
Submergence:5,68 m
Crew:297 people

Propulsion: Two stem engines 12.022 hp each
Max speed: 22,9 knot
Range: 4690 sea miles

Armament:10 guns 105 mm
2 torpedo tubes 45 cm


The first ship named Gdańsk was steamer built in 1900 as Sierra. In 1920 the ship was bought by Polish American Navigation Corporation / Towarzystwo Polsko Amerykańskiej Żeglugi Morskiej and renamed to Gdańsk. It had 800 low standard passenger places built for emigrants. It came to port in Danzig only 9 times when the Corporation bankrupted and the ship came back to former owner. It was used than on Pacific Ocean until 1934.



Steamer Gdańsk and advertisment of Polish American Navigation Corporation.


Next ship named Gdańsk was small passenger steamer built in Danziger Werft in 1927 and used by Polish Shipping Company. It could take 700 passengers for short trips on Gdansk Bay. It was damaged by German bombers on 2nd September 1939 and sank by the crew on September 4th. Repaired and used by Germans was sunken again in March 1945 near port in Gdynia.



Passenger ship "Gdańsk".


At the same time as steamer Gdańsk another, bigger passenger ship was built, it was named "Hansestadt Danzig". The ship was built in Stettin in Oderwerke shipyard in 1926. Its displacement was 2 480 BRT, it has 90 m length, 11,7 m width and realised regular passenger connections between Germany and East Prussia within the program Seedienst Ostpreussen. "Hansestadt Danzig" could take 1.400 passengers and the crew was 83 people. Taken to German Navy in 1939 and was used as mine-layer. It also took part in landing in Copenhagen and on Bornholm. Hit by Swedish mine sank near Öland on 9th July1941 after that the name "Hansestadt Danzig" was given to Norwegian ship "Peter Wessel", which after the war was given back to Norwegian owner.



Passenger ship Hansestadt Danzig.


Seedienst Ostpreussen folder.
Post stamp with Hansestadt Danzig.


During the 2nd World War two other ships had name Danzig they were hospital ships. Bigger one with displacement of 1 062 BRT changed its name into Posen and than the smaller one with displacement of 796 BRT got the name Danzig.

There were other ships with names connected to Danzig:

- Tugboat Danzig built in 1922 in Kaiserliche Werft in Danzig
- Tankers built between 1920 and 1921: Gedania and Zoppot
- Yacht Peter von Danzig of Seereederei Danzig
- Peter von Danzig II - yacht built in 1924
- Ship Gdańsk built in 1951-54 in Gdansk shipyard
- Ship Gdańsk built for Norway in 1967 in Gdansk shipyard
- Ship Gdańsk II built in Spain in 1983
- Tugboats built between 1930-45 named: Danzig, Oliva, Saspe, Brösen, Neufahrwasser, Thor and Krantor
- Fishboat Glettkau used during the war as mine-layer (M-1803, later M-1406, later M-4014), built in 1939
- Passenger steamer Zoppot


Tugboat Danzig.
passenger steamer Zoppot.
passenger steamer Zoppot.
Tugboat Oliva on Mottlau river.
Submarine U-407 with Danzig coats of arms.
Submarine U-407 with danzig coats of arms.
Mine-layer Glettkau / M-4014.


There was another, very famous ship in Danzig, it was steam passenger ship owned by Weichsel Society used on the route between Danzig and Hel. Its name was Paul Beneke. It was built in 1906 in Klawitter's shipyard in Danzig, was 43,5 m long and could take up to 70 passengers, there were also restaurant and cafe on board. Its home port after the war was Lübeck.



Salondampfer Paul Beneke on postcards and photos.


Haven for ships of Weichsel company at Dlugie Pobrzeze (Lange Brücke)
Haven for passenger ships at Dlugie Pobrzeze (Lange Brücke)
Haven for passenger ships at Dlugie Pobrzeze (Lange Brücke)
Haven for passenger ships at Dlugie Pobrzeze (Lange Brücke)
Ticket for ferry going between Neufahrwasser and Weichselmünde.
Ticket for ferry going near Krahntor.


History of three other ships was connected with tragic history of Danzig.
There were, sunken in 1945:Wilhelm Gustloff, General von Steuben and Goya.