Howaldtswerke Kiel shipyard file photo [29989]

Howaldtswerke Kiel

Type   Shipyard
Historical Name of Location   Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany


ww2dbaseIn 1838, engineer August Ferdinand Howaldt and ship owner Johann Schweffel started a multi-faceted business named Schweffel & Howaldt in the Dietrichsdorf district of Kiel, Germany. By 1846, the company employed 120 workers producing high pressure steam engines, steam boilers, pumps and many other items from the agriculture industry to engineering. In 1876, Georg Howaldt, the eldest son of August Howaldt, entered the business; after a four-year apprenticeship, he delivered 25 ships in three years under the name of his own company, Georg Howaldt Kiel Shipyard. When August Howaldt passed away in 1883, George Howaldt took over the company and reorganized it as Gebrüder Howaldt. In the following year, Gebrüder Howaldt established the Schwentine-Dock-Gesellschaft. In 1889, the companies merged to form the corporation Howaldtswerke. Between 1897 and 1906, Howaldtswerke purchased additional land and to expand and modernize the existing shipyard at the mouth of the Schwentine River. In order to compete with the other shipyards in the 20th century major changes were carried out. 113 meters of quay walls were added to the equipping pier, new foundries and boiler shops were built, and 4 new slips were built as the existing 5 slips, the largest of them being 110 meters, were just too small for modern ships. The four new slips would have the familiar awning and ranged in size from 91.5 meters to 152.5 meters with maximum width of 30 meters. New equipment, electrical and hydraulic plants were added and the crane tracks were all redone. Between 1908 and 1911, it built the lead ship of the Helgoland-class battleships. Between 1914 and 1918, it built battleships, cruisers, and submarines for the German war effort in WW1. In Sep 1926, Howaldtswerke was liquidated, and the shipyard continued operations under the name Dietrichsdorier Werft AG. In 1930, it was taken over the German Shipbuilders Ltd. of Vulcan Hamburg, and it was renamed HDW AG Kiel. In 1931, it was renamed yet again, to Howaldtswerke Aktiengesellschaft Kiel and Hamburg. In Apr 1937, the Kiel operations were sold to Deutsche Werke Kiel AG. In Apr 1939, it was nationalized to become the Kriegsmarinewerft Kiel; the company's headquarters relocated to Hamburg, Germany. In Jul 1943, the facilities in Kiel was once again sold, and it became Howaldtswerke Aktiengesellschaft Werft Kiel. During WW2, Howaldtswerke in Kiel built 31 submarines for the war effort.

ww2dbaseThe Howaldtswerke shipyard occupied about 165,400 square meters of land, and employed an average of 3,500 employees.

ww2dbaseAfter WW2, Howaldtswerke remained the only major shipyard in Kiel that was not dismantled. It was very successful during the 1960s. It merged with Deutsche Werft in Hamburg in 1968 and was renamed Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW). In Jan 2005, it became a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

ww2dbaseNote on Yard Numbers

ww2dbaseYears which yard numbers were allocated to Howaldtswerke: 1865-1940
To Janssen & Schmilinsky: 1929
To Vulcan Hamburg: 1930
To Kriegsmarinewerft: 1941-1944

Last Major Update: Nov 2020

Ships Constructed at Howaldtswerke Kiel

Ship NameYard NoSlip/Drydock NoOrderedLaid DownLaunchedCompleted
Widder69521 Dec 19291 Mar 1930
Ostmark15 Apr 193616 May 1936
Friesenland23 Mar 193713 May 1937
Altmark15 May 193615 Jun 193613 Nov 193714 Nov 1938
Wilhelm Bauer1 Jul 193612 Aug 193620 Dec 193830 Apr 1940
Waldemar Kophamel1 Jan 193712 Aug 193715 May 193921 Oct 1940
Otto Wünsche23 Sep 193827 Aug 193823 May 19408 Nov 1943
P4 (Planned)II1 May 1940 *1 May 1942 *1 Oct 1943 *
R (Planned)I8 Aug 19391 Feb 1941 *1 Feb 1943 *1 Mar 1944 *
SP6 (Planned)IV1 Mar 1942 *1 Jun 1943 *1 Jan 1945 *
SP7 (Planned)III1 Sep 1942 *1 Dec 1943 *1 Jun 1945 *
SP8 (Planned)II1 Dec 1942 *1 Mar 1944 *1 Sep 1945 *
U-11332 Jan 194327 Apr 1943
U-11342 Jan 194330 Apr 1943
C (Planned)I1 Apr 19411 Jun 1943 *1 May 1945 *1 Sep 1946 *
U-11352 Jan 194324 Jun 1943
SP13 (Planned)IV1 Mar 1944 *1 Jun 1945 *1 Jan 1947 *
SP14 (Planned)III1 Mar 1944 *1 Jun 1945 *1 Jan 1947 *
SP15 (Planned)II1 Apr 1944 *1 Jul 1945 *1 Jan 1947 *
D (Planned)I1 Apr 19411 Jun 1945 *1 May 1947 *1 Sep 1948 *
O2 (Planned)III1 May 19431 Sep 1945 *1 Mar 1947 *1 Mar 1948 *
P2 (Planned)II1 Jun 19431 Dec 1945 *1 Aug 1947 *1 Aug 1948 *

* Projected dates; not actual

Slip/Drydock Utilization

[Con]: Construction; [FO]: Fitting Out

Howaldtswerke Kiel Interactive Map

Howaldtswerke Kiel Timeline

1 Oct 1838 Engineer August Ferdinand Howaldt and ship owner Johann Schweffel started a multi-faceted business named Schweffel & Howaldt in Kiel, Germany.
12 Aug 1884 The firm Gebrüder Howaldt established the Schwentine-Dock-Gesellschaft in Kiel, Germany.
4 May 1889 In Kiel in northern Germany, Schwentine-Dock-Gesellschaft and Georg Howaldt Kiel Shipyard merged to form the Howaldtswerke corporation.
15 Sep 1926 In Kiel, Germany, the firm Howaldtswerke was liquidated, and the shipyarding portion of the business would continue operations under the name Dietrichsdorier Werft AG.
1 Jan 1930 German Shipbuilders Ltd. of Hamburg Factory Vulcan took over Dietrichsdorier Werft AG and renamed the company HDW AG Kiel.
1 Apr 1937 The Howaldtswerke operations in Kiel, Germany was sold to Deutsche Werke Kiel AG.
1 Apr 1939 The Deutsche Werke Kiel AG operations in Kiel, Germany and the Kriegsmarinearsenal merged and became Kriegsmarinewerft Kiel.
1 Jul 1943 Kriegsmarinewerft Kiel facilities in Kiel, Germany was sold, forming a new company named Howaldtswerke Aktiengesellschaft Werft Kiel.


Merchant ships under construction, Howaldtswerke shipyard, Kiel, Germany, date unknownView of Howaldtswerke shipyard from the opposite bank of the Schwentine River, Kiel, Germany, date unknown; note how little room there was to launch vessels from the slipsView of Howaldtswerke shipyard, Kiel, Germany, circa 1920sView of Howaldtswerke Kiel shipyard, Kiel, Germany, date unknown
See all 9 photographs of Howaldtswerke Kiel


Plan of Howaldtswerke Kiel shipyard, 1878Plan of Howaldtswerke Kiel shipyard, 1905; note the four slips under the short awning should have the same lengthPlan of Howaldtswerke Kiel shipyard, 1907; the year 1907 could not be verified because the texts such as slip dimensions were added much laterPlan of Howaldtswerke Kiel shipyard, 1909

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Lat/Long 54.3331, 10.1761
Howaldtswerke Kiel Photo Gallery
Merchant ships under construction, Howaldtswerke shipyard, Kiel, Germany, date unknown
See all 9 photographs of Howaldtswerke Kiel

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