Kriegsmarinewerft

Type   217 Shipyard
Historical Name of Location   Wilhelmshaven, Weser-Ems, Germany
Coordinates   53.522308000, 8.125514000

Contributor:

ww2dbaseIn Jul 1853, the Kingdom of Prussia and the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg signed the Jade Treaty (German: Jadevertrages), which saw the transfer of 340 hectares of land on the western shore of the Jade Bight to Prussia for the construction of a naval port. In 1869, the area being developed was officially inaugurated as Wilhelmshaven, on the occasion of the visit of King Wilhelm I of Prussia. By the end of the year, dry dock I, dry dock II, dry dock III, slip I, and slip II were all completed. In 1871, the Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven shipyard was officially operational. In 1873, Wilhelmshaven was granted city status and received a municipal constitution. Between 1876 and 1880, the shipyard underwent a period of modernization. In 1880, the construction of the Ems-Jade Canal began; it would be completed in Jun 1888. By the end of 1880, the shipyard employed approximately 3,000 workers. In 1886, entrance No. 2 was completed, with larger locks. As Wilhelmshaven became a major base of the German High Seas Fleet, a new dike between the first driveway and Mariensiel to the west was authorized. Between 1905 and 1909, slip I and slip II of the shipyard were enlarged to 380 meters by 340 meters. Between 1906 and 1908, dry dock IV, dry dock V, and dry dock VI were built. In 1907, the Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge was built; it was the largest double-pivot bridge in Europe. In 1909, the third entrance was completed. In 1910, the shipyard employed approximately 8,000 workers. In 1912, a 40,000-ton floating dry dock was completed. By 1916, the shipyard employed about 15,000 workers. During WW1, the shipyard employed approximately 21,000 workers. The shipyard briefly closed at the end of WW1, and re-opened under the new name Reichsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven in 1919. It constructed civilian vessels in the early 1920s, but by the mid-1920s it would return to building warships, launching light cruiser Emden in 1925, six torpedo boats between 1926 and 1928, light cruiser Königsberg in 1929, light cruiser Köln in 1930, gunnery training ship Bremse in 1931, and heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer in 1934, among others. In 1935, with the rise of the Nazi Party, the shipyard was renamed Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven. In Feb 1936, the plans for the North Yard (German: Nordwerft) expansion was authorized, and construction began in Jun 1936. In the same year, the shipyard launched heavy cruiser Admiral Graf Spee. By Jul 1937, 7,000 workers were involved in the North Yard expansion. By 1938, it was increase of 13,000 workers. In Jan 1939, the shipyard launched battleship Scharnhorst. During WW2, it launched battleship Tirpitz and many Type VII submarines. On 18 Dec 1939, the British Royal Air Force dispatched 22 Wellington bombers to attack the shipyard and surrounding facilities; 12 of them were shot down. In Nov 1942, the fourth entrance (east chamber) was completed; it was the largest lock in the world at that time, with two chambers each 390 meters in length, 60 meters in width, and 12 meters in depth. At the end of WW2, the shipyard employed approximately 17,000 workers. Immediately after the end of hostilities, Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven remained in operations, repairing ships destined to be transferred to the Allied nations as reparations. In 1946, various shipbuilding facilities began to be dismantled or destroyed, although it would remain active as a military port.

Last Major Update: Nov 2023

Ships Constructed at Kriegsmarinewerft

Ship NameYard NoSlip/Drydock NoOrderedLaid DownLaunchedCommissioned
Emden100I7 Apr 19218 Dec 19217 Jan 192515 Oct 1925
Möwe1026 Apr 19252 Mar 192524 Mar 19261 Oct 1926
Albatros1056 Apr 19255 Oct 192515 Jul 192615 May 1927
Greif1046 Apr 19255 Oct 192515 Jul 192615 Mar 1927
Seeadler1036 Apr 19255 Oct 192515 Jul 192615 Mar 1927
Falke107Drydock III6 Apr 192517 Nov 192522 Sep 192615 Jul 1928
Kondor106Drydock III6 Apr 192517 Nov 192522 Sep 192615 Jul 1928
Königsberg108I8 Apr 192512 Apr 192626 Mar 192717 Apr 1929
Köln116II8 Apr 19257 Aug 192623 May 19281 Jan 1930
Iltis1096 Apr 19258 Mar 192712 Oct 19271 Oct 1928
Wolf1106 Apr 19258 Mar 192712 Oct 192715 Nov 1928
Luchs112Drydock III6 Apr 19252 Apr 192715 Mar 192815 Apr 1929
Tiger111Drydock III6 Apr 19252 Apr 192715 Mar 192815 Jan 1929
Jaguar114I6 Apr 19254 May 192715 Mar 192815 Aug 1929
Leopard113I6 Apr 19254 May 192715 Mar 19281 Jun 1929
Leipzig117I18 Apr 192518 Apr 192818 Oct 19298 Oct 1931
Bremse22 Apr 193014 Jun 19327 Jul 1932
Admiral Scheer123I19 May 193125 Jun 19311 Apr 193312 Nov 1934
Admiral Graf Spee124II23 Aug 19321 Oct 193230 Jun 19346 Jan 1936
F1012717 Aug 193412 Nov 193411 May 193612 Mar 1938
F912624 Aug 193412 Nov 193411 May 193621 Aug 1937
Scharnhorst125II25 Jan 193415 Jun 19353 Oct 19367 Jan 1939
Tirpitz128II14 Jun 19362 Nov 19361 Apr 193925 Feb 1941
P (Planned)133II8 Aug 19391 May 1939 *1 May 1941 *1 May 1943 *
N (Planned)129I24 May 19381 Jan 1940 *1 Jan 1942 *1 Jan 1943 *
U-751134II2 Jan 194016 Nov 194031 Jan 1941
U-752II5 Jan 194029 Mar 194124 May 1941
U-754II8 Jan 19405 Jul 194128 Aug 1941
L (Planned)130VII25 May 19391 Mar 1940 *1 Sep 1940 *1 Apr 1944 *
P3 (Planned)II1 May 1942 *1 May 1944 *1 Oct 1945 *
SP10 (Planned)I1 Mar 1943 *1 Jun 1944 *1 Dec 1945 *
P8 (Planned)VIII1 May 1943 *1 May 1945 *1 Oct 1946 *
P (Planned)607II1 Dec 19411 Jun 1944 *1 Dec 1945 *1 Dec 1946 *
SP17 (Planned)I1 Mar 1945 *1 Jun 1946 *1 Dec 1947 *

* Projected dates; not actual

Slip/Drydock Utilization

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



Kriegsmarinewerft Interactive Map

Photographs

Aerial view of the Nordwerft (North Yard) area of the Kriegsmarinewerft shipyard, Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 1939; note the two new locks, the general outline of the construction basin, one of the three dry docks, and eventually two floating dry docksAllied photograph of Kriegsmarinewerft shipyard and surrounding areas in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 30 Aug 1940; the shipyard was easily identified by the square construction basin at lower left, and the large body of water to the right was to be a new construction shipyard named Nordwerft (North Yard)

Maps

Plan of Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 1900; note dry docks IV, V, and VI had not been constructed, and slips I and II had not been modifiedPlan of Reichsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 1 Jan 1933; note the six dry docks, two slips, and the shipyard shopsMap of Wilhelmshaven, Germany, circa 1939

Kriegsmarinewerft Timeline

20 Jul 1853 The Kingdom of Prussia and the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg signed the Jade Treaty, which saw the transfer of 340 hectares of land on the western shore of the Jade Bight to Prussia for the construction of a naval port.
25 Jun 1856 The development plan for the land Kingdom of Prussia obtained from the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg in 1853 was approved.
17 Jun 1869 The port of Wilhelmshaven was inaugurated on the occasion of the visit of King Wilhelm I of Prussia.
1 Apr 1873 Wilhelmshaven, purpose-built as a naval city, was granted city status and received a municipal constitution.
15 Sep 1876 Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven in Germany began a period of modernization.
5 Jun 1888 The Ems-Jade Canal was completed in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
8 Dec 1921 The keel of Emden was laid down at the Reichsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
7 Jan 1925 Emden was launched at the Reichsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Admiral Hans Zenker gave a speech at her launching, and the ship was christened by the widow of Karl von M√ľller, who had commanded the original warship by the same name of Emden during WW1.
5 Oct 1925 The keel of Seeadler was laid down at the Reichsmarinewerft yard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
5 Oct 1925 The keel of Albatros was laid down by Reichsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
15 Jul 1926 Seeadler was launched at the Reichsmarinewerft yard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
15 Jul 1926 Albatros was launched by Reichsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
4 May 1927 The keel of torpedo boat Jaguar was laid down by Reichsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
15 Mar 1928 Jaguar was launched by Reichsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
12 Nov 1934 The keel of F10 was laid down at the Reichsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
12 Nov 1934 The keel of F9 was laid down at the Reichsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
11 May 1936 F9 was launched at the Kriegsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
11 May 1936 F10 was launched at the Kriegsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
14 Jun 1936 A contract for 'New Construction G' was issued by the German Navy to the Kriegsmarine Werft in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
2 Nov 1936 The keel of battleship Tirpitz was laid down at the Kriegsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
6 Jul 1937 The first modification of Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven in Germany was authorized.
1 Apr 1939 Battleship Tirpitz was launched at the Kriegsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Grossadmiral Alfred von Tirpitz's daughter Ilse von Hassel christened the battleship named after her father.
21 Sep 1939 The work on light cruiser N ceased at Kriegsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
18 Dec 1939 24 British Wellington bombers were launched to attack German shipping during daylight, with the target area centered around the naval port city of Wilhelmshaven, Germany; only 22 flew to the target area because 2 developed technical problems shortly after takeoff. Flak quickly broke up the bomber formation, then the German Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighters that came to the ships' defense shot down 12 of the 22 bombers. German pilots claimed 34 kills for the loss of 2 fighters during combat and another crashed at landing; the German Air Ministry confirmed only 26. British pilots also overestimated their kills, claiming 13 definite and 12 probable.
7 Nov 1942 The fourth entrance to the Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven in Germany was completed.




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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Wilhelmshaven, Weser-Ems, Germany
Lat/Long 53.5223, 8.1255
Kriegsmarinewerft Photo Gallery
Aerial view of the Nordwerft (North Yard) area of the Kriegsmarinewerft shipyard, Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 1939; note the two new locks, the general outline of the construction basin, one of the three dry docks, and eventually two floating dry docks
See all 2 photographs of Kriegsmarinewerft


Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939


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