Gorch Fock file photo [30941]

Gorch Fock

Ship ClassGorch Fock-class Barque
BuilderBlohm und Voss
Yard Number495
Slip/Drydock NumberVI
Ordered2 Dec 1932
Laid Down2 Dec 1932
Launched3 May 1933
Commissioned26 Jun 1933
Displacement1,534 tons full
Length269 feet
Beam39 feet
Draft17 feet
Machineryauxiliary diesel engine
Speed19 knots


ww2dbaseGorch Fock was the lead ship of a class of three-mast barques built by Blohm und Voss of Hamburg, Germany as a training ship for the German Navy. She was built between 1932 and 1933 to replace the training ship Niobe after Niobe capsized and sank in the Baltic Sea earlier in 1932. To prevent the Niobe tragedy from happening again, she and her sister ships were designed to be able to bring them back to a upright position even when they heeled over to nearly 90 degrees. She served in her intended purpose as a training ship between 1933 and 1939, and after the European War broke out, she served as a stationary office ship at Stralsund, Germany. On 1 May 1945, after being fired upon by Soviet tanks for 45 minutes, her crew scuttled her in shallow waters off of RĂ¼gen, Germany to prevent capture.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, the Soviets ordered the Stralsund-based firm B. Staude Schiffsbergung to raise and salvage her, which was completed in 1947; the cost of the raising and salvaging was high, approximately 800,000 Reichsmark. She was restored between 1948 and 1950 then commissioned into the Soviet Navy in 1951 under the name of Tovarishch. As a training ship, she was based out of Odessa, Ukraine on the coast of the Black Sea. She made a voyage around the world in 1957, and won the Operation Sail race twice, in 1974 and 1976. In 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, she was taken over by the Ukrainian Navy. In 1993, she was deactivated due to her poor state of disrepair and the lack of funding to bring her back to full operational status. In 1995, she sailed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, United Kingdom, where private funding were supposed to have been arranged for her repairs, but higher than expected costs caused the sponsors to retract their initial pledges. In 1999, she sailed to Wilhelmshaven, Germany, where she remained for the next four years. In 2003, she sailed to Stralsund, where she was renamed to her original name, Gorch Fock, and was converted into a museum ship. She remains in Stralsund at the time of this writing in 2021.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Apr 2021

Barque Gorch Fock Interactive Map

Gorch Fock Operational Timeline

2 Dec 1932 The keel of Gorch Fock was laid down by Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany.
3 May 1933 Gorch Fock was launched by Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany.
26 Jun 1933 Gorch Fock was commissioned into service.
19 Apr 1944 Gorch Fock was officially reactivated by the German Navy.
1 May 1945 Gorch Fock was scuttled in shallow waters off RĂ¼gen, Germany.
29 Nov 2003 Tovarishch was renamed Gorch Fock while at Stralsund, Germany.


Gorch Fock under construction, Blohm und Voss shipyard, Hamburg, Germany, 1933Launching ceremony of Gorch Fock at the Blohm und Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, 3 May 1933Gorch Fock, late 1930s

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Gorch Fock under construction, Blohm und Voss shipyard, Hamburg, Germany, 1933
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