Gorch Fock file photo [30941]

Gorch Fock-class Barque

CountryGermany
Ships in Class6
BuilderBlohm und Voss

Contributor:

This article refers to the entire Gorch Fock-class; it is not about an individual vessel.

ww2dbaseThe Gorch Fock-class barque were steel-built three masted sailing ships launched by Blohm und Voss of Hamburg, Germany. They were meant to replace the training ship Niobe, which capsized and sank in the Baltic Sea in 1932. To prevent the Niobe tragedy from happening again, Gorch Fock-class ships were designed to be able to bring them back to a upright position even when they heeled over to nearly 90 degrees. They had square sails on the fore and main masts and gaff rigging on the mizzen mast, allowing them to reach the speed of 19 knots. With the auxiliary diesel engines, they could reach the speed of 10 knots. Five keels were laid down in the 1930s, although one, Herbert Norkus, was not finished. After the war, they were taken by the Allies as reparations.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, West Germany built the sixth Gorch Fock-class barque to replace the loss of these training ships. This post-war ship, also named Gorch Fock, was launched on 23 Aug 1958 and was commissioned on 17 Dec 1958.

ww2dbaseThe unfinished Herbert Norkus excepted, all remaining five ships are afloat at the time of this writing in 2021, most of which as active training ships and one as a museum ship.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Apr 2021

Gorch Fock-class Barque Interactive Map

Gorch Fock-class Barque 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.
1 Oct 1935 The order for the construction of Horst Wessel was issued.
15 Feb 1936 The keel of Horst Wessel was laid down by Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany.
13 Jun 1936 Horst Wessel was launched by Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany, sponsored by Nazi martyr Horst Wessel's mother. Rudolf Hess gave a speech at the ceremony, which Adolf Hitler also attended.
16 Sep 1936 Horst Wessel was completed.
17 Sep 1936 Horst Wessel was commissioned into service.
2 Jan 1937 The order for the construction of Albert Leo Schlageter was issued.
15 Jul 1937 The keel of Albert Leo Schlageter was laid down by Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany.
30 Oct 1937 Albert Leo Schlageter was launched by Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany.
17 May 1938 The keel of Mircea was laid down by Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany.
21 Aug 1938 Adolf Hitler visited the sailing ship Horst Wessel.
22 Sep 1938 Mircea was launched by Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany.
25 Jan 1939 Mircea was completed.
1 Aug 1939 The keel of Herbert Norkus was laid down by Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany.
7 Nov 1939 Herbert Norkus was launched prematurely by Blohm und Voss in Hamburg, Germany to make way for submarine construction.
19 Apr 1944 Gorch Fock was officially reactivated by the German Navy.
14 Nov 1944 Horst Wessel and Albert Leo Schlageter sailed in rough waters near Rügen, Germany. Albert Leo Schlageter struck a mine, damaging its starboard bow. Horst Wessel took Albert Leo Schlageter in a stern tow to prevent Albert Leo Schlageter from sinking.
15 Nov 1944 Albert Leo Schlageter, which had struck a mine on the previous day near Rügen, Germany and kept afloat by a stern tow by sister ship Horst Wessel, was met by large ships which would tow her to Swinemünde, Germany for repairs.
1 May 1945 Gorch Fock was scuttled in shallow waters off Rügen, Germany.
15 May 1946 Horst Wessel was commissioned into the US Coast Guard in Bremerhaven, Germany under the new name Eagle, with Captain Gordon McGowan in command.
29 Nov 2003 Tovarishch was renamed Gorch Fock while at Stralsund, Germany.
19 Jan 2010 Sagres departed Lisbon, Portugal.
24 Dec 2010 Sagret arrived at Lisbon, Portugal, completing her longest voyage; it was an around-the-world trip of about 35,000 miles.

Photographs

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 1933Launching of Horst Wessel, Blohm und Voss shipyard, Hamburg, Germany, 13 Jun 1936Horst Wessel, late 1936
See all 13 photographs of Gorch Fock-class Barque



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More on Gorch Fock-class Barque
Ships of this Class:
» Albert Leo Schlageter
» Gorch Fock
» Herbert Norkus
» Horst Wessel
» Mircea

Gorch Fock-class Barque Photo Gallery
Gorch Fock under construction, Blohm und Voss shipyard, Hamburg, Germany, 1933
See all 13 photographs of Gorch Fock-class Barque


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