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stepping stones of maritime history

History

The fragmentary remains of a concrete ship have been investigated by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany (BSH: Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie), recreational wreck-divers and scientific divers of the University of Kiel.

The remains are situated in close proximity to the naval base of Kiel and have initially been mistaken for building debris associated to a slipway.

Description

Although the vessel has not been positively identified yet, it has been tentatively associated with a coastal barge of the "Transportflotte Speer" (literally: transport fleet Speer, named after Albert Speer, the minister of armaments and war production), which was towed into the harbour with war refugees on board towards the end of World War II. It was probably built in Rügenwalde, where concrete ships have been built for the first time since 1943 under secrecy. Common material used in shipbuilding, like steel, became a scarcity in Nazi Germany's war economy.

Status

Not much of the visible remains points into the direction of a ship. Indeed, the concrete debris and reinforcement rods visible above the water-level are more reminiscient of a building. And with the bow and stern missing, the structure does not even resemble the outline of a ship.

References

  • Baehr, S., Wilhelmy, J. (2006).
    Tauchreiseführer Ostsee. Von Als bis Lübecker Bucht.
    Stuttgart.
  • Huber, F. (2014).
    Unterwasserarchäologische, nicht-invasive Prospektions- und Dokumentationsverfahren in schwierigen maritimen und limnischen Gewässern (=Dissertation).
    Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel.

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