Germany (ship, 1904)

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Platzhalter Deutschland-1912-an-Meereis-Eiskante.jpg
Ship data
flag German EmpireGerman Empire (Reichskriegsflagge) German Empire
other ship names
  • Bjørn
  • Austria
  • San Rocco
Ship type Research ship
Shipyard EK Lindstøl Skibsværft, Risør
Ship dimensions and crew
46.7 m ( Lpp )
width 9.1 m
measurement 527 gross tons
Machine system
machine Porsgrunds Mekaniske Værksted
8.0 kn (15 km / h)
propeller 1
Rigging and rigging
Rigging Barque
Number of masts 3
under sail
Max. 10 kn (19 km / h)

The Bark Deutschland was the ship of the Second German Antarctic Expedition (1911-1912) under the direction of the geophysicist Wilhelm Filchner (1877-1957).


Lottery ticket with Germany and the facsimile signature of Wilhelm Filchner ;
Printing and Publishing Company A. Molling & Comp. , Hanover, around 1912

The whaling and cargo ship Bjørn ("Bear") was launched in 1904 at EK Lindstøl Skibsværft in Risør , Norway for the shipping company A / S Bjørn (Chr. Christensen) in Kamfjord, Sandefjord. The ship was operated by the Sandefjorder whaling and shipping company Christensen.

After Filchner, with the help of the polar explorers Shackleton , Nordenskjöld and Nansen, succeeded in acquiring the Björn for his planned expedition in 1910 , it was renamed Germany . During the Antarctic expedition, the ship, which was initially led by Captain Richard Vahsel (who, however, died during the voyage), sailed under the German imperial war flag . Although it was trapped by pack ice in the Weddell Sea for about nine months , it survived the exploration trip almost unscathed.

Important officers of the ship were:

  • Richard Vahsel (1868-1912). The captain of the Deutschland had already participated in the first German Antarctic expedition with the Gauß as 2nd officer from 1901 to 1903.
  • After Vahsel's death, Wilhelm Lorenzen , the first officer, took command of the ship up to the port of destination Grytviken .
  • Conrad Heyneck managed the engine room and the ship's technical systems.
  • Wilhelm v. Goeldel (born 1881), officer on watch; also worked as a ship and expedition doctor.

After the end of the expedition, the Deutschland was first sold to Austria in 1914 to the expedition member Felix König (1880–1945), who renamed the ship Austria and planned his own Austrian research trip to the South Pole, which occurred at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 failed. As Austria , the ship received the Italian flag with the home port Trieste , the measurement changed to 598 GRT. In 1920 the ship was sold to the shipping company Società Anonima di Navigazione Nautica and renamed San Rocco , with the gross measurement again changed to 495 register tons. The home port of the San Rocco was Fiume . On January 22, 1926, the ship was finally lost on a voyage from Barletta to Venice near the island of Pelagosa at position 42 ° 43 ′ 0 ″  N , 16 ° 20 ′ 0 ″  E in the Adriatic Sea .

Technology and scientific equipment

The Bjørn was a wooden three-masted barque measuring 527 gross tons, 46.7 meters long between the perpendiculars (LPP) and 9.1 meters wide. The maximum speed with engine power was put at eight knots . The hull was reinforced to withstand the ice so that it was suitable for use in polar regions. The drive consisted of a compound steam engine from the manufacturer Porsgrunds Mekaniske Værksted with an output of 34 nominal horsepower .

After the purchase by Filchner, the ship was rebuilt for around two months with the advice of Ernest Shackleton at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg and brought up to the latest technical standards of the time. It had a modern generator system so that not only light bulbs but also electrical machines could be operated on board. In addition, a powerful radio telegraphic system had been installed. The engine output of 220 kW was considerable for the conditions at the time, but at best sufficient to cover a few miles in fresh pancake ice cream. The ship was unsuitable as an icebreaker.

The Deutschland had various bilge pumps and a steam fire extinguishing system with which it was well equipped in terms of safety. The barque's extensive ship operating technology, which in addition to the aforementioned systems and various winches, also included a seawater evaporator for producing drinking water, could be supplied separately through an auxiliary boiler. The sailing equipment of the ship was also considerable. Under favorable conditions, the Deutschland reached a speed of 10 knots, which was also due to the fact that the propeller could be separated from the shaft and then housed in a "well", which reduced the hull resistance. The equipment was completed by a small dinghy with a 5 kW motor. The scientific equipment of Germany was varied. In addition to an oceanographic winch, there were three Lucas plumbing machines, two of which were coupled with a high-speed steam engine. There was also a kite winch on board and a winch for tethered balloons with a sufficient amount of hydrogen in steel bottles. For deep-sea plumbing, plumbing spindles and mud pipes were available for the extraction of soil samples, with which sediment cores with a maximum length of 51 cm could be obtained. On the main deck, oceanographic, biological, geological, chemical and microscopic analyzes could be carried out in a relatively large laboratory room. In addition to technical facilities for plankton research, a considerable set of instruments was available for geomagnetic and meteorological investigations. In addition to numerous astronomical and geodetic instruments, Germany's scientific equipment also included excellent photographic equipment. There was even a darkroom on board.

See also

Web links


  1. ^ Kaiser Wilhelm II. Land , at:; accessed: July 16, 2013.
  2. Reinhard A. Krause, Op. cit.
  3. Ursula Rack: Social-historical study on polar research based on German and Austro-Hungarian polar expeditions between 1868-1939 . In: Reports on polar and marine research 618 (2010), pp. 1–274 (PDF, 28.6 MB). Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Lloyd's Register of Shipping Vol. I, 1919/20, Lloyd's Register, London 1919
  5. ^ Lloyd's Register of Shipping Vol. I, 1925/26, Lloyd's Register, London 1925
  6. ^ Reinhard A. Krause: For the centenary of the German Antarctic Expedition under the direction of Wilhelm Filchner, 1911-1912 . In: Polarforschung 81 (2), pp. 103–126, 2011 (published 2012 - online as PDF file, 28.3 MB; accessed: July 16, 2013)
  7. Reinhard A. Krause, op. Cit.
  8. W. Brennecke, W. (1921): The oceanographic work of the German Antarctic Expedition 1911-1912. Archive Deutsche Seewarte 39: 1–216, 1921, p. 13/14 is a directory of the oceanographic equipment of Germany to be found.
  9. H. Lohmann, (1912): Investigations into the plant and animal life of the high seas, at the same time a report on the biological work on the voyage of the Deutschland from Bremerhaven to Buenos Aires in the period from May 7th to September 7th 1911 - Mittler, Berlin, 1–92
  10. ^ Wilhelm Filchner: To the 6th continent . Berlin (Ullstein), 1922, p. 20