Destroyer Quay

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Clearance boats at the destroyer quay in Kaiserhafen I (1952)

The destroyer quay was a shipyard of the Kriegsmarine in Wesermünde / Bremerhaven .


Apart from the time of the Reichsflotte under Karl Rudolf Brommy , the Lower Weser towns were always in the shadow of Wilhelmshaven . When Kaiserhafen I was built between 1872 and 1876, storage sheds were built on the east quay of the New Harbor . Due to the characteristic bulge of the quay, the large ships of the North German Lloyd could be turned. On November 9, 1912, the authorized Bremen Parliament , the deputation for ports and railways to the expenditure of a maximum of 200,000 Mark to cold rooms in Kajenschuppen 11 to set up. About 20 years later, some storage sheds were demolished. The armament of the Wehrmacht brought a lot of construction activity to the coastal towns on the German Bight and the Baltic Sea . Naval bases and coastal stations were established.

In 1934 the foundations of the slings and the workshop buildings were dismantled on the abandoned site of the liquidated Joh. C. Tecklenborg . Only the administration building of the shipyard - popularly known as the “gray donkey” - was preserved. After a short construction period, the Wesermünde Naval School (MSW) was built on the cleared site and began operations on October 5, 1935. At the same time, the demolition of the Kaiserhafen should have started. A technical operation for marine vehicles was established here. The pier was nearly 1,000 meters long. The inscription on the “small staff building” can still be seen today: BUILT IN THE 3RD YEAR OF THE 3RD REICH, 1936.

The department of the Wesermünde section commander was established here in 1937. The old storage shed 10 at the south end of the harbor was demolished and replaced by a new building; among other things, there was a potato cellar. The rest of the building was apparently also used to store food; because in the rear part there was a cold store until 1982 . A larger wooden shed at the northern end of the harbor was demolished in 1968 and replaced by a new hall. The company warehouse and sheet metalworking shop of the Bremerhaven engine plant were housed there .

Weser exercise

Destroyer at Columbuskaje before sailing for Norway (April 6, 1940)

The fact that destroyers were stationed in the Kaiserhafen gave this port area its name. Initially, the destroyers were only assigned security tasks in the North Sea and the English Channel . That changed fundamentally in 1940. In the war economy, ironworks needed ore for steel production . The main supplier was the ore mine in Kiruna , Sweden , whose loading port in Narvik was about 2000 km from the nearest German naval base. In order to secure the sea ​​route for this war essential good, Erich Raeder pleaded for an occupation of Norway ; However, even after the conversation with Raeder on December 8, 1939 , Adolf Hitler was not enthusiastic about an attack on Norway. For him, the western campaign and the submission of (northern) France were paramount.

With the sinking of the destroyers in the Ofotfjord , the destroyer quay had lost its meaning; for now only barrier breakers, minesweepers, outpost and clearance boats were stationed there.

post war period

Engine test bench in the Ship Repair Department (1953)
Destroyer quay: USN 148 (= R99 of the Kriegsmarine, Algol of the Federal Navy) on the hook of the Lange Heinrich
School boats of the German Navy in front of the workshop building of the Bremerhaven naval base (1957)

After the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht , the sea ​​mines laid during the war had to be cleared. The 6th mine clearing division was set up in Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven , which had to clear the mines in the Outer Weser , the Jade and the Ems estuary . It was under Allied control , but was crewed by ex-German marines. Since the Soviet Union suspected and protested a secret German armament, the mine clearing division was disbanded in 1947. It was replaced by the Cuxhaven Mine Clearance Association (MRVC).

In 1951 the United States Navy set up the Labor Service Unit (B) in Bremerhaven in order to clear existing mines. The staff was partly taken over by the MRVC and stationed at the destroyer quay , which was now called Torpedoquay . When the mines were cleared, ten ships were lost in explosions and accidents and 348 people lost their lives.

After the deminers had done their duty, the area remained in American hands. A repair company called the United States Naval Advanced Base Ship Repair Department Bremerhaven, Germany , or Ship Repair Department (SRD) for short, was installed to carry out repairs to the minesweepers and clearing boats . The clearing boats were set ashore with the Langer Heinrich floating crane and some of them were repaired in the former shipbuilding hall. The engines were removed and tested on a test bench after the repair.

In 1957 the Americans wanted to give up the business; the newly founded German Navy was not interested in him because he would compete with the naval arsenal in Wilhelmshaven. After protests by the SRD employees, a solution was found; the industrial management company in Bonn-Bad Godesberg (IVG) agreed to take over. The "parent company" founded the subsidiary MWB Motorenwerk Bremerhaven GmbH and repaired ships of the German Navy here. Joachim Massalsky was able to be won over as commercial director. Civilian ships were also repaired, but the main business continued to be the gray ships of the German Navy. When the Soviet Union, and with it the Warsaw Pact, collapsed, this also had an impact on MWB. Orders collapsed and IVG, now a stock corporation , no longer wanted any loss-making operations. They looked for a buyer and found the Bremen entrepreneur Dieter Petram . He took over the GmbH in 1995 and restructured it. From engine plant Bremerhaven is Motorenwerke Bremerhaven AG . Another dock was acquired, parts of the business were outsourced and converted into independent operations.

In 2016, MWB merged with the Rickmers-Lloyd docking operations, which were also owned by Petram, to form German Dry Docks AG . The Engines and Machine Technology division now appears as the MWB Power brand , while the Docking, Repair and Retrofit division is run under German Dry Docks . Nadine Petram takes over the chairmanship of the supervisory board of the new AG. German Dry Docks, in turn, merged in 2017 with Bredo, also based in Bremerhaven, and Mützelfeldtwerft, based in Cuxhaven, to form a group of companies whose legally independent companies operate jointly on the market under the name Bredo Dry Docks in order to be able to use synergy effects.

When visiting the fleet, the destroyer quay served as a berth for ships belonging to friendly navies, including nuclear submarines and training ships .


  • Jörg Owen, KM Reichert: Navy on the Lower Weser . NW-Verlag 2004.
  • Peter Raap : The Destroyer Quay in Kaiserhafen I. A harbor quay in Bremerhaven and its history . The Low German Heimatblatt of the Men from Morgenstern , No. 782, February 2015.
  • Burchard Scheper: The recent history of the city of Bremerhaven , published by the city council of Bremerhaven. Bremerhaven 1977.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Peter Raap (2015).
  2. P. Dittrich: The first cold store in the Kaiserhafen . Niederdeutsches Heimatblatt, No. 685, January 2007.
  3. ^ August Wilhelm Heye: Z 13 from Kiel to Narvik , Verlag ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1941.
  4. 6th Mining Division (
  5. Peter Raap: It started with mine clearing . Niederdeutsches Heimatblatt, No. 656, August 2004.
  6. 50 years of MWB
  7. German Dry Docks and MWB Motorenwerke Bremerhaven merge. ( Memento from October 21, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) German Dry Docks Magazine, August 5, 2016, accessed on October 21, 2016
  8. German Dry Docks and MWB Motorenwerke Bremerhaven merge. In: Schiff & Hafen , issue 9/2016, p. 47
  9. "Neue Werften-Allianz" , Weser Kurier, January 11, 2017, accessed on July 6, 2019
  10. Detlev Ellmers : View into the Kaiserhafen I , in: Lars U. Scholl (ed.): Bremerhaven - a port history guide . Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum / Ditzen, Bremerhaven 1980, p. 122.


  1. The first section commander was Captain Helmuth Kienast (1937–1940). The section boundaries ran in the middle of the Weser and east of a line from Spieka to Bederkesa.
  2. They were subordinate to the North Friesland Coast Commander and from 1941 to the German Bight Coast Commander. From 1944 the section of the Elbe-Weser sea defense was subordinated.
  3. Head of the SRD was Lieutenant Commander DA Roop , who was replaced by LCDR TJ Heine in September 1955 .

Coordinates: 53 ° 33 ′ 20 ″  N , 8 ° 33 ′ 51 ″  E