Ocean Liner “Bremen” IV

Once the German shipping company NDL recovered after the First World War and the company development was assesed as positive the idea to build new ships in order to compete with other shipping companies again. In 1926 after some debates a decision was made in favour of a so called “5 day ship”. A ship that could leave Southampton or Cherbourg at a favourable time of the day for passengers and still arrive in New York at a time that would allow going through customs within 5 days. The plan was to establish a weekly service with two new ships and the existing Columbus.
The contract for the new Bremen went to AG Weser and for the new Europa it went to Blohm & Voss. Both ships were built with various novelties like for example the bulbous bow that was copied from American ships and interestingly was realised in very different ways for the two ships. Bremen and Europa were state-of-the-art both in questions of design and of luxury facilities. The achievements by German shipbuilders and German interior architects was back then acknowledged worldwide. And with the legendary service of NDL both ships were a great success. On July 5th in 1929 the NDL took over the Bremen from the shipyard. The first voyage to New York started on the 16th that month. The maiden voyage of Bremen was a big media event. With a cruising speed of 27.83 knots Bremen topped the record speed of Mauretania in 1909 (26.06 knots) and won the legendary Blue Ribbon.
Both ships were camouflaged for the operation Sea Lion and received an extensive paint job. Operation Sea Lion did not happen but the camouflage job was done. On the 6th of March in 1941 Bremen caught fire. All attempts to fight the fire failed – Bremen completely burnt down in the harbour of Bremen and was finally scrapped.

Technical data:
  • launch: 16/08/1928 at AG Weser, Bremen
  • commissioning: 05/07/1929
  • length: 286.10 m
  • width: 31 m
  • displacement: 51,860 BRT
  • engine: turbines
  • top speed: 27 knots
  • owner: Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen (NDL)
  • sister ship: Europa
  • crew: 1,000 Mann
  • 1st class: 800 passengers
  • 2nd class: 500 passengers
  • tourist class: 300 passengers
  • 3rd class: 600 passengers
  • route: Bremerhaven - New York

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