Friday, March 1, 2013

"KAISER WILHELM DER GROSSE", "THE FIRST SUPERLINER"


In 1871 when the King of Prussia WILHELM became Kaiser of a new United Nation, a new dominant power in Europe emerged, this United Nation was of course Germany. At the end of the century design and technology of Ocean Liners was changing, Germany was planning to become a major seapower, they wanted to show the World their Industrial might, after borrowing skills and craftsmen from British Yards the Germans built a liner that was to change Transatlantic Fashion forever, a new liner built in Germany not Britain at the time already the Ship Building Nation of the World, this liner was the "KAISER WILHELM DER GROSSE" often described as the World's first "SUPERLINER", she was to be the first of a new breed of German Passenger Liners, she was built in 1897 by VULCAN SHIPYARDS at Stettin, the Kaiser attended her launching held in May of that year, the ship named after his Grandfather. Later in the year, 19.9.1897, the new ship departed Bremerhaven on her maiden voyage to New York with a call at Southampton. "KAISER WILHELM DER GROSSE" made the run to New York in just five days and twenty hours at an average speed of 22.35 knots capturing the "Blue Riband" for Germany. The new wonder of Ocean Travel was 14.400 GRT and was operated by North German Lloyd she began a new era, the first ship to have four funnels which was soon enough associated with power, speed and even luxury. "KAISER WILHELM DER GROSSE" was lost in battle during the first World War in 1914, the end of a ship that changed the History of the Ocean Liners. Photos above from my collection

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