Length: 28" (70 cm)
Width: 6" (15 cm)
Height: 19" (48 cm)
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The loss of the school ship Segelschulschiff Niobe prompted the German Navy to have a new training vessel built. The contract went to the shipyard of Blohm & Voss in Hamburg, where the construction of the new ship began on December 2, 1932. She was completed in only 100 days. On May 3, 1933, the new ship was launched and baptized Gorch Fock in honor of the German writer Johann Kinau who wrote under the pseudonym "Gorch Fock".
The Gorch Fock, commissioned to the German Navy on 26 June 1933, is a three-masted
barque: she has square sails on fore and main mast and is gaff rigged on the mizzen. The hull is made of steel. She has a displacement at full load of 1510 tons. The ship was designed to be especially robust and safe against capsizing: over 300 tons of steel ballast in the keel give her a righting moment large enough to bring her back in the upright position even when she heels over to nearly 90°. The Gorch Fock served as a training vessel for the German Reichsmarine.
During the Second World War, she was a stationary office ship in Stralsund, until she was officially reactivated on April 19, 1944. On 1 May 1945, the crew scuttled her in shallow waters off Rügen in an attempt to avoid capture by the Soviet troops who already had shot at her with tanks for 45 minutes. The Soviets ordered Stralsund-based company "B. Staude Schiffsbergung" to raise and salvage her. She was restored from 1948 to 1950. The ship was newly named Tovarishch in 1951 and put into service as a training vessel again. Her new home port was Odessa. She made a voyage around the world in 1957 and won the Operation Sail race twice, in 1974 and 1976.
You can visit the Gorch Fock ship and museum docked in Stralsund, in Germany.
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