Blohm + Voss
|Founder||Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss|
|Parent||ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems|
ThyssenKrupp announced in December 2011 that it had agreed the sale of Blohm + Voss' civil shipbuilding division to British investment company STAR Capital Partners, pending regulatory approval. On September 28, 2016, it was announced that Lürssen would acquire Blohm + Voss in a long-term partnership.
Blohm & Voss was founded on 5 April 1877, by Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss as a general partnership. It established a shipyard on the island of Kuhwerder, near the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, covering 15,000 m² with 250 m of water frontage and three building berths, two suitable for ships of up to 100 metres length. The company name was shown with the ampersand until 1955.
The company's logo is now a simple dark blue rectangle with rounded corners bearing the white letters "Blohm+Voss".
The company has built ships and other large machinery continuously for 125 years, despite being almost completely demolished by the end of World War II. It now builds warships both for the German Navy and for export (see MEKO), as well as oil drilling equipment and ships for numerous commercial customers. It administers the Elbe 17 dry dock at Hamburg.
History during the Nazi era
With the rise of the Nazi Party to power in 1933, Germany's rearmament in violation of the Versailles Treaty began. This rescued the company, then run by brothers Rudolf and Walther Blohm, from a financial crisis.
From July 1944 to April 1945 the company used inmates of its own concentration subcamp at its shipyard in Hamburg-Steinwerder, a subcamp of Neuengamme concentration camp. A memorial stands on the site of the camp and the company continues to pay an undisclosed amount to the Fund for Compensation of Forced Laborers.
Specialising until now in shipbuilding, in 1933 the company established a subsidiary called Hamburger Flugzeugbau, to to design and build aircraft for the German state airline, pre-war Deutsche Luft Hansa and, later, the Luftwaffe. The first planes it produced had the company designation "Ha", e.g. Ha 135. However the types were still commonly associated with Blohm & Voss, so in September 1937 the subsidiary was renamed Abteilung Flugzeugbau der Schiffswerft Blohm & Voss and the company code was replaced by "BV".
Richard Vogt joined the Hamburger Flugzeugbau as Chief Designer not long after its formation. He was highly innovative and many of his designs had unusual features. His most significant design were flying boats, used by the Luftwaffe for maritime patrol and reconnaissance. Most numerous was the BV 138, a twin-boom trimotor, while the BV 222 Wiking was much larger. Largest of all was the BV 238 prototype, the largest aircraft built by any of the Axis forces. Other notable types include the asymmetric BV 141, which was built in moderate numbers but did not enter production.
Following the end of the war, Blohm & Voss lost control of the Hamburger Flugzeugbau, which re-emerged under separate ownership and, under different names and further changes of ownership, continues to build aircraft, it has no ties with Blohm & Voss.
Ships and submarines
Blohm & Voss was established in the days of sail and did not produce a notable steamship until 1900.
- Flying P-Liners, including Petschili (1903), Pamir (1905), Passat (1911), Peking (1911), Pola (1916) and Priwall (1917)
- Prinzess Eitel Friedrich (1909) (later Dar Pomorza)
- The three-mast barques and school ships of the Gorch Fock class
Ocean liners and other passenger ships
- Prinzessin Victoria Luise (1900), a Hamburg America Line ship, the first ship built exclusively for cruising
- RMS Majestic (1914), a White Star Line liner and the largest ship in the world until the completion of the Normandie in 1935
- SS Leviathan (1914), a United States Lines liner and sistership to the RMS Majestic. Scrapped in 1938.
- SS Cap Arcona (1927), a Hamburg Süd liner sunk with great loss of life near the end of the Second World War
- SS Monte Cervantes (1927), a Hamburg Süd liner lost near Tierra del Fuego in 1930
- SS Europa (1928), a Norddeutscher Lloyd liner and Blue Riband winner
- MV Monte Rosa (1930), a passenger liner and cruise ship that would become better known as the troopship Empire Windrush
- SS Potsdam (1935), a Norddeutscher Lloyd turbo-electric liner that served as an Allied troopship and then the Pakistani pilgrim ship Safina-E-Hujjaj.
- TS Pretoria (1936) and TS Windhuk (1936), Deutsche Ost-Afrika Linie passenger cargo liners.
- MV Wilhelm Gustloff (1937), Kraft durch Freude (Strength Through Joy) cruise ship and the world's worst maritime disaster when she was sunk towards the end of the Second World War
- MV Aurora (1955) As the Wappen Von Hamburg. It was the first luxury liner to be built after World War II.
- MV Explorer (2001), used by the Semester at Sea university study abroad program
- A – 119 m (390 ft) owned by the Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko
- Dubai – owned by the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
- Eclipse – the second-largest private yacht, owned by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich.
- Enigma – a modern yacht.
- Grille – built as the German state yacht (1935), converted to minelayer at the beginning of World War II, later reconverted to state yacht of Nazi Germany, Hitler's official maritime conveyance.
- Lady Moura – the 19th-largest private yacht
- MV Savarona – built for an American heiress in 1931. Later the Turkish Presidential yacht and now a charter yacht. Still among the largest yachts, at 446 feet (136 m) long.
Warships of World War I
- SMS Glyndwr, light seaplane carrier converted from a merchant ship
- SMS Von der Tann, battlecruiser
- SMS Goeben, battlecruiser
- SMS Moltke, battlecruiser
- SMS Scharnhorst, armoured cruiser
- SMS Seydlitz and SMS Derfflinger, battlecruisers that were heavily damaged in the Battle of Jutland; both stayed afloat and brought their crews home.
Warships of World War II
- Admiral Hipper, heavy cruiser
- Bismarck, battleship
- Many Type VII, Type XVII, Type XXI and Type XXVI U-boats
- Aradu (F89), a MEKO 360H1 frigate for the Nigerian Navy
- Almirante Brown-class (MEKO 360H2) destroyers for the Argentine Navy
- Rheinland-Pfalz (F209), a Bremen-class frigate
- Brandenburg (F215), the first Brandenburg-class frigate
- Sachsen (F219), the first Sachsen-class frigate
- Vasco da Gama (F330), a Vasco da Gama-class (MEKO 200PN) frigate for the Portuguese Navy
- Z28-class patrol boats for the Argentine Coast Guard
Aircraft and munitions
Some types were initially developed by the Hamburger Flugzeugbau under the Ha designation but later produced under the BV designation. Some munitions, such as glide bombs, were included in the series designations. Aircraft, munitions and projects designed under these designations are listed at List of Blohm + Voss Aircraft and projects and include:
- Blohm & Voss Ha 135 Two seat single engine sports biplane 1933
- Blohm & Voss Ha 136 experimental single seat single engine low wing advanced trainer
- Blohm & Voss Ha 137 prototype dive bomber
- Blohm & Voss BV 138 Seedrache (sea-dragon) trimotor maritime patrol flying-boat (early versions designated as Ha 138)
- Blohm & Voss Ha 139 long-range seaplane
- Blohm & Voss Ha 140 torpedo bomber seaplane (prototype)
- Blohm & Voss BV 141 reconnaissance (asymmetric)
- Blohm & Voss BV 142 reconnaissance + transport
- Blohm & Voss BV 143 glide bomb (prototype)
- Blohm & Voss BV 144 transport
- Blohm & Voss BV 155 high-altitude interceptor (formerly Me 155)
- Blohm & Voss BV 222 Wiking (Viking), six-engine transport flying-boat
- Blohm & Voss BV 226, a long range radar homing glide bomb
- Blohm & Voss BV 237, a single seat single engine asymmetric layout ground attack aircraft project development of the Bv 141
- Blohm & Voss BV 238 flying-boat (prototype), the single largest Axis aircraft design of the war years to fly
- Blohm & Voss BV 246 Hagelkorn (Hailstone), long-range radar-homing glide bomb
- Blohm & Voss BV 40 glider interceptor
List of Major Internal Projects of the World War II Era under the RLM:
- Blohm & Voss BV P.111 – a design similar to the 237, except that it was a flying boat with three engines.
- Blohm & Voss BV P.170 – a 1942 design with three engines on the forward wing with the cockpit in the aft.
- Blohm & Voss BV P.178 - experimental, asymmetric jet powered dive bomber project.
- Blohm & Voss P.194 - tactical bomber project
- Blohm & Voss P.208
- Blohm & Voss BV P.211, a prototype jet fighter for the Volksjäger Emergency Fighter Program design competition
- Blohm & Voss P.212
- Blohm & Voss P.213, a prototype pulsejet miniature fighter for the Volksjäger design competition of the Emergency Fighter Program
- "»Queen Victoria« once again at Blohm+Voss". Bohm + Voss. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Bryant, Chris. "ThyssenKrupp sells 'mega-yacht' division". FT.com. Financial Times Limited. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
- "STAR Capital Partners buys Blohm & Voss' civil business". SuperYachtTimes.com. SuperYachtTimes.com. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
- "Breaking news: Lürssen acquires Blohm + Voss". superyachttimes.com. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- The camp Blohm & Voss is listed as No. 550 Hamburg in the official German list Archived April 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. (List in German)
- Herbert Diercks, Der Hamburger Hafen im Nationalsozialismus, 2008
- B+V Geschichte v. 1933-1938 -Die Rüstungskonjunktur ab 1933
- "Blohm + Voss". Wehrmacht history. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aircraft Manufacturers. Stroud, UK:Sutton Publishing, Second edition, 2005. ISBN 0-7509-3981-8.
- Meyhoff, Andreas. Blohm & Voss im »Dritten Reich«, Eine Hamburger Großwerft zwischen Geschäft und Politik (Hamburger Beiträge zur Sozial- und Zeitgeschichte, Band 38) (in German). Hamburg, Germany: Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg, 2001. ISBN 3-89244-916-3.
- Pohlmann, Herrmann. 'Chronik Eines Flugzeugwerkes 1932-1945. B&V - Blohm & Voss Hamburg - HFB Hamburger Flugzeugbau (in German). Motor Buch Verlag, 1979 ISBN 3-87943-624-X.
- Prager, Hans Georg and Bishop, Frederick A.(Transl.). Blohm + Voss: Ships and Machinery for the World. London: Brassey's Publishers Limited, 1977. ISBN 0-904609-14-6.
- Witthöft, Hans J. Tradition und Fortschritt - 125 Jahre Blohm + Voss (in German). Koehlers Verlag, 2002. ISBN 3-7822-0847-1.
- Wixey, Ken. Flugboots from Hamburg: An outline history of Blohm und Voss flying-boats Air Enthusiast No.82 July/August 1999 pp42–48
- Aviso Grille - Hitler's War Yacht - Revel Barker
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Blohm + Voss.|
- Official website
- Company history (English)
- Company history (German)
- Wehrmacht History
- Luft '46 - Blohm + Voss
- 3 original wartime color slides showing the 222 Viking in 1942