Thursday, September 27, 2012

No Blue Riband Today

SS Albert Ballin was a 20,815grt ocean liner of the Hamburg-America Line (HAPAG) launched in 1923 and named after Albert Ballin, visionary director of the line who had committed suicide several years earlier.
Albert Ballin was built by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg, and served on the Hamburg-New York City route. In 1928 a tourist class was added.
Originally built as a 16 knot ship, the engines were replaced in 1929 resulting in a speed of 19 knots. In 1934 she was lengthened by 50 feet, and speed increased again, this time to 21.5 knots.
In 1935, Nazi government ordered the ship renamed to Hansa (Ballin having been Jewish). Hansa's last Atlantic crossing was in 1939. In 1945, she was employed to evacuate Gdynia, but on 6 March hit a mine off Warnemünde and sank.
The wreck was raised and rebuilt by the Soviet Union around 1949, and renamed Sovetsky Soyuz, becoming the largest passenger ship operating under the Soviet flag. From 1955 she operated between Vladivostok and points in the Far East. She served until 1981.

Photos: ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (1), Oldimages @ Flickr (2, 3)

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