SS Lichtenfels

SS Lichtenfels was one of the world's first modern heavy lift ship, built for DDG Hansa in 1929. She was equipped with a 120 t (118 long tons; 132 short tons) boom crane capable of lifting fully assembled locomotives, which were shipped to India.

Name: Lichtenfels
Owner: DDG Hansa
Operator: DDG Hansa, Bremen
Port of registry: Bremen (1931-33)
Builder: Deschimag Werk A.G (Bremen, Germany)
Yard number: 878
Launched: 12 June 1929
In service: 1929–1941
  • Code Letters QMKB (1929-33)
  • Code letters DOFY (1934-41)
Fate: Scuttled in Massawa on 4 April 1941, wreck raised and scrapped 1950
Notes: [1]
General characteristics
Tonnage: 7,457 GRT
Length: 160.45 m (526.4 ft)
Beam: 18.94 m (62.1 ft)
Draught: 8.49 m (27.9 ft)
Speed: 13.7 knots (25.4 km/h)
Crew: 35
Notes: [1]


In the 1920s, DDG Hansa recognised a demand for the delivery of fully assembled locomotives to India and as a result commissioned SS Lichtenfels from Deschimag Werk A.G.[1][2] On 25 October 1939, while off the Port Sudan Lichtenfels was ordered to Massawa in Italian Eritrea. She remained here for 18 months, along with nine other German merchant ships: Bertram Rickmers, Coburg, Crefeld, Liebenfels, Oder, Oliva, Wartenfels, Frauenfels and Gera during the East African campaign. She was scuttled on 4 April 1941 along with other German and Italian merchant ships in an effort to block the use of the harbour.[1][3] She was finally raised for scrap in 1950.[1]

Code letters

Lichtenfels used the code letters QMKB from 1929 to 1933[4] and DOFY from 1934 to 1941.[5]

Sister ships

As demand for locomotives from India increased, DDG Hansa also commissioned three sister ships: Freienfels (1929), Geierfels (1931) and Uhenfels (1931).[1][2]


  1. "Lichtenfels". DDG Hansa:. Retrieved 15 November 2013.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. Raymond Fisch, "The Roots of Heavy Lift Shipping", Anchored by Excellence (BBC Chartering Group) 1 (2011) pp. 10–13 (pdf) p. 10 (based on Holger Patzer, Die zusammengefasste Geschichte der D.D.G. „Hansa" (1881–1980),, December 2005 (in German))
  3. "Naval Events, April 1941, Part 1 of 2, Tuesday 1st – Monday 14th". Naval History. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  4. "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS & MOTORSHIPS 1930-31" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  5. "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS & MOTORSHIPS 1934-35" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 18 November 2013.

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