Talk:MV Wilhelm Gustloff

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necessary Information?[edit]

"...The first torpedo (with text written on it: "For the Motherland") ..." and the four others...does this improve this article? Further more is the source of this info reputable? I personally doubt it and this makes the complete article into the description of some exciting adventure, which it certainly was not! (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:46, 22 January 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is sourced to, which seems to be one man's self-published web site with no editorial oversight, sensationalist writing style, and sources not listed. I would not object if you wanted to remove this material. Kendall-K1 (talk) 16:22, 22 January 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Military transport ship, take 2[edit]

Jack, the Gustloff was constructed before the war as a sort of low-budget cruise ship. During the war it was used primarily as a barracks ship. In the final months of the war it was used to transport refugees, mainly women and children, from what was then eastern Germany to the West. The phrase "military ship" implies that it was a naval vessel, i.e. a warship, which it wasn't. That's why the phrase is misleading.

Besides which, the phrase "military ship" is not normal English usage. Sca (talk) 00:26, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Quoting from the discussion above: "She is famous for being sunk when she was a military transport ship.--Jack Upland (talk) 00:42, 28 March 2016 (UTC)" More detail above. K.e.coffman (talk) 00:56, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Baloney. She is famous for being sunk with the greatest loss of life of any ship sinking ever. The status of the ship at the time has nothing to do with it. Sca (talk) 01:47, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Double baloney or whatever sausage product you care to mention Sca. The fact that she was a military transport ship that had been under naval control for 5 years has everything to do with it. It was not a jolly/sinister strength through joy ship by that time (an integral part of the Nazi propaganda machine pre-war by the way). She was carrying troops and nazi functionaries, as well as civilians of all shades. WG was part of the nazi war effort and her description is fully justified. Irondome (talk) 01:58, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Military transport ship" is the official British name for a troopship, which would be an alternative description. The Kriegsmarine page lists the Gustloff as a troopship. But I think "military transport" is better as it captures what she was being used for.--Jack Upland (talk) 03:29, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Troopship" would be somewhat better, since at least it's in general use – although it still would imply she was carrying mainly troops when she was sunk, which was not the case. "Military transport ship" may be an 'official' British designation, but it's not a phrase in general English-language use outside the UK (and Brits are a minority of native speakers of English worldwide).
I must repeat, however, that the Gustloff is notable in history solely for being summarily sunk with huge loss of life. This, even though it seems likely the commander of the S-13, Marinesko, was aware she was crowded with refugees, who had thronged the docks for days waiting for Gustloff's departure.
With regard to "carrying troops and nazi (sic) functionaries" – as our own article notes, Gustloff carried a total of 10,852 people, of whom civilians numbered 8,956 (including about 5,000 children), while those who could be construed as "military" (including 373 female naval auxiliaries) totaled 1,626. Please note that civilians constituted 85 percent of the total on board, "military" only 15 percent.
I need only add that the sinking caused the deaths of an estimated 9,400 people, or 89 percent of those on board. If, hypothetically, we project that ratio onto the number of civilians on board, the number of civilians (most of whom were refugees) killed would be around 7,970 – including, hypothetically, 4,450 children. This is not a result one normally would associated with a so-called "military transport ship," or a troopship. Sca (talk) 13:46, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This was hashed out in detail on Talk:MV_Wilhelm_Gustloff#German_military_passenger_ship. It appears is the consensus supports the current version. There are other ways of content conflict resolution, which may be applicable in this case. K.e.coffman (talk) 15:33, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please elaborate. Sca (talk) 16:46, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And how about going back to your suggestion last year to change it to "military transport ship," which at least would make it clear to uninformed readers that Gustloff was not a warship? Sca (talk) 16:49, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not following; the opening sentence states: "The MV Wilhelm Gustloff was a German military transport ship which was sunk on 30 January 1945..." What appears to be the problem then? K.e.coffman (talk) 16:53, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry. Sca (talk) 16:55, 11 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm glad that got sorted out. K.e.coffman (talk) 02:09, 12 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nothing sorted out at all from what I can see. It was NOT a "military transport ship" at all, any more than the Cap Ancona. the Hansa, the Goya, the Steuben or any of the other liners were, although they were all requisitioned by the 'military' at various times and in particular for the evacuation of refugees. This article appears to be deliberately written in a way to justify the ship's sinking. (talk) 11:18, 29 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gustloff was a naval ship since 1939. When sunk, she was carrying both civilians and military personnel, but this does not stop her being a naval ship.--Jack Upland (talk) 21:03, 29 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

She was chartered from the owners by the Kriegsmarine. She was not a "naval ship" at all. She was a liner which had been requisitioned. Quite different. It is surely evident by the fact that when they wanted to put her back into use for refugee purposes, they asked for the ship's civilian captain to take charge of the vessel. The fact that one tenth of the passengers had some kind of military status (even as auxiliaries etc) is quite irrelevant. It was not a military transport. (talk) 15:56, 31 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The "owners" were Strength through Joy, a government organisation. She wasn't "chartered"; she was requisitioned. The fact that she was involved in Operation Hannibal does not make her a civilian ship. Operation Hannibal was a naval operation.--Jack Upland (talk) 21:20, 31 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recent edit[edit]

I reverted the recent change; preserving here by providing this link. In addition to the above discussion, please see Talk:MV_Wilhelm_Gustloff/Archive_2#German_military_passenger_ship. --K.e.coffman (talk) 00:52, 31 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually the edit was intended simply to put the lead in chronological order, and life is too short to argue about this. Still, if all you've got time on your hands you could go to the article about the SS Atlantic Conveyor and start an argument there about how she ought to be described as a helicopter-transporter.Paulturtle (talk) 02:00, 31 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. Whilst I’m certainly not going to loose sleep over this, but whatever the wording is, there should be a bit more consistency, and at the moment it isn’t. For example, the SS Gallia, with very similar circumstances (a French ocean liner converted to a troopship during World War 1, sunk by a submarine while requisitioned for military service carrying troops and ammunition) is phrased “....a transatlantic ocean liner converted into a troopship”. Which to me is a lot more succinct (obviously excluding ‘transatlantic’ in this Case) as it describes what the vessel was during her life, and not just at the arbitrary moment in time she was sunk. (talk) 03:04, 4 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Willhem Gustloff did transport civilians, not military![edit]

I did get upset here about the disinformation on this side. I can tell you that my grandmother and her grandfather Friedrich Baltrusch was one of the few survivors after this tragic warcrime made by the Sovjet Union. There was only civilians refugees on that ship (except for some french and brittish prisoners and some few Wehrmacht commanders. The ordinary soldiers of Wehrmacht and SS was forced to fight against the Sovjet Union. If they tried to desert (escape with Willhem Gustloff), they where executed. My grandmother and her grandfather Friedrich Baltrusch (DDP/CDU) did witness some execution of Wehrmacht soldiers at the harbour at Gotenhaften (Gdynia). 1000 soldiers on that ship, is real propaganda from Russia/Sovjet Union. It should be totally removed from this Wikipedia site. Sincerely Gustaf von Baltrusch --Gurra.79 (talk) 14:32, 8 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

These figures were given by Heinz Schön, himself a survivor of the Gustloff. There were about 1,000 military personnel onboard, mainly Navy personnel, as the Gustloff was a military ship since the beginning of the war. I think you are confusing with the SS Cap Arcona (1927) for the bit about the French and British. And for the "war crime" bit, the Soviets sure did more than their share of it, but, as the Gustloff was not protected as a hospital ship, she was a legitimate target. Unrestricted submarine warfare extended to armed merchant and navy auxiliaries (which the Gustloff was) is not a war crime. (talk) 13:29, 4 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Civilians define what is to be considered a war crime in order to gain an advantage over competition representing military/government ideology. Governments/fascito-defending-groups define civilian-elitist crimes, in order to weaken the apologetics used by civilian elite ( able to do what the want using civilian law/rule sets to suppress war/anarcho/violent competitors ). The sinking of the Gustloff is likely to be a religious crime, because without religious motivations ( Nazi vs religious minorities ) the Soviets wouldn´t have bothered to use their possibilities to locate events/accidents like this one. A religious crime is supposed to call the religious authorities on their opionion about whether or not or at whose cost to prevent/enforce nominally-unpopular ( = useful from the perspective of egalitarian propaganda-party-winners ) historical events. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A0A:A540:3855:0:2468:C857:E6AA:4B53 (talk) 20:44, 28 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is for me a propaganda page with selective writers and quotes. After its time as a hospital ship it was repainted and berthed at Gydnia and used as barracks for the submariner school. It was NOT a military transport. It was a liner technically still owned by its civilian owners, who sent their captain by plane to sail her back to Kiel on her last voyage. The fact that 1000 submarine cadets were on board is neither here nor there. They were passengers like everyone else. (talk) 14:14, 17 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As stated before, the owner were the German government. There were no "civilian owners".--Jack Upland (talk) 00:46, 18 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Section: Popular culture[edit]

Preserving here by providing this link. There was a lot of clutter and tangentially related items, such as nn novels. I kept the notable book, plus films and documentaries. --K.e.coffman (talk) 01:48, 2 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Split Into New Article About Sinking[edit]

I Think This Sould Be Split Into Another Article Titled “The Sinking Of The MV Wilhelm Gustloff”. After All, This Is The Deadliest Maritime Disaster Of World War 2, Or Like, Ever. Some OTHER Ships Like The “ROKS CHEONAN” Have Their Own Articles About Their Sinking! Has Anybody Here Ever Even Heard Of The Chenoan? Probably Not. Even The MV Dona Paz Is More Famous Than That Ship And It Doesn’t Have Its OWN Article About Its Sinking Despite It’s Sinking Being The Deadliest Peacetime Disaster EVER! (seriously what is up with the chenoan, it sank like 10 years ago and all the pictures of the wreck look like they were made in the 30s)