Cruise history and liner history: The MS WILHELM GUSTLOFF was the worst maritime disaster in the history of the world, with more fatalities then the Titanic and the Lusitania combined.
August 1, 1936 at Blohm & Voss shipyards in Hamburg. Robert Ley, head of the DAF and KdF drove in the ceremonial first bolt.
The MS WILHELM GUSTLOFF
The MS Wilhelm Gustloff was a German KdF flagship during 1937-1945, constructed by the Blohm & Voss shipyards. It sank after being torpedoed by the Soviet submarine S-13 on 30 January 1945. The ship was named after Wilhelm Gustloff, the assassinated German leader of the Swiss Nazi party. It was requisitioned into the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) on 1 September 1939 and served as a hospital ship in 1939 and 1940. Beginning on 20 November 1940, it was stripped of medical equipment and repainted from its hospital ship colors (white with a green stripe) to standard naval grey. The Wilhelm Gustloff was then assigned as a floating barracks for naval personnel in the port of Gdynia which was located in Nazi occupied Poland (renamed during German occupation to Gotenhafen), near Gda?sk, Poland.