The Deadliest Disaster at Sea Killed Thousands, Yet Its Story Is Little-Known. Why?

Sinking of the Gustloff (rare video)

By Francine Uenuma/Smithsonianmag.com

By the time the Soviet Union advanced on Germany’s eastern front in January of 1945, it was clear the advantage in World War II was with the Allies. The fall of the Third Reich was by this point inevitable; Berlin would succumb within months.

Among the German populace, stories of rape and murder by vengeful Soviet forces inspired dread; the specter of relentless punishment pushed many living in the Red Army’s path to abandon their homes and make a bid for safety.

The province of East Prussia, soon to be partitioned between the Soviet Union and Poland, bore witness to what the Germans called Operation Hannibal, a massive evacuation effort to ferry civilians, soldiers and equipment back to safety via the Baltic Sea.

German civilians seeking an escape from the advancing Soviets converged on the port city of Gotenhafen (now Gdynia, Poland), where the former luxury ocean liner Wilhelm Gustloff was docked.

The new arrivals overwhelmed the city, but there was no turning them back. If they could get to the dock and if they could get on board, the Gustloff offered them a voyage away from besieged East Prussia.

DISCLOSURES: All content herein is owned by author exclusively.  Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images within are full responsibility of author and NOT VT.

About VT - Read Full Policy Notice - Comment Policy

3 COMMENTS

  1. Now my comment: why is the West is talking about that atrocities made by Uncle Joe with approval of both criminals FDR and Churchill now instead at the moment or after the war? Why was the West so silent to Uncle Joe’s hordes of savages raping German women/girls never mentioned just after the war and the following years? The same with the Germans expulsed at gunpoint from their homes in the Sudetenland, East Prussia-German territories… in cattle trains with many atrocities happening in the way to Germany. So why highlighting this now, when it is too late and very ugly to have supported that filthy Stalin in the first place? It is a disgrace if the West wants to play another round of history facts scoring with Russia now. Obviously the target is Russia/President Putin by the globo-zionists cliques. It started in late 2019 when the EU was messing with the Molotov Ribbentrop agreement of 1939 and accusing Russia and Germany of starting WWII. Fake accusation in the first place anyway! Russia responded with also its fake history facts… Disgrace and disgrace

  2. …. The Wilhelm Gustloff sinks in just 45 minutes — coincidentally, on the birthday of its namesake, Wilhelm Gustloff (January 30). German ships arrive quickly and pluck about 1000 survivors from the frigid waters as the cold claims the lives of all the rest. It is the greatest disaster at sea in world history, and not 1 in 1,000 people has ever heard about it!””

  3. From Mike King’s blog “THE SINKING OF THE WILHELM GUSTLOFF”: “By January of 1945, Germany’s days are numbered. General Patton wants to take Berlin but Allied Commander Eisenhower won’t allow it. Eisenhower’s deliberate delaying tactics in the Western front allow Stalin’s raping and murdering Soviet hordes to push eastward into Germany. As the Red Army and the cruel Jewish NKVD units advance, millions of terrified German civilians – a majority of which are women, children and elderly – flee westward by land and sea. On land, the refugees face cruel bombardment and aerial strafing from American, British and Soviet airplanes. The sea-based refugees face a different kind of threat. The luxury liner MV Wilhelm Gustloff is packed shoulder-to-shoulder with an estimated 10,000 -12,000 refugees – 7 times as many as the Titanic! Soon after leaving its Baltic Sea port, the doomed ship is sighted by Soviet Submarine commander Alexander Marinesko. After tracking his human prey for several hours, the Soviet killer fires three torpedoes into the ship’s port side. In the panic that follows, many passengers are trampled to death as they flee to the decks…”