Archive of the month: General plan of RAU IX

In the series "Archive of the Month", the German Maritime Museum (DSM) / Leibniz Institute of Maritime History regularly presents a special treasure from the archive. In August, it is about the whaler RAU IX, which is anchored in the museum harbor.

The DSM's museum fleet in the Old Port includes the whaling steamer RAU IX, which is a reminder of a bygone chapter in German shipping history. Whaling by sailing ship, rowed whaling boat and harpoon was practiced from German ports in the early modern period. However, it was the autarky policy of the Third Reich that led to the brief entry into modern industrial whaling in the 1930s and thus to the commissioning of several whaling mother ships. Each was accompanied by a shoal of seven to ten whaling boats on their voyages to the Antarctic Ocean. One of these fleets was the mother ship WALTER RAU (13750 GRT, 1937) of Neusser Ölwerke with its catching boats starting with RAU I. RAU IX (380 GRT, 1 triple-expansion steam engine 1600 hp, 14 kn) was built in 1939 at Seebeck in Wesermünde (today Bremerhaven). Instead of sailing towards the South Sea as planned, the ship served as a submarine hunter (UJ D, UJ 1212) from the outbreak of war and later as outpost boat V 6505 in the Kriegsmarine. In 1948, Norway received the ship (KRUTT), and finally it hunted small whales from the Faroe Islands under the name HEYKUR until it came to Bremerhaven as a museum ship in 1969.

Ein technischer Bauplan des Walfangdampfers RAU IX.

The General Plan of Rau IX (DSM Archive, Sign. VIII 4 X 240). Credit: DSM / Archive

The General Plan of Rau IX (DSM Archive, Sign. VIII 4 X 240). Credit: DSM / Archive

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