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Friday, January 27, 2023

USCGC Eagle, the story of the Nazi training ship that eventually became a US Coast Guard sailing ship

Classic, elegant, evocative. Chronological, maybe. When talking about the USCGC Eagle, a 90-meter-long and 12-meter-wide sailboat that is already on its way to nine decades of history, many adjectives can be used, but no one who is ignorant of its history , wouldn’t think of calling it a Nazi.

Its hull is painted with the colors of the American flag, the same one that flies at the stern, and as a figure it looks an eagle Holding the country’s Coast Guard shield in its claws. There, painted gold and sitting on the sea, it appears to be an allusion to the great seal.

If we could travel back in time and go back to the troubled Germany of the mid-1930s, the country and time when the sailboat was launched, we would still see what the eagle is holding in its claws different: a Nazi Swastika.

And that would be because the USCHC eagle was born that way: a school boat Built during Nazi Germany that came to be named after one of the war heroes of the Third Reich and aboard the Hitler Youth. Adolf Hitler himself was present during his baptism.

a 180º turn

Today the USCGC Eagle looks like a rare bird, a rare bird that history has turned 180º around: from serving as a school for future soldiers fighting under Hitler’s orders, to serving the US Coast Guard In hardening has become a training ship. ,

His chronology is, of course, as showy as his height.

When it was launched – in mid-1936 – the ship was named Horst Wessel, a nod to a Nazi soldier killed in 1930 whom Joseph Goebbels was in charge of raising to the rank of martyr for the Nazi cause . the ship was armed Blohm & Voss Shipyard, in Hamburg, the same engineering and shipbuilding company that designed the battleship Bismarck. Her baptism was attended by Rudolf Hess or Hitler, who years later, in 1938, would board the ship even briefly.

The ship was used to train troops and during the years prior to the outbreak of World War II it sailed through the waters of the North Atlantic in training. After the start of the war, in 1939, she was retired from active service and used it as a ship to instruct the Hitler Youth. Around 1942, it came to arming itself with artillery and going into action.

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Although history made them primary a second stepVery different and far away from Germany.

In the final stages of the war, in 1945, it ended up in the hands of the Allies. Its destiny would soon be linked to that of the United States, and in mid-1946 a team composed of its old crew and Coast Guard sailors guided the ship from Bremerhaven in Germany to its new base port in Connecticut. The sailboat was renamed SCGC Eagle, no longer referring to the Nazi heroes, and entered service with the US Armed Forces.

Decades later, with the turbulent 20th century in the rear-view mirror, the former Horst Wessel would visit Bremerhaven again. It was already converted into one of the flagships of the US Coast Guard service, which knows how to take advantage of training cutter,

The sailboat has undergone repairs with an investment of one million dollars, and is still on the USA Coast Guard page, where it is detailed that a permanent crew composed of eight officers and 50 non-commissioned officers is in charge of its maintenance. There, he explained, they “provide a base of maritime knowledge and skills for the training of up to 150 cadets or officer candidates at a time.”

With a charming ship… story worthy of a novel,

Images: Bast Productions LLC (Flickr), Dennis Jarvis (Flickr) and Rob Oo (Flickr)

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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