Hitler's yacht Grille, and its subsequent use in Beirut

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El
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Hitler's yacht Grille, and its subsequent use in Beirut

Post by El » 17 Dec 2005 00:09

Hello,

During my reading, I came across a yacht called Grille, which served Hitler and the Nazi fleet during World War II. Later on, after the war, it arrived at Beirut port, Lebanon (in the year 1947).

It was said that on March 1947, the yacht was sabotaged (and rendered inoperative) by some frogmen, as it was feared that it would serve (as a cannon ship) in the ensuing war against the newly born state of Israel.

My question concerns the name of that vessel when it anchored in Beirut (March 1947). According to what I read, it bore the name of "Igris", but the name I encountered appeared in Hebrew, and I couldn't find it anywhere in sites whose language was English, German etc., (I guess it could be spelled "Igris", "Egriss" or any other similar form, but I'm not sure about any of that - after all, it could also be a locally given name, but I don't have any evidence for that either).

Could any of you help me with more info on that vessel's name?

Thanking you very much in advance,
-El

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Alter Mann
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Hitler's Yacht

Post by Alter Mann » 24 Dec 2005 05:55

I'm sorry that I can't help with your question, but I was a little surprised that Hitler had any kind of watercraft. From what I have heard he wasn't much of a sailor.

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PPoS
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Post by PPoS » 24 Dec 2005 14:34

I came across a yacht called Grille, which served Hitler and the Nazi fleet during World War II


The only ship within the Kriegsmarine with that name, is this one :
http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/ ... index.html

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Matt Gibbs
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Post by Matt Gibbs » 24 Dec 2005 14:57

The Grille was indeed the Yacht of the Chancellor of the Reich. The name was an inherited one from an older vessel.

The original Admiralty "Grille" was the vessel of the King of Prussia, thus post unification it became the Imperial Yacht. In 1889 it became a training vessel of the German admirals staff. IN WW1 it became a tender and in 1920 was struck off.

The second Grille was a bigger vessel of 3,420 tons and capable of 26 knots. She was an Aviso class/fleet tender. In a repetition of the history of the first Grille, she was designed to suit many roles. Grille was commissioned on May 20, 1935. She became a floating fleet staff headquarters, training ship and target ship in the development of German aerial torpedoes. She was well armed with three 5-inch guns later changed to three four-inch guns in 1939.
During the war she was fitted with four 37mm AA guns in twin mounts as well as four 20mm light AA guns. When war broke out she became a minelayer, the Kriegsmarine had not invested in that type of specialized warship, Grille carried between 120 to 228 mines.

Early in 1940 Grille collided with and sank the merchant steamer Axel. As a result of damage she was under repair from February to May 1940. She then operated with the light cruiser Koln and several destroyers to lay mines in the North Sea. In the summer of 1940 she was transferred to Ostend on the Dutch coast and planned to lay defensive minefields to protect the anticipated invasion of England.
When the invasion was cancelled, she sailed north. In the invasion of Russia, Grille engaged in mine laying operations off of Finland in August 1941.

From March to August 1942 she was out of active service. In autumn 1942 the German Navy sent Grille to Narvik to serve as headquarters for the naval staff and then for the flagship for the U-Boat commander in Norway, FdU-Nord in spring 1944. She was moved from Narvik to Ankenes later in the summer.

When Germany surrendered in May 1945 the British took over Grille. The following year she was sold to a private firm and became a Mediterranean cruise ship. Her service in this capacity did not last long however, for in March 1947 she was involved in another collision, this time in Beirut, Lebanon. The Grille was seriously damaged and the hulk was sold to an American firm in 1948. Grille was broken up in 1951.

I did not know it had seen any use after WW2 because at one time I read it was decommissioned in the UK post war. I will try and find the reference I had! I found a reference to Beirut in an archive about troop movements post war regarding the Brit.Empire and it was mentioned the Grille the Former German Navy Yacht was there on 30th August 1948. Enquiries at the time by British crew on another vessel could not determine her owner or future, but she was still named Grille at that time. Since she was stuck there after a collision in March 1947 I don't understand why there is this reference to a name change?
Regards
M Gibbs
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Matt Gibbs
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Post by Matt Gibbs » 24 Dec 2005 14:59

PS if anyone wants a piece of the Grille history then the admirals pinnace, a 1933 built teak motor launch, is or was for sale in Malta, converted into a 5 berth boat with full history available. Named the Grillet!
Regards
MG

El
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Thanks.

Post by El » 24 Dec 2005 15:19

Thank you very much for all your replies.

As I said, I came across the new name (Igris, Egris or any other form possible for this name) only in Hebrew texts and sites. I was aware of the fact that the vessel's previous (and quite well known) name was Grille.

Thank you very much, all of you who tried to help me out.

-El

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Dan Reinbold
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Post by Dan Reinbold » 24 Dec 2005 18:21

Great post Matt! Thanks for the information - I never knew such a vessel existing. I learn something every day from this forum.

Cheers...Dan

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Matt Gibbs
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Post by Matt Gibbs » 24 Dec 2005 21:50

Dan
My Pleasure - trouble is there is too much interesting stuff to find out about!!! :)
Regards
Matt Gibbs

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Drobjatski Sergei
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Post by Drobjatski Sergei » 12 Jan 2006 17:03

Just wanted to add my two cents into this thread. I'm currently reading The memoirs of Fieldmarshal Keitel, where he menshioned Hitler inspecting Kriegsmarine in August 1938 on board of his yacht called Grille. I' ve realised that a have a photo of it in my PC. Maybe it will be of some interest...

Photo source: http://www.ww2incolor.com/gallery/ww2incolor

/Sergei
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FANGIO
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Post by FANGIO » 16 Jan 2006 20:54

The Gneisenau moored at Kieler Förde 22 August 1938. The Hungarian flag flies at the top of the mainmast to honour the Hungarian regent on state visit. Far to the left Hitler's state yacht Grille can be seen.

http://www.scharnhorst-class.dk/gneisen ... arade2.jpg

seadogsam
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Post by seadogsam » 26 Aug 2007 13:59

I see that this is a rather old posting on the "Grille', but I have some info to share with those interested in her fate.

First, once the ship came into British hands at the end of the war, my educated guess is that all her armament would have to have been removed prior to sale to private owners. My source indicates that the new owners hoped to charter her as a luxury yacht, but the reality is that "Grille" was an naval auxiliary powered by geared turbine - not the most economical propulsion for a yacht! That being said, I possess a picture postcard photo of her postwar perhaps taken in Beirut and she had no armament at all.and so I cannot see why the Israelis would have anything to fear from this ship.
In any event, my connection with her is tht my Father worked for the British Consulate at the time the "Grille" arrived at Todd's Shipyard, Erie Basin, in Brooklyn, NY presumably for a survey to determine if the damage sustained in the collision off Beirut had rendered her a constructive loss. Apparently it had, because the ship left Brooklyn and proceeded to a breaker's yard on the Delaware River and was dismantled. My Dad's job was to have the British crew repatriated back to the UK. I also have a photo of the British skipper on the bridge of the "Grille"

Regards to all,

seadogsam

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herr
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Post by herr » 27 Aug 2007 02:40

just want to point out that Ostend is on the Belgium coast, not Holland.

Herr

kgvm
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Post by kgvm » 27 Aug 2007 10:06

Doesn't matter, herr, it's all overseas or at least over the channel :D

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Re: Hitler's yacht Grille, and its subsequent use in Beirut

Post by Igor Karpov » 15 Jan 2009 10:18

On the board of "Aviso Grille" (from left to right): Generalfeldmarschall von Brauchitsch, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, Grossadmiral Erich Raeder and Admiral von Horthy.
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Re: Hitler's yacht Grille, and its subsequent use in Beirut

Post by luke warmwater » 27 Feb 2009 20:41

The story of the ship arriving in Delaware is true. My dad's cousin Joe Cathcart was working or running the crew that dismantled the ship in 1951. Joe had a number of items from the ship in his basement. My parents were visiting, actually on their honeymoon, down from Toronto. And Joe gave them the ships big wooden helm (steering wheel). My folks brought it back to Canada and had it made into a table. Which I ate breakfast off while watching Saturday morning cartoons. I didn't find out the history of the table until two years ago while watching an episode of Band of Brothers with my 80 year parents.
In which my mother decided to tell me the story....
I still have the wheel in my basement...although it does throw of the hole feng shui of the house.

If anybody out there had a picture of Hitler or his buddies steering the ship would be great to see....

b.

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