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Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven

Kriegsmarinewerft (or Reichsmarinewerft prior to 1935) Wilhelmshaven was between 1918 and 1945 a naval shipyard in the German Navy's extensive base located in Wilhelmshaven (80 miles (130 km) west of Hamburg).

Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven
Industry Shipbuilding
Fate Dismantled after World War II
Founded 1918
Defunct 1945
Headquarters Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Products Warships


Reichsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven (Wilhelmshaven Reichsmarine Shipyard) was founded after World War I on the grounds of Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven (Wilhelmshaven Imperial Shipyard) that had been closed down after World War I.

In 1935, its name was changed to Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven (Wilhelmshaven Kriegsmarine Shipyard) when the name of the German navy was changed from Reichsmarine to Kriegsmarine in then Nazi Germany (officially Third Reich or - in German - Drittes Reich, 1933-1945).

During 1939-1945, the main shipyard's activities were building U-boats and repairing of damaged war ships. As far as shipyards in occupied countries are concerned personal from the shipyard in Wilhelmshaven was sent to organize the naval yard as "Kriegsmarinewerft" - e.g. in Lorient, Brest, St. Nazaire. In 1945, it had about 17,000 workers.

In May 1945 Polish and British troops reached Wilhelmshaven. After World War 2, the shipyard was used to repair ships that had to be sent to the Allies as war reparations. Starting in 1946 most buildings and equipment were either dismantled or blown-up.

Since 1957 part of the former shipyard is used as an arsenal for the German Navy (Deutsche Bundesmarine).

Ships built by Reichsmarinewerft/Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven (selection)Edit


  • G. Koop, K. Galle, F. Klein, Von der Kaiserlichen Werft zum Marinearsenal, Bernard & Graefe Verlag München, 1982, ISBN 3-7637-5252-8