SS Scharnhorst (1904)

The SS Scharnhorst was a German passenger liner and mail ship launched in 1904. The ship was laid down at the Joh. C. Tecklenborg shipyard in Geestemünde, Germany, for the Norddeutscher Lloyd shipping company.

German EmpireGermany
Name: Scharnhorst
Owner: Norddeutscher Lloyd
Route: Bremen - Australia
Ordered: 1902
Builder: Joh. C. Tecklenborg, Geestemünde
Yard number: 181
Laid down: 1902
Launched: 14 May 1904
  • 1919 seized by France, 1920 transferred to French Line and renamed La Bourdonnais.
  • Broken up in 1934
General characteristics
Class and type: General class
Tonnage: 8,022 tons
Displacement: 13,500 tons
Length: 137 m
Beam: 17 m
Draught: 11 m
Propulsion: 2 triple-expansion steam engines, 6,000 shp
Speed: 14 knots
  • 90 first class
  • 70 second class
  • 2,000 steerage
Crew: 170
The captain of SS Scharnhorst, 1906

Scharnhorst belonged to a class of eleven steamers known as the Generals-class. Her sisterships were the steamships Zieten, Roon, Seydlitz, Gneisenau, Bülow, York, Kleist, Goeben, Lützow and Derfflinger, all built for the German Imperial Mail Service to Australia and the Far East. Occasionally these ships were run on the North Atlantic service of the Lloyd.

On 19 December 1908, Scharnhorst arrived in New York harbor, after having been delayed by inclement weather. Two passengers died on the trip, one killed by a wave that smashed him into the railing. Both passengers were buried the next day.[1]

When the First World War started she had made 19 round trips to Australia, seven to the Far East and five to the USA. She was the only ship of her class to be in Germany in 1914 and was used for some time in 1917 and 1918 as a troop transport in the Baltic Sea.

1919 she was seized by France and used from 1921 to 1931 in French service as La Bourdonnais. In 1934 the ship was broken up in Genoa.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The New York Times" (PDF). December 20, 1908. Retrieved January 24, 2008.


  • Edwin Drechsel: Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen, 1857–1970; History, Fleet, Ship Mails, vol. 1. Vancouver: Cordillera, 1995

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