The Oder shipping in the 19th century

Peter Haas

The Oder shipping in the 19th century

Report an old boatman Or. / The report was

passed me about 1969 and is in the early 60

Years been written down. The travel time of the 1969

80-year-old gentleman must have at the beginning of the 19th

Have been century.


Of the five major streams of the old German Empire, whose water flows into the East or North Sea, the Oder lies with its size before the Weser fourth. It has a total length of 903 km of which 747 km from the border in Upper Silesia to Szczecin. From Ratibor in Upper Silesia to Szczecin has a slope of 183 m. Is now the Oder also small in relation to the Rhine, so even this is surpassed by many of the larger streams. Take, for example, the fourth largest river in the world, the Congo in Africa. It has a length of 4,600 km, about five times as long as the Oder. 35 times as much water as from the Rhine to the North Sea, flow from the Congo in the Atlantic Ocean or 8 times as much as from the Volga River, the largest river in Europe, the Caspian Sea. At its mouth it is 3 km wide and 70 m deep.

Under the reign of Frederick the Great was out of the Warta and the Oder networks also regulated and constrained by dikes in a fixed bed. Many old or arms, still partly connected with the Oder, or behind the dikes, give evidence of this expansion. Through many punctures the Odra was shortened by 70 km. This regulation did not happen later because of shipping, but because of flood damage to agriculture and to reduce the Treibeisversetzungen in the spring. Large Eisversetzungen were blown up by the pioneers, in the last years due to dropping of bombs.

Even in the days of sailing ships, the Oder was through the 1605 - 1620 connected built Finowkanal, 80 km above Stettin, with the Havel River, Berlin and the Elbe. The locks were the size of a 200 t ship, the Finowmaßkahn.

For the sailing ships of Silesia was the Great Elector 1662 - 1668 the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Kanal of Brieskow, above Frankfurt built into the Spree and Berlin, with the, same size as the lock Finowkanal.

Towing on Finowkanal


The traffic over the Oder was carried out by greed or chain ferry. In larger cities, wooden bridges were built, the first in 1149 in Breslau. After 1930, the last of which was demolished in Neusalz. Because of the low headroom and the standing masts on sailing ships, a 10 m wide Fahrjoch with two flaps was incorporated, which were pulled up when needed.

For large floods also wooden bridges with stone on the road were covered. Of the later built the first railway bridges in Glogau and Kuestrin was part of the bridge, rotated at specified hours, on a pillar for transit. At higher iron bridges was above and below the bridge a mast crane, to place and insert the masts on sailing ships set up. The winds of the cranes were shot by people.

To take advantage of the water power of the Oder, ever a fixed weir were installed in the river bed in Wroclaw two, in Ohlau of overland, Oppel, and Cosel. The ships sailed in these weirs through a lock. Also, water wheels to drive mills were erected on the banks of the Oder, eg in Bytom, Dyrenfurth, Regnitz and Löskau.

Model of a ship mill


Under the reign of Frederick the Great, the first blast furnace in the industrial area of Upper Silesia and Europe in 1753 blown. In order that the ships could travel up to the industrial area, the Klodnitz von Cosel to Gleiwitz was channeled under Frederick the Great and put into operation in 1802. The locks were but small, only 170 t ships Gliwice Mass barges.

In this channel, the ships were pulled by horses at a weak rope ashore before the second world war.

The coal from Upper Silesia was later in Wroclaw, handled in the old little town harbor, through a coal tipper from the web in ships.

Harbour Wrocław / 1910

Until around 1890 was still sailed on the center or to the mountain except the towing trains of private boatmen. As a final laden ship sailed from Stettin 1887 Private Schiffer until Maltsch, 50 km below Wroclaw, in the short time of 8 days, about 44o km. This time also needed some loaded hauls at high tide until 1944.

Above Breslau sailed the skipper until the opening of the ride for the 500 t ship in 1900, also to Ratibor. Ships from Szczecin to Warta Estuary at Kiistrin sailed until 1905.

Now the duration was shortened and regularly Inbetriebstellung the tugboat. Needed but the boatmen not to wait for sailing wind. Were in the bed of the river or to deepen the fairway. built on both banks of groynes. The water was evaporated and thereby kept the same width and depth. Below Frankfurt was up to the year 1880, or even very deep with little flow. By narrowing the riverbed and the larger flow of the sand came in the river bed of the middle or on the move and more than 100 km was the same until around 1900 driven further, to about 80 km upstream of Szczecin. This expansion and the drifting sand of the Oder got above Frankfurt in its lower reaches with small water the worst wake of the Oder. The expansion of the Oder was running through the state water planning departments, the 30 - run 50 km apart were on the Oder.

The head of the Oder waterway was the chief government president of the province of Silesia in Wroclaw. For the city of Stettin, the chief of police. They gave out the Police Regulations for the Oder. The officials of the water agencies were the police officers for the shipping. After the first world war, the same have been replaced by the kingdom of water protection.

After the construction of the railway to Upper Silesia more coals came in Wroclaw for loading, so that by 1890 3 carbon trucks in underwater were built of Wroclaw.

Another carbon Tipper was in the private harbor of the shipping freight railway Frankfurt AG in operation. The new city harbor in Breslau in 1900 the operation submitter Added to this was 1901, a coal tipper. A small petroleum port was opened prior to 1900 above the coal trucks. The new major was expanded with the construction of the Breitenbach ride above the lock Wilhelmsruh.

To shorten the transportation path of coal to Wroclaw, the Oder Neisse from the mouth above Brieg until after Cosel in Upper Silesia from 1890 - channeled 1900. 13 needle weirs, the 5 - were 8 km apart, were turned over at high tide and during the winter and at each weir a lock for the 500 t ship, the Wroclaw Mass Kahn were installed. The solid defense in Opole was replaced by a needle weir. Where locks at the fixed weirs were built in addition to a larger one. In Cosel the first harbor in 1895 was passed with six carbon dump trucks, cranes and slides the operation. It was in the first years of operation of 1895 opened the port of Cosel. 5 steam cranes, it may also have been more that were on the 2/3 long harbor wall for deletion of ores in operation.

One night, after 1901, a hurricane-like storm chasing two of the last unsecured cranes on their wheels and rails to the end of the wall into the harbor. The third had worked on the day with the gripper and placed these fortunately overnight on land. The remaining cranes were already rolled up to this barrier approach. If the gripper is not located on land, the harbor wall in the morning of cranes would have been empty.

In later years, 18 cranes were set up to the end of the port on the wall, under which two freight trains next to each other, could be set up for loading of ores, etc.. This night was for me in the early years on the ship an unforgettable experience.

The first Großschifffahrtsweg in Wroclaw for the larger 500 t ships with two locks and a needle weir was taken in 1897 in operation. Went but the old drive through the city and locks at the two fixed weirs. For the larger ships 500 tonnes in 1891 of the Oder-Spree Canal was opened with seven locks of Fürstenberg / Oder to Berlin with a draft of 1.60 m.


It was the same depth of the ships of Upper Silesia to Breslau, even at high tide. From Wroclaw can also be loaded deeper after the water level. Was up to this expansion of Wroclaw Or the terminus for most empty incoming ships, so it was now Cosel in Upper Silesia. The ship's park had so already increased at this time that in 1903, the second harbor was built in Cosel, again with 6 carbon trucks and chutes for loading sugar, grain, lead, zinc, boards, etc.

Coal trucks, system Schmitz-Rohde

The six carbon tipper in the first docks were already in operation day and night. Also a lock at the weirs of Cosel to Wroclaw could no longer cope, still day and night was funneled traffic. The day-to-valley, the mountain night. For a movement from Cosel to Wroclaw 150 km, took the laden ships 8-14 days at normal water level. 19/12 the Oder Neisse from Wroclaw channeled to mouth - To shorten the duration and turn the night locks, was von1906.

Five new needle weirs and locks were built, the floodgates to Schleppzugschleusen enlarged to three 500 t vessels and a small tractor could smuggle simultaneously through. In the fixed weirs in Brieg and Ohlau was erected additional Schleppzugschleuse, likewise of the Neisse River estuary until after Cosel. For Breslau, it was the time of the construction of the Breitenbach trip with three locks, and another broad flood channel with three needle weirs, and the lock in Ottag for city traffic. About the folded needle weirs of Or can also be used alone, down to the valley to mountain only in tow trains at high water.

In the summer of 1911 washed away narrow Nadelwehrjoch on the Neisse was in one night the undercurrent - mouth of the accumulated mass of water carried away and about 2 m high water rushed through the resulting free weir downstream. The tow lying below the lock was swept away by the flood waters, so that the crew as she lay in bed, hurried on deck to secure the ships on land. The lying above the weir loaded Talschiffe came through the flowing water to lie on ground and had to be unloaded.

Schematic representation of a needle weir

Around 1910 the Oder above Stettin in East, was - and Westoder expanded, for connection to the Hohenzollern Canal. The West Or was for mountain hauls Szczecin - connected to the Großschifffahrtsweg Berlin through two channels. At the valley all the ships and tow trains ran the Ostoder.

Through each one lock at Schwedt and Garz, a weir in Fiddjow and a puncture above and below Szczecin East and West or were connected. The Ostoder flows through the dam's lake in the lagoon, the West Oder flows through the city of Szczecin.

Two kilometers below Wroclaw in Ransern began in 1910 the construction of a lock and a fixed weir in winter, which could be raised also for transit. At this weir was built 8 years. The lock had twice the size as the Schleppzugschleusen to Upper Silesia and was commissioned in 1913. After years was beside the great lock is a smaller built. To relieve the envelope in the port of Cosel a new harbor basin with coal trucks, cranes and slides was below Opole, in Sackrau built, which was put into operation in 1913. But was already up to this port construction in Mühlengraben of Opole, where a lock for 350 t ships was, lead, zinc, iron rods etc. handled by the railway in ships.

In Cosel the third dock was built after 1910 with 3 cranes, chutes and warehouses, from the later of, 1933 - Built in 1939 and 41 km long, the United ship canal to Gleiwitz teed with 6 locks. With a turnover of 10.4 million tonnes in 1938, the Port of Cosel after Ruhrort and before Berlin's second largest cargo port of the German Empire and the Oder was one of the busiest rivers in Europe.

Coals of Upper Silesia were loaded into ships on the Oder after wards to Stralsund and on the Warta to Landsberg. In addition to recipients in Brandenburg waterways. On the same from Beautiful Beck, above Magdeburg, to Lübeck, Hamburg, Itzehoe in Schleswig-Holstein, in 1920 several landings to Dresden. In the 2nd World War to Kiel, Königsberg and Tilsit in East Prussia.

The approximate width of the fairway of the Oder between the groynes was at normal water level of Cosel to Neisse mouth about 25 m to Wroclaw 35-40 m below Wroclaw 40 - 50 m, in Glogau 60 m, below the Great 65-75 m and below Kiistrin the Warta River estuary, about 100 m.

Now driving all towing vessels on the Rhine, loaded, behind the tractor to the valley, so drive or ships to 99% below Breslau alone. With the right wind, was until 1930 while still sailed. A ship swims alone at high water to the valley, on the top or up to 9 km per hour. On the lower or it will be less, above Stettin and at small water ride goes back.

Mouth of the Neisse in the Oder

After the second adjustment of Or - Wroclaw - Neisse estuary was also to tow the ships to the valley of Cosel to Wroclaw begun and carried out during World War 2 for all ships. At high tide the Oder of dam to dam the shipping was banned driving police. 1911 we built in a flood in the Pioneers a bridge over the Oder below Glogau, from dam to dam, the same was 600 m long.

Ancient chain ferry for railway wagons

As a replacement of the chain ferry in Fürstenberg an der Oder a road bridge was built in the 1st World War. From a tax on driving Talschiff 1915, rammed into the bridge supports were damaged in Fahrjoch and part of the bridge collapsed on the 350 t great, laden ship, which immediately went down. The wife of the ship owner and the adult daughter were killed in this accident.

War in the years before 1900 the Oder to ride most of the year with loaded ships, so it was after this time often cause temporary stoppage of ships into the valley. The level in Ratibor in Upper Silesia, up to this town or is removed for shipping, showed the flood in the summer of 1902 a water level of 8.20 m, the difference in the dry year 1904, less than 30 cm.

27 weeks were this year the laden ships with 1.60 m Draft silent, waiting for high tide. They were versommert. In April 1921 we drove our ship from Wroclaw to Upper Silesia. On the way we were surprised by the coup Poland. According to the same end, we went to Cosel and loaded the ships, but were no longer up to the winter for driving below Wroclaw.

Following the occurrence of winter shelters had to visit the ships. From the last military fields, the ships were towed back to the port of Cosel, where they had invited. We were verwintert. In March 1922, the 70 cm thick ice began to move. After 11 months, we were back in Breslau. For a long-lasting little water can also be the empty vessels below Breslau, with a draft of 30 - 40 cm no longer drive. The ferries lie still on land. The cars are going through the water to the other side.

In Maltsch, 50 km below Breslau, had been in the small water 1921 piles into the river bed and beaten with planks is for pedestrians. The Oder had become the steppe river. Through the Giant Mountains, she had a too small rainfall area in its upper reaches. Also, the paper mills had eaten the coniferous forests in Upper Silesia, where the snow could keep for months to. The sources were dried up, destroyed the water tank of the Oder. Today, the paper mills get their wood from Sweden or Finland, which is transferred in Szczecin in or ships for transport to Silesia. It has happened that of Silesia Long small empty water vessels went to Hamburg to take part in the stock business.

The coal from the Waldenburg district in Lower Silesia is transhipped in Maltsch in ships from the web, as is the granite stones from the quarries Striegauer. Also, sugar, wood, paper and general cargo and autumn sugar beet were handled in Malse. The Oder was to sail yet dangerous at high tide until around the year 1930.

As a result of the many bends and the strong current all year ships were in reason. Also, the narrow passages in the old bridges have been to the cemetery for ships. Of which came first the old railway bridge in Glogau. Is it still happened that in front of a bridge pier in the Ostoder were two ships simultaneously in background. After the enlargement of the Oder - Spree - channel for da 700 t ship to 1925, or was regulated again. By 7 short punctures and straightening sharp bends. Perilous bridges were replaced by new ones.

Also raft timber from Silesia, of the Warta and networks, you could up to World War 1 on the Oder see swim yet. The rafts operated with her ​​crew alone into the valley.

At low water level of the Oder below Wroclaw also deeply laden ships were abgeleichtert after diving depth. This was especially performed by the shipping companies, which own empty ships had available. For private Schiffer, this was a losing proposition, and berthing and maintenance has been preferred to flood. After Berlin, coal, or other charge, in Furstenberg, at the beginning of the Oder - Spree - channel reloaded. In the second world war, all ships were forced to Ableichtern and delivered the coal from Ableichterschiff to the receiver.

The drive hauls even with a small water at 90 cm depth, to the mountain to Wroclaw, which was sailed up to the 1930 flood with loaded ships. Up to 80 cm still drive the motor vessels. With a draft of up to 70 cm still drive motor and towing vessels with cargo to the valley, but what then higher freight paid.

The navigable creek on the eastern side Or was the 700-km long river Warta, which was expanded to 500 Poses for t ships. In its lower course it took, for the same size of ships, channelized networks.

Bromberger channel / Poland

(It connects the Brahe with the networks)

This was associated with the Bromberg canal and the lower Brahe with the Vistula. On the western side, or only the Lusatian Or GörlitzerNeiße was expanded from its mouth to Guben to 20 km for small vessels. The raging Neisse in Silesia as the third was a southern tributary of the Katzbach that from the mouth over a weir which Böberle, teed 8 km and culminated with two arms in the Oder.

After the peace dictate of 1919 at the Elbe and the Oder, we also had a barge delivery to Czechoslovakia. Except three punctures and straightening sharp bends. Perilous bridges were replaced by new ones.

Private mariners and shipping companies were expropriated on the Oder. The state paid compensation and subsidies for replacement buildings. On the Poles after 1921, we lost 53 of 67 coal mines, 10 zinc and lead mines of 15, 22 blast furnaces of 37, to the untapped coal and Erzverkommen. In order to prevent or shorten the week-long berthing of ships Or, was built in the Glatzer Neisse at Ottmachau, and in the Malapane at Turawskie ever a reservoir. Last was taken in 1939 with 90 million m3 capacity in operation. The reservoirs in Ottmachau had become completed in 1933 and reached 143 million m3.

This dam was 650 m long and 14 m high. For weeks was from these two basins grant water to be drained into the Oder, and the ships could stay longer in driving. For a long drought of Bober and the Queiss dams had the same function. The largest 1902 - Built in 1912, Bober dam wall at 50 million m3 summarized.

Bober barrier at wall / Poland

Overall, to be built in Silesia 18 dams. The Oder had 22 needle weirs and 5 fixed with 44 locks, 4 banks of weirs for diverting flood through the towns of Opole, Wroclaw, Glogau and Kuestrin. For a journey of Cosel port to Wroclaw Ransern 22 locks must be traversed. The Oder-Warta river channel of the previous century was a waterway for 80-90 t ships. From the Oder, km 470, in Tschirherzig by the lazy Obra and one channel of the. Between Poznan and Schrimm and culminated there in the Warta Due to the low transport intercourse and the small ships he has fallen back in the age of the railway. However, drove to 1900 the last small ships up above Züllichau and even brought Maurer stones on the Oder in Silesia. From a shipyard on the River Oder to Breslau in 1556 below Regnitz is reported that the ships built = 26.40 m, a width of 9 1/2 yards = 6, 27 m had a length of 40 yards and 2 1/2 yards were = 1.65 m high.

Sailing ships could be as early as the robber barons to conclude on the Oder, as this not only robbed the cars on the highways, but - how to read - even the ships on the Oder. When in 1620 the old Finowkanal was opened, it must by this time a considerable number of sailing ships have given. For it was the first link between the Elbe, Oder and Berlin. Of course, the ships were small, 80-100 t, all built of wood and the majority with flat deck. Frederick the Great was able to find 195 ships in Neusalzschirn when he entered Silesia in December 1740.

On the Oder, the first steamer between Frankfurt and Stettin drove around the year 1830, or boatmen from Silesia who were verwintert in Szczecin, went to this time walking in the spring to Frankfurt to reach there by steamer Stettin. The distance on the Oder Of Glogau to Frankfurt is 190 km, of Breslau to Stettin 490 The railway runs 360 km, with a train from Wroclaw to Szczecin times 5 goes through a Oderbrücke. The first railway Wroclaw - Szczecin over Poznan was opened in 1865, Berlin Breslau 1845.

The first steamboat on the Oder were rear wheel steamer with an engine power of 80 -100 hp. An old steamer of this strength in 1919 was the last year in operation. With the commissioning of the steamer and the ships were built larger, up to 350 t, all made ​​of wood and for the most part with deck. The Seitenraddampfer were built later, up to 130 hp and came into operation in 1885. However, the majority could only operate between Wroclaw and Szczecin because of the locks. After opening the way to Cosel and Berlin for the 500 t ship the steamers were built stronger. Behind steamer to 500, Seitenraddampfer to 350 hp. As we see from old pictures, were the first steamers with side wheels. Similarly, the saloon steamer Kaiser Wilhelm I. The same was in 1942 on the Warta as tugboats still in operation.

After the invention of the screw propeller in 1826 by the Sudeten Germans Josef reesei came after decades also screw steamer on the Oder, but preferably between Wroclaw and Cosel and in the Odra - were used channel - Spree. The first steamer in the channel were also small Seitenraddampfer.

Construction of the new 500 t ship, Breslauer Mass Kahn, 55 m length 8 m wide and 2 m Side height, were built almost all ships of this size iron and 85% without a cover, the difference between the Elbe and the Rhine, where almost all with deck to be built.


1903 we had an der Oder 39 shipyards. The same of the larger iron shipbuilding of 500 t ships of the 1st World War and the inflation had declined after 1923 to 21 in a row. The largest inland shipyard on the Oder and Europe was built in 1900 Shipyard "Caesar Wollheim" in Breslau. In 1944 she had a following of 600 men.

Twelve 600 t ships could be placed on the new building on the same stack. She built towing .Tank and motor vessels, side wheel, rear wheel and screw steamer, tractor engine, express, people and salvage steamers, dishwashing and bucket excavators, small ships, ferries and motorboats. They gave their new buildings for the Oder, Brandenburg waterways, the Elbe and the Rhine. Even abroad, notably to Russia until 1914, even 1926 three steamers to South America. The wide side paddle steamer for the Elbe and the Rhine had to be towed to the part without wheels, or a wheel through the narrow wooden bridges to Stettin. Many ships were riveted together only abroad. The yard built steam engines and boiler itself, had its own iron foundry built in 1925 and even diesel engines with name "Deutz - Wollheim". After 1933, the shipyard was sold to the state, later stood barracks at the shipyard.

In the period after 1900, the Oder fleet increased faster than before. Shipyards on the River Oder could not cope with the new buildings. There were new ships from the shipyards of the Brandenburg waterways, the same and even Holland. The price of a 500 t ship of iron was 27-33 thousand marks. Also steamers were supplied for the Or from shipyards in Roßlau on the Elbe, Brandenburg an der Havel and Danzig. Screw steamer built to 350 hp for the Oder and 600 hp for the Rhine. Today engine tractor ride on the Rhine to 4000 hp.


Motor ship on the Oder in Opole


The strength of the rear wheel steamer had risen to 1914 to 820 hp. A steamer of this strength pulled at high tide with a tow 48 000 ztr. Cargo ships in 8 to mountain with 3 1/2 km drive the hour had four furnaces side by side, and two chimneys.

Seitenraddampfer on the Oder


The vessels in the towing trains on the Oder were short coupled in series. Empty and loaded until 8 ship lengths from Stettin to Breslau. Empty trains two ships side by side to 14.50 m width, the distance from the ship to the control board of bow down to one meter. Empty vessels couple on Kreuztau, laden with a tow by cocks. From Wroclaw to Upper Silesia, the size of hauls is two smuggling a Schleppzugschleuse. The minimum speed shall be 3 1/2 km an hour.

After the war and the inflation of the construction of new ships was greatly diminished, the only after 1925 with the building of motor boats and the large 700 t ship became more animated. In the West, this measure will be built 50 cm higher in the page height and becomes the 1,000 t ship. This size is the current unit measure from the Rhine to the Oder. The motor ships of the Oder were built in 4 different sizes. The strength of the engines was between 100 and 240 hp. On the Rhine today drive motor vessels up to 2,000 hp.

Many 55 m long 500 t ships were extended during this period by 10 m to 600 tonnes, Price: 10,000 M. The small 200 t ships were until 1945, still in operation, but this Finow barges could go through all the channels and locks the Brandenburg waterways. They also brought coal from Upper Silesia in this waterway. The largest ship on the Oder carry 700 tons, on the Elbe in 1930 1,500 tons and 4,000 tons on the Rhine in 1954.

The disused through the eastern or western Oderarm old, about 100 km above Stettin, has been even traveled to 1944 between the Oder and mountain Wrietzen of loaded 200 tons Finow Mass ships that reached the eastern and western waterway in Odersberg.



The Eildampferverkehr on the Oder had already been taken with rear wheel steamers of Breslau to Stettin, which was then subsequently exported from screw steamers to Berlin, Hamburg and Magdeburg. With the introduction of motor boats of Eilverkehr was greatly increased by all stations.



Also tankers belonged to or fleet. With a 30 cm blue paint on the top edge of the hull to the ship, carry a blue flag by day, a blue light at night were to be distinguished from other vessels. Tankers were allowed to be loaded or unloaded only in enclosed ports. Behind the tractor they had to be towed the first to propose other ships alone or. There was no Eiltankdampfer, but later motor tankers. By 1903, there were no tankers on the Oder, the petroleum was shipped in wooden barrels in barges from Szczecin to Silesia.


Charge of Silesia

From Silesia following bulk cargoes for shipment arrived except coal and coke: raw and white sugar, grain and flour, iron, lead and zinc, wood, paper, cement, granite, limestone and bricks, pitch, Litopone etc., to the 4 Companies running Eilgüterverkehr. Transport of quicklime was carried out in special cars of the railroad. Also red marble was recovered in Silesia near Neisse. Of the tomb of our Empress Auguste-Viktoria was built in Potsdam.


Charge from Hamburg and Stettin

As a return load for the Odra Schiffer of Hamburg had the same finish in the majority charges to Berlin and to travel from Berlin to Silesia empty. Less bulk goods were loaded on the Oder. It has also happened that went empty from Hamburg in bad business situation or Schiffer, also on the North Sea, Bremen, according to the Ruhr, to take part in the shipment. The last few years drove three lines in line Eilverkehr from Hamburg to the Oder. From Stettin was the main charge ore to Upper Silesia.

Also wood for paper factories and temporarily grain came to be loaded, so by 3 companies in the line Neil traffic. In case of bad business situation, the ships sailed empty to Silesia. Was not enough, the empty space ship in Szczecin on arrival of larger ore transports, empty or ships of Berlin were diverted by the Hohenzollern Canal and from the Oder-Spree Canal von Fürstenberg an der Oder to Stettin.

Around the year 1930 by the shipyard Wiemann in Brandenburg an der Havel, the special screw steamer and motor tractors built later, a nozzle mounted on the propeller to the hull. Today, even motor boats go with this nozzle. In old screws steamers of this extension was also performed. Compares this nozzle is connected to the installation of the propeller in a short tube. The drag force was increased by about 25% and at the same machine strength. In war, the nozzle for the Wehrmacht was copied to the aircraft and later adopted by the aircraft around the world.


Oberland channel

Among the most famous destinations in East Prussia belonged to the strange and unique in Europe waterway, the "Oberlander channel" with its five "inclined planes" on which drove the ships as over land. The canal was in 1845 - built in 1860. He joined the city of Elbing with the lakes in the upper 110 m higher-lying country, with its towns and villages. The vessels up to 70 tons and the smaller barges did not drive through locks, but were placed in achieving these Rollberge on mobile bases and pulled by water power on the 22 meter high mountains or lowered. The city of Elbing is connected by a short channel with the Nogat.


Inclined plane at the Oberland channel



The size of the fleet or without Szczecin Lagoon and the

In the years after 1900, we had 21 lines on the Oder, in 1940 only 12 end of the war about the following ship park was in operation: Approx. 2,200 private boats, including 1800 members of the steamer cooperative Furstenberg, 740 shipping company tugboats, 60 tugboats and motor tractor above Wrocław, about 65 tugboats and motor tractor, below Wroclaw, 12 Reederei Eildampfer, 25 Reederei motor vessels, 2 salvage steamer, 35 private motor vessels, 6 persons steamer in Wroclaw Different people motorboats and small Schleppund bumper boats.

Moreover, were the many small ships, rinse and bucket excavators, motor boats and the saloon steamer water engineering. Well drove after the war ships to Upper Silesia, bringing coal to Central Germany, but only older ships and steamers, or heavily damaged. Nearly all recent iron ships were towed to Russia. Similarly, ships and steamers on the central German waterways, the Saale and Elbe, without distinction whether German, Belgian or Dutch. The vessels up to 55 m 500 t drove over the eastern waterways to Königsberg in East Prussia. The majority of the German occupation had withdrawn this journey by flight. The longer 670 t ships were towed from Stettin. The crews had to forcibly leave the ships in Swinoujscie. Small steamers and motor tractors were loaded in Stettin on the deck of the steamers to Russia.

The sad picture of the robbed or fleet, we see three examples below. By exchange of letters in 1946 when the figures came into my possession. The shipping company "Frachtenkontor", formerly "Caesar Wollheim" in Wroclaw has 155 steamers and ships still 13 The steamer cooperative in Fürstenberg an der Oder of 22 steamers still 6 Silesian steamer Compagnie Berlin Lloyd AG Hamburg (SDCBL) of 450 tugboats yet 45 of 57 Eildampfern and motor vessels of 21, 40 tugboats still 5 This last shipping company cuts still on low, as many ships in Hamburg and Mittelland canal down to the Rhine were. About the number of vessels on the Or is it in a Polish newspaper report: At the present moment is the whole on the Oder vessel floating stock of 73 tugs, 237 barges and passenger ships 6. This number is compared to the demand slightly, but was the Or one of the busiest waterways in Europe. Throughput in the port of Cosel is of 10.4 million tonnes in 1938 to 1.5 million t in 1952 declined.


Szczecin and the Haffschifffahrt

The Oder opens with the three arms Peene, Swine, Dievenow from the 902 sq km Szczecin Lagoon, through the islands of Usedom and Wolin in the Baltic Sea. For sailing ships a wide fairway is through the short main boom about the Swine Lagoon 9.50 m (the Emperors trip) dredged for the trip to Szczecin and characterized by Bober and light buoys. From deep sea vessels to part of the cargo with the cargo gear or in ships was abgeleichtert to drive to Stettin in Swinoujscie. The Oder arms Feene and Dievenow be due to the low driving depth (4 and 3 m) not navigated by large ships.

In the heyday of Haffschifffahrt until the First World War, there was a Haffflotte from about 300 private vessels from the towns and villages on the lagoon, whose numbers had declined between the two wars. Except for a 500 t ship made ​​of iron and 4400 tons of wood ships passed the Lagoon fleet of Finow Mass-timber ships up to 250 t, for the trip to Berlin and the Pomeranian inland waterways. Haffschiffe could be seen by the higher board and form the anchor equipment and firm control of the Oder ships. The latter sailed until around 1930 with a mast, which was put down and the crew, unlike the Haffschiffe who sailed with three masts and jib. The masts were of a crane, for example, in Stettin on the Oder Wiesenseite, and put down. In a voyage of the ship to Berlin, the same were stored until the return to the country. In Szczecin Haffschiffe went with the three standing masts. For the opening of the bridge is a bridge money was to be paid, even from sea and or ships.

At bulk commodities transported the Haffschiffe bricks, sand paper and firewood, bark, limestone from the island of Rügen, British bituminous coal to gas stations and to Berlin. Rush hour was for the ships in the fall with the loading of sugar beets and potatoes. Haffschiffe also drove in the small ports on the Baltic Sea, even to Denmark and Sweden. The bridges were partially turned or opened by pulling the flaps.

The large ships or go down to the lagoon behind the tractor and delivered coal from Silesia, Pomerania to ad Dievenow to all Haffstationen, even to Stralsund, and Barth ad Baltic Sea. In Stralsund the ride had been passed by rail over the 2,540 m long Rügendamm to traffic in 1936. Until that time, trains were on a ferry, with two tracks next to each other, ferried across the Strela Sound to the island of Rügen. Later, a bridge has been built over the Stralsund Stralsund from the city to the island of Rügen. A locomotive pushes the train backwards on the ferry, on the other hand took a locomotive the train on land. The travelers had previously left the car, and enter again after crossing.

The seagoing vessels cleared their cargo ores, coal, paper, wood, cellulose, etc. with their own loading gear into the boats or on the Oder Wiesenseite or in Gdansk. Cargo was handled at Danzigschuppen. At the high loading bridges in Freeport ores were transhipped from the ships in railway carriages to Upper Silesia, as is the coal from Upper Silesia from the web in ocean-going vessels, which were run in two special rates to and from Stettin from the web. As a result of these tariffs the bunker coal for the steam tug in Szczecin was cheaper than in the past 360 km closer to Upper Silesia Wroclaw. On the other German streams freight will be paid for the charge to mountain. Was not to be expected for the private vessels for longer mountain charge, the same went empty to Silesia. The envelope of herring in barrels for storage and shipping in ships was significant. Cargo was loaded in line Neil traffic to ports on the Oder, Berlin as well as stations in Dresden and Halle an der Saale. Partly also bulk goods for the tugboats as coal, grain, cellulose, detergents, pig iron, bricks to Berlin and central Germany came to loading.

In the Peene-Oderarm flows 7 km below Anklam 120 km long Peene, which was still sail in their de-energized underflow to Demmin of small coastal vessels. Further upstream by the Lake Kummerow after Mollchin still drove Haffschiffe and the 500 t big Or vessels with coal from Silesia. The city Ückermünde on the lower reaches of Uecker had inland waterway. As on the lower Elbe in Hamburg were also in Szczecin passenger ships at sea in Swinoujscie, the seaside resorts and the island of Rügen.

After the end of the war in 1945, the iron and Haffschiffe Or were seized by the Russians in Szczecin and the Haffwasserstraßen, likewise tractors, passenger ships, barges and motorboats. Small tugs, barges, motor boats were loaded on the deck of the Russian steamers, the weeks were in the free port in Danzig and on the Oder Wiesenseite day and night with the loading of seized property in operation. The goods were brought in ships from the Oder, Berlin, Brandenburg waterways, the Elbe to Dresden from above and from the River Saale constantly to Stettin. The seized ships to 500 t and tractors up to 55 m length crossed the Warta, nets, Vistula, Nogat to Königsberg in East Prussia. Longer 6oo to 700 t ships were brought because of the short locks of networks from a large rear wheel steamer to Swinoujscie and there towed away by the Russians.


The navigation of the Oder in the last days of fighting time in 1945

Or The shipping was the end of 1944, as winter set in, in full operation. About New Year led the Or drift, which had shifted to the lower or even to a solid sheet of ice together, which continued daily to upstream. With the change of weather in late January tried several enclosed in Wroclaw motor vessels, express, - and tugboat with ships in the Annex to reach the Oder-Spree Canal in Fürstenberg on the decline, in assuming the front is even further east of the Oder.

In Steinau and Köben the ships were fired upon from the eastern shore of the Russians and prevented from proceeding further, whereby ships were sunk. At night, the crews were able to rely on the western side of the ships. About the not blown up or bridge at Steinau the Russians succeeded in the first transition with tanks over the Oder and the formation of a large bridgehead on the western side Or.

The verwinterten in Fürstenberg at the beginning of the Oder-Spree canal boats were bombarded with reaching the front on the east side or by the Russians. With the end of winter has begun to bring steamers and ships from the area of the combat zone to the west to safety. For Volkssturm all sailors were not withdrawn, the sailors were able to report to the Schiffer-operating association in Berlin. They were ordered on unmanned vehicles, and the same were put into service. Similarly, for all ships on the waterways of Brandenburg. Empty vessels were chartered by the military administration in daily rental, loaded with goods from the Army inventory and set towards the Elbe with a tractor in motion. With 57 years I was from out of federation, ordered on a blank 500 t ship with which we were loaded with color in iron barrels concentration camp Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg. After we had survived the bombing and destruction of the town of Oranienburg on the lake below the lock Lenitz, we were towed later in the beginning of the old Plau channel where we were silent for weeks. The grenades in Oranienburg were adjusted with time fuse of the aircraft, so a week later still unexploded shells. In the concentration camps was not a bomb. In Plaue the shipping was also shared to ride on the Havel to Havel mountain and one km away lock in wooden mill on the Elbe.

After the battle zone Berlin on Brandenburg was west, the ships were to be carried over by the new Plau-channel towards Parey and reached through the lock the western bank of the Elbe, where the Americans with rifle at the ready waiting for the Russians, even after a few days reached the Elbe and log on with Stalin organ. There was this dead. Already in the channel the ships had been fired upon by Russian aircraft with on-board weapons. With up to 6 vehicles, the ships lay side by side and in many rows one behind the other on the western bank of the Elbe. After the arrival of the Russians were a few days, several ships with the compiled parts of the 8th Army in operation, who had fled to the western bank of the Elbe to the Americans. The first kidnapped Russians and Poles were brought by the civilian population in the same car and set where they had to compete on land to continue the march on foot. The stolen along the west things they threw on the eastern shore before the march away again. Save having to write to me how many German girls were received by the Wehrmacht by the Russians and driven to death.

After a few days, Russian and American officers and half of the adjacent vessels had arrived on the eastern bank of the Elbe create. Again a long waiting. Provisions we had on the American side of the river to shop, in Bittkao above Tangermünde. It was known that ships should be brought to Berlin, but before the Russians had to remove the blown-up bridges from the channels of the rivers Havel and Spree. One day the journey began to Berlin to Stralau Rümmelsburg where on the lake and on the eastern side, the vessels were contracted. After about 10 days, the remaining on the western side of the river ships arrived with us, without distinction whether Belgians, Dutch or German. From the Russians we were under the free food (and how!) And a monthly wage in German marks. After weeks, our ship was towed to Oberschönweide and deleted the barrels on land. After we ztr 10,000. Copper ingots loaded and got three Russian soldiers as guards on board, we were dragged through the Hohenzollernkanal to Berlin-Stettin Ostoder. The ride on the West or by the city of Szczecin was closed because of the blown-up bridges. The lock operation worked on the locks without pay, always hoping to get the wages later. Again a long wait until we in a Russian steamers in the free port with its cargo gear cleared our copper. On the large loading bridges in Freeport, rowing boats were reloaded from Berlin of a ship.

In Freeport, on the Oder meadows page and in Gdansk, the Russian steamers were months long busy day and night with the overloading of goods from ships of the occupied part of Germany with the Russians, who were brought constantly to Stettin. After deletion of 10,000 cwt copper we were stripped towed to the eastern harbor in Berlin to invite a load of machines in boxes back to Stettin. The three guards left there the empty ship in the Eastern Harbour and walked to their unit back to Oberschönweide. The ordinary trips were operated without guards to Stettin. In Szczecin again until we could overload the week long wait to a steamers. Here were also two civilian Russians, who had worked in the West in the industry, put on our ship as a crew, who remained for further travels on board.

By that time in the 600-700 t ships were brought to Swinoujscie and there towed away by the Russians dragged the smaller ships on the Warta, nets, Vistula to Königsberg. After deleting the machines the ship Hohenzollernkanal was loaded in Heegermühle Eberswalde back to Stettin and months later even driven by the skipper and vessel owners to Königsberg, where even he waited 2 years for the return of his ship and he was denied the journey home.

Brown coal briquette should be reached with the ships of Fürstenberg / Oder and Wusterhausen ad Dahme on the eastern waterways to Königsberg / East Prussia. have been loaded, I did this myself but not seen.


Old bridges

The old wooden bridges of the Oder were allowed into the valley at high water of ships drifting just over control (reverse) to be passed. Here, a rope from the ship by a guard for water engineering was attached to land and cast off. This control over drive (sag) had to be carried to the construction of the new bridge (after 1930) and in the old railway bridge in Glogau. For the roads and railway bridges in Frankfurt and Kuestrin driving through over control at high water to 1944 was arranged by the police, otherwise the ship in an accident (accident) was not insured. At high tide on the shore stood a blackboard "ships evade it."


Warta and shipping networks

The old bridges on the networks and the Warta, had been built as shown on the Oder, with flaps for sailing ships. These two waterways were ridden in the great majority of only Finomasskähnen (200 t). But had the locks on the networks and the Bydgoszcz channel size for a 500 t ship. The main charge on the networks until 1918 was wood from the Vistula and cereals. After this time, only light traffic on our part to Usch was with flour, grain and mining timber. On the Warta more grain, including wood and autumn sugar was loaded. In the 2nd World War, an increased traffic to Königsberg / East Prussia. one., which was carried out by motor vessels.

The private skipper of the Warta and networks belonging to the Schiffer-operation Association of Or, reporting center in Landsberg aW In the 2nd World War until 1944 a new reporting center for the Warta River in Poznań Schiffer was established.


The shipyard Beuchelt in Grünberg / Lower Silesia

The far beyond the borders in the east known by its bridge construction company built during World War 2 also ships for the navy of the German Wehrmacht. She had expanded to a new port in Glogau on the right side, or set up a new shipyard. The material was done by Grünberg and was assembled at the shipyard to fight ferry (landing craft) for the Navy. Sailors came the ships pick up that were driven by a professional pilot alone to Stettin and there handed over to the Navy as a crew to Glogau. The hull for submarines were produced in Grünberg of the company, which were placed in short parts in the port of Oedereck on the right side Or. The last ferries and submarine parts that could not be delivered because of frost in January 1945, fell into Russian hands.


The Peene

The 112 km long Peene flows in its upper reaches to 149 km2 and 16 m deep Malschin Lake and is, from this coming, navigable. Then flows through the Lake Kummerow and reached in Demmin the 16 km long and 3 km wide backwaters, which opens 7 km below Peenemünde in the Peene-Oderarm and in the Baltic Sea. In her wide-energized underflow Peene is navigable with small seagoing vessels to Demmin.

Driving the 700 t big oder ships Haffwasserstraße behind a tractor, so go for the difference Haffschiffe alone with her ​​three masts sailing equipment, parts of a bridge can be rotated to the passage where bridges opened by keys or. Or ships provide Silesian coal over the lagoon to Malchin, Stralsund and Baarth on the Baltic Sea.



Sources: Report of a boatman or (unknown)

Images from the Internet and own Peter Haas 2010


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