CM Models CM-P61sh Wilhelm Gustloff, German hospital ship 1939-40 1/1250
This Wilhelm Gustloff is a hospital ship version of the former German cruise ship after she had been requisitioned for war service in August 1939. The model was bought new in the International Maritime Museum im Hamburg and professionally re-fitted with painted wood effect decks and new insignia and green stripe fitted for display purposes. The original metal waterline model was finely cast by CM Miniaturen, CM-P61 and is in 1/1250 scale, see large photograph.
The small image shows a model in ex-works condition.
Wilhelm Gustloff was built new in Germany in 1937 as a single class ship for the DAF workers' union to provide KdF holidays for workers. In August 1939 she was taken over by the Kriegsmarine and repainted in Hamburg in an unusual paint scheme with a broad, green, continuos band near the top of the hull but no red crosses on the hull. Minesweeping gear was fitted at the bow and the ship sailed for Gotahaven (present day Gydinia). In the meantime, a training squadron of the two old Pre-Dreadnought Battleships arrived in the harbour for a courtesy visit and on the 1st September they opened fire against Poland and Polish forces in the surrounds of the harbour. Clearly, Wilhelm Gustloff was there in case there were casualties among the German personnel before German land forces arrived in the port. Wilhelm Gustloff was based in Poland for most of WW2 but from 1940 the ship was used to accommodate soldiers and sailors of the German armed forces and the ship was painted grey from mid 1940 onwards.