Coastlines CL-M528 Wilhelm Gustloff, German troop and refugee ship 1942-45 1/1250
Wilhelm Gustloff was taken over by the Kriegsmarine after the outbreak of WW2 and from December 1940 was painted grey and used as a troopship, an accommodation ship and, finally, to evacuate troops and refugees from Baltic ports as part of Operation Hannibal. This model is cast in resin from the original Mercator master model and assembled and painted in grey overall by Coastlines Models, CL-M528.
The model is also available with wood-coloured decks and extra detailing, see CL-M528S
Wilhelm Gustloff finished building in 1938 having been designed as a single-class cruise ship to provide holidays for German workers.. When Great Britain declared war on Germany, the cruise ship became a Hospital ship but in December 1940, she was painted grey and ised as an accommodation ship for Navy sailors and troops and was based in Poland.. In 1944 with Soviet forces advancing from the east, she was recommissioned to help evacuate troops and refugees from Baltic ports to German held ports further West. In January 1945 while overloaded with over 10,000 troops, refugees and crew on board, she was hit on the port side by three torpedoes from the Soviet submarine S13 and sank with an estimated loss of 10,000 lives. The heaviest loss of life ever in maritime history.