Information about the discovery of the German steamboat Karlsruhe is a subject worthy of attention. Baltictech team has been searching for the steamboat wreck for a year- now everyone is wondering whether it will provide an answer to the question that has been asked for many years - what happened to the legendary Amber Room? Will the discovery of the German steamer Karlsruhe - the last ship to leave Piława (the port of Königsberg) before the Russians occupied East Prussia - solve the mystery that remained unresolved for years?
During the September expedition, the Batlictech team led by Tomasz Stachura found the German steamer Karlsruhe, which, after Gustloff, Goya and Steuben, was another unit participating in Operation Hannibal, the largest marine evacuation in history. Thanks to this operation, at the end of the war, the Germans transported about two million refugees from East Prussia to the West.
This discovery may provide groundbreaking insights into the disappearance of the legendary Amber Room. Why? Because it was in Königsberg where the Amber Room was seen for the last time. From there, the Karlsruhe steamboat sailed out on her last big-loaded cruise.
Karlsruhe was an old small ship, but in those days, every unit capable of evacuating people to the west was important. We had been looking for the wreck for over a year to realize that it could be the most interesting, undiscovered history from the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Karlsruhe set off on her last voyage under extreme tight security quite heavily loaded as for this ship. The wreck rests several dozen kilometers north of Ustka at a depth of 88 meters. It is virtually untouched. In its cargo holds we discovered military vehicles, porcelain and many chests with so far unknown contents - says Tomasz Stachura.
SS Karlsruhe was constructed in G.Seebeck Bremerhaven shipyard in 1905.
Her dimensions: Length - 66.3 m / Width - 10.1 m / Draught - 3.6 m / Load displacement - 897 tons
On the last voyage she set off from Piława (the port of Koenigsberg) on April 12, 1945. There were 150 soldiers of the "Herman Gornig" regiment, 25 railroad workers and 888 refugees on board. Together with the crew there was a total of 1083 people. The ship also took 360 tons of "returnable goods" in uneven chests; and military vehicles. A convoy consisting of four Freighters and three Minesweepers was formed right before the Hel Peninsula. This convoy left the roadstead of Hel on 12th April in the evening. In the morning of 13th April, she was detected by Soviet planes that attacked Karlsruhe and then sank the ship. The ship sank within three minutes with its entire cargo. About 100 people were saved. The position of the attack was imprecise and the resting place of the wreck was unknown until recently.
The history and available documentation indicate that the German steamer Karlsruhe was leaving the port in a great hurry and with a large cargo after the Germans had to evacuate Koenigsberg. All of this, when put together, stimulates people's imagination. Finding a German steamer and a chest with unknown contents resting at the bottom of the Baltic Sea can be significant to the entire history - says Tomasz Zwara. A diver and member of the Baltictech team who finally identified the wreck.
In today's Fakty TVN (English: Facts) in Polish TVN and Wydarzenia (English:Events) in Telewizja Polsat there will be a brief interview with Tomasz Stachura. We encourage you to watch it.