Graf Zeppelin


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The Launch (8. December 1938)
Flugzeugträger (aircraft carrier) "A" on slipway 1 at Deutsche Werke, Kiel on 8. December 1938. The shipyard workers are busy with the final preparations for the launching ceremony.
The spectators are now in place and the launching ceremony can begin.
The christening of the new aircraft carrier has been completed and the names plates with the ships name, Graf Zeppelin, has been revealed. The troopship Franken can be seen on the slipway to the left.
A view down the port side of the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin which is now ready to be launched.
Graf Zeppelin is being launched. Slowly the aircraft carrier slides down slipway 1 at Deutsche Werke shipyard in Kiel.
Graf Zeppelin has been launched and tugboats now works on getting the big hull under control.
Without side armour, guns, tower etc. installed the hull lies high in the water. Notice that the top of the two rudders can be seen sticking out of the water. The support for the flight deck is also visible.
Exactly two years earlier the battleship Gneisenau was launched from the same slipway. Due to a failure in the braking measures, the hull continued towards the opposite side of the launching bassin and collided with the Hindenburg Embankment. With Graf Zeppelin they succeeded in getting the hull under control.
Tugboats preparing to tow Graf Zeppelin to the equipping pier.
Graf Zeppelin decorated with garlands and flags now ready to be towed to the equipping pier starting the fitting-out period.

© John Asmussen 2010. All rights reserved.