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Blohm + Voss (also shown historically as Blohm & Voss), is a Germanmarker shipbuilding and engineering works. Today it's a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.


It was founded on April 5, 1877, by Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss as a general partnership named Blohm & Voss ( Blohm und Voss English: "Blohm and Voss"). A shipyard was built on the island of Kuhwerder, near the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburgmarker, covering 15,000 m² with 250 m of water frontage and three building berths, two suitable for ships of up to 100 metres length. The company's logo is a simple dark blue rectangle with rounded corners bearing the white letters "Blohm+Voss". Until 1955 the company name was shown with the ampersand.

The company has continued to build ships and other large machines for 125 years. Despite being almost completely demolished after the end of World War II, it now builds warships both for the Deutsche Marine and for export (see MEKO), as well as oil drilling equipment and ships for numerous commercial customers.

The company's name is often found spelled Blohm + Voß in German (and occasionally English) sources. Today Blohm + Voss is (along with Howaldtswerkemarker at Kielmarker and Nordseewerke at Emdenmarker) a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

History during the Third Reich

With the rise of the Nazi Party to power in 1933 Germany's rearmament in violation of the Versailles Treaty was begun. This began a sudden change in fortune for the company, run then by brothers Rudolf and Walther Blohm, who was taken out of a deep crisis.Blohm & Voss, which had until then specialized in shipbuilding, also began to design and build aircraft for use by both the German state airline, Lufthansamarker, and the air-force, Luftwaffe. The aeronautical section of the company was named Hamburger Flugzeugbau, therefore the first planes it produced had the code "Ha", but in September 1937 the aviation subsidiary was renamed Abteilung Flugzeugbau der Schiffswerft Blohm & Voss which was later replaced by "BV". Particularly noteworthy were the large flying boats the company produced, as well as ingenious approaches to aircraft building that even featured asymmetric designs.

From July 1944 to April 1945 Blohm & Voss used inmates of its own concentration subcamp at its shipyard in Hamburg-Steinwerder. The camp was a subcamp to the Neuengamme concentration campmarker. Now a memorial stands in the former site of the camp and the company keeps paying an undisclosed amount to the Fund for Compensation of Forced Laborers.

Ships and submarines

Notable ships built by Blohm + Voss include:

Tall ships:

Ocean liners and other passenger ships:

Private yachts:

Warships of World War I:

Warships of World War II:

Modern warships:


From 1933 to 1945, Blohm & Voss also operated the Hamburger Flugzeugbau aircraft company. Although initially given the factory code Ha (for the factory's official name), the link with Blohm & Voss shipyards proved too strong and therefore the early aircraft designs were called "Blohm & Voss, type Ha..." followed by the design number. To end this confusion, in 1938 the Reichsluftfartministerium gave in to the unavoidable and changed the company code to BV.

Aircraft designed under the Ha and BV designations include:

Although Hamburger Flugzeugbau re-emerged after the war and, under different names and ownerships, continued to build aircraft until the present day, this company has no more ties to the Blohm & Voss shipyards.

See also




  • Gunston, Bill. World Encyclopedia of Aircraft Manufacturers. Stroud, UK:Sutton Publishing, Second edition, 2005. ISBN 0-7509-3981-8.
  • Meyhoff, Andreas. Blohm & Voss im »Dritten Reich«, Eine Hamburger Großwerft zwischen Geschäft und Politik (Hamburger Beiträge zur Sozial- und Zeitgeschichte, Band 38) (in German). Hamburg, Germany: Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte in Hamburg, 2001. ISBN 3-89244-916-3.
  • Pohlmann, Herrmann. Chronik Eines Flugzeugwerkes 1932-1945. B&V - Blohm & Voss Hamburg - HFB Hamburger Flugzeugbau (in German). Motor Buch Verlag, 1979 ISBN 3-87943-624-X.
  • Prager, Hans Georg and Bishop, Frederick A.(Transl.). Blohm + Voss: Ships and Machinery for the World. London: Brassey's Publishers Limited, 1977. ISBN 0-90460-914-6.
  • Witthöft, Hans J. Tradition und Fortschritt - 125 Jahre Blohm + Voss (in German). Koehlers Verlag, 2002. ISBN 3-78220-847-1.
  • Aviso Grille - Hitler's War Yacht - Revel Barker

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