Naval Tug A 14. This 1:75 scale model, built by Günther Ahrens, is on display in our Cold War navies section on deck 5 of the museum. The construction plans of the ship are in our archives.
The Project 700 salvage icebreaker tugs were designed between 1956 and 1957 by Schiffbautechnisches Institut Wolgast (ISW) of the German Democratic Republic. The People’s Navy (VM) of the GDR had been established in 1956 to secure the country’s Baltic coasts and, in particular, to clear the waters of lingering sea mines from World War II. The idea behind Project 700 was to design a tug capable of operating on the high seas, undertaking search and rescue operations and salvaging shipwrecks, while also possessing firefighting and icebreaking capabilities. The two tugs in this class were built by VEB Peene shipyard in Wolgast. The first, code-named Project 17.1, was commissioned by the Volksmarine in 1963 as „A 14.“ It was about 45 m long, beam almost 11 m, and had a displacement of 781 t. Although it was a naval vessel, the 21-member crew was generally made up of civilian employees. It was possible to mount two twin 2.5-cm guns on deck; however, this probably did not happen. The tug was eventually renamed „Thale“ and incorporated into the German Navy after German reunification in 1990. Since the ships of the former Volksmarine were mostly sold off, the „Thale“ went to the Dutch Roal Feenstra Scheepvaertbedrijf, Den Helder in 1992. A new career began under the name „Aegir“. The tug was sold again in 1997 and renamed „Neptun“. As far as our data shows, she is still active under this name today, owned by the British Transtar Shipmanagement and sailing under the flag of St. Vincent & The Grenadines.
The „Thale“ has a sister built at the same shipyard and code-named Project 17.2. She was built in 1964 for the Bulgarian Navy and stationed in Varna under the name „Юпитер“ (Jupiter). The tugboat served in the Bulgarian Navy until the early 1990s, when it was transferred to the Varna Port Authority. Apparently it is still in service under the same name and in the same port.
This 1:75 scale model, built by Günther Ahrens, is on display in our Cold War navies section on deck 5 of the museum. The construction plans of the ship are in our archives.