AG Weser
Aktien-Gesellschaft Weser (or AG Weser) was one of the great German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

 companies, located at the Weser River
Weser River
The Weser is a river in north-western Germany. Formed at Hann. Münden by the Fulda and Werra, it flows through Lower Saxony, then reaching the historic port city of Bremen before emptying into the North Sea 50 km further north at Bremerhaven, which is also a seaport...

 in Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...

. Founded in 1873 it was finally closed in 1983. Altogether, AG Weser built about 1400 ships of different types, including many war ships. AG Weser was leading company in Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG
Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG
Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau Aktiengesellschaft was a cooperation of eight German shipyards in the period 1926 to 1945...

, a cooperation of eight German shipbuilding companies from 1926 to 1945.


AG Weser was founded on November 8, 1843 as the Eisengiesserei und Maschinenfabrik Waltjen und Leonhard, becoming Waltjen & Co in 1849 this firm only started very slowly in ship building with primarily steamboat
A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels...

s. On March 26, 1873 the activities and firm became the AG Weser and the very first important order came from the Kaiserliche Marine. Between 1875 and 1881 eleven gunboat
A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for ferrying troops or supplies.-History:...

s were built.

After this order the construction was again mainly for civil use. Halfway through the eighties a serious dredging was done on the Weser River, again making Bremen an important harbour. Just before the turn of the century the harbour grew very heavily. This was also the moment at which the AG Weser decided to buy new grounds at Gröpelingen where there were constructed five new slips. In 1904 everything was ready at the new location and Bremen was abandoned for further ship construction. New installations followed and between 1905 and 1914 no fewer than 40 passenger
Passenger ship
A passenger ship is a ship whose primary function is to carry passengers. The category does not include cargo vessels which have accommodations for limited numbers of passengers, such as the ubiquitous twelve-passenger freighters once common on the seas in which the transport of passengers is...

 and merchant ships were constructed on the new wharf.

In 1912 Raimondo Lorenzo D'Equevilley, who worked before at the Germaniawerft in Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

, was asked by the AG Weser to construct a new U-boat. As they now had their own engineers they immediately became part of the U-boat program of the Kaiserliche Marine.

The first U-boats constructed were UB I
German type UB I submarine
The Type UB I was a class of small coastal submarines built in Germany at the beginning of the First World War. Twenty boats were constructed, most of which went into service with the German Imperial Navy. Boats of this design were also operated by the Austro-Hungarian Navy and the Bulgarian...

 series. Later also UC I
German Type UC I submarine
The Type UC I submarines were a class of small coastal minelaying U-boats built in Germany during the early part of World War I. They were the first operational minelaying submarines in the world . A total of fifteen boats were built...

German type UB II submarine
The UB II type submarine was a class of U-boat built during World War I by the Kaiserliche Marine. They were enlarged from the preceding type UB I and were more effective vessels. The boats were a single hull design with a 50 metre maximum diving depth and a 30-45 second diving time...

 and UC II
German Type UC II submarine
Type UC II minelaying submarines were used by the Kaiserliche Marine during the World War I. They displaced 417 tons, carried 7 torpedoes and up to 18 mines...

 series were constructed at AG Weser. By 1917 most of the work went into the construction of the UB III
German type UB III submarine
The Type UB III submarine was a class of U-boat built during World War I by the Kaiserliche Marine.UB III boats carried 10 torpedoes and were armed with one 88 mm deck gun. They carried a crew of 34 and had a cruising range of around 9,000 miles...

. Later three UC III were ordered also but never got finished. During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, AG Weser launched a total of 96 U-boats.

In 1926, AG Weser merged with 7 other shipyards to form Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG
Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG
Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau Aktiengesellschaft was a cooperation of eight German shipyards in the period 1926 to 1945...

. The facilities at Bremen produced World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 ships and U-boats, with the target still called AG Weser during the Bombing of Bremen in World War II
Bombing of Bremen in World War II
The Bombing of Bremen in World War II by the Royal Air Force and the Eighth Air Force targeted strategic targets in the state of Bremen, which had heavy anti-aircraft artillery but only 35 fighter aircraft in the area. In addition to Wesermünde/Bremerhaven, targets were also in Farge and...

. The shipyard closed on December 31, 1983.

Ships of AG Weser and its predecessors (selection and brief history)

  • 1847, Paddle steamer Roland
  • 1903-1904, Bremen-class light cruiser Bremen, 1915 sunk
  • 1906, Lightship Reserve Sonderburg, 1988 rebuilt at Motorenwerke Bremerhaven to sailing ship Alexander von Humboldt (called „Green Alex“)
  • 1908, Great cruiser Gneisenau, sunk December 1914 in the Battle of Falkland by Royal Navy
  • 1907-09, Nassau-class battle ship Westfalen, participated 1916 Skagerrakschlacht (Battle of Jütland), after war 1920 delivered to Great Britain, 1924 scrapped
  • 1911-1914, Helgoland-class battle ship Thüringen and König-class battle ship Markgraf. Both ships participated Skagerrakschlacht; Thüringen 1920 delivered to France, 1923-33 scrapped; Markgraf 1918 internment in Scapa Flow, there 1919 self-destructed, 1936 scrapped
  • 1916-1918, 84 U-boats for Kaiserliche Marine
  • 1926, Ship Barbara, experimental ship with additional propulsion by three Flettner-Rotors (using Magnus-Effekt)
  • 1926 – 1945; Ships between 1926 and 1945 look at Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG
    Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG
    Deutsche Schiff- und Maschinenbau Aktiengesellschaft was a cooperation of eight German shipyards in the period 1926 to 1945...

  • 1953–1954, Turbine tankers Olympic Cloud, -Wind, -Storm, -Sky, -Breeze and -Rainbow for Olympic Transportation Co., New York (Owner: Aristoteles Onassis)
  • 1979, Frigate Niedersachsen for Bundesmarine (German Navy) in collaberation with frigate general contractor Bremer Vulkan
    Bremer Vulkan
    Bremer Vulkan AG was a great German shipbuilding company located at the Weser river in Bremen-Vegesack. It was founded in 1893 and closed in 1997 because of financial problems and mismanagement....

  • 1983, Cargo ship Ubena for Deutsche Afrika-Linien (DAL) Hamburg was last ship built by AG Weser
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