The MS Schwabenland was originally built in 1925 as the cago ship MS Schwarzenfels of the Hansa-Linie. In 1934 the @lufthansa bought her and had her transformed in a catapult ship. Her existence became then quite eventful. The Lufthansa wanted to use this type ships, capable of launching seaplanes into flight, as a pitstop for the transport of airmail across the Atlantic Ocean. Between 1938 and 1939 the Schwabenland was borrowed from the Lufthansa and participated in The Third German Antarctic Expedition, where planes were used for exploration. Her name was the reason why the Germans named the territory they charted Neuschwabenland (New Swabia). Nazi Germany started World War II a few months after her return and she was then claimed by the Luftwaffe for war Service. Her first destination was the coast of occupied France, being later transferred to the coast of Norway in 1942. In 1944 she was damaged in an attack by the British submarine Terrapin. Her crew managed to beach her and she was later refloated. The ship had not been fully repaired when she was damaged again during a British air raid near Bergen. She was never made seaworthy again and served as a storage facility at the Oslofjord until the end of the war. Finally, claimed as a war price by the British, she was scuttled carrying 1400 tones of poisonous gas ammunition near Skagerrak on the 31st of December 1946.
This model, built in a scale of 1:100 by master Harry Römmer, is part of our exhibition about naval aircrafts on deck 5 of the museum.