Remarkable story of the Kaiser's gunboat and British response

  TopCat® 01:23 30 Aug 2011

Said to have been ordered by the Kaiser himself in 1913, the "Graf Goetzen" was built in Germany then stripped down to parts to fit into 500 crates. It was then shipped shipped to Dar es Salaam, East Africa. From there it was transported overland to Lake Tanzanika.

An extremely extraordinary feat in itself which was shortly to be repeated by the British when they built two gunboats which were transported overland from South Africa to the lake. Full story to be found here

  TopCat® 23:05 04 Sep 2011


  Forum Editor 23:13 04 Sep 2011

Just spotted this.

I know someone who has been a passenger on this vessel many times. She works in Tanzania, and often has to make the trip across the lake to Zambia. She has told me how she constantly worries that the engines will fail halfway across, but so far, so good.

I hadn't realised there was such a fascinating story attached to the ship. I hope they find a way to keep the old girl going.

  TopCat® 00:00 05 Sep 2011

I seem to vaguely recall seeing a film made quite a long time ago that entailed hauling for quite a distance a large object - a boat? overland. I've tried hard to remember its title and the story plot but without any success I'm afraid. TC.

  Quickbeam 09:50 05 Sep 2011

The Louisa that was sunk by The African Queen must have been based on this story.

  Quickbeam 09:51 05 Sep 2011

Doh! Must read the links before posting:)

  Forum Editor 22:56 05 Sep 2011

You are probably thinking of the film 'Fitzcarraldo', TC

Fitzcarraldo is said to be one of the most difficult films ever to have been made. filming involved moving a 340-ton steam ship intact over a mountain without the aid of special effects. The film director {Werner Herzog} used local people to manhandle the vessel.

The film tells the story of someone called Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, who was supposed to have been an eccentric irishman who became a rubber millionaire in Peru. In fact Fitzgerald never existed, and nobody ever moved an intact ship over a mountain. There was a rubber baron called Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald, and he moved a ship over a mountain, but took it to pieces first.

  Quickbeam 08:51 06 Sep 2011

There's this trailer for Fitzcarraldo on You Tube, but it refers to an Amazonian adventure, would that be the same as TopCat® is thinking of?

  TopCat® 13:21 06 Sep 2011

Ah yes, it all comes 'flooding' back now. The '82 film 'Fitzcarraldo' by Werner Herzog and starring Klaus Kinski. Much more than the haul ropes were frayed during the making of that film, Many thanks for the reminders, guys. TC.

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