278,321 Pages

Hermann von Wissmann (steamship)
Hermann von Wissmann 1910
The Hermann von Wissmann in 1910
Career (German Empire) Flag of the German Empire.svg
Name: Hermann von Wissmann
Namesake: Hermann von Wissmann
Builder: Janssen & Schmilinsky, Hamburg
Launched: 1890
In service: 22 September 1893
Fate: Scrapped, 1950
General characteristics
Type: Steam ship
Tonnage: 100 tons
Length: 26.5 m (87 ft)
Beam: 5.8 m (19 ft)
Draught: 1.25 m (4 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: 2-cylinder compound steam engine, 60 PS (44 kW), 1 shaft
Speed: 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
Crew: 10

The Hermann von Wissmann was a German steamer on Lake Nyasa named after the German explorer Hermann von Wissmann who had raised funds for the vessel to be built in 1890 as an anti-slavery gunboat.[1]

The attack of the British lake-steamer Gwendolen on the Wissmann while it was on a slipway at Sphinxhafen, in English Liuli, was the first naval action of World War I. The British disabled the vessel briefly in 1914, then in 1915 completely put the vessel out of action.[2]

The Hermann von Wissmann had a smaller sister vessel, named after Wissmann's wife, the Hedwig von Wissmann, on Lake Tanganyika.[3] This smaller vessel was involved in the exploits of Geoffrey Spicer-Simson which were the basis of The African Queen, a 1935 novel by C. S. Forester and the 1951 film of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart.

From 1916-1920 the boat served as HMS King George, then from 1920 as the cargo steamer Mlonda until it was scrapped in 1950.


  1. Deutsche kolonialzeitung: Volume 13 Deutscher Kolonialverein - 1896 "..Wißmann" ganz dicht entlang laufen. Ueberall aber auf dem verwitterten Gestein zeigt sich eine reiche Vegetation, ... Dienste des kaiserlichen Gouvernements befindliche Kapitän Berndt ist mit Heimatsurlaub in Deutschland eingetroffen."
  2. Warship international Volume 17; Volume 17 Naval Records Club (U.S.), International Naval Research Organization, Naval Records Club (U.S.) - 1980 "The Germans made repairs to the Von Wissmann but Gwendolen again arrived on the scene on May 30, 1915 when Von Wissmann was sent to the ... The British also had two other vessels on Lake Nyasa named Chauncy Maples and Queen Victoria."
  3. Reports on the administration of Rhodesia: 1889/92-1900/02 British South Africa Company - 1899 "The German steamer " Hedwig von Wissmann " is already launched and has been under steam. Although built and controlled by the German Government this vessel, like her sister ship the " Hermann von Wissmann " on Lake Nyasa, ."

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.