Monday, August 29, 2011
According to Wikipedia the MV Liemba is a passenger and cargo ferry that runs along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, and according to the BBC, she is in dire need of refurbishment. This is because the MV Liemba, was built in 1913, and was formerly the German warship Graf von Götzen.
This remarkable ship was built in Germany then freighted to Africa in 5,000 crates and dragged over land to the lake where it served Germany's imperial interests in the first world war. The British did the same, only they dragged two gunboats to Lake Tanganyika, and the end result was the Germans scuttled Graf von Götzen in 1916. Some of the story behind the two British gun boats can be read here.
Graf von Götzen remained submerged until 1924 when a Royal Navy salvage team raised her and found she was still in excellent condition (thats German engineering for you). She was cleaned up and recommissioned as the Liemba and has been in service ever since. As far as I know, she is the only World War One era war ship still in use today. The people who own her are requesting from Germany. I think if I was Chancellor, I'd give them a new ship as a present.
If I had the time and the space, I'd be tempted to make a card model of the vessel for a Rocketman campaign. She has those classic lines that inspire the pulp/noir genre, and she'd make a great platform for a gun fight game.