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Hi friends, I came across a book that might be of interest to those who are interested in old steamships, tugs and other port vessels, or simply in ice-breaking itself. Documentation is rare. Here's the review: M. Görz und M. Buchheister Das Eisbrechwesen im Deutschen Reich Reprint der Ausgabe von 1900 (Icebreaking in the German Reich) (Reprint of the book from 1900) This book is a most complete documentation of the ice-breaking business in imperial Germany. Authored by M. Görz and M. Buchheister, both were directors of waterway administration in imperial Germany and therefore experts on ice-breaking business. When this book was compiled, ice-breaking was quite a young shipping discipline: Just for 25 years this bunch of specialised ships was in existence. The German Imperial Reich, by itself just a quarter of a century young, developed to a mighty industrial nation. Steam power and industrialisation did change the structure of the economy in deep and the volume of transportation increased dramatically. Ice on the waterways and in the ports, as was normal since ever, now disturbed the growth of economy, since production went on in summer as in winter times, materials had to be supplied and products had to be delivered. Another aspect of the ice-breaking business is the prevention of severe flooding of the river neighbouring communities due to ice barriers building up. Continuos ice-breaking by ships during the winter time could prevent this. This principle works until today. Germany was united in 1871/72 to a single imperial Reich. Thus centralised, the administration started work on a number of development projects, so the foundation, development and refinement of infrastructure projects throughout the Reich. The objective to keep waterways open for the whole year, could be tackled with the newly developed iron ships with a reliable steam propulsion. It still needed some research on the optimal shape of the hull, especially the bow and the ship‘s construction to withstand the brutal forces of the ice. At first, the book leads through the geographic facts of the rivers and waterways in focus, the technique of ice-breaking to move on to the technical facts of the ice-breaking vessels on the various arenas. In Germany, the waterways showed a wide variety in terms of location, size, ability to serve as a waterway, climate conditions, shipping volume, ports and, finally, the icing conditions: Located in the east of Germany with it‘s harsh winters the Weichsel, Nogat, Memel, Pregel, the port of Danzig and the river Oder. In the north the port of Kiel with the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal (the Kiel canal), the port of Flensburg. In the west the rivers Elbe, Weser, Rhine with the ports of Hamburg, Cuxhaven, Bremen and Bremerhaven, Duisburg. The first chapter is focused on geography and ice-breaking in general, which didn‘t happen exclusively by ships. Especially usage of explosives is given some room, but at the end, long-term minded ice-breaking can only be done by specialised ships. The second chapter focuses on ice-breaking ships in the various scenarios and regions. Information is provided about purchasing, design and construction, specialties, sizes and measures, technical data of the vessels, especially about those: „Eisbrecher I“ (Hamburg 1871), „Eisbrecher II“ (Hamburg 1877), „Hofe“ (Hamburg 1877), „Trave“ (Stettin 1879), „Weichsel“ (Danzig 1880), „Montau“ (Danzig 1882), „Simson“ (Hamburg 1883), „Ossa“ (Danzig 1884), „Ferse“ (Danzig 1884), „Königsberg“ (Elbing 1885), „Stettin“ and „Swinemünde“ (Stettin 1888), „Siegfried“ (Kiel 1888), „Berlin“ (Stettin 1889), „Nogat“ (Danzig 1889), „Möwe“ (Hamburg 1889), „Wal“ (Uebigau n. Dresden, 1889), „Delphin“ and „Robbe“ (Uebigau n. Dresden 1889), „Wodan“ (Bremen 1889), „Lüneburg“ (Hamburg 1890), „Steknitz“ (Lübeck 1891), „Eisbrecher III“ (Hamburg 1892), „Elbe“ (Hamburg 1892), „Eisbär“ and „Walross“ (Stettin 1892), „Widder“ (Stettin 1892), „Molch“ and „Salamander“ (Uebigau n. Dresden 1892), „Donar“ (Bremen 1892), „Schwarzwasser“ (Danzig 1894), „Brahe“ (Elbing 1894), „Prussina“ (Danzig 1894), „Scorpion“ (Uebigau n. Dresden 1895), „Drewenz“ (Schichau 1896), „Welle“ (Danzig 1896), „Schlange“, „Eidechse“ and „Drache“ (Uebigau n. Dresden 1892), „Fribbe“ (Danzig 1898), „Wakenitz“ (Lübeck 1899) The third chapter give insights into operations, effects and costs of an ice-breaker. Besides a view into the economical figures of ice-breaking operations, the authors show various operation profiles ind the various environments (medium river, large river, port, near-shore sea bay). By the documentation of chapters 1 and 3, the reader gains a good insight into the „ice business“. The annex to the book includes reproductions of maps of the mentioned waterways, graphical statistics to climate and ice data, and a number of drawings of some of the mentioned ice-breaking vessels. This is usually a look to the side, from the top, from the bow, some cutaways and a frame line drawing: „Weichsel“ (Danzig 1880), „Ossa“ (Danzig 1884), „Ferse“ (Danzig 1884), „Nogat“ (Danzig 1889), „Schwarzwasser“ (Danzig 1894), „Welle“ (Danzig 1896), „Fribbe“ (Danzig 1898), „Stettin“ and „Swinemünde“ (Stettin 1888), „Berlin“ (Stettin 1889), „Trave“ (Stettin 1879), „Eisbrecher III“ (Hamburg 1892), „Elbe“ (Hamburg 1892), „Hofe“ (Hamburg 1877), „Möwe“ (Hamburg 1889), „Wal“ (Uebigau b. Dresden, 1889), „Delphin“ and „Robbe“ (Uebigau n. Dresden 1889), „Walross“ (Stettin, 1892), „Widder“ (Stettin 1892), „Lüneburg“ (Hamburg 1890), „Donar“ (Bremen 1892), The Maps and technical drawings of the annex could not be reproduced in the original size due to technical reasons. Originally, the vessel‘s drawings are in 1:100 scale. The editor of the reprint offers a service to provide those pages as in the original book size or in a scale specified by the reader: So, if you want to build a model in 1:48 scale, you can order the plans in 1:48 right away. A order form is provided with the book. Super! Summary: The well-known author focused on ice-breaking vessels, Christian Ostersehlte, said it this way: „For the Paris World Exhibition in 1900, the waterway administration directors Görz (Danzig) and Buchheister (Hamburg) issued a big-body book to be a standard documentation about the ice breaking business in Germany. Since many archives (especially in the eastern part of Germany) have disappeared since, this rich designed book for todays historians means a fountain of information about the early history of ice-breaking business in Germany.“ Whoever is interested in the history of waterway shipping, tugs and ice-breakers, especially about steam propelled working-vessels around 1900, should know this book; This documentation is now available in a good reproduction for the own archive. ISBN 978-3-8495-0293-5, hardcover, 308 pp, many images: 250,-€; available in bookshops, internet bookshops or from the reprint‘s editor: Helmut Wedemeyer, Kohlmarkt 22, 25554 Wilster, Germany. (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) Image: exemplary drawing #30 - Eisbrecher „Trave“ (editors allowed publication of sample image)