Robert Ley: 1939 - 1945
Lazarettschiff 'B' and Accommodation Liner
Presented below are memorabilia and images of the Robert Ley as the hospital ship Lazarettschiff 'B', Accommodation liner, and during her bombing & scrapping in 1947.
E.S. Robert Ley as Lazarettschiff B
E.S. Robert Ley as an Accommodation Liner
The Robert Ley in her 'dazzle' paint scheme. Notice the nets connected to the funnel to change her profile appearance.
Life jacket from the Robert Ley
- Marked "KdF-Schiff R.Ley". Other markings shown below. Probably taken off the ship during a transformation, whether it be for a souvenir piece or another reason. Very well may be the only one in existence since the ship completely burned on March 9th, 1945.
Kriegsmarine Sailor Photographs
Taken onboard the Ley as an Accommodation Liner. Four detail shots of the lifejacket markings.
Robert Ley Publications
The burned-out hull of the Robert Ley after her bombing.
Left: Another distant view of the Robert Ley in her dazzle paint scheme.
(Above): Two beautiful original photos of the Robert Ley as Lazarettschiff 'B' - Larger 3"x5" photos. (Below Left): The Robert Ley from the stern as a hospital ship. (Center): Two postmarkings from her time as a Lazarettschiff. (Below Right): Several more thumbnail images of the Robert Ley as Lazarettschiff 'B'.
Above: Profile view of the Robert Ley in her dazzle paint and netted funnel.
The interesting thing about these two photos is that they show the Ley being converted from a hospital ship to an accommodation ship. At left, the bow to midship has the hospital line painted on while it is being removed from the stern. The stern also appears to have several black paint spots on her from her deck to water line. Before the Gustloff and Ley were converted to accomodation liners, their green lines were removed, then they were repainted gray. Dated June of 1940. At right shows the Ley being painted gray from the bow aft.
Der D.R.K. Vorhelfer Alfered Evers Bremen Gaufahft? 58 ist auf Grund des Notdienstgesetzes am 18.9.1939 auf dem Lazarettschiff "Robert Ley" einberufen werden.
Kommando Lazarettschiff "Robert Ley"
Marinestabsarzt u. Adjutant.
The D.R.K. Vorhelfer Alfered Evers Bremen Gaufahft? 58 is to be convened on the hospital ship "Robert Ley" because of the emergency law on 18/09/1939.
Command hospital ship "Robert Ley"
Navy medical officer and adjutant.
The Bombing of the Robert Ley - 1945 to 1947
Right: Rear Admiral (Konteradmiral) and and "Commander of the Submarines" (Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote, BdU) Karl Döniz
Photo taken in Greece, 1942. Sent with the photo of the Robert Ley (far right).
Conversion from Lazarettschiff to Accommodation Liner
The starboard side of the Ley during her conversion. The The hospital line is beginning to be removed from the stern and her Promenade Deck windows have already been painted gray. Labeled Pillau on the back, and originally included with the body of owners' port of Königsberg.
Two letters written "an Bord des K.d.F.-Schiffes Robert Ley." First is dated May 7th, 1940 from Pillau and the second is dated November 26th, 1940 with mention of Danzig and Gotenhafen. Yet to be translated.
The Robert Ley in wartime camouflage with thousands of sailors onboard.
The Scrapping of the Robert Ley - 1947
I had these images of the Robert Ley emailed to me one day, thrilled to see they exist. For the Ley being bombed, she looks in remarkable condition from the air sans the missing funnel. Information from the images:
Inverkeithing Bay, Thomas Ward and Sons Shipbreaking Yard - April 10th, 1947
Robert Ley Press Photo
May 9th, 1940 on her possible sinking.
European Auction Photo.
Above Left: File of the Robert Ley burned out at berth. Sent to me via email.
Above: The E.S. Robert Ley in color with her wartime camouflage paint.
A great photo of the Robert Ley during the war showing her camouflage paint scheme. Her funnel is netted to give a different profile appearance and one of her lifeboats is missing. Note all of the ice in the harbor where she is berthed.
While I do not own this photo, I found it a while ago while searching the internet. I have since sent some emails around trying to locate the original to obtain for the collection, but I never received any replies. If you happen to own this photo, please contact me at the email address on the introduction page.
Funnel of the Robert Ley in its camouflage at berth.
Right: Forward port view of the Robert Ley in her camouflage.
Left: Colorized verion of the same photo. Getting the tint on the camo is quite tricky with the program I use.
Real or repro? Robert Ley dog tag #48.
Below: Sailors onboard the Robert Ley take photos as they relax and work.
Dr. Robert Ley onboard the Robert Ley in Pillau, April 1942.