lock very special find
In December 2019, a diving team reported the discovery of a Schwepper lock from the place where the SMS Drache was found (1908).
SMS Drache was a German warship that was built and used by the Imperial Navy as an artillery tenderer, was taken over as such by the Reichsmarine, and was finally converted by the Kriegsmarine into an artillery school boat and served as such until it was sunk in 1945.
The dragon was built as a tender for the Imperial Navy at the Friedrich Krupp Germania shipyard in Kiel and was launched there on June 11, 1908. She was 53.6 m long and 9 m wide, had a draft of 3 m and displaced 790 t. The armament consisted of four 8.8 cm rapid loading cannons and four 5.2 cm rapid loading cannons, the crew of 68 men. The propulsion system, consisting of coal-fired steam boilers and compound machines, gave the ship a top speed of 15 knots. The dragon was put into service on October 26, 1908 under the command of First Lieutenant Kurt Schröder and served until 1914 as an artillery hirer and training ship for the "Inspection of Ship Artillery". It was used in particular for hauling targets, securing the firing area and supplying the firing ships. When war broke out in 1914, the dragon was assigned to the Jade / Weser coastal defense division. The later Vice Admiral Friedrich Frisius served from October 1914 to June 1916 as a lieutenant at sea and officer on watch on the dragon.
Reichsmarine and Kriegsmarine
After the end of the war, the ship did not have to be delivered, but remained with the new Reichsmarine. It served the leader of minesweepers in the Baltic Sea until 1921, then from October 1922 as a tender for the Ship Artillery School (S.A.S.) and from 1928 as an artillery school boat. Since 1928 at the latest, the armament consisted of four 10.5 cm guns and one 2 cm anti-aircraft gun. The latter was later replaced by two 20mm Fla-MGs L / 65. From January to July 1936 the ship was completely overhauled and equipped with a 1600 HP diesel turbine system; the rear of the two chimneys was also removed. After that, the ship was stationed in Pillau. After the German attack on Poland began, the dragon was used to bombard Polish positions on the Baltic coast.
In March 1945 the dragon was used to support the retreating German army troops and to bombard Soviet troops near Danzig. After that, like almost all ships that were still in working order, it was used to evacuate refugees and wounded from East Prussia. It received multiple hits from Soviet artillery fire, but remained functional. In the early afternoon of April 18, 1945, however, she was hit by two bombs during a Soviet air raid on Pillau and sank in the Königsberg See Canal. The wreck was found by Russian divers in August / September 2009.
Based on our documents, we suspect that the lock was installed during the general overhaul in 1936. Despite the decades under water, the lock worked perfectly after cleaning.
Schwepper & Houdini at the Boot Düsseldorf 2019
Schwepper at the Iranimex 2017
Schwepper products being shown at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2017
Schwepper Solenoid lock concept:
Schwepper displayed at the Iranimex 2016
Schwepper displayed at the SMM 2016
Picture of a Schwepper rim lock, which has been in use for ca. 60 years in the US until today…
Schwepper agency The Brass Works displays at the New Orleans Boat Show 2013
Schwepper agency HÄFELE New Zealand presents Schwepper products at the Auckland On Water Boat Show 2013
Schwepper on board the currently largest megayacht in the world
Important Statement from the Manufacturer
How can you protect yourself?
- Request a certification of authenticity from Schwepper from your supplier.
- The GSV-Logo on the lock products.
- Put an inquiry directly to Schwepper and ask for assistance for identification in case of doubt.
Schwepper stands for a high quality standard in the industry and therefore you should protect yourself against unpleasant surprises in case of doubt by contacting Schwepper directly.
The current list of certified Schwepper distributors can be found at www.schwepper.com.