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The Thirties

  • History-3

Stavanger Steamships Ltd makes the decision to build two steamers for passengers and postal traffic between Oslo and Bergen. Danziger Werft in Poland won the bidding and was soon into building the two ships. “Kronprinsesse Martha” was the first wessel to be finished, and was named after the Swedish crown princess Marha who had married the Norwegian prince Olav V.

July 13, 1929
”Martha” arrives to Stavanger and was immediately put in traffic. She gets the midnight express route; Sandnes-Bergen, shipping passangers and light cargo. “Martha” was to compete against “Gann” and “Jaderland” owned by a rivalling company, Sandnes Dampskibs.

March 1930
”Stavanger I” replaces ”Martha” on the night route and was for the first time put in traffic shipping post and passengers between Oslo and Bergen which she initially was built for.

July 20, 1934
The German luxury liner ”Dresden” runs aground and starts to sink close to the norwegian coast. The captain of “Martha”, Lars Pallesen, was at the scene first and managed to save 553 passengers onto his ship which had accommodations only for
60 persons! Shortly after the last one leaves the “Dresden” she keels over sinks to the bottom. A few weeks later Captain Pallesen was awarded “Rettungsmedaille am bande” on orders from Adolf Hitler. This rescue mission would later prove it’s importance. When Nazi-Germany invades Norway the Captain’s son is rescued from the firing squad thanks to his fathers heroic efforts eight years earlier!

February 12, 1935
“Marhta” once again takes on the role as a saviour and rescues “Siljeford” and its crew of eight. She then tows the ship to Larwik.

December 18, 1939
Captain Johan Falnas was in command of “Martha” when she because of very bad weather conditions ran aground. Everyone aboard were rescued with the exception of two who drowned in their cabins.