WW1 – Sabang, interned German ships, 1915

This interesting photo links the Dutch East Indies with Germany and World War 1 and has a quite unknown theme for most so a great addition to my collection.

Sabang was an important freeharbour in the colonial Dutch East Indies. It was used to load coal for the international steamships that came on this route.

The Netherlands were neutral during WW1 which meant that ships entering the neutral harbour but were part of the countries in the war were not allowed to leave. This impacted mainly German ships as the English had their own presence in the region and did not need the Dutch harbour were the Germans did.

The German ships and their crews were interned for the duration of the war. Some ships escaped and also some German crews were able to escape on sailing boats out the harbour.

These two ships appear to be, for the time, modern steam freighters. The text on the photo mentions they are interned German steamships and it is dated 1915.

This leaves open quite a few possibilities I found out again with the help of the people on the Feldgrau forum. Ships from at least 3 German commercial shipping companies were interned in this harbour, Hansa, Hapa and the Norddeutsche Lloyd.

Will try to find out if I can determine the names of the ships. If you have more input this will be more than welcome also.

Thanks again to the people of https://www.feldgrau-forum.com/