On August 23, 1953 a beautiful sunny midsummer day, the Blohm & Voss located in Hamburg were decorated with flags and festoons. Early in the morning, the place was buzzing like a beehive.
Delegations of the German Federal navy, old sailors, shipyard employees and their relatives, visitors and guests from all over Germany, had arrived to see a spectacle which has become a very rare sight these days: the launching of a new ship.
Project no. 804, as she was then called for she had not yet been christened officially, rested on her building slip, ready to be launched: a slender white hull and three large masts, still without rigging and sails of course, yet unmistakingly clean cut with a beautiful line.
The christening ceremony speech was held by Rudolf Kinau, the brother of poet and writer Johann Kinau whose pen name had been Gorch Fock and who was killed in action during the battle of Jutland.