“Herman the German” (real name “Titan”) is a giant floating crane used on the Panama Canal and is approaching retirement.

It was one of 3 heavy lift cranes built in 1941 by Demag Cranes AG as Schwimmkran No. 1 for the Kreigsmarine for use in the Baltic Sea tending to U-Boats. After the war it was removed to the US but, following the closure in 1995 of the US shipyard in Long Beach where it had been employed, it was sold to the Panama Canal Commission and it was transported on a semi-submersible ship in 1996 to the Canal Zone, where it remained into the 21st century, serving as the floating crane Titan. It is described as a large, self-propelled crane vessel with the tip of its main boom standing at 374 feet above the typical water line.

The photo is one I took myself, showing the crane at Gamboa. What will become of this bit of history? There is a great video on the history and use of the crane on You Tube.

22 MARCH 2023

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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