By Humphrey Carter
THE yacht which belonged to the last ruler of Nazi Germany and the Admiral in charge of the operation to starve Britain into defeat in the Second World War, is currently moored in Palma.

The Nordwind is the sister ship of Hitler's yacht the Ostwind and was commissioned by Admiral Karl Doenitz in 1938.
Both yachts were built at great expense, an estimated $250'000, after Nazi Germany's poor performance at the 1936 Olympics and were designed by the then famous naval architect A. Gruber.

The 88-foot composite ketches were fitted with 40 foot sails of Egyptian linen and luxuriously decked out with a different design for each cabin.
According to official documents, the yachts were ordered to demonstrate Nazi Germany's nautical superiority. Just before the Second World War broke out, the Nordwind won the Fastnet Race setting a record of 88 hours and 23 minutes which stood for the next 20 years.

In 1945, the Nordwind was taken to Scotland as a war trophy and became the property of Lord Hugh W. Astor who raced her on the Solent.
However, she gradually fell into a state of disrepair.
Nevertheless, in the late 1970*s, the Nordwind became one of the earliest classic yacht restoration projects.
Camper & Nicholsons started the refit of the hull in England and the project was finally completed in Holland.
The Nordwind's sister ship, Hilter's Ostwind suffered a more tragic demise.
She was taken to the United States by the U.S. Navy in 1947 where she was sailed and raced, although it was not until the 50*s that she became known as Hitler's yacht.

At first, there were calls for the yacht to be placed in a museum.
However, watched by a group of Holocaust survivors, the Ostwind was finally sunk in Miami harbour.
Rumour has it that the decks of the Ostwind are haunted by Hitler's ghost.
It appears that the Fuhrer was very fond of his yacht, referring to her as his “special lady”.
Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun used to use the yacht for pleasure cruises and, legend has it, that the two luxury yachts were also used as high class brothels for high-ranking Nazi officials.

Now the Nordwind is back in the hands of a German who has spent a small fortune over the past few years on restoring her, since purchasing the yacht from an Italian.

The new Nordwind combines ultra modern yachting techniques with the very highest standards of traditional luxury.

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