The Fleet Tender Hela
was a remarkable innovative ship for its time since it was the predecessor of today's modern command ships.
Ordered in 1936, it took up to the year 1940 until the ship finally was commissioned, caused by problems to produce the required diesel engines. The ship was equipped with everything needed to host a fleet or squadron staff, and most of the superstructure was used for staff offices and quarters. The original design even included a catapult and seaplane but this was replaced by staff car in the final design.
The ships survived the war without casualties, an air attack on 16.04.1945 on Swinemünde caused only light damage. On 25.12.1945, the ship was taken over by the Soviet Navy and renamed as Angara
. Commisioned on 13.05.1946, the ship stayed in the Baltic Sea until 13.03.1958 when it was transferred to the Black Sea. There it was used as the Navy Commander-in-Chief's Yacht until 1992, making it one of the last (if not the last) Kriegsmarine active Kriegsmarine surface ship. On 26.02.1995 a fire broke out in the engine room which could not be extinguished by the crew, damaging the ship severely. Therefore, the ship was reclassified as floating barrack PKZ-14 in January 1996. Since the ship is not able to move by its own power anymore, its now used as an accomodation ship for VIPs.
The ship is recently for sale and according to the latest information, the engines are now back in working order.