This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Horn Linien (Shipping Companies, Germany)

Horn-Linie oHG, H.C. Horn

Last modified: 2012-07-11 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: horn linie | horn(hc) |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[Horn Linie, smaller H] image by Jarig Bakker, 25 Oct 2003

See also:


Horn-Linie oHG
The company today is located in Hamburg’s fashionable new City-Süd. Heinrich Christian Horn’s star rose from a manufacturer of matches in Schleswig to one of the most important German shipowners.
The complete story can be read in: Gerd Uwe Detlefsen:"Deutsche Reedereien", vol.20.

Brief history
The story began in 1882. Here only the time since 1937 is given:
In 1937 Henry Horn died, his son became owner during a very critical era and had to face serious economic problems. Fortunately in 1933 Erich Müller-Stinnes acquired shares of the company and can help to overcome the troublesome years. He established in 1934 the company Westindisches Schiffahrtskontor GmbH together with Heinz Horn. This company became corresponding shipowner of the ships of Horn.
At the end of WW2 the company had neither buildings nor ships but heavy burdens of debt in real estates.
On 27 August 1949 Heinz Horn transferred his shares of the company to Erich Müller-Stinnes. He renamed the “Westindisches Schiffahrtskontor GmbH” into Horn-Linie oHG in 1951.
So the company was no successor of the former Horn-Linie oHG.
Müller-Stinnes died in 1963 and left no heir. Therefore he sold the company to HAPAG and the French company CGT. Both partners acquired 50%.
On 1 July 1975 two different branches were established: Reederei Horn-Linie oHG and the ship brokers Schiffahrtskontor Horn-Linie oHG. The shipping company stayed with

  • HAPAG-Lloyd
  • , as successor of HAPAG, and
  • CGM
  • , as successor of CGT, which had merged with "Messagerie Maritime" before.
    The only owner of the ship brokers and the Baltic Sea service was however CGM. In 1978 the HAPAG-Lloyd withdrew from the shipping company and sold her shares also to CGM.
    In 1997 Horn-Linie became part of "Global Refer Carriers Ltd.", a daughter of "Fresh Del Monte Prod.Inc.".
    Klaus-Peter Bühne; translated by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 Apr 2009

    Horn Linie (Shipping Company, Germany).
    Different sources = different versions in some areas with and having the same format but still with some minor differences probably from translation. They fill in the pre 1937 days with the main point being that Heinrich C. Horn, who started in Schleswig then moved to Flensburg [post WW1] and then finally to Hamburg [1933], around 1901-2 established another company, Dampfschiffs Rhederei Horn A.G., in Lübeck, which in 1926 was taken over by Norddeutscher Lloyd. During its existence it used the same livery with Lloyds 1904 and 1912 showing it for both companies so perhaps they were not aware of the connection [the 1912 editions shows them side by side whereas 1904 has them on separate pages]. Using various sources the 1st image shown by Jarig with the "normal" sized "H" would appear to be the more favoured but I doubt if any differences had any significance.  They could be result from funnel sightings where the flag was used as a band and from ship photos the letter varied according to the funnel width. According to Arnold Kludas the use of Horn-Linie started in the 1920s when they entered they passenger ship trade.
    After WW2 Heinz Horn started up again for a while as stated by Klaus-Michael Schneider but I suggest a check be made on the flag shown for him as the marcollect source does not show such a wide red band – more in line with about only half the field. US Navy 1961 show it a little bit wider than this but Flaggen & Schornsteine 1957 and the 1958 Esso issue of the same format show it slightly less so half seems a reasonable compromise.
    That it was Erich Müller-Stinnes that founded the new Horn-Linie in 1949 is disagreed to by their website who give the founder as H.M. Stinnes whilst still tracing themselves back to pre WW1. Apart from this they pass quickly over events to their becoming part of Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc. to which they are still a part although these days through the Del Monte subsidiary Network Shipping Ltd.
    For what it is worth Lloyds originally treated Horn-Linie as a new company formed in 1951 but subsequently in 2004 changed it to being a descendant of the original Heinrich C. Horn dating back to 1864.
    According to Loughran 1979 the version with the diamond frame was adopted about 1977/8 and used to be flown at the main mast with that of Europe flown at the fore. However, going by their website they have reverted to the biband with an "H" original version with that being shown as a logo. Whether they actually fly a flag is uncertain with none being espied on a couple of ship photos to hand.
    [Note: Re Horn-Linie, a rider. Have just located a photo of HORNWIND 4/1987 which shows the biband flag flying.]
    Neale Rosanoski, 17 Jun 2010

    Horn Linie

    At home I have a stout "Larousse Commercial Illustré" (a kind of trade encyclopedia) published in Paris, 1930. It has four pages in colour illustrating house flags; a note identifies it as the work of Sandy Hook. It has an illustration of Horn Linie: horizontal blue-red (blue uppermost), a large white H over all, taking up one third of the flag's height (funnel: black, bearing the flag in the form of a band) = Flensburg, based in Hamburg.
    Jan Mertens, 25 Oct 2003

    Horn Linie (big H)

    [Horn Linie] image by Jarig Bakker, 25 Oct 2003

    Image as seen in Brown's Flags and Funnels, 1928.
    Jarig Bakker, 25 Oct 2003

    Horn-Linie oHG

    [Horn-Linie oHG] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 Apr 2009

    Description of flag of Schiffahrtskontor Horn-Linie oHG:
    It is a horizontally divided flag into blue over red. In the centre is a white capital "H" surrounded by a lozenge with thin white edges.
    Source: Klaus-Peter Bühne's webpage
    Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 Apr 2009

    Reederei H.C. Horn (Inh. Heinz Horn)

    [Reederei H.C. Horn (Inh. Heinz Horn)] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 Apr 2009

    Reederei H.C. Horn (Inh. Heinz Horn)
    In 1956 Heinz Horn tried to get started a new business of refrigerator ships. The company owned nineteen minor vessels. In 1960 troubles began due to high interest rates and in 1969 Heinz Horn had to give up.
    Description of flag:
    It was a red flag with a white capital "H" in the centre and a horizontal blue stripe at the top and bottom edges. Furthermore it is the genuine flag of Horn-Linie.
    Klaus-Michael Schneider, 5 Apr 2009

    H.C. Horn 1959 Flag

    [Reederei H.C. Horn 1959] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider,

    Having become a part of Hamburg Süd in 1959, the ships used a blue over red over blue horizontal triband with ratio 1:1:1. In the middle of the red stripe was a white initial "H".
    Source: Hans-Jürgen Witthöft: "Hamburg Süd - Eine illustrierte Chronik der Ereignisse"
    Klaus-Michael Schneider, 11 Jul 2012

    back to H-companies main page click here