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After the loss of the Danish five mast trainings barque København (the ship disappeared on route from Buenos Aires with all hands on board) the Danish government decided to build a new principle training ship for the merchant marine. The ship was designed as a three mast full rigged vessel to be handled by a crew compliment of 120.
Launched in 1932 at the Nakskov shipyard, the Danmark entered service the next year till the outbreak of World War II. At that time the ship was visiting the United States to participate in the 1939 Worlds Fair in New York. To avoid capture by the Germans the ship was ordered (by Danish authorities) to remain in US waters. She was based in Jacksonville, Florida and maintained with the help of the Danish American community.
After the United States entered the war in 1941 (after the attack on Pearl Harbor), captain Knud Hansen offered the ship to the US government as a school ship. This offer was accepted and the vessel was used to train cadets of the US Coast Guard. Some 5000 cadets were trained before the ship was returned to Denmark in 1945. In honor of her wartime service, a bronze plaque was placed on the main mast and the Danmark was the leading vessel on the parade of ships at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York. The experience with the Danmark led to the acquisition by the USA of the USCGC Eagle from Germany at the end of the war.
Back in Denmark again the training cruises were resumed and after a refit in 1959, when the crew compliment was reduced to 80, the Danmark is still used as a trainings vessel, not only for Danes but for those of any nation interested in the basics of seamanship.
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