Photo: Neal W. O'Connor via Greg VanWyngarden
Oblt. z. S. Gotthard Sachsenberg (second from right) in front of Fokker E.V. Second from left is Halberstadt's chief designer Karl Theis. The Fokker is probably Sachsenberg's personal machine with a yellow-black checkered fuselage. Notice the eyes painted on the engine cover. Camel pilot from No. 210 Sq. was attacked by four naval monoplanes on April
12, 1918. Two days later, the 17th Aero Squadron encountered this type. It is possible that Fokker was flown by Sachsenberg in this fight. During the encounter with seven German
planes was shot down 2.Lt. William H. Shearman. Same pilot had Sachsenberg in his gunsight two days earlier.
Photo: Bundesarchiv via Wikimedia Commons
At this point, our story needs to return to the Sachsenberg family business. This family has been registered as far back as 1620 in Wörlitz in the
Duchy of Anhalt in blacksmithing for the production of horseshoes and
weapons. Johann Gottlieb Sachsenberg (1784-1844) took over the business in 1809 from his father and got into, among other things, the manufacture of mechanical devices and several church carillons.
After the death of Johann, his three sons founded Machinenfabrik Gebrüder Sachsenberg in 1844. Gottfried (1818-1888) was entrusted with
coming up with manufacturing ideas. Friedrich (1819-1895), who became
a Privy Commercial Councillor, was in charge of production. Wilhelm
(1822-1875) was in charge of retail functions.
The firm started out in the repair of mechanical equipment in Rosslau
area. Soon, it was coming up with new technologies in the brick industry,
and produced its own pumps and gas equipment. The first steam powered
machine capable of 4hp was produced in 1849.
From 1866, the company began to repair ships and soon began to produce
their own. Their first was a transport steamship, the ‘Hermann’, launched
in 1869. Soon, the company had over seven hundred employees.
Junkers W 33b "Bremen" (c/n 2504, D-1167) in the spring of 1927 during preparations
for the transatlantic flight. One of the pilots who was preparing for the flight was
Gotthard Sachsenberg. Today you can see her at the Bremen Airport.
The Second Generation
In 1885, the sons of Gottfried and Friedrich became partners in the
company. Gottfried’s son Gotthard Sr. (1849-1914) got his doctorate
in engineering and as was noted earlier, also became a Privy Commercial Councillor. Friedrich’s son Georg (1850-1936) also received
a degree in engineering and also became a Commercial Councillor. In
1887, Wilhelm’s son Paul (1860-1935) also became a partner, and he
was a merchant and, unsurprisingly, a Commercial Councillor!
The company became the biggest river shipyard in Europe in 1890. It
exported its products throughout the world and gained a list of patents in various fields. Chain steamers was their specialty. By the
beginning of the 1890s, the firm had employed a third of the population
of Rosslau. The Sachsebergs opened up branches in other parts of
Germany, too. Among various types of transport and energy technologies, they also manufactured distillation units. In 1901, they were
the first German firm to export this technology to Japan. In 1908, the
firm became a joint-stock company, but the family retained majority
Gotthard Jr. in Civil Life
After his return to civilian life in
1920, Gotthard Jr. formed the aviation company of Ostdeutschen
Landwerkstätten GmbH (OLA) with
his wartime friends in the Eastern
Prussian area of Seerappen. At the
same time, he held the post of director of the company Lloyd Ostflug
GmbH in Königsberg. This company
was disbanded in 1921, but Gotthard
Jr. went into collaboration with Hugo
Junkers in the same year. He soon
became the head of its air transport
component and after the nationaliza-
Image of forty years old
Gotthard Sachsenberg as
a member of parliament
from the Reichstag's annual
INFO Eduard - April 2021