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39 1914-1970 NAVIGATING IN WAR AND CRISIS The decades that followed the outbreak of the First World War generally became characterized by political confl ict and economic crisis. How did SVITZER navigate these diffi cult waters to keep the strong position achieved since 1833? The period between 1914 and 1970 was marked by the two world wars 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 and economic recession in between. Old ideologies and political systems were breaking down and new ones emerging. The Russian Revolution, growing nationalism and fascism were examples of these new political movements. After the Second World War the United States supported an economic uplift in Western Europe through the Marshall Plan. Led by the Soviet Union, Communism was on the rise and the Iron Curtain divided Europe. New confl icts arose during and as a result of the Cold War, among these the Suez crisis in 1956. Economic recovery culminated in the 1960s but the confl ict of political ideologies dominated world politics for more than 30 years. This period of confl ict and crisis created both challenges and opportunities for SVITZER’s salvage and growing towage activities. SVITZER had not only to survive economically but also to navigate through the political confl icts that prevailed, while maintaining the goodwill earned throughout the world for almost a century. STAYING STRONG DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR Though economic circumstances during the First World War were strained, SVITZER managed to maintain a strong fi nancial position. The general decrease in shipping during the war naturally meant fewer salvage operations with higher risk. However, a rise in the value of cargoes and vessels resulted in higher salvage awards. Due to the political situation the German partner dropped out of the Mediterranean partnership and their fi ve vessels were added to the SVITZER fl eet. SVITZER’s other partners eventually withdrew from the The salvage vessel VIKING, built in 1904. VIKING was wrecked in Piraeus during the Second World War.


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