The Cap Arcona was a large German luxury ocean liner, formerly of the Hamburg-South America line. It transported passengers between Germany and South America until 1940 when it was taken over by the German Navy.
Late in the war, the steamer was used to evacuate German soldiers and civilians from East Prussia before the advance of the Soviet Army. While heavily laden with prisoners from Nazi concentration camps, she was sunk in May 1945 by the Royal Air Force. About 5,000 people died. The sinking of the Cap Arcona was one of the biggest single-incident maritime losses of life during the war and also one of the largest maritime losses of life in history.