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The Sinking of the Cunard Line R.M.S. Laconia (I)

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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Okt 2011 15:26    Onderwerp: The Sinking of the Cunard Line R.M.S. Laconia (I) Reageer met quote

On the outbreak of World War I Laconia was turned into an armed merchant cruiser in 1914 and based at Simon's Town, South Africa in the South Atlantic, from which she patrolled the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean until April 1915. She was then used as a headquarters ship for the operations to capture Tanga and the colony of German East Africa. Four months later she returned to the patrolling of the South Atlantic. She was handed back to Cunard in July 1916 and on 9 September resumed service..

On 25 February 1917 she was torpedoed by the German U-50 six miles (11 km) northwest by west of Fastnet while returning from the United States to England with 75 passengers (34 first class and 41 second class) and a crew of 217 under the command of Captain Irvine. The first torpedo struck the liner on the starboard side just abaft the engine room, but did not sink her. Twenty minutes later a second torpedo exploded in the engine room, again on the starboard side, and the vessel sank at 10:20 pm. Twelve people were killed, six crew and six passengers, including two American citizens, Mrs. Mary Hoy and her daughter, Miss Elizabeth Hoy, who were originally from Chicago.


Excerpt from the book by Floyd Gibbons, "And They Thought We Wouldn't Fight", © 1918 George H. Doran Company, New York. Edited by the Gjenvick-GjÝnvik Archives for clarity.

The Cunard Line R.M.S. Laconia, launched in 1912 was a beautiful ship that became a fatality of the first world war. This is a first-hand account by Chicago Tribune reporter Floyd Gibbons, who later bacame a war correspondent.
The Sinking of the Laconia

BETWEEN America and the firing line, there are three thousand miles of submarine infested water. Every American soldier, before encountering the dangers of the battlefront, must first overcome the dangers of the deep.

Geographically, America is almost four thousand miles from the war zone, but in fact, every American soldier bound for France entered the war zone one hour out of New York harbor. Germany made an Ally out of the dark depths of the Atlantic.

That three-thousand-mile passage represented greater possibilities for the destruction of the United States overseas forces than any strategical operation that Germanyís able military leaders could direct in the field.

Germany made use of those three thousand miles of water, just as she developed the use of barbed wire entanglements along the front. Infantry advancing across No Manís Land were held helpless before the enemyís fire by barbed wire entanglements. Germany, with her submarine policy of ruthlessness, changed the Atlantic Ocean into another No Manís Land across which every American soldier had to pass at the mercy of the enemy before he could arrive at the actual battlefront.

Verder lezen:

Oud artikel over het vinden van de Laconia:

Het luxueuze interieur:

The Sinking of the Laconia by Floyd Gibbons:

Uit WO II:
Op 12 september 1942 werd de tweede RMS Laconia getorpedeerd door de U-156, de Laconia zonk na geraakt te zijn door een tweede torpedo met zich meenemend 1810 bemanningsleden, Britse soldaten, burgers en 830 Italiaanse krijgsgevangenen.
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