victoria sulzer powered ships
Victoria
1931 - 1942


The Victoria in peacetime.
The motor ship Victoria was ordered by the Lloyd Triestino Company from Cantieri Riuniti dell Adriatico, San Marco. Launching took place on December 6th 1930, with delivery taking place on June 21st 1931.

When launched the ship was described as the fastest motor ship built to date, 23.5 knots was achieved on her trials, whilst 20.5 knots was her service speed. Her accomodation was described as spacious and luxurious and was equipped with air-conditioning. The dining salon was unusually located on the top deck

Initially the Victoria was used on the Trieste - Venice - Brindisi - Alexandria, Egypt service. During 1932 the ship transfered to the service through the Suez Canal to Bombay. From October 1936 for the Victoria (replacing the Conte Rosso) the Bombay run was extended to Columbo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The journey time between Singapore & Genoa was fifteen days. To this point the Far East service used the Conte Verde & the Conte Rosso at intervals of one month, with the Victoria the interval was reduced to twenty days. Additionally Manilla would be included on the run to/from Shanghai, although on the Victoria's first eastboound run the Manila stop was omitted.

1935: December 29th departed Genoa for Naples, Port Said, Bombay, Colombo & Singapore. The Lloyd Treistino Far East sailings normally departed from Trieste, for the Victoria Genoa would be her 'home' port.

1936: January 15th at Tanjong Pagar wharf, Singapore for Hong Kong & Shanghai. This was the first eastbound run for the Victoria on the Far East run, being under the command of Captain C G Castellotto.
1936: January 31st at Singapore from Shanghai for Colombo, Bombay, Aden, Suez, Port Said, Naples & Genoa. This was the first westbound sailing for the Victoria on the Far East run, under the command of Captain A Tarabocchia. Arrival at Genoa was expected on February 15th.
1936: April 2nd (?) at Singapore from Shanghai for Genoa.
1936: May 17th at Singapore for Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1936: June 2nd at Singapore for Genoa.
1936: July 17th at Singapore from Genoa for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1936: August 5th at Singapore from Shanghai for Genoa.
1936: November 8th at Singapore from Genoa for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1936: November 26th at Singapore for Genoa.

1937: February 5th at Singapore for Colombo, Bombay, Aden, Port Said, Massaua, Naples & Genoa.
1937: April 2nd departed Shanghai & April 9th at Singapore for ports to Genoa. Passengers included a delegation representing China at the coronation of King George VI.
1937: May 24th at Singapore for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai. During May the Conte Biancamano was transferred from the North & South Atlantic runs to join the three Lloyd Triestino passenger ships on a new fortnightly Far East service.
1937: June, the fortnightly Lloyd Triestino service to the Far East was temporarily changed whilst alterations were carried out to the Conte Biancamano and an overhaul to the Conte Verde with normal service being resumed on August 8th.
1937: June 12th at Singapore for Colombo, Bombay, Aden, Massaua, Port Said, Naples & Genoa.
1937: August 7th (?) at Singapore for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1937: August 26th at Singapore from Shanghai for Genoa. The ship was under the command of Captain Angelo Capurro. Between Shanghai & Hong Kong the ship carried 600 refugees including Italians, Germans, Britons, Swiss, Spaniards & Filipinos. On arrival at Singapore were 300 passengers of whom 112 disembarked, of which 20 were from Shanghai.
1937: October 10th at Shanghai for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1937: October 28th timetabled at Singapore for Colombo, Bombay, Aden, Massaua, Port Said, Naples & Genoa.
1937: November the Japanese takeover of Shanghai during early November saw a number of shipping companies withdraw their services operated through Shanghai. The Lloyd Triestino company maintained their regular service to Shanghai and benefited in carrying refugees from Shanghai to Hong Kong and other ports. For a short time the services anchored at Woosung instead of entering the port of Shanghai.
1937: December 6th at Singapore from Europe for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai. Passengers included the Sultan of Oman travelling under an assumed name, on a short tour of the Far East with his brother and four servants.
1937: December 25th at Singapore from Shanghai (?).

1938: February 6th at Singapore for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1938: February 24th timetabled at Singapore for Colombo, Bombay, Aden, Massaua, Port Said to Naples & Genoa.
1938: June 5th timetabled at Singapore for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1938: June 23rd at Singapore for Colombo, Bombay, Suez to Naples & Genoa.
1938: September 4th timetabled at Singapore for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1938: September 22nd at Singapore for Colombo, Bombay, Suez & Port Said to Brindisi, Venice, Trieste, Naples & Genoa.
1938: November 6th timetabled at Singapore for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1938: November 24th timetabled at Singapore for Colombo, Bombay, Suez & Port Said to Brindisi, Venice, Trieste, Naples & Genoa.

1939: January 8th at Singapore from Genoa for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1939: January 26th timetabled at Singapore for Colombo, Bombay, Suez & Port Said to Brindisi, Venice, Trieste, Naples & Genoa.
1939: March 13th timetabled at Singapore for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1939: March 30th at Singapore for Colombo, Bombay, Suez & Port Said to Brindisi, Venice, Trieste, Naples & Genoa.
1939: May 15th timetabled at Singapore for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai. Passengers on the Victoria included 300 German Jewish refugees headed for Shanghai.
1939: June 1st timetabled from Singapore to ports for Genoa.
1939: July 31st at Singapore from Europe for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai. Passengers travelling to Shanghai included about 250 Jewish refugees from Germany, Poland & Czechoslovakia.
1939: August 17th timetabled from Singapore to ports for Genoa.
1939: September 15th, the Victoria arrived at Singapore with 300 German Jewish refugees headed for Shanghai.
1939: October 9th at Singapore from Genoa for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai.
1939: October 19th or 26th timetabled from Singapore to ports for Genoa. At Bombay on November 2nd where authorities searched the ship to investigate allegations that Italian vessels were being used to illegally carry letters and other articles. Some letters found amongst others on the Victoria were written by the wife of the leader of the Nazi Party in Bombay and contained details of troop and ship movements.
1939: December 20th timetabled from Singapore for Manila, Hong Kong & Shanghai (the Victoria had been removed from the Far East service by this time).

After the removal of the Victoria from the Far East service it was left to the steamships Conte Verde and Conte Rosso to provide service until it was suspended late in May 1940. At this time the Conte Rosso was westbound already en-route to Genoa. The Conte Verde was timetabled to make her last run from Shanghai on June 18th 1940, however Italy's entry ino the war saw the ship pursued by a British warship until the liner reached territorial waters at the mouth of the Whangpoo. The vessel would remain here, with about 100 crew members on board. Thoughts were given to making the ship a floating hotel, however it was scuttled on September 9th 1943 at Shanghai to avoid falling into Japanese hands, it was later raised in 1944. The Conte Rosso was sunk by torpedo on May 24th 1941.

The arrival of World War II saw the Victoria being pressed into service as a troop transport between Italy and North Africa. The Victoria's last voyage commenced on January 22nd 1942 with another fast trip from Taranto to Tripoli (Tarabulus), Libya with 441 tons of cargo and troops comprising 132 officers & 588 soldiers of the 12th Bersaglieri Regiment and 405 German soldiers. The next day the convoy came under air attack from British torpedo bombers. The presence of an escort of twelve Junkers Ju 88s were not able to prevent a successful attack against the Victoria, a torpedo struck at 6:45pm and the ship started to take on water. By 3.00am the next morning (January 24th) the ship disappeared under the waves at position 33.30N, 17.40E in the Gulf of Sirte about 150 miles north-east of Misurata, but the time had allowed the rescuing of just over one thousand of the troops and crew.

General Details

Builder: Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico.
Launched: 1931
Length: 533ft
Beam: 67ft 3in
Draught 42ft
Weight: 13,500 tons gross
Engines: Four 4,250hp two cycle CRA Sulzer 8ST68 engines totalling 17,000hp.
Auxiliary engines: Four x 6SS38 totalling 3,000hp at 170rpm
Screws: 4
Service Speed: 20.5 knots
Port of Registry: ??
Crew: ??
Passengers: 1st 239, 2nd 145 & 3rd 100

Resources:

Sulzer Technical Review Special Number 1933
Singapore Newspapers archive.

Page added March 3rd 2009
Last updated October 31st 2014

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