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Shipping Wonders of the World

Part 19


Part 19 of Shipping Wonders of the World was published on Tuesday 16th June 1936.


This issue included a colour plate illustrating “Oil on Troubled Waters” from the painting by Frank Mason. This accompanied the article on British Shipping. The coloured plate was attached to page 589 of this issue.



The Cover


This week’s cover shows the Mauretania at Southampton being painted white for a holiday cruise. Before she was broken up this famous Cunard White Star liner made several popular cruises.


This cover was later used as the colour plate issued with part 49.


The "Mauretania"


Contents of Part 19


Raising a Submarine Minelayer

British Shipping

Oil on Troubled Waters (colour plate)

The Fishery Patrol Ship

The Surrender of the German Fleet

Marine Engines and Their Story - 4

The Nile - Egypt’s Wonderful River

Transatlantic Adventures






Raising a Submarine Minelayer


The story of the salvage of the German submarine UC 44, concluded from part 18. You can read more about this salvage in chapter IX of David Masters’ book The Wonders of Salvage.

(page 581)


An Unexploded Mine

AN UNEXPLODED MINE being raised from the wreck of the salved submarine UC 44. The submarine had nine live mines on board when she was wrecked in September 1917. Commander G Davis - seen on the left of this photograph - successfully undertook the dangerous salvage work involved, and for this he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

(page 581)





British Shipping


On all the seas of the world will be found vessels of different types flying the Red Ensign. It is the symbol of the greatest Merchant Service ever known and a flag that unites with a common bond seamen of many races. This service is still the biggest Merchant Service, and the Red Ensign is worn by most types of ship in some corner of the Empire or other. This chapter is by Frank Bowen and is the first article in the series Sea Transport of the Nations.

(pages 582-591)

Oil on Troubled Waters by Frank Mason

This excellent example of the work of Frank Mason RI, the famous marine painter, shows a typical oil tanker battling with heavy seas. There are many varieties of tanker, but they all retain certain characteristics. They are relatively long, with the machinery space aft. Built for the carriage of crude oil and its derivatives in bulk, they are divided longitudinally and transversely into tanks. An expansion space is provided to allow for any alteration in the volume of oil in different temperatures. Normally, tankers carry no outward cargo, but occasionally they take fresh water to oil-yielding districts, some of which are waterless. The vessel illustrated is a steamer, but oil-engined tankers are now common.

(attached to page 589)





The Fishery Patrol Ship


In a previous example (see page 368) we have seen something of the characteristics of the normal trawler. Such a vessel has bluff bows, high sheer and, for reasons of trim, deep draught aft compared with that forward. Above is a vessel which has many of the attributes of the trawler, but a much greater speed and a line of keel almost parallel to that of the deck. Outwardly she resembles a trawler. This resemblance is designed so that she may, without revealing her identity, approach fishermen breaking regulations. Once her identity is revealed, however, her speed is more than enough to ensure her catching the law-breaker.


She was built on the Clyde in 1936 and has a length of 130 feet. She has a short topgallant forecastle, the usual well-deck forward, with foremast having a light wireless mast abaft the gallows and an electric trawl winch. Abaft this is a normal trawler bridge, with charthouse, a funnel taking exhaust from two main engines and two tall ventilators which give the ship an appearance of normal trawler type. Farther aft is the engine casing, with store and galley in the usual place, surmounted by the mainmast having a light wireless pole on its top.


The mainmast has two derricks, one capable of serving the main engine skylight, and the other capable of handling the boat in the usual trawler position aft. In addition to this, there is also a 24-ft motor patrol boat carried where normally the fish ponds would be in the standard trawler and handled by a derrick on the foremast. All these special characteristics are as inconspicuous as possible.


Propulsion is by two 750 brake horse-power Armstrong-Sulzer eight-cylinder, four-cycle airless injection diesels delivering their power at 700 revolutions a minute and each driving its propeller through a mechanical reverse gear of oil-operated type. The draught is

about 7 ft 6 in.


This is the fourteenth article in the series Merchant Ship Types.

(page 592)

An unexploded mine raised from the UC 44British shipping - the "Baltannic", "Pacific Coast" and the "Staffordshire"

British Shipping - 2


(Top) FOR SHORT-DISTANCE SERVICES between Great Britain and ports on the Baltic Sea a fleet is maintained by the United Baltic Corporation. A typical steamer on this route is the Baltannic of 1,739 tons gross. She was built in 1913 and has a speed of 14 knots.


(Middle) A BRITISH COASTAL MOTOR SHIP of 1,120 tons gross, the Pacific Coast runs regularly between Liverpool and London for Coast Lines Ltd. Primarily designed to carry a general cargo, she also has accommodation for twelve passengers. The Pacific Coast was built in 1935, and her oil engines have sufficient power to maintain her designed speed of 12 knots in almost any weather conditions.


(Bottom) BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND RANGOON,  the Bibby liner Staffordshire is able to maintain a steady 15 knots. Although she was built in 1929, she is one of the few ships to retain the old rig of four masts and one funnel. The Staffordshire is a diesel-engined vessel with a gross tonnage of 10,595. She is propelled by twin screws.

(page 582)

The ships "Arandora Star", "Asturias" and the "Clan Robertson"


British Shipping - 3


(Top) THE ARANDORA STAR formerly used on the South American passenger service, was converted by the Blue Star Line into a cruising liner with increased passenger accommodation. She was built at Birkenhead in 1927 and has a gross tonnage of 15,305. Her length is 512 ft 9 in, her beam 68 ft 4 in and her depth 42 ft 6 in. Her twin screws are driven by four steam turbines with single reduction gear fitted between the main engines and the screw shafting. You can read more on this ship in part 44.


(Middle) A PIONEER PASSENGER MOTOR SHIP, the Royal Mail liner Asturias, 22,048 tons gross, was built in 1925. Her diesel engines were replaced by geared turbine propulsion to increase her speed. Her length is 640 ft 6 in, her beam 78 ft 6 in and her depth 40 ft 6 in. She has twin screws driven by six steam turbines with single reduction gear. Fitted with refrigerating machinery, she has thirteen insulated cargo spaces, with a total capacity of 210,610 cubic feet.


(Bottom) A CARGO LINER of 7,951 tons gross, the Clan Robertson was built at Glasgow in 1920. She has many derricks to facilitate the quick handling of cargo in port, and the two heavy-weight derricks stowed against either mast allow her to lift railway engines or similar heavy machinery. She is 449 feet in length, with a beam of 58 feet and a depth of 37 feet.

(page 591)

"Oil on Troubled Waters" by Frank Mason


From Estonia to America

FROM ESTONIA TO AMERICA in a small yacht is a voyage so dangerous that few men would attempt it. Ahto Walter did so on three separate occasions. The first Ahto, as he named his boats, he bought for the equivalent of £15 and reconditioned. She was 29 feet long, with a beam of 9 feet and a draught of 5 ft 6 in. Ahto’s companion on tow of his voyages was Tom Olsen, a young American.


Ahto’s and Olsen’s memoirs of his voyages were published in 1935 under the title Racing The Seas, the title page and frontispiece of which are illustrated below.

"RAcing the Seas" by Ahto Walter and Tom Olsen
Fishery Patrol Ship

The Surrender of the German Fleet


On November 21, 1918, the mighty German High Seas Fleet was handed over to the British Fleet for internment at Scapa Flow, in the Orkney islands. Before peace negotiations had been concluded, however, the German sailors scuttled their ships. Germany was to be deprived of all naval power. The terms of the Armistice were severe, but the original Admiralty proposals were even more severe. They proposed the complete surrender of the Fleet; but the Allied premiers decided that only the submarines were to be surrendered and that internment of the remaining German naval forces to be handed over was the most that could be demanded. This article is written by Vice-Admiral Gordon Campbell and is a first-hand account of the surrender and sinking of the German Fleet in 1918. The story of the raising of the German Fleet is told in part 23.

(pages 593-600)

The "Seydlitz"

The Seydlitz

THE IMPERIAL WHITE ENSIGN of the German battle cruiser Seydlitz was still flying as she steamed across the North Sea under the orders of Admiral Sir David Beatty, who was in charge of the arrangements for taking over the German Fleet. Built in 1912, of 25,000 tons displacement, the Seydlitz was 656 feet long, with a beam of 93 ft 4 in.

(pages 542-547)



Development of the Screw Propeller


Steamships had been propelled by paddle wheels from the earliest days until the middle of the last century, when experiments with screw propellers were successfully carried out and the screw-type marine engine was gradually evolved. It was not until the paddle steamer had reached a high standard of efficiency that the screw propeller was generally adopted by the marine engineer. This chapter is by F E Dean and is the fourth in the series Marine Engines and Their Story.

(pages 601-605)


Propeller Design


(Left) MODERN PROPELLER DESIGN is based on the screw shown left. This screw was patented by Robert Griffiths in 1855. To the central boss, about one-third of the total diameter, are fitted helical blades that increase in width before tapering to a flattened point.



(Right) FIFTEEN FEET IN DIAMETER, the propeller shown below is being fitted to one of the tail-shafts of the Canadian Pacific liner Empress of Australia. This liner, of 21,833 tons gross, has two propellers of this four-bladed type. Note that the central aperture is not completely circular, but has a slotted top into which is fitted a key to transmit the drive of the shaft. A hub cap of conical shape prevents the propeller from falling off.

(page 605)


You can read Albert Seaton’s book on The Screw Propeller (1909).

Screw patented by Robert Griffiths in 1855



The Nile - Egypt’s Wonderful River


One of the earliest civilizations of mankind was centred on the River Nile, which brings life to thousands of miles of African desert. Some of the picturesque river craft on this great waterway have features derived from the boats of ancient Egypt. Few waterways can compare with the River Nile fro romance. The River Nile saw first the raft of reeds, then the boat made of reeds and wood, and later the sea-going ship of the ancient Egyptians. To-day, as in the past, the Nile is a great highway of commerce and the main artery of Egyptian life. This chapter is by Sidney Howard and is the sixth article in the series on World Waterways.

(pages 606-611)

River steamer "Thebes", a 60ft gaiassa "Amira", and the stern-wheeler "Omdurman II"


The Nile - 2


(Top) BETWEEN ASWAN AND WADI HALFA plies the river steamer Thebes. She is a stern-wheeler, with three covered-in decks and is used for the extensive tourist traffic which is a feature of the River Nile. Tourists from Cairo transfer to the Thebes at Aswan, which lies between Luxor and Wadi Halfa.


(Middle) A SIXTY-FEET GAIASSA belonging to the Sudan Government and named the Amira. The high-peaked lateen sails are designed to catch the wind that blows over the banks of the Nile without descending to the water. The Amira, with a beam of 17 feet, has a saloon and two cabins, as well as a bathroom and accommodation for a native crew.


(Bottom) PASSING THE SWING BRIDGE at Khartoum (shown also in the central illustration) is the Omdurman II, a Sudan Government stern-wheeler. This vessel is 122 feet long, with a beam of 24 feet. She has accommodation for twenty-two passengers.


Click on the small icon to see a British Pathe newsreel clip “Nile Steamer” (1964)


The Nile - 3


(Top) EXTRA ACCOMMODATION for passengers in the Gedid II is provided by a barge which is towed alongside. In narrow waters, the Nile steamers push these passenger barges ahead of them. The Gedid II is a sister ship to the Omdurman II illustrated above.


(Middle) THE FERTILE BANKS of the River Nile, as a Sudan Government stern-wheeler passes. The parched land relies solely upon the waters of the Nile for irrigation, and without the annual inundations of the river the whole country would be a desert. It is only in the area reached by the river floods that cultivation is possible, but in this area the soil is among the most fertile in the world.


(Bottom) THE LOW FREEBOARD of many Nile steamers is permissible only because the river is not subject to storms or heavy seas. The typical passenger steamer shown below is one of the stern-wheelers employed by the Sudan Government above Aswan.



Transatlantic Adventures


The story of three remarkable voyages across the Atlantic Ocean and back by Ahto Walter, a young Estonian, in a sailing boat under thirty feet long. This chapter is by Sidney Howard and is the fourth article in the series Great Voyages in Little Ships. The article is concluded in

part 20.

(page 612)

From Estona to America in the yacht "Ahto"