SS Amerika II

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SS Amerika II liner launched in 1905, history and image.

NAMES

SS AMERIKA II / AMERICA / EDMUND B ALEXANDER

CLASS

LINER

LAUNCHED

APRIL 20th 1905

BUILT

HARLAND & WOLFF / BELFAST / IRELAND

WEIGHT

22,225 TONS

LENGTH

669 FEET

WIDTH

74 FEET

SPEED

17 KNOTS - PISTON ENGINES - TWO PROPELLERS

The Hamburg Amerika Line had until this time designed liners for speed. With their previous fast liner Deutschland being plagued by serious vibration problems, they began building ships to compete for size. Although Amerika was the largest ship built in Germany at that time, the White Star Line owned the one ship in the world larger, the 23,876-ton Baltic that entered service in 1904. Her maiden voyage from Hamburg - Dover, Cherbourg and New York began October 11th 1905. Additions to Amerika’s upper passenger decks in 1907 increased her volume to 22,621 tons. While steaming off Dover in 1912, she was involved in a collision with the British submarine ‘B2’, 15 submariners died in the incident. The Hamburg Amerika Line laid Amerika up at Boston after the outbreak of World War One in 1914. Germany paid a heavy price for berthing these ships in American ports as in 1917; they were all seized to transport US troops to the war in Europe.

SS Amerika II liner image

Between 1917 and 1919, Amerika completed nine troop-carrying voyages between the United States and France under the name America. The end of the war saw the Treaty of Versailles award her to the United States Mail Steamship Company.

After undergoing a refit, America’s new owners re-deployed her on the New York - Hamburg run in 1921. She had to undergo almost two years of repairs after her passenger decks were damaged by fire during a refit in 1926. Three years after returning to the Atlantic run, America was laid up at Chesapeake Bay.

The Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor December 7th 1941 led to US Authorities requisitioning the abandoned America to serve as a troop ship under the name Edmund B Alexander. The aftermath of that war led to large numbers of US servicemen being based throughout Western Europe. Between 1946 and 1949, Edmund B Alexander was used to carry wives and children of US servicemen to the new military bases in Europe. The completion of that task saw Edmund B Alexander laid up at Hudson River until her scrapping at Baltimore in 1957.

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