SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie

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SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie liner launched in 1906, history and image.

NAMES

SS KRONPRINZESSIN CECILIE / MOUNT VERNON

CLASS

LINER

LAUNCHED

DECEMBER 1st 1906

BUILT

VULCAN SHIPYARD / STETTIN / GERMANY

WEIGHT

19,360 TONS

LENGTH

707 FEET

WIDTH

72 FEET

SPEED

22.5 KNOTS - PISTON ENGINES - TWO PROPELLERS

Kronprinzessin Cecile was the fourth and last four stacker built for the North German Lloyd Line. The other three were, Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse launched in 1897, Kronprinzessin Wilhelm 1901 and her near identical sister ship Kaiser Wilhelm 1903. These four ships were built for the Atlantic run to compete against the White Star Line’s ‘Big Four’ and the Hamburg Amerika Line’s three large liners. The Cunard line had failed to match these ships until their two 31,500-ton liners Lusitania and Mauretania entered service late in 1907. Kronprinzessin Cecilie set out on her maiden voyage from Bremen - New York July 6th 1907. The emergence of this ship gave the North German Lloyd Line the four-large/fast liners they wanted for their Atlantic express service.

SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie liner image

At the outbreak of World War One, Kronprinzessin Cecilie was steaming from America - Germany carrying a cargo of gold and silver. Fearing capture by the British, her captain took the decision to turn back to neutral America. The US Authorities seized Kronprinzessin Cecilie a few weeks later with the intentions of interring her at Boston until the conflict came to an end.

After America entered the war in 1917, Kronprinzessin Cecilie and the two remaining Hamburg Amerika Line’s four stackers were seized by the US Shipping Board to serve as troopships. Their other four stacker Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse had been sunk off the west coast of Africa in 1914 by the British cruiser Highflyer. Kronprinzessin Cecilie was mainly used for transporting US troops to Europe under the name Mount Vernon. While returning to America loaded with wounded servicemen in 1918, a German submarine succeeded in hitting her with one torpedo. Although the blast killed 37 people, her crew managed to contain the damage until they reached America.

The end of the war saw Mount Vernon laid up at Chesapeake Bay alongside her sister ship Kaiser Wilhelm 11. Both ships remained at Chesapeake Bay until their scrapping at Baltimore in 1940.

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