SS Otranto

Armed Merchant Cruiser

History
SS Otranto was a ship of the Orient Line. At the start of World War One she was requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service as an Auxiliary Cruiser and spent the late months of 1914 in the South Atlantic (coaling at the Falklands) and off the West Coast of South America looking for Admiral von Spee's Cruiser Squadron.

Lookouts on the Otranto sighted the German ships, and reported to Admiral Cradock's flagship, HMS Good Hope, she then made good her escape as she would have been completely outgunned.

On 6 October 1918, just 5 weeks before the Armistice, whilst in a convoy carrying American Troops to the UK, she collided with the P & O liner Kashmir, who was also carrying American troops. The accident happened just off the coast of Islay in the Inner Hebrides (off the West Coast of Scotland). The Otranto was so badly damaged and the sea so rough that as the crew tried to beach her, she struck a reef only 300 yards from shore and quickly broke up. The Destroyer HMS Mounsey, with much skill and at great risk managed to save almost 600 men, but only 21 of the remaining 400 on the wreck made it to the rocky shore.

Builder
Laid
Launched
Commissioned

Workman Clark, Belfast
-
1909
-

Specifications
 
Dimensions
Length (O/A)
Length (W/L)
Beam
Draft

Displacement
Full Load
Standard

Propulsion
Boilers
Turbines
Endurance
Horsepower
Shafts
Max Speed
Coal Bunkerage

Protection
Waterline Side Belt
Deck Armour
Bulkheads
Turrets
Barbettes
Control Tower

Armament
Main Gun
Secondary Gun
Smaller Weapons
Torpedoes

Complement
Usual

163.14 mtr
-
19.5 mtr
11.73 mtr


-
12,124 tons


-
quadruple expansion
-
12,000 ihp
2
18 Knots
-


-
-
-
-
-
-


8 x 120 mm
-
-
-


Crew - 350 crew, Passengers - 1310

 

Back to top