Ships Monthly Magazine


August's mystery ship

Mystery Ship

Can anyone identify the tall ship pictured here? She has not got her sails raised, but her four masts may help to give away her identity. By whom was she operated and when was she built? Is she still afloat, and if so what is she used for?

June’s mystery ship Answer

mystery reply

The Mystery Ship is HMT Empire Halladale. She was originally built as Antonio Delfino for the Hamburg-South America Line. She was delivered from the Vulcan yard in Hamburg, yard number 631, in March 1922. Her maiden voyage saw her leave Hamburg for La Plata ports on 16 March 1922. In 1927 she had low-pressure turbines fitted and in 1932 was chartered to North German Lloyd as Sierra Nevada.

She reverted to Hamburg-South America Line in 1934. In September 1939 she slipped out of Bahia and broke the blockade to Germany. From April the following year she was used as an accommodation vessel for the German navy at Kiel. In 1943 she was moved to Gdynia and in 1945 took part in the evacuation of the German eastern territories. In five operations she took 20,500 people to the west.

July's mystery ship

Mystery Shipjulymyst2

Can anyone identify the warships pictured here, supplied by Richard Robins, of Weymouth, who says they were taken in Hong Kong in December 1963 from HMS Plymouth. But which navy were they operated by and when were they built?

June's mystery ship

Mystery Ship

Can anyone identify this liner, and where and when the picture was taken? Who operated the ship, and on which routes did she operate? Is this her usual livery or one given to her at a specific time?

April’s mystery ship Answer

mystery reply

The April mystery ship is the liner Citta di Tunisi, operated by the Italian company Tirrenia s.p.a., pictured at Valletta. She was originally black-hulled when completed in 1930 by Cantieri del Tirreno at Genoa, one of four sisterships for I. & V. Florio of Palermo. However, the 5,419gt liner was soon absorbed within the Tirrenia operation.

She was requisitioned as an auxiliary cruiser by the Regia Marina (Italian navy) and was busy during the war, surviving near misses from torpedo attacks and receiving some damage in air raids, but also colliding with and sinking the torpedo boat Circe in 1942 while she was on convoy duties. In late 1943,she was taken over by the Germans and renamed Heidelberg, but, unlike her sisters, she was still afloat at the end of the war and was returned to Tirrenia.

She was substantially rebuilt in Naples in 1952, receiving a white hull and an enhanced tonnage (5,474gt). She was then used on services operating mostly from Naples to Benghazi or Tripoli in Libya, with stops in Sicily and at Valletta. Taken out of service in 1970, she was towed to Trieste in November for scrapping.

Roland Whaite, Chepstow


March’s mystery ship Answer

mystery reply

The March mystery ship is Mona’s Queen, built in 1885 by the Barrow Shipbuilding Co for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. She is leaving Douglas harbour and, judging by the east light on her funnels, it is a morning sailing, probably at 0830 for Fleetwood, the route on which she spent much of her life. She returned to IoMSP after World War I service as a troopship and continued in service until broken up after the 1929 summer season.

I would date the view between June 1905 and August 1914, as those are the dates of entry into service and last sailings of the fourth steamer (right, on the far side of Victoria Pier), Manxman. The other two steamers pictured are also IoMSPCo vessels: the steamer waiting off the pier is the 1871-built King Orry and the steamer at the pier to her right is the rather larger Empress Queen.

David Rowe, London

May's mystery ship

may mystery ship

Can anyone identify these warships, and where and when the picture was taken? Which navy were they operated by and were they regular visitors to this port? Is this the homeport of a navy, and if so, which one?

April's mystery ship

April mystery ship

Can anyone identify this liner, and where the picture was taken? Where and when was she built? Who was she operated by and what happened to her? Was she a regular visitor to this port?

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