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Agamemnon-class (1929)

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Agamemnon-class
Die Deucalion
The Deucalion
Ship data
Ship type Combined ship/break bulk carrier
Shipping company Alfred Holt & Company (Ocean Steam Ship Company
China Mutual Steam Navigation Company
Glen Line)
Building yard Workman, Clark, Belfast
Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, Dundee
Hawthorn Leslie, Newcastle
Scott’s Shipbuilding, Greenock
Construction period 1929 until 1931
Units built 5
Destinations Worldwide trip
Ship dimensions and crew
Length
145.79 m (Lüa)
140.15 m (Lpp)
Wide 18,10 m
Side height 10,76 m
Draft max. 8.66 m
Measurement 7643 BRT, 4444 NRT
Machine system
Machine 2 × B&W four-stroke diesel engine
Maximum speed 14.0 kn (26 km/h)
Propeller 2 × fixed pitch propeller
Transport capacities
Other
Classifications Lloyd’s Register of Shipping

The general cargo ships of the Agamemnon-class were built in five units for the British Blue Funnel Line from 1929 to 1931.

History

The Agamemnon as an auxiliary minelayer

The A-class ships were developed in Alfred Holt’s design department for the shipping company’s Far East service. The individual units were built at various shipyards. The term Agamemnon-class was derived from the type ship Agamemnon. The design was built in five units and was initially used by the group shipping companies Ocean Steam Ship Company and China Mutual Steam Navigation Company and later by the subsidiary Glen Line.

Two of the ships were converted during World War II, first to auxiliary minelayers and then to recreational ships for seamen with extensive accommodation facilities. Two Agamemnon-class ships were sunk during World War II, and one suffered a fire in 1953 after an engine room explosion. The last two ships remained in Blue Tunnel liner service until the end of their respective careers. The period during which the shipping company operated ships of this series spanned a full three decades.

Technical description

The Agamemnon-class ships were built as general cargo ships with superstructures arranged amidships and had a small number of passenger berths. The ships had a deadweight tonnage of around 9000 tons, six holds with refrigerated holds and sweet oil tanks. Cargo handling was carried out with conventional cargo gear.

The engine room, whose length was designed to be particularly short due to the arrangement with two main engines of small size, was located under the deckhouse. The propulsion consisted of two eight-cylinder four-stroke diesel engines of the Danish manufacturer B&W, which acted on two propellers.

The ships

Agamemnon-class
Ship name Building yard / Building number Commissioning Shipping company Later names and whereabouts
Agamemnon Workman, Clark/ – September 1929 Ocean Steam Ship Company Requisitioned by the Admiralty on 30 December 1939 and deployed with 1st Minelaying Squadron at Kyle of Lochalshals as an auxiliary minelayer from October 1940 to October 1943, arrived at Vancouver in 1943 for conversion to British Pacific Fleet recreational ship but not completed until 1945, returned and returned to service on 26 April 1947, scrapped at Hong Kong from 26 March 1963[1]
Menestheus Caledon Shipbuilding/ – December 1929 Ocean Steam Ship Company Requisitioned by the Admiralty on 14 December 1939 and used as an auxiliary minelayer from 22 June 1940, damaged by an air raid off Iceland in 1942 and towed to Lochalsh by sister ship Agamemnon, converted to a British Pacific Fleet recreational ship in 1943/44, decommissioned in 1946, returned and returned to service in 1948, abandoned off Punta Eugenio on 16 April 1953 after engine room explosion and fire, towed into Long Beach for survey on 5 May, arrived in Baltimore on 10 June under tow for demolition. April 1953 abandoned off Punta Eugenio after engine room explosion and fire, towed into Long Beach for survey on 5 May, arrived in Baltimore on 10 June under tow for demolition
Deucalion Hawthorn Leslie/ – 1930 Ocean Steam Ship Company Damaged by an air raid at Gladstone Dock, Liverpool on 21/22 December 1940, sunk by an air raid off Cani near Malta on 12 August 1942
Memnon Caledon Shipbuilding/ – 1931 China Mutual Steam Navigation Company On 11 March 1941 torpedoed and sunk by U-106 off Cape Blanco, Cape Verde, five casualties
Ajax Scott’s Shipbuilding/ – 1931 Ocean Steam Ship Company 1957 as Glenlochy to Glen Line, 1958 as Sarpedon back to Ocean Steam Ship Company, scrapped in August 1962

Literature

Web links

Individual references

  1. Entry at naval-history.net (English)