07 October, 2007

Lloyd Triestino's M/S Victoria Postcard

Today I decided to start showing and discussing the postcards in my ship collection (passenger, cruise and naval).

Lloyd Triestino's M/S Victoria Postcard

First on the list is the passenger ship M/S Victoria of the Lloyd Triestino. I had hard time, at first, gathering information. It's because the back of the card only states "Grande Espresso Europa-India (Via Genova) Motorschiff - Victoria."

But after translating Motorschiff to English, I finally found the name of the ship and a little about its history. Here is the story of M/S Victoria:

The August 1931 issue of Motor Ship listed the new Victoria as the fastest motorship in the world, capable of 23 knots. Built in the San Marco yard by Cantieri Riuniti dell Adriatico, the Victoria was ordered by Lloyd Triestino. Designed to be spacious as well as luxurious, Victoria was one of the first ships to incorporate air-conditioning with the use a Carrier refrigerating plant. Victoria carried passengers and cargo between Trieste, Venice, Brindisi in Italy and Alexandria, Egypt.

Later Victoria was transferred to service on the Far East run. Leaving from Genoa, her ports of call were Naples, Port Said, Bombay, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Her accommodations and appointments were luxurious compared to steamers on the Europe to Asia route. Quite often passengers traveling on British P & O Line to India or China, would transfer to the Victoria if the opportunity presented itself.

When Italy entered into World War II, Victoria was pressed into service as a troop transport. She was often part of fast convoys (14 to 18 knots) on runs to North Africa and in her capacity of transporting troops, normally had a heavy warship escort. On January 22, 1942 she left on her last journey. Embarked aboard her were 132 officers and 588 soldiers of the 12th Bersaglieri Regiment, 405 German soldiers and 441 tons of cargo. On January 23rd the convoy came under air attack despite the presence of an aerial escort of 12 Ju 88s. Victoria was torpedoed at 6:45 PM and started to list. She lasted until 3:00 AM on January 24th. Of the 1400 embarked, passengers and crew, 1046 were rescued.

Victoria Italian Troop Transport

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