SS Ypiranga

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Career (Germany)
Name: Ypiranga
Owner: Hamburg-America Line (Hapag)
Operator: Hamburg-America Line (Hapag)
Port of registry: Hamburg German Empire
Builder: Germania Werft
Launched: May, 3rd 1908
Christened: May, 3rd 1908
Completed: October 14, 1908
Maiden voyage: October 14, 1908
Fate: Transferred to United Kingdom
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: Assyria
Owner: Anchor Line
Operator: Anchor Line
Port of registry: Liverpool British Red Ensign
Route: Transatlantic route
Maiden voyage: 1921
Fate: Sold to Companhia Colonial de Navegação
Career (Portugal)
Name: Colonial
Owner: Companhia Colonial de Navegação
Operator: Companhia Colonial de Navegação
Port of registry: Lisbon Flag of Portugal.svg
Route: LisbonMozambique
Maiden voyage: 1929
Fate: Sold to British Iron & Steel Corporation
Status: Stranded near Campbeltown
General characteristics
Type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 8,103 gross register tons
Length: 138.2 m (453 ft)
Beam: 16.76 m (55.0 ft)
Draft: 9.07 m (29.8 ft)
Installed power: 4 800 hp driving two propellers
Propulsion: Quadruple expansion steam engines
Capacity: 1311 passengers
Crew: 136 crew

S.S. Ypiranga was a German-registered cargo-steamer owned and operated by Hamburg-America Line (now Hapag-Lloyd AG[1]) shipping company. It was built in 1908 by Germania Werft and was 448.4’ x 55.3’, and measured 8,142 gross register tons.[2] After launching, the Ypiranga was found to be notoriously unsteady at sea. This was remedied by installing two water tanks near the fore and after masts on the upper deck, connected by a flying bridge. The flow of water between the tanks, controlled by regulating the movement of the air in the side branches, served to steady the ship in rough water, and she gained the reputation of being particularly steady after installation. Her sister ship "Corcovada" was similarly outfitted.[3]

In September 1910, Ypiranga carried the German crews from the battleships SMS Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm and Weissenburg back from the Ottoman Empire, after the ships had been sold to the Ottoman Navy.[4]

The ousted Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz, accompanied by his family, boarded Ypiranga at the docks of Veacruz, on Wednesday, May 31, 1911, toward Europe. He went into exile in France.

Ypiranga’s 26th voyage in April 1914 was its most notable; from Hamburg to the Mexican port of Veracruz, where it was fined by the U.S. for delivering arms and ammunition to the government of Victoriano Huerta in an event coined the "Ypiranga Incident".[5]

The Ypiranga served until 1919 when it was ceded to Britain as war reparations and placed under White Line Management. In 1921 Anchor Line assumed control of the ship and renamed it Assyria; it was used in their Bombay run. A Portuguese company purchased the ship in 1929 and renamed it Colonial for use in their Lisbon-Mozambique/Angola run. In 1950 there were plans to scrap the ship, but during the trip it broke free of its tug and wrecked near Campbeltown.[6][7]

Deck shot of the SS Ypiranga showing the anti-rolling tanks to the left of the officer


  1. ^ "About us". Hapag-Lloyd.
  2. ^ "S/S Ypiranga, HamburgAmericaLine". Norway Heritage.
  3. ^ "Anti-Rolling Tank of 12,600-Ton Liner". Popular Mechanics Magazine. November 1911. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  4. ^ Hildebrand Röhr & Steinmetz, p. 191
  5. ^ Michael C. Meyer, "The Arms of the Ypiranga," The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 50, No. 3 (Aug., 1970), pp. 543-556 Published by: Duke University Press
  6. ^ "Hamburg-American Line". The Ships List.
  7. ^ "ypiranga".


  • Hildebrand, Hans H.; Röhr, Albert; Steinmetz, Hans-Otto (1993). Die Deutschen Kriegsschiffe (Volume 5). Ratingen, DE: Mundus Verlag. ASIN B003VHSRKE.