MV Christiaan Huygens

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COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Ms. Christiaan Huygens TMnr 60047097.jpg
History
Name: Christiaan Huygens
Namesake: Christiaan Huygens
Owner: Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland
Operator:
  • Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland
  • Orient Line (WWII)
Port of registry:
  • Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands (1927–40)
  • Netherlands Batavia, Netherlands (1940–44)[Note 1]
  • Netherlands Willemstad, Netherlands (1944–45)[Note 2]
Route: Amsterdam – Batavia (1928–39)
Builder: Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Maatschappij
Yard number: 186
Launched: 28 September 1927
Completed: January 1928
Maiden voyage: 28 February 1928
Out of service: 26 August 1945
Identification:
  • Code Letters NJWV (1927-34)
  • ICS November.svgICS Juliet.svgICS Whiskey.svgICS Bravo.svg
  • Code Letters PDKD (1934-45)
  • ICS Papa.svgICS Delta.svgICS Kilo.svgICS Delta.svg
Fate: Struck mine and broke in two.
General characteristics
Class and type: Ocean liner / troopship
Tonnage: 15,704 GRT, 9,319 NRT
Length: 168.05 metres (551 ft 4 in)
Beam: 20.93 metres (68 ft 8 in)
Draught: 12.12 metres (39 ft 9 in)
Depth: 11.02 metres (36 ft 2 in)
Installed power: Diesel engines
Propulsion: Screw propellers
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h)
Capacity: 638 passengers or 3,178 troops
Crew: 230

Christiaan Huygens was a Dutch ocean liner that was built in 1927 by the Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Maatschappij for the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland. She was employed on the AmsterdamBatavia route until the outbreak of the Second World War. Requisitioned as a troopship, she was employed in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. Surviving the end of the war in Europe, she struck a mine in the Scheldt on 26 August 1945 and was beached. She broke in two on 5 September and was declared a total loss.

Description[edit]

The ship was 168.05 metres (551 ft 4 in) long, with a beam of 20.22 metres (66 ft 4 in). She had a depth of 20.22 metres (66 ft 4 in)[1] and a draught of 12.12 metres (39 ft 9 in). The ship was powered by two ten-cylinder two-stroke Single Cycle Single Action diesel engines,[2] They were rated at 2,490 nhp,[1] 5,800 bhp. Each engine drove a single screw propeller, giving the ship a speed of 16 knots (30 km/h).[2] The engines were built by Sulzer Brothers, Winterthur, Switzerland.[1] They were model 10ST68 engines. Her auxiliary engines were three Sulzer 5S38 and a Sulzer 6RKH30 diesel engine, together rated at 2,250 bhp. Accommodation for 638 passengers was provided.[2] She had a crew of 230.[3]

History[edit]

Christiaan Huygens was built as yard number 186 by the Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Maatschappij, Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands for Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland.[2] She was launched on 28 September 1927 and completed in January 1928.[4] Her port of registry was Amsterdam and the code letters NJWV were allocated.[1] In 1934, her code letters were changed to PDKD.[5]

Christiaan Huygens completed her sea trials on 28 January 1928.[6] She departed from Amsterdam on her maiden voyage on 28 February, bound for Batavia, Netherlands East Indies. She called at Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom on 1 March.[3] She arrived at Batavia on 30 March, a day ahead of schedule. She departed for Amsterdam on 18 April, arriving on 18 May, also a day ahead of schedule. On a voyage in November 1928, she arrived at Amsterdam three days ahead of schedule.[2] On 13 August 1933, the Norwegian cargo ship Fernglen ran aground south of Cape Guardafui, Italian Somaliland. Christiaan Huygens was one of the vessels that went to her aid.[7]

With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, Christiaan Huygens' route was altered, running between Genoa, Italy and Batavia.[8] In 1940, her port of registry was changed to Batavia.[9] She was placed under the management of the Orient Line and served as a troopship.[2] Carrying 1,290 troops, Christiaan Huygens sailed from Fremantle, Western Australia on 22 September with Convoy US 5, arriving at Suez, Egypt on 12 October.[10] She sailed from Suez on 28 October 1940 as a member of Convoy SW 2A, which dispersed off Aden on 1 November. Her destination was Bombay, India.[11] Christiaan Huygens departed from Bombay on 12 November with Convoy BN 8A, which arrived at Suez on 23 November.[12] She then joined Convoy BN 9A, which sailed on 30 November and dispersed off her destination of Aden on 5 December.[13]

Christiaan Huygens then sailed to Colombo, Ceylon, from where she departed on 16 January 1941 with Convoy US 8, which arrived at Suez on 28 January.[14] She departed on 17 February as a member of Convoy BSF 2, which dispersed at sea on 22 February.[15] On 5 April, she joined Convoy SL 70, which had departed from Freetown, Sierra Leone on 29 March. At the time, she was carrying maize and personnel. She detached from the convoy on 20 April.[16] Christiaan Huygens later reached the River Clyde, United Kingdom. Carrying 1,592 troops, she sailed from the Clyde on 22 May 1941 as a member of Convoy WS 8B. The convoy arrived at Freetown on 4 June.[17] She sailed 20 June and joined Convoy WS 9A,[2] which had departed from Oversay, Renfrewshire, United Kingdom on 3 June.[18] She left the convoy at Durban, South Africa.[2] Her movements are unknown until 13 November 1941, when she departed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada as a member of Convoy TC 15, which arrived at the Clyde on 21 November.[19]

Carrying 1,575 troops, Christaan Huygens sailed on 12 January 1942 as part of Convoy WS 15.[20] On 16 January,[2] Llangibby Castle was attacked by U-402 and damaged. The convoy arrived at Freetown on 25 January.[20] Having called at Cape Town, South Africa, the convoy reached Durban on 13 February.[2] Carrying 1,475 troops, Christiaan Huygens departed on 19 February as part of Convoy DM 3.[21] The convoy was bound for Singapore, but during the voyage Singapore fell to the Japanese. The convoy's destination was changed, first to Batavia, then to Colombo and finally to Bombay as the Japanese advanced across south east Asia.[2] The convoy arrived at Bombay on 6 March.[21] Christiaan Huygens subsequently returned to the Clyde. Carrying 2,670 troops, she departed on 1 June with Convoy WS 19P, arriving at Freetown on 15 June.[22] She then joined Coonvoy WS 19PA, which formed at sea on 17 July and dispersed off Aden on 26 July.[23] Her movements are unknown until 14 November, when Christiaan Huygens departed from the Clyde with Convoy KMF 3, which arrived at Algiers, Algeria on 23 November.[24] She returned with Convoy MKF 3, which sailed that day and arrived at the Clyde on 3 December.[25]

Christiaan Huygens was a member of Convoy WS 27, which departed from Liverpool, Lancashire, United Kingdom on 24 February 1943 and arrived at Freetown on 8 March.[26] She subsequently sailed to Aden, from where she departed on 30 March with Convoy MC 6, which arrived at Durban on 13 April.[27] She sailed on 25 April as a member of Convoy CM 41, arriving at Bombay on 11 May.[28] Her movements are unknown until 11 July when Christiaan Huygens sailed from Port Said with Convoy MWF 36 in support of Operation Husky. The convoy arrived at Sicily, Italy on 10 July.[29] Malta with Convoy MEF 36. On 13 July, she was in collision with the Polish troopship Batory. The convoy arrived at Port Said, Egypt on 15 July.[30] She then sailed to Algiers, from where she departed to join Convoy MKF 22, which had sailed from Port Said on 19 August and arrived at the Clyde on 9 September.[31] Christiaan Huygens sailed from the Clyde on 21 September with Convoy TU 2, which arrived at New York, United States on 30 September.[32] Carrying general cargo and troops, she sailed from New York on 29 December as a member of Convoy UT 6, arriving at the Clyde on 8 January 1944.[33]

In 1944, her port of registry was changed to Willemstad.[34] Carrying 1,837 troops, Christiaan Huygens departed from the Clyde on 15 January with Convoy KMF 28, which arrived at Port Said on 30 January. She left the convoy at Algiers.[35] Carrying 2,967 troops, she returned with Convoy MKF 28, which had departed from Port Said on 20 January and arrived at the Clyde on 2 February.[36] Carrying 2,637 troops, she departed from the Clyde on 29 March with Convoy KMF 30, arriving at Port Said on 12 April.[37] She then sailed to Oran, Algeria, from where she departed on 17 April as a member of Convoy NSF 20, which arrived at Naples, Italy on 20 April.[38] She departed the next day with Convoy SNF 20, arriving at Oran on 24 April.[39] Christiaan Huygens sailed with Convoy NSF 21 on 30 April, arriving back at Naples on 3 May.[40] She then sailed to Taranto, Ital. She departed with Convoy IXF 14 on 5 May for Port Said, where she arrived four days later.[41] A total of 2,499 personnel were embarked before she departed with Convoy MKF 31, which arrived at Liverpool on 29 May.[42] Christiaan Huygens sailed from the Clyde on 24 August as a member of Convoy KMF 34. She had 3,168 troops embarked. Her destination was Naples,[43] where 1,7416 troops embarked and 3,755 sacks of mail were loaded. She then sailed to join Convoy MKF 34, which had departed from Port Said on 3 September and arrived at Liverpool on 14 September.[44] Christiaan Huygens sailed with Convoy KMF 36 on 6 November. She was carrying 2,740 troops. The convoy arrived at Alexandria, Egypt on 19 November. She sailed on to her destination of Trincomalee, Ceylon.[45] From there, she sailed to Aden, from where she departed on 28 November as a member of Convoy ABF 6, which arrived at Bombay on 4 December.[46] Escorted by HMS Tyne, she detached from Convoy ABF 6 on 1 December. The two ships formed Convoy AJ 6, which arrived at Colombo on 5 December.[47] Forming Convoy JA 1 on her own, Christiaan Huygens departed from Colombo on 11 December and arrived at Aden on 17 December.[48] She then sailed to Gibraltar.[49]

Christiaan Huygens sailed with Convoy MKF 37 on 1 January 1945, arriving at Liverpool on 6 January.[49] Carrying 2,916 troops, she sailed with Convoy KMF 40 on 18 February, arriving at Gibraltar on 24 February.[50] She sailed on 6 March with Convoy MKF 40, which arrived at Liverpool on 12 March.[51] She then sailed to the Clyde to join her final convoy, KMF 43. Carrying 2,658 troops, she sailed on 17 April and arrived at Gibraltar on 23 April. Her final destination was Bombay.[52] On 26 August, while on the way from Antwerp to Rotterdam, she struck a mine in the Scheldt (51°37′N 03°17′E / 51.617°N 3.283°E / 51.617; 3.283) and was beached at the Zuid-Steenbank.[4] The ship broke in two on 6 September and was declared a total loss.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Registered under the Dutch flag although Batavia was then part of the Dutch colony Netherlands East Indies.
  2. ^ Registered under the Dutch flag, although Willemstad was then in the Dutch colony Territory of Curaçao.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lloyd's of London (1930). "Navires a Vapeur et a Moteurs" (PDF). Lloyds Register. Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "MV Christiaan Huygens (1928-1945)". Derby Sulzers. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Largest Dutch motor liner". The Times (44832). London. 3 March 1928. col C, p. 22. 
  4. ^ a b "Christiaan Huygens (5606881)"Paid subscription required. Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Lloyd's of London (1934). "Steamers and Motorships" (PDF). Lloyds Register. Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Memories of the JVO". SS Maritime. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Norwegian motor vessel ashore". The Times (46523). London. 15 August 1933. col G, p. 18. 
  8. ^ "Telegrams in Brief". The Times (48486). London. 12 December 1939. col G, p. 7. 
  9. ^ Lloyd's of London (1940). "Steamers and Motorships" (PDF). Lloyds Register. Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Convoy US.5". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Convoy SW.2A". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Military Convoy BN.8A". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Military Convoy BN.9A". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Convoy US.8". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "Convoy BSF.2". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "Convoy SL.70". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  17. ^ "Convoy WS.8B". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Convoy WS.9A". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "Convoy TC.15". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  20. ^ a b "Military Convoy WS.15". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "Convoy DM.3". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Convoy WS.19P". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  23. ^ "Convoy WS.19PA". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Convoy KMF.3". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "Convoy MKF.3". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  26. ^ "Convoy WS.27". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  27. ^ "Convoy MC.6". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  28. ^ "Convoy CM.41". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  29. ^ "Convoy MWF.36". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  30. ^ "Convoy MEF.15". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  31. ^ "Convoy MKF.22". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  32. ^ "Convoy TU.2". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  33. ^ "Convoy UT.6". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  34. ^ Lloyd's of London (1944). "Steamers and Motorships" (PDF). Lloyds Register. Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  35. ^ "Convoy KMF.28". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  36. ^ "Convoy MKF.28". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  37. ^ "Convoy KMF.30". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  38. ^ "Convoy NSF.20". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  39. ^ "Convoy SNF.20". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  40. ^ "Convoy NSF.21". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  41. ^ "Convoy IXF.14". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  42. ^ "Convoy MKF.31". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  43. ^ "Convoy KMF.34". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  44. ^ "Convoy MKF.34". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  45. ^ "Convoy KMF.36". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  46. ^ "Convoy ABF.6". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  47. ^ "Convoy AJ.6". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  48. ^ "Convoy JA.1". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  49. ^ a b "Convoy MKF.37". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  50. ^ "Convoy KMF.40". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  51. ^ "Convoy MKF.40". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  52. ^ "Convoy KMF.43". Convoyweb. Retrieved 23 August 2015.