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|Operator||1914–16: Royal Navy|
|Port of registry||Liverpool|
|Route||Liverpool – New York|
|Builder||John Brown & Company, Clydebank|
|Laid down||17 May 1904|
|Launched||21 February 1905|
|Maiden voyage||2 December 1905|
|Fate||Scrapped 1932 at Blyth|
|Tonnage||19,566 GRT, 9,250 NRT|
|Beam||72.2 ft (22.0 m)|
|Draught||33 ft 3 in (10.13 m)|
|Depth||40.0 ft (12.2 m)|
|Installed power||21,000 SHP|
|Speed||18 knots (33 km/h)|
|Sensors and |
|Notes||Sister ship: RMS Caronia|
RMS Carmania was a Cunard Line transatlantic steam turbine ocean liner. She was launched in 1905 and scrapped in 1932. In World War I she was first an armed merchant cruiser (AMC) and then a troop ship.
Carmania had three propellers, each driven by a Parsons steam turbine. A high-pressure turbine drove her centre shaft. Exhaust steam from the centre turbine powered a pair of low-pressure turbines that drove her port and starboard shafts.
Caronia, which was launched the year before, had twin propellers which were driven by quadruple-expansion engines. The essentially identical ships with the two different sets of engines was an opportunity to compare operations and clarify the advantages and disadvantages of turbine engines.
Another feature that differentiated the two liners was that Carmania had two tall forward deck ventilator cowls, which were absent on Caronia.
As built, Carmania had berths for 2,650 passengers: 300 first class, 350 second class, 1,000 third class and 1,000 steerage class. Her holds included 46,280 cubic feet (1,311 m3) refrigerated cargo space.
Carmania left Liverpool 2 December 1905 for her maiden voyage to New York arriving 10 December. She completed the voyage in 7 days, 9 hours and 31 minutes, averaging 15.97 knots (29.58 km/h) over the 2,835 nautical miles (5,250 km) route.
Carmania plied between Liverpool and New York from 1905 to 1910. In the spring of 1906 she took H. G. Wells to North America for the first time. He noted her size in a book about his travels, "This Carmania isn't the largest ship nor the finest, nor is to be the last. Greater ships are to follow and greater. The scale of size, the scale of power, the speed and dimensions of things about us alter remorselessly—to some limit we cannot at present descry".
In June 1910 in Liverpool Carmania suffered a major fire in her passenger accommodation. Her structure and machinery were undamaged, and repairs were completed by 4 October.
On an eastbound crossing in October 1913 Carmania answered a distress signal from Volturno to pick up survivors in a storm, which resulted in many awards for gallantry being presented to various members of her crew and Captain James Clayton Barr.
In August 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, Carmania was converted into an AMC, armed with eight QF 4.7 inch Mk V naval guns. She was commissioned as HMS Carmania, with the pennant number M 55.
Commanded by Captain Noel Grant she sailed from Liverpool to Shell Bay in Bermuda. On 14 September 1914 she engaged and sank the German merchant cruiser SMS Cap Trafalgar in the Battle of Trindade. At the time Cap Trafalgar's appearance had been altered to resemble Carmania. Carmania suffered extensive damage and several casualties to her crew.
After repairs in Gibraltar, she patrolled the coast of Portugal and the Atlantic islands for the next two years. In 1916 she assisted in the Gallipoli campaign. From July 1916 she was a troop ship. After the war she took Canadian troops home from Europe.
By 1919 she had returned to passenger liner service. In 1923 Cunard had her refitted as a cabin class ship, with her total accommodation reduced from 2,650 berths to 1,440. Caronia was similarly refitted, and the two sisters kept busy until the shipping slump caused by the Great Depression after 1929. By 1930 Carmania's navigational equipment included submarine signalling and wireless direction finding.
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- "Steamers & Motorships". Lloyd's Register (PDF). London: Lloyd's Register. 1930. Retrieved 22 December 2020 – via Plimsoll Ship Data.
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- "Capt. Barr Cites Log On Volturno. Says Carmania's Part in Rescue Work Was Misrepresented in English Reports". The New York Times. 27 October 1913. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
The Cunard liner Carmania arrived yesterday from Liverpool with forty-three survivors from the Volturno, including twenty-two women and children who had been rescued by the Leyland steamship Devonian and landed at Liverpool.
- Howard Stagg; Naval Enthusiast (eds.). "HMS CARMANIA – August 1914 to May 1916, British waters, Central Atlantic, Carmania v Cap Trafalgar single ship action, Mediterranean". Royal Navy Log Books of the World War 1 Era. Naval History.Net. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
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- Wilson 1956, p. 42.
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