|Owner:||P&O Steam Navigation Co|
|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||Caird & Company, Greenock, Scotland|
|Fate:||Bought by the Admiralty in 1915 and converted into an armed merchant cruiser.|
|Port of registry:|
|Fate:||Torpedoed and sunk 23 May 1918. 56 soldiers from the USA died.|
|Class and type:||P&O M-class passenger liner|
|Length:||520 ft (160 m)|
|Beam:||58.3 ft (17.8 m)|
|Draught:||24.8 ft (7.6 m)|
|Installed power:||2 triple expansion steam engines|
|Speed:||18.5 knots (34.3 km/h)|
RMS Moldavia was a British passenger steamship of the early 20th century. She served as the Royal Navy armed merchant cruiser HMS Moldavia during World War I until sunk by an Imperial German Navy submarine in 1918.
Moldavia was built by Caird & Company of Greenock, Scotland for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Her yard number was 301 and she was launched on 28 March 1903. The completed ship was 520 ft (160 m) in length, a beam of 58.3 ft (17.8 m) and a draught of 24.8 ft (7.6 m). Her gross tonnage was 9,500. Coal bunkerage was 2,000 tons and cargo about 3,500 tons. Moldavia was built for 348 first and 166 saloon class passengers.
The British Admiralty purchased Moldavia in 1915 for Royal Navy service during World War I, when she was converted into an armed merchant cruiser and fitted with 6' guns before she was commissioned as HMS Moldavia.
During the Battle of Jutland at 8am on 1 June 1916 she is logged in a position of just to the north of Helsingborg, and by 8pm she has moved round to Jutland and joined the rear-guard of the British Fleet, moving in a two-point Zig Zag and reporting several challenges to British warships in the log on 1st and 2nd June 1916. For the following two weeks after Jutland she spent challenging and boarding merchant vessels in the North Sea, before returning to Loch Ewe on 16 June 1916.
Moldavia was later serving as a troopship and was carrying U.S. troops when she was sunk on 23 May 1918 off Beachy Head in the English Channel, by a single torpedo from the German Type UB III submarine SM UB-57. . Her sinking resulted in the deaths of 54 U.S. soldiers on board, and 1 further at Western Heights Military Hospital Dover 2 days later.
The vessel was added to the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986, 2017 No 147 and became a designated vessel on 3rd March 2017. The wreck site is protected and may be dived on a "look but don't touch basis". Nothing may be removed from the wreck and nobody may enter the vessel, as it is now a war grave. (see Statutory Instrument 2017 No.147 for detail)
- "SS Moldavia". Shipping Times. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
- Fletcher, R.A. (1910). The Building of Steel Ships page 293. Steam-ships. Sidgwick & Jackson. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
- "Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company / P&O Line". The Fleets. The Ships List. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
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