SS Cap Polonio

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Alfred Jensen - Die Cap Polonio auf hoher See.jpg
Cap Polonio
Name: Cap Polonio
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg (Germany)
Fate: Scrapped 1935
General characteristics
Tonnage: 20,576 gross tons (GRT)
Displacement: 24,500 tons[1]
Length: 201.8 m (662 ft)
Beam: 22.1 m (73 ft)
Draught: 8.4 m (28 ft)
Propulsion: Steam triple expansion engines
Speed: 17 knots
Range: 7,000nm at 15kn
Endurance: 19 days
Cap Polonio of the Hamburg-South America Line

The steam ship Cap Polonio was a German transatlantic ocean liner of the early 20th century. She served briefly in World War I as the auxiliary cruiser SMS Vineta.


Cap Polonio was constructed in Hamburg by Blohm & Voss for the Hamburg-South America Line, she was launched in 1914 and named for Cabo Polonio in Uruguay.

With the outbreak of war, she was requisitioned by the Imperial German Navy with the prior agreement of the owners for conversion as an auxiliary cruiser. Essential civilian work was completed and she was armed with four 150mm and four 88mm quick-firing guns. In February 1915 this work was completed and on 6 February 1915 she was commissioned as SMS Vineta,[2] being named for the mythical city of that name. However, trials were unsatisfactory; She was expected to achieve a top speed of 17 knots, but was unable to reach this. Also by this time the first phase of the war on commerce was over; the fast passenger liners taken up by the IGN had proved impractical in light of their prodigious need for coal while operating. With a coal consumption of 250 tons per day her maximum endurance at sea was less than three weeks,[3] while even her forecast speed was less than many British warships, In light of this Vineta was handed back to her owners.

As Cap Polonio she remained blockaded at Hamburg and at the end of the war was seized by the Allies as war reparations. She was transferred to the British Union Castle Line for service to South Africa. In this role she was also unsatisfactory, as her engines were found to be deficient. After passing though a number of owners, Cap Polonio was scrapped in 1935.


  1. ^ Schmalenbach p48
  2. ^ Scmalenbach p71
  3. ^ Scmalenbach p47


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