User:KDS4444/SS Silesia

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100x28px|Flag of the HAPAG LineNorth German Confederation
Name: SS Silesia
Operator: Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt Actien Gesellschaft (HAPAG)
Port of registry: North German Confederation (1866-1871) and the German Empire (1871-1918)]]
Route: Hamburg, Germany/ Harvre, France to New York, United States
Builder: Caird & Co.
Launched: 14 April 1869
Christened: SS Silesia
Maiden voyage: 23 June 1869
Out of service: 1899
Renamed: Pacifica (1887), Citta di Napoli (1888), Montevideo (1891)
Refit: 1877, compound engines
Fate: Transferred to Great Britain
Great Britain
Name: SS Pacifica
Acquired: 1887
Fate: Transferred to Italy
Name: Citta di Napoli
Owner: Fratelli Lavarello
Acquired: 1888
Fate: Acquired by new Italian owner
Name: Montevideo
Owner: La Veloce Line
Acquired: 1891
Homeport: Genoa
Fate: Wrecked off Lobos Island on the River Plate in Uruguay, then sold for scrap
General characteristics
Class and type: Hammonia
Tonnage: 3,142
Length: 361 feet (110 m)
Beam: 46 feet (14 m)
Propulsion: Steam expansion (screw) and two masts
Sail plan: Square rigged on both fore and main masts
Speed: 12 knots (13.8mph/22.2kph
Capacity: 600 passengers
Armament: Unarmed

The SS Silesia was a late 19th century HAPAG passenger and cargo ship which traveled between the European ports of Hamburg, Germany and Havre, France to Ellis Island, New York transporting European immigrants, primarily Russian, Prussian, Hungarian, German, Austrian, Italian, and Danish individuals and families. Most passengers on this route were manual laborers, including stonecutters, locksmiths, farmers, millers, upholsterers, confectioners, and tailors, though physicians and other professionals also bought passage on her.[1]


Built by Caird & Co, the Silesia, along with the SS Germania (I) (1863), SS Germania (II) (1870), SS Frisia (1872), SS Pomerania (1873), SS Hamonia (I) (1855), and SS Hammonia (II) (1866), was a Hammonia class vessel. Some sources report her as being 340 feet (100 m) in length and 40 feet (12 m) from side to side[2] though other contemporary sources report her as somewhat larger.[3] With both a steam engine and a set of traditional masts, she comprised one of a brief but large class of "transitional" (wind-to-steam) vessels. Like many of these ships, the Silesia had a steel hull, two masts, and one steam chimney (called a "funnel"). Her two engines drove a single ten-foot screw with 2,200 horsepower making 54 revolutions per minute. Twelve men shoveling coal continuously from her four coal bunkers kept her engines running around the clock, consuming 75 of her 1,100-ton capacity of coal per day. All of the steam generated in her boilers was recovered and reused during any given length of her journey. The smoke from the burning of coal quickly blackened many of her sails, which ran as follows: on her foremast she had two staysails (a fore staysail and a fore topmast staysail), a course, topsail, and topgallant sail; and on her mainmast, the equivalent five sails (a staysail, topmast staysail, course, topsail, and topgallant sail) plus a spanker for a combined total of eleven sails.[3]


Her maiden voyage from Hamburg to Havre and on to New York departed on 23 June 1869. Her last voyage on this route began on 24 February 1875. After this she was fitted with a compound engine and supposedly began sailing the route from Hamburg to the West Indies, though passenger manifests continue to show her bringing immigrants to New York for many more years.[4] Accounts then differ as to the path of her ownership, with some sources claiming she was she was given to W.G. Armstrong & Mitchell Company in 1887 before being sold to the H.F. Swan Company who renamed her Pacifica, then in 1888 sold to A. Albini of Genoa, then in 1889 sold to Fratelli Lavarello, also of Genoa, and renamed Citta di Napoli, then in 1890 sold to the La Veloce Line, again of Genoa, and renamed Montevideo.[5] Others record that once refitted she went to an unnamed British firm, then to an Italian company called Solari & Schiaffino, then year after that sold to Fratelli Lavarello, and then In 1891 sold to La Veloce.[6] Sources agree, however, that on 2 December 1899, she ran aground near the island of Lobos in the River Plate between Uruguay and Argentina and was eventually sold for scrap metal.

SS Silesia is also the designation of an unrelated Swedish cargo vessel built in 1923 and sunk by U-36 off the Norwegian coast near Stavanger on 25 November 1939. [7][8]

SS Silesia is also the designation of a Chinese vessel sequestered by the Italian government in 1920.


  1. ^ National Archives and Records Administration Film M237, Reel 462
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "The steamship Silesia", The Plantation, Atlanta, Georgia: Plantation Pub. (11), p. 167, 2 April 1870, OCLC 8464853, retrieved 11 June 2011  Unknown parameter |Volume= ignored (|volume= suggested) (help)
  4. ^ National Archives and Records Administration, Film M237, Reel 446
  5. ^
  6. ^ Bonsor, N.R.P. (1975). North Atlantic seaway: an illustrated history of the passenger services linking the Old World with the New in four volumes. 1 (Enlarged and revised ed.). New York: Arco Publishing. p. 390. ISBN 978-0668036795. OCLC 1891992. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Fairplay: weekly shipping journal. London: Fairplay Publications (152): 472. 1939.  Missing or empty |title= (help)