Posting vignettes based on great postcards found in my mail box and elsewhere.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Europa on choppy seas

This is not the German luxury liner, Europa, of today. Rather it is the SS Europa, built in the late nineteen-twenties for the Norddeutsche Lloyd line. She was one of two transatlantic passenger ships built for the German company. Her sister ship was the Bremen.

Both ships were designed to have a cruising speed of 27.5 knots. The ships were capable of weekly crossings in an era that required three weeks. On her 1930 maiden voyage she crossed the Atlantic in four days, 17 hours and 6 minutes. In doing so, she won the westbound Blue Riband, a speed prize, from her sister ship, the Bremen. Curiously she captured the record twice both on eastbound runs but never on the westbound crossing.

In 1945, Europa was captured by the allies and used as a troopship, sailing as the USS Europa. After the war she was given to the French for war reparation. In 1946, she broke free of her moorings during a storm, collided with the wreck of the Paris and sank. She was eventually raised, renamed the Liberté, and began passenger service to New York in 1950. She was scrapped in 1962.

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