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Shipping Wonders of the World

Part 5



Part 5 of Shipping Wonders of the World was published on Tuesday 10th March 1936.

It was a standard issue of 32 pages.


It included a centre photogravure supplement featuring some Famous Ships, complementing the article on the RMS Empress of Britain.



The Cover

Many readers will have recognized the superb ship on the front cover this week. She is the Empress of Britain, specially flood-lit. There is a chapter fully describing her in the present part.


The cover was later reproduced as the colour plate in part 27 and formed the frontispiece to Volume 2.

RMS Empress of Britain


Contents of Part 5


Salute to a Hero

The Modern Ship’s Wireless

RMS Empress of Britain

Famous Ships (photogravure supplement)

“There She Blows!”

Battleships and Cruisers

The Large Home-Trade Coaster

Raising a 24,000-tons Ship






Salute to a Hero


Continuing the story of the most famous Q-ship officer, Gordon Campbell. Concluded from part 4

(pages 133-135)


”There She Blows!”


This is the traditional cry of the whaling men,who are among the hardiest of those who go down to the sea in ships. Margarine, perfume, leather and glycerin are important by-products of whales, which are this a link with modern civilization. The article is by Lieut.-Com. E. Keble Chatterton. There is a chapter on Pelagic Whaling in part 45.

(pages 151-156)



Battleships and Cruisers


Despite challenges to its supremacy from aircraft and submarines, the battleship continues to stand high in world-naval opinion, which still regards it as the central unit of the modern fleet. This is the second article in the series The Navy Goes to Work and was written by Hector Bywater.

(pages 157-161)


The Modern Ship’s Wireless


This chapter describes the main features of the powerful and sensitive equipment that keeps the vessel in constant touch with other ships and with the shore. The article was written by P. R. Bird.

(pages 136-140)




(Right) A wireless station is concealed in the dummy forward funnel of the Cunard White Star Liner Georgic. This ship is one of the largest motor vessels in the world, with a gross tonnage of 27,759. The lead-in cables from the main aerial can be seen in the upper right-hand corner of the picture. Above the funnel is the screened fixed-loop aerial for the direction-finder installed in the wireless cabin beneath. Port-holes provided in the funnel casing can be seen in the photograph.

wireless station on the GeorgicRMS Empress of Britain


Famous Ships


The photogravure supplement in this issue complemented the article on the Empress of Britain with four fine ship portraits.

(pages 147-150)



RMS Empress of Britain

A magnificent study of the Canadian Pacific liner Empress of Britain. This fine vessel of 42,348 gross tonnage was launched by HRH the Prince of Wales on June 11 1930. After the launch the vessel was towed to the fitting-out basin, where the completion proceeded swiftly. The vessel left the fitting-out basin in April 1931, and the entire construction and equipment of the Empress of Britain took fewer than two and a half years. In 1934 the ship made a record voyage from Quebec to Cherbourg in four days six hours fifty-eight minutes.






The Mauretania



Former Queen of the Ocean, RMS Mauretania, of the Cunard White Star Line. This world-famous ship of 30,695 gross tons, built in 1907, held the record for twenty years for the fastest Atlantic passage. In 1909 she accomplished the crossing from Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, in four days ten hours forty-one minutes. The record was taken from the great ship in 1929 by the German liner Bremen. The Mauretania, scrapped in 1935, could carry 520 first-class, 434 tourist class and 625 third-class passengers.



MauretaniaFarnborough


Q 5 Slowly Sinking


“Q 5 slowly sinking respectfully wishes you good-bye” was the message received by Admiral Bayly from Commander Campbell after Q 5’s successful engagement with U 83. But the gallant Farnborough did not sink; she was safely beached at Berehaven (Ireland), after which she went back to the merchant navy as a cargo-carrier.


(page 134)


RMS Empress of Britain


Outstanding as an engineering achievement and for the beauty of her lines, the Canadian Pacific Fleet’s flagship which links Great Britain with Canada is one of the finest modern luxury liners. Launched in 1930, the Empress of Britain, with a gross tonnage of 42,348, crossed the Atlantic from Quebec to Cherbourg in four days six hours and fifty-eight minutes, a splendid performance, and one of the fastest west to east runs on record.  This is the third article in the series The World’s Largest Ships, and it was written by F. E. Dean.

(pages 141-146)

RMS Empress of Britain

RMS Empress of Britain

Ready for sea. The Empress of Britain provides a splendid example of the powerful appearance of the modern transatlantic liner. With an overall length of 760 ft 6 in, a moulded breadth of 97 ft 6 in, and a total draught of 32 feet, the ship has a gross tonnage of 42,348. Her normal speed is 24½ knots, and the total number of persons she can carry is 1,909.


This British Pathe newsreel clip shows the Empress of Britain at sea (1931).

the Majestic




The Majestic


One of the largest ships afloat, the Majestic, owned by the Cunard White Star Line. This quadruple-screw vessel has a gross tonnage of 56,599, and a normal speed of 24 knots. Her length is 954 feet, breadth 100 feet, and depth from keel to boat deck 102 feet. Propulsion is by geared turbines, supplied from boilers fired by oil fuel. Her passenger capacity is 860 first-class, 676 tourist class and 626 third-class.


This British Pathe newsreel clip “The World’s Greatest Liner” shows the Majestic (previously called the Bismarck) leaving Germany for England to join the White Star Line.

Terra Nova




The Terra Nova



In an icefield, a superb illustration of the celebrated whaler Terra Nova. This vessel, built at Dundee in 1884, and registered at St John’s Newfoundland, has a gross tonnage of 764, a length of 187 feet, a breadth of 31.4 feet, and a depth of 19 feet. She was sent out as a relief ship to Scott’s Antarctic Expedition in 1904.



This British Pathe newsreel clip “The Return of the Terra Nova” shows the ship after her return to Cardiff in 1912-13.





HMS Queen Elizabeth



After the Naval Review of 1935


After the Naval Review at Spithead in the summer of 1935, King George V led his fleet into battle manoeuvres. This picture, taken from Royal Sovereign, shows Queen Elizabeth at the head of the battle line. As reconstructed, Queen Elizabeth has a length between perpendiculars of 600 feet, and a displacement of 31,100 tons. Her armament comprises eight 15 in guns, twelve 6 in, a number of smaller guns, and two submerged 21 in torpedo tubes.


(page 159)



This British Pathe newsreel clip “His Majesty in Command” shows the battle manoeuvres which followed the Naval Review of 1935.


The Large Home-Trade Coaster


As the outcome of a period of intense development in the British coastal trade in recent years new ships of all kinds have been built. The British Coast, is one of a special class. She was built for the Coast Lines seaway, between London and Liverpool, and makes calls at intermediate ports such as Southampton, Plymouth and Falmouth. Built by Henry Robb & Co, of Leith, she is a fast vessel. (Gross tonnage 889.) Cargo can be handled quickly, and she has comfortable accommodation for twelve passengers. This is the third article in the series on Merchant Ship Types.


(page 161)


Raising a 24,000 Ship


The Leonardo da Vinci, a £2,000,000 Italian battleship, blew up in the Bay of Taranto in 1916, turned turtle and sank, with a loss of 250 lives, in 36 feet of water. The recovery of the Leonardo da Vinci is a notable example of the salvage engineer’s skill. You can read more about this salvage in chapter VII of David Masters’ book The Wonders of Salvage.


The photograph shows men on the bottom of the upturned battleship, on January 24 1921, making last-moment preparations for righting her. An airship is circling overhead taking photographs to record the memorable occasion.


This is the second article in the series Dramas of Salvage and was written by David Masters. The article concludes in part 6.


(pages 162-164)

Leonardo da Vinci capsized