british New Zealand Shipping Co. Ltd. (Canadian-Australian Line) MV Rangitane (+1940)
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  Details  
 
general
nationality british
purpose transport
type ocean liner
propulsion motor vessel (diesel)
date built 1929
is nickname no
status
unknown
details
weight (tons) 16733  grt
dimensions 168.4 x 21.4 x 11.6 m
material steel
engine 2 x Oil engines, dual shaft
armament 1 x 5" gun, 1 x 3" gun, 2 x AA guns, depth charge thrower.
power 2180  n.h.p.
speed 16  knots
yard no. 522
call sign
GBWX  
GBWX
about the loss
cause lost gunfire - shelled
other reasons torpedo
date lost 27/11/1940  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.15rank: 643
about people
builder
John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank (Scotland)
engine by
John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank (Scotland)
owner
New Zealand Shipping Co. Ltd. (Canadian-Australian Line), London
captain Lionel Upton
no. of crew 201
no. of passengers 111
about the wreck
depth (m.)
orientation
protected
war grave
updates
entered by Allen Tony
entered 12/01/2010
last update Vleggeert Nico
last update 13/11/2012
 
  Position  
 
Allen Tony12/01/2010
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copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu
 
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Land Information New Zealand copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Chipchase Nick 
 
 copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu   
 
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  History  
 
Lettens Jan13/11/2012In the early hours of the morning on November 27, 1940, in poor visibility, the British ocean liner RANGITANE was attacked by raiders ORION and KOMET. Radio operators reported that the RANGITANE was transmitting distress calls, while she was ordered to immediately cease transmissions and to stop.

Continuing to transmit, she was shelled by both raiders and this time reporting that she was being attacked by two German warships.

The burning RANGITANE, trapped by the raiders finally surrendered. She had been badly damaged amidships, with her steering and lighting systems out of action. Five people, three passengers and two members of the crew, had lost their lives. ...

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Allen Tony12/01/2010Rangitane MV was a British Passenger Liner/refrigerated cargo motor vessel which was sunk by the German Raiders Orion and Komet on the 27th November 1940. Seven passengers and eight crew died.

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About Builders
 John Brown & Co. Ltd., Clydebank (Scotland)
One of the largest naval shipbuilders in the UK, John Brown produced both battleships and cruisers in quantity for the Royal Navy and approved foreign clients (Chile, Japan). Brown's was also noted for ocean liners of the largest size and speed, including the LUSITANIA, AQUITANIA, QUEEN MARY, and both QUEEN ELIZABETHs for the Cunard Line. The company had its own steelworks in Sheffield and shipyard in Clydebank, a city actually named for its shipyard, near Dalmuir on the Clyde. At peak workforce before WWI the works directly employed over 10,000 men. In the midst of this prewar arms race and prosperity in 1907, the company issued a commemorative volume on the completion of the LUSITANIA. Not content to tout the ship herself, the company produced an impressive brag piece for the yard -- our source for many of the photos here reproduced. Notable warships built at the yard included the Japanese battleship ASAHI, the British battleships HINDUSTAN, AFRICA, and VALIANT (QE class), and the battlecruisers TIGER, REPULSE, INDEFATIGABLE, and HOOD. In 1971 Browns was sold to Marathon Oil. The shipyard remained in service to the North Sea oil industry before being closed by a successor company; the site was demolished in 2002. It is now the site of Clydebank Community College; a few of the original buildings and the giant Titan crane remain in the midst of a bulldozed wasteland. The engineering arm of John Brown continues (after several bouts of acquisition) as John Brown Engineering Gas Turbines Ltd, E. Kilbride, UK.

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  History  
 
Lettens Jan13/11/2012In the early hours of the morning on November 27, 1940, in poor visibility, the British ocean liner RANGITANE was attacked by raiders ORION and KOMET. Radio operators reported that the RANGITANE was transmitting distress calls, while she was ordered to immediately cease transmissions and to stop.

Continuing to transmit, she was shelled by both raiders and this time reporting that she was being attacked by two German warships.

The burning RANGITANE, trapped by the raiders finally surrendered. She had been badly damaged amidships, with her steering and lighting systems out of action. Five people, three passengers and two members of the crew, had lost their lives.

RANGITANE was on her way from Auckland to Liverpool via the Panama Canal, with a crew of 192 and 111 passengers, 36 of whom were women.

RANGITANE carried 45 bars of silver, 124,881 cases of butter, 33,255 cases of frozen pork and mutton, 23,646 cases of cheese, as well as large quantities of cocoa beans and other foodstuffs.

Some prisoners were transferred to the Kulmerland, which now had thirty-nine women and five children on board, while military passengers and ships companies were transferred from the supply ship and the Orion, to the Komet.

As RANGITANE's distress signals had been picked up and re-transmitted to Australian and New Zealand naval units, it quickly became clear from intercepted radio traffic, that both warships and aircraft were rushing to the scene.

So unfortunately for the German prize crews, there was just enough time to transfer the passengers and crew before the burning and slowly sinking liner and her valuable and tempting cargo, had to be sent to the bottom.

With her sea cocks opened, she listed slightly, but, showing no signs of going down, a torpedo was fired from the Komet, which opened a large hole in her side, causing her to capsize and sink.

After this, the three German ships KOMET, ORION and KULMERLAND left the scene at top speed to the northeast and the island of Nauru.

Note:

With an armoured bridge and wheelhouse, a 127mm gun, and a 75mm mounted on her stern, several light flak weapons mounted, a depth-charge launcher, RANGITANE was better equipped than both of her attackers.

Despite all of this, and her undoubtedly superior speed, her captain had made no serious effort to defend his ship in any way.
 
 
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