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The Rugendas Letters:
Johann Moritz Rugendas’
First Voyage to Brazil
The Sections of Cap Trafalgar
The First Prussian Maritime Atlas
Sunk in spite of Non-Smoking Winter Garden ,
Red Carpet & Striped Walls :
The Sections of Cap Trafalgar of Hamburg-South
Cap Trafalgar – Ship No. 334 (= SMS Cap Trafalgar). Longitudinal section and 8 deck plans in the scale of 1 : 200. (Hamburg, AG Vulcan, 1913.)
(11 × 27⅜-37⅜ and 16⅛ × 36¾ in [28 × 69.5-95 and 41 × 93.3 cm] resp.), mounted on cloth and folded repeatedly. Bound in h. cloth blotter with title plate (11⅝ × 4¾ in [29.5 × 12 cm]).
Individual areas marked by color as indicated in the legend for the execution by the firms Friese (dining saloons, winter garden, smoking rooms, staircase, staterooms), Kaymann and Fittje & Michahelles (cabins of Ist Deck on portside and starboard resp.), Möhl (gym) as well as Gebr. Reckliess for the captain’s rooms. By this not least
documenting the cooperation
of most various companies in ship building
already for a rather small part of the furnishing. – All designations in German.
The room designations for promenade deck to IInd deck in black ink supplemented by different hand in red ink by the respectively wanted furnishing as for instance “passenger cabins all red carpet”, which then nevertheless was varied cabin-wise in green, blue or even lilac. Likewise different woods – mahogany, ash, cherry & walnut – were to be used for the cabins and the walls kept in various colors uni-colored or striped. Furthermore several additions in pencil, mostly with regard to the teak deck. – At the cloth back of plate V 3-line note in pencil by a craftsman (i. a. “1 step-ladder / 1 ladder”) as well as, below, by later hand in blue ball-pen name of ship and shipyard together with build number, year, and measures. – A slight touch of soiling of the cloth at three folds and isolated narrow dog’s ears aside irrespective of indubitable use of very fine freshness.
the new ship was put into service the other year by the Hamburg-South America Steamship Company as Cap Trafalgar on the South America route to Brazil and Argentina. With 18710 GRT at 613 ft length, 72 ft beam, and 30 ft draft, she reached, driven by two triple-expansion steam engines, 17 knots. 400 passengers could be accommodated in the first class, 275 in the second, and 900 in the third.
At the beginning of the war in August 1914 moored in Uruguay
Cap Trafalgar was immediately requisitioned for the Imperial Navy in correspondence with the plans for the case of war and all passengers as well as non-essential crew disembarked and left neutral Montevideo as Hilfskreuzer B to rendezvous at sea the gunboat SMS Eber to take over her arms – two 4.1 inch guns as well as six 1-pounder pom-poms – together with trained navy personnel. Under now Lieutenant Commander Julius Wirth course was then set to Ilha de Trinidade 700 miles off the Brazilian coast, where the navy had set up a coal depot.
Discovered there on the morning of September 14 still before finishing coaling
by the about equal-sized, yet with eight 4 inch guns distinctly stronger armed British auxiliary cruiser H.M.S. Carmania, both ships steamed into the open sea to obtain sufficient maneuvering space for the inevitable battle. After about 90 minutes and severe damages on both sides – fires and water inrushes, on Carmania in addition the bridge destroyed – the battle was broken off by the German side and the boats lowered. 20 minutes later
Cap Trafalgar sank as supposedly first auxiliary cruiser sunk by another one ,
while the about 300 surviving members of the crew were rescued by the colliers – among which the Eleonore Woermann – and brought to Montevideo.
Carmania , however , in hardly better state
presumably escaped the same fate only because the captain of German auxiliary cruiser SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm, brought about by radio messages and always operating with greatest care anyway, since remaining without further information on the development of the battle did not want to expose his ship to the risk of an encounter with regular British units and turned about. So the other day Carmania could be escorted by British ships first into Pernambuco and remained, after repairs in Gibraltar, in service till the end of the war. 1920 she returned to passenger liner service for another 12 years.
Passenger steamships might be equipped with guns – it shall be left undecided, how long their structure would have withstood their use ultimately – , however, for serious confrontations even with just their equals they were hardly qualified for. Nevertheless this peculiar battle kept interest and imagination awake up to romantic treatment still in the ’70s as
“ The Ship that hunted itself ”
according to which Cap Trafalgar even was disguised as Carmania of the Cunard Line, this in turn, however, as Cap Trafalgar. However, for Cap Trafalgar also colors of other British lines are reported. Ascertained presumably only that during the voyage from Montevideo to Ilha de Trinidade she got a grey color and the third funnel, serving just as ventilator anyhow, was removed. Their number thus indeed corresponding to Carmania.
Built for the service on the South Atlantic route as one of those
as legendary as luxurious Hamburg-Süd steamships
the early end of Cap Trafalgar after anyhow only most shortest regular service as passenger liner makes present plans beyond the purely technical aspect inevitably
especially rare documents on the Cap Trafalgar
and imparts them with an additional charm and value .
Offer no. 28,929 / sold