SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse

1860

She was the largest and longest liner afloat and would have been the largest ever had it not been for of 1860.

In fact, her dimensions were similar to those of the 1860 Great Eastern, which was the largest ship of its time.

1871

Having gained more influence in Europe after William I, German Emperor, his grandfather, had created the German Empire in 1871, Emperor Wilhelm II wished to consolidate German influence on the sea and thus decrease that of the British.

1880

Trennheuser, Mattias Die innenarchitektonische Ausstattung deutscher Passagierschiffe zwischen 1880 und 1940.

1889

In 1889, the Emperor himself had attended a naval review in honour of the jubilee of his grandmother Queen Victoria.

1897

Kaiser Wilhelm der Gro├če) was a German transatlantic ocean liner named after Wilhelm I, German Emperor, the first monarch of the (second) German Empire. The liner was constructed in Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland) for the North German Lloyd (NDL), and entered service in 1897.

She was built with decks strengthened to mount eight guns, four guns, and fourteen machine guns; although fewer and smaller guns were actually mounted in her ultimate wartime conversion. The launching of the ship took place on 4 May 1897 in the presence of the Imperial family; it was the emperor who baptised the ship whose name honoured his grandfather Emperor William I, "the Great".

The most striking feature of Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse was her four funnels, the first ship ever to sport such a quartet, which for the next two decades would be a symbol of size and safety. === Career === Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse set out on her maiden voyage on 19 September 1897, travelling from Bremerhaven to Southampton and thence to New York.

1898

In March 1898, she successfully gained the Blue Riband with an average crossing speed of , thus establishing the new German competitiveness.

1900

Quickly established on the Atlantic, she gained the Blue Riband for Germany, a notable prize for the fastest trip from Europe to America which had been previously dominated by the British. In 1900, she was damaged in a massive and lethal multi-ship fire in the port of New York.

However, the NDL soon lost the riband in 1900 to the new German superliner, of the Hamburg America Line.

In June 1900 at her quay in Hoboken, New Jersey, she was the victim of a fire which killed one hundred staff who were trying to remove the threat as the ship was towed to safety in the Hudson River.

She had only two uptake shafts from the boiler rooms, which each branched into two to connect to the four funnels—this design is the reason for the funnels being unequally spaced. Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse became the first liner to have a commercial wireless telegraphy system when the Marconi Company installed one in February 1900.

1903

It was the first liner to have four funnels and is considered to be the first "superliner." The first of four sister ships built between 1903 and 1907 by NDL (the others being , and SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie), she marked the beginning of a change in the way maritime supremacy was demonstrated in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. The ship began a new era in ocean travel and the novelty of having four funnels was quickly associated with size, strength, speed and above all luxury.

1901 saw the addition to their fleet of another four-funnel liner, named in honour of Crown Prince William, heir to the German throne, and they subsequently commissioned another two superliners, and of 1903 and 1907 respectively.

From 1903 to 1907 the Blue Riband was held by SS Kaiser Wilhelm II.

1906

She was also in a collision in the French port of Cherbourg in 1906.

Six years later, on 21 November 1906, she was the victim of a collision with , a British ship of the Royal Mail, in Cherbourg.

1907

It was the first liner to have four funnels and is considered to be the first "superliner." The first of four sister ships built between 1903 and 1907 by NDL (the others being , and SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie), she marked the beginning of a change in the way maritime supremacy was demonstrated in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. The ship began a new era in ocean travel and the novelty of having four funnels was quickly associated with size, strength, speed and above all luxury.

1901 saw the addition to their fleet of another four-funnel liner, named in honour of Crown Prince William, heir to the German throne, and they subsequently commissioned another two superliners, and of 1903 and 1907 respectively.

From 1903 to 1907 the Blue Riband was held by SS Kaiser Wilhelm II.

From 26 January 1907, she was charged with carrying passengers between the Mediterranean Sea and New York, effectively ending the public career of the first of the "four flyers". === First World War === From 1908, German naval captains had been receiving orders to make preparations in the event of a sudden war.

1908

From 26 January 1907, she was charged with carrying passengers between the Mediterranean Sea and New York, effectively ending the public career of the first of the "four flyers". === First World War === From 1908, German naval captains had been receiving orders to make preparations in the event of a sudden war.

1910

New York City mayor William Jay Gaynor was embarking on a European vacation when he was shot aboard the ship on 9 August 1910. To make matters worse, ever growing technological evolution of steamships soon made NDL's express steamers outdated.

1911

Cunard's and outmatched their German rivals in all fields, and when the future White Star's entered service in 1911, luxury on the high seas was taken one step further.

1913

As a result, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse was rebuilt in 1913 to carry third-class passengers only.

However, following her refit of 1913, her crew space was increased to 800.

1914

On August 4, 1914, Great Britain declared war on Germany after the Germans invaded Belgium and Luxembourg.

1940

Trennheuser, Mattias Die innenarchitektonische Ausstattung deutscher Passagierschiffe zwischen 1880 und 1940.

1952

Her wreck was discovered in 1952 and dismantled. == History == === Origins, conception and construction === At the end of the 19th century, the United Kingdom dominated maritime trade with the ocean liners of the principal maritime companies such as the Cunard and the White Star Line.

1984

Courier Dover Publications, 1984.

1987

Patrick Stephens, 1987.

1999

McGraw-Hill Professional, 1999.

2010

Hauschild-Verlag, Bremen 2010.

2013

The room also had columns and had its chairs fixed to the deck, a typical feature of ocean liners of the era. ==Wreck== On 6 September 2013 the Salam Association for the Protection of the Environment and Sustainable Development in Morocco filmed underwater footage of the wreck with the ship's name on the hull visible.

This was confirmed by the Moroccan Ministry of Culture on 8 October 2013. ==Notes and references== == Sources == Burgess.




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