Monday, 26 September 2011

The Dutch auxiliary cruiser Tabanan of the Rotterdamsche Lloyd 1908-1930

This Dutch passenger ship was in the First World War fitted out as a auxiliary cruiser and in 1917 armed with 6-7.5cm Mo. 1 guns. It was the first and last time that an auxiliary cruiser was fitted out by the Dutch. She was part of a convoy towards the Dutch East Indies consisting of the passenger ships Noordam of the HAL, herself, the freighter Bengkalis and serving as a escort the ironclad Hertog Hendrik. She was commanded by captain A.F. Goossen. The convoy left Den Helder, Netherlands 5 July 1918, arriving in the evening of 26 September at Tandjong Priok. The Tabanan was decommissioned as auxiliary cruiser and returned in December that year with the other two merchant ship back to the Netherlands loaded with products from the Dutch East Indies. She took a Rumpler (U 1) plane with her to the Dutch East Indies which became there the first plane of the Navy Air Service. (1)

Radio call sign PHWD and international sign PTHR. She was built for the Rotterdamsche Lloyd at Flushing, Netherlands. Using local newspapers it’s possible to get a view of her building process. The Zierikzeesche Nieuwsbode dated 23 April 1907. At the moment were three ships building including the Tabanan. The same newspaper dated 10 March 1908 reported that she was to be launched 19 March by Prince Hendrik der Nederlanden. The Breskensche courant dated 11 March 1908 wrote that the launching was to be a day earlier. The Middelburgsche Courant and the Vlissingse Courant both dated 16 March claimed Thursday 19 March 13.15 o’clock. According to the Vlissingse Courant dated 20 March 1908 was she the 14th ship built there at the yard of the Kon. Maatschappij Schelde (building no. 127) for account of the Rotterdamsche Lloyd. Her main dimensions were 400’6” (between perpendiculars) x 49 x 23’(draught) and 29’9” hold below the main deck (dimensions in Dutch foot and inch). Capacity in tons of 2,83 cubic metres/100 cubic British foot gross 5,247 and net 3,256 tons. Total loading capacity included bunkers on summer mark in tons of 1,016 kg 5,400 tons. Permanently bunker capacity 1,092 tons of 1,016 kg. and a total cargo holds capacity  of 126,686 cubic British foot. Her displacement was 8.810 tons. The triple expansion engine provided 4.200 ihp allowing a speed of 14 knots. The two double boilers had a total heating surface of 11.580 square British foot. She had an accommodation for 77 first and 50 second class passengers. After being sold in 1930 she became the Turkish Ege and served until 1954.(2)

The archive card dealing with her building supplies much more details. The contract for her building was signed on 10 December 1906 although she was ordered earlier on 24 November. Her keel was laid down on the northern slip on 12 February 1907, in the thrushes on 23 October, plating fitted on 20 January 1908, launched on 19 March, trials while berthed on 10 July, left the yard on 1 August, official trials on 16 August and on 12 September begun her maiden voyage.Built within 20½ months. Contracted building costs ƒ 932.000 (hull)+ƒ 418.000=totally ƒ 1.350.000. The Dutch firm Mutters of The Hague was for ƒ 35.000 responsible for the decoration. On 24 July 1930 sold towards Turkey. On 25 February 1954 sold to Italy to be broken up. In 1909 fitted out with wireless telegraph device. Dimensions 122,07 (between perpendiculars)-126,08 (over all) x 14,94 x 7,01 and a hold of 6,60 (between decks)-11,51 (below bridge deck) metres or 400'6" x 413'8" x 49'0" x 23'0" and 21'8"-29'9". Tonnage 5.280 gross and 3.299 net tons. Deadweight 4.500 tons with a draught of 23'0"and a displacement of 2,945 (at launching with a draught of 7'8½" fore and 10'5" aft)-8.890(with a draught of 23'0")-9.252 tons (with a draught of 24'0"). Three decks. Drinking-water capacity 101 ton, feed water capacity 132 ton, ballast 446 tons of water and coal bunker capacity of 1.093 tons. Passenger accommodation 76-1st class, 58-2nd class and 30-3rd class. Three wood-built hatches and six watertight bulkheads. Triple expansion 3 cylinder engine which supplied 4.500 ihp at 70rpm. Two single and two doubled ended boilers.

1. L.L. von Munching, “1918: Konvooi naar Nederlands-Indië”, in the Dutch magazine Mars et Historia, 23e jaargang, May/June 1988, p. 74-78.

Order administration of the shipyard Kon.Mij. De Schelde at Flushing (Municipalty Archive Flushing, Netherlands)