Monday, 6 March 2017

Former Dutch steamship Gelria became Italian troop transport Gradisca according to the Dutch newspaper Soerabaijasch handelsblad dated 11 September 1935

An item reported that the crew of the Gelria (1) returned from Italy. Already underway towards Italy started the Italians on board with her conversion into a troop transport. At Genoa was the further conversion with a large number of labours in all haste completed. In the 2nd class saloon for instance were lines of 3 on top of each other ship cages made. The luxury cabins maintained for the officers. She was to depart the 12 towards East Africa.(2)

1. Built for account of the Dutch shipping company N.V. Koninklijke Hollandsche Lloyd by Alex Stephen&Sons, Linthouse in 1913. In 1934 chartered by Argentine merchants for a world tour. The next year sold to Italy and renamed Gradisca. In Italian service used as troop transport and hospital ship until she stranded in 1946 and broken up in 1950.
2. Italy was in war with Ethiopia between 3 October 1935-May 1936 ending in the Italian annexation. Ethiopia, Italian Eritrea and Italian Somaliland formed since 1936 Italian East Africa.