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Built 1916

Tonnage: 5,618 / 9,475 tons 

Cargo: 5,600 tons of coal, war stores and 3 aircrafts

Route:  UK - Table Bay - Alexandria

Sunk 14 MAY 41 by Raider Atlantis on pos. 19º 30"S 04º 03"E

9 Dead

47 Survivors

During loading at Liverpool large glass bottles of sulphuric acid were stowed as deck cargo on the after deck. The crew complained bitterly about this, as being highly dangerous as the bottles could be burst open, should we meet with enemy action causing severe danger to all personnel on board. Unfortunately we were totally ignored by the ruling authorities. Rabaul departed from Newport independent and unescorted.

The ship was captured at night when illuminated by searchlights refused to stop and was severely damaged by the Atlantis artillery. Her captain had no option but to stop and being searched whilst the crew hastily lowered the boats and boarded the Atlantis. Rabaul attempted evasive action during this confrontation, but was no match against the speed and armament of a top sophisticated and equipped German Surface Raider.

Ninety six-inch shells ripped into the ship before being sunk, after refusing to stop for a boarding party to take over the ship as directed by Atlantis. During the shelling of Rabaul all the bottles of sulphuric acid were smashed and the after deck was awash with acid.



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