The Californian's Collision w the Aquitania


Sep 22, 2003
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Coatesville, PA
I found this little tidbit of information while looking through my Shipbuilder reprint for the Aquitania (Ocean Liners of the Past: vol 3). according to while the Aquitania was leaving port on 8/14/1912 right after she had finished being converted to an armed merchant cruiser she was involved in a collision w/ the Leyland Line's Californian Which happened on the Aquitania's port side.

I'm currently looking for more info on this, if I find any I'll be sure to post it. or if any has any recomendations when it comes to published sources let me know please.
 

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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Hello, Jesse---

8/14/1912

1912 is two years early, no?

;-)

According to an article in The New York Times of 2 September 1914 it was Leyland's Canadian that collided with Aquitania in August 1914, and was then escorted a couple of hundred miles by Leyland's Devonian (ex-White Star Cretic).

Similar information appears in Shaum & Flayhart's Majesty at Sea, citing Lloyd's Casualty Report for 25 August; according to this, the two ships collided off the Old Head of Kinsale sometime between Aquitania's departure from Liverpool on 8 August and her return on 25 August. Although S&F write that "[l]ittle is known of this accident," they state that on her return Aquitania showed "heavy damage to her bow" and that Lloyds listed Canadian as having incurred considerable damage.

Nothing in either NYT or S&F about Californian.
 
Aug 8, 2007
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Canada
Hi Jesse, this is pure speculation on my part. My copy of "The Blue Riband of the Atlantic" by Tom Hughes has an advertising blurb on the back cover for the Ocean Liners of the Past reprint series which states that "the last three in the series [Empress of Britain, Normandie, Queen Mary] contain introductions and epilogues by Leslie Reade". While the Aquitania reprint does not expressly state who wrote the epilogue in which this error occurs, Leslie Reade is mentioned at the very end of the introduction to this book, in the "Acknowledgements for valuable assistance" paragraph. As Leslie Reade was well into his research for his own book on the Californian at the time this book was reprinted (1971), my hunch is that he also wrote the epilogue for this book, and he accidentally substituted "Californian" for "Canadian".
 

Mark Baber

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In his Aquitania book, Mark Chirnside quotes Aquitania's log entries for 22 August 1914 describing the collision with Canadian.
 

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