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 The Steamship “Danube”

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John Young

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PostSubject: The Steamship “Danube”   Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:14 pm

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The Steamship Danube
(John Young Collection.)

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Complete with deck plan on the reverse.
(John Young Collection.)

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A Passenger on the Danube
(John Young Collection.)

JY
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:32 pm

Nice one JY

agree
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Petty Officer Tom

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:07 pm

John,

Thank you for the photo and sketches.  R.M.S. Danube was one of 16 ships of the Union Steam Ships Company that provided service to South Africa.  On 27 February 1879 she left Southampton, under the command of Captain H.E. Draper, for South Africa.   Among her passengers was the Prince Imperial, as well as 2 companies of 3rd Battalion, 60th Regiment, comprised of 9 officers and 209 men.  After stopping off at Cape Town she continued on, arriving in Natal 31 Mar 1879.

Tom
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:26 pm

That's a nice little collection John. Do we imagine he "mucked in" in the multi bunk cabins or did he have something a little more "fitting" I wonder?

Steve Reinstadtler
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Petty Officer Tom

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:57 pm

Steve,

The “Hampshire Advertiser” for 1 March 1879, referring to the Prince’s accommodations aboard the Danube, wrote “He has three cabins on the port side, one of them being usually occupied by Captain Draper, who has given it up for the use of the Prince.”

Tom
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:08 pm

Thanks Tom - now why doesn't that surprise me! Just as a matter of interest did he speak English or French (rather in the manner of "Allo Allo").

Steve
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Petty Officer Tom

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:11 pm

Steve,

I am sure he spoke both English and French fluently.

Tom
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:16 pm

Steve,

There are some comments from his fellow cadets at Woolwich regarding his English pronunciation. In my presentation on the Prince Imperial I normally throw in the gendarme from ‘Allo, Allo’ as a comparison.

JY
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:25 pm

Classic! Good Moaning! I will zay zis only once!

Sorry Fred.

Steve
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90th

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PostSubject: The Steamship Danube    Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:24 am

Steve that's what we like , a little humour ! Joker Joker Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy . Great pics JY .
90th Salute
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barry

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PostSubject: ss Danube   Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:18 am

Hi Pot,

Do you have the technical specs for the Danube ?.
If so, was her draught such that she would clear the "bar" in Durban, or, would the passengers have to be disembarked offshore, via wicker baskets, on to lighters for transfer to shore when reaching Durban?.

regards

barry
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Petty Officer Tom

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:27 pm

barry,

“Danube” was ship of 2038 tons, 332 feet in length, with a beam of 34 feet 5 inches, and a speed of 12 knots.  I had previously read in the book “Port Natal: A Pioneer Story,” by Janie A Malherbe, that when the “Danube” arrived at Durban roads on 31 March 1879 the Union Steam Ship Company’s tug “Union” was sent out from the harbor to bring the Prince across the bar and deliver him at the Point.

Sorry, I could not find her draught.
 
Tom
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barry

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PostSubject: SS Danube   Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:09 pm

Hi Tom,
Thanks for that technical data on the SS Danube.
The sand bar across the Durban harbour entrance would only allow the smallest of seagoing vessels to pass over it and enter the inner harbor at high tide.  The tidal range at the entrance to the harbour was
.5 - 2.3m and permitted a person , in those years, to walk across the entrance from the Point to the Bluff side (south) in spring low conditions.
So, because of this, in those days the bigger ships stood offshore in front of todays Addington hospital, on the Point and discharged their cargo and passengers destined for the port, out there in the roadstead, at sea.
Along with the tug "Union", another small steel hulled steam tug was also used to transport the lighters from the ships offloading in the roadstead and this was the "Koodoo".
From anecdotes we learn with some amusement that the human contents of the wicker baskets, once swung over the side by means of the ships dericks, which action never failed to instil abject terror in the hearts of the very brave, and onto the deck of the pitching and rolling lighters alongside, were then for safety reasons, locked below decks on the lighter for their short onward  journey . This took them "over the bar", and then into the bay. The rough  seas off Durban can really heave, particularly when there is a 30km S Wester blowing with a 5m swell running  making safety  paramount, so this was a requirement.
However, these lighters were the original vomit comets and the stench below decks from previous passengers  was overbearing in the hot and humid Durban climate, causing the fresh batch of arriving passengers to add their contribution to the nauseating afluveum in the dank and dark bowels of the lighter.
This short part of the journey, from ship to shore, was by all accounts the most harrowing.

regards

barry
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PostSubject: Danubes machinery   Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:53 am

Hi POT,
Two more nautical questions which you may have answers to;

1) do you have any details of the Danubes's  machinery?

..and topical at the moment;

2)  details of Hale's rocket tubes fitted to RN vessels in the AZW era?

regards

barry
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Petty Officer Tom

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:00 pm

barry,

I do not have any information on the machinery of the “Danube,” other than its horse power was rated at 1,200.

As for the rocket tube, in 1869 Lieutenant John Fisher, RN, had invented the ‘sea service rocket tube Mark II.”  This was designed to be bracketed onto the side of a ship, but by 1879 a modified version replaced the bracket with a tripod for land service, and it was the Fisher tube which saw service in Zululand. The Fisher Mark II Tube was painted black, had a length of 8’, with a width of 4 ¼ inches and weighed 64 lbs 12 oz.  The tube was lanyard operated, which when pulled ignited a friction tube that had been placed in one of the exhaust nozzles thus firing the rocket. The maximum elevation for the Fisher Mark II was 25 degrees. At 15 degrees the rocket had a range of 1546 to 2226 yards.

I have a diagram of the Fisher Mark II Rocket Tube that I will have to get someone else to post.

Tom
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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:51 pm

From Petty Officer Tom

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barry

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PostSubject: The Danube   Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:00 pm

Hi POT,

Thanks to you and Graves for the schematic of the Naval rocket tube. This had a bore of 4,5 ins and was probably an ancestor of the later WW2 bazooka.

Thanks too for the data on the SS Danube, inter alia, she;

1) was capable of 11.5kts
2) had forward draft of 12 ft
3) aft draught was 15ft
3) screw dia was 23ft
4) had internal heating by means of boiler supplied piped hot water throughout the ship. One of the first ships to be fitted with that system.
5)Most interestingly, was previously a paddle steamer but was successfully converted.

regards

barry
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PostSubject: The stemship Danube    Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:26 am

Interesting topic gentlemen Salute Salute
90th Very Happy
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: The Steamship “Danube”   Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:58 pm

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The Fisher Mark II Rocket Tube, as depicted in the ILN, 1882.

JY
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barry

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PostSubject: The naval rocket tube   Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:56 pm

Hi JY,
Thanks for that splendid picture depicting the operation of the ship mounted rocket tube. One wonders if they ever hit anything with "the pipe" as aiming seemed to be very much based on guesswork,
for both azimuth and elevation.
Another observation is that the recoil seemed to be negligible as the mounting structure attached to the vessels gunnels look very flimsy. Flash and blowback must have been a problem however, both for personnel and onboard  wooden/hemp ships structure,equipment and onboard flammables. The purpose of the lanyard trigger was to ensure that the crew kept their distance when the weapon was fired.
The dangers of standing behind a much later but similar weapon, the RPG, is well documented. Such incidents were all too often fatal.

regards

barry
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