H.M.S. Motagua (1912)

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H.M.S. Motagua (1912)
Pendant Number: M.84
MI.81 (Jan 1918)
MI.44 (Apr 1918)[1]
Launched: c. 1912
Commissioned: 31 Dec, 1914[2]
Decommissioned: 18 Dec, 1919[3]
:

H.M.S. Motagua was a commercial liner, Emil L. Boas converted for use as an Armed Merchant Cruiser in the Royal Navy.

Service

Motagua was mined at 3:10am on 16 March, 1917 six and a half miles southwest of Eshaness Light. Captain Lawrence Leopold Dundas was praised by the Admiralty for his successful efforts to save the ship, bringing her immediately toward the nearest land and then toward Muckle Roe in company with the destroyer H.M.S. Griffon and a patrol drifter. By 5:30am she was within Busta Voe's boom defences and seeing to shoring up bulkheads.[4][5]

On 11 April, 1917, Motagua entered a dock at Birkenhead, where she would remain until 20 June. Her log contains its first reference to paravane equipment two days before she left the dock, when the crew is noted as "rigging PV gear." After this entry, such mentions became commonplace, suggesting she was equipped with such gear at Birkenhead, and that it had not been available to her at the time she was mined. On 27 November 1917, paravane No 765 BIII* was accidentally lost.[6]

At 8:10am on 19 March 1918 at Lat 49.50, Long -8.47 while escorting a convoy out of Dakar, Motagua collided with the American destroyer U.S.S. Manley. The destroyer's depth charges detonated on her stern, heavily damaging Motagua and setting Manley afire. Twenty-eight of Motagua's crew were killed and many wounded (one of whom would later die). The ship pulled into Devonport on 20 March, to remain until at least late May.[7]

On 28 March, 1918, four paravanes B Mark III** (Nos 217, 805, 572, 568) were landed and discharged to Bull Point.[8]

At 3:30pm on 21 May 1918, Motagua was turned over to a Care and Maintenance party at Devonport and taken out of commission.[9]

Armament

She was armed with:[10]

  • six 6-in guns (her log indicates these had 1-in aiming rifles)
  • two 3-pdr H.A.

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 120.
  2. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 401s.
  3. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 120.
  4. Dundas Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/420. f. 467.
  5. Ship's Log.
  6. Ship's Log.
  7. Ship's Log.
  8. Ship's Log.
  9. Ship's Log.
  10. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 120.
  11. Phillimore Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/511. f. 511.
  12. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 401q.
  13. Phillimore Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/511. f. 511.
  14. The Navy List. (April, 1915). p. 401q.
  15. The Navy List. (April, 1915). p. 401q.
  16. Dundas Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/420. f. 467.
  17. The Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 401s.
  18. Dundas Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/420. f. 467.

Bibliography

British Armed Merchant Cruisers
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