Ships hit during WWI


TypePassenger steamer
GRT7,017 tons
Country  Belgian
BuilderA. Stephen & Sons, Ltd., Glasgow
OperatorCie. Belge Maritime du Congo, Antwerp

U-boat attacks on Passenger steamer Elisabethville

DateU-boatLoss typePositionLocationRouteCargoCasualties
16 Sep 1917UC 71 (Reinhold Saltzwedel)Sunkoff Kerdonis, Belle Ile
47° 08'N, 3° 11'W
Matadi - Hull via Falmouth


When leaving Matadi, SS Elisabethville, Capt. Lemans, had 140 passengers and 173 crew members on board. She was also fitted with a single 3 inch. gun (75mm) served by 2 gunners of the Royal Navy. On Sept.6, at noon she was radioed not to follow the route H172 direct to Bay of Quiberon but to follow the coastal route A100. The liner acknowledged and turned to the new track. At 1:30 pm, a submarine was sighted at short distance. Capt Lemans who was on the bridge ordered immediately a new course hoping to ram the submarine but a torpedo fired from the aft tube struck the liner on her starboard side making her coming to stop and beginning to flood. Elisabethville sank at 3 pm ; the 90 min. elapsed between the hit and the sinking allowed to evacuate all the passengers and crew except 14 of them who were either killed by the explosion or drowned. See also (c/o B. de Maisonneuve)

Position of attack on Elisabethville

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