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PostSubject: Germany had resumed    Germany had resumed  Icon_minitimeThu Aug 04, 2011 11:36 am

While returning from Liverpool in early February 1917, passengers and crew on Kroonland witnessed the German U-boat UC-46 sink the Dutch ship Gamma off the Irish coast.[91][92] On 1 February 1917, at around 15:30, passengers and crew saw the German submarine overtake and stop the Dutch freighter. At about 16:15, the U-boat, by then on the far side of the Dutch ship and out of view from Kroonland, fired three shots from her deck gun. Gamma immediately began listing to port and sank within five minutes. Kroonland was less than 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) away, and was prepared to rescue the crew of the sunken ship, but stopped when the German submarine took Gamma's lifeboat in tow.[91] Four days later, a suspected submarine was seen 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) off Kroonland's port side, and there were other reports of a ship that passengers took to be a German commerce raider or submarine tender.[87]

Because Germany had resumed unrestricted submarine warfare again on 1 February, Kroonland was laid up for almost two months at the American Line piers in New York, along with sister ship Finland and three other vessels.[93][94] During this forced downtime, Kroonland was converted from coal burning to oil burning, a long-awaited modification that had been announced in October 1915.[95][96] The conversion reduced the number of stokers needed from 75 to 12, lowering Kroonland's payroll. Because fuel oil was stored inside the double bottom of her hull, her cargo capacity was increased through the elimination of her coal bunkers.[95] The labor savings and the additional freight revenues from the increased cargo space resulted in a net gain of $25,000 income per trip



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