19th January 1889 –
Teutonic launched at Belfast

Teutonic Alexandra graving 21-5-89On 19th January 1889, White Star’s Teutonic was launched at Harland & Wolff, Belfast. With her sister, Majestic, they were the first twin propeller vessels for White Star; although they still had masts, they were not rigged for sails. They were designed for fast conversion into armed merchant cruisers (AMC). Accommodation initially was 300 in First Class, 190 in Second Class and 1,000 in Third Class. On 21st May 1889 the Prince of Wales came aboard Teutonic for an inspection, and then watched as she entered the brand new Alexandra Graving Dock, which had been named after his wife.

Teutonic PortsmouthDelivered on 25th July 1889, Teutonic arrived at Liverpool on 29th July, where she was quickly converted into an AMC and took part in Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Fleet Review at Spithead. Back in her peacetime guise, she sailed on her maiden voyage to New York on 7th August. In June 1897 she was present as an AMC at the Diamond Jubilee Naval Review, notable for the appearance of Charles Parsons’ Turbinia. In May 1907 she made her last sailing from Liverpool, and was then transferred to the new Southampton express service. A notable crossing was in November 1907, when she arrived in New York with $1.6 million in gold aboard.

teutonic, post refit merseyIn April 1911 she was transferred to the White Star/Dominion service from Liverpool to to Canada, and was sent to Belfast for conversion to cope with the colder conditions on the route. Plating was added to the upper and promenade decks, and a larger bridge was fitted. Accommodation was now 550 in Second Class and 1,000 in Third Class.

1915 HMS teutonicWith the outbreak of the Great War, in September 1914 Teutonic was requisitioned as an AMC and joined the 10th Cruiser Squadron, operating in the northern approaches. She was purchased outright by the Admiralty in September 1915 and adapted for use as a troopship. In December 1916 she was placed in reserve and laid up, but was recommissioned in October 1917 as an AMC. In December 1918 she reverted to being a troopship carrying troops to Egypt. Early 1921 Teutonic was laid up again and offered for sale. With no purchasers, in August 1921 she was sold and scrapped in Emden, Germany.