Leviathan leaving Boston

America’s first superliner

Cover for Leviathan bookA hardback book covering the design, construction and service of America’s first superliner, Leviathan.

Built by Blohm & Voss for Hamburg America’s service to the United States, Vaterland was the second in Albert Ballin’s planned trio of liners that he intended would dominate passenger services on the North Atlantic.

Unfortunately after only seven trans-Atlantic crossings, the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 destroyed his plan.

The Great War

Trapped in New York, Vaterland was interned by the US authorities until April 1917 when, with the entry of America into the war she was seized, renamed Leviathan, and converted into a troopship. With the Armistice, she was used to repatriate GI troops until she was laid up at Hoboken.

Post-war service as Leviathan

Eventually, completely rebuilt, in 1923 she emerged as a luxury liner sailing under American colours for United States Lines. Although she often enjoyed high passenger numbers, the effects of Prohibition and immigration quotas, alongside numbing levels of Government bureaucracy, excessive levels of catering and a high crew-to-passenger ratio, meant that for much of her life she made losses. Laid up several times, she was eventually scrapped in 1938.

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262 pages. £48.00 plus shipping



recording the history of famous liners in beautiful hardback books