FerriesPast and PresentSociété Anonyme de Gérance et d'Armement (SAGA)

TSS Versailles (1921) – Past and Present

TSS Versailles

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw turbine ship, built for Societe Anonyme de Gerance et d’Amement by Forges et Chantiers de la Mediterranee, Le Havre in 1914.

Technical Data

  • Length on deck: 93.15m (298.1 ft)
  • Breadth of hull: 11.03m (36.1 ft)
  • Depth: 4.79m (22.4 ft)
  • Draught: 2.77m
  • Tonnage: 2.156 gross/1,730 net/695 deadweight
  • Engines: 4 x Parsons single reduction reared steam turbines.
  • Power: 15,000ihp
  • Speed: 25 knots (Max)
  • Capacity: 1,200 passengers
  • Call Sign: FOYW
  • Registry: Dieppe/France 🇫🇷


1914: Keel laid.

Her construction was delayed owing to the outbreak of war and continued from 1919 to 1921

July 1921: Completed.

August 1st 1921: Official trial trip from Dieppe (averaged 24.37 knots raising to 24.83 knots on her return trip the following day).

1921: Delivered to Societe Anonyme de Gerance et d’Amement for their Dieppe – Newhaven service.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton CollectionNigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

1929: Converted to oil-firing.

1933: During further refit her promenade deck was plated in.

Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

1933: Touched bottom in a trough of a large wave whilst leaving Newhaven and badly damaged her rudder. She managed to manoeuvre herself to shelter in the lea of Beachy Head and was later towed back to Newhaven by the tug FOREMOST.

May 14th 1940: Requisitioned to carry troops to Dunkirk, later helping to evacuate them together with many refugees. Suffered damage,

May 27th 1940: Arrived at Cherbourg.

May 29th 1940: Departed for lay up in Brest. Later towed to Nantes.

August 1940: Seized by German Forces at Nantes.

November 6th 1940: Became an Accommodation Ship for a minesweeper flotilla and is thought to have been based at Les Sables-d’Olonne on the French Atlantic coast.

Nigel Thornton Collection
Nigel Thornton Collection

March 19th 1941: Commissioned as a Mine Layer.

January 24th 1942: Paid off.

July 18th 1942: Became an Accommodation Ship.

September 9th 1943: Reported as being at Bremerhaven.

July 7th 1944: Reported as being in the Baltic.

July 23rd 1945: Reported as being at Kiel.

At the end of the hostilities was lying damaged, at the Danish port of Aalborg.

January 1946: Recovered and towed to Dieppe. She was not considered worth repairing and was scrapped.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. 

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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