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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

HMTS Monarch (3)
by Bill Glover


Built in 1916 by Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd.

Length 222.7 ft Breadth 32.2 ft Depth 19.1 ft Gross tonnage 1150

Originally intended as a replacement for Alert (1) but with the loss of Monarch (2) the new vessel was named Monarch (3).

Three cable tanks were fitted, two forward and one aft. No 1 tank 17 ft dia by 5 ft 6ins with a capacity of 1170 cu ft. No 2 tank 23 ft dia by 11 ft 6 ins with a capacity of 4110 cu ft. No 3 tank 23 ft dia with a capacity of 4440 cubic feet. The cable machinery which consisted of two independent paying out-picking up machines was supplied and fitted by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company. The machinery was capable of a load of 26 tons at ¾ knot or 6 tons at 3¼ knots. Twin bow sheaves were fitted but no means of stern working was provided.

Used for cable repair work around the British Isles between the two world wars. In 1944 she was shelled by American destroyers and all on deck were killed. After repairs Monarch returned to work but struck a mine in 1945 while off Southwold.

These somewhat different details of the sinking are from WreckSite:

“Sunk: 16 April 1945 by torpedo in starboard side from U-2324 (Kapitanleutnant Konstantin von Rapprad) while returning to Felixstowe from repairing Suffolk-Holland cable. Two crew lost.”

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Last revised: 25 August, 2014

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