THE BEST NORMOXIC DIVE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
At a distance of less than two nautical miles from HMHS Britannic, there is the wreck of another large ship which has the same historical significance, as it also comes from the same period. In fact, this ship was sunk a week before Britannic in exactly the same way, hitting a mine in minefield number 32 which had been laid by the German imperial submarine U 73 on October, 1916.
This is the wreck of the French ocean liner BURDIGALA (formerly the German KAISER FRIEDRICH) whose history begins in 1897 with its construction in Danzig (currently Gdansk), one of the most important ports of the then German Empire, and ends on November 14, 1916 with its sinking from a German mine northwest of Kea, not far from the port of Korissia
The ship is lying on a sandy bottom, in an upright position. The two masts of the ship are broken and are lying on the starboard side of the wreck.
The maximum depth of the wreck is 76 meters while the minimum is 57 meters.
Name: KAISER FRIEDRICH - BURDIGALA
Year of construction: 1897
Length: 183 meters
Width: 19.4 meters
Tonnage: 12,480 KOH
Displacement: 20,100 tons
Two five-cylinder reciprocating locomotives (diameters 109.22 cm, 162.56 cm, 233.68 cm, 2 x 236.22 cm) quadruple expansion
Two 6.19 meter diameter triple propellers
Shafts made of Krupp steel
Rated power: 28,000 hp
the ship's trial speed would have to be 22.5 knots for a period of six hours, and the guaranteed speed at least 21 knots, so that the duration of the transatlantic crossing would be exactly six days.
During her maiden voyage from Danzig to Bremerhaven Kaiser Friedrich with great efforts reached an average speed of 20 knots but did not exceed them. Unfortunatelly the ship never made it to exceed the speed of 20 knots……
In October 1900 the Kaiser Friedrich left New York for Hamburg. After her return ship was returned to its builder F. Schichau, decommissioned and remained in the port of Hamburg for the next 12 years. Unfortunately, it failed to become competitive, due to low speed
At 1912, she was purchased by the French shipping company Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique, based in Bordeaux, France.
The ship was renamed S/S Burdigala, which is the ancient Latin name of the city of Bordeaux.
In August 1914 the S/S Burdigala was ordered by the French government to serve the needs of the French army, WWI, had already started
The French government used S/S Burdigala as an outfitted gunboat to transport military squads from Toulon to the Dardanelles and Thessaloniki until her sinking. The first archivally located entry, where the ship's name is mentioned, is dated 9 November 1914 when it loaded the 14th Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of Zouaves in the port of Toulon.
From 1915 until its sinking, in November 1916, the ship carried out continuous troop transfers to the Dardanelles and Thessaloniki which was the base of the Entente forces in the Aegean.
On November 13, 1916, the ship sailed empty from Thessaloniki, bound for Toulon, with the purpose of loading troops and war material.
On November 14, 1916, at 10:45 a.m., and while the ship was about two nautical miles south-west of the tip of Agios Nikolaos of Kea, a loud explosion was heard on the starboard side of the midship, which was the cause of the inflow of water in the engine room area.
S/S Burdigala's call increased resulting in its skipper ordering the ship to be abandoned.
15 minutes after this order, the S/S Burdigala sank to the northwest of Kea, where it is still at a depth of 76 meters…..