SS Conte Rosso

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Name: SS Conte Rosso
Namesake: Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy
Owner: Lloyd Sabaudo Line / Italian Line
Builder: William Beardmore and Company, Glasgow, Scotland
Maiden voyage: 17 May 1922
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk, 24 May 1941
General characteristics
Tonnage: 18,500 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 180 m (590 ft 7 in)
Beam: 22.5 m (73 ft 10 in)
Propulsion: 2 oil or coal-fired steam turbines, 18,500 hp (13,795 kW)
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Capacity: 1,500 tons cargo
1,950 passengers (200 1st class, 250 2nd class, 1,500 steerage)

SS Conte Rosso was an Italian ocean liner active in the early 20th century.

Named after Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy, the so-called "Red Count", the Conte Rosso was noted for her lavish Italian interior decoration. Because much of its sailing would be in warmer waters, the designers included an outdoor dining area, unusual for ships of this era. Her sister ship was SS Conte Verde.

Service history

She was built in the Glasgow yards of William Beardmore and Company for the Italian Lloyd Sabaudo Line and entered service in 1922 carrying passengers between Italy and New York. She was the first new transatlantic liner built after World War I and the largest Italian liner to date.

In 1928, she was replaced on the New York route by the newer SS Conte Grande and began service between Italy and South America[1]. She was acquired by the Italian Line in 1932 when it took over the Lloyd Sabaudo Line. In 1932, she began serving the TriesteBombayShanghai route, and thus became one of the major escape routes for the Jewish population of Germany and Austria as Shanghai was one of the few places that did not require paid emigration visas. She also served briefly as an Italian troopship during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War in the 1930s.


On 31 January 1925 Antonietta Gigliobianco mysteriously fell overboard the Conte Rosso to her death at age 19, orphaning her two-year old son Ernesto. After being turned over to the ship's chaplain, a media outcry in the City of New York ensued which reunited the boy with his father Leonardo Gigliobianco.


During World War II, she was used as a troop ship by the Italian Government until 24 May 1941, when she was torpedoed and sunk by HMS Upholder (P37). The sinking occurred 16 km off the coast of Sicily while in convoy from Naples to Tripoli. Of the 2,729 soldiers and crew aboard, 1,300 were killed.

See also


it:Conte Rosso (transatlantico)