SS Minas (1891)
The ship was 110.90 metres (363 ft 10 in) long and 12.22 metres (40 ft 1 in) wide and had a top speed of 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph). She could carry 60 passengers in first class and 900 in third class. Until she was requisitioned for use as a troopship during World War I, she travelled mainly between Genoa and South America.
On 15 February 1917, the ship was in the Mediterranean Sea steaming from Taranto, Italy, to Salonika, Greece, when she was attacked near Cape Matapan by the Imperial German Navy submarine U-39 under the command of Walter Forstmann. On board were Italian, Serbian, and French soldiers on their way to the Salonika Front. The ship was also carrying weapons and ammunition, which exploded when two torpedoes hit the ship. This caused the ship to sink very quickly, killing 870 people. Eleven crew members and 315 Italian soldiers were among the dead. One of the lost soldiers was Vittorio Locchi, a young Florentine poet, who had written The Feast of Santa Gorizia in 1916. It was also rumored that the ship carried 25 boxes of gold bullion.
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