This ship was launched (in 1913) as Hamburg America's Admiral von
Tirpitz at Vulkan A. G. of Stettin. She was renamed Tirpitz during
fitting out, but by the time World War I began, she was still not
completed. She remained unfinished until 1919, when she was ceded to
Britain as a war reparation and completed.
In 1920 she was used as a troop transport, under P&O management, and
then was laid up for several months before being sold to Canadian
Pacific, which renamed her Empress of China (II). After engine refitting
at Vulkan and fitting out at John Brown, she entered Canadian
Pacific's transpacific service in June 1922, now called Empress of
In September, after nearly catching fire herself, Empress of Australia
rescued some 3,000 residents of Yokohama when an earthquake struck that city.
She remained on the Pacific until 1926, when she returned to Glasgow for
refitting by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering. After this
refitting, she was placed on the express North Atlantic service, and
remained there for the balance of her career with Canadian Pacific.
Requisitioned as a troop ship in 1939, Empress of Australia never
returned to Canadian Pacific. She remained a troop ship until she was
broken up in 1952.
Sources: Haws' Merchant Fleets; Kludas' Great Passenger Ships of the World.