RMS Lancastria (later HMT Lancastria) was a British Cunard liner commandeered by the UK Government for war. She was sunk on 17 June 1940 during World War II. The loss of the Lancastria was the fourth largest maritime disaster of the war.
The Cunard /White Star passenger liner Lancastria, the former Tyrrhenia (16.243 tons) is bombed and sunk off St. Nazaire, France. While lying at anchor in the Charpentier Roads, five enemy planes dive bombed the ship which sank in twenty minutes taking the lives of nearly 3,000 troops and over 1,000 civilians. The 2,477 survivors, including her captain, were picked up by HMS Havelock and other ships. The bomb which actually sank the Lancastria went straight down the funnel.
It is the greatest ever loss of life in the sinking of a single British ship, claiming more lives than the combined losses of the RMS Titanic (1,517 passengers and crew) and RMS Lusitania (1,198 passengers). It had also the highest death toll for UK forces in a single engagement in the whole of World War II.