Triumph AM-323 - History

Triumph AM-323 - History


(AM-323: dp. 890, 1. 221'2" b. 32'2"; dr. 10'9" (lmAan); s. 18.1 k. (tl.); cpl. ;05; a. 1 3", 4 40mm.;)

BAM -323 was laid down for the Royal Navy on 27 October 1942 at Seattle, Wash., by the Associated Shipbuilding Corp., taken over by the United States Navy in late 1942 or early 1943; named Triumph and designated AM-323 on 23 January 1943; launched on 25 February 1943; and commissioned on 3 February 1944, Lt. Comdr. Carl R. Cunningham, Jr., USNR, in command.

Following outfitting at Seattle, Wash., and shakedown training along the California coast, Triumph stood out of San Francisco on 1 May as a unit in the escort of an Oahu bound convoy. She arrived in Pearl Harbor on the 10th and, after a five-day layover, joined the screen of a convoy bound for the Marshall Islands. She entered the lagoon at Majuro on 25 May; two days later, headed back to Hawaii with 24 passengers embarked; and reached Pearl Harbor on 2 June. She got underway again late in the month to escort another convoy to the Marshalls. She reentered Pearl Harbor on 16 July and prepared for her first deployment in the combat zone.

On 12 August, Triumph stood out of Pearl Harbor with a convoy bound initially for the Solomon Islands. The minesweeper arrived at Florida Island near Guadalcanal on 24 August and conducted minesweeping rehearsals in the Russell Islands to prepare for the invasion of the Palaus. On 8 September, she departed Guadalcanal with Task Group (TG) 32.4, the transport screen for the Palau Islands invasion force. Triumph reached Kossol Passage at dawn on 15 September and began sweeping mines from the prospective anchorage there. The first day passed without mishap, and the minesweepers retired from Kossol Passage for the night. However, at about 1430 the next day Wadleigh (DD-689) struck a mine while supporting the sweeping of Kossol Passage as destruction vessel. At 1540, Triumph sent a fire and rescue party to assist the destroyer-by then completely without power-and took over her duties as destruction vessel. Over the next half hour, the minesweeper destroyed five floatin~ mines by gunfire. Following that, she stood by Wadleigh until dark, providing what assistance she could. She then took up screening station for the night. Minesweeping operations continued on a daily basis until midday on the 18th when Triumph began devoting herself entirely to screening and harbor control duties. The little warship remained in the Palaus until mid-October —though at Peleliu after 30 September-and then got underway to screen a convoy to the Solomons.

After stops in the Russell Islands and at Tulagi, Triumph returned to the Palaus on 21 October. She remained there until late November, performing antisubmarine screening duty at Peleliu in the south and at Kossol Passage in the north, as well as escorting ships between the two.

On 11 November, Triumph left the Palaus in company with a New Guinea-bound convoy. She reached Humboldt Bay on the 15th and sailed for Ulithi on the 20th. Ordered back to Humboldt Bay on the 22d, the minesweeper returned two days later. After taking on fuel and provisions, she stood out of Humboldt Bay for San Pedro Bay, Leyte, on the 26th in company with General M. L. Hersey (AP-148), Hopewell (DD 681), and Coast Guard cutter Spencer. Triumph reached recently invaded Leyte on the morning of 30 November and began preparations for the flanking landings at Ormoc Bay on the western shore of the island. After five days patrolling the San Pedro Bay anchorage against enemy submarine incursions, the ship got underway as a unit of TU 78.3.6. En route, Triumph and her traveling companions suffered a kamikaze attack when three "Zekes" dove on the unit. The first tried to crash Requisite (AM-109) but missed and splashed down between that ship and Triumph. The second fighter tried a bombing run but was brought down by the combined antiaircraft fire of the task unit. The pilot of the third plane prudently declined to attack. Later that day, a group of medium bombers overflew the unit but made no attack.

Just before noon, the minesweeper and her mates reached Olmoc Bay and streamed their sweep gear to complete their mission. Unmolested, the group of minesweepers completed their sweeping by 2125 that night and took up station in the screen of the Ormoc Bay attack force. The following morning, the Army 77th Division landed unopposed just south of Ormoc town and in the enemy's rear area. The only Japanese attempt to oppose the operation consisted of aerial attacks-both conventional and kamikaze. Though the attacks cost the American naval forces two warships sunk, Mahan (DD-364) and Ward (APD-16), two more severely damaged, Liddle (APD-60) and Lamson (DD-367), and an LSM abandoned, they failed to impede the landings and the progress of the troops ashore. Triumph departed Ormoc Bay late on the morning of the 7th and headed back to San Pedro Bay. Though her task unit occasionally engaged enemy aircraft during the intermittent air attacks, she concentrated on her role as a part of the antisubmarine screen while the destroyers of the outer screen bore the brunt of the attack. The raids ceased at dark; and, early the next morning, TU 78.3.6 reentered San Pedro Bay.

Triumph remained at San Pedro Bay until the afternoon of 12 December when she got underway to participate in the occupation of Mindoro. On the second day out, the task organization came under aerial attack. Just after midday, a kamikaze crashed the flagship Nashville ( CL-43 ), and the light cruiser was forced to drop out of formation and return to San Pedro Bay with Stanly (DD-478).

Additional raids occurred that afternoon, but they caused no damage. By the morning of 14 December, the unit was passing Negros Island, and Triumph along with the rest of the minesweepers, received orders to sweep the waters ahead of the force. During that sweep, the unit was attacked by a formation of three "Oscars." The enemy planes dropped three bombs off Triumph's port quarter but caused no damage. An American combat air patrol drove the raiders off, and the minesweepers completed their mission by late afternoon. Just after midnight on 15 December, Triumph and her mates reached the beaches on the southwestern coast of Mindoro.

At 0225, they began sweeping the invasion approaches. They completed their task less than three hours later and moved out while the invasion force moved in. Later, she joined in sweeps of Pandarochan Bay, then returned to Mindoro Strait to form up for the return to Leyte. At 1830, she departed Mindoro and, after a brief but intense aerial attack at dusk, voyaged peacefully back to the anchorage at San Pedro Bay, anchoring there a little after 0800 on the 18th. For the remainder of the month, she remained at San Pedro Bay and conducted antisubmarine patrols in Leyte Gulf.

On 2 January 1946, the minesweeper once again departed San Pedro Bay-this time to participate in the initial invasion of Luzon. The four-day voyage to the beaches at Lingayen Gulf was punctuated by a number of Japanese air assaults. An inconclusive air-to-surface battle on the night of 2 January was followed by the first attack in earnest on the 3d. Shortly after dawn, a formation of "Zekes" pounced on the convoy. One near-miss of the oiler Cowanesque (AO-79) caused a fire amidships. All ships joined in a withering fire that discouraged suicide runs; and, consequently, no ship suffered a direct hit.

The next morning, enemy planes approached the formation, but combat air patrol downed some and chased others away. On the 6th, general quarters sounded five times before noon, but Triumph observed no planes. Later, three warships peeled off to chase two Japanese destroyers sighted off the convoy's quarter. The enemy ships, however, managed to escape. At 1700, a formation of "Vale" hit the task force. Six of them attempted suicide crashes, but only one came close to its target-an LCI-which lost its mast in the encounter. Early the next morning, the force reached its destination off the beaches at Lingayen Gulf.

Between 6 and 9 January Triumph conducted preinvasion sweeps of the assault areas in Lingayen Gulf. Though the main task force was subjected to incessant enemy air attacks, the minesweeper continued her minesweeping almost unmolested. Each night, she retired from Lingayen Gulf and took up screening station for the transports and cargo ships. On the 9th, the ground troops stormed ashore at Lingayen, and Triumph kept a close watch for enemy submarines and suicide boats. She remained in Lingayen Gulf until the 14th-riding at anchor during the last three days of that period— and then got underway with a Leyte-bound convoy of LST's and LCI's. After transiting the Sulu Sea, the Mindanao Sea, Surigao Strait, and Leyte Gulf, the Allied ships arrived in San Pedro Bay on the 19th.

She remained there until 26 January when she headed out to resume action off Luzon. She reached Subic Bay and swept its coastal waters. On 4 February, she departed and headed back to Leyte, stopped at San Pedro Bay from 8 to 13 February, then put to sea once again on her way to the Marianas.

Triumph entered Apra Harbor, Guam, and reported for duty with the 6th Fleet. Two days later, she set a course for Ulithi, the staging area for Operation "Iceberg," the invasion and occupation of the Ryukyus. She arrived at Ulithi the following day and began a period of rest, repairs, and rehearsals.

Early in the afternoon of 19 March, Triumph sailed out of the lagoon at Ulithi with the Ryukyu Islands invasion force. When she arrived at her destination early on the morning of the 24th, Triumph and her division mates joined Shea (DM-30) and a patrol craft in minesweeping operations. On the 26th, destroyer Halligan (DD-584) struck a mine, and it caused explosions in her forward magazine which ripped off most of her forward section. Two ships of Triumph's unit proceeded to assist the stricken warship but managed to rescue only 172 members of Halligan's 325-man complement.

The following day, the division swept 16 mines of which total Triumph claimed three. On the 28th, her formation endured its first air raid of the campaign when three enemy planes dived in to attack. The formation responded with a lively fusillade which splashed all three. The minesweeper continued sweeping operations through the end of the month. She and her colleagues concluded their mission on the eve of the landings, 31 March, and began duty with the task force's antisubmarine screen.

At 0600 the following morning-April Fool's Day and Easter Sunday rolled into one-landing craft started their move shoreward; and, soon thereafter, the first wave of marines and soldiers hit the beaches on Okinawa.

During the ensuing four months, Triumph alternated screening duties with minesweeping operations. On several occasions during that time, she became directly involved in the incessant air attacks launched by the Japanese against the invasion force. On 16 April, when Taluga (AO-62) received a kamikaze hit, Triumph was soon at hand to rescue three men blown overboard in the action. The minesweeper herself almost required such assistance on the 18th when a "Kate" torpedo bomber apparently tried to crash into her. Near sunset, he came in from astern up the port side, passed under her port yardarm, and splashed down not far from Triumph.

The air raids continued, but their primary targets remained the radar picket destroyers. Consequently, Triumph experienced few actual surface-to-air engagements. On 11 May, while she patrolled off Ie Shima, she brought two enemy planes under fire but could not definitely claim credit for the one splashed by antiaircraft fire. Combat air patrol accounted for the other one. Between mid-May and mid-June, she executed her patrols and sweeps under relatively calm circumstances.

On 16 June, however, she experienced another potentially fatal adventure. At dusk, Triumph was patrolling north of Kerama Retto when an enemy torpedo bomber executed a near-perfect run on her. Initially, the plane was thought to be friendly, though the radarman continued to track the unidentified aircraft just in case. The pilot lined his plane up with the moon, made a well-executed approach, and launched his torpedo. Two sharp-eyed sailors on board Triumph spied the torpedo splash, raised the alarm, and the warship immediately went hard to starboard to evade the torpedo. It passed in her wake, a scant 30 yards astern. Darkness precluded any real antiaircraft response, so Triumph resumed her patrols. Three days after that attack, the minesweeper put into Kerama Retto for supplies and upkeep.

Triumph remained in Kerama Retto through the end of June. On the 30th, she got underway to rehearse for sweeps into the East China Sea. Those preparations continued until Independence Day when she sortied with TU 39.11.6. She arrived in the assigned area with the rest of her unit on the 5th and conducted a highly productive, eight-day sweep unimpaired by Japanese air activity. She returned to Buckner Bay, located on the western coast of Okinawa, on Bastille Day. There she replenished and refueled over a three-day period before returning to the East China Sea to resume minesweeping operations.

However, just before beginning that mission, she was detached from the East China Sea minesweeping force and was ordered to report to TF 39 for further orders. On 17 July, she was forced to leave the anchorage at Buckner Bay to evade a typhoon. After serving in the antisubmarine screen of the ships forced out of the anchorage, the warship returned to Buckner Bay on 21 July and remained there, awaiting orders, until 6 August. On that day, she stood out of the bay as a unit in the screen of a convoy of tank landing ships.

Two days later, she took PGM-11 in tow after the latter ship suffered an engine casualty. On the 11th, Triumph parted company with the convoy to tow PGM11 into Apra Harbor, Guam. With Pledge (AM-277) and YMS-141 in escort, the minesweeper entered Apra Harbor on the morning of 12 August. Three days later, she received word of the Japanese capitulation.

Triumph remained at Guam for a month undergoing repairs. She departed on 12 September to participate in the occupation of Japan and former Japanese possessions. She served her entire tour of occupation duty at Okinawa, arriving there on 18 September and departing again on 19 October. After stops at Guam and Hawaii, she returned to the United States at San Francisco on 16 December. She underwent an extensive overhaul at the Kaiser shipyard at Richmond, Calif., from 19 January to 12 June 1946 and then began operations along the west coast. That duty continued until Triumph was placed out of commission at San Diego on 30 January 1947.

Triumph remained in reserve at San Diego until early 1952. After extensive preparations during the late fall of 1951 and the winter of 1952, she was recommissioned at San Diego on 28 February 1952. The warship reported for duty with the Pacific Fleet early in April and ultimately to the Atlantic Fleet on 19 May. Operating out of Charleston, S.C., the minesweeper served along the southern portion of the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean until mid-September when she deployed to the Mediterranean for service with the 6th Fleet. Following another tour of duty in the western Atlantic early in 1954 and a second deployment to the Mediterranean during the winter of 1954 and 1955, Triumph began preparations for deactivation in the spring of 1955. On 7 February 1955 she was redesignated MSF-323. On 29 August 1955, Triumph was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Green Cove Springs, Fla.

There, she remained until late in 1959. During that period, she changed designations again on 4 December 1959 when she became MMC-3. Late in 1959, the decision was made to transfer her to Norway under the Military Assistance Program. On 27 January 1961, she was transferred to the Norwegian Navy. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 March 1961.

Triumph was awarded six battle stars for World War II service.

Triumph Motor Company

The Triumph Motor Company was a British car and motor manufacturing company in the 19th and 20th centuries. The marque had its origins in 1885 when Siegfried Bettmann of Nuremberg formed S. Bettmann & Co. and started importing bicycles from Europe and selling them under his own trade name in London. The trade name became "Triumph" the following year, and in 1887 Bettmann was joined by a partner, Moritz Schulte, also from Germany. In 1889, the businessmen started producing their own bicycles in Coventry, England.

Triumph manufactured its first car in 1923 [1] The company was acquired by Leyland Motors in 1960, ultimately becoming part of the giant conglomerate British Leyland (BL) in 1968, where the Triumph brand was absorbed into BL's Specialist Division alongside former Leyland stablemates Rover and Jaguar. Triumph-badged vehicles were produced by BL until 1984 when the Triumph marque was retired, where it remained dormant under the auspices of BL's successor company Rover Group. The rights to the Triumph marque are currently owned by BMW, who purchased the Rover Group in 1994.

Triumph Motorcycle History

The history of the brand is divided into four periods. The first time (from 1885 to 1936) company was run of by its founder Siegfried Bettmann, later (from 1936 to 1973), Edward Turner replaced him and become an executive director. The «Cooperative of workers» was created during a short period «Norton-Villiers-Triumph» (from 1973 to 1984). And finally, in 1990 John Bloor headed the contemporary firm which started its rebirth. «Triumph» started producing machines, comparable to the level of modern technological development.

The very first «Triumph» motorcycle was released in 1902. That was a reinforced bicycle frame, equipped with a Belgian engine «Minerva» of 239cm³. It could develop the speed up to 40 km/h. In 1907, a «Triumph» motorcyclist Jack Marshall racing for the first time at the competition on the Isle of Man took 2nd place in the class of single-cylinder machines. That was a great breakthrough for the company.

In 1922, the fresh «Toure IR Fast Roadster» which also called «Riccy» was released with an engine capacity of 499 cm/cc and a new «Triumph» logo. And in 1937, Edward Turner’s «Speed Twin» model shocked the world by its ability to develop speeds up to 150 km / h. In 1939, the firm created a silver «Tiger 100» which is considered to be a sports analog for «Speed Twin». And in 1959, the new model «T120 Bonneville» was presented at the London Earls Court exhibition, and that was a real furor.

In September 1990, in Cologne, the world saw a new collection of motorcycles: «Trophy», «Daytona», and «Trident». In 1994 company reproduced the «Thunderbird» retro pattern. Nowadays, «Triumph» is a very successful company which produces both modern and retro motorbikes. Despite its long history and especially the periods of «ups» and «downs» the demand for its goods is still high.

USS Triumph (AM 323)

Laid down for the Royal Navy as HMS Espoir (BAM 24) but retained by the USN and renamed USS Triumph (AM 323)
Decommissioned 30 January 1947 at San Diego, California
Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
Recommissioned 28 February 1952 at San Diego, California
Redesignated a Fleet Minesweeper (Steel-hulled) MSF-323 on 7 February 1955
Decommissioned 29 August 1955 at Green Cove Springs, Florida
Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Florida Group, Green Cove Springs
Redesignated MMC-3 on 4 December 1959
Transferred to Norway 27 January 1961 and renamed Brage (N 49)
Struck from the Naval Register 1 March 1961
Scrapped in 1978.

Commands listed for USS Triumph (AM 323)

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1Carl Robert Cunningham, USNR3 Feb 1944Feb 1945
2William Thomas Bell, USNRFeb 194510 Nov 1945

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2003 Triumph America [ edit ]

The 2002 Triumph America is a middleweight cruiser which stands in a class of its own. While other metric bikes tried to replicate the American design, this one is a true British two-wheeler, powered by the iconic parallel twin mill of the proven Bonnie platform and boasting the classic European DNA.

However, the America blends in the mix plenty of characteristic US elements, such as the tank-mounted chromed console with a separate, traditional gauge on the bars and a beefy front end, a low sculpted seat and ample, bullet-styled exhausts.

The Triumph Spitfire Mark III (1967-1970)

The Mark 3 was a major upgrade, the Spitfire was subject to some significant competition from its Austin-Healey and MG Midget rivals and it needed to pull some rabbits out of the hat to keep up with the opposition.

The car also had to comply with new bumper height regulations and this was accomplished by a two fold strategy of raising the bumper on the bodywork and by raising the front springs. This combined effect imparted a quite different look to the car and it was referred to as the “bone in the teeth” model.

In their efforts to beat the competition Triumph greatly improved the folding soft top so it was much easier to deploy. The dashboard was done in wood veneer to significantly bring the look of the interior upmarket. The engine of the Spitfire was increased in capacity to 1,296cc which was the same as on the Triumph Herald 13/60 and 1300 models.

The Spitfire engine with its twin SU carburetors delivered 75 bhp @ 6,000 rpm with 75 lb/ft torque @ 4,000 rpm. The car’s performance benefited from the increase in power with its standing to 60 mph time down to 13.4 seconds and its top speed up to 95 mph. The car’s electrical system was also changed over from traditional British positive earth to the more universal negative earth.

1968 was to produce happy news, and more difficult news for the Triumph Spitfire. The celebratory news was that the 100,000th Spitfire was personally driven off the production line by Standard-Triumph’s General Manager George Turnbull.

The more difficult was the introduction of new vehicle safety standards and exhaust emissions regulations for the US market. Cars exported to the US constituted 45% of Spitfire production and so the cars needed to be able to comply with US standards. In 1968 the Spitfire’s braking system was upgraded to a dual hydraulic circuit with failure warning light: this was also to become a requirement in Australia under the Australian Design Rules (ADR).

1968 was also the year that British Leyland, who owned Standard Triumph, acquired ownership of British Motor Holdings which brought MG, Austin, and Jaguar/Daimler all into the same company. This meant that the Spitfire, Sprite and Midget were all now competing with each other from within the one company.

The Spitfire had to comply with new emissions standards for 1969: this meant that the engine’s compression ratio had to be reduced to 8.5:1, the camshaft was re-profiled, and ignition timing had to be adjusted. So the upshot of these regulations was that the engine had to be made less efficient, which meant less performance and increased fuel consumption.

The cars affected by these changes are nowadays referred to as “Federal Spitfires” and their engine power was down to 68 bhp with torque reduced to 73 lb/ft. The car’s standing to 60 mph time increased to 14 seconds, which was still pretty good by the standards of the time.

Also in 1969 the Spitfire had to provide headrests to guard against occupant neck injury in the event of a rear end collision. This required a redesign of the car’s seats and was a welcome improvement. The car’s dashboard lost its attractive wood veneer which was replaced by a black plastic one for US market cars, and the instrumentation was relocated to be directly in front of the driver.

Of particular note is that the transverse leaf spring with swing axles rear suspension was kept all through to the Mark III. This system produced much the same effect as it did on the Volkswagen Type 1 and the early Chevrolet Corvair, although on those two the effects were more exaggerated because of the rear engine causing the weight distribution to be very rear heavy.

The Spitfire had much more even weight distribution, but the vice of the swing axles was still able to rear its ugly little head. This problem occurs most markedly if the driver lifts off the throttle in a corner or brakes. The weight transfers to the front outside wheel and as it does so the rear outside wheel is lifted and as the swing axle forces a shift to positive camber it “tucks under” which can cause a switch to dramatic oversteer or a roll-over.

This suspension was widely criticized and drivers who wanted to get the best from the handling of their cars installed camber compensator rear suspension kits to fix the problem, just as more technically minded Corvair and Volkswagen owners did.

The bike has a 5-speed transmission. Power was moderated via the wet. multi-plate.

It came with a 100/90-r19 front tire and a 170/80-b15 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via double disc. nissin 2-piston floating calipers in the front and a single disc. nissin 2-piston floating calipers in the rear. The front suspension was a kayaba 41mm forks with polished lowers. while the rear was equipped with a kyb chromed spring twin shocks with adjustable preload.. The Speedmaster was fitted with a 5.1 Gallon (19.30 Liters) fuel tank. The bike weighed just 509.27 pounds (231.0 Kg). The wheelbase was 62.99 inches (1600 mm) long.

Triumph of the Will

Brian Winston casts a critical eye over Leni Riefenstahl's cinematic paean to Nazi aesthetics.

In the canon of great films, the place of Triumph of the Will , a documentary about the sixth Nazi Party Congress of 1934 directed by Leni Riefenstahl, seems to be impregnable. For received opinion, the film is, in Susan Sontag's words, 'the most successfully, most purely propagandistic film ever made'.

Yet this is more than a little curious, for the film lives, outside of neo-fascist circles, only as a species of awful warnings against fascism. It is not regarded as a persuasive text – unlike say, the silent, Soviet film, Battleship Potemkin , which Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels himself thought 'a marvellous film without equal in the cinema . anyone who had no firm political conviction could become a Bolshevik after seeing the film'. Even in the 1930s, few claims were made that Triumph of the Will would do the same for fascism. In fact, political scientist and film historian Richard Taylor states that 'the film was not used generally for propaganda purposes' in Germany at the time.

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Some were also quickly identified to be more successful than others, with the more characterful, individual Trident 900 standing out, while the 1000cc Daytona, by comparison, bland and uncompetitive against the latest, sophisticated Japanese superbikes. This led to increasing experimentation within Triumph’s modular approach: a Daytona 900 and 1200, for example, arrived in 1993.

At the same time, Triumph had also recently opened its own in-house paint shop, which improved paint quality significantly, updated the rear bodywork on some of its models and was getting positive feedback for adding individuality. The half-faired Trident Sprint arrived in 1993 and had been well received. The question was: which direction should Triumph take next?

Brit Michael Lock, now CEO of American Flat Track racing and a previous boss of Ducati USA, was Triumph’s export sales manager at the time, having joined from Honda Europe, and remembers it well:

“It became clear to me quite quickly that Triumph was, on the one hand this heritage-soaked, evocative name, that got generations of guys hot and sweaty – and that was what John (Bloor) bought. But then what he made was this very modular, very engineering-led, somewhat subtle, not evocative motorcycle.

“What John wanted to do was kill the old image of Triumph that they were unreliable. That was his first goal – and he was right. But in doing that and in going for the modular system with the three and four cylinder engines with the cam chain running down the side which looked a bit like a Kawasaki, the bikes were very anonymous. He almost over-achieved his goal which was to have credibility but what he didn’t really do was create desire.”

A short history of Triumph Motorcycles

It is fair to say the Triumph brand has a chequered history with a rollercoaster of success marred by some financial failures along the way.

As is common amongst European manufacturers Triumph’s origins sprung from the bicycle industry where the company started operating in from 1885 as ‘Bettmann’ before the name was changed to ‘Triumph’ in 1886.

While Triumph’s image is as British as black pudding and mushy peas, the brand was actually started by a German.

The 1902 Triumph used a Belgian Minerva 2.5 horsepower engine

Siegfried Bettmann started an import and export business in London in the late nineteenth century, rebranding products under his own brand, Triumph. He had immigrated from Nuremburg in 1884 and along with another German immigrant Mauritz Schulte moved into their own premises in Coventry in 1888. The first model in 1902 used a Belgian sourced 2.5 horsepower Minerva engine but Schulte, an engineer, designed and built the first Triumph engine in 1905 and by 1907 Triumph Motorcycles were selling in their thousands. That first engine displaced 363 cc and was enlarged to 453 cc in 1907 and 550 cc seven years later.

Triumph Motorcycles had already been established for five years by the time the inaugural races were run on the Isle of Man in 1907 and for many years the histories of the two motorcycling institutions were inseparably intertwined. The British manufacturer has a long and illustrious record at the TT. At that very first meeting, over a century ago, Triumph marked itself as a top class racing marque when Jack Marshall and Frank Hulbert brought their single-cylinder machines home in second and third place.

In 1908 Marshall rode his three-and-a-half horsepower, single-speed machine to first place and overall honours as well as posting the fastest lap (42.48 mph), despite having to pull over to replace an exhaust valve. Of the ten single-cylinder bikes that finished the race that year, six were Triumphs.

This emphatic result signalled the start of a period during which Triumphs remained the dominant single-cylinder machines on the Island.

As is the way in racing, there followed a period of readjustment, development, bizarre restrictions and rule changes during which Triumph remained a prominent force at the TT through factory efforts and hundreds of faithful privateers.

Somewhat surprisingly, considering Bettmann’s German origins, the Triumph brand became a major supplier for the British war effort in World War One supplying more than 30,000 Model H motorcycle during the war.


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The ‘Cycle’ was dropped as a suffix to the Triumph brand name in 1934 as the company entered the car industry. Two years later the company was split into separate car and motorcycle divisions. Again, it was called upon to support the war effort and much of their manufacturing capacity switched to the production of military equipment. Too often however production was interrupted by the infamous blitz of Coventry bombings but the industrious Triumph workforce battled against all odds to pump out 50,000 motorcycles during the course of the war.

Steve McQueen rode this TR6 Trophy in The Great Escape Triumph Meriden Works Triumph Speed Twin engine – The Speed Twin model was first introduced in 1936

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 effectively put a stop to racing activities when riders and factory employees (who were often one and the same) signed up to fight for their country. However, the post-war period signalled a resurgence of Triumph’s racing fortunes.

In 1949 the TT became the first event on the world championship calendar and Triumph was well represented with 15 GP bikes lining up on the Manx grid.

New Zealander Sid Jensen scored an impressive result with fifth place in the 1949 TT that marked the first ever Grand Prix Motorcycle World Championship event but the Clubmans TT was where machines such as the Tiger 70 and 100 would shine by achieving numerous victories.

1949 Triumph Thunderbird 6T

BSA bought out Triumph in 1951 and helped the company towards its greatest success stories, and its biggest failure. The biggest success came with the launch of the Bonneville in 1959. During the 1960s the Bonneville name grew to become one of the most heralded in motorcycle history with amazing success in both the marketplace and the racetrack.

1964 World Speed Record Success

The re-introduction of the Production TT in 1967 brought overall victory for John Hartle on his Bonneville and three years later Triumph scored a landmark in TT history when Malcolm Uphill averaged 100mph around the Mountain Course.

1958 Triumph Thruxton 500

Uphill’s 1970 performance was special, primarily because it was the first time that a production machine had ever hit the magical three-figure mark. This was made all the more impressive because it was achieved from a standing start. The victory was a matter of British pride at a time when British industry was struggling through recession.

‘Slippery Sam’ is known for winning five consecutive production 750 cc class TT races at the Isle of Man between 1971 and 1975. The machine, which was displayed at the National Motorcycle Museum, was destroyed in a fire during 2003, but has since been completely rebuilt

The following year Tony Jefferies won the Formula 750TT on a triple, but 1971 will be remembered primarily for the birth of a true British racing legend. A Triumph Trident nicknamed Slippery Sam slithered its way into motorcycling folklore when it gave successive wins to Ray Pickrell in 1971 and ’72 and then carried Jefferies, Mick Grant (against 1000cc machinery and riding with a broken wrist) and Dave Croxford/Alex George to victory at the subsequent three TTs.

The heat of competition from the emerging Japanese brands however sent the company into perilous waters. A range of mergers and financial arrangements throughout the 1970s managed to keep the company afloat aided by millions of pounds from British taxpayers. The British Government wrote off the debt in the early 1980s to help keep the company afloat but it could not be saved and production ceased in 1983.

Property developer John Bloor then bought the liquidated company more as a real estate investment rather than a way into the motorcycle industry. The Triumph factory was demolished and in its place a housing estate built. The Triumph motorcycle brand was allowed to continue in small numbers through Bloor licensing the use of the name to Les Harris but in essence Triumph was no more.

That was until 1990. The real estate developer turned motorcycle entrepreneur invested heavily in a new manufacturing facility in Hinckley which led to the modern day Triumph brand we now know.

Triumph Factory Experience at Hinckley

1995 saw the company expand once again into the all important North American market.

By 1997 the company was was well represented in every major international market and by 2000 was returning a profit on Bloor’s rumoured 100 million pound investment in the brand.

Triumph again were triumphant at the TT in the new Hinckley generation with Bruce Anstey winning the Supersport TT in 2003, Gary Johnson took a victory on the Daytona 675 in 2014 and Peter Hickman won the most recent Supersport TT on a Triumph.

Peter Hickman on the 2019 Supersport TT winning Trooper Triumph 675 Supersport machine – Image Pacemaker Press

A major fire hit the main factory in February 2002 and it took the company more than six months to recover and get fully back into production. The following year Triumph opened a new plant in Thailand and again in 2006 opened further facilities in Thailand and built an engine plant in South-East Asia before partnering with Indian powerhouse Baja Auto in 2017.

Triumph Factory Visitor Experience was unveiled in late February 2018 year by Prince William

Check out my story on the Triumph Factory Visitor Experience that was officially opened by Prince William in 2018. ( Link )

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