HMHS Britannic, Sister to Titanic, Sinks in Aegean
A sonar image of the wreck of the Britannic; note the large tear near the bow caused by the mine.
November 21 1916, Kea–The ill-fated Titanic was only one of three passenger liners of her class intended to ply the North Atlantic. The Olympic was launched before her, and continued to serve her normal route to New York for the first few months of the year. However, the U-boat threat was too much of a risk for the White Star Line, and it was determined she would leave passenger service for the duration. On her last voyage, these fears were confirmed when the Olympic witnessed the superdreadnought Audacious being struck by a mine and came to her aid with lifeboats. The Olympic was eventually requisitioned as a troop transport, and would bring troops to the Dardanelles and from Canada.
Construction on the Britannic did not begin until after Olympic entered service. The loss of the Titanic had necessitated design changes: giving her a double hull in certain sections, improving her lifeboat capacity, and raising the height of the watertight bulkheads. At the outbreak of war, she only needed some interior work; however, the demands of the war meant she could not be completed. In November 1915, the Royal Navy decided to use her as a hospital ship to transfer wounded back from the Gallipoli campaign. Once that wrapped up, it was intended that she would be returned to civilian service, but the malaria epidemic and increasing hostilities at Salonika required her continued use.
In November, the Britannic was en route to the Allied base at Lemnos once again. While steaming near the Aegean island of Kea, she struck a mine laid by a German submarine. The explosion tore open a large hole in the starboard side of the ship and damaged several of the watertight bulkheads; together, this meant that a six of the watertight holds were quickly flooding, the most that could flood without sinking the ship. However, many portholes were open in other sections to ventilate the ship, and the other sections began to fill with water too.
The captain initially tried to beach the ship, but had to abandon the effort within twenty minutes. There was some amount of panic and some lifeboats were launched prematurely, with two being sucked into the still-running propellers. However, the rest of the evacuation went relatively smoothly, aided by daylight and warm temperatures. Fifty-five minutes after the explosion, the ship rolled over and very quickly began to sink. Violet Jessop, a nurse who had survived the sinking of the Titanic, recalled:
She dipped her head a little, then a little lower and still lower. All the deck machinery fell into the sea like a child’s toys. Then she took a fearful plunge, her stern rearing hundreds of feet into the air until with a final roar, she disappeared into the depths, the noise of her going resounding through the water with undreamt-of violence….
All but thirty on board survived. The Britannic is the largest ship to have sunk in the First World War, and is still the largest ship on the sea floor to this day.
Special Edition: For the first time since Christmas 1914, we’re having a double issue today. Stay tuned!
Gracie has a part of the X-Men lead by Magneto and Professor X, or as they knew them Erik and Charles. Since the moment Gracie layed eyes on Erik, they fell completely and utterly in love. Gracie finds troubles in liking Erik, but it only gets worse. But it all starts at the moment they met…
Prompt: “It’s not justice - it’s a massacre.” -via Pinterest
On this day in 1912, at 11.40pm, the RMS Titanic
hit an iceberg. The Titanic was the largest and most opulent passenger liner the world
had ever seen, attracting
notable dignitaries to its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. The vessel was built in Belfast
for White Star Line, with the intention of trumping the company’s rivals at
Cunard. The Titanic was lauded as an ‘unsinkable’ ship, but subsequent
examinations have suggested some fatal flaws in the ship’s design, in addition to a
lack of lifeboats, which only could accommodate half the passengers.
Just four days after setting sail, on April 14th at around 11.40pm, the Titanic hit
an iceberg. The collision caused a massive gash in the ship’s hull,
dooming the vessel to sink. As the ship filled with water and
slowly sank, its over two thousand passengers rushed to lifeboats. The panicked evacuation was haphazard, with lifeboats lowered despite not being at full
capacity. The ship’s final hours saw a number of particularly touching stories,
including the elderly Straus couple who stayed in their cabin to die
together, the violin players continuing to perform as the ship sank, and
Benjamin Guggenheim changing into his formal dress and declaring “We are dressed in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen.” The Titanic finally
sank at around 2.20am, leaving thousands to die of hypothermia in the
freezing ocean. Over 1,500 people died in the tragedy, with
around 700 survivors rescued by the Cunard’s Carpathia. The demise of
the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic shocked the world, and the tragic fate of a symbol of early twentieth-century optimism continues to
captivate people’s imagination.
RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of 15 April 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Of the 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died in the sinking, making it one of the deadliest commercial peacetime maritime disasters in modern history. Under the command of Edward Smith, the ship carried some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as hundreds of emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia and elsewhere throughout Europe seeking a new life in North America. Titanic only carried enough lifeboats for 1,178 people—slightly more than half of the number on board, and one third of her total capacity. On 14 April 1912, four days into the crossing and about 375 miles (600 km) south of Newfoundland, she hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship’s time. The collision caused the ship’s hull plates to buckle inwards along her starboard side and opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea; the ship gradually filled with water. Just under two hours after Titanic foundered, the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia arrived on the scene of the sinking, where she brought aboard an estimated 705 survivors. The disaster was greeted with worldwide shock and outrage at the huge loss of life and the regulatory and operational failures that had led to it. Public inquiries in Britain and the United States led to major improvements in maritime safety. One of their most important legacies was the establishment in 1914 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which still governs maritime safety today. The wreck of Titanic remains on the seabed, split in two and gradually disintegrating at a depth of 12,415 feet. X
Aftermath. On Monday, April 15, 1912, the New York Times was the only newspaper to deduce that Titanic had sunk. All others were stating that Titanic was afloat, all passengers safe and the liner was being towed to Nova Scotia. By that evening, the full and horrible truth emerged. This is the famous New York Times April 16, front page.
April 15, 1912: The British passenger liner RMS Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg. Only 710 of 2,227 passengers and crew on board survive.
Photo: Titanic leaving Belfast for her sea trials on April 2 1912
7 May 1915 - The Lusitania Sunk - Fifteen miles from the Irish coast, a German submarine torpedoes the
passenger Liner, Lusitania, sending nearly 1200 passengers and crew to a
watery grave, including 128 from the USA, still a neutral country.
The USS Pocahontas, a U.S. Navy transport ship, photographed in Dazzle camouflage, in 1918. The ship was originally a German passenger liner named the Prinzess Irene. She was docked in New York at the start of the war, and seized by the U.S. when it entered the conflict in April 1917, and re-christened Pocahontas.