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THE SINKING OF HMHS BRITANNIC 1916

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Youngest sister ship of the Titanic and Olympic. Don't expect amazing graphics but they are more than adequate; as well, it might have been edited shorter but it is a powerful story, a tragedy as great as that which befell the Titanic but with far less loss of life--amazingly only 30 people lost their lives. She was on her way to pick up wounded in Athens carrying 1065 people (673 crew, 315 RAMC, 77 Nurses).

 

 

Edited by Stauffenberg44
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They talk about it in one of Ballard’s Titanic books, so I was aware of it from that.

Thanks for the post.

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57 minutes ago, TabbyHopkins said:

At least she wasn't loaded with wounded. Would have been so much worse.

You're right. Only 30 people lost which is amazing.

Edited by Stauffenberg44

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Just now, Stauffenberg44 said:

It was full of wounded and was sailing to pick up more near Athens. Only 30 people lost which is amazing.

No, she was not.

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My bad! I thought I heard a survivor mention wounded men trying to climb stairs. She was on her way to pick up wounded in Athens carrying1065 people (673 crew, 315 RAMC, 77 Nurses).

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Just now, Stauffenberg44 said:

My bad! I thought I heard a survivor mention wounded men trying to climb stairs. She was on her way to pick up wounded in Athens carrying1065 people (673 crew, 315 RAMC, 77 Nurses).

Bingo!

 

That's not to say there wern't people who were wounded that were making their way to lifeboats on Britannic.

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The poor Olympic class :( It would have been so scary to have been on a sinking ship. And for it to have taken so long to sink, that's a long time to be scared and not sure what to do

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12 hours ago, Estimated_Prophet said:

They talk about it in one of Ballard’s Titanic books, so I was aware of it from that.

Thanks for the post.

You're welcome.

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if they had kept the portholes closed, she might have remained afloat as she was constructed with better water tight integrity then Titanic.

The Olympic class was a fairly successful design and popular ship. The only negatives being Titanic and how she was handled on her maiden voyage and several Olympic mishaps as a result from her draft and once due to her handling. Britannic was a war loss that really had nothing to do with the design.

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17 hours ago, WolfofWarship said:

The poor Olympic class :( It would have been so scary to have been on a sinking ship. And for it to have taken so long to sink, that's a long time to be scared and not sure what to do

I’d much rather have been on The Britannic  then on the Costa Concordia.  Better a slow sinking ship then one that refuses to board lifeboats until the ship has practically flipped over on it’s side.

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The Titanic was handled like a lemming train that can't even be bothered to ram the enemy properly (if it had run straight into the iceberg it could probably have survived instead of dealing with a long gash down the side).

The Britannic was handled like someone who has their cursor stuck with LMB signal constantly active (i.e. leaving themselves totally exposed)

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4 hours ago, Guardian54 said:

The Titanic was handled like a lemming train that can't even be bothered to ram the enemy properly (if it had run straight into the iceberg it could probably have survived instead of dealing with a long gash down the side).

The Britannic was handled like someone who has their cursor stuck with LMB signal constantly active (i.e. leaving themselves totally exposed)

No helmsman of a passenger liner would sacrifice the passengers in the bow to deliberately ram an iceberg, imagine what the court of inquiries would have looked like.  Not to mention that evidence has come to light that the Titanic was experiencing a coal fire at the time, which would have been greatly exacerbated by 46,000 tons being forced from 21kts to 0 in an instant.

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Unfortunately, a fair part of her dead came from two lifeboats launched without orders. Engines hadn't been stopped when when they tried to head out. They got sucked back into the props and smashed. 

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7 minutes ago, TheGreyGhost91 said:

Unfortunately, a fair part of her dead came from two lifeboats launched without orders. Engines hadn't been stopped when when they tried to head out. They got sucked back into the props and smashed. 

I found that detail to be a worse nightmare then anything on Titanic.

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Indeed. You believed that you were safe, that you were about to get away from the ship as she was going to be lost - only to spend the last desperate seconds trying to paddle away as the lifeboat is pulled back into the blades of the prop. 

Reminds one of the old saying: We often meet our fates, on the road we travel to avoid it. 

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2 hours ago, Sventex said:

No helmsman of a passenger liner would sacrifice the passengers in the bow to deliberately ram an iceberg, imagine what the court of inquiries would have looked like.  Not to mention that evidence has come to light that the Titanic was experiencing a coal fire at the time, which would have been greatly exacerbated by 46,000 tons being forced from 21kts to 0 in an instant.

Between ordering a shift to "all astern" ASAP and a rather slower-than-21-knot head-on ramming and tearing a gash in the side, in hindsight it would have been better to imitate a then-recent German liner, IIRC the Kronprinz Wilhelm and ram head-on (that ship survived).

But of course they thought they could dodge it completely, which would have been a better outcome.

 

The coal fire, I believe, is White Star Lines' great crime with the Titanic.

Edited by Guardian54

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27 minutes ago, Guardian54 said:

Between ordering a shift to "all astern" ASAP and a rather slower-than-21-knot head-on ramming and tearing a gash in the side, in hindsight it would have been better to imitate a then-recent German liner, IIRC the Kronprinz Wilhelm and ram head-on (that ship survived).

But of course they thought they could dodge it completely, which would have been a better outcome.

 

The coal fire, I believe, is White Star Lines' great crime with the Titanic.

They could have dodged it, if they alternated engine power, rather then crippling the rudder with a full astern.  But that's the nature of an emergency, people panic, and do the best course of action in the few seconds they have to think about it.  You see this all the time in Air Crash Investigations.  Captain Sully could have saved his plane if he pointed it straight away at an airport, but the rational mind doesn't think that way, they will try and fix the immediate problem (ex. restarting the engines), so as a result he had to ditch in the Hudson.  The question is, was First Officer Murdoch negligent in his handling of the iceberg maneuver?  I'm going to say no.  Had Captain Smith been on the bridge at the time, the same maneuver would probably have been attempted, there just wasn't that much experience with emergency maneuvers of the largest passenger liner in the world.

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The collision with the iceberg was also a near perfect storm of events: ship is moving too fast into an ice field, error in trying to avoid it, coupled with environmental factors: extremely calm seas, very dark night, and a possible false horizon from the temperature around the ice field. 

It'd have to agree with the bunker fire being White Star's biggest cover up in it, as while the ship was mortally wounded in the initial collision, that hastened her demise. Reports that have come to light suggest the damaged bulkhead blew out partway into the sinking, the time given for it rupturing matches up with a moment when Titanic's death sped up dramatically. It seems likely, that the bulkhead was crippled by the fire and warped, as accounts in the engine room claim, and was then unable to hold back the water once a certain pressure level arrived. 

There is also some question as to if White Star suppressed the fact that Titanic split in two, some accounts clearly stated she did, however, the accounts of her surviving officers say the ship did not. The split appears to have originated around the area of the expansion joint of the ship, a position that is then reinforced on Olympic, and heavily reinforced in Britannic. Suggesting that White Star realized that the ship split in two along that joint and took steps to counter it in the other two ships. 

Unfortunately, the man who would be most able to answer all of these questions perished in the sinking. Had Thomas Andrews survived we may have had better insight into the engineering failures in Titanic, if only because of increased changes to Britannic or Olympic. Though perhaps his own notes years later, as I doubt he'd have destroyed everything if it was attempted to be covered over. 

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