Black Hawk Mines - HMHS Britannic - The "Forgotten Sister"

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The Olympic and Titanic have been built. The HMHS (His Majesty's Hospital Ship) Britannic was the third " wonder ship" to be built. Originally, the ship was to be named " Gigantic ", but due to the loss of the Titanic, her name was changed to Britannic. The White Star Line knew if they were to keep ahead in the race across the Atlantic the new liner would have to be more magnificent than her older sisters.

Due to the sinking of the Titanic, large scale alterations would have to be made to her design. She could not sink in under 3 hours. She must carry enough lifeboats to accommodate every passenger and crew member.

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Black Hawk Mines - HMHS Britannic - The "Forgotten Sister"

  1. 1. Black Hawk Mines HMHS Britannic - The "Forgotten Sister"
  2. 2. The Olympic and Titanic have beenbuilt. The HMHS (His MajestysHospital Ship) Britannic was the third" wonder ship" to be built. Originally,the ship was to be named" Gigantic ", but due to the loss of theTitanic, her name was changed toBritannic. The White Star Line knew ifthey were to keep ahead in the raceacross the Atlantic the new linerwould have to be more magnificentthan her older sisters.Due to the sinking of the Titanic, largescale alterations would have to bemade to her design. She could notsink in under 3 hours. She must carryenough lifeboats to accommodateevery passenger and crew member.
  3. 3. Britannic was beingconstructed in 1913. Herstructure ran 852 feet(longer than the Olympic).She was fitted with adouble skin hull. It ran forthe full length of the boilerand engine roomcompartments. An extrabulkhead was added tomake 17 compartmentsand five of them wereextended to the Bridgedeck some 40 foot abovethe waterline. Thesemodifications should intheory prevent her fromsinking in under threehours.
  4. 4. • The boiler room and engine rooms were more or less identical to the Olympic except that Britannic turbine engines could generate18,000 horse power. The engines were not built by John Brown & Co as in the case for Olympic but were built by Harland & Wolff.• Her stern would differ from the Olympics because the aft shelter deck was enclosed so that the third class passengers could enjoy a covered area of exterior deck. The third class smoking room was placed above their general room giving the impression that the stern was much bigger.
  5. 5. • Another striking difference was the layout of the lifeboats. She was designed to carry 48 open lifeboats. Forty- six of them would be 34 foot long (making them the largest lifeboats ever placed on a ship before). Two of the 46 would be motor propelled and would carry wireless sets for communications. The other two were 26 foot cutters placed at both sides of the bridge.
  6. 6. • Essentially, the interior of the ship would not differ from the Olympic and Titanic. The builders added extra delights throughout the ship for every class. The second class were given a gymnasium and many of her private room were fitted with private bathrooms.
  7. 7. On the 26th February 1914the Britannic was ready forlaunching. The weatherwas grim but the officialsplodded on. At 11.10 a.m.a rocket signalled thecommencement of theceremony and theworkforce removed theblocks keeping the hullfrom slipping into thewater. At 11.15 with thehelp of 20 tonnes of tallow,train oil and soft soap shemoved down the slipway.She took 81 seconds tostand afloat in the water.
  8. 8. Following the successfullaunch she was towed tothe Abercon Basin to starther fitting. She was pulledby the tugs" Herculaneum "," Huskisson ", " Hornby ","Alexandra " and the" Hercules ".The British press were infavour of the ship anddescribed her as " atwentieth Century ship inevery sense of the word "and " the highestachievement of her day inthe practise of shipbuilding and marineengineering "
  9. 9. • Hundreds of workmen commenced the task of fitting her out. Electricians, plumbers and carpenters all played a crucial part. To the White Star Line, progress was too slow and poor. On the 2nd July 1914 they announced that Britannic would not be ready for her maiden voyage until early spring 1915. Amongst the reason for delay was finance. Harland and Wolff was owed £585,000 from the IMM which would have made all the difference to the progress if the money could have been used on the ship. The financial problem was so great that Britannic was not completed but left for nearly a whole year.

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