Why They Sunk The Titanic ~ Full Length
What do you do if your company owns two of the world's largest ocean-going liners which are almost identical in design, the older one having been involved in a series of accidents, with the most recent having rendered it uninsurable, unable to pass safety inspections and too costly to repair or rebuild? What if, further, the cost of replacing the 'jinxed' ship would likely bankrupt the firm and its owners? Well, if you were a key decision-maker in the White Star Line in the early 20th century, you may well have decided that the only way out was to switch the newer Titanic with its sister ship Olympic just prior to its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean - one that you knew would never be completed - having laid out in advance a cunning plan to have it sunk to the furthest depths of the ocean floor.
While suspicions and rumors of a switch have circulated since the day of the disaster 100 years ago (before the trip almost the entire boiler crew - suspecting, refused to work and had to be replaced), recent research has uncovered physical evidence of the swap beneath those watery depths following the 1985 discovery and ongoing extensive explorations of the wreck by Robert Ballard. The gripping 6-part video and article expose much of the intrigue surrounding that key piece of recorded history.
Was the ocean liner that sank at 02:20am April 15th 1912 really RMS Titanic, or was it RMS Olympic? It is now suggested that due to an insurance scam, the two liners identities had been switched.In 1907, wealthy financier of International Mercantile Marine John Pierpont Morgan and the chairman of White Star Line, Joseph Bruce Ismay along with the chairman of Harland & Wolff shipyard Lord William Pirrie, together decided that a fleet of three new luxury liners should be built. They wanted to compete with Cunnard Line who currently had the biggest ocean liners at the time, The Lusitania and The Mauritania.
J. P. Morgan 1837 - 1913
J. B. Ismay 1862 - 1937Atlantic voyages were big business in the early 1900's and it was a very competitive market to be in. Wealthy passengers voted with their feet about which ocean liners to choose for their long journey's, therefore liner owners were making them more and more luxurious to cater for their tastes.The three new super liners would be built explicitly to ferry the rich and famous across the Atlantic, but would also cater for 2nd class and 3rd steerage class passengers. These three new liners would be the most exuberant and luxurious ships ever to have been constructed to sail the seas, especially for 1st class travel.It was even stated that 3rd class travel on RMS Titanic was in comparison to 2nd class travel on a lot of other ships.In 1908, one year later after the initial meeting, work began on the construction of the three new super liners. They were to be built and named in the consecutive order of RMS Olympic, RMS Titanic and RMS Gigantic. However, after the sinking of " RMS Titanic " White Star Line changed the name of RMS Gigantic into RMS Britannic.
NOTE:Even if not added to the actual liners name on the bow, the correct pre-fix titles for these liners were the initials RMS. This stood for Royal Mail Steamer, indicating that the liners were authorised by His Majesty's government to carry, handle and sort mail. All mail, even today in the UK belongs to the Crown when it is posted until the time it is delivered. In 1912, it was deemed very posh and auspicious to have the RMS pre-fix attached to your ships name.
The RMS Britannic as seen below, was later actually titled HMHS Britannic. His Majesty's Hospital Ship, as it was converted into a floating hospital when it was requisitioned on November 14th 1915 during WWI.
HMHS Britannic was later sunk on November 21st 1916, with a loss of 30 lives, when she struck a mine off the Greek island of Kea, in the Kea Channel. The mine had been laid by German U-Boat U-73. A photo of HMHS Britannic sinking is seen below.
Some conspiracy theorists suggest that she may actually have been torpedoed by U-73 but this has never been proven. She sank in relatively shallow waters that were 400 feet deep and consequently she is a diving attraction to this day.All three liners, were 99% identical to each other, all built at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland, for a cost of $10,000,000 each, today's estimate at over $120Million each.On October 20th 1910 RMS Olympic was launched amongst a large crowd of press and onlookers, with much bunting, cheering and waving. Eight months later on June 14th 1911, She took her maiden voyage.
NOTE:When a ship is launched it is only the empty hull that goes into the water. The ship is berthed at dock and is then fitted out. The funnels also go on during fitting, it normally takes thousands of workers about ten months to complete. Below, the hull of the RMS Olympic, being fitted out in the docks.
Only three funnels actually worked on all White Star Line liners, the last funnel was a fake for aesthetical purposes.RMS Olympic was an unlucky ship, several workers had been injured during her construction and quiet whispers of her being a " Jonah " or a jinxed ship went around the docks by the superstitious amongst them.This jinx seemed to have followed RMS Olympic and she met with several unfortunate accidents whilst at sea. On her maiden voyage under the command of Captain and Commodore of White Star Line, Edward John Smith, RMS Olympic had an accident with a tug in New York. The accident happened in harbor whilst docking at Pier 59. The tug was apparently sucked in by the wash, colliding with RMS Olympic's stern. However, no damage was evidently reported.Only three months later on September 20th 1911, RMS Olympic met with yet another collision. This time with the British Royal Navy Edgar Class Cruiser HMS Hawke, off the Isle of White. The damage inflicted this time, was reported.HMS Hawke seen above, was actually fitted with an underwater battering ram, as a lot of 19th century warships at that time were. These rams were designed to inflict maximum damage to any ship they rammed into, RMS Olympic being the unlucky recipient, showed testimony of this. The image below depicts the initial damage.The damage below the waterline however, was said to be far more serious, also the super structure had warped. The damage is shown in the photo below, it was taken after RMS Olympic had limped into the docks in Southampton for makeshift repair work to be carried out.She had to be made seaworthy enough to sail to the main shipyard at Belfast, to undergo more extensive repairs. All this was going to be of great cost to White Star Line, especially as it delayed work on RMS Titanic. The damage included hundreds of broken rivets and buckled steel plates on both sides of the ship, a cracked crankshaft, a broken starboard propeller, a bent propeller shaft and the keel was warped.The warped keel gave RMS Olympic a permanent 2 degrees list to port and the ship builders stated that it could not be corrected without rebuilding half of the ship. This was tantamount to saying a new ship was needed to be built.
NOTE:On " RMS Titanic's " maiden voyage many on board noted that the liner appeared to have a very slight list to port?RMS Olympic would also have had a very hard time passing another Board of Trade Inspection. These standard inspections ensured a ship was 100% safe to carry seafaring passengers, something RMS Olympic definitely was not.