The ship "Olympic" (Olympic): the history of creation, description, characteristics. White Star Line transatlantic liner
The largest shipping company, White, at the beginning of the 20th century, built three Olympic-class ships that were almost completely identical to each other. All ships of this class were distinguished by gigantic size and splendor. The first of the three was "Olympic". He outlived his twin brothers (“Titanic” and “Britannicus”) by several decades. Interest in the history of the transatlantic liner "Olympic" continues unabated. We will tell about it in detail in the article.
Background to the creation of the liner "Olympic"
The Olympic ship, like its brothers in the same class, was conceived and built for the sole purpose of wiping the nose of competitors and winning the challenge prize, which was awarded for record speed at the intersection of the North Atlantic.
The “Blue Ribbon of the Atlantic” in 1897 was awarded for a speed of 22.5 knots to the new German high-speed liner Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse. And the Celtic trans-Atlantic airliner, the largest in those days, was owned by the White Star Line company, the only worthy competitor of which was the Cunard Line company.
Due to a lack of finances, Cunard Line is applying to the Government of Britain for a loan to build two new high-speed airliners. The money was allocated, but with the condition that the ships built with their help will be converted into military cruisers in case the war starts. Liners "Lusitania" and "Mauritania" became the largest and fastest ships at that time.
The new owner of the White Star Line (the American company IMM, which was headed by Pierpont Morgan) was going to create a monopoly on the North Atlantic way.However, the acquisition of Cunard Line was also impossible, as it was funded by the British Government.
Features of the design "Olympic", characteristics
The White Star Line company for the construction of all its ships was contracted with the shipyard Harland and Wolff, which was located in Northern Ireland, the city of Belfast.
The big ships “Titanic”, “Britanic” and “Olympic” were conceived as the most luxurious and safe ships of the Atlantic, with superior speed and enormous size.The tonnage of each ship was to exceed the tonnage of the “Mauritania” by at least 15,000 tons. In order for such a large object to reach a speed sufficient to conquer the Blue Ribbon of the Atlantic, it was necessary to invest considerably in powerful engines.
It was originally planned to build a dining room as the main attraction of the ship. And to make it cover all three decks. But then the central staircase of the first class nevertheless became the highlight of the liner.
The ship "Olympic" was launched in 1910, October 20. And on June 14, 1911 he was put into operation.
The vessel "Olympic" had the following main characteristics:
- The displacement is initially 45.324 brt (BRT-gross registered ton = 100 cubic feet). In 1913 it was improved to 46,358 tons, and in 1920 - to 46,439 tons.
- The length of the vessel is 268.8 m.
- The width of the ship - 28.19 m.
- Liner height - 18.4 m.
- Draft - 10.54 m.
- Engines - 24 six-furnace double-sided, 5 three-furnace single-sided Scotch steam boilers.One low pressure turbine for the central screw (18000 hp.). Two reciprocating engine triple expansion, four-cylinder for the extreme side screws (16000 hp. Pp.).
- The power of the vessel is 50,000 horsepower.
- The speed of the "Olympic" - 23 knots at a maximum speed of 25 knots.
- The required crew is 860 people.
- The vessel could accommodate 2435 passengers.
Description of the interior
The ship "Olympic" was used for an advertising campaign. Therefore, immediately after launching, its hull was painted white, so that the ship looked most advantageous on promotional photos. Subsequently, the ship was repainted and turned black.
The interior of the "Olympic" was distinguished by elegance. English restraint and simplicity of style spoke about luxury and taste. The first-class dining room, decorated in the style of the Stuarts dynasty, was considered the largest room of the ship. It was stretched to the full width of the liner, accommodating at the same time 532 visitors.
The luxury of a first-class smoking room was another Olympic landmark. Tables for card games were covered with green velvet, the convenience of the chairs was not in doubt, and the execution of the interior in dark colors had an enveloping and relaxing effect.
A first-class boat deck and a glass promenade located on deck B were intended for walks. First of all, they were also provided with a swimming pool, a squash court, a gym and Turkish baths. And for the convenience of movement on the ship worked elevator.
The premises of the second class on the "Olympic" could easily have passed for the first class on other ships. The dining room here was decorated in early English style and had a capacity of up to 400 guests at a time. Comfortable cabins second class looked very dignified. Passengers could walk along the boat deck along with guests from the first class, and also for these purposes they were provided with aft part of the deck B.
For passengers of the third class were provided separate cabins for four people. In the stern (on deck C) there was a spacious smoking and comfortable common room.
The transatlantic liner “Olympic” lived a long ship life, unlike its unlucky brothers. However, the fate of the ship was not cloudless.
The first trouble happened in New York in 1911. Then the tug, weighing 187 tons, sucked under the "Olympic".During this incident, the liner received several minor scratches, and the port tug stood for repair for a long time.
There was also a staged incident with glasses forgotten by one of the passengers. This happened when the ship was returning from New York to Britain for the first time. A parcel with new glasses dropped from an airplane did not hit the ship, but flew past straight into the water.
The biggest trouble happened on September 20, 1911, when the Hawk cruiser crashed into the stern of the Olympic. The liner received a hole of 14 meters and was long under repair. The Hawk, with a flattened nose, was also docked for repairs.
Then the "Olympic" was found guilty of this incident. The company White Star Line had to pay for the repair of the cruiser. However, later this case was included in the navigation textbooks, which described the physical reason for the suction of vessels, called the Venturi effect. According to this, the Hawker cruiser was the culprit in the collision. It carried out an unacceptably dangerous maneuver of overtaking a vessel with a hull of greater length and a large displacement.
The death of "Titanic"
The ships of the White Star Line of the “Olympic” class were distinguished by some special “luck”.Incidents happened to Olimpik, the Britannik exploded on a German mine and sank, and the tragedy of the Titanic made the whole world grieve.
"Titanic" sank on the way to New York, near the island of Newfoundland, receiving serious damage to the hull of the ship after a collision with an iceberg. The crash occurred on the night of April 15 in 1912. After flooding of five compartments the ship went to the bottom. That ill-fated night in the icy water killed 1,496 people. Only 712 passengers survived.
Having received a distress signal, the Olympic hurried to the rescue with all possible speed. However, he was too far from the scene of the tragedy. Therefore, the surviving passengers picked up the ship "Carpathia", owned by competitors White Star Line - the company Cunard Line.
It was decided that Carpathia would take the survivors to New York. A "Olympic" continued on his way to Southampton. Going ashore on April 21, the passengers and the Olympic team found the country in mourning.
Consequences of the death of "Titanic" for "Olympic"
The Olympic vessel, after the tragedy with the Titanic, docked in Belfast to re-equip the ship. The wreck revealed many shortcomings, among which were an insufficient number of lifeboats and difficulty during their launching into the water.
The result of retrofitting was:
- Replacing existing lifeboats with standard, reliable and wooden boats.
- The number of boats brought to a complete set of 64 pieces, which are installed in two rows one above the other on the boat deck.
- The hull is reinforced and the bulkheads are raised.
- To make room for boats, the café Parisien is carried onto deck B.
The ship "Olympic" after perestroika became harder. And the title of the largest ship went to him, but not for long. In 1913, the Emperor was launched from HAPAG (Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft). This vessel weighed 52,000 tons.
Olympic military service in the Mediterranean
In 1914, the First World War began. The Olympic was repainted gray and continued transporting passengers and cargo to America and back, but with an eye to wartime.
The military situation was getting worse. October 9, 1914 "Olympic" was called to the service. The captain received an order to follow to Belfast to install guns. On the way to the Olympic dock, they called for help from the sinking warship Odisheis, which hit a German mine and began to sink.
But it was not possible to tow the sinking battleship due to serious damage to the steering wheel.The team from Odishishe was transferred to Olympic and Liverpool. The result of the rescue operation was only one dead. Odisheis sank.
After seven months of waiting at the Olympic dock, it was finally called in to serve the Government under the command of Captain Bertram Hayes. On board there are three artillery guns: on the tank and aft.
On October 1, 1915, risking a ship, Captain Hayes picked up the surviving passengers from the sunken French steamer Provence. For this act, Hayes was presented by the grateful French to the Salvation Medal and received serious accusations in his native England.
Olympic military service between Canada and England
The Olympic ship, while in military service, was called in as a transport between England and the port of Halifax in Canada. For this work, the color of the ship was changed again, this time for camouflage.
In 1918 (April 24), returning from the next flight, accompanied by American cruisers, a submarine belonging to the enemy was noticed at the Olympic. The submarine captain noticed a huge airliner only when shelling began from it.
Too close finding of the submarine from the side of the Olympic did not allow enough to lower the guns to hit the target. The recollected submarine tried to escape, but, thanks to Heis's vast experience in navigation, Olympic caught up with the enemy and at top speed with its huge weight of 46,359 tons rammed a light 800-ton submarine, which immediately sank, split into two pieces.
The escort warship Davis, at the request of Captain Hayes, picked up the Germans who survived the ramming. Olympic returned home as a hero with minor injuries.
Life liner after the war
The history of the ship "Olympic" did not end after the First World War. Upon completion of the necessary modernization, the airliner set off on its first post-war transatlantic flight to New York.
A significant event on the way back of this flight was the presence on board of the famous English comedian of the time, Charlie Chaplin.
In March 1924, another incident happened to Olimpik. The huge liner departed from the pier in New York. Making this maneuver, the Olympic crashed into the cruiser Fort St. George, causing him considerable damage.The ship itself was forced to get up for repair to replace the skin on the stern.
The big ships of the White Star Line Company again made up the trio, when the place of Britannik was taken by the trophy Bismarck, renamed Majestic, with Captain Hayes at the head. And Columbus, who became Gomeric, took the place of Titanic.
The White Star Line company became completely British in 1927, when it was bought by Sir Owen Phillips. And in November 1933 there was a merger of two intimate opponents - White Star Line and Cunard Line.
End of career
Olympic made 257 flights from Southampton to New York and back. At the end of his career (in 1934) not far from New York, an aging airliner under the command of captain John Bings survived his last encounter. This time with a floating lighthouse.
In conditions of thick fog at a speed of 10 knots, Olympic cut the ship in half. As a result of this collision, seven people from the Nantucket Lighthouse crew were killed.
The glorious life of the ship "Olympic". What happened to him when he was old and could not work anymore? The ship was sold to Sir John Jervis, who immediately resold the "old man" of the company "Thomas Ward and Sons."Before dismantling the auction was sold furniture and decoration. Most of the interior decoration of the ship is currently located in the White Swan Hotel.
In October 1935, the Olympic ship was removed from the fleet and dismantled for metal.