Sunday, October 28, 2012

Untitled document
There was a trio of luxurious and giant ocean cruise ships and the Britannic was the third of these Olympic class vessels. The other two were the Olympic and the Titanic. It was built by the Belfast shipbuilders by the name of Harland and Wolff for the line of cruise ships known as the White Star Line. It was decided that the Britannic will be built in 1907, at the home of Lord William Pirrie during a dinner. He was the chairman of Harland and Wolff. During this dinner, Pirrie met the chairman of the White Star Line and president of the International Mercantile Marine (IMM), Joseph Bruce Ismay. The IMM was a group of companies that worked in shipping and was owned by John Pierpont Morgan, an American financier. Morgan decided to join the competition that was happening between shipping lines between the voyages going between America and Europe in 1901. Do to the vast amount of immigrants coming into the country, shipping lines also began to increase. The White Star Line was under threat by French, Italian, and German shipping companies all trying to send shipment to and from America. To win this battle, Morgan created the IMM, a huge trust. The IMM bought the White Star Line because Bruce Ismay was trying to run the entire thing and it was too hard for him, so he sold it to the IMM in 1902. That left the British Cunard the only independent British shipping line left. This was really bad for the British government because now they could not use the White Star Line in case of an emergency.
The British government wanted to keep the White Star on their registry and therefore make it available to them in case of any emergency. As a return favor, the White Star would not be treated as a foreign ship company and therefore would not have to pay the taxes that foreign companies did. Then, it loaned the Cunard Line 2,600,000 pounds so that they would build two super ships. With this money and government help, the Cunard launched their first ship, the Lusitania, in 1907. She was 31,500 tons and 45, 5 knots. Also, they launched the Mauretania, which was 31,938 tons and over 24, 5 knots. This made the Mauretania the fastest and largest ocean liner ship in the world.
The White Star Line had to react to the competition and with the help of the IMM they built the Olympic in 1910 and the Titanic in 1911. The Olympic was 45, 324 tons and 22 knots and the Titanic was 46, 328 tons and 22 knots. In 1914 a third ship would be built, called the Britannic which was 48, 158 tons and 22 knots. The Britannic was originally named the Gigantic, but was renamed after the tragedy of the Titanic. Cunard had to also fight back and began building the Aquitania, weighing at 45, 647 tons. This battling balance would not last for much long for both these ship building giants.


Post a Comment