What happened to Olympic and Britannic, the sister ships of White Star Line’s Titanic?
In addition to the Titanic, White Star Line’s Olympic vessels consisted of two other ships with very different fates.
More than a century after its sinking, the Titanic has been thrust back to the front of public conscious. The disappearance and subsequent confirmation of the death of the five people who were on board the Titan submersible has led to talk again of one of the greatest catastrophes in history.
More than 1,500 people lost their lives in the sinking of the ocean liner, the jewel of the White Star Line shipping company.
The Titanic was not alone and was part of the Olympic line, named in reference to Greek mythology. Her two sister ships were the Olympic and the Britannic. Due to the sinking of the Titanic, the others significantly improved their security measures.
Olympic, the sole survivor of the three sister ships
Of the three ships built by White Star Line only the Olympic was able to survive. Built in 1911, its first voyage was in June of that same year. It was not without its own problems and damaged its hull against a British cruiser.
The Titanic accident meant a major remodeling of the Olympic, especially in terms of safety. Lifeboat capacity trebled from 20 lifeboats to 68. Over the years, it had different uses. It participated in the First World War, being used as transport for soldiers. In a battle against a German submarine she did not sink.
After the war, Olympic returned to his normal duties, and continued to serve until 1934, when he was retired from the sea. Following the merger of White Star Line with another company, the decision was made to reduce the number of ships, and the Olympic was sold and scrapped.
The Britannic met the same fate as the Titanic.
In comparison, the Britannic had a very short life. This was the last of the three ships to be built, as it was put to sea in 1915. Following the company’s idea of naming its ships after Greek mythology, it was going to be called Gigantic, in reference to the race of giants.
Like the Olympic, Britannic took part in the First World War. The Royal Navy confiscated this ship from the company and put it to work as a hospital ship.
It didn’t take too long to suffer the same fate as the Titanic. On 21 November, 1916, it sank in the Aegean Sea after an explosion. There were a large number of survivors, some 1,000. This was due not only to a greater presence of lifeboats, but also to the proximity of the ship to the islands, and the temperature of the sea.