White Star and Titanic, What Could have Been

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SsgtC

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So, this is my first timeline. It explores what could have been had Titanic not sunk on her maiden voyage. Due to the sheer number of butterflies created, I will be attempting to limit the timeline to events that specifically affect White Star Line or the people that were onboard Titanic that night. Comments are more than welcome.

10APR1912
At Noon, the RMS Titanic departs Southampton, England on her Maiden Voyage. She arrives at Cherbourg, France at 1900. The White Star tender, SS Nomadic begins ferrying passengers and cargo to and from Titanic. Titanic departs Cherbourg at 2100 for Queenstown, Ireland, her last stop before heading across the Atlantic for New York.

11APR1912
Titanic arrives in Queenstown, Ireland at 1230. She spends the next hour and a half taking on more passengers and cargo before departing at 1400 for New York, United States. Upon leaving Ireland, Titanic receives 6 warnings of ice along her course.

12APR1912
Titanic receives or intercepts 5 warnings of ice ahead. Only 2 of these messages are delivered to Captain Smith and later posted to the bridge as Senior Radio Operator Jack Philips and Junior Radio Operator Harold Bride, both employees of the Marconi Company, begin to send and receive message traffic from Cape Race in Newfoundland. At 2300 that night, the wireless set breaks down. Phillips and Bride work all night attempting to repair the radio.

13APR1912
Phillips and Bride finally repair the wireless set at 0600. They begin working through the backlog of messages that have accumulated in the 7 hours since the radio went down. During the day, 3 additional ice warnings are sent to Titanic.

14APR1912
Titanic begins receiving ice warnings at 0900, as SS Caronia, followed by SS Noordam, send the same ice warning to Titanic. Being Sunday, Captain Smith, Commodore of the White Star Line, orders lifeboat drill be held at 1100. This drill is mainly for the benefit of the crew, showing them their assigned stations in event of an emergency. Though passengers in all classes are also shown where to muster.

Fellow White Star liner RMS Baltic radios Titanic with yet another ice warning at 1342. This message is delivered to Captain Smith who proceeds to show it to J. Bruce Ismay, managing director of the White Star Line. Mr Ismay pockets this message. It is not posted to the bridge for the other officers to see until 1915. Shortly following the Baltic's warning, Titanic intercepts a messages sent by SS Amerika to the US Hydrographic Office warning of ice. This message is never delivered to the bridge.

At 1930, Titanic again intercepts an ice warning message. This time from SS Californian to SS Antillian. Unlike the previous intercept, this message is posted to the bridge.

At 2140, SS Mesaba sends an ice warning directly to Titanic warning of large bergs approximately 15 miles from Titanic's position. Due to being overwhelmed with message traffic to and from Cape Race, this warning is never delivered to the bridge. Roughly and hour and twenty minutes later, SS Californian sends a message to Titanic informing Titanic that they have stopped for the night due to being surrounded by ice. Jack Phillips, busy sending messages to and from Cape Race angrily responds, "Shut up, shut up. You're jamming my signal. I'm busy. I'm working Cape Race." Aboard Californian, wireless operator Cyril Evans waits approximately 20 minutes to inform Titanic of their position before giving up and shutting down his set for the night and retiring to bed.

The time is now 2339. Lookout Fredrick Fleet sounds the warning bell in the crow's nest and picks up the phone to the bridge. He informs Sixth Officer Moody, "Iceberg Right Ahead!" First Officer Murdoch orders all engines stop followed by full astern. He then orders the helm "hard-a-starboard." This has the effect of turning Titanic to port. Realizing how close the ship was to the berg, he orders the watertight doors closed.

2340. Titanic hits the iceberg along her starboard side. Murdoch orders "hard-a-port" to swing Titanic's stern away from the berg. Captain Smith arrives back on the bridge after having previously retired for the night at 2120. Upon arrival on the bridge, he is informed by First Officer Murdoch that Titanic has struck an iceberg. Captain Smith then orders Fourth Officer Boxhall to inspect the ship for damage. Boxhall finds that the Orlop Deck is flooded forward of the number 4 bulkhead.

Boxhall arrives back on the bridge by 2345 and reports the flooding to Captain Smith. At this point, Captain Smith orders the ship's architect, Thomas Andrews, and the Ship's Carpenter to sound the ship. He also orders Chief Officer Henry Wilde and Second Officer Charles Lightoller to attempt to slow the spread of the flooding and ensure that all hatches forward are secured. Fourth Officer Boxhall is ordered to fix Titanic's position.

15APR1912
Thomas Andrews arrives back on the bridge at midnight and informs Captain Smith that Titanic's first 6 compartments have been breached and that Titanic will founder in 1-2 hours. Upon hearing this, Captain Smith responds, "Like hell she will!" Captain Smith proceeds to order Third Officer Pittman and Fourth Officer Boxhall to prepare the lifeboats for lowering under the supervision of First Officer Murdoch. Fifth Officer Harold Lowe is ordered to strip the hatch covers from off the cargo holds and rig lines to attempt to fother the hull and slow the intake of water.

Five minutes after being informed of Thomas Andrews opinion of Titanic's condition, Captain Smith orders Phillips and Bride to being sending distress calls. Thomas Andrews and the Harland and Wolfe guarantee crew are asked to assist with damage control efforts, knowing the ship the best. They are specifically asked to help slow the intake of water and help get additional pumps hooked up to the main bilge pipe to increase Titanic's pumping capacity.

By 0015, Titanic's distress call has been acknowledged by Cape Race, SS Mount Temple and SS La Provence. Boiler room 5, the sixth watertight compartment reports to the bridge that the damage to the hull has been contained and the compartment pumped dry. Thomas Andrews and the
guarantee crew assist in connecting the Boiler Room Ash Ejectors to the main bilge pipe, adding additional pumping capacity to Titanic's bilge and ballast pumps.

By 0025, Fifth Officer Lowe sends the first hatch cover over the side by boiler room 6. Water pressure presses the canvas into the damaged seam, slowing the influx of water into the ship. Second Officer Lightoller reports to the bridge that, while the water in boiler room 6 is still rising, it is not rising as quickly. Captain Smith, following his duty to his passengers, orders "women and children first" into the boats. He specifically orders Murdoch to ensure each boat is filled to capacity before lowering. Harold Bride informs Captain Smith that RMS Carpathia has responded to their distress call with an ETA of four hours. Captain Smith dryly remarks, "we shall have to dress ship for their arrival." This remark quickly
makes its way through the ship, instilling confidence in passengers and crew alike. Unfortunately, some passengers now refuse to board the boats and must be physically forced into them.

Fifteen minutes after the first hatch cover was sent over the side, Fifth Officer Lowe sends the second and third hatch covers, tarred together, over the side by boiler room six. Charles Lightoller informs the bridge that the water is no longer rising in the compartment. Chief Officer Wilde has now assembled members of the crew with materials useful in containing the damage; primarily bedding, mattresses and lumber shoring beams. They are gathered just outside Boiler Room 6.

At 0045, Captain Smith orders Sixth Officer Moody to sound the ship again. Lifeboat 7 is the first boat lowered with 64 souls onboard. Moody reports back to the bridge at 0050 that Titanic is down 15 feet at the bow. The forepeak tank has flooded, though the forepeak itself is still dry. Compartment 2 is flooded up to E Deck. Compartments 3 and 4 are flooded up to F Deck. However the water level in Compartment 5 has dropped by ten feet and is continuing to drop.

The time is now 0055. Sixth Officer Lowe sends the fourth and fifth hatch covers over the side. These hatch covers cover the remainder of boiler room 6 and begin to fother the hull over Hold no. 3. The water in Compartment 6 is now down to the boiler room. The water inflow into compartment 4
has slowed, but is still rising, now beginning to flood F Deck. Lifeboats 5 and 6 are also lowered at this time. Carrying 66 and 62 souls respectively

At 0100, lifeboat 3 is launched with 68 souls on board. Lifeboats 1 and 8 follow at 0110 with 41 and 63 souls onboard.

Boiler room 6 becomes accessible by 0115. Chief Officer Wilde and Second Officer Lightoller lead their men to the damaged sections of hull and begin shoring up the damage. Titanic is now down only 10 feet at the bow. Thomas Andrews informs Captain Smith that as long as the pumps can keep up, Titanic should float.

In the 15 minutes between 0120 and 0135 lifeboats 9 through 16 are launched. They are carrying 64, 61, 60, 72, 65, 67, 62 and 65 souls respectively.

At 0140, Second Office Lightoller reports to the bridge that boiler room 6 has been pumped dry and the damage to the hull will be shored up within 30 minutes. Captain Smith commends the fine work that Wilde, Lightoller and their men have done. Fifth Officer Lowe sends over the lifeboat covers sewn into a larger piece and covered with tar to try and seal the damage to Hold no 3.

By 0145, lifeboats 2 and 4 are launched. They carry 39 and 66 passengers. Sixth officer Moody reports to Captain Smith that the flooding in Compartment 4 has been contained and that the pumps are now keeping up with the inflow. Shortly after this at 0150, Murdoch, Pitman and Boxhall rig the davit falls to collapsible boats A-D and begin filling them. These boats are launched between 0200 and 0215 with Captain Smith ordering First Officer Murdoch to accompany Collapsible D with Titanic's log book, "just in case." The collapsible boats are launched carrying 48, 45, 47 and 46 passengers. All boats have been launched by 0215 with 1,103 souls on board, leaving 1,121 on Titanic. Captain Smith orders all passengers and crew not actively assisting in damage control efforts to move as far aft as possible. This raises Titanic's head by six inches to one foot. Second Officer Lightoller reports to Captain Smith at 0225 that repairs to Compartment 5 are now completed. At 0240, the carpet in the First Class Reading and Writing Room is ripped up, tarred and sent over the side by hold no 3. The water level in compartment 4 begins dropping. The damaged hull section in Compartment 4 becomes accessible by 0330. Chief Officer Wilde and his men begin shoring up the damaged plating. At this time, Carpathia radios Titanic that they are close by. Titanic begins firing rockets at 10 minute intervals to aid Carpathia in locating her.
Captain Rostron of RMS Carpathia radios Titanic that they have them in sight at 0355. Titanic requests Carpathia send over damage control supplies and take off remaining passengers until Titanic is sufficiently repaired to get underway. At 0420, the Carpathia begins launching her boats to ferry
Titanic's passengers to her. All passengers are removed from Titanic by 0500.

At 0515 Second Officer Lightoller and Chief Officer Wilde report to Captain Smith that the damage to Compartment 4 has been shored up and is leaking only 100 GPH. Captain Smith personally commends both Chief Officer Wilde and Second Officer Lightoller and their men for their exceptional work. He
then orders the two officers and their men to get some rest. Captain Smith and Thomas Andrews then meet at 0530 to determine Titanic's maximum safe speed to avoid causing further damage to the hull or dislodging the repairs. Thomas Andrews recommends that Titanic not exceed 10 knots until more
permanent repairs are completed.

By 0600, the steamer Californian arrives on the scene, Captains Rostron and Smith request that Captain Lord take some of Titanic's passengers aboard to relieve space on Carpathia. Meanwhile, in New York, the New York Times, having misinterpreted radio messages, publishes a story claiming that RMS Titanic has sunk on her maiden voyage with the loss of over 1,200 souls. The White Star Line offices in NY quickly issue a denial, stating that Titanic was damaged, but is proceeding under her own power to NY. This is based off a message that Captain Smith sent to NY at 0700 that stated that Titanic had struck a berg, was damaged and will not arrive in NY until the 19th.

At 1000 ship's time, having completed additional damage control, Titanic begins taking passengers back aboard since neither Carpathia nor Californian have enough space aboard for all of Titanic's passengers and their own as well. Captain Smith orders half speed ahead at 1200, resuming Titanic's voyage to NY. Both Carpathia and Californian stay in company with Titanic in case her damage control efforts fail and it becomes necessary to abandon ship once again. Titanic is proceeding with only boiler rooms 1, 2, 3 and 4 operating due to damage to boiler rooms 5 and 6. Once Titanic begins moving, water noticeably begins to enter compartments 4, 5 and 6. Though slow enough that the pumps are able to keep ahead of the
inflow. It is a tense voyage to NY, with the Ship's Carpenter and several crew members keeping a careful eye on the damage and performing continuing repairs as needed.

On April 19, 1912 at 1400, Titanic arrives safely in New York Harbor and ties up to the White Star Pier. All passengers are disembarked by 1700. Naval inspectors board soon after to begin evaluating what is need to repair Titanic. She is moved to a dry dock on April 21st at 0800. Upon draining the dry dock, it is discovered that Titanic has buckled hull plates for nearly 400 feet, with split seams for approximately 300 feet. Repairs begin immediately under the supervision of Thomas Andrews and other Harland and Wolff craftsman. Repairs are estimated to take 3 weeks.

Beginning on April 22nd, the US Senate begins a Court of Inquiry into the near loss of Titanic. The inquiry commends Captain Smith and his crew for their "steadfast devotion to duty and their unwavering efforts to save their ship." Thomas Andrews and Harland and Wolff are also commended for Titanic's design and for the strength of the ship and quality of construction. The Olympic-class liners are held up as an example of the safety of modern liners. With both Titanic and Olympic suffering damage to their hulls, but still being able to proceed under their own power. However, the Marconi Company, and radio operators Bride and Phillips are censured for placing priority on passenger traffic and not reporting all ice warnings to the bridge. The Court of Inquiry recommends several changes to shipping laws. Including a recommendation that all wireless operators be employees of the Shipping Line, not of the radio company. It also recommends that all wireless operators be retrained to prioritize ship's traffic over
passenger traffic. Additionally, the Court of Inquiry recommends that all new passenger liners be built with "sufficient compartmentalization to ensure the vessel can remain afloat with 1/4 of all compartments flooded." The fitting of search lights on the bridge is also highly recommended
to aid in vessel navigation at night. No comments are made regarding the number of lifeboats on board or the fact that Titanic's watertight bulkheads barely exceeded the height of the waterline throughout most of the hull. The US Senate also begins floating a proposal for an "ice patrol" to ensure shipping lanes are clear of ice. Privately, some members of the Court raise concerns about the accepted practice of large liners proceeding at full speed through areas of known ice at night, though these concerns are never entered into the official record.

Simultaneously with the Americans, the British Board of Trade convenes their own Court of Inquiry on May 2nd. As at the US Court of Inquiry, Captain Smith, his officers and his crew are highly commended for their actions. Thomas Andrews and Harland and Wolff are also commended for Titanic's design and construction. Unlike the US CoI, the British Board of Trade does not censure either Phillips or Bride for their role in the Titanic incident. The Court does however recommend that all wireless operators be employees of the shipping line, that priority be given to official message traffic and passenger traffic accepted on a "space available" basis. The Board of Trade likewise recommended that all liners be built with sufficient compartmentalization that they are able to remain afloat with 1/4 of all compartments flooded. Search lights mounted on the bridge are also given a favorable recommendation. Like the American Court of Inquiry, no comments are made about the number of lifeboats that Titanic carried, the height of the watertight bulkheads or the practice of steaming at full speed through areas of known ice.

On May 15th, 1912, RMS Titanic reenters service, departing NY for Southampton at 1200. Titanic's voyage is uneventful, arriving safely in Southampton on May 20th. Despite his promise to his wife and daughter to retire after Titanic's maiden voyage, the White Star Line convinces E.J. Smith to remain in command of Titanic until the 3rd Olympic-class liner, RMS Britannic, joins the fleet in 1914.
 
I've always had a fascination with Titanic (and early 20th century passenger liners in general), and am eagerly looking forward to wherever you take this. Hopefully Britannic will survive WWI this time around.
 

SsgtC

Banned
Thank you! I've got some ideas about that. Lets just say that the butterflies are already flapping their wings...

I've always had a fascination with Titanic (and early 20th century passenger liners in general), and am eagerly looking forward to wherever you take this. Hopefully Britannic will survive WWI this time around.
 

samcster94

Banned
What if in this Alt-WWI, a cargo ship(not a cruise liner) does face icebergs given the reforms to lifeboats were never made???
 

SsgtC

Banned
Now that would be telling. Though the issue wouldn't be nearly as pronounced due to cargo ships having much smaller crews

What if in this Alt-WWI, a cargo ship(not a cruise liner) does face icebergs given the reforms to lifeboats were never made???
 
I've always had a fascination with Titanic (and early 20th century passenger liners in general), and am eagerly looking forward to wherever you take this. Hopefully Britannic will survive WWI this time around.

Ironically, I was contemplating in my head how to best mention my thought regarding Titanic's odds of surviving ww1, I had no idea about the sister ship's sinking in 1916 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...r-ship-became-casualty-world-war-i-180961167/ Hey, Violet Jessop, the things I learn...

Another Brittanic item, kind of poignant, especially considering how ttl's Titanic was kept on the surface, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/britannic-sinks-in-aegean-sea


edit: Do they notify you if someone "watches" a thread? Because I did so just now, so there.
 

SsgtC

Banned
Thank you! Though one thing that the History Channel got wrong on their page, is the fact that Britannic was never officially to be named Gigantic. This seems to have originated with a poster that turned up showing a supposed White Star Liner with four funnels named Gigantic. However, official White Star and Harland and Wolff records show she was too be named Britannic as early as 1911.

Ironically, I was contemplating in my head how to best mention my thought regarding Titanic's odds of surviving ww1, I had no idea about the sister ship's sinking in 1916 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...r-ship-became-casualty-world-war-i-180961167/ Hey, Violet Jessop, the things I learn...

Another Brittanic item, kind of poignant, especially considering how ttl's Titanic was kept on the surface, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/britannic-sinks-in-aegean-sea


edit: Do they notify you if someone "watches" a thread? Because I did so just now, so there.
 
II

SsgtC

Banned
Upon arrival back in Southampton on May 20th, Thomas Andrews, Bruce Ismay and William Pirrie, with input from Captain Smith, begin a slight revision to the then building Britannic. Thomas Andrews and Captain Smith impress upon Ismay and Pirrie the fact that Titanic very nearly foundered due to her design. That if damage control had been slightly less vigorous or taken but 10-15 minutes longer, Titanic would now be on the bottom of the North Atlantic. This information is kept very quiet with few people being informed of the changes resulting from these discussions. Britannic has new, more powerful pumps installed. Increasing pumping capacity from 1700 tons per hour to 2500 tons per hour. Other changes incorporated included adding a watertight double skin along the engine and boiler rooms. Thomas Andrews recommended raising the height of the watertight bulkheads as well as adding a watertight "cap" to each compartment, but was overruled as this would drastically increase the time it would take to build Britannic. It was also determined to refit Olympic and Titanic during the slow season over the next two years with the inner skin. Additionally, Olympic was to be further modified with features that proved popular on Titanic. Namely the First Class Parlour Suites with private promenade decks and Café Parisian.

Over the course of 1912, Olympic and Titanic begin to dominate the Transatlantic trade. Having gained reputations as not only luxurious and comfortable, but as "lucky" ships. The elite of the world eagerly await Britannic joining the fleet as White Star has promised that she will be even more luxurious than her older sisters. Britannic is launched on May 9, 1913. She begins fitting out immediately. Harland and Wolff estimate that she will be completed in late March, 1914. White Star begins planning her maiden voyage for April 8, 1914.

Beginning in November, 1912 Olympic is pulled from service and given her refit. It extends to March, 1913. She reenters service on March 12, 1913. Titanic would follow her older sister in December, 1913. Needing fewer modifications, she reenters service on February 5, 1914.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the US Presidential election of 1912 is in full swing. Teddy Roosevelt secures endorsements from John Jacob Astor and Isador Strauss. Helping him to beat out incumbent President William Taft for the Republican nomination for President. President Taft, despite personally disagreeing with Roosevelt's actions, endorses him for President. Major Archibald Butt, Military Advisor and personal friend to both men plays the role of peacemaker and smoothes things over between them. This prevents a fracturing of the Republican party and improves Roosevelt's image to the public. After a contentious election, Theodore Roosevelt is elected President of the United States in November, narrowly beating out William Jennings Bryan who was nominated for the 4th time by the Democratic Party.

On April 8, 1914 RMS Britannic departs Southampton on her maiden voyage with Captain Smith in command after being relieved of command of Titanic by Captain Bertram Fox Hayes. She is hailed by the press as the last word in luxury at sea. With her maiden voyage, White Star Line finally accomplishes the dream first laid out by J. Bruce Ismay and William J. Pirrie back in 1907 to build the largest most luxurious liners afloat. The trio almost immediately become the preferred way of crossing the Atlantic by the rich and poor alike. Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic easily surpass Cunard's liners in average passenger lists on every crossing, with only Aquitania rivaling them. Upon Britannic's return to Southampton after her maiden voyage, Captain EJ Smith, after 34 years of service with White Star Line, retires to his home in Southampton. He is succeeded in command of Britannic and as Commodore of the White Star Line by Captain Charles Alfred Bartlett.

In August, 1914, World War One erupts in Europe. Initially, the three Olympic-class liners, and White Star's other liners, are booked full of Americans trying to escape Europe and get home. Though, due to the threat of U-boats, the schedule is altered to terminate first at Liverpool, then at Glasgow. The eastbound voyages, however, are practically empty. By late September, bookings have fallen sharply. Mainly due to the increased U-boat threat. Though it should also be noted, that very few Americans are left in Europe. Due to these conditions, White Star decides to lay up the Olympic-class liners for the duration of the war. All three vessels are laid up in Belfast by mid October.

In May, 1915, the three Olympic-class liners along with the Cunard liners Mauritania and Aquitania were requisitioned as troop ships by the British Admiralty. The need for large liners as troop ships arises following the American Declaration of War after the sinking of the Lusitania and the deaths of 128 Americans earlier that month. The ships were soon stripped of their opulent fittings and outfitted to carry over 6,000 troops, the three ships together could transport an entire division from North America to the European Continent in 6 days.

Following American entry into the war, the three Olympic-class liners primarily operated between New York and Cherbourg, France. Though they would occasionally run between Halifax and Cherbourg carrying Canadian troops in concert with the two Cunard liners. It was while transporting Canadian soldiers that HMT 2811 Titanic fired on a suspected U-boat. Though no results were recorded at the time, it was revealed after the war that the U-boat in question was U-66. The shots from Titanic's 4.7" gun hit and damaged her conning tower, forcing her to abandon her planned attack. HMT 2812 Britannic, however, was not so lucky.

On the morning of October 8, 1915, Britannic was struck abreast of Boiler Room 6 by a U-Boat launched torpedo. Luckily for Britannic, Captain Bartlett, being keenly aware of the U-Boat threat was sailing with all watertight doors closed and damage control materials ready to hand. The torpedo knocked out Boiler Room 6 as well as damaging Compartments 3 and 4. Though damaged, Britannic safely made it to port in Halifax. The damage to Britannic was soon patched and she sailed for New York to be repaired. Incidentally, in the same dry dock that held Titanic 3 years earlier after her brush with the iceberg. Unlike Titanic, which was repaired in three weeks, Britannic will be laid up in New York for several months, requiring the installation of new boilers and associated machinery in boiler room 6. Her survival is credited to the changes made after Titanic's damage. As the additional pumps she was fitted with helped keep the flooding at bay. Britannic will not leave dry dock until February, 1916.

Olympic too was to have an eventful wartime career. On October 1st, 1915 Olympic sighted lifeboats which turned out to be from the French vessel Provincia, which had been torpedoed and sunk that very morning. 34 survivors of the sinking were taken on board. Though Captain Haddock would be criticized by the British Admiralty for endangering his ship by stopping in an area with known U-boat activity, the French Government saw the matter somewhat differently, awarding Captain Haddock the Gold Medal of Honour. During Olympic's refit after the war, a large dent with a crack in the center was discovered below the waterline. It was determined that it was caused by a torpedo that failed to detonate. Once again cementing Olympic's status as a lucky ship.

With the Great War ending in March, 1917 with a decisive defeat of the Central Powers the Olympic-class liners were soon engaged in returning American and Canadian troops (and their brides) home. By the end of 1917 the three ships, along with other White Star Vessels, were returned to White Star. All three ships were sent to Harland and Wolff for refits. Not only were their interiors restored and updated, but they were also converted to oil firing boilers. This reduced their engine room crew from 300, to 60. It also has the effect of increasing their top speed to nearly 25 knots. During their wartime service, the Olympic-class liners carried over 1 million men over nearly 600,000 miles. The trio are nicknamed "The Reliables" for their steady service and toughness. It is a name that will stick to the ships for the remainder of their careers.

The most striking changes to the ships, however are all above deck. During their conversion to troop ships, additional lifeboat davits were installed. The ships now could carry up to 72 lifeboats, more than their design originally called for. Though White Star grumbles that the additional davits break up the ships' clean lines, they do not remove them, considering the cost to be prohibitive. Though now equipped to handle 72 boats, the trio in practice only sail with 24. As carrying additional boats inboard will clutter the Boat Deck. The aft Well Deck is also covered to provide Third Class passengers a covered deck space useable in bad weather. All three ships return to service by April, 1918; quickly reestablishing their dominance on the North Atlantic route. This is aided by Cunard's loss of Lusitania in 1915 and the subsequent delay in converting the SS Imperator (reparations for the loss of Lusitania) into the RMS Berengaria.

Cunard is not the only company to be awarded a former German liner. White Star receives the Norddeutsher Lloyd liner SS Columbus (as compensation for the loss of RMS Oceanic), soon rechristened RMS Homeric. She too is sent to Harland and Wolff in 1918 to be refitted and brought up to White Star's standards. Along with the rest of White Star's fleet, she is converted to oil firing boilers from coal. Homeric is placed on White Star's Liverpool to Boston run.
 
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SsgtC

Banned
RMS Titanic post refit
 

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In fact, the lifeboat issue probably won't come up until a large liner founders. The number philosophy worked just as it was supposed to: Other ships showed up, and the lifeboats ferried the passengers. Cargo vessels have such small crews that I wouldn't think it would be enough. A frightening thought when one considers some modern cruise ships can carry around 6000 people...
 
In fact, the lifeboat issue probably won't come up until a large liner founders. The number philosophy worked just as it was supposed to: Other ships showed up, and the lifeboats ferried the passengers. Cargo vessels have such small crews that I wouldn't think it would be enough. A frightening thought when one considers some modern cruise ships can carry around 6000 people...
Well, if Lusitania takes longer than OTL to sink (18 minutes) then the loss of life will likely be blamed by the lack of boats aboard.
 

SsgtC

Banned
She is allowed to remain with the Hamburg Anerica Line and enters service as the SS Bismarck. One of the butterflies here is that with the war being shorter, the Treaty of Versailles (yes, it's still called that) isn't as harsh.

Love it, excellent TL.
I suppose Majestic is never given to White Star.
What happens to her, now the world's largest ship?
 

SsgtC

Banned
She did not. Lusitania actually had some pretty serious design flaws in her watertight subdivisions. The longitudinal bulkheads made her extremely prone to capsizing if more than 2 compartments on the same side were beached. More than anything, this is what doomed her IOTL. The same happened here.

Well, if Lusitania takes longer than OTL to sink (18 minutes) then the loss of life will likely be blamed by the lack of boats aboard.
 

SsgtC

Banned
This is essentially the current thinking. The Board of Trade is considering making changes to lifeboat requirements, but feels under no pressure to do so.

One note here, during the war, the Olympic-class did in fact carry enough boats for everyone on board. They were equipped with 66 65 passenger boats, 6 40 passenger boats and 48 47 passenger collapsible boats.

In fact, the lifeboat issue probably won't come up until a large liner founders. The number philosophy worked just as it was supposed to: Other ships showed up, and the lifeboats ferried the passengers. Cargo vessels have such small crews that I wouldn't think it would be enough. A frightening thought when one considers some modern cruise ships can carry around 6000 people...
 
This is essentially the current thinking. The Board of Trade is considering making changes to lifeboat requirements, but feels under no pressure to do so.

One note here, during the war, the Olympic-class did in fact carry enough boats for everyone on board. They were equipped with 66 65 passenger boats, 6 40 passenger boats and 48 47 passenger collapsible boats.
Which was after Titanic sank...
 
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