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H.M.H.S. Britannic!

Ship Statistics

Class of ship-Olympic-Titanic class

Gross Tonnage-46,239 tons

Dimensions-852.5 x 92.5ft

Number of funnels-4

Number of masts-2

Construction Material-Steel

Propultion-Triple screw

Engines-2x Eight-cylindered triple expansion resiprocating engines + steam engines

Top speed-21 knots

Ships Builder-Harland and Wolff ( Belfast Ireland )

Total cost-Pounds 1 million

Launch date-31st of May 1911

Passenger accomodation-1,034 1st class,
510 2nd class,
and 1,022 3rd class

HMHS Britannic

The HMHS Britannic, build number 402. She was built as a passenger liner for the North Atlantic run, unfortunatly, due to the outbreak of WW1, she would never be used, for the intentions she was built for. She was requisitioned by the British armed forces as a hospital ship. On the 13th of November 1915, they began work, refitting her as a hospital ship. 8th of December 1915, she was commisioned as a hospital ship, and given to the International Red Cross livery.

During her service as a hospital ship, she mostly served in Mudros on the Isle of Lemnos. There she assisted in the evacuation of woundred troops in the Gallipoli campaign. She also served as a floating hosptail for 4 weeks, off Cowes, on the Isle of Wight. On the 6th of June 1916, she was released from war service, so Harland and Wolff began refitting her as a Royal Mail Ship, and passenger liner, for the Whitestar line, only to have the British Admiralty recall her for active war service, as a hospital ship, once again.

On the 21st of November 1916, while on duty in the Zea channel, 4 miles west of Port St. Nikolo, Kea, she took a torpedo hit. She had a huge explosion, starboard, below the bridge, and the forward part flooded. The water tight doors failed to work, with the ship sinking fast, Captain Bartlett tired to run her aground on Kea, while other brigde crew started to work out evacuations for the 1,125 on board ( none of which were patients ) The captains attempt to beach her failed, and when she settled by the head, he ordered abandon ship. While lowering two life boats ( carrying a total of 30 people all up ) over the side, they were sucked into the still turning propeller blades, and slashed to pieces. The ships involved in the rescue were the HMS Foresight and the French tug Goliath. The Titanic took a little over 2 hours to sink, the Britannic sunk in just on an hour, due mostly to, the water tight doors not working, and quite a number of portholes opened. The Britannic at 48,158 tons, was the largest merchant ship ever lost, during WW1.

In 1975 the ship was discovered by Jacque Cousteau's Calypso.

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Copyright ©: 2000, Christina Goodman
Revised -- 09/26/2000
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