You mean the name Gigantic? If so, are you aware of any pre-April 1912 sources that refer to the ship as Britannic?I agree that the name was being bandied about after 14 April 1912.
It’s fair enough to consider the poster dodgy, especially in light of the lack of knowledge as to it’s background. Maybe sometime someone will shed light on that poster — such as it’s publisher, date, and so forth.We have the poster of unknown date and origin, showing a Cunard ship.
Which hardly argues against the name Gigantic, in my opinion! Articles about the Olympic right from 1908 were exaggerated, saying she would be 1,000 feet long and other things. It’s not uncommon for ‘golf links’ and such to be erroneously referred to.There's a silly tale in The New York Times about Gigantic, which will be 1,000 feet long and sport a cricket pitch and other unlikely amenities.
Again, fantasy dimensions. However, inaccuracies are hardly new. There are any number of ships whose size has been exaggerated — such as that North German Lloyd vessel (around 1913?)…maybe Mark Baber knows more.There are figures in Lloyd's Weekly News and also in The Deathless Story of the Titanic. Gigantic is listed as building. She's to be 1,000 feet long and 112 feet wide. She's to be 50,000 GRT, which is obviously stupid. Such a ship would have to be something at least 80,000 GRT.
For those dimensions, yes it’s fantasy; but for the name Gigantic? They seem to be two different things in my view — one, the name of the ship; and two, the ship’s specifications. You can get one right without the other one being wrong.Anybody who knew anything about H & W would have known that 1,000 foot ships could not be built in its facilities. Another sign of fantasy!
Originally, I would believe it was expected that the sequence would be followed. I would have thought that by 1911-12, one key reason to reconsider the name Gigantic would have been the new enormous German liners on the horizon. Gigantic she may have been…but the Germans would have been longer, and unlike Olympic the third liner would not have been uniquely enormous when she entered service. And then the Titanic disaster…I see no real reason why the sequence of Greek names should have been followed. There was a big gap between the orders for the ships. The first two were ordered on 31 July 1908. The order for Britannic followed on 20 June 1911.
I think that’s the rub: I’ll readily admit that the Gigantic/Britannic name change is very entrenched in the history of the Olympic class, yet I think you’d have to find a pre-Titanic source referring to her as Britannic. It’s not fair simply to dismiss it as, in large part, a ‘myth’ that people have uncritically accepted.The first intelligent and accurate reference to the third ship that I can find dates from 11 December 1911. She's described as being much like the earlier two, but a little wider. No name is given.
I have an incomplete research paper lying about somewhere on the topic. From memory, however, that mention is correct.The earliest reference to Britannic seems to be on 31 May 1912 in The New York Times. This may have given the impression of a hasty change of name following the sinking.
You caption the register as: ‘A register kept by Charles Payne, a director of Harland and Wolff, shows no sign of the name of Britannic being changed. It records her change of tonnage on being converted to a hospital ship, and her sinking. Courtesy of Charles Payne, grandson of Charles Payne.’ There isn’t actually a date given, but it’s only natural that the changes to the ship’s tonnage and intended service would be recorded as they changed in 1915-16. Do we know for a fact that this register was first written up prior to the Titanic disaster? It would seem that the document's authority would rise or fall with that knowledge.I have an important document on this but I was allowed to use it in my e-book under strict conditions. It's good evidence that the name was never going to be Gigantic.