The fate of the Olympic


May 6, 2011
60
0
56
Dear Adam, If you like Aquitania, I'll recommend Mark Chirnside's book AQUITANIA, the Ship Beautiful. A lot of people considered her to be the best-looking four-stacker. (Now I dodge this who like the Olympic-class ships better and say Beauty in the eye of the beholder) But The Ship Beautiful was one of the names people gave her at the time.
 
Mar 12, 2011
174
2
123
In my opinion, the Olympic and Aquitania were both equally beautiful ships. They both had clean, lines that made them appear graceful, even majestic. So as far as I'm concerned it's a silly thing to argue about =)
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
14
233
Hi Ellen and Michael,

Have you both seen that photo of Aquitania riding out the rough seas - taken in around the 30's I believe? Maybe it's just cause i'm a bloke but it's not all about the beauty, it's as much about the grunt and toughness and "ticker". And Aquitania had that in spades.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
May 6, 2011
60
0
56
Yes I have seen pix of Aquitania in rough seas and Michael is so right - there is the Sea - indifferent to all ships and woe betide you if the ship was not well found. As to beauty, I think all these ships were equal but for different reasons, no I won't argue if someone prefers one to the other.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
14
233
Michael:

Never mind the North Atlantic - with the German U-Boat and naval fleets lurking around in both World Wars it was needed as well! ;-)

Ellen:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, eh?

Cheers,
Adam.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Jul 4, 2000
6,367
390
433
White Star merged with Cunard

To be precise, White Star and Cunard merged their North Atlantic operations to create Cunard White Star, but the two companies maintained their separate corporate identities;

And, in any event, Olympic was retired after the creation of Cunard White Star, not the other way around.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Jul 4, 2000
6,367
390
433
Not quite a year. Cunard White Star was created on 10 May 1934; Olympic began her final transatlantic roundtrip on 27 March 1935.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
14
233
Well, if you want to be technical...

The point is that the scrapping of Olympic and the closure/merging of White Star was virtually at the same time.

Maybe White Star could see that there was going to be bigger issues to deal with in the next decade... ;-)

Cheers,
Adam.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Jul 4, 2000
6,367
390
433
Not "technical," Adam. Accurate.

Maybe White Star could see that there was going to be bigger issues to deal with

Both White Star and Cunard were facing a real possibility of bankruptcy without the government financing that was the quid pro quo for the creation of Cunard White Star.
 
Dec 29, 2006
735
14
123
Witney
I have not been following this thread (on-going computer problems!) but surely the Olympic was scrapped when the Queen Mary was completed - an old-fashioned, Edwardian ship being replaced by a vessel of the very latest design. I don't see what this has to do with the demise of the White Star Line.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
14
233
Mark:

My comment about tbe forthcoming "bigger issues" was of course an off the cuff remark about the rising concern over the Nazi regime and the coming of World War II.

Why so serious? ;-)

Stanley:

Fair point, but then Aquitania for instance was around until 1950. The end of the careers of the likes of Olympic and Mauretania could be seen as a bit of a "changing of the guard" though.

Cheers,
Adam.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Jul 4, 2000
6,367
390
433
Stanley, as I mentioned earlier, Olympic made her last sailing in March 1935; QM didn't make her maiden voyage to New York until 27 May 1936.

For an explanation of what all of this has to do with White Star, look here. Once the two lines' North Atlantic fleets were merged, the new company simply had too many ships---and in particular too many large ships. In fairly short order, White Star's Olympic (early 1935) and Homeric (late 1935) and Cunard's Mauretania (late 1934) were withdrawn, and by the time QM came along Majestic II (early 1936) was also gone, leaving only Mauretania and Aquitania to serve with QM.

There has been much discussion over the years about the factors that went into the decisions made by Cunard White Star and whether Olympic might have survived longer if White Star as an independent company had survived longer, but the fates of all six pre-merger large ships were directly affected by the merger.
 
Mar 12, 2011
174
2
123
This may have been posted before, but I found this on youtube the other day. It's video footage of the olympic steaming away to the scrapper, and later the lower remains of her hull being towed away for final demolition.

 
Dec 29, 2006
735
14
123
Witney
There were clearly too many big ships on the north Atlantic route by the mid 1930s and scrapping of redundant vessels was inevitable. However, the fate of the Olympic was sealed, not so much by her age or condition, but by her archaic appearance - an Edwardian Baroque liner, with a straight stem, clipper stern and four huge funnels, was somewhat out-of-place in the art deco era (?)
 
May 6, 2011
60
0
56
Cunard needed money to complet Queen Mary. When Cunard and White Star merged (which was British Govt's condition to Cunard to get money for QMary) Cunard found itself with too many ships. White Star men said the only thing wrong with their ships was the colour of the funnels. For my money, Olympic was in better condition than Berengaria eventually proved to be - the electrical fires in Berengaria's wiring sealed her doom - and possibly saved Aquitania because she was supposed to become chipped steel when QElizabeth came into service. WWII was the clincher, Aquitania stayed on. It would have been nice to see Olympic there too, but alas, not to be.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
14
233
Ellen:

Nice to see Olympic where? I hope you don't mean doing service in WWII? Bad enough that 2 of the 3 sisters are on the bottom of the ocean as it is!

Cheers,
Adam.
 
May 6, 2011
60
0
56
Yes, I did mean WWII service, and of course I realise she could have been lost. Do you mean that since she WAS scrapped, there are still a few bits of her around. I believe some wood panels are installed in a modern cruise-ship as a feature. (Believe ship in question is Millenium) .
 

Similar threads

Similar threads