Were any rooms completed before Britannic sank?


titanicman11

Member
Feb 8, 2014
5
0
11
U.S.A
Hi, everyone! I'm brand new to the forums, so wanted to say, "Hi!" ;)
But, I want to know if any of Britannic's rooms were completed before she entered war service / sank. ( cabins, first class smoking room, ect. ) Thanks!
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
8
233
Hi Titanicman,

First of all, welcome to the forums!

In answer to your question, somebody might correct me on this but I don't believe that any of her internal rooms were completed for passenger travel before she was requisitioned as a hospital ship.

In the wake of the Titanic sinking, redesigns had to be made and so there was a delay in her launch. Eventually she was launched in February 1914 but of course World War I broke out not long after that, Harland & Wolff had other priorities, and so the decision was made to turn her into a hospital ship and she was fitted out as such.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,384
710
248
Germany
Some parts had been fitted out and some remained half finished. Some of the 1st class cabins were partly finished and left so which were occupied by officers or nurse. The swimming bath was in use as were the lifts.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
8
233
I should add that her name was originally meant to be "Gigantic" but this was changed in the wake of the Titanic disaster and her wartime activities.

The book "Titanic & Her Sisters Olympic & Britannic" by Tom McCluskie, Michael Sharpe and Leo Marriott gives a fairly complete picture of the trio.

Cheers,
Adam.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,224
233
333

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
8
233
Hi Mark,

Yes I am aware that the "Gigantic" name could well actually be a bit of an urban myth, but I tend to believe that it could be true - and given what happened prior to the launch of the Britannic, it makes sense that the WSL would want to distance themselves from anything which conveyed size and superiority.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,384
710
248
Germany
There are no H&W documents showing that he name Gigantic was going to be used for the 3rd Olympic Class Liner. As Wilding said, there was no name for the ship for 12 months. The only mention of Gigantic was the order book of Messrs. Noah Highley & Sons Ltd. which made the anchor.
That the name was changed because of the Titanic is a myth. (One month after the Titanic, the German launched a bigger ship, the Imperator, so no Gigantic.)

I would recommend the books of Mark Chirnside which are much better then the book "Titanic & Her Sisters Olympic & Britannic" by Tom McCluskie, Michael Sharpe and Leo Marriott which is full of mistakes!

Mark Chirnside's Reception Room: Olympic, Titanic & Britannic: Gigantic Dossier
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
8
233
Hi Ioannis,

Then do we think the ship would have been called Britannic all along then, even if - hypothetically - World War I had never broken out and she would have carried on as a regular passenger vessel?

I don't think you can read much into how the Germans named their ships. Different country, different shipping company, different methods and all chasing the Blue Riband.

It's been a long time since i've been through Tom McCluskie & Co's work properly, I was just highlighting it as an example. Having said that, I quite enjoyed his work, especially "Anatomy of the Titanic".

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,384
710
248
Germany
Hi Ioannis,

Then do we think the ship would have been called Britannic all along then, even if - hypothetically - World War I had never broken out and she would have carried on as a regular passenger vessel?
Hi Adam,

as pointed out, there was no name for the ship and then it was decided to name it Britannic. By the way the name Gigantic was mainly used by the press even for other ships like Oceanic or even the Olympic...

I don't think you can read much into how the Germans named their ships. Different country, different shipping company, different methods and all chasing the Blue Riband.
In April 1912 Titanic was the biggest ship of the UK (let us put the difference with Irland etc. aside.) Let us say hull No. 433 would have been named Gigantic, she would have been the biggest one and the name fit well. But looking to other country, May 1912, launch of the Imperator, much bigger then Titanic and became the worlds biggest ship. So Gigantic would not fit very well...
However as I said, there is no H&W document which show the name Gigantic to be used for No. 433. Ismay and Wilding had been also clear that there was no name for that ship.

Regarding the book of McCluskie, I am not very impressed. To many Olympic and Britannic photos called as Titanic, too many mistakes.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
8
233
Hi Ioannis,

Yes but surely the press would have used the word "gigantic" as a describing word rather than claiming that it was the ships actual name? I understand that the Britannic didn't have a name early on but when the White Star Line decided to build the big 3, i'd be very surprised if they didn't already have some names in mind.

As for McCluskie, he was describing the entire interior design of the ship in his book, and of course there's going to be more material on the Olympic because she was around for twenty years longer! I don't like the idea of claiming Olympic photographs as Titanic ones either, but you can only use what exists and they were sister ships after all, so a lot of the photographs of the Olympic are probably about as close as we're going to get for the Titanic.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,384
710
248
Germany
The newspapers were writing about the new ship called "Gigantic".

It may had been possibly in Ismays and other mind to call it Gigantic, but that is only speculation. Even it was clear that there would be 3 ship it was always only talk about Olympic and Titanic without a name for the 3rd one. (The Queen Mary was also known as hull No. 534 and I guess it was the same regarding Britannic for some time.)
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,224
233
333
surely the press would have used the word "gigantic" as a describing word rather than claiming that it was the ships actual name?
No, Adam, Gigantic was in fact being used as a name, not an adjective, in press accounts of the day. Just as a sampling, look at the newspaper articles in the following threads:

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.o...48-news-1911-gigantic-under-construction.html

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.o...ry/30531-news-1912-spends-350-000-safety.html

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.o...3358-change-new-white-star-boat-gigantic.html
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
8
233
Hi Ioannis and Mark,

Thanks for that. I'm surprised, but we should bear in mind the power of the press - that alone may have been enough for the Britannic to have been called Gigantic, or at least for it to become some sort of nickname, like the Olympic became known as "Old Reliable".

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,384
710
248
Germany
Hi Ioannis and Mark,

Thanks for that. I'm surprised, but we should bear in mind the power of the press - that alone may have been enough for the Britannic to have been called Gigantic, or at least for it to become some sort of nickname, like the Olympic became known as "Old Reliable".

Cheers,
Adam.
Sorry Adam, but I disagree! Other ships were also mentioned to be called "Gigantic" like the 2nd Oceanic from 1899. No one called her so and also she did not became known or got that nickname.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
8
233
Hi Ioannis,

Well we never really got the chance to find out with the Britannic, did we? ;-)

Cheers,
Adam.
 

Severin Vogt

Member
Apr 12, 2017
17
1
1
Guys! This thread was supposed to be if any of the Britannic's interiors were finished when it became a hospital ship. The whole thread shifted to talking about the name Gigantic or whatever. Can we please go back to the original subject?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,224
233
333
Moderator's hat on:

Please leave requests like that to the moderators.

Moderator's hat off.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,224
233
333
Someone whose function it is to keep things under control. If a discussion goes seriously awry, it's a moderator's role to get it back on track, and whether a discussion has drifted so far from its original subject to warrant a course correction is a moderator's call.
 

Similar threads