What if Lusitania had not sunk


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Grant Carman

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I watched an old movie the other night, called "Dodsworth", from 1936. They had some great exterior shots of the Queen Mary in New York, and of course the interior shots would have all been on a sound stage. What's amazing, is that there's one shot of the QM that makes her look remarkably like the QM2.
At the end of the movie, they had exterior shots of the Rex taken at Naples.

As for the transatlantic service, I think that given Cunards takeover of White Star, I doubt if they would have kept any of the big White Star liners. Back then, Cunard was of the opinion that ANYTHING not Cunard was second rate.

Postscript: At one point in the movie it showed travel labels being applied to the trunk, and it clearly said "Cunard - White Star".
 

Lucy Burkhill

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Mar 31, 2006
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>>I don't recall reading of any major structural issues with the Mauretania at the end of he career.<<

At the time of her scrapping, the shipbreakers were amazed at the sound condition of her hull and her machinery, considering all those miles she had put in over the years, not to mention the Atlantic storms she had battled with!

Regards,

Lucy
 
Jul 9, 2000
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The shipbreakers were equally amazed with the Olympic in that regard. The ships of that age were very well built...some might argue overengineered...and held up quite well when given reasonably diligent care. Given how much pride that the builders took in their work, right down to the blue collar rank and file types, this isn't really much of a surprise.
 
Nov 5, 2006
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>> On July 20th, 1933, while that "old junk" was completing the 110 miles stretch between Carysfort Reef and Juniper Lighthouse she averaged 32 knots an hour with a touch of help from the Gulf Stream. The British Board of Trade found her to be in decent shape as well. <<

Sorry! My mistake! I just have heard of Berengaria catching on fire regularly and seen pictures of a rusted Mauretania, and I sort of just guessed. I mean, what nearly 30 year old ship WOULD'NT be having some midlife crisis? And as for Mauretania, well, thats why they painted the hulls of these ships black!
happy.gif
 

Eric Longo

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Hi Gabriel,

Actually, her hull was painted white (with red not green boot-topping) from May/June 1932 onward - she was known as "the white Queen" among other less savory names muttered by her crew.
happy.gif

What Michael and Lucy said was true - her main condenser tubing and other machinery was reported, in a letter during her demolition from Metal Industries, to be in excellent condition and with copper bends of extremely high quality that spoke to her construction - albeit under Admiralty specs. She did over 2,000,000 miles in her career - and those heavy seas Lucy mentioned were no joke - her oft overlooked November '07 maiden westbound voyage was just such a hellish voyage.

Best,
Eric
 

Brent Holt

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"Actually, her hull was painted white (with red not green boot-topping) from May/June 1932 onward - "

The date Mauretania was painted white needs further research. Some sources say 1931, 1932, or 1933. I have seen more for 1933, so I tend to lean towards that figure.

Brent
 

Eric Longo

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Hi Brent,

"Some sources say 1931, 1932, or 1933."

Some quote more than one!

My typo - she was indeed painted white in May/June 1933 for her return to service which I have confirmed in my research. This was done at Berth 108 of the "New Docks" - the Western Docks which she had opened the previous October.

Best,
Eric
 
May 1, 2004
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This is a little OT, but would the QM2 fare well if she hit the same iceberg that killed Titanic? Would any of the superliners have survived? I don't know the answer to this, but I have been wondering about it for awhile. Cameron's "Titanic" was on TNT this w/end and I watched the collision scene a couple of times. Very well done.
 

Brent Holt

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Assuming the same circumstances, the QM2 would likely be on the bottom of the ocean relatively quickly if she struck and iceberg like Titanic did. Many modern vessels are not built to the watertight compartment standards as Olympic & Titanic.
Based on the latest research, the collision in TIANIC was not well done at all. It showed the engines being reversed when this was likely not done and even if it was it would have taken too long to implement before the ship hit the berg. The Titanic also turned in the wrong way, more like a car than a ship.

Brent
 
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>>but would the QM2 fare well if she hit the same iceberg that killed Titanic? <<<

I'm inclined to be very skeptical of that. An Olympic class liner was designed to remain afloat with up to four of her watertight sections flooded. The standard these days is for two compartment protection. My understanding is that under the law, this is considered to be a minimum standard, but in practice, it's treated as a maximum. I haven't seen any of the detailed specifications for the QM2, but I suspect that like most modern passenger vessels, if she had three or more sections open to the sea, she would soon be on the bottom.

For all that White Star is often accused of meeting minimum standards, the reality is that they often went the extra mile on this.

>>The Titanic also turned in the wrong way, more like a car than a ship. <<

Mmmmmmmm...if the Titanic had handled like a car, we wouldn't be having this conversation. She would have easily missed the berg.
 

Brent Holt

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>>The Titanic also turned in the wrong way, more like a car than a ship. <<

Obviously I need to clarify my earlier statement. What I meant was that movies tend to show ships turning more like a car would then a sea going vessel. When the hard to port order was given, the bow would turn to port and the stern to starboard. It is never really shown this way.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Is it possible the Iceberg may have been kept close to Titanic's stern by the same hydrodynamic that drew the HMS Hawke into the stern of the Olympic?<<

Depends on exactly where the ship was and how she was oriented in relation to the berg. Given the actual nature and extent of the damage, the manner in which it is commonly believed that she manuevered is suspect in the extreme.
 

Chad Goodwin

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most new superliners have those huge galleries of open foyers.....open from the top deck to the bottom.....that would have to effect the sinking too
 
May 27, 2007
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What if Lusitania had not sunk? Well we would of still probably ended up in the War because of other boats being torpedoed and the Zimmerman Telegram! The Lusi would gone on to a career much like her sister the Mauritania!
 
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>>Well we would of still probably ended up in the War because of other boats being torpedoed and the Zimmerman Telegram! <<

I'm inclined to think of that as a near dead certainty. For all the outrage in the USA, the whole affair was a blip on the radar screen which passed into oblivion as quickly as it burst on the scene. In other words, we got over it, at least until the time of our entry into the war, after which it made for a wonderful rallying cry!
 

Brent Holt

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One interesting thought is would Cunard have still gotten the Imperator/Berengaria? Many in the U.S. very much wanted her to run with the Leviathan. White Star may have also made a claim for both Imperator and Bismarck.
Or perhaps Cunard would still have acquired Imperator and reassigned Lusitania or Mauretania to the Liverpool run after the express service was moved to Southampton?
 
May 3, 2002
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The Imperator acquisition was, I think, purely as compensation for the Lusitania. As to value ship for ship, was the Imperator a better deal?

Kent would be well placed to comment,
I do know that the Berengaria went to scrap before the Mauretania.
 

Brent Holt

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The Mauretania went to the scrappers in 1935 (And was pulled from service in 1934 just after the Cunard White Star merger) and the Berengaria in 1938.
In general I consider the Imperator Class to be superior to the Lusitania Class and Olympic Class. The Berengaria, Leviathan and Majestic beat the Mauretania in popularity by a decent margin and were more luxurious vessels.
If Cunard had still acquired Imperator, then I suspect Lusitania or Mauretania would have been reassigned to another service since only 3 ships were needed for the Southampton-New York express run.
 
May 27, 2007
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If Cunard had still acquired Imperator, then I suspect Lusitania or Mauritania would have been reassigned to another service since only 3 ships were needed for the Southampton-New York express run.
I think that's a safe bet! Maybe the least kept up or oldest would of been consigned to the Mediterranean run?

Maybe they would of had one of the ships work a South American Run? I wonder what ships Cunard had working the South American run after the War?
 
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