A Brief History
On September 20, 1911, the RMS Olympic, the first of three enormous British luxury liners of the Olympic-class, collided with the British cruiser HMS Hawke.
Olympic, commissioned in 1911 as the largest ship in the world at that point, was later followed by the slightly larger RMS Titanic. Of course, the Titanic sank in 1912 on its maiden voyage in one of the most famous incidents of a ship sinking, and the third sister ship of the class, the HMHS Britannic, was sunk when she hit a mine in 1916 during World War I.
The Olympic had a slightly longer lifespan than her sisters, suffering serious damage in the collision with the Hawke but not losing any lives in the incident. Like the Britannic, Olympic served during World War I, including an incident where she rammed and sank a German U-boat!
Olympic was taken out of service in 1935 and sold for scrap, ending her illustrious career.
Question for students (and subscribers): Did you know the Titanic had two sister ships? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Chimside, Mark. The Olympic Class Ships: Olympic, Titanic, Britannic. The History Press; 2011.
Chimside, Mark. RMS Olympic: Titanic’s Sister. The History Press, 2015.
The featured image in this article, photographs of the HMS Hawke and the RMS Olympic following their collision, is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1927, and if not then due to lack of notice or renewal. See this page for further explanation.
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