The RMS Olympic was the first of the 3 Olympic Class Liners to be created by the Harland & Wolff shipping company, built for the White Star Line. She was built in 1908 and served a long career through from her launch in 1910 to her final voyage in 1935.
The Start Of Olympic's Problems
The RMS Olympic was't without it's problems with begin with, within just a year of being launched she collided with a British warship called HMS Hawke off the Isle of Wight. The damage was to the side hull of the ship and to the propeller shaft. The Olympic returned to Harland & Wolff where spare parts were taken (a propeller shaft) from the RMS Titanic to fix her. Then again, in 1912 the Olympic lost a propeller whilst out at sea and once again the Titanic was used for spare parts, this was the reason behind Titanic launching over 3 weeks later than planned.
RMS Olympic Pictures & Photos
The following pictures are various photos of the RMS Olympic as well as artist impressions. Visit our photo gallery for more Titanic photos and photos of the sister ships.
Olympic Hears Her Sister's Call For Help
On the night that Titanic sank, April 14th 1912, the Olympic was positioned some 500 miles away and heard the distress calls of her sister but too far away and unable to reach her in time she continued along her course.
The Mutiny On Board Olympic
Following the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 over 50 of the fire stokers which worked on board the Olympic went on strike on the basis that the new lifeboats placed on the Olympic were not sea worthy. These new boats had been added to the ship as a result of the Titanic disaster, there now had to be enough life boats for every soul on board. However, the White Star Line had acquired many of these collapsible life boats second hand and it was reported that some of them didn't even open.
The strike was resolved when a small selection of the Olympic's strikers witnessed that 3 out of the 4 boats shown did in fact open. They agreed to go back to work as long as the dysfunctional boats were replaced.
The Olympic Gets A Face Lift
Later in the year of 1912, October to be exact, the Olympic underwent a refit back at Harland & Wolff, mainly to incorporate changes made as a result of lessons learned from the sinking of the Titanic 6 months earlier. Just a few of those changes made included extended watertight bulkheads, addition of lifeboats bringing the total up to 64 and a few other minor features. The overall size and tonnage of the Olympic increased by some 31 tons above the weight of Titanic making her, for a short time at least, the biggest ocean liner in the world.
Olympic Goes To War
From 1915 through until 1918 the Olympic was called by the Admiralty to be used for the transportation of soldiers and other troops. She was stripped of her magnificent fittings and set to sea armed with guns.
One of the most well remembered events of her time at war was when she managed to sink the U-103 u boat which was, at the time, on target to sink the Olympic using their on board torpedoes. This is the only time during World War 1 that a merchant vessel was able to sink an enemy war ship.
The Olympic is reported to have transported over 200,000 troops and other personal during her time in the 1st World War. It's for her impression and consistent service in this war that earned her the name of "Old Reliable".
After The War
Following the war, Olympic was sent back to be refitted for public service and she returned to her usual service. Several upgrades were added over the next few years including an overhaul of 4 month in which her engines were revamped and passenger cabins upgraded. However, 1933 was the worst year of all for Olympic and she carried under 10,000 passengers for thew whole year.
Olympic Strikes Again
In 1934 the Olympic again struck a ship, however unlike the incident in 1912 there were more fatalities. The ship she struck was the Nantucket Lightship which on impact split in half and sank, this lead to the deaths of 7 crew out of 11.
Olympic Sees Retirement
1934 was the year that the White Star Line eventually merged with their competitors, the Cunard Line. The merger at that time allowed for the addition of future ships and retirement of the old White Star Line vessels, one of which was the Olympic. Olympic was sold for £100,000 then stripped and towed for final demolition and scrapping.
Many of the fixtures and fittings from the Olympic can still be seen today in several places around the UK from when they were auctioned off. The first class dining room as well as part of the first class stair case can be seen in the White Swan hotel, in England.