MV Britannic (1929)

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For other White Star liners with the same name, see SS Britannic (1874) and HMHS Britannic.
Britannic (III).jpg
M.V. Britannic
Career
Name: M.V. Britannic
Owner: 1950-1960: Cunard Line
1934-1950: Cunard White Star Line
1929-1934: White Star Line
Route: Liverpool-New York
Builder: Harland & Wolff
Launched: 6 August 1929
Maiden voyage: 28 June 1930
Fate: Scrapped in 1960
General characteristics
Tonnage: 26,943 gross tons
Length: 712 ft (217 m)
Beam: 82 ft (25 m)
Propulsion: Burmeister & Wain diesels powering two propellers.
Speed: 18 knots
Boats & landing
craft carried:
25
Capacity: 1,553 people

M.V. Britannic was an ocean liner of the White Star Line, the company's third ship to bear the name. She was built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast. She was launched on 6 August 1929. Like her running mate MV Georgic, Britannic was a motorship powered by diesel engines. She measured 26,943 gross tons and was 712 feet (217 m) long. At the time of her launch she was the largest British-built motor liner. These two would be the only White Star motorships. Britannic was a popular passenger liner, as she represented what was then the latest in interior Art Deco decor and furnishings, as well as the "Motor Cabin Ship" style, which featured squat smokestacks and a sleek profile.

Maiden voyage and route[edit]

Britannic at Liverpool in the early 1930s

Britannic made her maiden voyage (Liverpool-Belfast-Glasgow-New York) on 28 June 1930, and generally spent her summers on the North Atlantic and her winters cruising touring the Caribbean out of New York. She remained on that route until she became part of Cunard White Star in 1934 in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Soon, many White Star ships were declared surplus and were eventually withdrawn from service, among them being the Olympic, Adriatic, Doric, Laurentic, Albertic, and the Majestic, at that time the world's third largest vessel. Cunard in turn would retire the Mauretania and Berengaria among others by 1938. The remaining vessels of the White Star Line's part of the new company flew the White Star pennant above the Cunard flag, and on Cunard vessels the opposite arrangement was employed. In 1935, she moved to the London-New York service and remained there until World War II began.

World War II[edit]

The Britannic served as a troopship during the war, carrying some 180,000 troops and traveling a total of 376,000 miles (605,000 km). She was being escorted by the battleship Rodney and destroyers Eskimo, Mashona, Somali and Tartar from Greenock to Halifax in May 1941, when all but the Eskimo had to part company with her to hunt for the German battleship Bismarck.

Postwar service[edit]

After an extensive refit, utilising furnishings from retiring ships such as the Aquitania, the Britannic resumed service on the Liverpool-New York route in 1948. In 1950, the Cunard White Star Line reverted to being the Cunard Line, leaving Britannic and her sister Georgic as the last White Star Line vessels in service. Both the ships continued service in their original White Star's colours and flew the White Star house flag for the rest of their careers, although from 1950 on, the Cunard house flag flew above the burgee.

In June 1950, she collided with the United States liner Pioneer Land in the Ambrose Channel, but was still seaworthy afterwards.

Final voyage[edit]

Britannic made her final Liverpool-New York sailing, and the final transatlantic crossing by any White Star ship,[1] in November 1960. Her final departure from New York on 25 November 1960, was marked by the same fireboat escort which normally accompanied maiden voyages. She arrived at Liverpool for the last time on 2 December 1960, and made White Star's final departure from Liverpool on 16 December 1960 when she left under her own power for the shipbreakers. Lengthy engine repairs and a broken crankshaft hastened her removal from service in her last year.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RMS Britannic on White Star Line Archives 1931". Chriscunard.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16. [dead link]

External links[edit]