Talk:RMS Olympic

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E.J. Smith[edit]

The Edward (E.J.) Smith and White Star Line (Company) links in Olympic and Titanic articles should have the same label. What's the best way to do this? They are currently unpopulated. Skeetch

Edward Smith commanded both vessels, both the Olympic on her maiden voyage to New York, and back to Southhampton. Then commanded the Titanic on her fateful voyage. Perhaps create a section regarding E.J. Smith captaining both vessels?

Should they put in the fact that there are many conspiracy theories and that they could change things majorly on the way we see things? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tomtob1 (talkcontribs) 16:31, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Nantucket Lightship[edit]

The Nantucket Lightship that Olympic rammed and sank in 1934, was that the actual name of the ship or only a class-name designation?

This is addressed in the linked page at Lightship Nantucket. Kablammo 13:03, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Date of maiden voyage[edit]

It says that the Olympic's maiden voyage was on May 31, 1911. This is incorrect. That it the date the the liner went on its sea trials. The Olympic's date of maiden voyage was June 14, 1911, so I changed it.


The information on surviving screens and fittings appears in both the table and the text, to which it was recently added. It has been removed it from the table. Kablammo 07:35, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

The launch[edit]

I've added some information about the launch of the Olympic, ie. the date and that her hull was painted grey for the occasion. It would perhaps be of interest to add some launch pictures, but unfortunately I'm not familiar with any pictures that are in the public domain. --SincereGuy 20:20, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

World War I[edit]

This section has recently been edited to read:

With a speed of 22 knots, Olympic was fast enough to evade German U-boats. However, her crew took extra precaution when Lusitania, which was much faster than Olympic, was torpedoed by a U-Boat in April of 1915.

While Lusitania was capable of higher speeds, when lost it was operating with one of its boiler rooms shut down, and at a maximum speed of 21k, so I'm not sure of the relevance of the comparision with Olympic. Kablammo 13:00, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

You are right, I delete it before I read this...Olympic was fast enough to outrun a U-boat, but a much faster lusitania was nailed by U-boat later some assumed that Lusitania wasnt immune after all? After further reading, Lusitania slowed down less than 18 knots because of some kind of fog and did not use zig zag pattern making her an easy kill.
Being faster than a U-boat is only useful if the U-boat is behind you. If the U-boat is directly or indirectly in front of you, they wait for you to come to them.Eregli bob (talk) 22:03, 14 April 2012 (UTC)


I have included some additional information from my own research regarding Olympic 's later refits, her speed performance and the decline in passenger numbers. In point of fact, Olympic averaged 2,255 passengers on her westbound crossings in 1920 but I just included her best passenger list as I don't think it's appropriate to flood the article with facts and figures. Olympic enthusiasts may find them interesting but the general user will not!

Mark Chirnside 17:41, 24 October 2006 (UTC)Mark Chirnside

Photograph from Nantucket lightship[edit]

The article contains a photograph of Olympic passing Lightvessel 117 in 1934. The caption stated that it was taken in April 1934, a date coming from the source from which the photograph was obtained, the U.S. Coast Guard, into which the Lighthouse Service was merged.[1] An editor changed the month to January 1934, apparently in reliance on a secondary source.[2] (There were two unsourced edits to the same effect last fall.) The photograph, taken from onboard the lightvessel, is a graphic illustration of how close liners passed anchored lightships, including Olympic passing the very vessel she later struck only a few weeks or months prior to that disaster. As the actual month is irrelevant the caption has been edited to delete the reference to a specific month. Kablammo 19:05, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

The "retaliation" against the U-boat[edit]

This bit from the article doesn't quite make sense to me:

...she was attacked by a U-boat U-103; Olympic Under the command of Captain Bertram Fox-Hayes managed to avoid the torpedo and then rammed the U-boat and sank it, the only known sinking of a warship by a merchant vessel during World War I. Despite this heroic effort, not everyone was thrilled. Some people criticised her crew for risking thousands of lives to retaliate against the U-boat

The word "retaliate" seems kind of silly, as does any criticism. Presumably, the U-boat would have continued to try and sink its target, making the ramming an act of self defense. Who are the "some people" who criticised this? 01:26, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Also this is not the only incident of a merchant ship sinking an enemy warship, though it may be the only one in WW I. In WW2, the SS Stephen Hopkins sank the German commerce raider Stier. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Can a ship be "infamous"?[edit]

Olympic is compared to her "infamous" sister ship Titanic. Not fair, and anyway, how can a ship, an inanimate object, have attached to it a human trait? Well, maybe, but Titanic was mistreated, and was not at fault. I have removed the descriptive adjective. JohnClarknew 06:08, 18 June 2007 (UTC)[edit] left the following note on my talk page which seems to include some sources. Hopefully someone can integrate them into the article (if no one else does, I may, but I figured it might be faster to leave a note here).

The information you deleted from the Olympic article was entirely correct, ableit unreferenced. The figure of 50,000 horsepower comes from various sources, but Olympic's Chief Engineer confirmed (in 1911) that the engines could produce 59,000 horsepower at full speed. As revolutions increase, so does the power developed. Although a little known fact, it is entirely accurate and factual. In terms of Olympic's full speed, she regularly recorded speeds of between 23 and 24 knots in service. Once, prior to 1915, she averaged 24.2 knots over a 24 hour period according to the White Star Line's Harold Sanderson. See Mark Chirnside, 'The Olympic Class Ships' (page 72 for the 59,000 figure) and 'RMS Olympic' (both books Tempus Publishing, 2004).

Hawke incident[edit]

The description of the Hawke incident doesn’t make sense. It gives the impression that the Titanic was involved in a near collision in 1917, five years after she sank. Does anyone know what it should say? Thunderbird2 18:32, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I've clarified the text...does it help? AKRadeckiSpeaketh 20:49, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it helps a little, but I'm still not sure about the timing. It now gives the impression that the Titanic was involved in a near collision in September 1912 ... Thunderbird2 21:06, 12 August 2007 (UTC) ... that's still five months after she sank. Thunderbird2 08:47, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Olympic Today sourcing[edit]

Some people have an issue with me posting addition factual and undisputed info from my own personal knowledge and research over many years. I think it improves the quality of the article to include this non-controversial information. However, it might not be easy to source everything exactly at this moment in time and will require additional, retrospective research to source these things exactly e.g. I would have to find exact dates and issues of auction catalogues which I don't have readily in my possession. Is not the mere fact that if one visited the locations mentioned, one would indeed find what I'm claiming to be correct. As it seems to me, based on my experience elsewhere on Wikipedia, the threshold for sourcing should not be as high for non-controversial information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by B626mrk (talkcontribs) 16:43, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

See WP:OR, WP:RS, and WP:V. -MBK004 16:46, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Sourcing is not an option unfortunately. Policies such as No original research and Verifiability not truth are required, and reliable sources need to be provided. I would encourage you to do the research and add sourced information, rather than try to slip it in under the guise of being 'non-controversial, so can be sourced to an internet blog'. Benea (talk) 16:48, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
It seems somewhat pedantic and "work-to-rule" to delete what I'm trying to add just because it cannot be easily sourced. I'm not trying to "slip it in", I'm adding it as it adds quality to the article and ET is not "an internet blog"; it is one of the most reputable sources on Titanic related things in existence. Just because it's on the internet doesn't diminish this. I've seen plenty of printed sources that contain factual errors, including commercially available published books which are cited on here as so-called reliable sources. B626mrk (talk) 16:52, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
One of the three core policies of Wikipedia is verifiability, which begins with the words "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth ...". --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 16:58, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
That is indeed the case but I would contend that what appears on a long established and highly reputable and reliable website about Titanic is perfectly adequate verification. Also, I note what was here before is also unsourced but for some reason has been allowed to remain by the over-zealous editors currently online. B626mrk (talk) 17:03, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
If I may jump in, I'm seeing two problems with the "sourcing" that has been given thus far. First of all, Encyclopedia Titanica does not seem to be sufficiently "reliable" by Wikipedia standards to use as a source. And additionally, even if it were sufficiently reliable, it fails to name where on the site is being cited. Without specificity, it becomes more akin to "name dropping", i.e. advertising, then an actual citation. SchuminWeb (Talk) 18:51, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
You say "does not seem to be" yet on a related page a personal website, created by one person about ten years ago is deemed good enough to be cited as a source. In the spirit of this "work-to-rule" approach being applied to this article, I propose to add 'citation needed' tags to every single fact on it that does not have a source or a reference. I will also delete anything that is sourced to something that would seem not to satisfy the rigid interpretation of policy voice above. We'll then continue this debate in terms of what dogmatic adherence to policy does to the quality of the articles and the information contained therein. B626mrk (talk) 13:20, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Before doing anything, I suggest that you read Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point, which is a guideline on Wikipedia. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 14:46, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

False Statements - 1930-32[edit]

I noticed these statements had been added to the article, but many of them are demonstrably false:

In 1930 a structural survey revealed extensive crack propagation in Olympic's top shell plating. Temporary patches convinced the Board of Trade to allow her to return to service, but she was placed on their Confidential list.

In 1932 her service speed was restricted to 21 kn (39 km/h/24 mph) to avoid accelerating the stresses which by now threatened major structural supports in her hull and her seaworthiness certificate was changed to be given in six-monthly rather than one year increments. A further survey in October also revealed major vibration damage in the engine bed plates and the lower hull rivets.

I am not sure whether the correct course would be to remove the false statements entirely, or try and amend them? Olympic's seaworthiness certificate was issued in two six-month increments in 1931, but in 1932 and subsequent years it was always issued for the full twelve months.

As regards speed, the statement that the ship's service speed was limited to 21 knots is demonstrably false, and the speeds recorded by Olympic in 1933, 1934 and 1935 show that very clearly. White Star did consider limiting the ship's speed, particularly in 1931, yet their concern then was due to fuel economy. The statement that it was to 'to avoid accelerating the stresses which by now threatened major structural supports in her hull,' is equally false. Quite the reverse: by November 1932, the Board of Trade were continuing to keep a close eye on Olympic (and other large liners such as Mauretania, Berengaria, Aquitania, Homeric, Majestic and Leviathan) as they performed in service, and they felt that any future defects could be dealt with before they became a cause for concern.

I am in a rather difficult position. I can provide citations for my own statements, but given that they are in my own published work then that might be a problem, or it might be seen as a conflict of interest; on the other hand, if I do not do anything, then I would be letting demonstrable falsehoods go unchallenged. Mark Chirnside (talk) 10:09, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Probably your safest bet is to remove the problematic statements entirely, given your conflict of interest with the sources. What is, by the way, your published work? Perhaps those of us with no stake in the publication could put it to good use here. SchuminWeb (Talk) 14:07, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I have done as you suggested, SchuminWeb, and referred to this discussion in the edit summary. I am rather new to this. I also noticed that the inaccurate statements were contradicted later in the article, which made them even more troublesome. For a summary of my written work, see: . I would like to contribute to the ocean liner pages, but it is always difficult for the reasons set out above; I see that some of my work has been cited on another page by another user, however. Mark Chirnside (talk) 17:27, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, and thank you. Also, if you believe it will be difficult for you to contribute directly, I should let you know that there is nothing wrong with contributing via the talk page and providing sources there, and leaving it to others to make decisions about whether and how to add the information into the actual article. SchuminWeb (Talk) 22:16, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate your guidance. I think it will be useful if a similar situation arises, whereby inaccurate or unverifiable information has been added and references are required to amend or delete it. I am sorry for the slight delay, as I had forgotten to check Wikipedia yesterday. Mark Chirnside (talk) 19:53, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

It would appear to be partially based on this; which states that cracks started appearing in the funnels towards the early 30s. G-13114 (talk) 00:52, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

The website is entirely wrong in that regard. There is no documentation of any cracks in the ship's funnels whatsoever. Nonetheless, the original errors have been removed from the article. Mark Chirnside (talk) 19:17, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Reworked a little[edit]

I've given the article a little reworking, mainly to address some overcrowding as images go. The article previously had too many images, and so I removed all of them, and placed images again from scratch. The way I see it, except for WWI, the ship changed very little in appearance aside from the addition of lifeboats after the Titanic disaster. Thus we don't need a zillion photos of the ship unless it's a notable incident, like the Hawke collision. A few will suffice, linking to a big Commons category.

I also made a few tweaks here and there, and removed a maintenance tag. Hope everyone likes it. SchuminWeb (Talk) 00:37, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Paint job on launching[edit]

I notice that the following passage –

"For her launch, the hull was painted in a light grey colour for photographic purposes (a common practice of the day for the first ship in a new class, as it made the lines of the ship clearer in the black and white photographs). Her hull was repainted following the launch."

has been given a "citation need" tag. The two photos currently included, of Olympic's launch and subsequent sea trials, make it clear that she was certainly repainted from light to dark (black?) between the two, but our Photographic grey article states that although Olympic's sister ship Britannic was initially painted grey, Olympic herself was painted white for the same purpose. Unfortunately, however, that statement is also uncited: does anyone have a reference for one or the other, so that the two articles can be aligned and citations given? {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 21:49, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Which way is Lough Swilly[edit]

If Audacious was torpedoed at Tory Island, they would be trying to tow it east to Lough Swilly, not west to Lough Swilly as is currently claimed.Eregli bob (talk) 22:00, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Main Picture[edit]

The main pictire in the article is Titanic, identified by the enclosed "A" deck. If you look at the pictire of Olympic after the collision with HMS Hawke you can see her open "A" deck — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:54, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Do you mean this image? If so, A deck is not enclosed, which makes her Olympic. Compare this image of Titanic, which shows the forward half of A deck enclosed. Benea (talk) 12:09, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Mention of an alleged alternative fate and substitution?[edit]

There's a section[[3]] on the page "RMS Titanic alternative theories", that reads as such:

"One of the most controversial and complex theories was put forward by Robin Gardiner in his book, Titanic: The Ship That Never Sank? In it, Gardiner draws on several events and coincidences that occurred in the months, days, and hours leading up to the sinking of the Titanic, and concludes that the ship that sank was in fact Titanic's sister ship Olympic, disguised as Titanic, as an insurance scam.

Olympic was the older sister of Titanic, built alongside the more famous vessel but launched in October 1910. Her exterior profile was nearly identical to Titanic, save for small detailing such as the promenade deck windows.

On 20 September 1911, the Olympic was involved in a collision with the Royal Navy Warship HMS Hawke in the Brambles Channel near Southampton. The two ships were close enough to each other that Olympic's motion drew the Hawke into her after starboard side, causing extensive damage to the liner - both above and below its waterline (HMS Hawke was fitted with a re-inforced 'ram' below the waterline, purposely designed to cause maximum damage to enemy ships). An Admiralty inquiry assigned blame to the Olympic, despite numerous eye-witness accounts to the contrary.

Gardiner's theory plays out in this historical context. As Olympic was found to blame in the collision (which, according to Gardiner, had damaged the central turbine's mountings and the keel), White Star's insurers Lloyds of London allegedly refused to pay out on the claim. White Star's flagship would also be out of action during any repairs, and the Titanic's completion date would have to be delayed. All this would amount to a serious financial loss for the company. Gardiner proposes that, to make sure at least one vessel would be earning money, Olympic was then converted to become the Titanic. Gardiner states that few parts of either ship bore the name, other than the easily removed lifeboats, bell, compass binnacle, and name plates. The plan, Gardiner suggests, was to dispose of the Olympic in a way that would allow White Star to collect insurance money on the ship. He supposes that the seacocks were to be opened at sea to slowly flood the ship. If numerous ships were stationed nearby to take off the passengers, the shortage of lifeboats would not matter as the ship would sink slowly and the boats could make several trips to the rescuers.

Gardiner uses as evidence the length of Titanic's sea trials. Olympic's trials in 1910 took two days, including several high speed runs, but Titanic's trials reportedly only lasted for one day, with (Gardiner alleges) no working over half-speed. Gardiner says this was because the patched-up hull could not take any long periods of high speed.

Gardiner maintains that on 14 April, Officer Murdoch (who was not officially on duty yet) was on the bridge because he was one of the few high-ranking officers who knew of the plan and was keeping a watch out for the rescue ships. One of Gardiner's most controversial statements is that the Titanic did not strike an iceberg, but an IMM rescue ship that was drifting on station with its lights out. Gardiner based this hypothesis on the idea that the supposed iceberg was seen at such a short distance by the lookouts on the Titanic because it was actually a darkened ship, and he also does not believe an iceberg could inflict such sustained and serious damage to a steel double-hulled (sic) vessel such as the Titanic.

Gardiner further hypothesizes that the ship that was hit by the Titanic was the one seen by the Californian firing distress rockets, and that this explains the perceived inaction of the Californian (which traditionally is seen as failing to come to the rescue of the Titanic after sighting its distress rockets). Gardiner's hypothesis is that the Californian was not expecting rockets, but a rendezvous. The ice on the deck of the Titanic is explained by Gardiner as ice from the rigging of both the Titanic and the mystery ship she hit. As for the true Titanic, Gardiner alleges that she spent 25 years in service as the Olympic.

Researchers Bruce Beveridge and Steve Hall took issue with many of Gardiner's claims in their book, Olympic and Titanic: The Truth Behind the Conspiracy. Author Mark Chirnside has also raised serious questions about the switch theory."

Does anyone else feel this might be worth including to some degree in the article on Olympic? Obviously not in the main narrative, but as anew section towards the bottom.DarrenM here (talk) 05:00, 16 December 2012 (UTC)DarrenM here

It could be mentioned, so long as it is treated as a fringe theory, and doesn't fall foul of WP:UNDUE or WP:FRINGE. G-13114 (talk) 01:06, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
I would tread carefully here. This particular conspiracy theory has been so thoroughly debunked that it is considered fringe even by most conspiracy theorists. Any mention would probably have to be very limited, perhaps with a link to the other article. And there would need to be a disclaimer to the effect that pretty much every reputable historian who has bothered to comment on it has done so with ridicule. -Ad Orientem (talk) 01:53, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Grand staircase picture[edit]

According to this site, the current picture of a grand staircase in this article is from RMS Titanic instead of RMS Olympic. Can anyone confirm that? --Artman40 (talk) 17:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't think there ever actually was a photograph of Titanic's grand staircase. The ship sank before they had a chance to get professional photographers in to take any. So a picture of Olympic's almost identical staircase is often incorrectly labelled as being from the Titanic. This is from memory mind and I might be wrong. I'll try and look it up. G-13114 (talk) 18:58, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
This has been discussed fairly exhaustively before, e.g. here and elsewhere. The upshot is that though some sources do identify it as Titanic's grand staircase, it appears that it is most likely Olympic's. Benea (talk) 11:06, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Which ship had the more ornate clock frame? --Artman40 (talk) 14:54, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I have numerous photographs of the staircase on the Olympic and as far as I have been able to tell there is no difference. The only one of the Olympic class liners that had a different frame for the clock was the HMHS Britannic. I concur with the above comments that there are no extant photographs that can be identified with certainty as being of the Titanic's stairs. Most if not all of the photos allegedly of the Titanic's stairs are in reality from the Olympic. -Ad Orientem (talk) 15:28, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Some Additional Information[edit]

Olympic was a ship of many "firsts" She was the first ship to feature a FULL size swimming pool The first to feature tables for two in First Class The first to feature private promenades, a precursor to the "balcony cabins" on todays cruise ships. Although other ships had gymnasiums, turkish baths, etc she was the first to combine these features for what would be called a "health spa" on todays cruise ships. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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RMS Olympic[edit]

(Moved here from my talk) Mlpearc (open channel) 16:44, 23 September 2016 (UTC)


in reference to the alterations that I have made to the article there is too much use of the words "she" and "her" and at the end of the day romanticism shouldn't really be part of an article of at the end of the day a commercial vessel.

I did write most of this article a couple of years ago on using an old account and since then with all the alterations it seems to have had a lot of dramatic wording added and that should not be part of the article - just the facts.

If you want to respond to this message I would welcome your reply and for the record I was in Belfast on Wednesday (21st September 2016) and visited Titanic Quarter. The exhibition is pretty weak but the Nomadic was like stepping back in time and well worth the visit!


Pam-javelin (talk) 12:10, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

@Pam-javelin: All I'm concerned with is consensus, unless most other articles about ships are not using this wording, then why would you think this one needs to be changed ? This is not a "fact" change its a "personal preference" change, which is always best handled by discussion first. Cheers, Mlpearc (open channel) 13:26, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
The naming convention for commercial vessels is outlined at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ships) and gives equal status to either "she/her" or "it", provided that the article text is consistent throughout. -- Euryalus (talk) 01:13, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. This has been debated ad nauseam and the general consensus is to go with whatever is the prevailing style on the given article. Most maritime enthusiasts have rejected what I will politely refer to as the modern tendency towards PC regulation of speech, at least in so far as ships are concerned. And given that most of our articles about ships are written by maritime enthusiasts it is not terribly surprising that the more traditional form tends to be prevalent. -Ad Orientem (talk) 01:44, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Problem with references[edit]

References 36 and 37 (Titanic Inquiry Project 2012) link back to the RMS Olympic Wikipedia article. Roberttherambler (talk) 17:05, 30 November 2016 (UTC)