Skill Level 3. Previous experience recommended.
These models are the creation of card modeler Jerry Vondeling, based on my Titanic kit. They build into 1:1200 scale waterline replicas of the Britannic and are approximately 9 inches long when complete.
You will need a colour printer capable of handling card or cover stock to print the parts sheets. 67 lb cover stock (approx 8.5 thousandths of an inch or 0.2 mm thick) is recommended.
The Britannic was the third and last of the Olympic-class ocean liners built for the White Star Line. She was built at the Belfast yard of Harland & Wolff and was launched on 26 February 1914. Although generally similar in appearance to the Olympic and Titanic, her greater breadth gave her an increased tonnage of 48,158 grt.
The Britannic was in the very early stages of construction when the Titanic sank, and the builders were able to incorporate improvements in her watertight subdivision, including the provision of a double hull along much of her length. Additionally, large gantry davits were installed on the boat deck to allow lifeboat accommodation for all on board.
Hospital Ship Service
Due to the outbreak of war in August 1914 work progressed slowly, but by late 1915 the ship was largely complete and in November she was requisitioned by the Admiralty for use in transporting the large numbers of wounded from the Mediterranean theatre of war. The great ship was painted white, with green stripes and red crosses indicating her status as a hospital ship. After three voyages in this service the ship was discharged and work began refitting her as a passenger ship, but in July 1916 she was again requisitioned and returned to duty as a hospital ship.
On 21 November 1916, while en route to Mudros on her sixth voyage, the Britannic struck a mine near the Greek island of Kea. Despite her improved watertight construction the damage caused the submergence of many open portholes near the waterline and the ship was doomed. Captain Bartlett attempted to save his ship by grounding her on Kea Island. Two lifeboats, launched without orders, were drawn into the spinning propellers and destroyed causing many deaths and injuries. The Captain then stopped the engines and gave the order to abandon ship. The remaining people on board evacuated and the ship rolled on her starboard side before sinking, less than an hour after striking the mine.
Despite the catastrophic loss of the two lifeboats only 30 people of the 1,066 on board lost their lives, a tribute to the improved lifesaving apparatus and to the efforts of rescuing ships. The Britannic was the largest ship lost in the war and today the wreck lies, largely intact, in about 400 feet of water.
Last updated 26 June 2013
Copyright 2009-2013 by Ralph Currell