Sunday, March 3, 2013

Superliners of the early 20th Century, British and German response to the "KAISER WILHELM DER GROSSE"

                                   "OCEANIC" of 1899 of White Star Line

                       "DEUTSCHLAND" of 1900 operated by Hamburg-Amerika Line

After the introduction of "KAISER WILHELM GROSSE" in 1897, the British and even German's greatest rival of North German Lloyd, the 1847 founded Hamburg-Amerika Line were startled. The first answer to the 1897 superliner came from the British two years later, the "OCEANIC" built by Harland & Wolff an Historic Shipyard founded in 1861 supervised by Thomas Ismay a Liverpool shipowner who in 1871 bought a bankrupt fleet of clipper-ships operating from the UK to Australia, this company was called the White Star Line, so "OCEANIC" at 17.272 G.T. was the largest passenger liner in the World, the ship had two funnels and three masts, she departed on her maiden voyage on the 6.9.1899, she became known as the "Queen of the Ocean", the ship ran aground off Foula/Shetland in September of 1914.

Hamburg-Amerika Line after the launch of "KAISER WILHELM GROSSE" took the immediate decision of building a larger and record-breaker liner, this ship was built by AG Vulkan, she was launched on the 10.1.1900 and became the "DEUTSCHLAND, she was 16.703 G.T. and easily took the "Blue Riband", she was another four-stacker, very popular at first she soon revealed her major engine problems, the ship developed massive vibrations at the expense of passengers comfort. In 1910 the "DEUTSCHLAND" was converted to a cruise-ship, one of the first liners of the 20th century to be operated as such, she was renamed the VIKTORIA LUISE, after the first World War, the ship was operated as an emigrant ship once again renamed, HANSA, but she was very unsuccessful and was finally sold for scrap in 1925. Postcards of my collection

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