The story of Titanic’s sister ship on the night of 14/15 April 1912 gives a unique new insight into the Titanic tragedy. Entering service fully ten months ahead of Titanic, the Olympic was a near identical sister ship, the first of a class of three liners, two of which would sink.
Wade Sisson tells the story of the Olympic on that fateful night, how she was merely 350 miles away, outward bound from New York back to Southampton. Titanic’s faint distress signals were heard by the Olympic and her Captain, Haddock, prepared her for the rescue mission. Steaming at full speed towards the scene of the disaster, she was readied to receive passengers and crew from the doomed liner.
She was too late, but wanted to collect the survivors from the much smaller Carpathia and transport them back to New York. Captain Rostron, of the Carpathia, sent a fateful message informing Haddock that she would take the passengers back to New York. It was feared that a ship to ship transfer using the Titanic’s lifeboats would be too traumatic for the lucky 700 passengers and crew from the Titanic and that the sight of her near identical sister would create panic among the survivors.
Arriving back in England, the crew of the Olympic mutinied until extra lifeboats were fitted aboard and on her next return voyage, she nearly ran aground off the Lizard, in Cornwall. This is her story of the Titanic disaster and it is a thrilling one.
‘I don’t believe anyone has covered the Olympic’s role in the disaster in depth the way this author has. There are first hand accounts from diaries, letters, and newspaper interviews that makes the reader feel they are aboard during this important crossing…fresh angle on the Titanic disaster and Olympic’s important role in it.’
“… contains a generous selection of photographs including a few of Olympic that the reviewer has not seen. … Mr. Sisson is to be congratulated on a job well done, and I would recommend this book.”
The Titanic Commutator: The Official Journal of the Titanic Historical Society
1st Quarter: May-July 2012; Volume 37, Number 197
“This is the story of the first of three ships meant to dominate the North Atlantic and the night that plan came to a stunning, horrifying end. This is an excellent and well-researched book and I highly recommend it.” Shipping Today and Yesterday
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