rms aquitania book cover

The Olympic is certainly a marvel of shipbuilding. Her immense yet harmonious proportions, the gracefulness of her lines, her great towering height, and above all the idea of strength, stability and enormous power which a first view of her conveys, touch the imagination with a sense of wonderment which only increases as one has the opportunity of studying her more in detail. She is the highest achievement of the shipbuilder’s genius, and with her sister ship, the Titanic, she stands unapproached in the race for leviathan liners. Her distinction is indeed well deserved, and her builders and owners merit all the congratulations of which they have been the recipients on the enterprise, applicability, skill, and the desire to excel which are exemplified in every feature of the vessel’. – Cork Examiner, June 16th 1911.

This page is intended to provide a short preview of the book, including comments on the book’s history and some page preview shots.


  • Introduction

  • 1. Legend And Reality
         A Progressive Science
         ‘Queen Of The Seas’
         Olympic’s Maiden Voyage

  • 2. A Run Of Bad Luck
         The Hawke Collision
         Titanic’s Maiden Voyage

  • 3. Questions Of Confidence
         Mutiny On The Olympic
         Back In Service
         Meeting The Competition

  • 4. Sisters At War
         HMT Olympic
         HMHS Britannic
         A Body Blow
         ‘Old Reliable’

  • 5. The Roaring Twenties
         Back On Track
         Rise Of The Tourist Traveller

  • 6. A Time Of Hardship
         Yesterday’s News
         End Of The Line

  • 7. The Ocean’s Secrets


  • I: ‘Olympic’ Class Specifications
  • II: Construction Chronology
  • III: Cost Of The ‘Olympic’ Class


A sneak peak inside:

Olympic Class Illustrated


Olympic Class Illustrated


Olympic Class Illustrated


Olympic Class Illustrated


Olympic Class Illustrated


Lionel Codus' plans are displayed in the book. They can also be seen online at: General Arrangement ‘Design “D”’ Concept for Yard Nos. 400 and 401 (Olympic and Titanic) July 1908

Cyril Codus' HMHS Britannic plans are also reproduced in the book in full colour. They can be seen at: Britannic Hospital Ship Plans, 1916

Mark comments on the book’s history:

Although The ‘Olympic’ Class Ships: Olympic, Titanic & Britannic was intended to provide a comprehensive single volume history of its subject matter, the focus of Olympic Titanic Britannic: An Illustrated History of the ‘Olympic’ Class Ships is different. A lavishly illustrated format, it is more suited to someone with a more casual interest in the three ships, yet by providing new images, information and anecdotes there is plenty of new material for those who already have a much greater knowledge.

Prelininary work began once the Aquitania book had been delivered to the publisher in the summer of 2007. It was delivered in July 2011. The introduction explains:

‘This volume is intended to provide a concise illustrated history of the ‘Olympic’ class ships. For those new to the subject, it should serve as a useful introduction and a good general overview of the three ships. Those with a longstanding interest in the topic may be sceptical that there is any further new or original information to be learned, but that scepticism will prove unfounded.
‘The images selected are not an exhaustive look at each and every aspect of each vessel’s life, but as a whole they cover a wide variety of subjects related to all three ships. What might be missing in quantity is made up for in originality: a considerable number of them are rare or have never been seen in print before.
‘Several myths have been dispelled, but the focus is more on the human stories. The people who planned and built them; those who went to sea; their own experiences and feelings.  Although Titanic and the disaster that befell her are an integral part of the ‘Olympic’ class ships’ history, the details of disaster have purposely been avoided. It is far beyond the scope of this volume, while the subject has been covered adequately in a large number of works dedicated to that specific subject. The lesser known Britannic features at Titanic’s expense.
‘It can be considered a companion to the comprehensive single volume history, The ‘Olympic’ Class Ships: Olympic, Titanic & Britannic, which was published as a revised and expanded edition in May 2011.’


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