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What happened to the White Star Line after the Titanic disaster?

On the 15th April 1912 White Star Line started to hear that their brand-new transatlantic liner RMS Titanic had sunk in the North Atlantic on her maiden voyage. When RMS Carpathia landed in New York on 18th April 1912 with Titanic's survivors picked up from the wreck site aboard, White Star was able to learn the full truth of what had happened - that 1496 people were missing and of the ship and her cargo pretty much all that was left not on the sea floor were 14 lifeboats brought to New York by Carpathia.

White Star Line quickly learnt the lesson after the disaster about the importance of having enough lifeboats for all, and soon fitted their ships with an appropriate number. Titanic's sister ship Olympic was temporarily withdrawn from service later in the year to be modified to be made safter to help prevent her falling to the same fate as her sister. Work on Titanic's still under construction sister ship Britannic was halted after the disaster to alter the design to try to make her a safer ship. When completed one of her most notable features were her lifeboats and the huge davits supporting some of them.

Britannic, serving as a First World War hospital ship, and her forward lifeboat davits.

Titanic was initially soon 'replaced' on the Southampton to New York service by Majestic (1) (launched in 1889); in 1922 Olympic was joined by Homeric and Majestic (2) continuing the service intended for Olympic, Titanic and Britannic, the latter of which had, prior to being fully completed, been turned into a World War One hospital ship and had been sunk by an enemy underwater mine while serving in that role in 1916. Both Homeric and Majestic (2) had been acquired from German shipping lines after the First World War as compensation for war loses.

Both the British and the American inquiries into the sinking did not find the White Star Line legally to blame for what happened, and the Titanic disaster was far from the end of the White Star Line; White Star Line remained operating as a major shipping line until 1934 when, in the middle of the Great Depression, it merged with its longtime rival Cunard Line to form Cunard White Star Line. White Star Line's ships remained in White Star's colours and flew the White Star flag above Cunard's flag; however, within a few years most of White Star's ships had been withdrawn from service, while the last, Britannic (3), was retired by Cunard in 1960. Britannic, launched in 1929, and her sister ship Georgic, launched in 1931, were the last ships ever built for the White Star Line

By the end of 1949 Cunard had acquired the last of White Star Line's shares in Cunard White Star, and the name White Star was then removed. Cunard survives to this day and currently operate the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth cruise ships, three of the most well-known ships around today.

 Queen Mary 2

Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2.

Image Author: Oceanhistory46 | Source: Wikimedia Commons | Edited by White Star History | Licensed under: CC BY-SA 4.0

Despite operating throughout much of the 1920s and early 1930s the largest ship then yet ever built, the acquired from Germany, Majestic (2) - White Star Line never had built a ship larger than or on the same scale as Titanic and her sister ships again. Titanic's younger sister ship Britannic was larger than her, but and had never entered regular White Star Line service due to her World War I sinking.

Majestic (2) - White Star Line's largest ever ship.

One former White Star Line ship survives today on the surface, Nomadic (2) which was constructed in Belfast in 1911 to ferry first and second class passengers out to Olympic and Titanic at Cherbourg. After for many years continuing to ferry passengers out to many of the world's best-known ships calling at Cherbourg, then later retiring and initially becoming a floating restaurant in Paris, today Nomadic is a museum ship in Belfast at the place where she was built.

 SS Nomadic

SS Nomadic in 2018.

Image Author: Irid Escent | Source: Wikimedia Commons | Edited by White Star History | Licensed under: CC BY-SA 2.0

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