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Timeline (Titanic, the Luckiest Ship in the World)

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1912

April

RMS Titanic 3

The RMS Titanic departing on her maiden voyage, April 10, 1912.

  • Two close calls on the Titanic's Maiden Voyage, where a smaller ship nearly rammed into the larger ship, and minor damage caused by an iceberg, resulted in the ship becoming to be known as the "Luckiest Ship in the World."

May

  • The Titanic is fully repaired, and is taken on her second voyage by Captain J. B. Ranson, who pilots the ship until the outbreak of World War One.

November

  • William Howard Taft is defeated in his reelection bid by Democrat Woodrow Wilson and Progressive Candidate (and former President) Theodore Roosevelt.

1913

February

  • After the near disaster of the Titanic, the British Board of Trade updates its Lifeboat requirements to cover every person on board. Many ships, including Titanic are taken out of service for nearly two months, due to the shortage of lifeboats and davits to lower them.

1914

February

  • The Gigantic is launched in Belfast, which will now give the White Star Line the ability to always have one major ocean liner at sea once she enters service.

July

  • The Titanic was at sea when the announcement that Great Britain had entered the war was announced. However, the message was delayed to being taken to the bridge (as the Passengers were still the primary concern of the wireless operators), and a destroyer flotilla fired upon the Titanic when arriving in the English Channel, believing it was a German ship. No damage was caused.

August

  • The Titanic is converted to an Armed Merchant cruiser, in order to hold off hostile forces while sailing, and, if possible, sink other AMC's. Captain Charles A. Bartlett takes over Command of the Titanic, while Ranson enters the Royal Navy, and commands a Destroyer flotilla.

September

  • The Titanic, with the Cunard Line's RMS Carmania, sail to Trinidade and sink the German AMC SMS Cap Trafalgar in a massive battle, where the Titanic had the last funnel blown off, and the Carmania was hit in the superstructure and damaged. Both ships were hurriedly repaired in Bermuda, and the Carmania was dispatched to patrol the African coast. The Titanic was pulled back to Britain, where the larger ship was considered to expensive to be run as a axillary cruiser.

October

  • The Olympic, still in service, is pursued by four U-boats with orders to sink the Titanic for the Battle of Trinidade, but they had mistaken the two ships. The Olympic diverts to Glasgow, but, after the distress calls from the HMS Audacious (which had just struck a mine) turned to rescue the sinking battleship, while a Royal Navy Squadron manages to sink one of the submarines pursuing the larger passenger liner. The Battleship, however, is unable to be towed to port, but the majority of its crew are rescued. The Olympic and Titanic are now withdrawn from service for the duration of the war, as the damage to the Titanic is more serious than originally believed, and the tactic of using large passenger liners as Armed Merchant ships is forbidden by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill.

1915

May

  • The RMS Lusitania is sunk by a U-boat while off the coast of Ireland, and 1,195 drown, including 128 American's. Germany reluctantly puts a hold on unrestricted submarine warfare, mostly due to American anger, though President Wilson tries his best not to go to war.
    Bundesarchiv DVM 10 Bild-23-61-17, Untergang der Lusitania

    Painting of the sinking of the Lusitania, used for propaganda reasons against the German's.

  • The Gigantic is requisitioned as a Hospital ship, and sent to the Mediterranean after being fully fitted out.

September

  • The Titanic and Olympic are pressed into service as Troop transports, due to the enormous need for shipping. Both ships are sent to Halifax to pick up Canadian divisions, which are taken straight to the Gallipoli campaign, which is able to turn the tide and force the defending Turkish troops to withdraw. The Titanic makes two trips to Marseilles to pick up a couple British Infantry divisions, which allows the Allies to continue the Dardanelles campaign straight to Constantinople, which surrenders in October. Ottoman Turkey is out of the war, and almost instantly collapses into Civil War.

November

  • The Titanic, Olympic and RMS Mauritania, the sunken Lusitania's sister ship, are sent to bring much needed supplies and a few divisions to Russia through the Black Sea. Russia is able to halt the German onslaught, and trench warfare develops in the east, formerly a war of movement.

December

  • Titanic is sent to Canada to bring fresh Divisions to the Western Front, and taking wounded Canadians back home. While returning to Bordeaux to unload the troops, the Titanic is attacked by a U-Boat, but the torpedo was a dud, and the destroyers were able to sink the offending U-Boat. The "Miracle of the Bay of Biscay" further reinforces the myth of the "Luckiest Ship in the World."

1916

March

  • Titanic and Olympic again arrive in Sevastopol, and the British and French reinforcements they are carrying manages to drive through the weak Austro-Hungarian Army, which forces the Germans to divert forces in front of the reorganizing Russian Army and from the Western front. The Battle of Verdun is put on hold indefinitely due to the situation in the Balkans. The Gigantic, however, suffers a massive explosion while sailing through the Mediterranean, which was later to have been determined to have been a mine. 70 are killed and 187 wounded, but the ship (barely) manages to stay afloat and is able to make it to Athens.
    RMS Olympic in WWI dazzle paint

    The Olympic in dazzle camoflouge as a troop transport.


April

  • The Gigantic is patched up enough to be able to sail to Belfast, and repairs are begun. Altogether, the repairs take more than fourteen months.
    HMHS Britannic

    HMHS Gigantic, weeks after being repaired from its near sinking in the Adriatic.

May

  • Russian forces soon reach the border of Austria-Hungary, which they had not reached since 1914. Austria-Hungary is thrown into chaos, while Germany tries to support her ailing ally. The Russian's are stopped in the Battle of Silesia, but the Russian "Steamroller" envisioned at the start of the war is taking shape, and threatens to destroy the Central Powers against the Western "anvil".

July

  • As German forces are slowly taken out of the line along the Western front to send them against the approaching Russians, the Allies launch simultaneous offensives in the north and south, which push the Germans back nearly 50 miles at the farthest point, and threaten to create a salient stretching from Verdun to the Somme River, and hundreds of thousands of German troops are withdrawn. Attacks on the Eastern front now reach East Prussia. Germany is rapidly losing the war.

September

  • Titanic, Olympic and Mauritania are gathered to bring a naval landing force to the Belgian Coast behind the German lines. Although the German High Sea's fleet sails to try to attack the ships (no Battle of Jutland in OTL), the Royal Navy manages to defeat the German's decisively, sinking five battleships and three battle cruisers to the British losses of two battleships and five battle cruisers. The landing is a success, with Antwerp being captured in fifteen days after D-Day. The German armies in the northern part of the Western front must pull back before the British marines surround them. Only 75,000 German soldiers are able to retreat, with nearly 150,000 more being taken prisoner.

October

  • Austria-Hungary, after combined Russian and Italian offensives, sues for peace. Only Germany remains of the Central Powers.

November

  • The remainder of the High Sea's fleet mutinies, and Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates. It is later recorded that he muttered "Damn the Turks, damn the Dardanelles and damn the British liners!" before being loaded in a car to escape to the neutral Netherlands.
  • President Woodrow Wilson wins a second term in the White House, with the campaign slogan "He Kept Us Out of War." He announces his intention of trying to mediate peace between the European Powers.
  • The German Provisional Republic signs an armistice, and the Great War comes to an end a lot sooner than many expected. They accept President Wilson's offer for meditation in America.

1917

April

  • Treaty of Charleston signed. Germany forced to surrender most of East Prussia to Russia, and Alsace-Lorraine to France. Austria-Hungary divided up, with the Balkan territories uniting with Serbia to form Balkan Confederation. Russia also gains Galicia from Hungary, and some land from Ottoman Turkey, which had collapsed and is now in a multi-sided Civil War.

May

  • Four of the "Big Five" British Merchant ships; the Titanic, Olympic, Mauritania and Aquitania, (Gigantic is still under repair) as well as hundreds of other steamers, begin the process of shipping the troops back from Russia to the West and the overseas armies back to Australia, Canada, and the French Territories. Titanic takes the first load of Canadian veterans back home, and over the next seven months, will bring back over 98,000 men to Halifax, on the route later known as the "Canada Path".

June

  • The Gigantic at last is repaired, but the Admiralty lets the White Star Line assume control again, and is the first major liner to begin the process of refit.

December

  • Halifax Explosion blast cloud restored

    Halifax Harbour, moments after the Mont Blanc exploded.

    In Halifax on December 6, the Titanic sails into the harbor to find a burning ship, the S.S. Mont Blanc drifting. Harold McBride, now the Senior Marconi Wireless Operator, alerts the bridge to let them know that the ship had munitions on board, according to the wireless operator on board the French vessel. Captain Bartlett, realizing the danger, reverses the engines, and manages to clear The Narrows about ten minutes before the Mont Blanc explodes. Windows and portholes on the Titanic shatter, injuring 76, and killing ten veterans. the shock wave was so severe, that several watertight compartments spring leaks, but most are repaired quickly. After four more hours, the Titanic again enters the harbor, and Bartlett decides that he will do as much as he can to help the citizens of the destroyed city. The soldiers on board, many of the over 3,876 on board from the Canadian Maritimes, enthusiastically agree to help. Together the Titanic's soldiers, along with its crew and the Halifax Fire and Police Departments, do their best to help the survivors. The ship was transformed into a floating hospital almost overnight, and over 3000 injured citizens are treated on board. The most at risk: young mothers with children, the elderly and sick, were given cabins on board. But a blizzard starting the next day, and lasting over the next week hampered rescue efforts, increasing the death toll. But even before the storm let up, dozen's of other ships from the Royal Canadian Navy and from the US, especially Boston and New York, brought in emergency food and medical supplies. The Titanic would stay in Halifax for over three weeks doing as much as could be done, until the Admiralty ordered the ship home. Before the Titanic was to leave, on December 25, the grateful survivors held a Christmas ceremony for the crew of the Titanic, and Caiitan Bartlett and his crew was proclaimed heroes by the city, and the ship, along with the city of Boston, Massachusetts, would receive a Christmas tree every year after.

1918

January

  • In one of the last trips to bring veterans from Russia back to the west, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, pursued by the Czar's secret police after being secretly smuggled into Russia by the Germans, stows away on the Mauritania, and safely arrives in Liverpool.

March

  • A young German veteran, Adolf Schicklgruber, is involved in an automobile accident in Munich, which leaves him paralyzed from the waist down, and confined to a wheel chair for the rest of his life. He bitterly returns to Austria, and enrolls again into the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, and is accepted this time. He will later go on to paint decent pictures of European landmarks, and manages writes a book called "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle), mostly about the accident that nearly destroyed his life. In one passage, he said: "I was thinking about trying to get involved in politics, but Munich changed my plans." He died in 1952, and left a small fortune to his wife Eva Braun, who together had three children.

May

  • The Titanic arrives in Halifax with one of the last loads of Canadian soldiers, and the Captain is subsequently given the Keys to the City for the help given during the Halifax Explosion. The Titanic is sent to Belfast to begin the process of converting her back to trans-Atlantic Passenger service.

July

  • While working on the Titanic, workmen find out that several hull plates on the bottom of the ship were dented by a torpedo that didn't explode, as well as the dud torpedo that was fired at the Titanic in the Bay of Biscay a few months before. It was estimated that had the torpedo exploded, the ship's backbone would have been shattered, and the Titanic would have sank, possibly with enormous casualties. Months later, the Olympic was found to also have had a near miss with a dud torpedo. This convinces many that the ships are divinely protected, and the "Luckiest Ships in the World."

September

  • A fire on board the Olympic, being re-fitted in Belfast, destroys much of the original wood paneling. The fire was later to have been found out to have been a careless worker who threw his half-smoked cigarette, accidentally, onto a pile of oil soaked rags. The Olympic's re-fitting is delayed for over seven months.

October

  • The Gigantic is completed, and returned to service.

1919

April

  • The Titanic is fully refitted for the transatlantic run, the second of the major liners to do so. The first peacetime of voyage of the Titanic goes off without a hitch from Southampton to New York, and the Titanic is greeted by the American's as a "return to normalcy." With both the Titanic and Gigantic in service, this gives White Star a virtual monopoly on the Trans-Atlantic trade, which strengthens its position, and allowing the company to embark on a new program to establish routes with the Far-East, especially Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Singapore, with stops in Alexandria and Calcutta along the way (the Suez Canal is to be widened, with funds from White Star, to ensure this route is viable).

May

  • Mauritania and Aquitania are returned to service. It is estimated that the Olympic will not return to service until October due to the fire on board.

August

  • King George V and Queen Alexandria sail on the Titanic to New York, the first visit by a reigning British monarch to the United States, and after a tour of the Eastern Seaboard, travels north to Canada on a tour of the dominion, which King George calls, "The bright light of the Empire, which shone in its darkest hour."
  • German Communists, the Sparticists, attempt a seize of power, but are brutally defeated by the army and police, leading to the death of its leader Karl Liebknecht, and the rise of his opponent, Rosa Luxemburg to the leadership of the German Communist Party, who sought peaceful transition of power unlike Liebknecht's violent overthrow he attempted.
    Bundesarchiv Bild 102-00540A, Berlin, Revolutionskämpfe

    Barricades in Berlin during the Spartacist Revolt.

  • The Titanic nearly collides with a Royal Navy destroyer, the HMS Collingwood, which sparked some debate as to the safety of the liners of this size.

September

  • Olympic finally returns to service a month earlier than predicted, with new furnishings in many of the burnt out areas.
  • Titanic makes its 100th crossing of the Atlantic (with war service counted), which is marked with great festivities on board.

October

  • Mauritania makes a near collision with an iceberg on the 15th, seven and a half years after the Titanic nearly did so as well in the same area. The Board of Trade moves Atlantic routes further south to avoid the area.

November

  • A new steamship company, called the American Lines, is formed, with two massive ocean liners, both 950 feet long, to be ordered from two American shipyards: One in New Orleans, the other in San Jose.

1920

January

  • Another communist revoltion breaks out in Russian Poland, which is brutally crushed by the Russian army. This further increases tensions between the Poles and the Russians.

April

  • Titanic, while sailing to New York from Southampton, drops a left wing propeller blade. After limping back to England, the ship then makes its way to Belfast. The propeller is replaced, and she returns to service by the beginning of June.

June

  • Captain Edward J. Smith, the first Captain of the Titanic and retired Commodore of the White Star Fleet, dies on June 4 at the age of 70. He is buried in Litchfield, England.

September

  • The White Star Line announces that all ships of the Canadian Pacific Railroads are going to be bought by White Star, and all shipping route will be taken over by the company. In turn, the major transatlantic routes by White Star will also feature a stop at Halifax (before New York on Westbound trips, and after New York on Eastbound). The Olympic is the first liner to sail on this new route.

1921

March

  • On March 6, the Mauritania strikes an iceberg in fog under command of Captain Arthur H. Rostron, almost at the same place where it nearly struck one a few years before. Quick radio calls, and the evacuation of all passengers and most of the crew took place orderly. Of the 2187 on board, all but one (a former passenger on the Titanic when it struck an iceberg nine years before), who died of a heart attack after being told. The R.M.S. Veronic of White Star rescued the survivors. The last to leave the Mauritania was Rostron, and all on board the Veronic watched the ship sank. In all, it took five hours for the ship to finally lean over and sink to the bottom of the ocean. Despite the fact that no one drowned, the Cunard Line was hammered due to this breach in its safety record.

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