Cover image for Exploring the Britannic : the life, last voyage and wreck of Titanic's tragic twin / Simon Mills.
Title:
Exploring the Britannic : the life, last voyage and wreck of Titanic's tragic twin / Simon Mills.
Author:
ISBN:
9781472954923
Publication Information:
London : Adlard Coles Nautical, 2019.

©2019.
Physical Description:
272 pages : illustrations (some colour), portraits, plans ; 26 cm.
Contents:
Introduction -- pt. 1. The Britannic and the Great War -- Genesis -- Back to the drawing board -- The call to arms -- The maiden voyage -- To hell and back -- Back in the routine -- Journey's end -- Aftermath -- The end of the beginning -- pt. 2. Exploring the Britannic -- Rediscovery -- In the footsteps of Cousteau -- The impossible dream -- Politics, producers and partners -- The project widens -- A sequence of unfortunate events -- Picking up the pieces -- Appendix : the wreck of the Britannic today -- Bibliography and sources -- Index -- Acknowledgements.
Abstract:
Launched in 1914, two years after the ill-fated maiden voyage of her sister ship, RMS Titanic, the Britannic was intended to be superior to her tragic twin in every way. But soon after her launch war intervened and in 1915 she was requisitioned as a hospital ship. Just one year later, while on her way to collect troops wounded in the First World War's Balkans campaign, she fell victim to a mine laid by a German U-boat and tragically sank in the middle of the Aegean Sea. There her wreck lay, at a depth of 400 feet, until it was discovered 59 years later by legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau. Since then a succession of expeditions, including one by Robert Ballard who discovered the wreck of the Titanic, have uncovered more about the Britannic and life on-board ship than anyone could have hoped for. In 1996 the wreck was bought by maritime historian and author of this book, Simon Mills. This book tells the complete story of the Britannic- her construction, launch and life, her fateful last voyage, her loss to a German mine, and the historical findings resulting from the exploration of the well-preserved wreck over a period of forty years. Fully illustrated with historical photos and diagrams, and scans, sonar images and stunning photographs of the wreck and the expeditions, the book will be an essential addition to the bookshelves of anyone with an interest in maritime history, First World War history, and all those interested in diving and maritime exploration. Although much has been written on the exploration of the Titanic, to date there is nothing substantial on the similar work carried out on her sister ship. Until now.
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Summary

Summary

A revelatory and wide-ranging exploration of HMS Britannic­-- her life at sea and on the seabed--by the owner of her wreck.

Launched in 1914, two years after the ill-fated voyage of her sister ship, RMS Titanic , the Britannic was intended to be superior to her tragic twin in every way. But war intervened and in 1915 she was requisitioned as a hospital ship. Just one year later, while on her way to collect troops wounded in the Balkans campaign, she fell victim to a mine laid by a German U-boat and tragically sank in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

There her wreck lay, at a depth of 400 feet, until it was discovered 59 years later by legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau. In 1996 the wreck was bought by the author of this book, Simon Mills.

Exploring the Britannic tells the complete story of this enigmatic ship: her construction, launch and life, her fateful last voyage, and the historical findings resulting from the exploration of the well-preserved wreck over a period of 40 years. With remarkable sonar scans and many never before seen photographs of the wreck, plus fold-out sections of the original Harland & Wolff ship plans, not previously published in their entirety, Exploring the Britannic finally details how the mysteries surrounding the 100-year-old enigma were laid to rest, and what the future might also hold for her.


Author Notes

Simon Mills has worked in the camera department of the British film industry since 1980. He has worked on over 70 feature films, television dramas and documentaries, including several James Bond, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter films, and as a qualified HSE scuba diver has, from time to time, also worked beneath the surface.

In addition to his camerawork he has helped to research a number of maritime-themed documentaries, authored or edited 11 books, and has for many years written articles on the Britannic and the Olympic class liners for maritime periodicals. All of this now takes second place to coordinating the development of the Britannic project, the wreck of which he bought in 1996.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 6
Part 1 The Britannic and The Great War
1 Genesisp. 10
2 Back to The Drawing Boardp. 20
3 The Call to Armsp. 30
4 The Maiden Voyagep. 42
5 To Hell and Backp. 54
6 Back in The Routinep. 64
7 Journey's Endp. 74
8 Aftermathp. 92
9 The End of The Beginningp. 100
Part 2 Exploring The Britannic
10 Rediscoveryp. 116
11 In The Footsteps of Cousteaup. 128
12 The Impossible Dreamp. 148
13 Politics, Producers and Partnersp. 166
14 The Project Widensp. 190
15 A Sequence of Unfortunate Eventsp. 208
16 Picking Up The Piecesp. 226
Appendix: The Wreck of The Britannic todayp. 240
Bibliography and Sourcesp. 268
Indexp. 270
Acknowledgementsp. 272