RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Aly Jones on Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:11 am

Rms Olympic's contruction and war ship HMS Hawke consruction was made from the same materials? and also,was the HMS Hawke built stonger than an Olympic class liner?
I am pretty sure the two ships were on a par with each other in strengh and built with the same materials but I need proof cause I am having a debate with a fellow friend member.
Aly Jones
 

Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Simon Mills on Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:32 am

Aly,

It's not quite right to ask if Olympic and HMS Hawke were of similar construction. HMS Hawke was an Edgar class armoured cruiser, built in 1891 and displacing some 7,350 tons. Olympic, on the other hand, was brand new and displaced over 50,000 tons.

The nature and location of the damage to each vessel was also very different. HMS Hawke suffered extensive head-on damage to her bow, while Olympic's flank suffered even more from the fact that Hawke's underwater ram (a not unusual feature in a warship of the late nineteenth century) punctured her more vulnerable starboard quarter. After the ships had been seperated, Hawke's ram subsequently detached altogether (I don't think it has ever been found) and when the ship was repaired it was not replaced, largely because underwater rams were considered to be pretty much obsolete by then. Nevertheless, by being accidentally pulled into Olympic's starboard propeller shaft, by default Hawke's underwater ram would have inflicted exactly the scale of damage that it was designed to do. Being a merchant vessel without the benefit of any armoured plating, Olympic was therefore always likely to have suffered more extensive damage.

Regards,

SM.
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Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Mark Chirnside on Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:47 am

Hi Simon,

A quick comment on a minor point:

Simon Mills wrote:After the ships had been seperated, Hawke's ram subsequently detached altogether (I don't think it has ever been found) and when the ship was repaired it was not replaced, largely because underwater rams were considered to be pretty much obsolete by then.


Hawke's ram - or at least a substantial portion of it - was located a couple of months after the collision.

Best wishes,

Mark.
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Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Simon Mills on Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:06 pm

Hello Mark,

That's interesting. I recall reading somehwere (Aspinall?) that White Star tried to locate the broken ram because they wanted to use it as evidence in their case as to the location of the collision, in order to disprove the Navy's assertion that Olympic was pushing Hawke out of the channel. The information seemed to indicate that the ram wasn't found, but that the Navy said that it actually fell off some time after the accident anyway, by which time Hawke was headed for No. 12 dock at Portsmouth.

Would be interested to know what they found...

S.
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Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Aly Jones on Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:16 pm

How about the two ships steel,was it the same steel used on both ships to construct the two ships?
Aly Jones
 

Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Mark Chirnside on Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:55 am

Hi Simon,

Perhaps that is why your source was a little vague in that regard. Certainly, White Star had wanted to use its location to demonstrate the collision's position, but given that they could not prove when the ram had fallen off - or disprove the navy's assertion - then it was ultimately of no assistance to them.

Best wishes,

Mark.
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Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Simon Mills on Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:05 am

Aly,

Broadly speaking the quality of the steel used in Olympic and HMS Hawke would have been quite similar. The Siemens-Martin steel manufacturing process was introduced in the second half of the nineteenth century and so far as I am aware the process remained largely unaltered for the better part of a hundred years. That said, there have been major changes in the steel manufacturing process since the end of the Second World War, but that's another story...

Mark, the Aspinall book was the official summary of the Court case (John Bridge Aspinall's Reports on Maritime Cases runs to several volumes), but I just don't recall reading that the ram had been retrieved. If I missed it then it would be interesting to know where it was found.

Regards,

S.
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Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Mark Chirnside on Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:19 am

Hi Simon,

I wouldn't be too worried about missing anything. I don't think it was located until after the first verdict came down in December 1911, so it would not have formed a part of the original case. Of course, the appeals are a slightly different story, but even then the fact that the ram did not necessarily fall off at the time of the collision made it something of a moot point. I don't have my files with me so I am not going to be able to give any specifics on where it was located.

Best wishes,

Mark.
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Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby James Smith on Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:43 pm

Not a primary source, but here's what John Maxtone-Graham writes in his epilogue to Olympic and Titanic: Ocean Liners of the Past, p. 162:

The White Star Line would later salvage it [the ram] from the bottom of the Solent in hopes that its position indicated the point of collision, a matter, like the two ships' respective courses, which would remain in contention. But, in fact, it was an inaccurate marker . . . When it was recovered, shiny fragments of bronze were embedded in the forward plating, clear indication that the Olympic's starboard screw had been nicked as well.
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Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Aly Jones on Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:18 am

Simon, so you are saying that before ww2,all British passenger liners and war ships were built with the same kind of steel,after wwII this changed,War ships were built with difference kind of steel to the passeager liners.
Aly Jones
 

Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Simon Mills on Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:31 am

Mark,

Thanks for the Maxtone-Graham reference, but if you could dig out your primary source at some stage then that would be useful. So far as I recall, the Aspinall summary of the White Star v. Royal Navy case was published in 1913, so I assume that the ram would have been located by then?

Aly, there were (and still are) major differences in the way that warships and passenger liners were constructed, but in essence they would have use the same basic hull steel. However, keep in mind that the armour plating incorporated into a late nineteenth century warship (usually located along the flanks and topside) would have been somewhat diferent in its nature. By the 1890s, when Hawke was entering service, this armour plate was, I think, more of a nickel-steel composition.

Insofar as the post-WWII steels are concerned, the Siemens-Martin process was pretty much replaced in the 1950s with what were known as basic oxygen furnaces. You need to look into it in more detail for a more expert summary (suggest Wikipedia for starters) but essentially the Linz-Donawitz process used oxygen instead of air, which removed many of the undesireable elements and produced a low carbon steel. Low carbon steels were not so hard, but as a result they were more flexible and not so brittle. Please note that in using the word "brittle", I am not implying that the steel used in Titanic was in any way substandard. The steel used in Titanic was probably the best available, based on the standard of technical knowledge at the time.

S.
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Re: RMS Olympic contruction v's HMS Hawke construction.

Postby Mark Chirnside on Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:51 am

Hi Simon,

Simon Mills wrote:Mark,

Thanks for the Maxtone-Graham reference, but if you could dig out your primary source at some stage then that would be useful. So far as I recall, the Aspinall summary of the White Star v. Royal Navy case was published in 1913, so I assume that the ram would have been located by then?


To clarify, James provided the secondary source reference to John Maxtone-Graham's work. However, in terms of the primary sources the fact that the ram had been located was referred to in the appeal judgement from April 1913. Hopefully, I'll get chance to go through my files for the specifics, but as I indicated earlier I don't have everything with me at the moment.

Best wishes,

Mark.
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