When the Titanic sank in 1912, it shocked the world. The limits of human innovation were cruelly displayed with the destruction of such a technically remarkable ship.
A conspiracy theory that has crept up online in recent years asks the question, most recently on Reddit: Was it actually the Titanic that sank?
We know. It sounds bonkers. But bear with us.
Everyone seems to agree on one fact: A ship really did sink in the icy waters of the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912, and approximately 1,500 passengers aboard that ship died. The conspiracy simply suggests the Titanic wasn’t actually the technical marvel the ship’s parent company, the White Star Line, had promised.
Do you think the Titanic actually sank?
Of course. James Cameron wouldn’t lie to us like that or are you not convinced?
Rather, the White Star Line swapped ships for the voyage from Southampton to New York and the ship billed as the top-of-the-line Titanic was actually an older ship: the Olympic.
What’s more, the conspiracy theory suggests, the entire crash was an insurance scam gone wrong.
J.P. Morgan and the Heyday of Big Ships
The British White Star Line had stiff competition in England and across the globe. Locally, it had a fierce rivalry with the Cunard Steamship Company, Ltd., which in 1906-07 had sent on its maiden voyage the world’s then-largest passenger ships, the Lusitania and the Mauretania.
To compete with the Lusitania and its mate, White Star Line entered into a giant ship war. The company was no stranger to such battles, but Cunard’s Lusitania and Mauretania had out-gunned White Star’s so-called “Big Four” ships in terms of top speed. This time around, the company had some extra backing.
The Olympic and Titanic being built side-by-side.
In 1902, White Star had become a property owned by the International Mercantile Marine Co. (IMM), a holding company bankrolled by famed financier J.P Morgan. With Morgan’s permission, White Star chairman J. Bruce Ismay began work on what came to be known as Olympic-class ships. If they couldn’t match the Lusitania’s speed, Olympic-class ships would outclass Cunard ships: they’d be even bigger, and more luxurious. Three ships were commissioned: the Olympic, the Titanic, and the Britannic.
blog by Julez for Styles Rebel Radio