Ocean Liner - Famous and Infamous

Famous and Infamous

Many ocean liners have been lost through the decades in various circumstances. The Titanic sank on her maiden voyage from Britain to the United States in 1912 after hitting an iceberg, with the loss of 1,523 lives; her name has entered the language as an archetypical catastrophe. Her larger sister ship Britannic, which had been converted into a hospital ship in 1915, sank in the Aegean Sea in 1916 after hitting a mine and remains the largest ocean liner on the sea bed.

In 1914 the Empress of Ireland sank in the Saint Lawrence River with 1,012 lives lost. The Lusitania was lost in 1915 to a German U-Boat during World War I while on passage from the United States to Britain. The Morro Castle burned off the coast of New Jersey in 1934. The worst disasters were the loss of the Cunarder Lancastria in 1940 off Saint-Nazaire to German bombing while attempting to evacuate troops of the British Expeditionary Force from France, with the loss of more than 3,000 lives; the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff with more than 9,000 lives lost, and the sinking of the Cap Arcona with more than 7,000 lives lost in the Baltic Sea in 1945. The Italian liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Stockholm in heavy fog in 1956, although equipped with radar.

Contrary wise, many ships with their reliability, comfort and decades of service, became particularly popular with passengers of that time. Cunard Line's Mauretania and Aquitania were considered the finest liners of their time, while the superliners like Normandie and Queen Mary became symbols of national pride and important part of western civilization with influences in design, technology, popular culture and standards of international travel.

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