Friday, November 11

Cruise Liners During The Wars

The 11th of November is the day when we remember our fallen soldiers for all previous and current wars. As a time of reflection we take a brief look at how cruise ships have played their roles in previous wars.

First World War
RMS Mauretania in Dazzle Camouflage
In the First World War RMS Mauretania was used briefly as an armed merchant cruiser, but due to its huge size and fuel consumption it was decommissioned from its military duties. Later in the war RMS Mauretania would become a troopship before it was redesignated as a hospital ship. It managed to avoid the German U-boat fire due to its speed and 'dazzle' paintwork which made targeting it difficult.
RMS Olympic, sister ship of the Titanic, served as a troopship for the British. From its highly effective operation during the war it obtained the nickname 'old reliable'.
HMHS Britannic, another sister ship of the Titanic, sadly did not make it through the war. Originally built as a passenger ship, she never saw any commercial passengers and was instead enlisted straight into the army as a hospital ship. Sadly on the 21st November 1916 she struck a mine off the Greek Coast by Kea resulting in a loss of 30 lives.

Second World War
The Queen Mary During WW2
The famous Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth ships were used during the war as troop carriers. Both transported thousands of troops across the Atlantic Ocean, surviving attacks but U-boats and rough seas to make it through the war without major incident.
Unfortunately the Queen Elizabeth was lost in 1972 due to on-board fires. However, the Queen Mary is now permanently docked at Long Island in Los Angeles as a tourist attraction.

Other Wars
Cruise liners have been used as recently as the Falklands with Cunards QE2 (soon to be an attraction in Dubai) and P&O's Canberra being used as troopships by the British Army.

Much like everyone and everything at the time of war, cruise ships have played their part in creating the world we live in today.... least we forget..
Today (11/11/11) Ideal Cruising will donate £11 from every sale to the Royal British Legion.

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