Baltic II

Baltic II, yard No. 352, was launched on November 21st, 1903, and made her maiden voyage between Liverpool and New York on June 29th, 1904. She was the third of the 'Big Four' liners to enter service, although she would be slightly longer, and therefore heavier too, than her sisters, due to Bruce Ismay's rather late insistence that Baltic II should be the biggest ship in the world, which she did indeed become, weighing-in at a mammoth 23,876 tons. Because of this late change of plan, which was essentially little more than inserting a new section of hull, there was nothing done to compensate for the extra weight, and Baltic II was consequently underpowered, although modifications to her engines would almost correct this.

On January 23rd, 1909, White Star Line's Republic II was rammed, in fog, by the Lloyd Italiano ship Florida. Efforts to save Republic II with improvised collision mats were not a success, and she eventually sank more than 40 hours after the actual collision. However, during this time, her Marconi radio operator, Jack Binns, had been operating the shattered remains of his radio equipment, and managed to put out a call for assistance, to which Baltic II answered, turning-up 12 hours after the collision at about 7.30pm, and taking aboard all of of Republic's passengers in the next four hours. Baltic II then began the rescue of the Florida's passengers and crew, taking aboard 1,650 people.

During World War 1 she was engaged, like her sisters, in transporting troops, and after the war, she continued on the familiar route between Liverpool and New York.

Her last voyage was in September, 1932, and on 17th February the following year, Baltic II sailed to Osaka in Japan for scrapping.



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