Meme si je sais que ce sujet avait été déja évoqué dans un autre sujet plus large mais qui mélangeait bcp de sujets intéressants. J'isole la question de la décoration du Britannic en ne me focalisant pas seulement sur les élements de déco si le paquebot aurait eu une carière commerciale mais en les mettant en rapport avec la transformation du paquebot en navire hospital. En m'aidant de certains textes qui me servent dans mes recherches, je suis tombé sur un texte qui relate le témoinage d'une infermière du nom de Sheila Macbeth presente a bord du Britannic lors du dernier voyage puis qui a ensuite survécut au naufrage le 21 Novembre 1916 lors de ce meme voyage. On peut y voir une comparaison tout a fait intéressante entre les élements de décorations prévus pour la carière commerciale et ceux du navire hospital aménagé pour le rapatriement de soldats bléssés. Voici le lien de ce texte intéressant donc j'ai mis quelques extraits ci dessous pour montrer nettement la comparaison et la réputation porté au Britannic. Voici le lien pour lire le texte entier :
Les deux premiers extraits relatent et confirment l'admiration qu'avait le personnel médical pour le Britannic dont il savait que le Britannic était le petit frère du Titanic. Et par ailleurs ces extraits montrent assez bien la conversion des pièces prevues pour les 1eres classes et les autres classe de moindres importances. D'ailleurs dans ses passages on y apprend que par analogies,il y a avait une hiérarchie entre le personnel médical et que les paquebot s'adaptait bien a ce genre de hiérachies entre docteur, infermières...
For Nurse Sheila Macbeth, the sixth voyage of his Majesty's Hospital Ship Britannic, on November 12, 1916, began as both a homecoming
and a kind of holiday before the real work ahead. "Such a relief to find the same cabin and room-mate," wrote the unmarried, 26-year-old Scot in her diary, "and to see how homely it is now looking, with my chintz cushions and our nice jar of brown beech leaves. Everything is much nicer on this voyage -- as there are no passengers (these were always medical officers and nurses-going out to different hospitals in India, Egypt, Salonica or Malta...) and in consequence we are allowed to wander all over the ship, and do not find the deck roped off at every turn with a notice saying: 'Officers Only' or 'Passengers Only.'
Nurse Macbeth's wanderings must have been fascinating, since the ship she was traveling on was the Titanic's younger sister. Only the outbreak of war had prevented the Britannic from joining White Star's fleet as the largest, the most luxurious -- and the safest -- passenger ship flying the British flag. Instead her fancy fittings sat in storage, her promenade decks were crowded with hospital beds and her first-class dining room had become the intensive care ward where the most seriously wounded would stay before and after surgery in the operating theater next door, formerly the grand reception room. The public rooms on the upper decks housed the majority of the wounded -- close to the boats, should they need to abandon ship. The first-class staterooms provided accommodation for the hospital elite -- the doctors, the nursing matron, the medical corps officers and the chaplains-while the lesser nurses and orderlies made do with cabins originally intended for lower classes.
The ship's surgeon, Dr. J.C.H. Beaumont, called her "the most wonderful hospital ship that ever sailed the seas." And she was indeed an amazing floating infirmary.
Dans d'autres passages,on apprend les principales modificatications apporté au Britannic apres les conclusions données par les commissions enquètes du nafrage du Titanic quatre ans plus tot : (élements sur la double coque et la double cloison, les portes étanches életriques, les compartiments inondables, système de pompages et le nombre de canots de sauvetage)
Despite these dangers, those traveling aboard the Britannic had reason to feel confident. At a service speed of 21 knots -- faster if necessary -- she could outrun any U-boat. And her builders had designed her to withstand the sort of disaster that had sunk the Titanic. A watertight inner skin, running for almost two-thirds of the ship's length and making her 18 inches wider than her two predecessors, protected her engines and boiler rooms. Five of her 17 watertight bulkheads extended as high as B deck, also known as the bridge deck, fully 40 feet above the waterline. The rest rose as high as E deck. All the bulkheads had the latest in electrically operated watertight doors, and the pumping system allowed any watertight compartment to be drained by means of a valve placed well above the waterline. The higher bulkheads were meant to keep her afloat with any six of her compartments flooded. In theory, it would take more than one torpedo to sink her.
And in the unlikely event that she sank, there would be a lifeboat seat for everyone. No one admiring the Britannic's massive profile could doubt that lifeboats had become a priority. Five sets of huge gantry davits towered over the boat deck, while two more graced the poop deck, each responsible for launching six of the largest lifeboats ever carried on a ship and, where a funnel did not block the way, capable of reaching across the superstructure to pick up boats from the other side of the ship if it became impossible to launch them there. (The original plans called for eight of these new davits, but the Admiralty needed the ship before all could be installed; instead, smaller Welin davits like those used on the Titanic made up the difference.) Each new gantry davit was powered by a special auxiliary electric motor and had its own electric illumination to facilitate nighttime loading. (As an added benefit, this new lifeboat would help make the Britannic more attractive when she finally entered commercial service after the war.)