RMS Titanic and her sister ship, RMS Olympic, were built under a huge structure known as the Arroll Gantry in Belfast Northern Ireland. Construction began on the first of the three Olympic class ships on 16th December 1908, as RMS Olympic was constructed to rival some of Cunard Line’s grandest vessels.
RMS Olympic has the yard number 400, whilst work began on RMS Titanic in yard 401 on 31st March 1909. The two vessels were identical, with RMS Titanic’s design replicating RMS Olympics, as it was three months into construction when work started on RMS Titanic.
Following the sinking of RMS Titanic on 14th April 1912, suspicions began to circulate as to whether the two ships were switched. The White Star Line was struggling for money, as RMS Olympic had impacted with HMS Hawke on 20th September 1911; however, a legal dispute emerged following the collisions, resulting in significant large legal bills for the White Star Line.
Many therefore believe that RMS Titanic may have actually been an insurance scam to help stabilise the shipping company’s finances. Therefore, RMS Titanic might actually have been Olympic – and the new “RMS Titanic” that sunk may have been built in yard 400.
However, the claims were refuted when RMS Titanic’s ship number was found on many of the recovered ship parts, including the vessel’s propeller. However, many still believe the ship may have deliberately been sunk by the White Star Line.