Oceanic, the predecessor of Titanic, was built in 1899. Until 1901, it held the title of the largest ship in the world.

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The vessel was constructed for the White Star Line and embarked on its maiden voyage in the same year.

During the late 1800s, maritime technology advanced rapidly, leading White Star Line’s competitors, Norddeutscher Lloyd and Cunard Line, to introduce state-of-the-art ships. To keep up with the competition, White Star Line needed to produce its own flagship capable of rivaling them.

Following a strategy of prioritizing luxury over speed, Oceanic was built in Belfast and had a capacity for 1,710 passengers, including 410 in First Class, 300 in Second Class, and 1,000 in Third Class, along with 349 crew members. The ship was launched on January 14, 1899, with an audience of over 50,000 spectators. It would become the largest and final British liner launched in the 19th century.

When World War I broke out in 1914, Oceanic was commissioned into Royal Navy service on August 8th of that year as an armed merchant cruiser. In the same year, it set sail from Southampton to patrol the waters from the North Scottish mainland to the Faroes, specifically the area around Shetland. However, Oceanic ran aground and was wrecked off the island of Foula, Shetland in September 1914.

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