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To hide these from passengers, the mounts were covered with coils of heavy docking lines during voyages.With the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, Cunard was permitted to retain underwent several wartime modifications including the addition of several additional compass platforms and cranes, as well as the painting black of its distinctive red funnels.It also allowed to be ten knots faster than German u-boats.On February 4, 1915, the German government declared the seas around the British Isles to be a war zone and that beginning February 18, Allied ships in the area would be sunk without warning.As with many ships of its type, was partially funded by a government subsidy scheme which called for the ship to be converted for use as an armed cruiser during wartime.While the structural requirements for such a conversion were incorporated into 's design, gun mounts were added to the ship's bow during an overhaul in 1913.The commodore of the Cunard fleet, Turner was an experienced mariner and reached New York on the 24th.During this time, several concerned German-American citizens approached the German embassy in an effort to avoid controversy should the liner be attacked by a u-boat.
With the liner approaching, two destroyers were dispatched to escort departed for New York on April 17, with Captain William Thomas Turner in command.
In an effort to reduce costs, began operating on a monthly sailing schedule and Boiler Room #4 was shut down.
This latter move reduced the ship's top speed to around 21 knots, which still made it the fastest liner operating in the Atlantic.
Taking their concerns to heart, the embassy placed ads in fifty American newspapers on April 22 warning that neutral travelers aboard British-flagged vessels en route to the war zone sailed at their own risk.
was a luxury liner built for the famed Cunard Line.
Sailing on the trans-Atlantic route, the ship gained a reputation for speed and won the Blue Riband for the fastest eastbound crossing in October 1907.