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Watch The LINERS SHIPS OF DESTINY online: Episode 3 The Great Dual

The third program in the series looks at the development of the luxurious and spectacular liners of the 1930s, which saw the British `Queen Mary' and the French liner `Normandie' set records for both style and speed and of their Second World War service as troop ships, along with other liners. The programme looks at some of the liners that were lost during the war, including the Italian `Rex', the German `Wilhelm Gustloff', and the `Cap Arcona', which was carrying concentration camp survivors, 5000 of whom died. The immediate post-war years on the Atlantic route was a bonanza period for British liners, with the shipping companies, especially Cunard, owners of the `Queen Mary' and the `Queen Elizabeth', making a lot of money from transatlantic customers. New competition arose from the US, however, with the launching of the new super-liner, the `United States', which broke the pre-war record of the `Queen Mary' for crossing the Atlantic. The only possible source of competition to the lucrative trade was to come from the emerging commercial operations of the airline companies with their new jet engines.

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