I must first state that the new findings on this page are those reported recently by various media, and they are not my own beliefs. I am still to form an opinion on this new data, except to say I have always believed the damage suffered was minor and not massive. We must carefully consider the information available to find the truth. Do not be too quick to believe that this new data is 100% accurate or that they have thought of every possibility.
An International team of scientists and engineers repeatedly dived the Titanic wreck in August 1996. These scientists used sonar to peer through the mud in an attempt to find exactly what damage was in the starboard bow of the ship. The findings showed six small openings in the side of the starboard hull, the position of these slits can been seen on the photo on this page.(click here to see the photo). They used an acoustic device known as a sub-bottom profiler, working in a similar way to an ultra-sound. He first made images of the port side as an analytic base line and then made images of the starboard side. They did not find any gash but a series of deformations in the starboard side that start and stop along the hull. They are about 3 meters above the bottom of the ship, and they appear to follow the hull plate. This suggests that the iron rivets along the plate popped open to create slits no wider than a persons hand. The longest gap is 11 meters and extends between boiler rooms 5 and 6 just crossing the water tight bulkhead. I seem to remember that this is what Robert Ballard stated after his visits to the wreck, he suggested the the plates buckled, popping the rivets.
Even though the slits are small, at the time of the collision, they would have averaged about 6 meters below the surface meaning that the pressure at this depth would have forced the water into the slits with considerable force. It has been calculated that about 39,000 tonnes of water entered the ship before its sinking.
The damage found is consistent with the testimony of Edward Wilding, one of Harland and Wolff's naval architects. In the 1912 British enquiry he proposed that as the flooding in each of the compartments was uneven, this meant that each had suffered unique and uncontinuous damage. He also proposed that the actual cuts might be relatively small. His testimony was mostly ignored. Almost all believed that the only thing that could sink a ship that size was a huge gash.
After the expedition in August 1996 Naval architect William Garzke stated that if the ship had been travelling a few knots slower than its estimated speed of 22 knots, the impact would have been much less and fewer compartments would have flooded and the ship may have survived. He forgets the fact that if Murdoch had not turned the broadside toward danger, and if he had not ordered full astern, then fewer compartments would definately have been flooded and the ship most probably would have survived. This only shows that speed was not the only cause of the sinking.
To be Continued....