RMS TITANIC... the story told

 Text Sink Originally the design for all three ships was for three funnels each, but Pirre felt that four would make them look much better. So four it became, but actually the fourth funnel was false and only served as an air vent and for looks. Other original designs were changed too. The main dining room was to have a large dome but this was changed to a normal ceiling. The spa was reduced in size and the gymnasium was moved to the top deck. They enlarged the main staircase so that it fanned out at the landing of each deck, with large balustrades and a huge glass dome overhead. Two extra elevators were added making a total of four, three for first class and one for second.
Launched on May 31st, 1911....
Titanic's keel (number 401) was laid down on March 31st 1909 and she was launched May 31st 1911. She had nine decks including the orlop deck. Below the top most boat deck were decks A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Below G deck were the boiler rooms and holds etc. The hull was divided into sixteen water tight compartments by means of fifteen water tight bulkheads extending up through deck F. Heavy water tight doors provided communication between bulkheads during normal operation, these were electrically operated and also had a floatation mechanism for automatic closing. She was designed to remain afloat with any two compartments flooded, possibly three, enabling her to withstand a collision at the joint of two compartments. This was the worst disaster anyone at that time could have imagined. It was widely regarded that the "Olympic Class" liners were largely unsinkable and were themselves life boats.
Any large ship in trouble was expected to remain afloat...
The British Board of regulations required that any ship over 10,000 tons had to carry sixteen lifeboats. As the Titanic carried 20 lifeboats she was well within regulation. Sixteen of these were regular wooden type and four Englehardt collapsibles known as A, B, C and D. In fact, no liner afloat at that time carried enough lifeboats to evacuate all passengers and crew. The Board briefly considered raising the legal minimum to 32 but decided against it. We must remember that our belief today of the reason for lifeboats, came from theTitanic disaster. Prior to this the general opinion was, should a ship become stricken, that lifeboats were used to ferry passengers to rescue ships waiting nearby in the already crowded North Atlantic shipping lanes. With the invention of the wireless, this made this even more credible. Any large ship in trouble was expected to remain afloat for many hours or even days and help would be promptly summoned by radio
She was 60.5 feet from water line to boat deck...
Her overall length was 882.5 feet, her beam was 92.5 feet and she was 60.5 feet from water line to boat deck. Her gross tonnage was 46,328 tons, net tonnage of 24,900 tons. Like her sister theOlympic she was driven by a three prop design that used two outboard reciprocating engines with a low-pressure turbine in the middle driving the centre prop. The reciprocating engines were of the four cylinder, triple expansion direct acting and inverted type. Each engine developed 15,000 horsepower at 75 revolutions per minute or rpm. The low pressure turbine in the middle was of the Parsons type. It developed around 16,000 horsepower at 165 rpm. It was a elegant design as the middle turbine was driven from the excess steam exhaust from the other reciprocating engines. The Steam required to run all this came from 29 huge, three storey high boilers.
She looked almost identical to her sister the Olympic...
As she looked almost identical to her sister the Olympicmany photos and video footage shown of the Titanic is actually the Olympic. If you know how, it is very easy to identify the two ships. The Olympichad a completely open Promenade Deck, whereas the Titanicand Britannic both had the forward one third enclosed.
A ship that was to become the most known ship in the world...
On May 31 1911 at 12:05 two rockets were fired followed by a third five minutes later. At 12:13 the hull of a ship that was to become the most known ship in the world gracefully started moving under her own weight down the slipway. She travelled nearly twice her 900 foot length at achieved twelve knots before being brought to a halt by six anchor chains and two piles of cable drag chains weighing eighty pounds each. It required twenty three tons of tallow, train oil, and soft soap to grease the slipway as theTitanic was launched. The launch lasted only sixty two seconds. Although some of the movies that have been made show her being launched with a christening of champagne, this was incorrect as it was customary for the White Star Line to launch without a christening.
Titanic grossed 1004 tons larger than Olympic...
Sister ships, Titanic and OlympicThe next ten months were spent installing machinery and fitting her interiors. On February 3rd, 1912 she was dry docked in the Belfast Harbour Commission's new graving dock where her propellers were fitted and a final coat of paint applied. At the beginning of March she briefly joined her sister the Olympic, who returned to dry dock for the replacement of a propeller blade. The Titanic was 1004 gross tons larger than her sister and was in several ways more luxurious in her appointments.
To the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean...
On April 2nd 1912 the completed ship set sail from Belfast for her sea trials. No one could have known that in less than two weeks she would be 12500 feet down at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean broken in two pieces.
The collision of her Sister was about to be repeated...
It was almost noon when she began to ease away from the White Star Pierat Southampton. Not many people know that disaster almost struck immediately for the same reasons that caused the Olympic and Hawke collision. As she moved at six knots through the harbour the huge displacement of this ship caused the Steamer New York to snap her moorings and swing toward the port side. It seemed that the collision of her sister was about to be repeated. Tug boats frantically tried to get a line on the New York and Captain Smith cut the engines and then used the wash from the port engine to halt the swing of the other ship. Click here to see photo's of the near miss.
The hole was way above water line...
The trip to Cherbourg, in France was fine with the exception of the well talked about fire in starboard coal bunker in Boiler room number 5. Lets stop at this point for a moment and settle this matter. Some folks have stated that this fire was still burning and gave this as the reason she was steaming so fast, and others have said it caused the hole in the starboard side found on the French expedition. Very recent reports by prominent folk have said said they believed that this had some part in the disaster. In my opinion this is totally ridiculous. This hole is way above the water line and even if a hole of this size was there on the surface it would have played no part in the sinking. Look at the angle of the bow compared to the rest of the hull, the hole was obviously caused when the ship slammed into the sea floor, buckling the hull plates at the point of the bend. All this is beside the fact that the hole is forward of the coal bunker and therefore in the wrong position and anyway. None of all this speculation changes the fact that she sank, and sank because she suffered a glancing blow from an iceberg, damaging more bulkheads than she could withstand.
She took over two hours to sink...
I do not believe that there was fault in its design either. She took over two hours to sink, yet her over-designed younger sister went down in 55 minutes. TheLusitania when down in around 20 minutes with much less damage and took over 1100 lives with her. The Andrea Doria went down in much more recent times with damage that the Titanic would have laughed at. The Titanic was safe, unlucky maybe, but safe even by today's standards.
A call came from crows nest "iceberg right ahead"...
The next day, Thursday April 11th the Titanic arrived in Queenstown in Ireland around lunch time. Since there was no dock large enough, she was anchored off Roche's Point while passengers and mail was ferried from shore. That afternoon she sailed from Ireland on a direct collision course with a large iceberg. The westward voyage from Queenstown was uneventful for the first several days. From Sunday morning, her wireless operators were receiving many warnings of icebergs ahead. At 10:00pm that evening the bridge watch changed and the new crew was headed by First Officer Murdoch, who had served with Captain Smith on the Olympic. At 11:40pm a call came from the crows nest "Iceberg right ahead".
Smith ordered the water-tight doors closed...
Murdoch ordered full stop, then full astern. At the same time her ordered a hard turn to port. Keep in mind that this order actually made the collision more certain. The greater the forward motion the more quickly she turned, so each second that the propellers reduced her speed was absolutely important. Who knows how many inches were required for her to miss completely or even partially. A short time later Captain Smith arrived on the bridge and asked Murdoch what had she hit. Smith ordered the water-tight doors closed and asked Murdoch if the warning bell had been rung. Murdoch confirmed it had. Captain Smith then ordered various officers to check for damage assessment. A few minutes later damage reports started coming in, disastrous news for Captain Smith, at least five, possibly six of the water-tight compartments were flooding. Thomas Andrews, the ship designer had also made his way to the bridge and did not take long to confirm that she could not survive and would inevitably sink within a few hours.
Start sending distress signals...
Most passengers at this point were unaware the seriousness of the collision or even that a collision had occurred. As her list became more prominent it became easier to find people who were willing to get into a life boat, but officers were reluctant to fill then in the early stages, just in case the boats buckled under the stress of a full load. Only when a few boats remained were they filled to capacity. At 12:15 or so Captain Smith ordered the wireless operator to start sending distress signals. They sent the "CQD" signal, which stands for "CQ" call to any station and "D" distress. Later the newer distress call "SOS" was used too. Officers on the bridge saw the lights of ship, most believe this was the Leyland Liner Californian. Captain Smith had the radio room try to reach it, but there was no response. He also tried the morse lamp, but still no response. For the next hour or so he tried a total of eight rockets in an attempt to attract its attention, but no response was received.
She broke in three pieces...
The wireless message was picked up by other ships though including its sister Olympic. She had already left America for the long voyage home but was still hundreds of miles away, but was steaming full speed toward her. Another ship close by was the 13,600 ton Cunard ship Carpathia. Her Captain, Arthur Rostron, immediately turned his ship round and headed at full speed toward her radioed position. We now know this position to be incorrect. In fact prior to her being found two things remained unknown, the position of the Californian and the actual position of the Titanic. The Titanic's position can now be stated with reasonable accuracy. When she broke in three pieces, the boilers would have dropped in fairly straight line. These would be close the ships surface position at the time of sinking. The boiler field sits at 49 degrees 56' 49" W, 41 degrees 43' 32" N. This means that she sank roughly 13.5 miles south east of her radioed position. This means that her estimated speed of 22.5 knots was inaccurate and was in fact about 20.5 knots. This puts Californian around 21 miles north-north west.
Panic by this stage was hectic...
Titanic's situation was getting progressively worse as the bow sank lower and lower. After all the lifeboats had gone, the remaining 1500 or so passenger must have started to come to terms with their fate and I am sure the panic by this stage was hectic.
The ship's orchestra continued to play throughout...
Unlike the Lusitania a few years later, power on the Titanic stayed on until the very last moment, due mainly to the bravery of the Firemen and associated crew staying at their posts. All the lights remained aglow and reports suggest that drinks in the smoking lounge were free. The ships orchestra continued to play throughout the entire ordeal and they all perished along with everyone else.
The time was 2.20am, April 15th, 1912...
At 2:05 the last lifeboat departed and 2:17 the stern rose high in the air, a thundering crash was heard obviously when the ship broke into pieces. The lights flickered once, when out, came on again briefly then went out for the very last time for the rest of eternity. The stern settled back then almost immediately stood vertically on end, spun around 180 degrees, stayed there for a short time then plunged from view. The time was 2:20am April 15th 1912.
One lifeboat returned to help the 1500 victims...
The survivors reported horrible cries of 1500 odd souls in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean. One by one they succumbed to the cold and died. Only one lifeboat returned (Lifeboat 14) to help the 1500 victims. This was probably due to the fear of them being capsized by panic. Of approximately 2227 people on board only about 705 survived. Just at the break of dawn, Carpathia was spotted and was greeted by a small number of boats. All that remained of a 46000 ton luxury liner.

Pair of boots

This pair of boots on the bottom of the Atlantic ocean tell the whole story.

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