Titanic error Revealed?

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Ferdinand Foch, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Ferdinand Foch

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  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    What aspect of the Titanic's sinking?
    The engineering reasons certainly, the design limitations of the watertight bulkheads were made starkly apparent wrt the nature of the damage that was incurred. The contribution of the engineering limitations however, were strictly post-collision.

    The piece you submitted may (or may not) shed light on the pre-collision issues of command and control that led to the collision in the first instance; being a steersman on a flagship ocean liner and turning a wheel right that should have gone left strikes me as a bit of a howler, as mistakes go.

    There appears to be an interesting interweave between pre- and post-collision; the bulkheads were clearly going to fail but the alleged instruction from Ismay to keep the boat moving seems to have accelerated the failure to a speedier outcome.
     
  3. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what to think about that story. I am curious though about the decision to continue sailing, and if it did in deed contribute to the titanic sinking hours earlier. That I do find interesting.
     
  4. Ferdinand Foch

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    Sorry, Colin. I should have clarified my stance. I meant that, personally, the Titanic was doomed the moment it hit the iceberg. Water had already began to pour into six of the compartments, two more than originally designed for. As soon as the water entered in, it was only for a matter of time the water to rise over the bulkheads at E deck. Even with the pumps at full blast, there was no way to save the ship.

    As for the steering error, my opinion of Hitchens isn't that great for not going back to pick up survivors-though I can understand why he did it-I would have thought that he was trained enough to know how to handle a situation like an imminent collision.
    I don't want to sound arrogant, but I would just like to see a little more evidence other than Second Officer Lightoller's confession. Its not that I don't believe him, just that this is too big a subject just to rely on an eyewitness alone.
    If I see any more articles on this, I'll post them up. This was the only one I could find. Hope this helped, Colin. FF.
     
  5. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    It is interesting but still not sure what to think about that one. Pretty retarded mistake to make it is true but I guess we'll never truly know.
     
  6. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks FF. Good explanation.
     
  7. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    when i first saw your post, it struck a chord with me, had the titanic steered into the iceburg and crashed head on into it, it is possible that fewer seams would have opened, perhaps only two. the glancing blow caused rivets to pop and opened the frontside to the sea.
    the steering part was not clear in the article, as i recall two of her props were either forward or reverse. ships can be steered like tractors so turning the wheel left, and reversing port engines would increase the turn rate but with titanics inertia its problematical it could have missed the burg. and i fail to see how running the ship forward could increase the influx of water. now if they could have pumped ballast to the port and listed the ship they might have raised the gash
    and breaking into all those pieces? not as i recall. the ship (stern) raised high into the air broke off at the rear expansion joint and is in two pieces on the bottom
     
  8. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    I didn't realise Hitchens was also in the position whereby he would make the call on whether or not to return and pick up survivors but wrt the command and control theme that I alluded to, there seems to be an underlying issue of 'training' or as it would appear, lack thereof; I was under a maybe misguided impression that as a seaman, you worked your way up to flagship duty under which circumstances training was implicit and experience verified by some form of screening. In such a scenario, though not impossible, it is difficult to imagine panic being the first reaction of a key crewman.

    There is nothing arrogant about your stance - evidence, evidence, evidence. Anything else is hot air.
     
  9. Ferdinand Foch

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    He, thanks Colin. I just like to make sure that I am not full of myself. I believe Hitchens was in command of a lifeboat, the same one with Molly Brown. When the people were in the water, he was afraid of going back for fear of the boat being swamped by the soon to be dead survivors. I know that him and Molly got into an arguement, but I can't remember any of the details-it wasn't portrayed the same way in the movie, though.

    If I recall directly, though-and this was from a discovery channel special on Titanic-the ship was only a quarter mile from the berg, not two miles. It was a moonless night, meaning that there wouldn't be a reflection off the berg. It was a calm sea as well, so the lookouts wouldn't be able to have water breaking off the iceberg, making it easier to spot. What was worse was that in getting out of Southhampton, the binoculars for the lookouts were left behind, leaving Fleet and Lee to use only their eyes.

    Mike, you do have a point about the screws. When reverse, only the two larger propellars would be able to turn, the central screw remained dormant-I can't remember why though, it had something to do with the power supply.
    In short, if Mr. Murdoch had either rammed the berg while going reverse, then only two or three compartments would have flooded-at least that's the most likely scenario. It would have been alright if the ship had turned to starboard going full speed, since that would have probably given it enough power to move out of the way. However, by ordering full astern, Murdoch lost the speed nessesary to turn, which caused Titanic to be hit at a vunerable spot.
    Oh mike, I want to say that the gash theory has been debunked. It was the common theory at the time before they found the ship. But on closer examination, what appeared to happen was that iceberg had buckled the plates, popping off several rivets in each compartment that allowed seawater to flood in. I think a few people speculated that they rivets were of poor quality and became very brittle in the cold Atlantic water, but I forgot how they figured it out.
    And no problem Messy.
     
  10. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I have heard something before about the rivet theory too FF, but cannot remember all the details myself.
     
  11. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    #11 mikewint, Sep 23, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
    Ferdinand, bad choice of terminology, i did not mean gash as in ripped open but a separation gash where plates had been rivited together. the steel used (recovered from the wreck) was tested at the U of Mo and found to contain high amounts of sulfur, oxygen, and phosphorus which contribute to making the steel brittle especially when cold. however the worst problem was the rivits. the buliders were attempting to make three titanic ships at he same time. each required 3 million rivits plus the skilled men to do this precise job (specific cherry-red temp and the exact numbe ofhammer blows). records show that the builders unable to acquire enough #4 bar settled for a cheaper #3 bar and went outside their normal suppliers. rivits recovered from titanic showed many of these rivits to be inferior and riddled with slag
    as i recall the seam separation was small 6 inches or so wide but allowed more than 2 compartments to flood
    as for the engines as i recall the center was driven by a steam turbine while the port and starbord engines were standard steam reciprocating engines easily reversed
     
  12. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    #12 ccheese, Sep 23, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
    The tale of the Titanic has fascinated me for decades. I have read so many books on the subject, I've forgotten about
    most of them, and the details.

    However, I have, hanging on my den wall, the front page of The New York Times which broke the news. My maternal
    grand-mother saved the newspaper, and gave it to my mother. My mother gave it to me about 30 years ago and I had
    the front page framed. I have turned down an offer of $1,000.00 for it from the Titanic Society.

    The newspaper is dated "Tuesday - April 16, 1912". The paper sold, at that time, for one cent [US].

    Note: The photo had to be retouched before it was printed, because it clearly shows smoke coming from
    the fourth funnel. The fourth funnel was for show only, it did not connect to any of the fire-rooms.

    The white spot under the ship is where the newspaper was folded, then folded again, causing the corner
    to tear away.

    Charles
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    That is a cool item Charles.
     
  14. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    yes, that is really a fantastic heirloom, have you done anyting to preserve it?
     
  15. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

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    whoa, Charles, I'd LOVE to have a copy of that!
     
  16. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    The man who framed it for me said that preserving newsprint was almost impossible. He guessed that
    the rag content of the paper would make it last for a very long time, provided it was not handled. It's
    been in a frame for about 30 years.... however it has started to "yellow".

    It's not going anywhere anytime soon.....

    Charles
     
  17. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    the newsprint process requires the use of acid washes. the pulp is rinsed but some acid remain which along with oxygen causes the yellowing. might cost $$ but a sealed frame with an inert gas like argon. i think there are companies that can also use a base wash to neutralize the acids. again not cheap
    i have papers from kennedy and the end of the vietnam war but that is way cool
     
  18. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I think I will leave it alone, Mike. In two years it will be 100 years old [I will be 78]. What is strange is neither of my
    kids want it !! My son told me he'd rather have my truck ['87 Mazda B2000] and my daughter's response was "What the
    hell do I want with that ? I think I will donate it to the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Va. when I
    depart this earth.

    Charles
     
  19. Ferdinand Foch

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    Mike, my bad for misreading you. Thanks for the rivet story. I forgot most of the details, but I knew that the rivets weren't as strong as they could have been.

    Charles, that is really cool with you paper. Yeah, hold on to it as long as you can. Too bad your kids don't want it. I know that my mom still keeps letters that a relative of hers wrote during the Civil War.
     
  20. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    there was a short news piece on comcast about the titanic steering. they stated that confusion on how to stear caused the turn into the burg rather than away. they also stated that the movie, by coincidence, shows the incorrect turn as the helmsmen turns the wheel to the port (counterclockwise). this is supposed to make the ship turn to the right?????
    does anyone understand this???
    i have a 54ft crusier and it turns just like a car or using the twin engines i can steer just like a tractor without the rudder
     
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