Not that I'm aware of. I've never seen any accounts of that, nor have I seen any accounts of collapsing bulkheads. I don't know of anything that could have caused it either. No trace of munitions of any kind have been found inside the wreck, and that reserve coal bunker that I've heard mentioned in the documentary was intact.
A torpedo can do considerable damage to the hull of a ship, take the Lusitania for example. A large underwater mine can do far more damage to a larger area of the ship.
As Michael said, there was nothing to cause a second explosion and I do not think any bulkheads collapsed during the sinking.
I place the rapid sinking on the large amount of damage done by the explosion, and that the ship was moving at Full Speed while sinking, forcing more water into the hull that would have ordinarily have entered had the ship stopped immediately - more water than even the additional bulkhead caps could have stopped.
The Britannic would probably still have sank considering the fact that a high percentage of windows and portholes were open, there is a slight possibility that she would have remained afloat had she stopped immediately, and could possibly have even been patched and towed to port for repairs.
Britannic did not have any bulkhead caps, or "watertight" decks that I am aware of. She was fitted with an inner skin through the engine and boiler rooms, however.
There is debate about how useful the extra skin was since it was only a few feet from the outer hull. It really was not true system of longitudinal bulkheads like the Lusitania and Mauretania had.
I was under the impression that along with extending the watertight bulkheads to B Deck they were also capped off to prevent the ice cube tray flooding that doomed Titanic, however I could be misinformed.
A recent expedition to the wreck found that at least two of the main watertight doors were left open, allowing water to go aft. The reason is not clear. Perhaps the frames were distorted by the explosion. Maybe the floats that were supposed to open the doors didn't work because of the list. The same divers confirmed the open portholes. These were close to the waterline and when she listed they soon started to let water in.
The same team confirmed that the ship was sunk by a mine. They found the remains of a line of the devices used to place mines and anchor them.
Sorry I can't give more details without running the video again. I think the expedition was made in mid 2003.
Hmm....What your All Saying Seems to Make Sense, Though I Was Just Wondering Anyway, as "Titanic Ships, Titanic Disasters" by Garzke and Woodward Discusses the Idea of a 2nd Explosion and what could have caused it. thanks for your opinions.
I saw that same special on National Geographic and made a point of recording it for further detailed study. One of the things that struck me was when that one diver found the remains of the fireman's tunnel, went in and ended up swimming right into Boiler Room Six. I was aware of accounts extant that indicated the doors were open...supposedly to facilitate the change of the watch, but this pretty much confirmed it. (Unless the missing/open door was rendered that way by the blast wave from the explosion.) It couldn't have come at a worse time and when transiting waters known to be mined and infested with hostile submarines, won't go down in history as one of the brightest moves of the age.
Although I (still!) haven't been able to watch the new documentary, I'd like to give my thoughts on the finding of the mine anchor(s?).
To me, the finding of mine anchors doesn't confirm that Britannic was sunk due to an encouter with a mine.
It confirms the story of U-boat Captain Siess, who told he had laid mines in the area. Even then, who can tell these were the mines laid by Siess? I don't know too much of how mines look, but perhaps they're even mines laid during a different war.
I have a feeling the mine/torpedo debate won't be settled until the point of impact is found; showing Britannic hull plating and the remains of whatever exploded. And it will be very hard to find that...
Should the WTDs have been kept open in an area that might have been infested with mines and submarines? May as well keep all doors and port holes closed from the time you leave port to the time time you enter port. Now that I think of it, some US subs had entered and sunk Japanese ships while anchored in port during WW-II. Danger lurks in many places you know during wartime.
>>Should the WTDs have been kept open in an area that might have been infested with mines and submarines?<<
I would think not. When I was on the USS Comstock our first deployment after commissioning took us right to the Persian Gulf right after Gulf War I. Since only 300 mines out of 1200 laid by the Iraqies had been accounted for, we had watertight doors and hatches secured from the second deck and below in what was referred to as a "Modified Condition Zebra." The idea here is that if we managed to "find" one of these things the hard way, the resulting flooding from the damage would already be contained and manageable.
Some really tough lessons were learned during the World Wars, and one of them is that in a potential combat zone, you don't take a lot of gambles on this sort of thing. You might end up sleeping with the fishes if you do.