chrismireya

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I was searching through the Encyclopedia Titanica forums for a thread that dealt specifically with what we know of the Titanic iceberg itself. Unfortunately, I haven't found one that focused entirely upon the anatomy of that iceberg.

There are posts/threads about the various photographs which claim potentially captured an image of the iceberg. There are some threads that mention the (supposed) eyewitness accounts.

I am particularly impressed with Samuel Halpern's short article entitled An Encounter in the Night:

Has anyone created an analysis using the evidence to guess what the iceberg most likely looked like? It would be nice to have one thread where we gathered all of the eyewitness claims and then used what we know about the collision itself.

- Who are the most credible eyewitnesses that could give any detail about the iceberg?

I would guess that the shape of the iceberg (at least in relation to the direction of Titanic) would indicate that she (the iceberg) was a likely bit more along the starboard side as it was seen in the horizon. I'm supposing this because there was a hard-to-starboard turn (in the attempt to avoid it).

It seems that the ice might have been shaped in such a way in which ice had to fall from the iceberg onto Titanic and, of course, had enough ice to damage the ship below the waterline along a specific set of collision paths.

Has Samuel Halpern or anyone else (here at Encyclopedia Titanica or elsewhere) written about this?
 

chrismireya

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One reason for this post is to the question of how ice landed atop the forward well deck.

While I know that we can discount some of the eyewitness claims about the iceberg (and the people who might have actually seen it died in the tragedy), I do think that there is some credence to the idea that there was ice in the forward well deck (FWD).

This could only be explained by ice somehow being knocked into the FWD by the collision -- either from overhanging ice dropping into the FWD or by the force of the impact somehow dislodging some of the loose ice and causing it to land on the FWD. The latter would require an iceberg of considerable size and overhang.

I do think that it is interesting that there is no discernable damage on the upper starboard side or railing along the forward well deck in the actual wreckage. So, the upper part of the ship is unlikely to have collided with an upper part of the iceberg.

So, this would mean that the most likely scenario is a small overhang portion of the iceberg -- higher than the FWD -- for which ice was dislodged. I suppose that the upper part of the ship did not collide (above the water) due to Murdoch's commanded maneuver -- "hard to starboard" and then back opposite as they passed. This is despite evidence of the collision underwater both forward and aft of the well deck's position.

If this is the case, then this does provide some idea of what the iceberg might have looked like. We know where the actual damage to the ship was from testimony. This, of course, is beneath the waterline. Yet, the presence of ice in the forward well deck gives some idea of the above-water shape of the berg in relation to Titanic.

Then again, I suppose that it is possible that the ice in the well deck was just one of those strange myths that morphed into sworn "eyewitness testimony."
 

Arun Vajpey

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It seems that the ice might have been shaped in such a way in which ice had to fall from the iceberg onto Titanic and, of course, had enough ice to damage the ship below the waterline along a specific set of collision paths.
As you say, Sam Halpern's article Encounter in the Night gives an excellent impression from the viewpoint of the lookouts. As is depicted in the diagrams and conjectured by other ET members, the iceberg must have had a sheer side towards the ship, which would have resulted in chunks of ice breaking off on impact and falling onto the forecastle and forward well deck.

The working out of the underwater shape of the iceberg is complicated by the fact that the Titanic was turning to port during the impact. Combining that with the curve of the ship's hull and the estimated positions, shapes and sizes of the damaged areas adds to the difficulty. Finally, there was probably a small spur that was lower than the other points of impact of the berg that was not involved in the main impact process but opened-up a small seam in the double bottom under Boiler Room 4 as the berg passed.
 
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