Changes to Watertight Subdivision of Olympic/Britannic


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Brent Holt

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I have seen somewhere on the net a diagram that shows the flooding curve of the original design of Olympic and Titanic. It shows that the ships could survive flooding in any 2 compartments and the first 4 compartments as most sources indicate. However, it also shows that, in most cases, three adjacent sections could be flooded and the ships would stay afloat.
My question is how did the post-Titanic modifications to Olympic and Britannic add to their survivability beyond this? We know the first 6 compartments could be flooded and they would stay afloat. Does this mean they could survive with any 3 or 4 sections breached as well?

Brent
 

Tom McLeod

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Sep 1, 2005
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Brent and Sam,

I agree with Sam, Brent. Having read one of Mark Chrinside's books concerning Britannic a few days ago (I'm not sure if I can list which book on this site) there was a lot of information on the subject you brought up. I'm not sure about Olympic, although Mark has numerous amounts of information about her refits as well. But I'm pretty sure he talks of Britannic being designed in a way, that any part of the ship could sustain a series of damage and continue to function. So if there was a stern impact, midships, that was beyond the Hawke incident, on a larger scale, the ship would still function. Mark has a website that I think you can link up to with a quick search on his name with a search engine and you can also contact him through his site.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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I am sorry for this rather short reply, as I am a bit busy this evening. I had not seen this earlier - I appreciate the votes of confidence, Sam and Tom.
smile.gif
Tom, it's good to see you posting here for the first time.

My question is how did the post-Titanic modifications to Olympic and Britannic add to their survivability beyond this? We know the first 6 compartments could be flooded and they would stay afloat. Does this mean they could survive with any 3 or 4 sections breached as well?
There are quite a number of possible scenarios, Brent.

If I remember correctly, Edward Wilding indicated that the new arrangement provided for any of the original groups of six compartments to be flooded. (Recall that there was a new, additional watertight bulkhead installed dividing the original electric engine room compartment into two - hence the 'original' reference.) As an example, if the forepeak, forward holds, and boiler rooms 6 and 5 were flooded (the forward six watertight compartments), then Olympic/Britannic would continue to float. Similarly, if the six boiler rooms were flooded, then in theory the ship would survive, as the watertight bulkhead at the head of boiler room 6 now extended to B-deck, and the bulkhead at the rear of boiler room 1 extended to B-deck. Or, you could have the two engine rooms, followed by boiler rooms 1, 2, 3 and 4 flooded with the ship remaining afloat (and immobile, for obvious reasons!) The two engine rooms and compartments aft could be flooded... These were the theoretical calculations, of course, and let's assume no portholes were open! The watertight bulkheads that were extended to B-deck were also strengthened further, since they now had to deal with increased strains if that sort of flooding were to occur.

It can be argued that the standard of watertight subdivision was then quite exceptional - certainly future White Star liners did not match it. (One interesting point to note is that two of the original watertight bulkheads that extended to D-deck were actually reduced in height, for they were only watertight to E-deck following the 1912-13 refit. This is very rarely mentioned.)

Some comments from 1932-33, regarding the subdivision standard:

Her disc draught was 34ft 2 1/4in — such a very precise figure! — and it was ascertained that with the ship drawing this much water, ‘a three-compartment standard with margin is attained over approximately 34 per cent of the ship’s length amidships’, in the boiler and machinery spaces. The so-called ‘three compartment standard’ indicated that with three of her major watertight compartments flooded amidships, the ship would remain afloat, and with a margin at that. It was noted that ‘there is also an inner skin throughout the machinery space and eight of the [watertight] bulkheads extend watertight above the bulkhead deck’.
Best wishes,

Mark.
 

Tom McLeod

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Thank you Mark, as I mentioned I just had read the exact things Mark has explained in one of his books just days ago; it's always great when an impression I have--turns out to be based in reality. Not to steal Sam's thunder of course, he is another one of the many people linked to this site that have a lot of information about the White Star Ships and related subjects.
 

Tom McLeod

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Doing fine Mark, sent you a private e-mail with more on me. I also checked out Samuel's web-page and can no longer claim I have nothing to do, another great site.
 

chrisshaw

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Olympic after Titanic sinking

Hello,

I was wondering if the Olympic could survive the iceberg Titanic hit? The reason is because after the Titanic sank Olympic had a refit that included more lifeboats, double hull, extra bulkhead, and raised bulkheads which would allow her to stay afloat with the first six compartments flooded.

Please reply to this as soon as you can,

Chris

[Moderator's note: This message and Adam Went's response were originally a separate thread in a different topic. MAB]
 
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Adam Went

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I think that the Olympic would have stood a much better chance of survival but not just because of the new safety fittings; rather the Titanic sinking was a huge lesson and things were approached much differently on the ocean. It also depends on whether the damage was identical or not - ironically the Titanic probably would have survived if the damage had been more severe but confined to a smaller area of the bow, rather than the "dots and dashes" damage she received on a longer length of the starboard bow.

Cheers,
Adam.
 

chrisshaw

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I think that the Olympic would have stood a much better chance of survival but not just because of the new safety fittings; rather the Titanic sinking was a huge lesson and things were approached much differently on the ocean. It also depends on whether the damage was identical or not - ironically the Titanic probably would have survived if the damage had been more severe but confined to a smaller area of the bow, rather than the "dots and dashes" damage she received on a longer length of the starboard bow.

Cheers,
Adam.

I think that the Olympic could have survived because after her refit she could survive with even her first six compartments flooded. Think about it, if Olympic had the same or similar damage from an iceberg it probably would have survived. The Olympic if anything was considered even safer after the sinking of Titanic.

Note: Not many people remember the Olympic or Britannic. Britannic was her sister that sank in 1915 (third Olympic Class ship) and sank three times faster than Titanic! The Britannic should have survived the collision but some of the watertight doors were open causing leaks in the ship. The Olympic was the first of the three Olympic class liners and she survived. Olympic served 24 years with only a few collisions and she ended up getting scrapped in 1935.

Look forward to your reply,
Chris
 

chrisshaw

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Olympic's compartments

Were Olympics compartments changed after the sinking of Titanic? Why, why not? Can you give me a good reason and if possible a link and an image to how you know so? (if you can)

Thanks,

chris

[Moderator's note: This message was originally a separate thread in a topic in the Britannic section. MAB]
 
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Mark Baber

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I think that the Olympic could have survived because after her refit she could survive with even her first six compartments flooded.
chrisshaw said:
Were Olympics compartments changed after the sinking of Titanic?
chrisshaw:

1. Your first message in this thread demonstrates that you know the answer to the question you asked in the one that has been moved here. Please explain the reason for the second message and why it was originally posted to the Britannic Construction thread.

2. Any further misplaced messages will be deleted and your posting privileges may be suspended. Please read the message I posted in the Message Board Information topic on Wednesday.
 

chrisshaw

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chrisshaw:

1. Your first message in this thread demonstrates that you know the answer to the question you asked in the one that has been moved here. Please explain the reason for the second message and why it was originally posted to the Britannic Construction thread.

2. Any further misplaced messages will be deleted and your posting privileges may be suspended. Please read the message I posted in the Message Board Information topic on Wednesday.
Sorry, I forgot about the other thread.
 

Mark Baber

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chrisshaw, that still doesn't explain why you asked a question to which you had already shown you knew the answer.
 

chrisshaw

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chrisshaw, that still doesn't explain why you asked a question to which you had already shown you knew the answer.

Here is why I did it. I forgot because I am trying to respond to other threads I have made and I forget. If you don't believe this then you don't understand what a human is.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>> If you don't believe this then you don't understand what a human is. <<

Mark understands very well what it is to be human. He deals with it every day the same as anybody else.

On the matter of keeping track of threads, if you wish to read responses to anything you posted, try clicking on "New Posts" in the upper left hand corner.
 

Mark Baber

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Here is why I did it. I forgot because I am trying to respond to other threads I have made and I forget.
Once again, that still doesn't explain why you asked a question to which you had already shown you knew the answer.
If you don't believe this then you don't understand what a human is.
Once again, the sass is not necessary. Strike two.
 

HSRP131346

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smile.gif
(One interesting point to note is that two of the original watertight bulkheads that extended to D-deck were actually reduced in height, for they were only watertight to E-deck following the 1912-13 refit. This is very rarely mentioned)
That's a strange thing to do from a layman's perspective. Any idea why?
 

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