Could the stern have floated?

Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
I see. Sorry I’m a bit naive on this, I just know the basics.
Everybody is on a learning curve.
I do however believe Olympic and Britannic were the safest passenger ships in the world in 1915. And look what happened to Britannic.
Britannic might have managed done a LOT better if the watertight doors had been closed. Obviously there's some fudge factor here because we have no idea how much distortion would have been caused by the mine's explosion. Given a sufficient amount of racking and anything can be distorted, but in my opinion, had all of the doors been shut in the first place, the ship would have survived.
 
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SmileyGirl

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Thanks Michael but you guys know so much on here about the ins and outs of everything that I’ve never even thought of (I’ve only read about 20 general books on it). I am looking forward to learning all about the small details. I realise I know nothing about the sea either!
 
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mitfrc

mitfrc

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Thanks Michael but you guys know so much on here about the ins and outs of everything that I’ve never even thought of (I’ve only read about 20 general books on it). I am looking forward to learning all about the small details. I realise I know nothing about the sea either!

Apologising isn't necessary at all. I'm really happy people are interested in learning the ins and outs of naval architecture, which is a really rare subject these days in the western countries. I studied Ocean Engineering (basically interdisciplinary engineering for marine applications--ROVs, offshore platforms, offshore wind, buoys, etc) precisely because there weren't many career opportunities for proper Naval Architects, and now I work professionally as the manager of a couple of tow tanks, a wave tank, and hydraulic flume, but most of my knowledge of this is because I'm a nerd and I spent most of the period of 1999 - 2005 posting on the old warships1.com forums before they went to heck. Part of my job is to handle public outreach and I love fielding sincere questions, so ask away.

Michael H. Standart said:
Britannic might have managed done a LOT better if the watertight doors had been closed. Obviously there's some fudge factor here because we have no idea how much distortion would have been caused by the mine's explosion. Given a sufficient amount of racking and anything can be distorted, but in my opinion, had all of the doors been shut in the first place, the ship would have survived.

Absolutely no disagreement from me... I was actually bringing it up to drive home the point that operational decisions are everything. Britannic should have survived the damage; and if Britannic was sinking, her lifeboat davit system should have carried everyone away safely. Neither happened because of operational decisions.
 
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SmileyGirl

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That’s awesome. A lot of this is well over my head but I shall try and understand. I know nothing of seafaring generally which is sad. My New Years Resolution is to learn more about these aspects of Titanic and not just know about the people aboard.
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
I learned at least the fundamentals of naval engineering because I had to. Since I've been running with the techies and forensics people within the community, I had to understand such things as stability curves, margin lines and construction fundamentals above and beyond my training in damage control. That way, I would know what they were talking about and I could make a useful contribution to the discussion.

Britannic should have survived the damage; and if Britannic was sinking, her lifeboat davit system should have carried everyone away safely. Neither happened because of operational decisions.

Unfortunately, the Royal Navy and the merchant marine back in World War One didn't take the threat of mines as seriously as the should have. Even after the loss of the Audacious, some of the skippers out there just weren't getting the message. Those watertight doors and the portholes on E-Deck should never have been open in waters infested with hostile submarines and which were known to be mined.
 
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mitfrc

mitfrc

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They learned, though, and Harland and Wolff had started building massively more resilient ships after the sting of Titanic. Though she was ultimately sunk, Justicia's incredible resilience, taking six torpedo hits (granted, it's still debated how many exploded, possibly as few as half) and taking three hours to sink after the last two struck her, demonstrates what acceptable merchant design practice could do, with all lessons fully learned, in late WW1 -- that is a level of underwater damage no capital ship survived in WW1, and many foundered in minutes after taking as few as two torpedo hits.
 
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David1819

David1819

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Jan

I think I've seen the programme you are talking about, and in it someone comments that those remaining on the stern felt that the break up was some "mechanism" kicking into action to save them and that when she fell back on an even keel some of the passengers truly felt that the Titanic had finally saved them at the last.

If this is true it sounds like an incredibly sad and cruel twist to the tale. I wonder if there are any eyewitness accounts of these feelings or if they were mentioned purely for televisual effect on the documentary.

Regards

Sam

I was thinking about this the other day. They could only know this if people on the stern when it split, survived and lived to tell the story. And if that was the case there would be no doubt about the ship splitting in two in the 70 odd years prior to the wreck being found.

It is most probably a fabrication.
 
mitfrc

mitfrc

Member
That is a very confusing statement, David, as we know as a point of fact that people on the stern when the ship broke up did in fact survive...
 
Scott Mills

Scott Mills

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That is a very confusing statement, David, as we know as a point of fact that people on the stern when the ship broke up did in fact survive...

Correct, though not anyone below decks in a position to do anything. Although I don't know the context of David's post, a number of things have always struck me. For example, we know for a fact that many of the watertight doors from boiler room 6 aft were reopened so that crew and pumping equipment could move freely. This includes the doors between the electric room, turbine room, engine room, and boiler room number one.

Obviously, some of these were closed again (boiler room four); however, I assume any doors separating the engineering spaces with boilers still lit and the dynamos were open until the last. I have always wondered whether or not closing them, in the last instance, would have bought Titanic, or at least the stern section, any time at all.
 
mitfrc

mitfrc

Member
[It’s far more likely that the twisting motion, bending and flexural stress just fatally compromised the hull. Even if they were all closed two stern compartments would be open to the sea, and I would expect the stern to immediately capsize from instability. If the ship had broken in two around BR 4 with bulkhead doors closed through BR 2 then the stern might have been stable enough to float. See “Suevic”. The issue is less about keeping water out and more about remaining stable after separation.
 
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Miller88

Miller88

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I've always wondered if the break up peeled the keel of the stern down most of It's length, which is why the stern went down so quickly.
 
gordonscheler

gordonscheler

Member
Did discovery channel take into account the ship had a list to one side because all of the coal was moved onto one starboard side of the ship due to a coal fire?. Iceberg hit port side. If the coal had not been moved to starboard side the ship would have sank an hour earlier and would have rolled onto its side and sank without breaking in half (sister ship Britannic did this). So the disaster could have been far worse with no survivors and no one would have any idea what happened to the ship.
 
Andy A Carter

Andy A Carter

www.andycarter.net
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All of the Coal was not moved to the Starboard side.

Titanic hit the Iceberg with its Starboard side.
 
GERMANICUS

GERMANICUS

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Does anyone remember the drawing that first class survivor Jack Thayer made of the sinking?

Thayer, I think, was in the water and right on the spot to witness the final breakup and foundering of the ship.

His diagram shows the bow section briefly coming to the surface again.

It also shows the stern section swiveling around to face in the opposite direction just before the final plunge.

James Cameron completely ignored such creditable evidence when he reconstructed the final moments for the film.

Also, just a question in passing, what was the name of the Japanese passenger that lashed himself to a door and was picked up alive by Boxhall when he returned to the mass of struggling people in the water.

When I looked at the passenger manifest I could not find a single person with a Japanese name.

Also, passenger manifests and lists of the lost people do not mention anything about the Harland and Wolf "Guarantee Group" of specialists that were on the ship to assist Thomas Andrews in fixing any equipment that might have been non operational or out of order.

The Guarantee Group had 9 members I think, and none of them survived
 
Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

Member
Does anyone remember the drawing that first class survivor Jack Thayer made of the sinking?

Thayer, I think, was in the water and right on the spot to witness the final breakup and foundering of the ship.

His diagram shows the bow section briefly coming to the surface again.

It also shows the stern section swiveling around to face in the opposite direction just before the final plunge.
The sketch wasn't drawn by John "Jack" Borland Thayer, but by a first class passenger on-board the Carpathia named Lewis Palmer Skidmore. Thayer stated a lot of times that the sketch made by Skidmore was filled with Skidmore's own fantasy and didn't match what he saw. Thayer's given account of the sinking don't match the sketch in any way either.
Also, just a question in passing, what was the name of the Japanese passenger that lashed himself to a door and was picked up alive by Boxhall when he returned to the mass of struggling people in the water.
Fourth officer Boxhall, who commanded emergency lifeboat number 2, never returned to pick up survivors. It was fifth officer Harold Godfrey Lowe in lifeboat number 14, who with a small crew, managed to pick 4 people out of the water, 1 of which sadly died in the lifeboat. The "Japanese" person was actually a Chinese third class passenger Fong Wing Sun (1894-1986), who is often listed as Fang Lang As far back as 2017 Fong Wing Sun's son and even his ex-wife were still alive.
When I looked at the passenger manifest I could not find a single person with a Japanese name.
There was only one Japanese passenger on-board the Titanic, a second class passenger named Masabumi Hosono (1870-1939). He survived in lifeboat number 10 and sadly was seen as a disgrace to the Japanese people to the extend that people recommended him to kill himself. Hosono was the grandfather of Haruomi Hosono, the leading member of the Japanese band "Yellow Magic Orchestra".
Also, passenger manifests and lists of the lost people do not mention anything about the Harland and Wolf "Guarantee Group" of specialists that were on the ship to assist Thomas Andrews in fixing any equipment that might have been non operational or out of order.

The Guarantee Group had 9 members I think, and none of them survived
While Thomas Andrews Jr, Roderick Chisholm and William Henry Marsh Parr are listed on the first class manifest (with Mr. Chisholm his first name misspelled as Robert, and Mr. Parr listed as M. H. W Parr) it is true that William Campbell, Alfred Flemming Cunningham, Antony Wood Frost, Robert Knight, Francis Parkes and Ennis Hastings Watson aren't listed on the standard passenger's list. However their names are mentioned on several other lists, such as the list with all the tickets and a list I provide a sample of below.

1649322772126


I hope this clears up a few things.


Kind regards,


Thomas
 
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