Damage caused topside by the torpedo


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Jan 7, 2002
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It seems to me that in addition to blasting nasty holes in the side of Lusitania, the force of the torpedo explosions detroyed at least one lifeboat, and blasted apart some of those boat deck cowl vents. What other damage occoured? A friend told me the force of the blast cracked at least one of Lusitania's elegant skylights. Did a massive fire break out?


regards

Tarn Stephanos
 
Apr 16, 2002
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Tarn,
I know that one man, either James Brooks or Oliver Benrard was nearly sufocated up on the top deck by a large amount of steam and soot.
 
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John Meeks

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Tarn,

Have a peek at Ken Marschall's painting of the impact of the 'fish'. Ken does his homework!

Yes, I believe that at least one lifeboat was destroyed - although wether or not a large fire broke out 'topside', I wouldn't be too sure.

I suggest that 'topside' damage might have been quite limited - although glass would be vulnerable to the shock wave, of course! And any major internal explosion would have found an exit through the cowl vents at a far greater pressure for which they had been designed.

If the torpedo had, as I believe, an 'impact' fuse, the major explosion would have been external as it blasted a hole in the ship's side (this, of course is one of the great interesting elements of the Lusitania sinking, with a claimed, second internal explosion). My late father's old employer owned a ship, M.V. San Elesio which suffered a terrific torpedo attack during WWII. She took a 'fish' at almost the same point as the 'Lucie'. There was a huge bang, the fish crossed the ship, and exited the other side. She had a hole in her the size of a London 'bus! Both sides!

No internal explosions. No fires. She survived, and I was aboard her in the late '50's! I was shown the repair scars.

She was a tanker! Carrying aviation grade gasoline!

Still - not a good place to be - leaning over the rail and having a quiet smoke...!

Just keep away from the rail in future,

John M
 

Eric Sauder

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Nov 12, 2000
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Hi, John:

You wrote: "Have a peek at Ken Marschall's painting of the impact of the 'fish'. Ken does his homework!"

Glad to know that someone appreciates the research I did for Ken's Lusitania paintings!

Eric Sauder
 
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John Meeks

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Hi Eric...

...Pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir!

Didn't realize you had a hand in Ken's work. Well done!

(Didn't do anything on Hindenburg, did you?)

Appreciative Marschall Fan,

John M
 
May 3, 2002
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John's not the only one who closely studies Marschall!

His 3 sinking paintings are quite something. I wish he would do some more.

Eric,
#1 & 2 boiler rooms are said to have flooded. As I understand the WTDs were closed at the time so the only way #2 could flood would be through its starboard bunkers. To do this the forward bunker bulkhead would have to have been seriously violated by flying metal. On my deck plans I note the bunkers of #1 are bisected by an access station, right under the first funnel.
I don't know the effective lethal range of shrap nel but a hit on the fore bunker as Ballard argues would only open up two forward bunker ports
leaving #2 unflooded.

What do you make of this idea? Is my assumption of the WTDs correct? Would they have been included in Turner's War Zone measures?
P.S were there service lifts down to the stokehold floors as implied of Madden (stoker) in Butler 2000?

cheers

Martin
 

Eric Sauder

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Nov 12, 2000
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Hi, John:

"Didn't realize you had a hand in Ken's work."

Not to toot my own horn (of course, if I don't, no one else is going to), but I did all the research for the torpedoing and sinking scenes. Bill Sauder and I spent also spent a total of about 1000 hours examining the video brought back by the Ballard expedition to ensure that the wreck paintings were as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, there were parts of the wreck for which we had no information (read "not photographed"); so we had to use our best guess.

"Didn't do anything on Hindenburg, did you?"

Nope. He had better men than me to do the research for those. The one who helped him the most on the Hindenburg scenes was Dennis Kromm, who was one of the historical consultants on the book.

Eric Sauder
 
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John Meeks

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Eric,

Thanks (on behalf of everyone, I'm sure...) for the insight. The results of your work were, most definitely worth the 1000 hours!

I see nothing wrong with 'tooting your own horn', by the way - I think you have to, now and again, provided you have something to 'toot' about!

I also see nothing wrong with guessing - as long as the guess is an educated one, of course.
You did a good job.

...So did Kromm. Some of the Hindenburg paintings were breathtaking!

It's quite difficult to make an airship "interesting", you know. After all, they're just damned great cigars!

But Ken's piece of LZ129 over the Berlin Olympic stadium......

Whooooooooooo!

Best of Regards,

John M
 
Sep 22, 2003
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The fact that that the top decks were not badly damaged i think discredits the coal dust, aluminum powder, and boiler explosion theories. i think any of those 3 types of explosions would have caused a hole alot bigger extending far above the waterline and ripping appart the decks above the hole and the area around the bridge, if this had happened lusitania would have sunk alot quicker. so ill have to stick w/ a steam pipe exlosion which i believe would have caused a large hole around the waterline and below it, but small in comparison to the damage the other 3 caused.
 
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Tom Pappas

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But remember - whatever fueled the secondary explosion, most of its force was probably dissipated through the hole caused by the primary one. So it's problematical to generalize about what did or did not happen based on the damage pattern.
 
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