Damage to Both Sides - Collision - Break up - Sea Floor?


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Aaron_2016

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Does anyone know what caused the large openings on the sides of the bow?



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Landing on the sea floor is one theory, but has any other wreck suffered that kind of damage by landing on the seabed? The impact I understand was so gentle that the contents inside were not greatly disturbed e.g. Windows are intact, plates are still neatly stacked in the cupboard, and a cigar case is sitting casually on a fire mantel. Is it possible that the sides burst open during the descent? If striking the sea floor managed to buckle open the sides, then could the 'grounding' over the ice cause the same effect on the surface and fracture the sides open? Could an internal expulsion of compressed air or water burst the sides open?

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Chris cameron

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The undamaged items you list do not necessarily suggest a gentle landing. I am not even sure how a grounding would produce similar damage as a ship would incur from slamming nose fist into the sea bed with a the momentum from the weight of everything behind pushing it into the sea bed before landing. Look at Britannic, the Bow is crushed because of shallowness of the water it sank in and I would think that ship endured less catastrophic damage from it's decent than titanic. But I do not think you can compare the damage of a ship that was already structurally unstable from the sinking and breakup to perform the same as an undamaged ship gliding over ice.
 
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Aaron_2016

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The Britannic had her starboard bow blown and severely fractured when she struck the mine and crashed into the seabed almost nose down resulting in her bow almost breaking off as the enormous damage and the weight of the intact ship drove her bow into the seabed at a sharp angle. The Titanic and other ships that sank I believe are quite a different matter. The damage to her port and starboard sides appear as if something inside has burst out, one would imagine that the shockwave of a hard slam against the sea floor would have smashed many windows and caused chaos inside, but we don't see that in the forward bow. I believe if the bursting open of her sides was caused by the impact with the sea floor then the iceberg damage that can be seen on the starboard bow should be heavily scrutinized because the 'alleged' iceberg damage could easily have occurred when she struck the bow and the series of small openings would have been greatly affected by a hard slam into the seabed. Perhaps when the ship reached a certain depth the sides burst open due to the pressure of the water and compressed air inside, similar to the implosion of the stern but on a much smaller scale with only the sides bursting open, and when she struck the seabed the sides opened a bit more.


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Harland Duzen

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Some old documentaries suggested the tear on the wreck's Starboard Side was a air pocket within the bow that ruptured the hull either during the sinking or during the descent. This idea since been dropped.
Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 22.20.59.png

Taken from "Titanic: Answers from the Abyss" by Home Run Pictures 0:16 - 0:22
 
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Some old documentaries suggested the tear on the wreck's Starboard Side was a air pocket within the bow that ruptured the hull either during the sinking or during the descent.
I never understand that suggestion.
It's known that it was created when it hit the ocean bottom (it was even mentioned in 1987) as the bow pushed forward and to the the side. On the starboard side it created the hole while on the port side there is a 90" bend in the hull but the plates are not broken.
 
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Chris cameron

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The Britannic had her starboard bow blown and severely fractured when she struck the mine and crashed into the seabed almost nose down resulting in her bow almost breaking off as the enormous damage and the weight of the intact ship drove her bow into the seabed at a sharp angle. The Titanic and other ships that sank I believe are quite a different matter. The damage to her port and starboard sides appear as if something inside has burst out, one would imagine that the shockwave of a hard slam against the sea floor would have smashed many windows and caused chaos inside, but we don't see that in the forward bow. I believe if the bursting open of her sides was caused by the impact with the sea floor then the iceberg damage that can be seen on the starboard bow should be heavily scrutinized because the 'alleged' iceberg damage could easily have occurred when she struck the bow and the series of small openings would have been greatly affected by a hard slam into the seabed. Perhaps when the ship reached a certain depth the sides burst open due to the pressure of the water and compressed air inside, similar to the implosion of the stern but on a much smaller scale with only the sides bursting open, and when she struck the seabed the sides opened a bit more.


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My point was that as crushed as Britannics bow is, there is very little damage aft of the damage caused by the explosion or the crushing of bow. Also, with everything the Titanic endured prior to her reaching her resting spot, it is odd that some things are still in place once she reached the bottom? I am not entirely positive on the physics, but perhaps on and object that in water and 2.5 miles down would repond differently as far as how far the damage would travel. Perhaps it was only localized damage but on observing the wreck, it appears that there is indeed other damage that I assume was a result of its landing in the sea bed. I think you are perhaps making too many assumptions on what you think should be damaged from impact.
 

Millerpsc

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If there was air still inside the bow then it would support the Thayer/Skidmore drawing of the bow resurfacing after the breakup. Maybe if the bow did resurface that could sexplain why survivors explained the ship taking the final plunge at different angles? Maybe some mistakenly thought that the bow was the stern?
 

Millerpsc

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That's exactly what I think. Someone could witness the stern rise up and later accidentally call it the bow.
But if the bow DID rise back up, with it being nearly pitch black darkness, then some survivors could have seen the actual bow and thought it was the stern.
 

Chris cameron

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If there was air still inside the bow then it would support the Thayer/Skidmore drawing of the bow resurfacing after the breakup. Maybe if the bow did resurface that could sexplain why survivors explained the ship taking the final plunge at different angles? Maybe some mistakenly thought that the bow was the stern?
I do not entertain the possibility of the bow rising back up. I have read many accounts of the sinking and as said by other board members, it is often simply a confusion of terms. If you even try to apply the notion to the few survivors who used the term bow in their accounts, it doesn't even make sense and defies the laws if physics. I just regard it as a ridiculous notion taken from an obviously flawed wording and some just taking it and running with it despite the improbability.
 
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Millerpsc

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I do not entertain the the bow resurfacing theory. I have read many of the survivor accounts and mormst can

I do not entertain the possibility of the bow rising back up. I have read many accounts of the sinking and as said by other board members, it is often simply a confusion of terms. If you even try to apply the notion to the few survivors who used the term bow in their accounts, it doesn't even make sense and defies the laws if physics. I just regard it as a ridiculous notion taken from a obviously flawed wording by and some just taking it and running with it despite the improbably.
As the ship turned to port to avoid the iceberg, the iceberg would have struck just aft of the cargo areas. If it would have struck at the very front of the starboard bow then the iceberg would have tore more deeply into the hull around midship. If that is the case then the cargo areas would have not received any damage leaving the possibility that the forward cargo areas did not fully flood before the break up. Would it then be possible that the bow rose up before finally going under? I think it does. Nobody on this forum was there on titanic when it sank so we have to base our knowledge on survivor accounts and ideas of what happened. There are so many things we still don't know. If we did know everything then I doubt there would be a forum.
 

Kyle Naber

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But at the rate in which the bow sank, the foward sections would still have flooded in that 2 hours and 38 minutes in a scenario where the first two compartments were not opened. And even if the first couple of sections had not flooded, there still wouldn't be enough buoyancy in the bow to allow it to pop back up. It's physically impossible.
 

Harland Duzen

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Any suggestions for the "I believe the bow did / didn't rise up" should be left for the other forum. we don't need this idea being spread any further!

Back to Topic!

The opening is simply the result of the ship creasing as she hit the floor.
Titanic Wreck Side View.jpg

As seen from the crude diagram above, the Bow is clearly bent far forward than it should be, and the result was the sides bent out at the weakest point (I like to think the reason for this is the hull from the forepeak to Boiler Room 6 was ripped out BUT I know this clearly didn't happen).
 
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The drawing by Millerpsc (above) would be accurate if the conventional story of turning left (starboard helm in 1912) to dodge the iceberg were true. But, even cursory analysis shows that the impact in the drawing does not match the actual damage as reported by the majority of survivors.

Flooding from damage was confirmed in the peak tank (not forepeak) and the first three holds. Members of the "black gang" living above hold #1 were seen attempting to bring their gear up to dryer decks as their berthing areas filled with water. Slow ingress was reported in boiler room #6 by Beauchamp and corroborated by Barrett. There was apparently even slower ingress in #4. The actions reported by Barrett in boiler room #5 show it remained dry and functional for more than an hour after impact.

If Millerspc's drawing of the interaction of berg and ship, then we would not expect any flooding of the peak tank or holds #1 and #2. They would have been inside the ship's maneuvering circle and out of harm's way. Newton's laws governing the impact would have increased the rotation ot the bow to its left causing the whole starboard side of the ship to bump and grind along the berg. There should be reported damage for nearly 3/4ths the length of the hull (probably including the starboard wing propeller), which did not happen. So, physics, the way ships turn, and the physical damage to Titanic all rule out the mythical left turn to avoid the iceberg. Conventional wisdom cannot be true.

The final nails in the coffin of the conventional story comes from the lookouts, Fleet and Lee, in the crow's nest. They said Titanic steamed straight at the fatal berg. Even Fleet's famous (if possibly apocryphal) words, "Iceberg right ahead!" indicate a straight-on approach. This means the ship was not turning to port (starboard helm) nor to starboard (port helm) during the final seconds as the bow closed on the ice.

Yet, we have two bridge team survivors who claimed the ship did turn to port (starboard helm) just before impact. Boxhall only hinted at this, but quartermaster Hichens at the wheel said it was a two-point turn to the left which means a sizable 22.5 degrees. The advance & transfer characteristics of an Olympic-class vessel (tested with Olympic after Titanic sank) are such that for a two-point turn to have been accomplished, the iceberg would have been safely on the port side to begin with. That is, First officer Murdoch turned left for an object that otherwise would have passed close aboard -- but probably safely -- Titanic's port side. To steal a phrase from Second Officer Lightoller, "Not damned likely."

Personally, I believe that everyone told the truth and there is no contradiction of Boxhall/Hichens by Fleet/Lee. It's all a matter of time. The two-point turn to the left under starboard helm was made and the ship steadied on its new course. This is evident by Hichens remembering the exact two points of the turn. He would not have cared how many degrees the bow swung during an emergency. However, he would have had to be very precise in his reading of the compass to make a turn of exactly two points to port. Such a turn that night would have been necessary to avoid ice. There was plenty ahead of the ship. But, it was not likely a turn to avoid any specific iceberg. Hichens steadied Titanic on its new course which the lookouts noticed was pointed toward the deadly iceberg.

If the above paragraph is reasonably accurate, then we have a major change in the Titanic canon. It has been believed that Captain Smith was dozing "just inside" while his ship went blundering into an ice field. Yet, the logical conclusion of the testimonies of Boxhall, Hichens, Fleet, and Lee say otherwise. The two-point turn was a course change, not an emergency maneuver. And, only Captain Smith had the authority to order the course changed. Murdoch certainly could dodge danger, but he was not empowered to change the course. This means that Captain Smith unwittingly ordered a course change which Boxhall and Hichens performed just as an iceberg happened to be about two points off the port bow. It wasn't barratry, just bad luck. Captain Smith was trying to avoid the ice field across his path and chose the wrong moment to change course.

Quartermaster Olliver's testimony confirms Murdoch's freedom to act in an emergency. Also a surviving member of the bridge team, Olliver said that just as the ship took the ice Murdoch yelled, "hard a-port" which in 1912 meant to turn the ship to its right, or starboard. This was the correct order under the circumstances. By applying port helm Murdoch would have swung the vulnerable starboard side and wing propeller outward, away from the berg and possible damage. The bow was already involved in the accident, so there was no longer any reason to protect areas already receiving damage.
On the poop, quartermaster Rowe testified that the ship was apparently under port helm as the berg passed safely even if close aboard his location. Afterward, the bridge watch congregated on the starboard bridge wing to catch sight of the iceberg astern. This is correct for a ship that turned to its right around an object. The berg was now off the starboard quarter and could only be seen from the starboard bridge wing.

Finally, we know Titanic was heading west -- actually a bit south of west -- when it came upon the iceberg. Yet, the bow swung to the north for some reason and remains facing in a northerly direction. This is diametrically opposite to the sharp left turn toward the south that would have resulted from the conventional version of the accident. If the ship had been under starboard helm and turning left, impact would have increased that turn and the ship would ultimately have slid to a stop facing nearly south. It does not. Currents and winds have been used to explain Titanic's northerly orientation, but the simplest explanation is that the ship turned to its right -- not its left -- during and immediately after impact. It remained facing northward as it sank.

-- David G. Brown


PS -- If you believe the stern section stuck upward into the night sky, the physics which govern buoyancy require the bow to have re-surfaced briefly. Otherwise, the stern would have disappeared like a stone dropped in a pool. The fact that Titanic floated -- intact or broken -- is proof of that. More anon.
 
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Actually Hichens was able to see how far the ship turned and his statement is confirmed by Flee. No curse change as its been claimed by the same person for years.

Hichens:
949. Just as she struck, is that what you said? - Not immediately as she struck; the ship was swinging. We had the order, "Hard-a-starboard," and she just swung about two points when she struck.

Senator FLETCHER. When you turned from the telephone and observed the course of the ship, you saw she had turned to port?
Mr. FLEET. Yes, sir.
Senator FLETCHER. Did she turn immediately and suddenly, or gradually, to port?
Mr. FLEET. Just started to go as I looked up.
Senator FLETCHER. Just started to go to port?
Mr. FLEET. Yes, sir.
Senator FLETCHER. To what extent did she change her course from the direct line?
Mr. FLEET. You mean how far did she go?
Senator FLETCHER. Yes.
Mr. FLEET. A little over a point, or two points.

There was also the order Hard to port given and carried out. It is not only QM Olliver who mentioned it but also Hichens said it when aboard the Carpathia.

The coal bunker forward of BR No. 5 was also damaged.
 
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Mark Baber

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Any suggestions for the "I believe the bow did / didn't rise up" should be left for the other forum. we don't need this idea being spread any further!

Back to Topic!
Moderator's note:

Any issues about a thread's drifting somewhat from its original topic should be left to the moderators.

Thanks.
 
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Jim Currie

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Hello David. I'll answer each section of your post in red between relevant paragraphs.

" Newton's laws governing the impact would have increased the rotation ot the bow to its left causing the whole starboard side of the ship to bump and grind along the berg. There should be reported damage for nearly 3/4ths the length of the hull (probably including the starboard wing propeller), which did not happen. So, physics, the way ships turn, and the physical damage to Titanic all rule out the mythical left turn to avoid the iceberg. Conventional wisdom cannot be true."

David, if you are going to apply the laws of physics to the re-action of Titanic to impact with the ice berg, then you must in clude all of them. I remind you of Isaaqc Newton's Thrid Law: " When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body." Now apply that to the moment of impact.

"The final nails in the coffin of the conventional story comes from the lookouts, Fleet and Lee, in the crow's nest. They said Titanic steamed straight at the fatal berg. Even Fleet's famous (if possibly apocryphal) words, "Iceberg right ahead!" indicate a straight-on approach. This means the ship was not turning to port (starboard helm) nor to starboard (port helm) during the final seconds as the bow closed on the ice."

You massaged that one, my friend. Here is exactly what Fleet told his interrogator in the US:

"Mr. FLEET: I went up to the telephone as soon as ever I struck three bells.
Senator BURTON.:And telephoned to the bridge?
Mr. FLEET:Yes, sir.
Senator BURTON.
And you got an answer immediately, did you? Mr. FLEET: Yes, sir.
Senator BURTON: Did you notice how quickly they turned the course of the boat after you sounded the gongs?
Mr. FLEET: No, sir; they did not do it until I went to the telephone. While I was at the telephone the ship started to move
.

"Y
et, we have two bridge team survivors who claimed the ship did turn to port (starboard helm) just before impact. Boxhall only hinted at this, but quartermaster Hichens at the wheel said it was a two-point turn to the left which means a sizable 22.5 degrees. The advance & transfer characteristics of an Olympic-class vessel (tested with Olympic after Titanic sank) are such that for a two-point turn to have been accomplished, the iceberg would have been safely on the port side to begin with. That is, First officer Murdoch turned left for an object that otherwise would have passed close aboard -- but probably safely -- Titanic's port side. To steal a phrase from Second Officer Lightoller, "Not damned likely"

The experiment using RMS Olympic was a bit of a joke. There was nothing scientific about it. It simply showed that a sister ship would turn 2 points of the compass in 37 minutes under hard left helm. During the experiment, Olympic was running at 20 knots for 37 minutes. Titanic was not running for 37 minutes between initial helm application and impact. Evidence and location of the first area of damage clearly illustrates this. In fact, it looks like she wasd runniong at about 6 minutes. Further more; Titanic's engines were rapidly slowing down from the moment the first helm order was given. The evidence from Brisge and Engine room surviors clearly proves this.

"Personally, I believe that everyone told the truth and there is no contradiction of Boxhall/Hichens by Fleet/Lee. It's all a matter of time. The two-point turn to the left under starboard helm was made and the ship steadied on its new course. This is evident by Hichens remembering the exact two points of the turn. He would not have cared how many degrees the bow swung during an emergency. However, he would have had to be very precise in his reading of the compass to make a turn of exactly two points to port. Such a turn that night would have been necessary to avoid ice. There was plenty ahead of the ship. But, it was not likely a turn to avoid any specific iceberg. Hichens steadied Titanic on its new course which the lookouts noticed was pointed toward the deadly iceberg."

I suggest to you that what Hichens was remembering was the usual state of affairs during an emergency turn...the question "how's her head now" is used very frequently during such turns.

"If the above paragraph is reasonably accurate, then we have a major change in the Titanic canon. It has been believed that Captain Smith was dozing "just inside" while his ship went blundering into an ice field. Yet, the logical conclusion of the testimonies of Boxhall, Hichens, Fleet, and Lee say otherwise. The two-point turn was a course change, not an emergency maneuver. And, only Captain Smith had the authority to order the course changed. Murdoch certainly could dodge danger, but he was not empowered to change the course. This means that Captain Smith unwittingly ordered a course change which Boxhall and Hichens performed just as an iceberg happened to be about two points off the port bow. It wasn't barratry, just bad luck. Captain Smith was trying to avoid the ice field across his path and chose the wrong moment to change course."

As I have said to you before: if Captain Smith had wished to alter course, he would have done so from a calculated fix position or from a good Dead Reckoning position. I remind you of a little thing called a "Day's Work Sheet". Such a turn as you suggest would have upset that no end. We know for absolute sure that Smith had an update of the ship's position before 10 pm. That was when Boxhall showed him the results of the 7-30 pm sights taken by Lightoller.:

"16927.....- I was discussing some stellar bearings I had had. [with Captain Smith] I was also standing at his chart room door while he pricked off the 7.30 stellar position of the ship.

That was less than two hours after the sights. The perfect time to work a DR position for 10 pm Watch change and make timely alterations to the ship's course. I remind you of one of the Colregs concerning when actions should be taken. Such regs wee in fore in 1912. I wonder how many out there know what "pricked" meant at that time?

"Quartermaster Olliver's testimony confirms Murdoch's freedom to act in an emergency. Also a surviving member of the bridge team, Olliver said that just as the ship took the ice Murdoch yelled, "hard a-port" which in 1912 meant to turn the ship to its right, or starboard."

You must be consulting a separate source of evidence David. This is what QM oliver said when asked aboput that second helm order:

I know the orders I heard when I was on the bridge was after we had struck the iceberg. I heard hard aport, and there was the man at the wheel and the officer. The officer was seeing it was carried out right....
Senator BURTON: Where was the iceberg, do you think, when the helm was shifted?....Mr. OLLIVER. he iceberg was away up stern.
Senator BURTON.: That is when the order "hard aport" was given? Mr. OLLIVER: That is when the order "hard aport" was given; yes, sir."


As you see above, QM Oliver heard that second order when he was on the bridge. He was off and on the bridge several times during the 10 minutes after impact and could have heard it at any time uring that period. he also withnessed a short burst ahead on the engines. we know it ws short from the evidence of Trimmer Dillon.
You also fail to remind us of what the man at the wheel...QM Hichens...swore:


"Mr. HICHENS: [Mr. Murdoch] Gave me the order, "Hard a'starboard."
Senator SMITH: Is that the only order you received before the collision, or impact?
Mr. HICHENS: "That is all, sir. Then the first officer told the other quartermaster standing by to take the time, and told one of the junior officers to make a note of that in the logbook."


Actually, I believe Hichens's memory was playing tricks with him. QM Olliver was off the bridge when the first helm order was given. In fact he did not hear it at all yet he sa the iceberg when it passed the bridge seconds after im pact and seconds afte thast first helm order.

"Finally, we know Titanic was heading west -- actually a bit south of west -- when it came upon the iceberg. Yet, the bow swung to the north for some reason and remains facing in a northerly direction."

David, that myth about her heading north is that... a myth. We have seen the learned sketches explaining how that manoeuvre came about. However, the sketch in question could only have validity if Titanic continued under full power to allow the rudder to perform as designed and did not react in any way to impact with the iceberg, thus accounting for Newton's 3rd Law.

"PS -- If you believe the stern section stuck upward into the night sky, the physics which govern buoyancy require the bow to.... "

For the bow to resurface, it had to displace a deck shaped column of sea water weighing heaven knows how many tons. That required a longitudinal righting lever which just did not exist at that time.
 
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Harland Duzen

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Moderator's note:

Any issues about a thread's drifting somewhat from its original topic should be left to the moderators.

Thanks.
The irony! I said this to prevent any warnings and the warning got warned! :)

Won't do it again. Now Back To Topic!
 
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