Did the Titanic have to sink?


johnben

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Hi Folks I am new to this forum but have been interested in the story of the Titanic since I was a kid in the fifties, last year I wrote the article printed below and distributed it on various forums and various organisations with a Titanic interest. I have to admit that I have had no one come forward to support my theory but then neither has anyone been able to demolished it. I can see why my view would be unpopular, if my theory was correct then rather the terrible disaster of epic proportions which unfolded with all it's human interest stories, my outcome would be that of a once proud ship limping into port or turning circles awaiting rescue, though with all lives intact. Hardly an ending which would shock and excite the world and initiate many books and films.
My theory right or wrong should in no way be taken as criticism of Capt. Smith as it took years for the idea to come to me rather than the short time available to him.
I would be grateful if you could find the time to run a critical eye over the attached text as it is my intention eventually, if the theory is still holding up, to place it on YouTube so it can reach a wider audience.
Regards
John Bennett Portsmouth UK

Did the Titanic have to sink?
An alternative view.
For the purpose of this article the Titanic has hit the iceberg as history recorded. My alternative view on the tragedy is that once the iceberg was hit and it was known the vessel was seriously damaged and taking on water, the order should have been given for full speed astern and astern propulsion should have been maintained for a long as possible. I suggest that this course of action may have saved the ship and in any event would have bought time, allowing the lifeboats to be better organised and passengers to have spent less or no time in the freezing water before rescue.
It has been well documented that the design criteria of the vessel was that she would remain afloat with four compartment ruptured, the damage inflicted by the iceberg ruptured 5, however, these compartments did not fill with water immediately and it is this time just after the collision whilst water was pouring in which presented a window of opportunity in my view to save the ship or at least prolong her survivability.
During her sea trials in the Irish Sea the Titanic performed an emergency stop from 20 knots in less than half a mile (ref: The last log of the Titanic By David G. Brown). At the time of the collision she was doing a little over 22 knots so we can guesstimate that if the order had been given after the collision that within 10-15 minutes she would be moving only slowly forward or building up speed going backwards in the water, time is critical as we know that her propellers were coming visible within 50 minutes as she took on water and all effective propulsion ahead or astern was lost.
However, in my scenario this time would be extended as the vessel slowed and the intake of water was lessened. Two of her three engines were capable of reverse thrust; the centre one was forward thrust only. By going astern the more (by now) buoyant stern end would have the effect of trying to draw the sinking bow out of the water to a more level angle and reducing the huge inflow of water. By going astern with the rudder over to starboard would result in the vessel’s stern turning to starboard on a circuitous course. This would have the effect of increasing the water pressure on the undamaged side and reducing the pressure on the damaged side further lessening the ingress of water.
As an interesting sidenote Charles Lightoller, the second mate on board the RMS Titanic, survived the tragedy and went on to command, the destroyer Garry in WW1 and on 19 July 1918 rammed and sank the German submarine UB-110. The ramming damaged the bows of the Garry so badly that she had to steam 100 miles to port for repairs in reverse to relieve the strain on the forward bulkheads.

John Bennett

Below are some comments I received on Titanic-Titanic.com forum, I have only included those which have some relevance to the subject.
Re: Did the Titanic have to sink?
by Michael » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:36 pm
I don't believe the propellers started coming out of the water until about 12:30 am and weren't fully out until around 2:10 am. The scenario you proposed wouldn't have delayed the sinking, but might have actually hastened it and it would have made it impossible to launch any lifeboats. The rate at which the water came in was connected to the displacement of the ship, not completely, but to a large degree. Reversing the ship wouldn't have made it any lighter, but it could have increased the pressure around the hull by the water flowing past and might have increased the rate at which it entered the ship.

Reply by John Bennett

Thanks for the response and the correction in time as regards the propellers being exposed, do you know how long the emergency stop had taken in the Irish Sea?
Regarding your view that going in reverse would hasten the sinking of the Titanic, I disagree, the 6 slits of damage were all on the curved area of the hull. Going forward, water would be forced in not only by sea pressure but also the forward movement of the vessel, when stationary the sea pressure would ensure that water poured in, however, in reverse the shape of the hull would increase the Venturi effect and reduce the pressure in that area. As regards launching the lifeboat the vessel could come to an emergency stop quicker than normal as she would only have two of the three propellers working plus the stern of the vessel is very much less streamlined then the stem. As regards displacement of the ship the effect I was trying to describe is that of an object with a positive angle of attack and given sufficient momentum will rise, perhaps a rather inappropriate example would be a submarine, which uses it’s sail planes to ascend and descend. I have been unable to find out what the astern speed of Titanic was but I would guess between 8 — 12 knots, it’s hull was at an angle as the bow filled but whether the speed of the vessel going astern could have provided enough lift to reduce the ingress of water I don’t know.


by samhalpern » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:29 am
A moving ship creates a positive pressure field beginning about 1/6 aft of bow and forward, a negative pressure field between about 1/6 aft of the bow to 1/6 ahead of the stern, and another positive pressure field from 1/6 ahead of the stern and aft of that. The actual field itself and the exact neutral points depends on the hull shape. Unfortunately, the change in pressure due to movement compared to the static pressure at a depth of 25 ft below the waterline where most of the damage was in any event would be relatively small, and would not change the inflow flooding rate by an amount that could possibly have saved the ship.
Sam

Reply by John
Thanks for the comments regarding the pressure zone, which I agree exist in the area surrounding a normal undamaged vessel under way on an even keel. Your final comment ‘and would not change the inflow flooding rate by an amount that could possibly have saved the ship.’ Seems to indicate that you consider that even if the course of action I had suggested had been taken that the Titanic traveling at some speed at an abnormal stem to stern angle and going astern would have made little difference to the outcome either in the sinking of the vessel or the time it took for this to happen.
I am not an expert on any maritime subject but it seems that such a dramatic alternative action not affecting the time frame (positive or negative) would be surprising. My original theory revolves around the angle of the hull and the effective transfer of damage from the starboard front bow and an area beyond to the aft area, (as the vessel would now be moving in the opposite direction).
We know that objects heavier than water such as water skiers, windsurfers using sinker boards, swimmers and submarines (depending on ballast) all use an angle of attack and forward movement all at very low speeds initially to make a difference to their apparent buoyancy. Though there is a colossal difference in their size and that of the Titanic, I am not aware that this principal breaks down because of this, plus the fact that the Titanic was still buoyant. If the Titanic was going astern at sufficient speed and angle of attack she would not sink. What this speed is and if it were possible to achieve I have not got a clue, my premise is that whilst she had astern propulsion and was higher aft than forward it must have made some difference and I am still convinced that this action could have extended the time frame and thus have saved more lives if not the survivability of the ship.

Lady Pattern's book, Good as Gold, reveals that and I quote; “for ten minutes, Titanic went 'Slow Ahead' through the sea, which added enormously to the pressure of water flooding through the damaged hull. The instruction lead to the sinking of the Titanic many hours earlier than she otherwise would have done by forcing it up and over the watertight bulkheads. Ismay insisted on keeping going, no doubt fearful of losing his investment and damaging his company’s reputation,' said Lady Patten. 'The nearest ship was four hours away. Had she remained at "Stop", it’s probable that Titanic would have floated until help arrived."I don't who done the analysis but I have included it to show that there are other views on the sinking.Surly someone must have replicated the situation using a large model and gone through all the alternatives, if anyone has any information I would be grateful if they would pass it on. Failing that I will have to try and do it myself just to put some sought of closure on it for my own curiosity as regarding my reverse theory.

John Bennett

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>> I have to admit that I have had no one come forward to support my theory but then neither has anyone been able to demolished it.<<

Actually, I can see from your replay that Sam Halpern has in fact demolished it. Getting underway by going full speed astern would have done nothing to slow down water ingress to any signifigant degree and it also would have cost lives since there was no way lifeboats could safely be launched while the ship was moving.

The way to save the ship would be to NOT have the collision with the iceberg in the first place. Once the accident happened and those five or more compartments were in open communication with the sea, the ship was doomed.

Sorry.
 

Adam Went

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Hi John,

Firstly I commend you for at least thinking outside the square and trying to come up with alternative theories. Unfortunately, however, it is true that deliberately moving the ship in any direction would only have intensified the flooding and put more pressure on already weakened rivets and plates below the waterline.

I point out two very famous examples in the Lusitania and the Britannic - in both instances the respective Captains made an attempt to beach their vessels on nearby shores; however in both cases - especially the Lusitania - the flooding only intensified and neither of them made it.

Sadly, once the iceberg had been struck, the damage was done and not much else could have been attempted to save the ship. There once was a theory that the watertight doors should have been left open to allow the Titanic to sink on an even keel, in which case she may have lasted longer, but this was scientifically ruled out - the weight of the water would have ended up causing her to capsize some time before she did in fact really sink.

Regards,
Adam.
 

Jim Currie

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Hi Folks
I would be grateful if you could find the time to run a critical eye over the attached text as it is my intention eventually, if the theory is still holding up, to place it on YouTube so it can reach a wider audience.
Regards
John Bennett Portsmouth UK

Lady Pattern's book, Good as Gold, reveals that and I quote; “for ten minutes, Titanic went 'Slow Ahead' through the sea, which added enormously to the pressure of water flooding through the damaged hull. The instruction lead to the sinking of the Titanic many hours earlier than she otherwise would have done by forcing it up and over the watertight bulkheads. Ismay insisted on keeping going, no doubt fearful of losing his investment and damaging his company’s reputation,' said Lady Patten. 'The nearest ship was four hours away. Had she remained at "Stop", it’s probable that Titanic would have floated until help arrived."I don't who done the analysis but I have included it to show that there are other views on the sinking.Surly someone must have replicated the situation using a large model and gone through all the alternatives, if anyone has any information I would be grateful if they would pass it on. Failing that I will have to try and do it myself just to put some sought of closure on it for my own curiosity as regarding my reverse theory.

John Bennett

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Hello John.

This idea has been floated (oh dear!) already.

I'm sure some of our ex sub-mariners will put you right as to why Lightoller was able to do what he did so I'll leave that to them.

I think that while the syphon-action-reuction of pressure differential effect is a recognised phenomenon which might be applicable in a specific case. In the case of Titanic it was totally impracticable. Not only from the hydrostatic or mechanical practicability points of view as has been elsewhere suggested but from the operating practicalities point of view. Particularly practicalities occupying the mind the man in command. To illustrate my point, allow me to summarise the first 20 minutes after impact with the ice berg.

When Titanic hit the iceberg, she was holed in 5 compartments along a 200 foot length of the forward, starboard side part of her hull. At that moment she began to rapidly lose buoyancy. Almost immediately, the breached compartments were isolated by WT doors and the engines were stopped. Even if helm had not been applied, Titanic would have began to quickly lose speed.
These are the things that were happening with the ship during the first two minutes.

But the ship was not the single most important factor.. the people on board her would equally take top place in Captain Smith's mind.

Once his ship came to a complete halt, Smith would have an extensive damage inspection carried out. He would not simply wait for verbal reports from those asigned to that task but would actively take part in the inspection. At the same time, and from the moment the ship stopped, he would make preparations for the worst scenario, i.e. the need to abandon or partially abandon ship. These preprations included obtaining and transmitting a distress position and making ready his life-saving appliances.
All of the foregoing could be done at the same time, but meantime, and of very great importance; since withing the first 5 minutes, Captain Smith did not know the full extent of the damage to his ship, he would not move Titanic ahead for any distance.

For Captain Smith to have moved his ship as claimed by Lady Patton without a carefully considered prognosis would have been at least bad seamanship and at worst, crass, criminal, stupidity. He would most certainly not have run his engines ahead for 10 minutes as claimed by Lady Patton. Such an idea comes from either hearsay and a single, totally discredited source. I refer to the evidence of the Turbine Room Greaser who was shut behind the WT doors for the entire time the engines were being operated and who could not possibly have witnessed any engine orders after the WT doors had been closed and before they were opened to allow the transfer of pumping equipment from aft to forward.
In all practicability, Smith simply gave his engines a quick burst ahead to use his rudder... re-aligned her... then stopped before she made any forward progress. He would give a burst astern as his last order to make sure th vessel did not make any headway.

We know from the evidence that the entire inspection process, crew mustering and passenger alerting process took about 25 minutes or so. by that time, it was too late to do anything but carry on and load the boats with people.

Lady Patton ignored much more evidence concerning the condition of Titanic in the 30 minutes after impact. For instance the evidence of Lamptrimmer Hemmings given on Day 15 of The Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry. I quote:

"17740. I did not hear what you said about Mr. Andrews?
- The boatswain told us to turn out; the ship had only half-an-hour to live, from Mr. Andrews, but not to tell anyone. The boatswain heard it from Mr. Andrews, and he told us.
17741. (The Commissioner.) When was this; how long after the jar which you heard?
- About 10 minutes, I should say."


Does anyone seriously believe that the same information was not given to Captain Smith 10 minutes or even 20 minutes after impact?
Believe me John. whover or whatever Lady Patton's source of technical knowledge; it was not from an experienced or properly qualified mariner so that rules-out grandfather Lightoller.

But I don't reject the running astern theory out of hand. Consider the following:

From the moment the vessel stopped, two of her main boiler rooms were inoperable. Immediately her capacity to steam at speed in any direction was reduced by 30%. Additionally, 5 single-end boilers were out of service and much of her available steam plant production was needed for pumps to keep the water level down and to keep other auxiliaries running. Even if she did manage to run astern, her sternward travel and the rate thereof would be hampered by the drag of the stationary turbine blades. Her steering effort would have been dreadful and to add insult and possibly more injury - she would have been heading back toward the original iceberg danger.

Jim C.
 

johnben

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Hi Sam

Thanks for your comments, are you sure that what you say is accurate; "Getting underway by going full speed astern would have done nothing to slow down water ingress to any significant degree"
I would be interested in any source, I have searched extensively on the internet, obviously to support my theory but have found precious little to influence me either way.
Obviously you were not swayed by my answer to Sam Halpern, who didn't argue the matter further.

"and it also would have cost lives since there was no way lifeboats could safely be launched while the ship was moving."
Again are we sure of this, can a lifeboat only be launched whilst a ship is dead in the water? Besides the ship could quickly come to a stop if so required whilst in astern propulsion as it would be traveling I estimate between 6-12 knots and is not as streamlined as the stem and has of course a massive propeller in the middle doing nothing but providing drag.
"The way to save the ship would be to NOT have the collision with the iceberg in the first place. Once the accident happened and those five or more compartments were in open communication with the sea, the ship was doomed."
I accept the first sentence. Regarding the second part of the paragraph surely we can't be sure that the ship was doomed from it's collision until every alternative possible action is evaluated.

John
 
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johnben

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Hi Adam

Thanks for your comments and kind words.
I would take issue on some of your comments."Unfortunately, however, it is true that deliberately moving the ship in any direction would only have intensified the flooding and put more pressure on already weakened rivets and plates below the waterline".
As I earlier suggested not only would the ship be going in reverse but the rudder would be over to starboard , effectively the bow would be swinging from starboard to port, in doing so my theory goes that the pressure would then be greater on the port side than the starboard side meaning there would be less inflow of water and less pressure on the rivets and plates.
"]I point out two very famous examples in the Lusitania and the Britannic - in both instances the respective Captains made an attempt to beach their vessels on nearby shores; however in both cases - especially the Lusitania - the flooding only intensified and neither of them made it"

Though interesting, neither ship was operating astern propulsion or steering in a way to minimise the damage. Obviously there are many ships which take on so much damage that nothing would save them, however, in Titanic's case, with a proportion of the damage on the curved section of the starboard bow I consider there was an opportunity to save her as stated.

Regards

John
 
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>>Again are we sure of this, can a lifeboat only be launched whilst a ship is dead in the water? <<

Yes, we're sure of this. While such a thing could conceivably be accomplished at near dead slow speed, (I've seen this done from our warships) it's not something which could have been safely accomplished in 1912 because the lifeboats in use didn't have engines. Besides which, if it could be shown that the ship was in so much trouble that she HAD to be evacuated, then she's in enough trouble that she HAS to be stopped.

>>I accept the first sentence. Regarding the second part of the paragraph surely we can't be sure that the ship was doomed from it's collision until every alternative possible action is evaluated.<<

It doesn't matter what you accept. The cold equations say you're mistaken. Thomas Andrews crunched those numbers the night of the accident and Edward Wilding crunched those same numbers for the Wreck Commission under Lord Mersey. These two men knew an Olympic Class liner better then anybody in the world and had there been a way to save the ship, they would have known it.

Before you proceed any further, you might want to learn a thing about shipboard damage control (Which I have training in by the way) and please be mindful of the fact that the resources, tools, know, how, experience and understanding which we take for granted today did NOT exist in 1912.

Beware anachronism.
 

Jim Currie

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Hi Adam


As I earlier suggested not only would the ship be going in reverse but the rudder would be over to starboard , effectively the bow would be swinging from starboard to port, in doing so my theory goes that the pressure would then be greater on the port side than the starboard side

Obviously you wish to forge ahead or should I say 'astern' with your theory.
You write earlier that so far no one has demolished it. As a professional mariner and former Marine Accident Investigator, I can see at least two previous reasons shown to you by others as to why you should not go public with this. Here's reinforcement.

As I pointed out earlier, Titanic was fast running out of steam and the means of producing it. If she was put astern, it would have needed to have been Full Astern to obtain any momentum back-the-way.
Bottom line is; she would not have enough steam to get enough stern-way on her to test your theory.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'over to starboard'. If you mean hard right in the modern way then the bow would indeed swing left, and, as you suggest, create a drag of sea water on it's starboard side. However due to the increase of pressure with depth, that drag and hence volume dragged would be uneven. The swing would need to be considerable and continuous to have any effect at all. Thus the vessel would need to swing continuously in a circle to the left at speed and Titanic would need to keep in a tight stern-wise turning circle until help arrived.
Additionally, as the vessel gained sternway, the flow of displaced water following the line of her sides would attempt to equalise the pressure on the port side as well as starboard.
Last but not least, the turning effort would slow the vessel down and further reduce if not cancel-out any negative pressure effect.

"meaning there would be less inflow of water and less pressure on the rivets and plates. ".[/COLOR]

I'm not sure if you wish to reduce inflow of water, reduce pressure or both. In this instance, it does not really matter given the nature of the imagined damage.

I suggest you try and imagine how water pressure would act on the areas in question.

We are discussing what evidence suggests was a narrow, 220 ft long length of intermittently ripped shell plating, indented between heavy side-shell framing in areas where the depth of water would ensure a minumum pressure of about a ton per square foot. The shell framing was braced thwartship by reinforced vertical bulkheads transverse deep floors and two tier, full width deck plating. Such a structure transfers and re-distributes load. Beware of comparing such a structure to structures wide open top the sea..i.e.vessels with exposed bulkhead areas.

I think you should shelve the idea John.

Jim C.
 

johnben

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Hi Michael sorry I got your name wrong in answering the previous post.

Re your post

Yes, we're sure of this. While such a thing could conceivably be accomplished at near dead slow speed, (I've seen this done from our warships) it's not something which could have been safely accomplished in 1912 because the lifeboats in use didn't have engines. Besides which, if it could be shown that the ship was in so much trouble that she HAD to be evacuated, then she's in enough trouble that she HAS to be stopped

Thanks for the reply, yes, I agree with you. Though in principle a lifeboat could be launched whilst the vessel is moving slowly, as the lifeboat would take up the speed of the vessel until the release mechanism was operated, however, this would not be a good idea as unless there was iron discipline, and the boats launched from stern to stem, already launched boats could be hit by the one following it about to be launched. Depending on speed there could also be the problem of interaction as the lifeboat slowed down with the possibility of it being sucked into the side of the moving vessel. Regarding your warship experience we did something similar though not entirely related with the main vessel traveling about 10 knots a RIB would come alongside in the trough behind the bow wave, discharge casualties and be off.

It doesn't matter what you accept. The cold equations say you're mistaken. Thomas Andrews crunched those numbers the night of the accident and Edward Wilding crunched those same numbers for the Wreck Commission under Lord Mersey. These two men knew an Olympic Class liner better then anybody in the world and had there been a way to save the ship, they would have known it.

I was not aware that astern propulsion was discussed or even thought of so could have not have formed part of the 'cold equation' . Unlike 2nd Officer Lightoller who saved his bow damaged ship Gary when he returned to port under astern propulsion. 6 years later. The two events may not be connected but no doubt he had thought long and hard about the Titanic disaster and alternative actions.

Before you proceed any further, you might want to learn a thing about shipboard damage control (Which I have training in by the way) and please be mindful of the fact that the resources, tools, know, how, experience and understanding which we take for granted today did NOT exist in 1912.

I was under the impression this forum was friendly and open to a range of viewpoints, I was unaware you had to be trained in shipboard damage control before you could post.

Beware anachronism

Thanks for the tip but not sure where I am guilty here, we all use the internet for research and as regards
my theory Lightoller reversed his ship, you only have to pass your hand through water to know there is more pressure on one side than the other, the Ventura principle was discovered a couple of hundred years ago by an Italian and we know things heavier than water can float.

Regards John
 

Jim Currie

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Hello John.

"I was under the impression this forum was friendly and open to a range of viewpoints, I was unaware you had to be trained in shipboard damage control before you could post."


Do I detect a little petulance in your reply? if so, I'm sure I speak for the rest when I say that any critcism is not meant to belittle you or to express superiority but to make sure you have the full extent of any available knowledge to work with. I'm sure that's the purpose of your participation in this thread.

You write:

"in principle a lifeboat could be launched whilst the vessel is moving slowly, as the lifeboat would take up the speed of the vessel until the release mechanism was operated, however, this would not be a good idea as unless there was iron discipline, and the boats launched from stern to stem, already launched boats could be hit by the one following it about to be launched. Depending on speed there could also be the problem of interaction as the lifeboat slowed down with the possibility of it being sucked into the side of the moving vessel."

You might not need damage control experience to understand the launching of a lifeboat but experience of actually launching one surely helps? Permit me to observe; you are in danger of overusing the expression 'in principal'.
I can assure you , I have launched lifeboats on many occasions and apart from launching a whaler on a painter, (I'm sure Michaels knows exactly what I mean), an experience seaman would never attempt to launch a lifeboat full of people from a moving vessel except in a life-or death situation. Even then, it might prove to be an impossible task. It's bad enough when the two vessels, boat and ship,are heaving in a heavy sea but add to that the forward, unveven load on the falls and you have a panic situation in the making. Then, only a sharp axe will do.. and even then, only if you have rope falls and not steel wire ones.

You initially wrote:

"I would be grateful if you could find the time to run a critical eye over the attached text as it is my intention eventually, if the theory is still holding up, to place it on YouTube so it can reach a wider audience.
Regards
John Bennett Portsmouth UK"


You have received the measured criticisms you asked for from some of us. From your subsequent comments I gather you're not pleased with these responses. However, I have yet to see your resonse to my postings. Did you find these of interest?

Jim C.
 

Doug Criner

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I don't think any consideration was given to going astern after the accident, and correctly so, I think. But if anybody could possibly have thought of such an unsual idea, even for an instant, it would have been Thomas Andrews. If, as I doubt, the thought even occurred to Andrews, he must have dismissed it out of hand - otherwise he would have suggested it.

Let's assume, hypothetically, that Andrews, in the first 10-20 minutes or so, had desperately and irrationally suggested to Capt. Smith to go astern. Surely Smith would have rejected the idea - because of the difficulty in launching lifeboats and because, early on, there was a vain hope that another ship was nearby, which would require boats from both Titanic and the other ship to load survivors from Titanic and shuttle them over to the rescuing vessel.

Going ahead to beach a foundering ship is a different kettle of fish than the idea of Titanic going astern in the middle of the ocean.
 
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>>I was not aware that astern propulsion was discussed or even thought of so could have not have formed part of the 'cold equation' .<<

The cold equations I'm talking about concern the damage the ship could take and survive. The damage the Titanic took was more then the ship could possibly survive. A fact which was established over a century ago and which has also been established in recent forensic studies. Backing down would have done nothing to alleviate this and it was Sam Halpern who went to some trouble to point out why. At 25 feet below the waterline, pressure was over twice that of atmospheric. To get an idea what that equates to, it helps to know that the ship's initial rate of flooding was over 1200 tons per minute. The venturi principle doesn't work there as there's no way the ship can go fast enough to suck anything out. Not at those pressures. Please re-read what Sam Halpern posted to you on the subject. (Please note that the man is a trained engineer.) to wit: "A moving ship creates a positive pressure field beginning about 1/6 aft of bow and forward, a negative pressure field between about 1/6 aft of the bow to 1/6 ahead of the stern, and another positive pressure field from 1/6 ahead of the stern and aft of that. The actual field itself and the exact neutral points depends on the hull shape. Unfortunately, the change in pressure due to movement compared to the static pressure at a depth of 25 ft below the waterline where most of the damage was in any event would be relatively small, and would not change the inflow flooding rate by an amount that could possibly have saved the ship.
Sam"

Further to the point, moving a ship which has major structural damage such as what the Titanic did is contrary to any accepted damage control practice which was in use even then. it's not the sort of thing done today because it tends to aggravate the damage already done. This is not mere hypothesis. This is FACT, established by any number of casualties in both civil and military service over the course of a century which included two major wars fought on the oceans.

>>I was under the impression this forum was friendly and open to a range of viewpoints,<<

Which does not immunize you to rebuttal or criticism. We all deal with it. We have to. You will too.

>>.. I was unaware you had to be trained in shipboard damage control before you could post.<<

You don't HAVE to be trained, but it would help enormously if you were so you would actually know what you're talking about. In other words, if you post comments and material which is uninformed, expect to be soundly rebutted by somebody who is informed and trained on the subject at hand.
 

johnben

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Hi Jim
Guilty as charged, you did detect a little petulance in my reply. I quite enjoy the cut and thrust of reasoned argument, however, I do find it irritating when forum users cannot be bothered to use your name and start injecting remarks such as "It doesn't matter what you accept." "before you proceed any further, you might want to learn a thing about shipboard damage control" which reads like an invitation to leave the forum.
Regarding the lifeboats I conceded to Michael's view.

"You have received the measured criticisms you asked for from some of us. From your subsequent comments I gather you're not pleased with these responses. However, I have yet to see your resonse to my postings. Did you find these of interest?"

Jim as I have stated above I enjoy the cut and thrust of reasoned argument, without critical comment how can any theory be tested. I am neither pleased or displeased with comments received, one learns more from criticism than praise. Regarding not replying to your post, I can understand some frustration on your part having taken the time to comment only not to have received any reply. I could have sent a quick acknowledgment and for that I apologise.
The truth is apart from not being qualified in damage control, or launching lifeboats I am not an expert in anything Titanic which means that when I receive comments. and you provided a lot to comment on, of which I am grateful, I do a some research in order to give the posts the respect they deserve and often I get sucked into the details and what should have taken minutes takes much longer. Titanic fever I suppose.
I will respond specifically to your posts over the next few days.
John
 

Jim Currie

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Thanks for your well-balanced, thoughtful response John.

I must admit; I too am guilty of reacting in an inconsiderate manner.. assuming too much and exhibiting geriatric impatience. I'm sure you are familiar with the disection of the word 'assume'. ie. to assume makes one of these (actually quite clever) animals out of 'u' and 'me'. :rolleyes:

I look forward to your response as and when. Take your time. as they say here Nao faz mal!

Jim C.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
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Hi John,

Thanks for your response. Most of what you've said in response to me has already been answered, and answered well, by Jim and Michael, but i'll simply add that by the time the damage to the Titanic was assessed and such a decision as what you are suggesting could reasonably have been made, the Titanic was already filled with tons of water. Essentially, the horse had already bolted from the stable, to borrow the proverb. Sure, she could have been shifted, but this would have made no difference at all to the end result, and once the fate of the ship was ascertained the priority was evacuating her with the few lifeboats she had and sending out the distress calls via wireless. As has been noted, it would have been difficult, if not impossible to launch the boats with the ship moving (again, see Britannic), and equally difficult to give accurate positions via the distress calls if the Titanic was constantly moving about.

As I mentioned earlier, a number of these theories have been scientifically tested in the past and have been shown to make little or no difference to the end result. However, I do commend you on your thinking and please don't be discouraged by some of the more haughty responses on this thread - there's nothing wrong with thinking out loud.

Regards,
Adam.
 

johnben

Member
Dec 17, 2013
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Hi Jim

Thanks for your reply

I must admit my spirit was raised when I first read the opening line of your reply. This idea has been floated already. As I read this as referring to my theory, at last I thought, somewhere on the internet, an ally, a comrade in arms to take on the might of the Titanic Forums, however, this hope was cruelly dashed when I realised you were referring to Lady Pattern's book.
As an aside I got completely the opposite reaction some years ago whilst doing a project on 'Tides'. It suddenly came to me that the atmosphere had mass and must therefore be subject to the gravitation pull of the Sun and the Moon. My 'new' discovery was soon scuppered when I Googled it and had over 2 million hits!

As I pointed out earlier, Titanic was fast running out of steam and the means of producing it. If she was put astern, it would have needed to have been Full Astern to obtain any momentum back-the-way. Bottom line is; she would not have enough steam to get enough stern-way on her to test your theory.

I have read with interest your observations and have ploughed through 68 posts, some of which were quite lengthy, on this matter on this forum, "Mystery behind why Titanic started moving again".
I am beginning to get a sinking feeling, in the circumstances you describe with the engine situation, and robbed of 10 minute and a more stable vessel, it is difficult to see how my theory could be put to the test.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'over to starboard'. If you mean hard right in the modern way then the bow would indeed swing left, and, as you suggest, create a drag of sea water on it's starboard side. However due to the increase of pressure with depth, that drag and hence volume dragged would be uneven. The swing would need to be considerable and continuous to have any effect at all. Thus the vessel would need to swing continuously in a circle to the left at speed and Titanic would need to keep in a tight stern-wise turning circle until help arrived.Additionally, as the vessel gained sternway, the flow of displaced water following the line of her sides would attempt to equalise the pressure on the port side as well as starboard. Last but not least, the turning effort would slow the vessel down and further reduce if not cancel-out any negative pressure effect.

Yes that's what I mean the actual rudder plate over to starboard so the vessel would turn to starboard whether going forward or astern.
As stated earlier it is difficult to see how the theory can be tested in the circumstances you outline as it obviously depends on the 2 outer engine performing to their capacity, I had rather assumed that with the larger middle prop not being engaged there wold be full power for a time.
As you have stated you don't think the theory would work in these circumstances, does that mean you consider that the theory itself would not work in any circumstance? As you know it was floated on several idea's, yes I can do the bad pun's as well.

1/ The angle of attack of the vessel caused by the flooded bow section.
2/ The venturi effect particularly on the curved starboard bow section section whilst going astern.
3/ The difference in pressure as the bow swings from starboard to port due to the reverse turn to starboard.

John
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
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Funchal. Madeira
Hello John.

"As you have stated you don't think the theory would work in these circumstances, does that mean you consider that the theory itself would not work in any circumstance?"

No, I have actually put it into practice myself and it's well known among the yachting fraternity. It is sometimes used to syphon-off water from below transom level from the bottom of a small boat while on the water and underweigh rather than the conventional bailing method.. mostly in fast RIBs or Dory tenders. In days gone by, I used it myself on my little (very slow- 10 knot) Harbour Master's dinghy. All you need ito do is to create a bit of negative pressure keep it there and keep moving.

The venturi efect you mentioned is mostly used to accellerate the flow of a gas or liqid past a fixed point in the transporting tubular; usually by 'waisting' it at that point.

Jim C.
 

johnben

Member
Dec 17, 2013
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I don't think any consideration was given to going astern after the accident, and correctly so, I think. But if anybody could possibly have thought of such an unsual idea, even for an instant, it would have been Thomas Andrews. If, as I doubt, the thought even occurred to Andrews, he must have dismissed it out of hand - otherwise he would have suggested it.
Hi Doug

I don't think it's such an unusual idea, lets face it the Capt. only had three options, and variations leading from them, of going forward, back or staying where he was. I fully accept that if the option was thought of it could be dismissed as foolish, irrelevant or impractical as most, if not all do now.
The same could also be said about using the struck iceberg as an unsinkable refuge, it would have only been half a mile or so away. Titanic could have slowly gone astern until she was nearer and offloaded ropes, ladders, tarpaulins food etc and set up a ferry system with the lifeboats.
No doubt their are numerous reasons which made this impractical, but to my knowledge which is limited , it just was not considered at the time. Lets face it most of the crew must have been fearing for their lives, the ship was sinking, help didn't look like it was arriving soon, they had limited lifeboats and they knew the survival time in the water was measured in minutes.
I guess this is not the time to think outside the box to use the modern parlance.
John
 

johnben

Member
Dec 17, 2013
11
0
11
Hello John.

"As you have stated you don't think the theory would work in these circumstances, does that mean you consider that the theory itself would not work in any circumstance?"

No, I have actually put it into practice myself and it's well known among the yachting fraternity. It is sometimes used to syphon-off water from below transom level from the bottom of a small boat while on the water and underweigh rather than the conventional bailing method.. mostly in fast RIBs or Dory tenders. In days gone by, I used it myself on my little (very slow- 10 knot) Harbour Master's dinghy. All you need ito do is to create a bit of negative pressure keep it there and keep moving.

The venturi efect you mentioned is mostly used to accellerate the flow of a gas or liqid past a fixed point in the transporting tubular; usually by 'waisting' it at that point.

Jim C.
Sorry Jim I have mislead you I meant the theory as a whole, I numbered the points to make it easier for you to comment on.

John
 

johnben

Member
Dec 17, 2013
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Hi Michael

Sorry it has taken longer than I would have wished to reply to you, I was busy researching a post which I had received prior to yours.

The cold equations I'm talking about concern the damage the ship could take and survive. The damage the Titanic took was more then the ship could possibly survive.

I not saying that the ship would survive, though this would be the best possible outcome. I wrote"my outcome would be that of a once proud ship limping into port or turning circles awaiting rescue"


Please re-read what Sam Halpern posted to you on the subject. (Please note that the man is a trained engineer.) to wit: "A moving ship creates a positive pressure field beginning about 1/6 aft of bow and forward, a negative pressure field between about 1/6 aft of the bow to 1/6 ahead of the stern, and another positive pressure field from 1/6 ahead of the stern and aft of that. The actual field itself and the exact neutral points depends on the hull shape.

Yes I have reread and reread it, to me it seemed that this related to a ship moving in a straight line and that a ship turning hard to starboard, as described in my opening text, that these pressure lines would become distorted and the area of negative pressure would widen on the starboard side and reduce on the port side. Unfortunately I have been unable to substantiate this by research and as you have mentioned it twice and Sam once I think I have to concede, in which case I am sunk.

Which does not immunize you to rebuttal or criticism. We all deal with it. We have to. You will too.

Yes I think I am dealing with it, in my own way.

You don't HAVE to be trained, but it would help enormously if you were so you would actually know what you're talking about.

John

Should I do this other training before before or after the damage control training?
 

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