1. Welcome to Encyclopedia Titanica
    or subscribe for unlimited access to ET! You can also login with , or !
    Dismiss Notice


Discussion in 'Collision / Sinking Theories' started by Paul Rogers, Apr 11, 2001.

  1. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    If the "jump" coincided with one of the explosions it may have produced a similar effect to a torpedo attack i.e. survivors from torpedo attacks and magazine explosions described how their vessels (including heavily armed battleships) jumped several feet into the air when the explosion occurred inside the ship or from the shockwave underneath the ship which sometimes broke the vessels in two. I wonder if the bow of the Titanic "jumped" because of some underwater explosion or implosion which created a shockwave or bubble inside the ship which forced part of it to jump. When the Titanic broke some survivors said the bow was shaking and reeling, and the stern was trembling and heaving. Sparks and coal were shooting out of the funnels and some said many people were killed by the explosion as both sections tore apart. As the Titanic sinking is unprecedented we really have nothing to compare it with. Often wonder what materials inside the ship could have been involved in the breaking. e.g. Something in the kitchens or stores reacting to a broken pipe or pressures and exploding e.g. Flour or sugar.


    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  2. Kyle Naber

    Kyle Naber Member

    I've wondered the same thing recently!
    sir john adams likes this.
  3. I've also entertained the idea that..the bow didn't necessarily resurface...at lease by itself..but the entire ship simply moved back a bit, or just teetered like a seasaw.
  4. Kyle Naber

    Kyle Naber Member

    I agree. Perhaps the explosions forced the bow upwards as seen in this Britannic sinking simulation:

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  5. Yeah, I think its possible the ship was teetering at a point. This is suggested in the excellent book "On a sea of glass" by authors Tad Fitch, J. Kent Layton and Bill Wormstedt. The explosion simply caused the teetering motion, to be more noticeable.
  6. Those of a certain age who grew up in Cleveland, Ohio will remember the phrase, "Cool it with the boom-booms!" If you weren't there, it can't be explained. But, I dredge this cultural nugget of fool's gold out of the dim past for a reason...explosions aren't always a big Hollywood special effect. And, there are many possible sources for big thuds that might be described as "explosions." So, cool it with the boom-booms. Look away from fantastic possibilities and start looking for logical reasons behind the testimonies of survivors.

    My late friend, Dennis Hale, was the sole survivor (also he name of his book) of a ship that broke apart on the surface. He was no armchair expert. He was there. When he talked about 1.125-inch plates ripping apart he said, "the steel exploded. It didn't rip, it exploded." Frankly, I'll believe his description over fantasies based on entertainments. But, guess I'm just someone of a certain age who qualifies for the title of "curmudgeon."

    -- David G. Brown
    Daniel A. Soto and Rob Lawes like this.
  7. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    I could believe the explosive sounds were caused by the ship breaking, but as several survivors said the explosions were 20 - 30 minutes apart and that sparks and coal were seen shooting out of the funnels and many people were killed by the second much larger explosion I have to suspect all possible causes. Currently researching water pressures and how effective they were against the Titanic, especially as she was surrounded by extreme temperatures and the density of ice. Perhaps the implosion of the stern occurred much closer to the surface and broke the ship in two? Then again, perhaps when the Titanic sank deeper in the water the water pressures outside the hull were enormous, even more so, if the density of ice was making the pressures more extreme.

    2 inch steel is cut using water pressure.

    Here is a video about the pressures on the exterior of an object. If the lowest decks had sunk about 60 feet below the surface then perhaps the hull might have buckled open. In this video we see what happens when a bottle is pushed down just 32 feet below the surface.

    If the compartments or rooms in the middle were not yet flooded, or were airtight, perhaps the pressures outside were squeezing the sides of the middle section until it buckled and broke the ship (especially if the port side was much deeper owing to the list to port).

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  8. I'll have to agree with David, as I've never seen a ship break apart before my eyes. There is one thing I must note, that has me a bit confused. We know the boilers didn't burst that night, but has there been any explanation given as to why the boilers in boiler room two seem to be caved in, all in the same manner? Was this just a result of the breakup?
  9. Possibly they imploded as the stern rapidly submerged.
    Their are several videos on YouTube which depict steel drums imploding
    I'm sure that boilers dropping 100 feet in three minutes is quite a pressure difference in a short amount of time
    . And even after the stern submerges. And drops even more rapidly
    Daniel A. Soto likes this.
  10. Maybe. Those boilers are sitting at the end of the bow, right at the break area. Maybe they were still hot when they were submerged. I believe the boilers in boiler room 2 were being used to power the ships electrical system.
  11. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    Do we have any photographic evidence of the condition of the other boiler rooms? Would be interesting to see if they were affected in any way.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  12. I don't believe we do. I think all we have are the boilers from boiler room one and two. Now of course I do not believe that they played a role in the break up. I think that has been ruled out for some time now. But if the boilers in boiler room 2 did collapse, slightly, maybe that could also explain some of the noises.
  13. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hi Daniel!

    Thre is an area of the sea bed east of the stern section named the boiler field. They discovered boilers there. These, I believe, were located in boiler room No.1 just forward of the engine room. I also believe that the rest of the boilers are still in their original locations.
    We know that the ship broke into two major parts. The part of the ship's bottom forward of the main engine room in Boiler Room 1., which joined the two parts and which contained a double bottom tank on top of which were mounted the boilers, was ripped from it's location. It would separate in two places. When that happened, the amount of energy released must have been enormous. You might say, "things went with two BANGS". It is possible that there were several other smaller bangs when the boiler stools separated from the tank top.
    Daniel A. Soto and Kyle Naber like this.
  14. Kyle Naber

    Kyle Naber Member

    Like what is heard here
  15. Yes you are correct. Had it ever been determined what caused the damage to the boilers in boiler room 2?
  16. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    I didn't know they were damaged. Daniel. These boilers are very serious bits of kit... pressure vessels if you like. However, being torn from their mounting by such force, probably wasn't accounted-for when they were designed.
  17. Yes sir, I believe the boilers in boiler room two, all sustained the exact same damage. They all appear to be crushed in, or collapsed at the top.
  18. PRR5406

    PRR5406 Member

    When a ship goes down in the last loss of buoyancy, the trapped air is driven upward and has to escape. This is a bit like the compression stroke of a Diesel engine. As "Titanic" makes her final plunge, vents start blasting air outward, and after submersion, the stern inevitably implodes. My question is, does the air temperature soar in the compression, much like a piston/engine relationship? Has such an event ever been recorded with instruments?
    This discussion arises with the loss of both U.S. Navy submarines, "Thresher" and "Scorpion", as well. In the case of "Thresher", there were stored barrels of oil carried aboard. While I have to believe the destruction of the submarine was the result of water pressure and the massive expansion of the escaped air, could a Diesel effect have instantaneously occurred?
    The thread here is the compression and temperature relationship, not necessarily ignition.
    Daniel A. Soto likes this.
  19. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    May I call you PRR?
    Interesting observations.

    You are correct that when a compartment is breached, any air in that compartment is displaced by the water. The pressure of the escaping air is initially equal to the pressure of the inundation.to exit via the vents. The temperature of the escaping air is unchanged since, inlike the gas on a cylinder, it is not compressed. However, if the compartment is not breached, the pressure and temperature of the air in it and the stored pressure of any liquids it contains, are unaltered.
  20. Doug Criner

    Doug Criner Member

    The accident reports for Thresher and Scorpion are readily available. Their wrecksites have been explored. It was concluded that Thresher, which was on its initial sea trials, suffered a ruptured high-pressure seawater pipe which flooded the engineering spaces, resulting in loss of propulsion and depth control, and caused the ship's sinking. It was concluded that Scorpion sank due to the explosion of a torpedo warhead during routine maintenance while submerged.

    I have some experience on nuclear submarines, and find the notion that Thresher had oil stored in barrels and which somehow led to its loss, to be incredible. When a submarine sinks, for whatever reason, any unflooded compartments, will ultimately fail, causing their immediate flooding - no "diesel effect" needed.