How the break-up occurred

Kyle Naber

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Though, where did they pull the 23 degree from? From what I remember, wasn't the angle at which the stress on the hull was at it's peak about 12-15 degrees?
The team originally found that 19 degrees was the maximum angle, but Jeffrey Stettler revised it to 23 degrees after further structural research.
 

Kyle Naber

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Another piece of evidence that supports a “high” angle break comes from the testimony of Frederick Barrett:

“We saw her head sink until her stern was well out of the water with the propellers in the air. Then she broke in half. The weight of half out of the water being too great of strain I suppose. The after end sank down. Down level with the water for a few moments. And then as the water rushed in it, it went down at a angle again, and slid down gently beneath the waves.”
 

R.M.S TITANIC

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This might be a little late, but did anyone consider that the two fingers Beth was holding up for the stern could be the fourth funnel and the AFT mast?
 

Kyle Naber

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I doubt it. She was most likely showing the location of the break (which she correctly remembered being between the four funnels).
 

R.M.S TITANIC

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Okay. Just wanted to know, because it was something that just hit me.

Also... one thing. What about the stern? After the break up, the stern basically acts like another ship, so how will it flood enough to pull the front end down far enough so that it will start a chain reaction?
 

drjamess

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The ship broke from the bottom up. B Deck with its reinforced two inch thick steel plating held the ship together. Titanic's stern was dragged under the surface until B Deck failed. The ship's stern would've bobbed there until it sank.
 

Scott Mills

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I will present what I call the "Hinge Theory". I know that others have already introduced this concept. But I couldn't find the articles again, so I just looked at the debris field and the survivors' accounts, and started over.

PRINCIPLES TO KEEP IN MIND

PRINCIPLE ONE: Events happening slowly in water generate very little friction to stop large objects from moving.

The biggest lesson from that principle is that as the Titanic was sinking, it was also drifting in the direction that it had last been going--from Northeast to Southwest. That’s Newton’s First Law regarding objects in motion staying in motion. It’s quite understandable that a ship of this size and speed would have had a momentum that was more responsible for its location changes than the ocean current. “All Stop” on the engine order telegraph did not stop the ship; it stopped only the propellers.

The second lesson is that any movement of one large piece of the ship would cause bounce, wobble, teeter-totter, roll, etc., in another piece. For every action, there would be a reaction that could be sensed in some way (seen, heard, felt) by people. It’s Newton’s Third Law about actions and reactions. Water would allow the momentum of the ship parts to have larger-than-expected effects.
I will not get into a discussion about Titanic making way again after the collision everywhere, so I will leave that to the side for the moment and say, you are correct... but... using Newton's 3rd Law and the Law of the Conservation of Momentum...

  1. The evidence given by the two people in the engine room/turbine room both during, and then for 30 to 40 minutes after, the collision suggests that Titanic was eventually (after being run ahead some more) ordered to make 'slow astern' revolutions. This indicates that someone on Titanic's bridge ordered the ship be brought to a halt;
  2. Even had Titanic not been purposefully halted by running her engines 'slow astern,' from the moment the engines are stopped Titanic is losing momentum. This is because neither the water nor air Titanic is traveling through are actually frictionless. In other words, Titanic would have been losing momentum through drag caused by both the air and water.
    1. Titanic also begins bleeding momentum the moment her helm is turned hard over; then
    2. Loses some more momentum as a result of the collision, even though the blow was glancing;
  3. From collision to foundering Titanic took roughly 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink;
Maybe this is not what you are saying, but leaving aside points one and all of two, with the exception of water and air causing drag, it seems to me that even had Titanic just stopped her engines, and not collided with anything, her momentum would have been effectively no more than her ambient drift with the current two hours and forty minutes later.

Now add on to this that Titanic did maneuver to avoid ice and did strike ice... it seems even more unlikely that two hours and forty minutes later she would still have any of the momentum she had in virtue of her engines.

Finally, add to this that the testimony from those who were in a position to read the engine room telegraphs, it is very likely that Titanic's crew actively brought her to a halt, then it seems even more unlikely for Titanic to have reserved any of her original momentum.

Of course, going back to my original comment about not commenting on Titanic making way after the collision... obviously this problematizes what I am saying, but only slightly.

This is because, taken as a whole there is pretty damn convincing (to me at least) evidence that after the initial collision, Titanic was ordered to make forward revolutions on her engines for an unknown period of time somewhere between 2 and 25 minutes. Personally, I think we can actually narrow this to somewhere between 5 and 15 minutes, but that is a different conversation.

Now, without rehashing the evidence that supports Titanic making way after the collision, much of my initial premises still govern:

  • Evidence from the engine room suggests Titanic was brought purposefully to a halt with reverse revolutions on her engines;
  • Even if we assume Titanic resumed forward progress for the maximum amount of time (25 minutes), it took 2 hours and 15 minutes from that point for her to founder;
  • Therefore, it still seems incredibly unlikely she had preserved any of her original momentum by the time Titanic's hull failed and she foundered.
 
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drjamess

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The breakup was probably very sudden and dramatic. Survivor testimonies confirm this. I apologize if I get their names wrong or if there is no name for them, there is a lot of names to memorize. :)

Mrs. Hippach- "We heard a fearful explosion. I saw the ship split open."
John Snyder- "The Titanic was torn in two."
"She exploded in the water."
"After she got to a certain angle she exploded."
Jack Thayer- "Suddenly, the whole superstructure appeared to split well forward amidships."

We can assume that the second funnel collapsed almost immediately before the breakup.
As one survivor put it, "the second funnel seemed to be lifted off, emitting a cloud of sparks."

These testimonies suggests that the breakup occurred violently and suddenly.
 

Kyle Naber

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I agree. The “explosions” hint that a large amount of energy was released in a very small amount of time whereas a gradual break would have been a more dulled rumbling that continued for a minute or two. Not saying that a sudden break means one or two seconds, but it probably took the stern 10 seconds from beginning of the break to settle completely back in the water.
 

drjamess

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Sep 24, 2019
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I will present a theory I have come up with, I do not support it, I still support the Mengot theory, but this is just an idea.

The ship settles to the bridge, angle of 9-12 degrees.
Cracks form in the superstructure and double bottom. Boiler Room No 4 floods at the same time the cracks form. Shafts carry water to the remaining boiler rooms, at the same time, the area around the cracked double bottom floods as well.
The ship's bow settles bodily, Titanic's bottom completely fails. She begins cracking bottom up. Her boat deck floods and her port list disappears. Those on the starboard side have the illusion of the bow "rising it." Titanic's forward two funnels fall. Because of the sudden massive hull failure, sparks fly out of the top of the funnels. The grand staircase dome fails and water floods the upper decks of Titanic's bow rapidly. Titanic's bow goes under, the upper towers fall off, the stern is dragged vertical as Titanic's upper decks completely fail, breaking the ship in two completely. The stern goes under.

Things this theory attempts to explain.
Sparks flying out of the ship.
The bow rising from the water.
Conflicting survivor testimonies that say she broke in front of the third funnel, right behind it, or right in front of the fourth funnel.