Icebergs and Field Ice

Mar 22, 2003
5,224
664
273
Chicago, IL, USA
Yuri asks a good question. The explanation may be a bit technical for some, but here goes.

The centripetal force needed to keep a ship (or any object) in a turn of constant radius must be proportional to the square of the velocity of the object. The hydrodynamic force created on the hull for a given drift angle (the angle of attack) happens to be proportional to the square of the ship's velocity. So for a given rudder angle the turning radius should ideally remain the same once the turn has been established over a range of speeds. In other words, if the speed increases or decreases the force needed to keep a constant radius turn should automatically follow in direct proportion. Practically, the increase in hydrodynamic force is such that the turning radius increases very slightly at higher speeds, but not enough to make any significant difference. (See p. 771 of the British Inquiry, Roche's testimony from the Marine Engineer's Association.)

The story with an airplane is a little different because of how the plane turns. On an airplane the radius of turn will increase for a higher airspeed unless the bank angle is steepened. The reason for this is that for a fixed angle of bank in a turn the airplane pilot would have to lower the angle of attack of the wings to allow the speed to increase without increasing the vertical component of lift. That component must always equal the weight of the airplane in order to maintain altitude. In that case the centripetal component of the wing's lift, the component that causes the plane to follow a curved path, also remains the same as it was before if the angle of bank was kept the same. So in this case we have greater airspeed with no change in centripetal force, and the turning radius automatically increases to balance things out.

Centripetal force is proportional to the square of velocity and inversely proportional to the turn radius.
 

Jessie M.

Member
Jan 13, 2019
20
6
3
While not necessarily as interesting as the other threads around here, a little something caught my attention. I forgot who it was that gave this testimony; but at some point (either before or during the rescue by Carpathia) someone said that once the sun was up they realized that they were surrounded by field ice. Now, I'm a noob when it comes to terms like this, but I'm pretty sure that either means loads and loads of icebergs for miles... or maybe a long and thick sheet of ice. Again, absolute noob with this stuff.

So I was wondering... Unless the lifeboats drifted a good distance from where Titanic had once been, would the situation with the ice have been more like this?
44704

(Sorry for the God awful doodle, folks! Also, yeah I know the ship chugged on for a tiny bit longer after the iceberg the pic is just a summery :p)
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
4,794
557
183
Funchal. Madeira
Good question.

So many people pontificate on this subject and, to a certain extent, it is because the so-called "experts" don't seem to want to agree.
An ice field is just that...a field of ice. Pack is just that... a lot of ice packed together.
Captain Rostron claimed the ice field stretched in a northwest - southeast direction. The US Hydrographic Office incorrectely plotted it in a NNE to SSW direction (to accomodate the incorrect distress position.
In fact, your "God-awful doodle" is not too far off the mark. Ad a few "ice bergs" toward the left hand bottom of your page and you "get the real picture".
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lyle and Jessie M.

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
202
13
18
Usa
It is a good question.
Everybody believes that the Titanic, her lifeboats and the Californian were all drifting in the same set of currents.
However, if is probably not the case. The Titanic and later her lifeboats might have been drifting west with the speed of 3 knots or more. The Californian might have been drifting south east, and then north.
They were approaching each other at first. Later they were getting away from each other.
Anything is possible. Not only it is possible but accepting such a drift as a possibility could help to explain many testimonies that are hard to explain now.
For example, Mr. Stone testified the Titanic was changing bearing. He could have been right.

I also noted that the captain of the Mount Temple testified he saw the Carpathia 5-6 miles away on the other site of the ice field.
She should have been more as 13 miles away from the Mount Temple.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,224
664
273
Chicago, IL, USA
I also noted that the captain of the Mount Temple testified he saw the Carpathia 5-6 miles away on the other site of the ice field.
No he didn't. He testified that Carpathia was on the east side of the pack ice and that the pack ice was about 5 to 6 miles in width. He did not say how far Carpathia was from the eastern edge of the field. That we know from Rostron, which at that time was about 4 to 5 miles east of it. Mount Temple was longitude 50° 09.5'W at close to 7am. She was further east than her overnight DR position because, like Carpathia, she was carried eastward by the Gulf Stream current which was running ENE down in latitudes south of about 41° 20'N. No mysteries here.
 

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
202
13
18
Usa
On what basis is this piece of pure speculation built upon?
It is a speculation, which is based on the testimonies of the eyewitnesses, and on oceanographic situations, which are entirely possible in the area. My speculation accounts for the testimonies which your own speculations cannot explain.
No he didn't. He testified that Carpathia was on the east side of the pack ice and that the pack ice was about 5 to 6 miles in width. He did not say how far Carpathia was from the eastern edge of the field. That we know from Rostron, which at that time was about 4 to 5 miles east of it. Mount Temple was longitude 50° 09.5'W at close to 7am. She was further east than her overnight DR position because, like Carpathia, she was carried eastward by the Gulf Stream current which was running ENE down in latitudes south of about 41° 20'N. No mysteries here.
Senator SMITH.
How near the Carpathia did you get that morning?

Mr. MOORE.
This pack of ice between us and the Carpathia, it was between 5 and 6 miles. She did not communicate with me at all. When we sighted her she must have sighted us.

As you see he responded a direct question “how near the Carpathia did you get that morning?”
He was not asked how wide was the ice field.

And here is more

Senator SMITH.
Does that indicate that the Titanic might have sunk in a different position?

Mr. MOORE.
I do not think it proves anything, as far as my going is concerned, because I must have been at least 5 miles to the westward of where the Titanic sank.

This great field of ice was 5 miles at least between us and the Carpathia, where she had picked up these lifeboats.
 
Last edited:
May 3, 2005
2,176
170
133
>>I suppose that the cold temperature of the ice would also affect the way the weapon worked, maybe even stopping it from working. <<

Well maybe, but then the catch here is that icebergs...even the smallest ones...tend to be pretty massive. There's just so much sheer mass there to absorb the energy. The Navy and Coast Gaurd has tried a lot of schemes from black coatings to speed up melting, to charges of thermite being placed. At best, the thermite burns some small holes in the monster and black coatings tend to melt or wash off in short order. When you get down to it, during any season, you have so much ice in the water that even if you could blast them to bits, you still couldn't hope to get them all.

Since you can't really beat 'em, the best way to deal with icebergs is to be aware of where they are, and to make a point of not being where they are.
You have to keep in mind that the iceberg is very massive.
Isn't only about 1/8 of the iceberg is over the water and 7/8 of the iceberg is hidden below the water ?
 

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
908
427
73
South Wales UK
Am I alone in thinking that 'Alex P' is none other than our old friend 'Mila' under a new alias? I can reference 2 other threads where 'Alex P' has posted recently.
 

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
202
13
18
Usa
No he didn't. He testified that Carpathia was on the east side of the pack ice and that the pack ice was about 5 to 6 miles in width. He did not say how far Carpathia was from the eastern edge of the field.
What about this testimony given by Captain Rostron

At 5 o'clock it was light enough to see all round the horizon. We then saw two steamships to the northwards, perhaps seven or eight miles distant. Neither of them was the 'Californian.' One of them was a four-masted steamer with one funnel, and the other a two-masted steamer with one funnel. I never saw the 'Mount Temple' to identify her.

If one of the steamers was The Mount Temple the distance between the two was still much less than 13.5 miles.
 

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
202
13
18
Usa
Am I alone in thinking that 'Alex P' is none other than our old friend 'Mila' under a new alias? I can reference 2 other threads where 'Alex P' has posted recently.
The question was not addressed to me, but I hope you do not mind me responding it. If you’ve read the threads I’ve posted recently you should probably know that I’m Mila’s cousin and that I’ve read her unpublished book and that I agree with her speculations in regards to the currents.
 

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
908
427
73
South Wales UK
'Alex P' you appear to have a very great similarity with Mila's posts; the tone, content, wording, etc, and flitting about from thread to thread.

If you are Mila's cousin, then so be it, and you will be considered as such ie very closely linked to Mila by me at least, if not quite a few others, though personally I think honesty and lack of duplicity is what this forum expects.

Hopefully, you have a better grasp of things than your cousin, and a more open approach, without pursuing certain agendas, though the following suggests otherwise, and remarkably similar to Mila's posts:-



Cheers,

Julian
 
Last edited:
Mar 22, 2003
5,224
664
273
Chicago, IL, USA
It is a speculation, which is based on the testimonies of the eyewitnesses, and on oceanographic situations, which are entirely possible in the area.
What oceanographic situations have ever document currents running at 3 knots in a westerly direction in that area? And eyewitness accounts are all over the map, for example take this gem:
Mr. BULEY. Yes, sir; bow on toward us; and then she stopped, and the lights seemed to go right by us.
Senator FLETCHER. If she had gone by you, she would have been to your stern?
Mr. BULEY. She was stationary there for about three hours, I think, off our port, there, and when we were in the boat we all made for her, and she went by us. The northern lights are just like a searchlight, but she disappeared. That was astern of where the ship went down.

This pack of ice between us and the Carpathia, it was between 5 and 6 miles.
That is an observation on the width of the pack ice, not how far his ship was from the ice nor Carpathia's distance from the ice on the opposite side. He could have been a mile off and carpathia 4 miles off with the 5-6 mile wide field in between the two. Furthermore, you cannot use what was seen at 5am when talking about a situation seen around 6-6:30am. MT was was not stationary nor was Carpathia between those times.

Julian, I'll let our friend Alex explain it to you about their relationship.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,092
169
223
Moderator's hat on:

Please end the personality discussion now and leave suggestions of "duplicity" outside.

Moderator's hat off.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AlexP

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
908
427
73
South Wales UK
Mark,

I merely commented that honesty and lack of duplicity is what this forum expects.

Surely you would agree?

I did not, and I was very particular not to do this, to accuse 'Alex P'/Mila of duplicity, merely it would be forum protocol.

Perhaps someone is being a bit too touchy on the 'report' thingy.

Cheers,

Julian
 

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
202
13
18
Usa
for example take this gem:
Mr. BULEY.
No, sir. We were lying to there. The people in the boat were very frightened that there would be some suction. If there had been any suction we should have been lost. We were close to her. We couldn't get away fast enough. There was nobody to pull away.

And then

She was off our port bow when we struck, and we all started for the same light, and that is what kept the boats together.

So “there was nobody to pull away” or “we all started for the same light”?
This eyewitness contradicts himself, ant that’s why one should not rely on his testimony.
 

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
202
13
18
Usa
Mr. BULEY.
No, sir. We were lying to there. The people in the boat were very frightened that there would be some suction. If there had been any suction we should have been lost. We were close to her. We couldn't get away fast enough. There was nobody to pull away.

And then

She was off our port bow when we struck, and we all started for the same light, and that is what kept the boats together.

So “there was nobody to pull away” or “we all started for the same light”?
This eyewitness contradicts himself, ant that’s why one should not rely on his testimony.
There are some interesting parts in Mr. Buley’s testimony

Senator FLETCHER.
Did she come toward you bow on?

Mr. BULEY.
Yes, sir; bow on toward us; and then she stopped, and the lights seemed to go right by us.

Senator FLETCHER.
If she had gone by you, she would have been to your stern?

Mr. BULEY.
She was stationary there for about three hours, I think, off our port, there, and when we were in the boat we all made for her, and she went by us. The northern lights are just like a searchlight, but she disappeared. That was astern of where the ship went down.

Two times Mr. Buley said that the lights had gone by them. What did Mr. Buley mean in your opinion? Did he mean that the lights he was watching on his left hand side moved to his right hand side?