Issues relating to the ship's breaking in two


Tommy

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Titanic: the final word with James Cameron tries to make an accurate simulation of the sinking using the knowledge we have today. It shows the ship breaking in half between the 2nd and 3rd funnel which can be co-oberated with photos of the wreck and other things like Jack Thayer's drawings. If this is the case then, before, why did people assume it broke between the 3rd and 4th funnel?
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Titanic: the final word with James Cameron tries to make an accurate simulation of the sinking using the knowledge we have today. It shows the ship breaking in half between the 2nd and 3rd funnel which can be co-oberated with photos of the wreck and other things like Jack Thayer's drawings. If this is the case then, before, why did people assume it broke between the 3rd and 4th funnel?

The drawings were not made by Jack Thayer himself, but by Carptahia passenger Skidmore based on what Thayer told him. Interestingly Thayer himself said in 1912 that the ship broke in front of funnel No. 3 but was then "corrected" by others who told him that the ship did not break (Gracie and Lightoller) and that it couldn't have break (by some engineers of that time).
The breaking point between funnels No. 3 & 4 is most likely based on the wrong believe that the weakest point was behind funnel No. 3 (and also the wrongly claim that the aft expansion joint have something to do with the break up). Meanwhile we know that the ship was very strong and the different wreckage (especially deckhouse of funnel No. 3) indicates that the break happened in front of funnel No. 3 as visible on the wreck.

However, researchers are still unsure if it was a bottom up or top down break.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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You should also take into account that the assumption of the ship breaking up between specific features of the ships gives the idea of a clean break up, while I strongly believe that the break up must have affected a very large portion of the ship.

Which is not really confirmed by the wreck and the debris like the high deck pieces (about 2 - 3 decks high) around base funnel No.3 or from the reciprocating engine casing. Several parts of the ship were torn away (from the stern) when it started it's journey to the bottom.
 

TitanicLove

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Signs of break up earlier?

I've read somewhere that some people reported seeing cracks in the walls, and other structural problems, prior to the actual break up. I believe they saw these cracks half an hour before the Titanic split in two. Does anyone know if this is true? Who were these witnesses? I would think that there had to be signs "minutes" before the break up, and that it didn't just split in two within seconds.
 

Brad Rousse

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Structual failures can actually be quite surprising and sudden to the untrained observer. The World Trade Center would be a great example.

As for Titanic's failure, while I don't know of any witnesses off my head who testified to seeing fractures or distortions (feel free to correct me on this, gang), numerous people both in lifeboats and on the ship itself just before the final plunge reported noises that may indicate localizied, partial failures of bulkheads or connections. While I imagine the hull was breaking apart internally for several seconds if not minutes before the actual break-up, no witnesses testified to any signs of imminent failing of the ship's structure. Do keep in mind, also, that the vast vast majority of people who could have spoken to such signs were rather focused on trying to stay alive, and did not survive their immersion in the Atlantic.
 

TimTurner

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I would lean more in favor of a "sudden" breakup. Once one structural member collapses, it puts that much more load on the remaining members. Once a couple of major supports go, the whole thing is going to collapse pretty quickly.

That said, the steel would have safely bent some distance before actually breaking. So the steel part of the ship might have safely bent while wood and paint cracked. Think of a plastic ice cube tray, when you bend it backwards and all of the ice cubes pop out. The tray can bend without breaking. Steel can bend too, up to a point. Passengers and crew might have reported cracks and distortions which were symptoms of the ship bending, but not actually critical failures.
 

TitanicLove

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Thank you, I believe this may be what I read, and believed, because it was from a famous survivor. He said he went down to his cabin around that time, so it's interesting there was some visible signs of structural failure so early on. This was the information I was searching for. Thank you again. Now I wonder.... did anyone else report seeing something like this? I'd also think the floor would've started to separate, or bulge in some areas, maybe some tiles were popping out, as the main structure bent and twisted.
 
Oct 27, 2012
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I've always wondered this particular part of the Joughin's story. It sounds quite significant, but it is underestimated by many researchers, I'm afraid...

At the other hand, I've never heard anything similar from the lips of the other survivors, in fact... Although it doesn't mean that anything like that could happen in reality. The lack of the testimonies on the early breakup (or on the "preparatory break", as I call it) can be explained simply by the fact that no more witnesses have survived this.
 

Adam Went

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No question the Titanic started to tear itself apart well before she took the final plunge, you just can't place that much pressure from the water pouring in on the structure of the ship and expect it to withstand it. The engineers and particularly Thomas Andrews would have been in a much better position to describe the exact damage and its effects on the ship, but unfortunately we all know of their fate.

The worst affected of these areas probably would have been close to the waterline, if not underwater however, which might explain why more of the survivors didn't mention it.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Chief baker Charles Joughin heard the noise of the "iron parting" and saw the water pouring thru the side wall at about 1:30 AM, i. e. almost an hour before the actual (and visible) breakup of the hull.

Sorry to say that this was not the case. Joughin did hear a noise which he described as like iron parting but this was when he was in the pantry on A Deck shortly before he followed the crowd which was running aft. This may have been 1 or 2 minutes before the break.
 
Oct 27, 2012
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This may have been 1 or 2 minutes before the break.
Of course, this may have been, or may have not. The exact time frames are unfort. unknown...

Personally I do not believe he was able to make his famous "marathon run" (from the pantry in the mid of the A Deck to the aft Well Deck) in 1 or 2 minutes (running at the tail end of the crowd)...

Perhaps the above event took place somewhere around 1:50 or even closer to 2:00 AM, it's impossible to say with all certainty.
In any case, Joughin has noticed the water trickling from somewhere above when he was sitting in his cabin at about 1:30 AM...
 
Hello everybody! I would lik to mention that taking into account that usually ships are designed to float. Thus, their structural integrity is not designed to whistand great intakes of water. It is impossible to expect no compromise on the ship given the huge amount of water that was pouring through the gash. However, I think it is highly improbable that this structural compromise would lead to something as espectacular as the beginning of a break up half an hour before the actual break up took place. Of course the steel must have bented and twisted because of the weight of the water, but I thik that there wasn't any structural failure until the last minutes before the break-up. The water would start flooding the pipe system as well, and that is why Joughin noticed the water trickling from somewhere above.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Of course, this may have been, or may have not. The exact time frames are unfort. unknown...

Personally I do not believe he was able to make his famous "marathon run" (from the pantry in the mid of the A Deck to the aft Well Deck) in 1 or 2 minutes (running at the tail end of the crowd)...

Perhaps the above event took place somewhere around 1:50 or even closer to 2:00 AM, it's impossible to say with all certainty.
In any case, Joughin has noticed the water trickling from somewhere above when he was sitting in his cabin at about 1:30 AM...


Joughin did not mentioned any water coming from somewhere above. It was on the floor coming from forward. Due to the port list it was much higher on the port side.


6217. What water did you see, and where was it? - There was not very much water. It would just cover my feet, that is all. The list of the ship sent it down against my settee in the room.
6218. Sent it down from where? - I could not say where it came from.
6219. Was this place of yours on the port side of the ship? - Port side, amidships.
6220. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Would you see the direction from which this water was coming? - I should say it came from forward.
6221. Was there much of it? - No, not much; it just went over my ankles I should say.
6222. Two or three inches? - That is all.
6223. Was it flowing at all rapidly? - No.
6226. Are there any bulkhead doors in the alleyway outside your room?- One immediately outside.
6227. Is that forward or aft? - Forward of my room.
6228. And the water was coming from forward? - The water was coming from forward.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Yes, it is the quotation from his well-known testimony.
But I've read the another source where he mentions the water flows somewhere from the top of the side wall, then accumulating on the floor covering his shoes (if my memory serves well).

I think the story with the water flowing down the side of the wall is in one of the books by Charles Pellegrino. (Possibly Ghosts of the Titanic.) However, as you can see by his testimony, Joughin did not mention anything like that. The water he saw was on the floor and he believes that it must have come from the Scotland Road.
I find the books of Charles Pellegrino intersting but would not take everything as true especially when something else was stated by the survivors.
 
Oct 27, 2012
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Most likely yes, indeed, but I should clarify the source of this information (to refresh it in my memory)!

Anyway, I do believe (and my belief is unchanged) that the mentioned noise of the "iron parting" came well before the actual splitting of the hull. Personally I place this event in the time interval from 01:30 to 02:05 AM, approx.
 

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