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Jul 9, 2000
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>>The pressure at a depth of 10 ft is exactly the same whether its the atlantic ocean or a swimming pool.<<

Yes? And?

A rapidly expanding cloud of steam...if there was one....versus the mass of the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean wins out every time.
 

danny perry

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happily at the time of the explosion even those onboard Lusitania didnt feel they were floundering in the open ocean just yet. We have just been arguing about how big the hole in the side of Lusitania was, and it wasnt big enough to let in the whole ocean all at once. It made little difference to the flooding that the ship was at sea: it would have been exactly the same if she was in harbour or an enclosed dock. There was no violent storm bringing waves crashing onto the deck and through the skylights. What did make a difference was that she was underway, so water was forced into the hole.
 
May 3, 2002
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I have followed all this quite closely and it makes good reading.
I would like to offer the following thoughts

"As I just posted on the other thread, did the bow hit the sea bed while the stern was still afloat? only needs maybe 25 degree tilt?"
Danny I don't believe this happened and here's why...
nose_stand_myth_.jpg


no one would have kept their feet much less enable #15 to leave the ship with over 80 souls on board.

I think the idea comes from the testimony of Officer Jones who left in #15

"927. ...and then she went down by the head
herself, and. I take it as far as I can
judge, she upended herself until her
nose touched the bottom and then she sank
down herself.

928. So, according to you, she got into a
position almost vertical? - I should say
she had an angle of about 30 degrees from
perpendicular.
930. Then, I think you went off, with #15 ..."
-Mersey Inquiry

I first encountered this in a Commutator Article by Eric Sauder and wrote him back in 2002 about it. From there I did a scale drawing test with scaled sea depth. In many books the inforemation of the sinking, in some respects, has been all throwen together.

It is only here, recently, that I have been able to unpackage what really was going on. Much credit must lie with Jim but also the quality of the debate which allows examination and questions of evidence to be engaged in.

regards and thanks

Martin
 

danny perry

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your diagram looks about right and I measure it as 25 degrees tilt. If you sank the ship a bit further the 2nd class island would still be above the water at only 20 degrees. I seem to remember that the officers reported 15 degrees list shortly after the torpedo hit, plus I gather a bit of camber on the deck, so at the last there would still be some ship left with a few people hanging on at not hugely more slope than when people had been rushing about the boat. Personally, the idea came when I noticed it was a 240m ship in only 90m of water. It is not unknown for ships to end up narrow end down on the sea bed and the remainder sticking up out of the water, if only temporarily. If survivors have reported she sank flat, then fair enough, but theoretically the bulkheads were supposed to be keeping water out of the stern. Should we take it that the water reported sloshing about in cabin corridors would be above the level of bulkheads, so could just run back and down into the stern? There might still be hot boilers waiting to be flooded which could account for noises and explosions at the end, but bumping along the sea bed would also explain it.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>>I think the idea comes from the testimony of Officer Jones who left in #15

<<"927. ...and then she went down by the head
herself, and. I take it as far as I can
judge, she upended herself until her
nose touched the bottom and then she sank
down herself.

Garbage.

Allow me to question Jones.

Sir, you were in boat #15, is that correct?
You were in a boat that had 80-86 people in it when it was lowered. Or, not lowered as the case may be. Water came up underneath it, washed it across the boat deck, and into the stays of funnel #3.

You and Assistant Purser Harkness used oars to push the boat out of the stays. The funnel then came down on top of your boat as the ship heeled. Passengers covered their heads, fell into the bottom of the boat, and in at least 4 cases jumped out and began swimming for it.

One would describe this as a mortal danger situation, would one not?

The ship righted herself a bit, and the funnel swung away from you, shortly thereafter sinking into the water beside your boat and swallowing those who jumped out.

You were then washed between funnels #3 and #4, and the ship sank away underneath you.

(Think of the memory Barbara McDermott had buried somewhere deep in her subconscious. She was in that boat, along with her mother. I thought of that each time we met)

How, may I ask, were you in any position to judge the angle of the ship as she sank?
 

danny perry

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well, there is the question of why the ships is doing all this leaning over and then righting. running across obstructions on the sea bed might account for it.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Interesting image Martin!
It remembers me to the drawings which were made by survivor Byington (?) for the Daily Mail. It shows like yours a "Titanic like" sinking.
While the survivor accounts shown by Jim speak more for the Bernard drawing published in the Illustrated London News.

I don't think that she went with such a big tilt. Maybe a little lesser about 10° tilt. Have no much time to go into more detail...
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>We have just been arguing about how big the hole in the side of Lusitania was, and it wasnt big enough to let in the whole ocean all at once. <<

And not blow it out all at once either. Anything which could have done that would have been just as likely to come very close to blowing the hull girder in half, or come alarmingly close to it. At the very least, it would have left a honking big hole in the side larger then the torpedo warhead did. Obviously, this didn't happen.

The fact that the ship continued to make way under her own power for around five minutes...as Jim pointed out in the "Flames" discussion...renders this point entirely moot. Ships which have burst boilers don't make way under their own power.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Don't sounds for me that she stopped directly after the torpedo hit her.

103. What did you do then?
- Put her head on to the land, and then I saw she had a lot of way on her and was not sinking, so I put her full speed astern, to take the way off her.

104. When you did that, was there any response from the engines?
- None whatever.

105. What did you conclude from that?
- That the engines were out of commission.

Captain Turner
 

danny perry

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>>The fact that the ship continued to make way under her own power for around five minutes..

She continued moving but not under her own power. The captain tried to use reverse engines to come to a halt, but there was no power. So she kept moving, as ships do. Try standing in front of 30,000 tons of steel doing 20mph and see how much it slows when it hits you.

Im quite sure when schweiger says 'stopped' he meant engines stopped. Thats really the only thing he could have meant because no way on earth did that ship (or any other) stop dead in the water after being hit.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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>>>>The fact that the ship continued to make way under her own power for around five minutes..

She continued moving but not under her own power. The captain tried to use reverse engines to come to a halt, but there was no power. So she kept moving, as ships do.<<

I am sure Michael knows that. Even if the order to reserve the engines had been carried out (if I remember right it was not) the ship would have travelled about 1-2 miles before she stopped.
 

danny perry

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im assuming there was a catastrophic steam failure associated with the initial explosion(s). Hence reports of big clouds of steam, being unable to breathe (though that could be fumes), reported by lots of people the power failure, engines stopping reported in at least one of the accounts posted above somewhere, accounts I have read that helm failed, and then that collapse of steam pressure was reported by engineers. I dont know if anyone ordered engines stopped or they simply stopped by themselves. i noted an account of propellors still turning when they came out of the water. I wouldnt be surprised if this was the ships momentum and water drag pushing round the props rather than the props pushing round the water.

I would presume that the generators were designed to run on very low pressure so would be the last thing to fail when the steam pressure went. I have posted already that the steam exhausting seems to have taken a minute or two or three: It would be very nice to have an expert on steam pressure to talk knowledgeably about what you would expect if a steam pipe is broken open, how long the pressure would hold up and so forth. What was the minimum pressure needed to run the engines at all?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>The captain tried to use reverse engines to come to a halt, but there was no power.<<

Actually, what happened would have been the Captain sending orders to reverse engines by way of the engine room telegraph. Back then, there was no such thing as direct control of the engines from the bridge.

It's a fine technicality but an important one.

One possibility which comes to mind is that the engine room telegraph simply wasn't working. Explosions which rip hulls open are not kind to transmission lines of any sort, manual or electrical.

Another possibility is that they were working but any of the engineers who survived the explosion of the warhead were too busy being scalded to death, or trying to avoid it to take any special notice of the fact.
 

danny perry

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According to preston engineers stated afterwards the steam pressure had collapsed, so there was nothing to be done. Couldnt say if this is a reliable report. The bridge officers are also reported as having first tried to turn the ship and found the steering packed up, and then ordered reverse. I would be inclined to think the steering failure happened at the same time as the engine failure. Steering did not fail instantly as a result of the explosion but a little after. (they did manage to turn). As far as I know there was no direct damage to machinery, so all the failures are from loss of steam to drive everything. Similarly, the electricity failure is a third system failing at about the same time.

Incidentally, whether or not the captains reasoning was to turn towards the shore to get the ship closer, turning away from the submarine was probably the action which a large naval vessel would have taken in case of further torpedoes. Jellicoe explicitly had this recorded and confirmed as soon as he took command of the grand fleet.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>According to preston engineers stated afterwards the steam pressure had collapsed, so there was nothing to be done. Couldnt say if this is a reliable report.<<

When I have the chance, I'll need to check the Inquiry transcripts to see if any of the survivors spoke to this under oath. If you want to, you could go to http://www.titanicinquiry.org/Lusitania/indx.php and see for yourself. You might beat me to it.

>>Jellicoe explicitly had this recorded and confirmed as soon as he took command of the grand fleet.<<

A reasonable course of action since this would screw up any submarine's firing solution.
 

danny perry

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i really shouldnt read these things, you just find out what idiots people were, either actually or deliberately. The engineer george little was asked what orders he got, and he explained full astern on the port telegraph, then full ahead. Only later does he mention after further questions that in fact he could not carry out these orders because the steam pressure was 'very much reduced'. He never says how much, the lawyers volunteer that he had said reduced to 50 lbs, but in that transcript at least, he never does say it himself. At the end he is asked whether he knew why and says 'I do not know definitely'. Then he was sent home, so we do not have the benefit of what he knew not quite definitely.

This port telegraph business. I would assume the port telegraph is for the port engine, so it was an order to reverse port but stay full ahead starboard. The court did not seem to understand this, but reversing one engine would be an order to turn fast, not stop.

Or maybe there were several engine telegraphs (which pictures seem to suggest there were) and people took orders from whichever one happened to be in use at that time? Dont see it myself, but hey.
 
May 3, 2002
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I have just comleted a large graphic which was inspired by something Eric Sauder once wrote in the Commutator about how he thought the ship sank. I am also indebted to the knowledge that Jim Kalafus shared. Thanks to the both of you.
Profiles reproduced by kind permission of Eric Sauder.
sailing_under_the_sea.jpg


Many thanks for your comments on previous graphic.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Thanks for sharing Martin! I agree that this show what most likely happened. I never believed into a "Titanic like" sinking with a stern high in the air and the forward two funnels under water.
This is the best I have ever seen yet.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Indeed it is.

What is frustrating, from a research point of view, is that so few survivors wrote about the bow-to-stern mechanics of the sinking. You can exhaustively document the odd port-to-starboard rolling thru things written May 8- 14, but very few references were made to how high the stern lifted.

That always led me to believe that it didnt lift. At least not in a dramatic death plunge fashion.

I know the props came out of the water.... while attempting to aid a man who had been torn by a port propeller, Dr Foss was struck in the back by one of the blades as it made its final, slow, revolution. And others got a slightly less close view of them.

One of the most accurate letters we've found ~ massively detailed AND the details check out~ was written on May 8/9 by a man who told his wife that he was 100 feet above the water before the ship sank. Since he was already about 60 feet away from the water (atop the second class deck house)IF he wasnt using a convenient, round number to illustrate how high the ship tilted, it would indicate a lift of about 40 feet out of the water.

You can document the final state of the list easily. As Rita Jolivet and party came out of the main entrance on the boat deck, port side, water came over the top of the deck house and landed on top of them, knocking her out of her shoes. This could only happen if there was still a list to starboard as the deck house submerged. When the starboard boat deck submerged, Maud Thompson and her party were washed lengthwise down the deck, from bow to stern, which indicates that the upward lift was not all that great when the water finally came on to that deck.

Mrs. Bretherton, who escaped in the last boat, was one of three or four people to separately describe an incident in which a woman with an infant fell, and slid down the deck. There was something in the wording of those accounts that made me think bow-to-stern. So, the angle MAY have been steep enough to upset the balance of someone with full arms.

The VERY few people with a good view of the sinking.... those in Arthur Scott's boat, which got away early... concentrated on describing people jumping from the ship, the heel to starboard, and the noise. They seem maddeningly vague on the lift or lack of....
 
May 3, 2002
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Many thank s Ioannis and Jim.
They are also based on my interpretation of what I have read at ET and elsewhere. James Camerons' TITANIC informed my knowledge of what happens on a deck when it trims beyond aceertain angle. That Officers & crew were working boats [#15 et al] and the absense of a mass taboggoning event of people tell me what was represented by Norman Wilkinson and other couldn't have happened. Imagine if someone actually managed to save a photographic record of the event. I know some were shooting what they saw.

People in sea during and after final plunge: Based on TITANIC viewing would it be accurate to suggest that survivors would have thrashed about like that after the Lusi had left them behind? A difference of 10deg c or 19deg f

It sounds like Rita J survived by the skin of her teeth. Any longer delay in her move to the boatdeck would have seen her lost with no body to recover afterwards. Is this the fate of those whose body were never found ie Vanderbilt?

Again Jim your posts are highly informative, thanks.

Danny, the Mersey [inquiry] transcipts
are interesting reading but you need a good BS detector because there are good pickings here. Having said that it was also quite revealing if approached with mindfully.

Port telegraph order tells me Cpt. Turner was using his engines to help turn the ship to land. As to the use of telegraphs, I think a junior crewman is delegated to receive orders from Cpt. or OOD and ring them down to his opposite number in ER who would call outthe oder to his senior with him on the Starting Platform.

The inquiry public and incamera would be a good book in its own right if approached with a broad solid knowledge of British law, politics and the event inquired into.
The only thing missing is tonality of voice which also reveals much not conveyed in words alone.
 
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