Possibility that submarine attack sank the Titanic


Brian Nevius

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Many survivors have testified that they heard explosions AFTER the collision. Some say these explosions came from the boiler room. But I heard another theory that it was possible that a German U-boat could have launched a torpedo into the Titanic. Personally, I don't believe the scratch against the iceberg was enough to cause such large holes in the ship to make it sink. A torpedo, on the other hand, could. Is it not possible that the true answer to the sinking of the Titanic could lie in the shell of a torpedo sitting inside the sunken Titanic?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Brian: There are many people who refuse to believe many things about what happened that night. And in a way that may be good. However, even if there were a lurking submarine in ice infested waters that wanted to do harm to the ship, a torpedo hit would have caused a very distinctive observable event, one which would not have gone unnoticed by those in the lifeboats. As Paul said, many people heard what sounded like explosions as the ship was breaking up. In fact, many of the sounds heard may have been implosions of enclosed compartments withing the sinking hull as it sank. A torpedo hit would have produced much more than noise.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Is it not possible that the true answer to the sinking of the Titanic could lie in the shell of a torpedo sitting inside the sunken Titanic?<<

Nope. None whatever. While tensions were high in Europe at the time, they weren't that bad and even if they had been, the U-boats Germany had at the time just didn't have quite that range and endurance.

>>Many survivors have testified that they heard explosions AFTER the collision.<<

If you take the time to check the The Inquiry Transcripts Themselves you'll find that the "expolsions" correspond to the approximate time of the break up...which would have been a very noisy event....and the time after the stern section slipped below the surface and went deep enough where any air filled spaces would have imploded under the pressure. This is also a noisy event.

>>Personally, I don't believe the scratch against the iceberg was enough to cause such large holes in the ship to make it sink.<<

It wasn't a trivial scratch by any stretch and much of what we described is consistant with a grounding/allision event as described in The Grounding of The Titanic by David G. Brown and Parks Stephenson.

You might want to take note that at no time did anybody mention an explosion at the time the collision/allision with the iceberg occured. Torpedos do indeed make loud noises, and none such were noted at the time the ship suffered the fatal damage.
 

Paul Lee

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Don't knock it Michael. In a few years time, this might be the basis for a best-selling book! Anyone got Robin Gardiner's phone number
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Cheers

Paul

 

Brian Nevius

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Ha! Thanks, Paul. It DOES sound like a pretty good fiction novel, doesn't it? I understand that many explosions occurred (i.e. the kitchen, the boilers, the ship falling apart, etc.), but I viewed a short series on the History Channel in which I heard the theory of the U-boat possibility for the first time. As a matter of fact, some people said they THOUGHT they saw another ship right next to the Titanic around the time they heard these unusual explosions. I also want to clarify that my theory is not confined to just 1 shot by a sub, but possibly more. Personally, I don't believe the damage caused by the iceberg alone is enough to cause the entire ship to founder in just 2 hours time.

Oh, and I enjoy writing fiction; this might be a possibility, you think, Paul?

Brian
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Brian, if your source is The History Channel, I think I can say that it can be very safely dismissed. While they have produced a few documentaries that are very good, they have also produced quite a few turkeys that are legendary for their inaccuracy. The Great Blunders In History showing is a notable example of that.

>>As a matter of fact, some people said they THOUGHT they saw another ship right next to the Titanic around the time they heard these unusual explosions.<<

No they didn't. What the witnesses saw was a ship in the distance, not one right next to the Titanic. Again, go to the inquiries which I provided a link to. That will give you what the witnesses actually said and in context.

>>Personally, I don't believe the damage caused by the iceberg alone is enough to cause the entire ship to founder in just 2 hours time.<<

Enter the logical fallacy of Arguement from Incrduality, stage right. Your inability to accept or believe something doesn't mean it isn't so. A torpedo explosion would have been both noticable and unmistakable and the cold facts are that nobody testifies to any such having occured. There are speculative statements of internal explosions and their cause, but nothing external.

And keep in mind that what's being discussed here is a 50,000 tonne mass moving at 21.5 knots hitting an even larger mass and suffering the inevitable consequences. Not only is this entirely plausible, it's happened numerous times befor and since.
 

Paul Lee

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Well, if you want a good story, how about this: the mystery ship as seen by the Titanic and the Californian was really a vessel from the future, carrying time travelling tourists to see the end of the Titanic. However, their luck ran out when they were seen and the Titanic's officers started sending up distress rockets. The msytery ship crew couldn't respond as it would alter the future (their past), so they started moving quietly away. They fired rockets to let the sleeping Californian know that there was a disaster in the making (the Californian being so far away, they couldn't see the Titanic's rockets): however, they fired their rockets at a very low height to prevent the Titanic from seeing them. The Californian didn't respond.

Having satisfied the tourists, the mystery ship departed for the future....

There, a better theory than the submarine one. This one fits many of the facts. Shame theres no proof!
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Cheers

Paul

 

Brian Nevius

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Thanks for the info, Michael. But, now that we're on the fictional aspects, why not write about an attack from a German U-boat? It's realistic fiction. Remember, James Cameron did just that when he directed his movie.
 

Paul Lee

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Talking of time travelling, I have a theory as to why the Titanic was travelling so fast....

....they had to get up to 88mph!

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Paul



Nice to know that the gin'n'tonics are having an effect!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Thanks for the info, Michael. But, now that we're on the fictional aspects, why not write about an attack from a German U-boat? It's realistic fiction.<<

Because I'm not on fictional aspects. I'm dealing with the disaster as it actually happened.

>>It's realistic fiction. Remember, James Cameron did just that when he directed his movie.<<

Whether or not Cameron's picture can be described as being "realistic" is a highly debatable point, but you'll notice he didn't include a U-boat in the story line.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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"Great Blunders in History", eh, Michael? This redoubtable and timely program has not yet reached the shores of Blighty, so I am still marooned on the sofa late at night muttering, "Surely, this can't be right?" Is there an accompanying series "Great Blunders on Discovery"? If not, it's sorely needed. However, I still like both channels. I get UK History now - far less spectacular - probably just dull facts....
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Spectacular is what sells books, movies and TV shows. Dull does not sell. If the Titanic disaster didn't have any spectacular parts to it, very few people would be interested in what happened. Of course the more spectacular you make it, real or not, more people become interested. Keeping the mystery alive keeps the interest up.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Yes, Sam, you're right. However, last night I settled down to watch a program on the Nile. This episode was about the annual flooding from Lake Tana to Karhtoum - and it was mesmerising, thanks to Nature and wonderful photography. And, I'm sure, 100% factual - on Discovery, too. Keep the faith!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>"Great Blunders in History", eh, Michael? This redoubtable and timely program has not yet reached the shores of Blighty,...<<

You're not missing anything. Trust me on this one. When I saw it for the first time, I counted so many mistakes within the first five minutes that I was just about on the verge of screaming! After six minutes, I lost count and just watched in dumbfounded astonishment. As so-called documentaries went, this one is just plain rank!
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Oh - I see I got quite the wrong end of the stick! I thought it was a sort of mea culpa program put out by the History Channel to correct some of its previous efforts, and was full of admiration for such objectivity. You mean it was yet another one .... about Napoleon, Zhukov, Caesar et al? Well, back to the sofa and disillusionment .....
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I thought it was a sort of mea culpa program put out by the History Channel to correct some of its previous efforts, and was full of admiration for such objectivity.<<

Mmmmmmmmm...I think they'll be holding the Winter Olympics in Hell befor that happens.Too bad as The History Channel has had a few good ones too. Titanic Tech is one of them.
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A

Alicia Coors

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Has anyone considered going out for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest? Some of the writing here would certainly qualify.
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Steady on, Alicia. There are some who could take that as less than flattering.
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However, back to the original post by Brian:
quote:

But I heard another theory that it was possible that a German U-boat could have launched a torpedo into the Titanic. Personally, I don't believe the scratch against the iceberg was enough to cause such large holes in the ship to make it sink. A torpedo, on the other hand, could. Is it not possible that the true answer to the sinking of the Titanic could lie in the shell of a torpedo sitting inside the sunken Titanic?
Believe it or not, that idea has been explored in the Al Swenson's novel Confessions of UB-One (Adams Press, Chicago, 1986, ISBN 0961613106). It's about a prototype U-boat on its first mission, to (you guessed it) sink Titanic. And somehow we've come back to Bulwer-Lytton again... Oh dear. ;)
 

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