Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers report


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May 3, 2002
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I have a copy of Lusitania: saga and myth by David Ramsay.

I recommend it to anyne who wants to read a really good forensic analysis on how the Lusi sank.

David Ramsay's trump piece of research material is am report recently published by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers:
TITANIC AND LUSITANIA, A FINAL FORENSIC ANALYSIS.
SNAME has website but you have to be member to acquire the report.

anyone who has or knows how to get this paper please please please
let us know.

thanks

Martin
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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Sooner or later it will turn up in top libraries. The papers published by SNAME are published as an annual book. I think the title is Transactions of SNAME. You'll need access to a university or similar.

How recent is 'recent'? It might already be out.
 
May 3, 2002
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Dear Dave,

check this out...

The Titanic and Lusitania: A Final Forensic Analysis
Authors: William H. Garzke Jr., David K. Brown, Arthur D. Sandiford, John Woodward, Peter K. Hsu
Marine Technology October 1996 Vol. 33, No. 4 Pages 241-289

Click here for the full text in Adobe Acrobat PDF format (members only)
-------------------- -------------------- -------------------- --------------------
Abstract
This paper represents the final forensic analyses concerning the losses of the passenger liners RMS Titanic and Lusitania based on photographic and other evidence taken from their wreck sites. It will detail the role of brittle fracture and notch sensitivity in the Titanic's steel plates that contributed to her loss on 14-15 April 1912 and the possibility of a similar occurrence in the Lusitania. The conclusions reached here are based upon six expeditions to the Titanic wreck site over a period of nine years, commencing with the Ballard-Michel Expedition in 1985 and ending with the 1994 IFREMER Expedition. The Lusitania analysis will reveal what brought about her loss on 7 May 1915, based upon the Ballard Expedition of 1993 and our own research into her loss, propulsion plant, and hull design.


I found this on their website

cheers

Martin
 

Erik Wood

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Aug 24, 2000
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Don't waste your time with the SNAME report. I have read most of it and there where some many techincal errors that I used it to light my cigars.

Now granted that is soley my opinion. I am sure that 99% of those who read the paper agree with it. I don't.

Erik
 

Erik Wood

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Actually I have a small stash of Cuban cigars, but if I am not enjoying one of those I am enjoying my CAO's or my french vanilla pipe tobaco.

Erik
 

Eric Sauder

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Erik:

Thank you for stepping up and giving your honest evaluation of the SNAME report. I have had a copy for many years, and I feel exactly the same way. The number of errors is staggering, especially from a group that is supposedly made up of a number of naval architects and "serious" researchers. The mistakes range from spelling the name of the Mauretania incorrectly to calling William Turner the captain of Titanic! And using a table of Aquitania's scantlings to stand in for Titanic? For shame! I'm sure (or at least hope)that these errors were corrected in the later versions of the paper, but that they were there at all at any time speaks volumes for the quality of research they did (or lack thereof).

Eric Sauder
 
Oct 28, 2000
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In fairness to my good friend, be it known that I am speaking for myself and not Parks Stephenson.

Many of my other friends here on the E-T site know that I was rudely treated by the SNAME SD-7 panel that drafted the Titanic report. As far as I am concerned, what occurred during my appearance before the SD-7 panel was nothing more than a pre-planned attempt to humiliate me. And, while the "final" report by this body of experts mentions the White Paper prepared by Parks and me, it distorts what we said in order to destroy our credibility.

The SNAME report is riddled with information not supportable in either the testimonies or the known facts. This might be acceptable from engineers (who are, after all not historians) except that they base their conclusions on what amount to errors-in-fact. This is the same as building a house upon a foundation of quicksand. Engineers know such a building would not stand, and they should no equally well that neither do conclusions not based in fact.

This report alleges to explane the damage by promoting a new version of the mythical 300-foot gash in the side. No such gash ever occurred. The gash was a myth on April 15, 1912 and it continues to be so.

Of course the SNAME report puts a new and apparently scientific twist on the old myth by claiming that the iceberg unzipped a seam in the shell plating. Alleged echosounds of the side of the ship buried tens of feet beneath the mud are give as the "proof."

What sort of proof are these alleged images? Well, nobody knows. And, don't ask because apparently it's none of your business. The report does not show the images. The company that made them does not answer questions about them. The images are simply not available to other, independent analysis. Do the alleged images exist at all? I don't know...

Based on the images it either cannot or will not present as evidence, the SNAME report claims the iceberg opened a seam in boiler room #6 for a distance of more than 40 feet. And, that opening just happens, when added to the other alleged open seams, to add up to that magical 12 square feet. Nice try guys, but it just isn't true. Read Firemen Beauchamp's account of being in boiler room #6 for 10 to 15 minutes after the accident raking the coals out of his furnaces. Either Beauchamp was blind, or that seam was tight because he never saw the veritable Niagara Falls that would have cascaded over his head if the SNAME report were true.

The SNAME report claims to be a forensic analysis of the sinking. Yet, it failed to even consider the possibility that resetting of the clocks may have given Titanic more than 20 extra minutes of life. If the time change is factored in, every flooding calculation ever done is invalid. Certainly, engineers should recognize that they need to establish the accuracy of their basic data. Or, if there is a conflict, it would behoove them to present both possibilities for comparison.

What kind of forensic report would overlook the strange configuration of the firemen's tunnel and adjoining stair tower. Oh yes, and that strange vesibule of watertight doors in way of bulkhead D. Could this unusual design have played a role? The report ignores the question.

And, why doesn't the SNAME report tackle the thorny issure of Titanic's engines restarting after the accident?

To me...and I'm speaking only for myself...this report does nothing more than confuse and hide the truth.

--David G. Brown
 
May 3, 2002
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mmmm!

sounds like I opened a real can of worms here.
Maybe the only way to get to the truth (of the Lusi) would be to access and publish ALL related inquiry transcipts, reports and affadavits for Horgan, Mersey and Meyer.
If it wasn't coal dust or contraband then what DID cause the second explosion?

kind regards to all

Martin
 

Erik Wood

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That's a good question Martin. Don't rely on SNAME to give you a intelligent answer. I would do just what you suggest. Get all the information and start your own research.

I think something that perhaps Dave didn't mention was that a Master Marnier with experience in riveted ships almost none of what they said made sense. It was not only historically incorrect, but it wasn't factually correct either.

Erik
 

Eric Sauder

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Martin wrote: "Maybe the only way to get to the truth (of the Lusi) would be to access and publish ALL related inquiry transcripts, reports and affidavits for Horgan, Mersey and Meyer."

The inquiries won't tell you. Two were held in Britain during the war, and the third was held in the States, which was a close ally of Britain. The lawyers and Lord Mersey were very careful to ensure that questions unfavorable to the Admiralty and Cunard weren't asked. The maximum amount of blame had to be placed on the German side. Under these conditions, what honest conclusions could possibly have been reached at any of the inquiries? That's a very nice way of saying that they were whitewashes with predetermined outcomes. Much more so than the Titanic inquires. Germany was the bad guy plain and simple. If just reading the inquiries would have solved the mystery, I'm sure someone would have come up with an answer by now.

If you want to find out what caused the second explosion, start doing research into the volatility of the coal; what type of coal was on board (bituminous or anthracitic); where it came from (the UK or the US); what the characteristics are of such an explosion; what the history of coal dust explosions is in mines, pulverizing plants, and steamships of the period; what the ease of detonation is; whether there are any adverse conditions that inhibit such an explosion on a steamship; how much coal was left in each bunker at the time the torpedo hit; the effects of cold seawater on the hull of a ship in the vicinity of a hot boiler room, etc., etc., etc.

Oh, yes, and don't forget -- you also need to determine exactly where the torpedo struck. And all of this is just for the coal-dust theory....

Eric Sauder
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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As Eric Sauder said- the American hearings are particularly frustrating. This exchange, from the Limitation of Liability Hearings (1918) sums the whole thing up:

Q; What did you do in pursuance of that letter?
A: (Ogden Hammond) I asked him (meaning the General Manager of Cunard Line in NYC) whether he thought it was safe to go over on the Lusitania at that time.

MR KIRLIN: Objected to; the conversation with the agent on any subject connected with the passage is immaterial and irrelevant.

MR BETTS: I think the testimony of the agent is material, as to whether he made any representation as to the operation of the vessel.

THE COURT: I will sustain the objection....

Nearly every time something reflecting upon Cunard Line in a negative light is brought up, it is objected to and sustained- a great many promising questions are asked in the transcripts, but few get answered.
 
Oct 28, 2000
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Regarding the coal dust explosion theory of Lusitania--has anyone found another occasion on which coal exploded secondarily to a torpedo? To my knowledge, I have only heard this theory in regard to Lusitania. Even the textbook on abandoning ships written for crews during WWII does not mention this possibility. How often did it happen? Just wondering.

-- David G. Brown
 
May 3, 2002
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I remember reading in a different thread that Eric Sauder disagreed with Ballard and said so only to be passed over. Ergo bad science. As Eric quite rightly pointed out.

Eric's pathway of investigation is excellent only some of the criteria may be neigh on impossible to establish: e.g. amount of coal in bunkers at the time. Then again if we know the full tonnage of a bunker and the consumption rate over 7 days we may arrive at an amount left behind. Any mathemeticians? :)

As to Point of Torpedo impact I will create a new thread for that one. That is one thing I think Ramsay is right on

cheers

Martin
 
Sep 22, 2003
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I dont believe the coal dust theory is correct, if you look at the Lusitania Controversy Web Site youll see that the lusitania was carrying Semi Bituminous Coal, it also claims that Ballard claimed his coal dust theory for the second explosion on assumption that lusitania was carrying Bituminous Coal, though i do not know if that is true, i believe Eric Sauder was one of the participants on the Lusitania Expedition w/ Ballard, so it would be better to ask him. im gonna stick w/ the steam pipe explosion theory, i think a coal dust explosion while it could have happened, i also think it the chances it did happen are against it.
 
Jul 21, 2004
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Coal dust highly unlikely,transportation of coal from mine,dust blown off by wind,washed by rain, very little dust. explosion proberblly due to water supply pipe break to boiler from explosion,
boiler steam pressure out of control, boiler fires still lit, expansion of supper hot steam blows boiler,boiler explosions due to lack of water common.
 
Sep 22, 2003
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Malcolm

Hello. Heres My Personal Theory on What Caused the 2nd Explosion.

Location of Torpedo Strike. Right Under Bridge Strikes Ash Ejector. Causes Small but Fatal 2nd Explosion which Penetrates Longitutional Bulkheads and causing numerous steam lines to burst, causing damage to Boilers, but not causing them to explode.

As for Furs floating Ashore. There are 3 possibilities.

1. Explosion of highly explosive Aluminum Powder in Cargo hold

2. Cargo Hatches on Deck Slide off Sometime During sinking

3. When Bow Strikes Bottom it causes slight damage to cargo area

Note: it of Course could have been a combination of 2 of the 3, or possibly something different.
 
Sep 5, 2004
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I don't remember where I read it, but I did read somewhere another reason for disproving the coal explosion theory: though coal dust was likely to be floating around the empty bunker near the end of the voyage, it is also true that that condensation from the cold sea would have kept the coal moist, much like how rain temporarily keeps pollen out of the air in spring. Martin, is there any way I can access that forensic analysis? I understand that it is riddled with errors, but I think it would be a useful source for a paper I have to write. I've been looking for over a month and still cannot find it.
 
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