Stress Fracture Possibility Or Not


Dec 2, 2000
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G'Day Erik, if you have a page and a half down on paper, you're doing better then I am. I may have to go to webside sources to get some specifics on the Andrea Doria and the Republic since some of my own books are curiously lacking in them.

On the points you raised;

1)The Titanic had time...barely, but quite a bit was wasted befor they actually started lowering boats. The first was actually lowered at 1245 if memory serves. (Double check this.) That's a little over an hoour shot to hell befor the first boat was even away.
2)I don't know if even the most rabid of the "Anti-Lordite" crowd quite buys into 8 miles. Not being rabid myself, I'm more in agreement with Dave Gittens figure of 10-12. I think we should use that as the basis for our "What if it was???" arguement. The 19-21 figure, if correct, renders it all moot so we won't have to put in a lot of time on that one. The Californian in that instance would only find boats, wreckage and bodies. A point I think we should be pretty blunt about. At 1245 for the first rocket, we have to acount for confusion on the Californian and lag time in investigating this, reconciling a mistaken position report with the known location of the rockets actually observed.

Sheesh...Murphy with his bloody law would have loved this!
3)We can have fun with this one by pointing out at 0225, the Titanic was already about halfway to the bottom. (Ooooops!)
4)The Titanic had 2205 people aboard, right?(Double check again.) Something like half could have gotten away had the officers not been afraid to load them to capacity.
5)my own point, we have to account for the time needed to recover the boats in the davits...graciously assuming the tackle didn't get fouled. This was all done by musclepower wasn't it? How long would it take to haul it up like that?

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Tracy Smith

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I agree pretty much with Mike's assessment, but let me add a point or two.

Point three. There would not have been any time to have unloaded all the Titanic boats onto the Californian, even if there had been room for everyone on the Californian. Remember, it took the Carpathia four hours to unload these boats and it was in daylight. It would have been trickier and slower at night. There wouldn't have been any reloading of any boats whatsoever that night. The likely thing is that Rostron would have appeared while Lord was in process of bringing aboard the 700+ survivors from the one and only trip the Titanic's boats would have made.

Also, I'm of the opinion that the first rocket probably shouldn't count as a start time, as I think it is strongly possible that Stone confused the first one with a shooting star or other type of natural phenomena. I think we need to start the clock with the second rocket. But using either the first or the second rocket as a start time, we have to account for the wasted time going to the wrong position, as Mike pointed out.

As to point two, I don't think the Californian was ever in a position to have ever been of any real help. No matter the distance, Lord would have had to have proceeded very slowly to insure the safety of his own ship. He wouldn't have done the Titanic any good if he'd sent his own ship to the bottom. Another point to remember is that the Mount Temple steamed to within 14 miles of the Titanic, but stopped because the captain felt that it was no longer safe to proceed any further until daylight. (Why don't we ever hear anything much about this?) It is quite possible that Lord would have had to stop again if he'd run into the same patch of ice the Mount Temple did.
 

Erik Wood

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Tracey and Mike,

All good points and you both pointed out the one problem I think that we will have. This is WAY to obvious. I want to use the distance number that most of the anti lordites like to use. Almost to fight the battle on there ground.

My whole reasoning for posting what I posted earlier was to kind of point out that my one topic has already turned into a rather large topic. You could divide it really into a bunch of different sections. I think what I will do is just to a summary. As for the rockets and using them for the start clock. While I initially agree with Tracey I think in order for us to drive our point home we again have to fight the battle on there territory and win. We can do that I think by showing the most likely scenario using there numbers and not ours.

Mike also has a point that I think we should be direct. Yet at the same time we should take the time to point it all out so the reader gets the big picture. When I started to add up the time things became very obvious for me.

As for the wasted hour. It wasn't wasted in my mind. I am not quite ready to devulge my full reasoning on that yet but it will be coming forth shortly. NOT on the board but via private email. Dave Brown and I have been doing a lot of thinking and I have been doing a lot of research it is coming together real nice. We should constrate I think on what the general person thinks. Use there numbers. Just a thought

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Well, if we use the anti-lordite distance nember, I suppose the question goes begging; Which one? I've heard the five mile number kicked around, but I'm simply not on board with that one. If the eight mile figure is the most common one, then we could point out that from the time the ship got underway, it took fifty minutes for them to clear the icefeild with their pedal to the metal, but that was under conditions where they could actually see where they were going. (Then in the confusion, they ducked back into the icefield in an attempt to reach the Titanic's reported position.)

I don't think Captain Lord would have gone warp speed through an icefield at night. Especially after that early close call which would be fresh on his mind. Suicidal stupidity was hardly one of his vices.

I'm hashing out something which could serve as both outline...and perhaps a bit of colour, but it's tricky going. I'm noting my sources of course. I may have to go to webside sources as the data I have on the Andrea Doria and the Republic is synopsis form at best and I don't trust it. I think that Mark Warren's Shipbuilder series has some comments on the Republic in the intro I may be able to use.

Gawd, this is slower going then I thought. Still, I'd rather take my time and put out a quality product then a slapdash piece of effluant. Quality is everything.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Tracy Smith

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Well, they just told us at work today that I have to put in 18 hours of damned overtime this weekend.....I won't ever get anything done if they keep up this overtime kick. It looks as if I'm not going to get the chance to get any much substantial accomplished until that week off in August.....from what I've heard they have overtime scheduled until hell freezes over.
 

Erik Wood

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Mike, Tracey,

Well I have almost rapped up my work on the Ship to ship transfers. I think that we are all agreed that we will not use the term lordite and antilordite. Which I think is a good move on our part. I think that I have coverd the important stuff or most of it anyway for this topic. I liked Tracey's intro to hers I read it a while ago and I liked Mike's as well. Things are going slow but sure.

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Erik, while browsing through John Maxtone-Graham's "Liners To The Sun" I found a chapter dealing with modern day at sea emergencies which ended up with the partial or total evacuation of the ship. One example was when the boiler feed water of the QE2 was contaminated with fuel oil on 01 April 1974. The M/V Sea Venture (later to be known as the M/V Pacific Princess) was called out to evacuate the passangers from the ship. It was an evolution which took all day to transfer about 1600 passangers!

I may go with that in addition to the Andrea Doria and the RMS Republic. If nothing else, the source material is decidedly more reliable. I may be able to cough up a few more examples of the sort of confusion and problems that occur when evacuating a ship under emergency conditions. The Prinsandum for example.

I'll let you know.

Cordially,
Mike
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Beware the Californian story! It is a snake with many heads. Just when you have one pinned down, another one jump up to bite you.

Good luck with your work. I'm anxious to read your conclusions.

-- David G. Brown
 

Erik Wood

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Mike,

I have some personal experience with the above mentioned. I was not there, but my parents we on the Sea Venture for holiday. That is quite the story. There is also a story in that same book about either the Norway as the Norway or the Norway as the France. That book is a very good one. I have the harback with the book cover and on the other side of the book cover lists all the passenger ships at that time and what company they worked for. I have that framed and hung in my little den. I agree that that would make a fine addition to your writings.

Mike is right Dave, what is this ONE head will come up. So far for me it has been at least 3 or 4.

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I read about the Norway in the same book myself. They at least managed to get power and propulsion back which was more then the QE2 managed to do. The QE2 was pretty lucky when you think about though. If one of those nice "little" tropical storms had blown up with the usual lack of warning, the Queen would have been in some really deep doo doo.

The Californian came up on the Silverquick listserv BTW. I mentioned some of the logistical problems in ship to ship transfers as my reason for believing that the Californian could have done little if any good, and it provoked quite a few responses. Some of them rather hot though the angst was directed at Captain Lord, not me personally. Anyway you look at it, it's a very emotional issue.

We'll have quite a few snakes to rassle with when it's published.

Cordially,
Mike
 

Tracy Smith

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I don't care about the snakes. Captain Lord was a good man and a good captain and doesn't deserve the bum rap he's been stuck with for the last 89 years.

Nothing we can say will convince the rabid Lord haters, but I imagine we might get some fence sitters to take a fresh look at the issue.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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I thought it best for this first post to be done using the e-mail as the base; I expect the whole formatting will muck up, so apologies. My thoughts/reasoning, etc. in bold. That way I can comment on individual aspects of the theory.

> Good Morning Gentlemen,
>
> This is actually to Mark Chirnside however I am clueing Captain Dave and
> Mike so that both of you are up to speed as to what is going on in my
> twisted little head.
>
> Welcome Mark!!!!
>
> I know that Mike kind of gave you the debrief as to what our little thread
> is about however there have been many recent events that have changed my
> thoughts on just about all of the technical aspects of my theory. So rather
> then post them there I am emailing them to you for obvious reasons. This
> way you don't think that I am completely on crack.

> Realize however, that most of my theory relies heavily on Parks Stephenson
> and Captain Dave Brown’s "white paper" or at least the basic part of it.
> Which states that the Titanic ran aground or so they (we) think. My theory
> kind of explains what there paper didn't. The damage associated with such
> an event. Now I have since written a paper to the salvage boys out at Pearl
> Harbour and got some really good info. You come to our group extremely
> highly recommended by dear Mr. Standart as well as myself. I have noticed
> over the passing year that you have a very good working knowledge of the
> technical aspect of the Olympic Class ship which will for obvious reasons
> help in my endeavour. I must add my caveat that anything on the thread or
> shared via e-mail in not for public use and if I use any of your work in my
> work you will be given dual credit. If you where to right such a paper I
> would appreciate the same. So welcome to what Robert DeNiro calls "our
> circle of trust".

Agreed. Rest assured I will keep it private. What exactly is your book’s main focus, BTW? I understand you will be dealing with the sinking in some detail at least.

> It is Captain Brown and Parks Stephenson’s thoughts that rather then have a
> glancing blow at the berg she more ran onto a underwater shelf. Now the
> complexity of both the manoeuvres during the accident and the actual accident
> itself have caused me to come to the following conclusion.

> The ship cleared the berg on the original left turn. However Murdoch
> attempted to clear his stern so he "port rounded" the berg. This is where
> the trouble is. Especially when he decided to stop his engines.

Sorry, I am not quite sure what you indicate when you talk about the trouble lying with stopping the engines. I understand reversing the engines in those circumstances was not a robust idea, considering there was little or no chance of stopping the ship in time to evade the ice, but in stopping the engines I do not see the problem, other than the slight loss of speed during the manoeuvre.

It’s my belief the engines were making eighty revolutions before the collision, however the exact figure is immaterial for this discussion; but I think we all agree that there was some power in reserve and one suggestion I recall being made was that an instruction to the engine room to make ‘all possible speed’ to give maximum manoeuvring ability might have been an advantage. Whether it would have been possible to increase the revolutions significantly in the short time available would be a matter that warranted further research on my part, as would the question of whether there would be a significant change in manoeuvring ability. (In taking the higher 80 r.p.m. figure, in excess of the usual seventy-five to seventy-eight, there was still the capability for 83 r.p.m. according to Olympic’s chief engineer, as I have mentioned before.)


> The order to shift the rudder comes seconds before the bottom of the ship
> makes contact with the underwater shelf.

Quartermaster Hitchens, who omitted to mention the ‘porting manoeuvre he did, curiously did testify to barely getting the helm over before the ship struck, although he (mistakenly, IMO) stated this was during ‘hard a starboard.’:

[hr]
Quote:

948. Had you any instructions before she struck, is that what you said? Had you been told to do anything with your helm before she struck? - Just after she struck I had the order “Hard a starboard “ when she struck.
949. Just as she struck, is that what you said? - Not immediately as she struck; the ship was swinging. We had the order, “Hard a starboard,” and she just swung about two points when she struck.
950. You got the order, “Hard a Starboard”? - Yes.
951. Had you time to get the helm hard a starboard before she struck? - No, she was crashing then.
952. Did you begin to get the helm over? - Yes, the helm was barely (hard) over when she struck. The ship had swung about two points. — British enquiry, referenced to question numbers.
[hr]​

Might Hitchens have incorrectly recalled this, but was actually doing ‘hard a port’ and barely getting the helm hard over before she struck? It’s a thought for consideration, but in considering a five-second time lapse for the steering engine to work the rudder and then the time taken to overcome the initial inertia of the port turn, perhaps the order was given a little earlier.

(Don’t be too impressed with me quoting testimony for a change rather than messing it all up by trying to quote from memory as I usually do! J)


> The ship rides up onto the berg
> basically tearing out the tank top bottom from Cargo Hold 1 to the aft end
> of Boiler Room 6. The ship rides up on the berg and the well deck area
> makes soft contact with the berg. No real direct iceberg damage here.

(Hang on, do you mean there was no real iceberg damage at the height of the forecastle/well deck? (IMI — In My Interpretation — Yes? But the soft ice is that which breaks off and falls to the deck, as many witnesses reported. ‘Small stuff,’ Boxhall said.))

> However, the stern is being forced to the left and bow is being forced to
> the right. The bow is being pushed into the berg but it can not go any
> further so the momentum of the ship starts to eat at the ships framework.
> This includes jamming the watertight door on the forward end of boiler room
> six as well as the one in the firemen’s tunnel.

I’ve probably missed something here, I am not aware of evidence regarding the failure of the door at the forward end of boiler room 6 and the door leading to the firemen’s tunnel, though as they were pretty much in the same place I can understand them both failing pretty much at the same time. Could you explain a little more, or is this part of the theory regarding the design of the door closing mechanism — i.e. the point David Brown mentioned in the Britannic public discussion:

[hr]
Quote:

‘From what I have learned, the tracks for H&W vertical sliding WT doors were not one-piece castings. Rather they were assembled from pieces on the ship. This meant that racking forces (from running over an iceberg, or from exploding ordnance) could easily have caused the sliding doors to jam at some position less than fully closed. This is apparently borne out by exploration of Britannic as it lies on the bottom (if web sites can be believed). At least one door has reportedly been seen to be only partially closed.’
[hr]​

If I remember correctly, the doors in Lusitania and Mauretania were one-piece cases, which would have been advantageous; then again, in engineering terms as they were built with Admiralty supervision they are probably in a much better class than most merchants, being intended for super-fast 26-knot cruising duty during war. I guess H&W’s design was in many other ships.



> Water is now coming up and
> through the base of the firemen’s tunnel and will be given free access to all
> the compartments forward of the firemen’s tunnel as well as Boiler Room 6.

You mean specifically just through the tunnel, or the other compartments with independent damage and flooding as well?

> Now there is a extreme amount of twisting pressure going on in between
> funnels three and four. The forward section (in front of funnel 4) is being
> twisted to the right somewhat as the stern section is being twisted to the
> left.

> All the while the wake from Titanic’s 22 knots of speed catches up with her.
> She just barely lifts (enough to clear boiler room 5's tank top spaces of
> ice shelf damage) the ship and then drops it again in the way of boiler room
> 4. As the twisting forces that be are doing there job. The focal point of
> the bow section stress is Boiler Room 6. Eventually something gives. The
> momentum of the ship is forcing the bow section down and to the right (much
> like a speed boat at a high speed will dip to the side you are turning).
> Yet the mass and buoyancy not mention the ice shelf is forcing the ship up.
> A seem pops in Boiler Room 6 and it starts flooding from below and from the
> side. This seem extends into the fuel bunker as well as a minor hole in
> Boiler Room 5 (all of this via Barrett’s testimony).
KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS
> IS JUST A THEORY. THE PART ABOUT THE SHIPS WAKE WAS DEVELOPED YESTERDAY SO
> IT IS FAR FROM COMPLETE.

> So now what we have is a very weakened structure in the way of Boiler Room 1
> and everything forward of Boiler Room 6. The tank top spaces are gone from
> Boiler Room 1 to Boiler Room 5. Then Boiler Room 6 to the forepeak. The
> damage in the mail room which is caused by either ice damage or stress
> damage (brittle fracture/cracking, possibly?) (I haven't gotten that far yet)is starting to add pressure.

> So now what you have is a dragging problem and a pulling problem. The ship
> is being dragged and pulled. From Boiler Room 1 to the forward section of
> Boiler Room 4 is dry but the tank tops are flooded or flooding.

Boiler room 4 began flooding from beneath the floor plates about 1.20 a.m., but I’m not aware of the same trouble in the other three boiler rooms 4 to 1; therefore might this imply:
a) That the double bottom underneath boiler room 4 was more badly damaged than the other portions below the boiler rooms 3, 2 and 1;
and,
b) that boiler room 4’s double bottom was more badly damaged because (according to what you wrote earlier, your theory) it came back onto the ice after boiler room 5’s tank top spaces cleared and escaped damage/notable damage. After that, you’ve pretty much got the ship sliding off the ice shelf and responding well to the port helm, eventually completely clearing at the reciprocating engine room (according to your theory as I understand it).

Might that add to the theory?



Edith Russell, in the May 1964 issue of ‘Ladies Home Journal’ gave a description of the impact — verified by Edith Haisman — according to the 1996 Garzke report:

[hr]
Quote:

‘She noticed a very slight jar, then a second quick one, that seemed closer and a little stronger. The third jar came as a shock, strong enough to make her grab her bedpost.’ — Page 6, Garzke 1996 report, Marine Forensic Panel…
[hr]​

Now might the initial slight jar be the initial light contact with the berg, then the second quicker stronger one be the fuller pressure coming at the ship’s bow framework and bottom; while the third ‘shock, strong’ be the ship barely lifting after boiler room 6 was under such stress — clearing boiler room 5’s double bottom — then coming back onto boiler room 4 slightly more lightly than boiler room 6? Could this possibly have been felt as the third strong ‘jar.’? Edith Russell was in cabin A11, near the first funnel, so surely it would have been strong to her there?

(Garzke actually used it to illustrate his report’s sideswipe, rebounding impact type collision — does that make any sense?
smile.gif
…)


> Pulling the
> ship down. Much like it is suppose to do in a ballasting sense. However.
> The steel that keeps the ocean out is missing and the pressure of water
> trying to come up is the problem. You have what I will call weak point
> number 1. The joints and frame work that connect everything forward of
> Boiler Room 1 to everything aft of it. It is my belief that all the tanks
> where dry before the collision. So now you have the mid section of the ship
> being pulled down. A better way to think of it might be to take a toy boat
> into a bathtub. Put your hand underneath it and pull down. To get my
> point. Put your hands on to sides of it leaving the middle clear. then
> pull down with the same amount of pressure. Remember that this is a sliding
> pressure. A ship just doesn't submerge. Or try it putting your hands on top
> of the boat. It goes at a angle. There you have a breaking point.
> Eventually the pressure from the collision as well as the weight of the
> water in the tank tops from the forward sections is going to cause the ship
> to split in way of the forward end of the reciprocating engine room.

> Now the dragging sensation if caused by the forward end of the ship filling
> with water. Plus the flooded tank spaces. The ship starts to flood adding
> weight to the bow section of the ship. While we have one dry spot, boiler
> Room 5. The ship is being dragged down by the head. If you took a toy boat
> to the lake and attached a string to it. Then pulled it under with the
> string at angle this is basically the same thing. We already have weakened
> steel in the way of Boiler Room 6 because of the twisting as well as the
> entire firemen’s tunnel. It is twisted. As the bow starts to sink
> Lightoller and others just before she goes down call what happens a plunge.
> I think that it is the joints starting to separate. The ship is now
> completely full of water up to at least Boiler Room 2 or 3. The twisted bow
> section which is right around the (expansion)joint by funnel number 1 is so weak from
> the twisting and flooding that the angle is two much for it to take. It
> comes apart causing the forward funnel to collapse. But the rest of the
> framework of the ship prevents the bow section from coming all the way off.

Putting loads of strain on the bridge deck, B, where the expansion joint stops.

> Eventually there is so much pressure because everything forward of the reciprocating
> room is now full of water both above and below the tank tops that the
> weakened joints at that juncture give. This time and in this particular
> place the stress from the initial event is just to much to handle and she
> splits to the keel and eventually twists herself apart.

> There is a lot more in-depth stuff to be worked out. But that is what I
> think as of right now. Keep in mind that this whole gig relies on Dave
> Brown and Park's theory. Also it doesn't add anything that people could
> have seen and explains what those how testified saw as they saw it. They
> just maybe didn't know what it was exactly that they were seeing.

It’s quite incredible how many witnesses didn’t seem to have a clue about what they were seeing, let alone later explaining it. With some disasters we might be better off without witnesses and just go from physical evidence of wreckage.

> Mark, I think that you help is this endeavour will be greatly needed and
> appreciated. What are your thoughts?? I saw that you mentioned something on
> ET about the same area of the Olympic. Let me know what you think.

On Olympic, regarding the area of the reciprocating engine room, I have detailed information on how the tank top, engine thrust blocks, engine columns, etc. lasted over the years (pretty well, actually). While not directly part of the theory, the information regarding the actual double bottom’s condition as well as the tank top will be of interest:
[hr]
Quote:

‘The double bottom under the engines was very carefully and minutely examined in company with the senior ship surveyor and except for a few defective rivets, was found in satisfactory condition. The thrust blocks were lifted and the seatings examined with no weight on them, and it was found that a considerable number of rivets required renewal…
…all have been renewed at boiler construction standard all holes being reamered and a very careful inspection maintained to see that the rivets were a good fit through the entire length two additional stiffening brackets were fitted to the thrust seatings.’ — Board of Trade, December 1932.
[hr]​

The chocking arrangement was carefully examined, it turning out that the chocks were supporting the bedplates satisfactorily; after maintenance was carried out to the bedplates some holding down bolts were renewed, ‘ensuring that the bedplates were solidly based on to the tank top.’

After sea trials when the engines were run, the performance was so satisfactory that additional originally proposed engine column ties were not fitted. Even in October 1935, the engines were still performing better than they had when new! The condition of the bedplates, chocking, etc., remained perfect from the time of the repairs until at least 1934 and quite possibly even longer, (though I do not have the specific 1935 survey) such good conditions being the best ever during Olympic’s entire life.

This is taken from my notes of the Board of Trade surveys. Olympic lasted very well. (I can provide further information regarding the bridge deck plating condition, bow plating, etc., ‘over-fatigue’ if you want to see it, not detailed in the earlier Olympic public discussion). What might be relevant to the theory — especially as it involves the double bottom in general — is that the double bottom was no doubt very strong and lasted well (in this case the bottom under the engines being good ‘satisfactory condition’ after 23 years, where it was probably subjected to the most pressure with the movement and weight of the main engines, etc. There were only a few defective rivets.) The thrust blocks did not quite wear so well. However, under the reciprocating engine room, the double bottom was deeper and differed from other areas, which is worthy to note. In sum, I don’t think the general design of the double bottom can be faulted, bearing in mind the technical description of it, and it certainly took some force to buckle it in.


Also > Dave Brown, Mike Standart and I, and hopefully some folks like George Behe
> as well may get together this fall. If you could come that would be great.
> Have fun reading my thoughts. Sometimes I don't even understand them.

Now, my thoughts are usually the blurred ones.
smile.gif
happy.gif


On the get together, it’s a good seven-hour flight just for a short visit and unfortunately I doubt if it would be possible for some time. Last time I went to America (April 1998) I was there for nine days, visiting Florida. I’ve never been further North, but my father recently went to Detroit, Mich., on business. (So far my tally of countries visited is: America, Iceland; France; Italy; Germany; Austria; Czech Republic; Belgium; Canada - Canadian territory really).

Best Regards,

Mark.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Mark -- I am impressed by your analysis of Capt. Erik's working thesis.

With regard to stopping the engines, the ship would have coasted ("shot" in nautical terms) forward from its momentum, but would not have been able to replace any speed lost to friction from contact with the ice. I know that Erik is working on an extension of his theory that grows out of the slowing of the ship on the ice coupled with the effect of the ship's wake. This could lead to some interesting conclusions, but I'll allow him to take the credit for disclosing the details.

QM Olliver confirmed that the helm had been put "hard a-port" prior to the accident. QM Hitchens ommission of this detail is more than curious. The way ships are steered by a rudder at the stern requires that Titanic must have been under port helm (right rudder) at the time of the accident. Otherwise, the whole of the starboard side would have been damaged. We will probably never know why the testimonies of the two QMs differed so widely. It is one of the mysteries that makes the Titanic story so intriguing.

I don't believe Titanic had yet worked up beyond 75 to 78 rpms that night. Ismay's speed stunt was not planned for overnight. It was to have been done sometime on Monday. I think the boilers were being brought on line that Sunday night in preparation for Monday. However, the actual speed of the ship is only a curiosity. Titanic was obviously going faster than the ability of its lookout to perceive reality. Otherwise, there would have been no accident.

The Edith Russel quotation is curious, indeed. Coming from 1966, however, it has to be considered as influenced by the vaguries of human memory multiplied by 60 years. Still, it is curious. Capt. Erik and I have discussed the possibility that there were several impacts and that eyewitnesses descriptions of them have been jumbled into a single event. Making such an assumption...that witnesses were describing different events, not a single event...goes pretty far out on a very thin historical limb, but it does allow for damage to be spread over more of the hull than just the bow. And, more widespread damage does seem to be supported by some of the flooding.

I know there has been some argument over the condition of Olympic at the time of its scrapping. No matter where you come down on that discussion, there are some significant details in the Olympic surveys with potential impact on Capt. Erik's theories. To me, the most important finding on Olympic was the need to replace rivets in way of the engine spaces and thrust blocks. This shows that the ship experienced movement of metal in these areas. On Olympic this movement was almost imperceptible over a long time. On Titanic (if Erik is right), that movement would have been large over a short, almost instantaneous period of time. Either way would have been bad on the rivets.

While reading naval architect Wilding's testimony several years ago in preparation for my book I was struck by his comments about Titanic's breakup. To my eye, the man's words seemed to imply disbelief that the hull would have failed as a result of flooding. This disbelief seems to be corroborated by the sinkings of other passenger vessels that did not break apart despite rather anguished death throes--including sterns being raised into the air. But, the evidence is clear that Titanic broke apart either at or near the surface and descended as two separate pieces to the bottom.

The computer models of the breakup that I've seen show strains coming on the hull in the proper places during flooding. However, these models have included the expansion joints in the superstructure as structural elements of the hull. This was not the case. The expansion joints were only to allow the superstructure to accept the normal flexing of the hull girder beneath it. Thus, while the computer simulations correctly show the strains on the hull, they do not provide correct point of initial failure.

If Wilding was right, then why did the hull girder fail that night? Captain Erik is suggesting an alternative cause for that first failure that erupted into a catastrophic breakup of the hull. He needs our support in this venture. That includes constructive criticism as well as pats on the back. I encourage everyone contributing to this thread to provide the thoughtful analysis and suggestions illustrated by Mark's posting.

-- David G. Brown
 

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
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Good Afternoon All,

Mark I have to hand it to you. You did exactly what it is that I wanted you to do. You responded. You have given me alot to mull over but I will start to ramble a response. However, I can not promise that I will be able to finish this. As I am currently underway and the weather has been rather dicey.

What I meant about the engines stopping was that the stress event really began after the orders to stop the engines where given. It encourages me that you did not debunk the twisting pressure. My main concern to you is I believe (aided by Captain Browns orginal idea) that the ship was actually broke in thress different areas. Forward of funnel 1 and the stern.

I am thinking for the most part that as the ship was dragged down and pulled down gives us the needed power to make the ship split. Plus that added side of having one boiler rooms tank top dry. Your thoughts on several different events including the testimony by Hart I must say makes me think. As of right now my brain things only two but your thought or more adds some thoughts.

As to Boiler Room 4 I know that the water came from up. But to my knowledge we don't have record of flooding in any of the other three. So my assumption is it came from below and eventually from forward.

The firemens tunnel:

What I meant in my email is that the water from the firemens tunnel was allowed to freely flow forward to add to the damage in the mail room and possilbily any other damage in the other holds as well as boiler room 6. I am currently working on that part of my theory. I have tossed around several ideas. As to the ice on the well deck I support that theory as well as the theory that damage in the mail room may have been a result of the iceberg. My contention is however that the majority of the stress that actually caused the ship to sink was caused by Captain Brown and Parks Stephensons grounding.

Your words and thoughts on Hitchens as well as the steering engine have also made me take a harder look at Murdochs actions. Awhile ago I mentioned to Capt. Dave that I don't think the ship made the full 2 point turn that the lookouts suggest. Rather I think it was less then 15 degrees.

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">BEWARE THIS IS THE COMING OF A NEW IDEA THAT NOT EVEN CAPTAIN BROWN KNOWS ABOUT. THIS IDEA HAS IN NO WAY BEEN THROUGHALLY RESEARCHED AND I AM GIVINING IT ONLY AS A NEW IDEA FOR ALL TO PONDER

Here it goes:

Perhaps the first impact wasn't the bow. It was the stern. The stern was pushed rapidly torward the berg. Perhaps Boiler Rooms 4 through 1 hit first. The shift of rudder and the engines stopping happened, and the bow started to turn and the fast water from the props was stopped. The wave catches up and pushes the ship the rest of the way into the berg and aids in the pivot. Slamming down the forward sections of the ship. Now we have a completely different stress scenario. You have weight being added to the back portion of the ship first. Now the stress is the worst at funnel 3 or there abouts. The bottom doesnt run over the berg it slams down ontop of it. There may have only been 2 or 3 inches put the water from behind the ship catches up and drops the ship. Remeber that if the wave catches up rapidly then the bow will lift first and the stern will drop then vice versa. A smaller version of the speed boat going really fast then stopping instantly. The boat is picked up and then dropped. Now the bow is being forced to the right but suddenly is forced to the left by the wave while the momentum of the ship as well as the rudder are forcing it to the right. The grouding pressure is causing damage in everything forward of the firemens tunnel. The hole at the base of the stair well. The iceberg rubs the side of the ship and breaks ice loose and depositis it on the well deck and breaks a seem in the mail room as well as the forward two holds. Not by sideswipe but by being pushed into it.

Now those are just some wild thoughts. That is the base of me doing the hard line research for the swell from behind. The problem is time. The wave would have to catch up quickly in less then two or three seconds. At least the first part of it. Enough to do what I think.

Oppss...phone.

Oh, diner is ready. Anywho..

As to the watertight doors Mark. My thoughts has little to do with the design but has to do with the twisiting pressure as well as the grounding pressure. More grounding first then twisting second. Nobody I think reports this because nobody saw it. Barret niether said it was closed or partially open. Whomever found the water at the base of the firemens tunnel didn't look back to see if the door was closed. We have a loop hole. Which I guess we could fill.

Just some thoughts. Mark you have no idea how much I appreicate your input thanks. I am going to go and eat. But before I do I would agree that most of those who where there I don't think understood what they were seeing. The ones who did die probably hold all the good secrets.

Erik
 
Jan 5, 2001
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I am glad some of my thoughts made sense and helped.

For this post: David G. Brown = <FONT COLOR="119911">green
Erik Wood = <FONT COLOR="ff0000">red

<FONT COLOR="119911">QM Olliver confirmed that the helm had been put "hard a-port" prior to the accident. QM Hitchens ommission of this detail is more than curious. The way ships are steered by a rudder at the stern requires that Titanic must have been under port helm (right rudder) at the time of the accident. Otherwise, the whole of the starboard side would have been damaged. We will probably never know why the testimonies of the two QMs differed so widely. It is one of the mysteries that makes the Titanic story so intriguing.

Hitchens account seems fascinating, though, because of his mentioning of barely getting the helm hard over when she struck (regardless of hard a starboard or hard a port) does not seem to make any sense regarding the steering engine or the left or right turns that were done. Recently, I told Mike that I had been out on a lake with a small boat; although I anticipated the stern swinging out as the bow moved, even when the bow began to go left, the stern just seemed to come out so far. It was not a rudder, but a propeller movement steering mechanism. (If you understand my confusing words.)

<FONT COLOR="119911">I don't believe Titanic had yet worked up beyond 75 to 78 rpms that night. Ismay's speed stunt was not planned for overnight. It was to have been done sometime on Monday. I think the boilers were being brought on line that Sunday night in preparation for Monday.

Sorry, I was unclear; I realise the full speed six-hour trial would be tommorrow, not that night, however taking Olympic's performance figures Ismay's speed stunt must have been 83 r.p.m. and over. It is usually accepted eighty revolutions was the maximum, but it just seems (from five sources) that 83 r.p.m. to 85 r.p.m. is a better bet despite Ismay's testimony. On Olympic, her revolution figures don't seem to tie with Titanic at all. (Propeller pitch change?)

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">As to Boiler Room 4 I know that the water came from up. But to my knowledge we don't have record of flooding in any of the other three. So my assumption is it came from below and eventually from forward.

Hang on, I realise there was no recorded flooding in the other three. I am not contradicting the assumption. (At least I don't think I am. :) ) What I actually suggested was the reason for boiler room 4's apparently more severe double bottom damage:

[hr]
Quote:

That the double bottom underneath boiler room 4 was more badly damaged than the other portions below the boiler rooms 3, 2 and 1;
and,
b) that boiler room 4’s double bottom was more badly damaged because (according to what you wrote earlier, your theory) it came back onto the ice after boiler room 5’s tank top spaces cleared and escaped damage/notable damage. After that, you’ve pretty much got the ship sliding off the ice shelf and responding well to the port helm, eventually completely clearing at the reciprocating engine room (according to your theory as I understand it).
[hr]​

<FONT COLOR="ff0000">...I mentioned to Capt. Dave that I don't think the ship made the full 2 point turn that the lookouts suggest. Rather I think it was less then 15 degrees.

15 degrees rather than 22&frac12; degrees; someone did say 'one or two points' - either Fleet or Hitchens, I can't quite remember. But if you're familiar with George Behe's excellent work you can sense why their accounts were so similar.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Some data regarding the central turbine winding down: when Olympic collided with Hawke, her collision happened at 12.46 and the turbine stopped at 12.48 (it was only started at 12.44); so I do not know if the engineers stopped it two minutes later, or it wound down. For the record, the main engines stopped at 12.47, went 'full astern' at 12.50 and stopped at 12.51. Then again the reciprocators were only doing before the collision 60 to 65 r.p.m.; the turbine had averaged 106 r.p.m. during its operation that day, but not sure at the time of the collision.

Must close station now,

Best regards,

Mark.
 

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
3,519
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I think I am getting it now. I meant to say that I realize that the water came up in Boiler Room 4. I am very interested in why you think the double bottom was so severly damage. I think that this could be key to both Capt Dave and my theory. I guess that is why I like it so much.

Is there any technical reason that you think the double bottom was severly damaged? If so do you think that it could have happened further forward to the same extent. Let me know.

You seem to be up on the Olympic and Hawke thing. Is there any mention of Olympics wake catching up to her or the Hawkes wake catching up with her. This wake thing interests me. The more I mull over the idea of the stern hitting the ice shelf first the more I am intrigued by it. But the more I think it sounds foolish.

Erik
 

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