The break up and descent

Not open for further replies.
>>It seems unlikely that they would just spill out. Some force must have sheared them off. <<

It would have been the breakup itself since that part of the ship basically just disintigrated. No mysterious forces at work here beyond the consequences of an over stressed structure giving up the ghost.

Trevor Rommelley

Former Member
But Sam's picture doesn't show the water level at the base of the first funnel.

As for the boilers, I think the amount of list refers to the amount of forward tilt, which would allow the boilers to slide out of their beds. A sideways tilt would not allow this due to the beds acting like "chocks", preventing sideways movement.

Trevor Rommelley

Former Member
With apologies to Samuel Halpern. The white line indicates the water level joining the crows nest and the first funnel.

>which would allow the boilers to slide out of their beds<
Where the boilers not bolted down? I find that hard to believe. Surely the boilers were securely fastened in case of a sudden collision or mishap.
Any movement of the boilers would risk a break in the steam pipes. Not a good thing.

>that part of the ship basically just disintegrated<

The double bottom did not simply disintegrate, it has been found in four pieces. Unless the boilers were not fastened down one would have expected to find the boilers still attached to the hull pieces. The boilers could have sheared off upon collision with the bottom of the sea, but I believe there is significant separation in the resting place of the single end boilers and the hull pieces to which they were attached, which leads me to the conclusion that they probably were separated at the surface. Unless the boilers were never bolted down. Does anyone know if those boilers were attached?

There are many mysteries regarding the breakup of the ship. The ship did not simply disintegrate, some specific key failure caused a chain of failures. Each individual piece of wreckage tells a part of the break-up story, and I am convinced that those loose boilers and double bottom pieces are very near to the beginning of that story.
The two pieces of double bottom appear to "fill in" any missing hull between the bow and stern sections. If there are any more pieces, they are quite small.

It is impossible to see the tank top because the pieces are upside-down on the bottom of the sea. There seems to be some indication that the boiler beds remain in situ, although that remains to be proved. The boilers are quite a distance away from the pieces of double bottom, indicating they parted company early in the breakup -- probably near the surface. The boilers would have fallen in a relatively straight line to the sea bed, while the double bottom pieces would have somewhat "fluttered" (if you can use that term on tons of metal) down and landed at some distance away.

-- David G. Brown
>>The double bottom did not simply disintegrate,<<

No, but most of the midsection did. That the sections of double bottom held up is either a testement to just how ruggedly they were built, random chance doing it's thing, or both.
>>The white line indicates the water level joining the crows nest and the first funnel. <<

It pays to go to the primary source. From testimony at the American Inquiry, p.91:

Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Well, roughly, the crow's nest was level with the water when the bridge went under water.
Senator SMITH. Was it in the water?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Was just about level with the water.

Lightoller was on top of roof of the wheelhouse when he left the ship. The diagram in my article was drawn to match Lightoller's observation. The angle of trim would have been very close to 10°.


As far as "the list as a function of time" plot in my article, I can quantify each and every point on that curve which will be fully documented in a future article or book. If anyone has specific information that they could reference that could point to any errors on that plot, then please let me know so we can get them resolved. Thanks.
>>I was not even aware that Paul Mathias undertook an EOSCAN imaging of the buried port-side forward hull.<<

Similar damage was found on the port side. See pp.113-114 of Tim Foecke & Jennifer McCarthy's book, "What Really Sank the Titanic." As the authors remarked about the conclusions in the 97 SNAME report and media versions concerning the sonar imaging, it "was a classic case of overstating findings, disagreement among investigators, and deceitful scholarly practice."
One thing that should be looked at is Theyer's account. If taken too literal then no.1 won't fall at all. Also it's impossible for no.1 to send Jack towards B, it blocks the path no matter what. He was 40 ft away, on the starboard side. When no.1 falls, B would float aft and over to amidship due to the suction bringing it in. If it were no.2, Jack would be brung under, then pop up right next to it. So that and the hand full of accounts saying that the lights went as it broke means that he could not have mistaken it with no.1. These people are all ones that are pretty nearby the ship.

This means that water would have to edge no.2 almost, which is because the quick sequence of the break and falling of it. All others say that she slowly righted herself, so it's probable that he missed the righting. He'd come back up to it going back into the air. After this, the ship would bend backwards because the bow isn't going any more then 17-25 degrees as the rest of the water is hugely coming from the back.

Therefore, this my proof and reasoning for more a 17-19 degree angle. Funnel no.2 couldn't fall if water is not starting to weaken the base during the break. The whole lights situation also shows that Titanic needs to have the list added to get much of it. If she's breaking the traditional way, they'd all note this. If she broke over to port first and then right as the lights were out, then many would have missed this.

Trevor Rommelley

Former Member
Also, its widely accepted that funnel 1 fell to starboard (alright, it fell to the starboard and forward). How can this be if the ship had a huge list to port? I cannot see how the funnel stays could affect the trajectory of the funnel falling.
>>I cannot see how the funnel stays could affect the trajectory of the funnel falling.<<

Depends on which ones failed first. If the ones on the port side failed, then you have a lack of tension there but you still have tension on the surviving stays. Guess where the stack is going to be pulled!
There is a tendency to think of the funnels as falling from the top down. It probably did not happen that way. When Britannic sank it was noted that the funnels toppled as water reached their bases. The opinion is that hydraulic forces of downflooding moved the supporting structure and caused them to collapse.

In Titanic, we see pretty much the same pattern, although it is not so clear because of darkness and, perhaps, the breakup. However, funnel #1 seems to have toppled when water got to its base, and the same with #2.

-- David G. Brown
How The Titanic Broke Apart:
As the bow took on water the ship began to bend and the double bottom took on a slightly curved shape. This curve was relatively uniform with one important exception: the hull underneath the reciprocating steam engines which were large cast pieces firmly bolted to the ships bottom. These engines did not bend, nor did the double bottom beneath them. This created a kink in the bend of the bottom at the forward end of the engine room.
The first rivets to shear were those in the keel at the point where the engines were pulling the bottom up and over the bottom section of boiler room no.1. Once there was sufficient rupture of the bottom the engine room floor slid up and over the floor of boiler room no.1 shearing those boilers from there beds and crumpling in the bottom of the ship.

The breakup of the ship likely was the result of the ship reaching its tipping point. The bow was quickly picking up downward momentum which delivered added stress amidships and broke Titanic's back. Ultimately the bow lost momentum due to water resistance and reversed the break ripping the ship in two. It is like a brittle piece of metal which will bend one way, but snaps in two when bent back the other way. The upper decks would have been the last to separate. Perhaps that long stringy piece of boat deck still attached to the stern was the last piece to pull apart.

Walter Hojka
The Steel Doesn't Lie
<table border=1>[tr][td]
MGY-Image writer.EPS (16.7 k)[/td][/tr][/table]​
Not open for further replies.