The Breakup and the Stern Section Why did it even founder


Status
Not open for further replies.

Cody Gentry

Member
Feb 6, 2008
59
1
98
So - hoping that my sketches and mind math do me right - it seems to me that after the breakup (between the third and fourth funnels at the aft expansion point), if one considers that only 1 of 6 watertight chambers in the stern were flooded, proportionally 1/6 is less than the 1/4 needed to keep the ship - as a whole - afloat. My inquiry is concerning the happening of the stern even sinking. Might have more that just one bulkhead have been damaged during the ripping at the expansion point and the breakup more extreme than previously thought by me? Or might have the turbine engines (3: weighing 1,000 tonnes each) pulled the fore of the broken stern deep enough into the water for it to spill into the 5th watertight chamber - creating a 1/3 ration flooded; an amount exceeding the ship's sinking point. Help me anyone? Am I just going mad?
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>Help me anyone? Am I just going mad?<<

I don't know if you're going mad but you may well be overthinking the problem. It's an easy temptation to give in to and I don't pretend to be immune.

The simple fact of the matter is that whatever the chain of effect may have been, the cause...the breakup itself...was violent enough to initiate a series of failures so that the stern section was simply overwhelmed. I suppose if a real life Death Star had neatly sliced the ship in half with it's ray gun, the stern might have had enough integrity to float on it's own, but that's not what happened.

What happened is that the hull girder tore itself to shreds and the remaining scrap metel fell to the bottom in a shower of steel.
 

Cody Gentry

Member
Feb 6, 2008
59
1
98
I love your metaphorical interpretation of the Death Star - it's quite funny when comparing it to the Titanic Disaster, although that, itself, was not.
I suppose the breakup must have been extremely violent if the stern section foundered following it. Also, because the low angle reverse breakup has now been almost accepted - excluding those Cameron-Titanic patriots - I can at least factor out of my mind that the nearly severed bow pulled the stern vertical, I am able to imagine that perhaps the "hull girder [tearing] itself to shreds" might be appropriate.
Thank you.

I feel better now that I have someone else to converse about it, Michael. Merci.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>I can at least factor out of my mind that the nearly severed bow pulled the stern vertical<<

In all candor, this may have been a factor on some level, but perhaps not quite to the extent commonly believed. The stern section at least sank reletively intact but the midsection of the ship pretty much collapsed in on itself. The damage done when around 5000 tons of metal gave up the ghost couldn't have been gentle to anything attatched to it.
 

Cody Gentry

Member
Feb 6, 2008
59
1
98
Well, I figured that it had something to guide it, but in all entirety I had this perception for the longest time of the bow (as half the ship's weight or more) absolutely manipulating the stern section. This concept stayed with me until I finally learned about the reverse breakup a few years back.
 
Feb 21, 2005
671
7
183
>>This concept stayed with me until I finally learned about the reverse breakup a few years back.<<

Maybe I just don't want to accept it because it's not quit as "epic" as the break up as depicted in Marschall paintings and Cameron's movie, but I have a hard time accepting the "reverse break-up" as fact. From what I understand, they're basing most of the theory on the 2 large bottom/keel pieces recently analyzed, which would seem to pinpoint a break up more along the lines of Roger Long's (reverse) theory.

I just keep remembering stories I've read in books from survivors (can't point a source or name right this minute, but will look) and they say after the thundering noise and movements like a break-up, the stern seemed to rise back "as if pointing an accusing finger at the sky" before slipping away. From what I understand, the reverse break up theory would dismiss the idea of the stern rising back up at a high enough angle to "point at the stars".

This whole theory confuses the heck out of me anyway, so I'm probably just typing gibberish.
 

Cody Gentry

Member
Feb 6, 2008
59
1
98
Either way, reverse, forward, or poka-dot -no matter how unexplained it may have seemed- Titanic's foundering still serves as a hallmark downturn for the Edwardian and Victorian age. That's how I sum it all up. Anybody here to agree?
 

Will C. White

Member
Apr 18, 2007
267
2
123
Cody, I can agree it was the start of the end, but I always consider the death day as November 11, 1918. A generation was gone, and Europe was in ruins. Back to the ship now for a moment. I've always felt that the stern didn't founder right away, and those left there had at least several minutes to contemplate what was coming before she flooded out and sank. Nobody in the boats was probably able to see what happened, and the last thing on anybody's mind was "bows gone down; let me check my watch to see how long we stay afloat". WILL
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>That's how I sum it all up. Anybody here to agree?<<

Not really. It's a useful datum and serves as well as anything else but it's also misleading.

History is seldom so neat that you can point to any one thing as the mark of the end of the age. After the noise and fury surrounding Titanic died down, life and events pretty much went on in a business as usual fashion until a war came along. World War One really marked the end of the age, but it did so by inches over four years of time.

>>From what I understand, they're basing most of the theory on the 2 large bottom/keel pieces recently analyzed, which would seem to pinpoint a break up more along the lines of Roger Long's (reverse) theory.<<

And as Roger Long himself pointed out, the steel doesn't lie. It doesn't have an agenda, and it doesn't protect reputations. it simply tells it's story.

If it didn't come across as being all that "epic" wellllllll...what it it wasn't? It was still violent and destructive enough to turn April 15th into a really bad day.
 
Feb 21, 2005
671
7
183
>>And as Roger Long himself pointed out, the steel doesn't lie. It doesn't have an agenda, and it doesn't protect reputations. it simply tells it's story.<<

Yep, and one that's almost exactly opposite of what I always grew up imagining. I was just pointing out that when I think of Titanic and the break up, I always see that famous profile of the back end of the ship stand upward at an angle. To find out that high an angle probably wasn't the case was and still is a shocker to me sometimes. Why? I have no idea. I guess I'm just thick headed.

>>If it didn't come across as being all that "epic" wellllllll...what it it wasn't? It was still violent and destructive enough to turn April 15th into a really bad day.<<

True, I shouldn't use such words as "epic" when it comes to a real-life scenario like this, but I was trying to draw a comparison.

And April 15th seems to really stink no matter who you are or what reason. It's just one of those days everyone dreads year around; in my household anyway.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
>>Why? I have no idea. I guess I'm just thick headed.<<

I doubt you're thick headed. Just skeptical, and that's not a bad thing. The whole high angle break thing is pretty deeply ingrained and well supported by the testimony of those who were there so even when the forensics shows that it just didn't happen that way, it's tough to let go of it.

>>And April 15th seems to really stink no matter who you are or what reason.<<

Something about Count Taxula bleeding your bank account white?
wink.gif
 
Mar 22, 2003
6,529
1,814
383
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
>>This whole theory confuses the heck out of me anyway, so I'm probably just typing gibberish.<<

No Matt, you are not typing gibberish. There were many people who saw the stern stick way up before it went under. And they were probably correct. The question is when did the hull break? What many said was that when the lights went out the stern settled back to an almost horizontal position. A few said they thought the poop was going to float without the bow, which was gone as far as they could tell. Then, after a couple of minutes or thereabouts, the front of the stern went down as the poop came way up and remained there for some moments before it all slipped below.

By the way, anyone, what is the "reverse" theory? I don't think I heard that term used before.
 

Cody Gentry

Member
Feb 6, 2008
59
1
98
The "reverse" breakup is a theory where the bottom double hull failed during the sinking. The ship began to break at the aft expansion point at a low angle and the plates began to separate (passengers in lifeboats wouldn't have even noticed). Now as the bottom expanded because of the failing and filling double bottom the top began to compress and the stern rose further into the air. The attachment of the bow and stern finally reached it's weakness and they separated, with the actual fall of the stern most likely being minimal.

[Moderator's Note: For the reason discussed in Bill's and Sam's messages of 9 March, the images which were originally included in this message have been deleted. A link to them appears below. MAB]
 
Mar 22, 2003
6,529
1,814
383
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
Bill, those drawings originally came from the RINA paper of Bedford & Hackett, and Roy modified some of them to illustrate his point of a bottom up break. The one labeled conditions C7 I believe is directly from the RINA paper. Notice also the inconsistency in the shaded area of the bow flooding from what is labeled C10 onward. But they are undoubtedly taken from Roy's website, and Cody should have linked to them.
 
Mar 18, 2000
1,384
21
313
Sam - 100% agreement. Though I have not seen the RINA paper itself (that I recall), I knew I had seen Roy's version of them. What you recall, that Roy modified some of them, is what I recall too.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads

Similar threads