Titanic doc next week

Not open for further replies.

Feben Iyassu

Hey peeps,

Just thought I'd post this, I found it while on the National Geographic site. Looks like an interesting doc, well worth watching if you're into the Titanic (like me).

Seconds From Disaster: Titanic 19 September, 9.00PM

Count down the moments leading up to the 'unsinkable' ship's demise on 14 April 1912. An iceberg, too few lifeboats and freezing waters combined in an oceanic tragedy.

check it out:

Definitely worth a look, if only to see our forum member Parks Stephenson. He brings some knowledge and sense to the investigation conducted by a USCG officer.

Don't be put off by the feeble beginning. The last part of the show is much better.
If you go to nationalgeographic.co.uk and click on the "Seconds from Disaster" bit, then click on the "broadband clips" link for Titanic.

I'm the one in the blue shirt and suspenders.
Is this only for the UK? I don't seem to find it on my TV listing for tonight. 9pm here (Texas) lists 'Is It Real?'.

Anyone else running into this problem? I sure hate to miss this.
Matt: The Seconds From Disaster show runs only in the UK next week. Here's when it runs in the U.S.

Seconds from Disaster
Sinking of the Titanic [TV-PG]
Wednesday, October 4, 2006, at 09P
Deconstruct the chain of events leading to some of the world's most tragic disasters. Blending advanced computer generated imaging (CGI), forensic science, eyewitness accounts, and expert testimony; the stories are recreated in gripping detail.

Robert H. Gibbons
Hmmm, don't hold your breath. I watched it tonight, nothing special, maybe apart from the recreated riveted Titanic shell plates put under stress preasure.

It's a good show for beginners but nothing to write home about for the serious Titanic historian.

Hey Robert! Thanks for the heads up! Hope you and yours are all doing well. Still haven't had a chance to make it to Branson yet and it looks like it's going to be an even longer while than I originally expected. I might be moving to Kenner, LA in the next few months, which puts me even further away. First vacation time I get though, I'm there!

Thanks Richard for the review. I didn't figure on it being too much on the ground-breaking front, but I'm still looking forward to seeing it. The CGI previews I saw on the National Geographic website looks interesting enough.

Thanks again guys.
I have to say that I was not impressed with this programme at all.

The whole programme was built up going through the series of events which caused the sinking. Each one was found to be the standard of the day, except for the rivets. Now Dr. Tim Foecke has done his tests and there is no doubt in my mind he has done a wonderful work, but just what was the pressure exerted on these rivets by the iceberg? No one will ever know.

I have know quite a few people who installed these rivets into Titanic and especially one who was quite close to me. I know it is not a riveter who is to blame but the manufacturer. Saying this, were there better rivets to be found in 1909. If there were and they were more expensive, they would have pushed up Harland & Wolff's profit.

No Titanic hit an iceberg and that is what sank her.

Why buy a Rolls Royce and drive it into a brick wall!
Jim, as I've mentioned elsewhere, the problem with the test is that it didn't duplicate the riveting at all.

Below about D deck, the rivets were inserted from inside the hull. The holes were punched and the rivet points were hammered down into the shallow depressions left by the punching. The points stood a little proud of the plates. When they were primed and painted, the plates were left smooth. This can be seen on page 74 of Father Browne's Titanic Album. On page 77 of The Birth of the Titanic, workers can be seen hammering rivets into Britannic.

The test on TV used drilled holes and the points of the rivets were shaped by hammering on a steel die that left them a totally different shape from the real thing.

Personally, I think the rivet points were a source of weakness, but similar rivets worked OK on many other ships. They just didn't hit bergs at 22 knots.

Here's how the rivets were formed, from a Board of Trade document.


Thanks for your answer. I agree completely with you that the rivets would be the weakest point on the plates and I'm sure any maritime officer worth his salt would have known this. What other material could have been used at this time. Welding was tested at Queen's Island in 1906 and was found to be too weak. My father and Grandfather spoke often of repairing welded ships during and after WW2.

FYI the rounded end was "sitting proud" and the almost flattened end was "Flush". just like you wrote the flush end was usually below the water line for less resistance.

A lot of seamen still today would prefer a riveted ship to a welded ship.

The rivets were not the archilles heel of Titanic, just don't hit icebergs.

Sorry but this is old news, it's just a translation from Dr. Foecke's site.

I'll head to Harland & Wolff and take some photos of the Thompson Dock gate. Same rivets, still holding and they have received quite a few bumps!!
Well, managed to miss that. LOL.

It comes on again on Oct 11, according to the National Geographic website. Even though I've heard it's not much, I'd still enjoy seeing it.
I think you'll find it's worth a look. At first, I thought they were going to repeat some of the same old myths unchallanged (Like the binoculars issue) but they actually went ahead and nuked some of them.

Unfortunately, the rivet test wasn't quite a reflection of reality since it didn't duplicate the way the ship was actually riveted. Not that the whole thing was wrong in toto, but let's face it, when you strike a mass of ice weighing in at up to a quarter of a million tonnes with a 50,000 tonne mass moving at ~22 knots, you will have some popped rivets no matter how well they're made.
To me, it looked like they were using all the "ifs", binoculars, ice messages etc until they came to the rivets. Not only didn't they install the rivets according to H&W practices (as dave and Micheal rightly pointed out), but no one has pointed out the pressure upon the rivets when the iceberg and Titanic collided.
Not open for further replies.