What if it happened to Olympic

Jan 21, 2003
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I don't know if this topic has been brought up before but this just came to my mind. Would Olympic have suffered the same fate if she had hit the iceberg instead of the Titanic? I know the steal on both ships were poor but Olympics hull plating seemed to be high quality then Titanic's. If you look at all the accidents in Olympic's career I personally think she had better plating and that she wouldn't have sunk if she hit the iceberg and received the same amount of damage as Titanic, but that's just my thought on it.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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No, the steel on both ships was not 'poor'. In fact, it was pretty much the best quality available - at that time. Not as good as we have now, but still not bad.

And since Olympic & Titanic were built pretty much at the same time, I'm fairly sure the Olympic was the same as the Titanic.

So - yes, she would have suffered the same fate in the same accident.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Bill is absolutely correct. There may have been a few relatively minor differences between these two sister ships, but as far as hull design, steel, and assembly methods, they were essentially identical. There are few ships of that time that would have stayed afloat with the extent of damage sustained by the Titanic that night. (See Comparative Naval Architecture of Passenger Ships by Philip Sims (M), Naval Sea Systems Command http://www.skibstekniskselskab.dk/download/WMTC/C8(D29).pdf.) It fact, even after the modification made to Olympic following the Titanic disaster, she too may not have been able to survive a similar type of collision.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Somewhere I read that the same type of steel was also used in the Queen Mary - still afloat at Long Beach CA - at least, it was when I went to bed last night!
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Nicolas Roughol

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The exact same steel was used on Nomadic and she's a living proof that the steel was indeed of rather good quality for that time.

Chris, one can only speculate as to whether Olympic was better built than Titanic. They shared the same structural design, were built at the same time by the same people using the same material. These facts tell me there is no apparent reason to think one ship was weaker than the other, at the time of their launch.
 
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Brian R Peterson

Guest
I think the whole weak steel idea was born from too many people buying too far into the test done on a Discovery Channel special a few years back where they compared a modern ingot and a Titanic ingot in break and stress tests.

Of course a piece of steel submerged under 2 miles of saltwater being eaten away by bacteria for the last 90 years is going to be weaker than a brand new unharmed piece - people forget this fact then fly to the assumption that Titanic was built with "poor" steel and her hull plates shattered like glass when the iceberg hit - which is of course total nonsense, as if the steel were as weak as everyone thinks the ship would have broken apart long before she actually did.

I have also heard people bragging that the Olympic was torpedoed and did not sink, thus backing the bogus theory that Olympic was built of better stock - this too is false.

Olympic was hit by a torpedo; fortunately for the Olympic and history, it failed to explode - only after the dented hull plates were found when she was in drydock for a routine inspection in 1919 was this even discovered.

The only differences between Titanic and Olympic were mainly found in interiors, aside from the A Deck "Ismay Screens" of course.

Best Regards,

Brian
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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Why not test 1910s steel that has NOT been underwater or attacked by bacteria with today's steel and from there you can really see the difference? A piece from Nomadic's hull?

Additional speculation that the Olympic was better built than the Titanic - Was the Titanic behind schedule and was rushed to completion?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Why not test 1910s steel that has NOT been underwater or attacked by bacteria with today's steel and from there you can really see the difference?<<

Probably not a lot of that extant. In this instance, I don't think it'll make a lot of difference how long it's been submerged. The steel that was tested may have been rusted near the surface, but was beneath all that was pristine. For more on the questions of the metalurgy of the Titanic, go to the following two websites:

NIST Web Page For Tim Foecke
The Royal Mail Ship Titanic: Did a Metallurgical Failure Cause a Night to Remember?
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Hi Brian,
According to an science journal in 1994, tests were also done on steel plates recovered by the IMAX team. They found that a worker at H&W had kept a rivet from the Titanic and when they compared the chemical composition of the rivet and the steel plate - they were the same.

The Charpy V-Notch test result was the same as on the Discovery Channel; the modern steel bent into a V, the Titanic's split in two.

Cheers

Paul
--
http://www.paullee.com
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Hi Jeremy,
I agree 100% Unfortunately, this infuriated "respected" Titanic authors in the early 1990s who didn't realise that steel making was in its "infancy" at the turn of the century - these authors assumed that this meant that H&W had skimped on construction costs and went beserk over this inference!

Cheers

Paul
http://www.paullee.com
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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>>these authors assumed that this meant that H&W had skimped on construction costs and went beserk over this inference!<<

LOL! Was H&W the type of company which would do all this unscrupulous methods to cut costs?
 

Matthew Lips

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Mar 8, 2001
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Given the nature of the exclusive contract between H&W and White Star, there seems no reason at all why there would be any skimping on construction costs. White Star paid whatever H&W charged them on a cost + (I forget how much) percentage basis.

If it had happened to Olympic, might the absence of the so-called Ismay screens have made it a little easier to get more people off in the boats?
Beyond that, I don't see how it would have much difference which of the two sisters cuddled up to the iceberg.

(Some people still argue that it WAS Olympic, but we won't go down that road again. Please!!)
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>If it had happened to Olympic, might the absence of the so-called Ismay screens have made it a little easier to get more people off in the boats?<<

Well, there would have been one less detail to attend to, ipso facto lowering/opening the windows. I don't think it would have been a problem for any of the men, but just try climbing over those bulwarks in a ladies long and rather close fitting dress!
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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However, Ismay screen or not, the passengers would still be in big trouble. How much more lives can it help?

Its like the theory of having lots of lifeboats but no time to fill them up.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>However, Ismay screen or not, the passengers would still be in big trouble. How much more lives can it help?<<

Don't know. The problems were as much in getting things organized as anything else. Recall the fiasco with sending people below decks to open a door and continue loading from there. That one didn't work out to well at all.
 

Mindy Deckard

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Aug 29, 2005
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You could take what everyone has previously said or you could take a totally different view of the disaster.

According to Robin Gardiner's book it was the Olympic that hit the iceberg and foundered in the North Atlantic.

Not that I am a believer in this conspiracy but it is a, for lack of a better term, unique read.

Cheers!