Certainly they should have raise the bulkheads, to Main Deck level. That I believe would have stopped the Ice Cube Tray effect, and she probably would have stayed afloat. Today we know the importance of this and how to install WTDs that are unobtrusive when opened. They were worried about appearance and passenger ease of movement.
The 'ice cube tray effect' is a popular misconception that has lingered since 1912. It was not the real reason for the sinking. What happened was that the forward compartments took on such a weight of water that the stern lifted clear of the water and the hull failed in a spectacular way. This would have happened, merely by each compartment filling via the hole in it plus taking water through various hull openings as she sank lower. The problem was the number of compartments holed and damage not envisioned by the designers.
As to the concern about passenger movement, the same thing applies today. Modern passenger ships are little better than Titanic as far as subdivision is concerned. She very nearly met modern rules. Lord Pirrie and the rest did a fine job on the whole. Many ships would have heeled over and sunk, had they sustained the damage Titanic took. Captain Erik Wood has made some pointed comments on this forum about the ability of modern ships to withstand damage.
Well, seems to me that Captain Erik's concerns are justified. Can anyone name a liner/cruise ship that could survive even half the damage Titanic took?
Also, we might want to give due credit to Harland and Wollf for designing a ship which had so much room for growth, that they could make the sort of post-Titanic modifications that they did. The Olympics exceeded the requirements of the day and still had room for more.
Good luck finding a ship other then a warship designed that way today. You just might need it!
Having sailed on the SS Constitution , NS Savannah, and the TV State of Maine II (ex Ancon), State of Maine III (ex USNS Upshur), all two compartment ships, I have seen plenty of examples of WTDs in passenger spaces. This allowed the watertight bulkheads to extend up to main deck, but didn't interfere with passengers.
Every ship that sinks ultimately does so because of progressive flooding. Titanic was a pure example of this. Yes I know that the unsupported weight of the after part of the hull broke her back, but even if it hadn't she still would have gone down. Because the water would have kept pouring over the tops of the bulkheads to fill the next compartment. Lusitania, Empress of Ireland, & Andrea Doria, all lost transverse stability first, they listed past the angle of down flooding which enhanced the rate of progressive flooding. Any way I still believe that if Titanic's water tight bulkheads had extended up to the main deck she could have been saved.
My dear friend Captain Weeks said: "Yes I know that the unsupported weight of the after part of the hull broke her back, but even if it hadn't she still would have gone down."
My comments will center around the sections in bold and red. Dave Gittens has a point. It wasn't the traditional ice tray scenario that we here to much that sank Titanic in my estimation. In September we will be discussing this very aspect of the sinking.
Ships sink because they loose buoyancy usually because of ingress of water. Most ships of today are one compartment or two compartment ships. Lakers really aren't even one compartment ships.
Titanic and her damage is a relativly new creature. All of the famous ships to include the Brintanic all rolled over. Titanic went down by the head. Something that allowed for the use of all of her lifeboats.
I wager that had the watertight compartments been brought up to the main deck level, and once Titanic was thrown into a dry dock, they would have scrapped the heep and started over.
I guess we will have to wait till after the event in September to hear my long laundry list of reasons why and how Titanic sank.
Interesting point Mark. One perhaps to ponder. Titanic is her own beast. She has a very unusual sinking scenario. The trouble is, we need something to compare to but can't seem to come up with a similar circumstance.
I understand about the Britannic, how ever I believe her problem was open portholes to ventilate the quarters, and open WTDs to change the watch. These made for rapid flooding. Also Capt. Bartlet kept steaming, a subject that Dave Brown has addressed very nicely.
Erik I'm sorry I won't be able to attend your Sept. event but work prevents it. Please keep me informed on how it goes.
I am aware of the differences between the Titanic and Britannic scenarios and I assumed that you did, too. However, it would appear that in your rush to point out the faults in my analogy that you failed to consider the basic point that I was trying to make.
The progressive flooding described by Prof. Weeks happened because of the transfer of water along non-watertight decks and through non-watertight openings. That much is accepted and/or proven. An additional factor may be the transfer of water underneath the WT bulkheads, but that speculation has yet to be proven.
My point is that it is my estimation that the height of Titanic's WT bulkheads were never a deciding factor in whether the ship stayed afloat or sank. But rather than give you a quick brush here that wouldn't do my argument adequate justice, I will instead make it a priority to generate another White Paper after I'm done with my Marconi work.
Rather then attempt to back track and read all the posts above I am going to just state my own opinion and comment on it. I will probably be repeating myself but I think it necessary.
I don't think Titanic sank in the manner in which the Cameron Movie depicts. The paper written by Parks Stephenson and David Brown have pretty much defined that. The theory of water spilling over bulkheads is one I believe in. However, it wasn't completely about water spilling over bulkheads and nor is about water filling compartments evenly.
To me it's about where water entered, at what rate and where. Was it all at the same rate?? Why did water enter?? was it from the grounding or the brush with the berg?? Things of that nature.
Speaking personally, I wasn't rushing to pick holes in Parks' anology. Merely pointing out that there are many differences with Titanic and Britannic and the way that they sank. I believe that I am aware of the difference between the Titanic and Britannic, having studied over ten primary sources relating to the latter's sinking, all I could find.
I would love to see a White Paper talking of the height of Titanic's watertight bulkheads. Personally, I feel that had she had Britannic's arrangement (it doesn't matter here about the inner skin), she would have floated. However, I have many thoughts on Britannic's sinking and a number of details which I see as possible myths, such as the 'flooding' inner skin and supposed 'failure' of watertight doors to close, leading to the ultimate sinking. While I believe that some of Britannic's doors did fail, I do not believe that they (or even the resultant flooding from them) alone caused the sinking. One thing not often appreciated for example is just how long Britannic was stopped, in between the two 'dash' attempts to shore.
At the time, Edward Wilding calculated that Titanic would have sunk purely by taking on water even if the bulkheads had gone to deck C. This assumes that damage extended as far aft as boiler room 4, for which there is some evidence. He believed that the hull did not break. Charles is therefore quite right. She would have sunk, even if she had not broken. My point is that book after book goes on repeating the 'ice cube tray' story and assuming that higher bulkheads would have saved the ship. Whether by breaking or flooding, she was going to sink.
Captain Wood's point about the very unusual nature of the sinking is important. Among other things, it caused the value of lifeboats to be over-estimated. In fact, it is very rare for all a ship's boats to be usable in a typical accident.
I am not sure she could take the strain of 6 compartments flooding without something giving. In my paper I show the possible side effects of a ship with 6 flooding compartments. If that was true and the bulkhead extended up to B-deck I think she may have split at boiler room 4 and not the recip engine room.
I forgot this thread! Regarding six forward compartments flooded, we are assuming that Titanic's structure is essentially the same but with one higher bulkhead between boiler room #4 and #5. What would be good to debate is any changes that could be made to the structure, like extra stiffening, plating thicknesses, bracing, etc.
This is interesting because Britannic's design showed a number of important differences in both her bulkheads, double bottom and engine room, to name a few. Although she sank in a totally different scenario, as I have been at pains to point out, I don't believe at the moment that her bulkhead between boilers #5 and #4 collapsed. Apparently some marine group in America did a paper on her, so I wrote to Roy Mengot to try and get a copy, but so far I've heard nothing. All of this therefore, is through my own research and opinion.