Where was the location of the breakup?


Apr 26, 2017
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I believe the "shaking" and "reeling" of the ship would throw the funnels over as the bow and stern rocked from side to side as they tore and twisted each other apart until they broke free. Survivors saw all 4 funnels intact when she broke. At the Inquiry they said there were 2 explosive sounds up to 20 minutes apart. One was heard before she sank, and the second during the sinking. Lightoller said the ship was gradually listing more to port and when the last boats that were forward were ready for lowering the ship "got a righting movement and maintained it". Frank Prentice said the last boats that were aft were ready for lowering when the ship was going down by the head and he then felt the ship had righted herself and they were able to lower the boats aft. First thing that comes to mind is that the ship was bending or breaking already at this early stage. It may not have been noticeable to those far away in the lifeboats, but to those aboard it was. The righting sensation may also have been caused by the coal bunker in boiler room 5 bursting and the water rushing aft via the open watertight doors and filling the ship in the centre which would ease away the downward tilt for a while until she finally broke apart. e.g.

Albert Pearcey was in collapsible C which was the last boat lowered on the starboard side.

Q - Did you notice when you rowed away whether the ship had any list?
A - Yes, the ship had a list on her port side.
Q - Did you notice whether she was down by the head?
A - No, I did not notice.
Q - Did you notice whether she appeared to be going deeper into the water forward, did you notice that?
A - No.
Q - Did you see the vessel go down?
A - Yes.
Q - Were you facing her when she went down?
A - Yes.

Charles Joughin was in the stern section when collapsible C was lowered.

"I did not notice anything. I did not notice her being much down by the head."
Q - Do you mean that the list to port was more serious?
A - I thought so.
Q - Than being down by the head?
A - I thought so, yes.


I believe the ship was already beginning to buckle and the sea was flooding the centre of the ship and the sides were splitting open and allowing water to enter. If the two explosive sounds were 20 minutes apart then there may have been a breach in the hull which allowed the sea to flood the centre of the ship for 20 minutes before she finally sagged in the middle and broke. The bow would then take a sudden plunge before bobbing and reeling as the water roared in from the back. I believe very little focus is ever made on the breach of the hull caused by the break up and if this was a gradual breach then what compartments would be immediately flooded and what effect this would have on the ship and the angle in which she sank.


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That's almost exactly what my theory address
 

Kyle Naber

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Cameron's film shows the first funnel falling to port, but I think he depicted the funnel being too dependent on the wires. In my opinion, supports that are designed to maintain funnel positions were placed to hold up an upright funnel. Any hint of shift of position would snap all of the wires instantly.

Also, there were reports of Titanic being almost perpendicular before the break which conflicts against all four funnels being intact at that time.

It's important to remember that the time between the beginning of the plunge and the breakup was extremely short- only a few minutes. It's very understandable as to how memories of the event would be altered.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Edward Brown was in front of the first funnel when he heard an explosion and saw the stern tremble, and break off and cant upwards. He thought the bow had broken free and "the bow had fallen off".

Q - When the afterpart gave this tremble, where were you then?
A - In the water, right before the forward funnel.

Ruth Becker and Emily Ryerson described the ship breaking with the two forward funnels leaning forward.




This would coincide with the 'sudden plunge' at the bow that Lightoller described. When he came to the surface he saw the stern was facing the opposite way. "The ship had turned around while I was under the water."

Only those close enough and able to see the broadside of the ship would realize what was happening.

Note - Ruth Becker said the screams started after the explosion and when the ship broke in two. I believe this is a strong indication that the ship broke first and then sank rapidly which caused the panic. If the ship was already going down rapidly before she broke then the harrowing screams would have been heard before she appeared to explode and break in two.


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Kyle Naber

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Edward Brown was in front of the first funnel when he heard an explosion and saw the stern tremble, and break off and cant upwards. He thought the bow had broken free and "the bow had fallen off".

Q - When the afterpart gave this tremble, where were you then?
A - In the water, right before the forward funnel.

Ruth Becker and Emily Ryerson described the ship breaking with the two forward funnels leaning forward.




This would coincide with the 'sudden plunge' at the bow that Lightoller described. When he came to the surface he saw the stern was facing the opposite way. "The ship had turned around while I was under the water."

Only those close enough and able to see the broadside of the ship would realize what was happening.

Note - Ruth Becker said the screams started after the explosion and when the ship broke in two. I believe this is a strong indication that the ship broke first and then sank rapidly which caused the panic. If the ship was already going down rapidly before she broke then the harrowing screams would have been heard before she appeared to explode and break in two.


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I think the panic began as passengers saw water on the boat deck. Really until this moment, people still amazingly believed that the ship would not sink. Senator Bourne questioned Mr. Collins at the inquiries:

"Mr. Collins: Her bow was in the water and her stern was up.
Senator Bourne: But you did not see any break? You did not think she had parted and broken in two?
Mr. Collins: Just as I came up to the surface, sir. Her bow was in the water. She exploded in the water. She exploded once in the water, and her stern was up out of the water; and with the explosion out of the water, it blew her stern up."

Mr. Collins said that he saw the stern rise out of the water when an explosion occured and the bow was under the water. A wave washed him away, he says, before any explosion happened. To me, this indicates that the bow was already under the water at the point of the breakup. At the same time, it means that the explosions heard during the beginning of the plunge were not a result of the break, but something rather violent taking place down beneath like boiler explosions. At this time, the bow would accelerate downwards, which is physically typical, and the stern would begin to quickly rise up. I don't think the bow sinking has anything to do with the break and I don't think that Collins saw the break, but heard machinery exploding as the ship rose out of the water.

Survivor testimony can be helpful, but forensic evidence never lies. Perpindicular, not perpindicular. Lights on, lights off. Break, no break. White rockets, colored rockets. Testimony widely ranged from eyewitness to eyewitness, but when we combine it all with what is left on the sea floor and keep physics in mind, we get something that looks like this:

Screenshot (14).png

9 degree port list caused by the flooding of Scottland Road and the open gangway door

Screenshot (15).png
The bridge drops down as the superstructure is pulled under. There is no upward stern movement to cause any break.

Screenshot (16).png
The first funnel collapses to port due to the growing port list. Port and Starboard could easily be mixed up as it tooks mere seconds for the funnel to dissapear.

Screenshot (17).png
Maximum stress of 22 degrees is reached just before the breakup. (Conclusion formed by modern stress and flooding analysis)

Screenshot (18).png
The ship breaks in two, the stern settles back to port, so as it pivots up again, it turns around.

Screenshot (19).png
The stern detaches from the bow and slides down into the water becoming almost perpindicular before vanishing.
 
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Kyle Naber

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I didn't take the time to read all the replies here, and if I put the same thing as someone else, my apologize, but here's a documentary about the question of Sir John that is to say where the ship broke, how and why that has been examined by scientists : here's the link of Youtube. It's in English and free :

This is a great source for the breakup conclusions
 
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Aaron_2016

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The national geographic simulation is good but not accurate. Great for television ratings of course.


The ship was supposed to survive with 4 compartments flooded. i.e. the ship would not sink low enough to cause E-deck to dip below the waterline and spill over into the next compartment. When boiler room 6 began to flood the ship would (very slowly) tilt downwards. To what extent we don't know because the port list changed everything. Port side rooms would flood and starboard side rooms would be high and dry. This would greatly limit the flooding of the bow section and the direction the water travelled across the ship. The NG simulation assumes the decks would flood entirely with the ship sinking well down by the head and yet they show E-deck far below the surface and not flooding for some strange reason. Did they assume it was trapped in a giant air pocket?



decklist.PNG



They show boiler room 5 completely filled with water. That is speculation. We don't know if the watertight doors aft were closed and sealed as there were orders to reopen them and whatever valves they opened to allow the pumps to work may have had a negative effect once the water rushed the opposite way and flooded the ship amidships and aft, which would cause the water forward to drain away and flood aft.




decks2.PNG




E-deck was the make or break moment to know if the ship would sink low enough for water to spill over and sink the ship. I believe the Captain was kept informed and because E-deck did not flood during the entire evacuation he was confident the ship would not sink. He knew she was in need of assistance and partially sinking but according to other survivors they were confident the pumps would handle the flooding. As long as E-deck remained dry.


We have no evidence that boiler room 6 fully flooded and spilled over into boiler room 5 and caused a chain reaction. We have evidence that the coal bunker in number 5 may have burst and the sea rushed into number 5 from below, not above. This would cause the water in boiler room 6 to decrease and spill directly into boiler room 5 from below. Fred Barrett climbed the ladder and quickly got out as E-deck was not flooded. We don't know what happened next below decks. The NG simulation assumes that boiler room 6 and 5 filled up completely and caused the ship to tilt even more down by the head. Survivors did not experience that. They said when the last boats were about to leave the ship righted herself and Joughin noticed the water had receded from the E-deck corridor.

It is my belief that the watertight doors were left open or were not fully closed and the sea rushed aft after the coal bunker failed. Enormous volumes of water from number 6 rushed into number 5, draining the water significantly out of number 6 and if the watertight doors were open or not sealed tight then the water would continue aft and sink the ship bodily. Boxhall was near the stern and he said her stern was getting low in the water and he realized she was going to sink. Pearcey had just left on collapsible C and he noticed the ship was now sinking bodily with no noticeable downward tilt at all. Joughin did not notice her down by the head much at all and Violet Jessop watched the ship as each line of portholes dipped below the surface with no tilt downwards. Then came the first explosion and the bow took a sudden lurch forwards and downwards, a second explosion followed and the ship tore herself apart with her stern acting independently and canting violently upwards into the air and turning around and her bow sinking rapidly from the back and tilting her backwards before plunging forwards again.



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Rob Lawes

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It is my belief that the watertight doors were left open or were not fully closed and the sea rushed aft after the coal bunker failed. Enormous volumes of water from number 6 rushed into number 5, draining the water significantly out of number 6 and if the watertight doors were open or not sealed tight then the water would continue aft and sink the ship bodily.

That's not possible. Firstly, the watertight doors were fitted with floats below the level of the plates. As soon as water hit the floats, an open door would drop sealing the compartment.

Secondly, unless the whole bulkhead between 5 and 6 collapsed some time after the last witness left (Barrett at approximately 01:30) the only way for water to flow from 6 to 5 is via the smoke trunking above the boilers or the E deck door access via Scotland road. The damage in the coal bunker ran across the 6 and 5 bulkhead but the water entering 5 from this damage came directly from the sea. Had even just the bulkhead in the region of the coal bunker collapsed, the speed at which the water would have flooded the compartment would have meant Barrett would have never made it out alive.

We know in the last 20 minutes of the ships life the downward trim which would have slowed a little due to the equalisation of water flow through the damage, began to rapidly increase again. From witness testimony, at the time of launching collapsible D it took a maximum of 5 minutes for the forward well deck to go from awash to the whole focsle head underwater. That's probably a change in forward trim of over a foot a minute by then.

At the stage the well deck went under, water would now be pouring in through every conceivable non watertight opening, doors and vent intakes.

I would guess that boiler room 5 began to flood over the bulkhead between 5 and 6 possibly as late as 01:50.
 
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Aaron_2016

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That's not possible. Firstly, the watertight doors were fitted with floats below the level of the plates. As soon as water hit the floats, an open door would drop sealing the compartment.


I doubt they worked owing to the port list. They clearly did not work on the Britannic as she listed over to starboard and sank with her watertight doors open. If they did manage to automatically close the doors with floats they could still be jammed open by discarded wheelbarrows and shovels as the water that rushed towards the doors would carry anything moveable towards them, jamming them open, keeping them partially open and allowing the water to travel further aft. Perhaps the pumps themselves were jamming the doors open. We will never know, unless further expeditions are made to the wreck.


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Apr 26, 2017
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Okay so we are collecting more information and ideas. I think I may wait a little longer but I'm going to update my break up theory soon
 

Rob Lawes

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Aaron, we can be reasonably certain that the watertight door between 4 and 5 was shut as at least three witnesses state so.

Also in his testimony, George Cavell states that the water was 1 foot over the plates by the time they left boiler room 4. That is deep enough to have triggered the float on the door between 4 and 3 so I'd say it was safe to assume that was also closed.
 
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Aaron_2016

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But why did the doors not close on the Britannic? The doors on the Titanic were manually reopened by the crew. If they were opened up just enough to pass through and not fully opened, this may have affected the trigger or release mechanism which prevented them from closing automatically? Dillon said they were - "lifted up high enough by hand to let us get underneath."

Q - Did you leave the doors open or not as you went through?
A - Left them open.
Q - They were not closed again?
A - No, my Lord.

We have evidence that water was found coming up through the floor of boiler room 4 over an hour after the collision. Some believe the collision may have breached number 4 and the flooding did not become apparent for some time. As the ship began to flood, the hull began to bend and buckle open the damaged plates. This may have increased the damage and flooding in number 4 and the water would spread aft via the open doors. If they did not close on the Britannic then they may not have closed on the Titanic. I believe the list to port/starboard played a major part in the flooding, buckling, and possibly jamming of the doors.

Harold Bride said the Captain told him the iceberg had struck "amidships or just aft of amidships". A bit of a coincidence because that is where the ship later broke in two. There may have been severe damage underneath the ship near the engine room but like number 4 it did not become apparent until much later. There are so many unknown variables that we simply can not point to exactly what caused the ship to settle back before the boats were all released and then appear to explode and break in two. Speculation and analysing the survivor testimony is about all we have at the moment. Exploring the boiler rooms on the wreck would answer many questions. Were the doors open....Was there an internal explosion or implosion......etc. Future generations will probably know what happened, but for now, we can only speculate.


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Rob Lawes

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I don't know about Brittanic I'm not familiar enough with the details.

As for Titanic. Dillon says the doors were lifted as far forward as the bulkhead between 4 and 5. George Cavell says the door between 4 and 5 was closed but wasn't certain about the Aft door between 4 and 3 but with 1 foot of water over the plates in 4 then both doors would have to be closed. Also, one other witness who's name escapes me said that the door between 4 and 5 was opened to allow the injured 2nd engineer through and then closed behind him.

As for what caused the flooding in 4, again I've no idea.

I agree, more investigation of the boiler rooms may help but I would imagine that it is becoming increasingly less likely with the decay of the hull.
 

B-rad

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Dillion along with others received the order 'by the chief engineer', which were, “to get out of the engine room and into the stokehold and open the doors,” [Q3738], the watertight doors would be lifted back up 'by hand'. [Q3804] Dillion would originally state that this was done by “about six or seven - seven” [Q3961] men, though he would later state, when asked, “You lifted No. 1; how many of you did it?”; that in fact it had been, three men, 'three on the pump'. [Q3963] When pressed further as to how many men it was that turned the handle, he would state, “Two or three.” [Q3966]

Dillion would state that the orders to open the watertight doors was given, he assumed, “To allow the engineers to get forward to their duties, the valves and pumps.” [Q3800] The men would start at the door separating boiler room one and the reciprocating engine room, on watertight bulkhead K. Dillion would state in question 3742, that the door, “leading from the engine room to the stokehold was lifted up high enough by hand to let us get underneath,” and not all the way up, presumably because the two or three men (or seven) that were helping Dillion, did not have enough man power to do it themselves, as Dillion would further state, “As we got into each section the men were in it, in their own boiler rooms. At No. 1 boiler room we had to lift the door up, and when we got to the next section there were men belonging to that section in it.” [Q3962] This means that no one seems to have been stationed in the unlit boiler room 1 (hence why Dillion was stationed in the reciprocating engine room), that could help lift the door. He would also state to the Daily Mail, as subsequently repeated in The Herald on June 27th 1912:

The after engine-room door was lifted up half way, enough for us to crawl under. All the water-tight doors were opened by us with the handle, but the chief engineer told us not to touch No. 5 door as that was finished.

As noted, in the exert above, Dillion and the men would make it as far as the door separating boiler room 4 and 5 located on watertight bulkhead F. This door was to remain close, Dillion believed, because of flooding, though he would state not knowing for sure.

Scott would also lift the watertight door slightly when he and his mate went to release the greaser in the shaft tunnel. Scott and his mate would release the greaser by heaving the watertight 'door up about two feet.' [Q5559] I presume that this was due to lack of man power. These doors were heavy, and I'm sure cranking them open required a lot of strength, and it wouldn't be surprising if turns were taken at cranking it open.

What is interesting is that Scott was able to do so before orders to open the doors were given. Evidence within the testimony suggests that the doors could not be re-opened unless the bridge disengaged the electric circuit that connected to the solenoid. However, the solenoid was just a magnet that disengaged the bell crank lever, and as far as I've been able to research, had no way of stopping the door from being opened, but the door could not remain open because the clutch could not be reengaged, due to the bell crank still being operated by the solenoid. If so, than someone would have to hold the door open while people slipped through, and until the order was given to open all the doors, the bridge would then cut off the current, with would release the bell crank allowing the clutch to re-engage. IDK if this theory is true, as I have not been able to find anything to suggest it either true or false.

As far as I'm aware Britannic's doors were thrown out of alignment due to the blast of the torpedo, and possibly other blasts from coal/boilers. All the 12 doors based on survivors testimony seemed to have closed on Titanic.
 

Kyle Naber

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Britannic's WTDs were jammed open when she struck the mine. The tracks that the doors ran on were warped and they were unable to be closed. The front ones were anyway. This is one of the reasons that the ship actually sank. That and the open portholes.
 
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None of the boilers of Titanic exploded. The watertight doors were only opened aft and forward of the main engine room but only up to BR. 4 (they are closed at the wreck by the way). Water was under the stokehold plates in No. 4 and the engineers were working there at the pumps. It only rose over the stokehold plates after BR 5 was lost.

Britannic struck a mine and was not torpedoed.
 
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Apr 26, 2017
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(updated version of the breakup) titanic grounds onto the berg on the starboard side, puncterting the forpeak, number one and two hold. BR 6,5 and possibly 4.
with the upcoming knowledge it has become apperant that titanics list was not as exrem as people say (according to survivor accounts) the ship at first list to starboard then to port, and according to some. the aft and some mid WT doors are oppened . not fully, but enough for some to get through. all this time s it seems that titanics list forward is not noticable to the one to port. leading me to belive that there was more damadge to the double hull then previously thought. skipping an hour ) titanic is up to the B-deck promeneade with water. still many people are saying the list to port. is more noticable then the list forward.at around the point when the focastle goes under, the ship regains a even keel, allowing the very aft lifeboats to be lowered. and now we get to the point where the afformentioned theory starts , the bow lurches down SLIGHTLY then the mids ship hull plates fail, as the stress on the rivets becomes unbearable. this then allows water deep inside the ship into the ingein room. instantanusly reducing the lights to a dim red. the midship (area near and under the third funnel) begins to sag. also around the time the bow plunges.. water rushes up onto the boat deck. and then the first funnel falls. the bow is losing every ounce of boyancy it has. and yet the mid ship is still failing and sagging. up until the second funnel expolodes. and at the same time alot of stuff happens no in quick succession. the entirty of the bow (up until the elevated compass tower) is submerged 3 or 4 feet. and suddenly the bow rises (not out of the water but comes up a few feet closer to the surfrace. it is also at this point the grand staircase comes up and floats out of the now imploded grand dome. leading some to believe the bow has risen out the water. then the power fails. and the ship suddenly increases in its forward list. then the hulls and supertructer fail.. save for a few internal connections (pipes and such) the stern settles back to 15 degrees. and then the ship nearly rushes its self when it sinks torwards the middle. eventully pausing. and then under so much stress. so much strain. the stern falls back. (again not creating a huge splash but large ripples felt by multiple lifeboats. the stern rolls o port. as the last funnel cants backwards and the third funnel falls to port. giving the illusion that the third funnel never falls. the stern rolls all the way to port and slides away
 

Kyle Naber

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I still don't think the bow could have risen to any degree. No added water amidships could overpower the bow filled completely up with millions upon millions of gallons of water. The only reason the bow didn't sink IMMEDIATELY is because it still had to pull the stern down under with it. When the stern broke loose, the front half of the ship would rapidly DROP.
 
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The explosion at funnel No. 2 is only a theory. There was a list to port when the aft port boats and No. 15 on the starboard side were lowered. The "V" break theory was not only wrong it has been also debunked as wrong especially with the large tower debris from the break area.
The staircase did not left the ship out of the dome. I don't know why people take what happened at the movie set for real. It was not build as the original, also the water inside would be up under the dome and like in the movie. The wreckage also shows that it left the ship in pieces though the break aft.
As the break was at boiler room No. 1 how did that flood the main engine room sacking it down in the middle?
 
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