April 04, 2007

Who Sank the Titanic?

Well, the chosen conspirators, of course. Though I think the Masons might have been involved.

Which reminds me: it's almost time to re-read some of my favorite books.

But not this year. Not if I'm going to crank out a book manuscript in 90 days. And, no: not even I can rationalize it by claiming that one of my characters is a Titanic buff, and I need to do this for "character development."


Via Ace.

Posted by Attila Girl at April 4, 2007 01:06 AM | TrackBack
Comments

The demand for steel and dwindling resources of low-sulfur coal sunk the Titanic. Steel makers in the UK had to substitute high-sulfur coal for their usual purchases as demand went through the roof as the Industrial Age blossomed. High sulfur embrittles steel. Popular Science had the definitive analysis in the late 80s or early 90s. They found the son of one of the builders that had a large number of coupons--punched-out steel from the actual hull that the shipbuilder had engraved and was going to pass out as promotional items. They were put into a drawer after the sinking. PS's analysis showed that the sulfur content was many times today's standards and that the steel was as brittle as glass. A sufficient impact could have caused a large section of the hull to shatter--many times the size of the impact contact area-- spanning multiple decks and defeating the compartmentalization safety design. It was a floating accident waiting to happen.

Posted by: Darrell at April 4, 2007 10:03 AM


Well, there's also the fact that the Titanic was speeding through ice-infested water, ignoring multiple warnings wired ahead from other ships about the icebergs that lay ahead.

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 4, 2007 02:21 PM


Yes, there is that. :-)

Men would say--

1) How could I be speeding when there are no posted speed limits?
2) How could I set a new world record without "speeding"?
3) Isn't that why we have Smithy in the crow's nest?

At the time of the collision it is thought that the Titanic was at her normal cruising speed of about 22 knots (1), which was less than her top speed of around 24 knots. At the time it was common (but not universal) practice to maintain normal speed in areas where icebergs were expected (2). It was thought that any iceberg large enough to damage the ship would be seen in sufficient time to be avoided.


(1) British Inquiry - Testimony of JG Boxhall -Fourth Officer - ss "Titanic.", Q15645

(2)British Inquiry – Testimony of G Affeld, Marine Superintendent Red Star Line Q22583 & Q25615/16

Posted by: Darrell at April 4, 2007 08:26 PM


But what underlay this custom about cruising speed was the fact that there was tremendous competition to get across the Atlantic as quickly as possible. It was a status symbol for a captain to get ahead of schedule.

The belief that this was safe emerged from the DESIRE to believe that it was safe.

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 4, 2007 09:42 PM




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