Great Loss of Life
The Titanic Sinks 4 Hours After Hitting Iceberg With 1500 Souls Lost At Sea; Mostly Woman And Children Known To Be Rescued
Carpathia Rescues Passengers Of The Titanic
Monday, April 15, 1912
The world is in shock, over the tragedy that has struck at sea. Upon it’s maiden voyage, the “unsinkable” Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. With the 20 lifeboats watching, the Titanic sank at about 2:20 a.m. on April 15 about 375 miles off the coast of New Foundland.
At around 4 a.m. The Carpathia, arrived on the scene. The Carpathia a Cunard line ship was about 50 miles away. The Carpathia picked up the men, women and children in the lifeboats and is headed back to New Your. The ship is now on it’s way back to New York.
At press time, all the details are not in.
Front Page News For Months
The newspapers kept it front page, headline news for months. The world was horrified and outraged at the great loss of life. The first hand testimonies of the survivors gave everyone a glimpse of what it was like.
The RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 at 2:20 a.m. (ships time), after striking an iceberg about 375 miles off the coast of New Foundland. It caused 1514 deaths, and was one of the deadliest peacetime disasters in history on the sea.
At the time of her journey, Titanic was the largest ship afloat operated by the White Star Line. Like books? Check out more history here.
Titanic History; Background at Harland and Wolff
TheÂ ship was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. They started building her in 1909, and finished in 1911.
In 1907, J. Bruce Ismay, and the American financier J. Pierpont Morgan, had discussed building 3 ships to compete with the Cunard line, as well as the German ship builders. Rather than going for speed as the other companies were doing, they would go for style, luxury and grandeur. The Titanic and her sister ships, the Olympic and the Britannic were some of the largest ships built during this time.
Harland and Wolff put their top designers to work on building the vessel. Lord Pirrie was director of both Harland and Wolff and the White Star Line. Thomas Andres was the managing director of Harland and Wolff’s design department. Edward Wilding was Thomas Andrew’s deputy, and he was responsible for calculating the ship’s design, stability and trim. Alexander Carlisle was the shipyards general manager and chief draftsman. His responsibilities included decorating the ship, equipment, including the implementation of an efficient lifeboat design.
In July of 1908, J. Bruce Ismay, and the White Star Line executives approved the design. Two days later, letters were signed and the ship was authorized the start of construction. The Titanic at this time did not have a name, and was simply number 401. It was Harland and Wolff’s 401st hull built.
The Titanic was finished and launched on May 31, 1911. Lord Pirrie, J. P. Morgan, J. Bruce Ismay and upwards of 100,000 people from the area were there to cheer. They used 22 tons of soap and tallow to lubricate the slipway in order for the ship to pass into the River Lagan. In keeping with the White Star Line’s traditional policy, the ship was not formally named or christened with champagne. The ship was towed to a berth where it would be fitted out over the course of the next year.
Sea Trials of The RMS Titanic
Her sea trials began on Monday, April 2, 1912. The sea trials consisted of a number of tests to make sure she handled correctly. These tests were first carried out in Belfast, and then she was taken to open waters of the sea.
An hour later,Â she left Belfast again to head to Southampton, England. This journey lasted a little over 24 hours. She arrived about midnight on April 4th, and was towed to the port’s Berth 44, ready for the arrival of her passengers and the remainder of her crew. Little did they know it would be the last time she would see Belfast.
Size and Decks of The RMS Titanic
Titanic was 882 feet 9 inches long. Her maximum breadth is 92 feet 6 inches. Her total height, measured from the base of the keel to the top of the bridge, was 104 feet. The Titanic weighed 46,328 gross register tons. She had 10 decks.
The Boat Deck is where the bridge and wheelhouse were situated at the forward end of the ship. This is the deck where the Grand Staircase was located, as well as the gymnasium and First Class lounge. At the rear of the deck was the Second Class entrance. The life boats that would be lowered into the water on April 14, were located on this deck. The lifeboats lined the Second Class promenade deck, but in First class the boats were gapped as to not spoil the ocean view for them.
A Deck, was also called the Promenade Deck. It extended along the entire 546 feet length of the superstructure. Only First Class passengers were allowed on A Deck. It contained cabins, a lounge a smoke room, and other rooms. It was reserved only for them.
B Deck was also known as the Bridge Deck. This is where 6 palatial stateooms were located for First Class passengers that featured their own private decks. The A La Carte Restaurant, and the Cafe Parisien were also located on B Deck, and provided luxury dining for First Class passengers. The Second Class smoking room and hall entrance were also located on B Deck.
C Deck was also called the Shelter Deck. It ran uninterrupted from stem to stern and was the highest deck. Part of C Deck served as part of the Third Class promenade deck. Crew cabins were on this deck as well as Third Class public rooms and the second class library.
D Deck was known as the Saloon Deck. It was dominated by three large public rooms; the First Class Reception Room, the First Class Dining Saloon and the Second Class Dining Saloon. An open walking space was provided for Third Class passengers. First, Second and Third Class passengers had cabins on this deck.
E Deck, was predominantly used for passenger accommodation for all classes plus berths for cooks, seamen, stewards and trimmers. Along its length ran a long passageway nicknamed Scotland Road by the crew, in reference to a famous street in Liverpool, England
F Deck was the last complete deck and mainly accommodated Third Class passengers. There were also some Second Class cabins and accommodations for some crew members on F Deck. The Third Class dining saloon was located here, as were the swimming pool and Turkish bath.
G Deck was the lowest complete deck that carried passengers, and had the lowest portholes, just above the waterline. The post office was on this deck as well as the squash court . Food was also stored here. The deck was interrupted at several points by partial decks over the boiler, engine and turbine rooms.
The Orlop Decks and the Tank Top were at the lowest level of the ship, below the waterline. The orlop decks were used to hold cargo. The Tank Top was the inner bottom of the ship’s hull. It provided the platform for the engines, boilers, turbines and generators.
Titanic was built to make many Atlantic crossings between Southhampton, England, Cherboug, France, Queenstown, Ireland, and New York, USA. It would return via Plymouth, England. The White Star line had planned out routes for three ships; The Titanic, The Olympic and The Oceanic.
Titanic’s maiden voyage was intended to be the first of many cross-Atlantic journeys between Southampton in England, Cherbourg in France, Queenstown Ireland and New York in the United States, returning via Plymouth in England on the eastbound leg. The White Star Line intended to operate three ships on that route: Titanic, Olympic and the smaller RMS Oceanic. This would allow them to offer weekly sailings in each direction.
This plan was not to be.
The RMS Titanic set out on it’s maiden voyage on April 10, 1912. The crew embarked early, and passengers started to arrive at 9:30 a.m.
After a near miss collision, Titanic headed out into the English Channel. She headed for Cherbourg, where she pick up more passengers. After that, it was on to Queenstown, Ireland. She departed from there on April 11, and departed west on her journey to New York.
The first three days of the voyage from Queenstown passed without incident. The weather was clear and temperatures remained fairly mild. On Saturday, April 13, Titanic crossed into a cold weather front and strong winds came about. The waves were up to 8 feet. As the traveled further west, the weather cleared, but by Sunday, April 14, it became very cold.
Titanic received a series of warnings from other ships in the area of ice that was drifting in the ocean near Grand Banks off Newfoundland. The ship continued to steam at full speed, which was standard practice in the day. Captain Smith could not imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. Nonetheless, lookout Frederick Fleet was told to watch for ice fields.
At 11.40 pm (ship’s time), lookout Fleet spotted an iceberg immediately ahead of Titanic and alerted the bridge. First Officer William Murdoch ordered the ship to be steered around the obstacle and the engines to be put in reverse, but it was too late; the starboard side of Titanic struck the iceberg, creating a series of holes below the waterline. Five of the ship’s watertight compartments were sliced open.
It became clear that the ship was doomed, as she could not survive more than four compartments being flooded. Titanic began sinking bow-first, with water spilling from compartment to compartment as her angle in the water became steeper.
Woman And Children First
The shipÂ and it’s crew were ill-prepared for an emergency such as this. The ship only had enough life boats to carry about half those on board.
The rule of the day was women and children first. First class passengers were the first to be loaded into the boats. Sadly, class in these days, meant your life was worth more. This left the third class passengers to fend for themselves, which led many of them to be trapped below decks.
Two hours and forty minutes afterÂ the shipÂ struck the iceberg, she sank to the bottom of the ocean. At 2:20 am, it sank, breaking loose from the bow section.
The remaining passengers and crew were plunged into lethally cold water with a temperature of only 28 Â°F. The majority of those who fell into the water died of either cardiac arrest or hypothermia. They only lasted a few mintues in the frozen water.
The Cunard line Carpathia was the only one to respond to the distress CQD calls from the Titanic. While they were only 50 miles away, it took them about 4 hours to reach the site of the Titanic. By then, the ship had sank.
The Carpathia reached New York on April 18. Her journey was slowed by ice, fog and storms at sea. There were many eye witness reports when the Titanic survivors stepped off the ship in New York. Many reported it as “pathetic scenes”.
Little Known Heroes of the Titanic
|Engineers and electricians were in the engine rooms keeping the lights going until just a few minutes before it sank. These men gave their lives so that the passengers would be able to see their way into the lifeboats.
Joseph Bell, Chief Engineer
|Jack Phillips, Marconi room operator stayed on until the lights went out, seconds before it sank. trying to get the word out to any ship within 2000 miles. He was relieved of his position in enough time to try to save himself, but he selflessly kept trying to call for help.
Jack Phillips, Marconi operator
|Violet Jessop was tossed a package that was thrown into her lifeboat. She realized it was a baby, and spent the next 4 hours consoling the child. The mother was later found. Violet went on to serve on several more ships. She was shipwrecked twice, went around the world several times, and after retiring wrote her memoirs.
Violet Jessop, stewardess
The Titanic sank 100 years ago, but has been immortalized in books and movies for years.
A Night To Remember written byÂ Walter Lord was first published in 1955. , and is a riveting account of the Titanic’s fatal collision. It talks about how the people behaved, both crew and passengers.
A Night To Remember was made into a movie in 1958. Filmed in black and white, it starred Kenneth Moore as Second Officer Charles Lightoller.
Sean Connery played the roll of a deck hand, but was not credited in the film.
Films of The Titanic
1912- Only 29 days after the Titanic sank, director Etienne Arnaud directedÂ “Saved From The Titanic”. It starred Titanic survivor Dorothy Gibson. This film was lost in a studio fire
1912 –In Nacht und Eis Mime Misu Waldemar HeckerÂ (“In Night and Ice”), also called Der Untergang der Titanic (“The Sinking of the Titanic”) was a silent film done in Germany. It was believed to be lost, but was found in 1998 by a collector.
1913- Atlantis – This was the first full length silent film aboutÂ a ocean liner Â sinking. It was set on a fictional boat, with fictional charcters.Â It was based on the 1912 novel by Gerhart Hauptmann. It was written and filmed before the Titanic sank, but people assumed it was a story of the Titanic because it was release a year after the sinking.
1929 –Atlantic was a fictionalized account and was the first film thatÂ Â featured the Titanic that had sound to it.Â It was produced in three languages, as well as a silent version. Â ItÂ was later renamed Titanic: Disaster in the Atlanic in video release in America.
1943 – Titanic – This was filmed as German proganda.Â It created a fictional German character that was the hero, and made the BritishÂ the villians.Â Â This was the first film to use the name Titanic, singularly.
1953 –Titanic -Â Starred Â Clifton Webb and Barbara StanwyckÂ as a couple on board it’s maiden voyage. The move also starred a very young Robert Wagner as the love interest Audrey Dalton. Thelma Ritter played the part of Margaret “Molly” Brown.
1958 –A Night to Remember– Based on the 1955 book by Walter Lord. This film is regarded as one of the most historically accurate accounts of the RMS Titanic’s sinking.
1964 –The Unsinkable Molly Brown starred Debbie Reynolds as “Molly” Brown. It is her life’s story which ends with her voyage on the Titanic. This film was a muscial, based on the Richard Morris 1960 musical of the same name.
1980 – Raise the Titanic starred David Selby,Â Jerry Jameson, Jason Robards and was based on the Clive Cussler’s novel of the same name.Â It centers around a group raising the Titanic from the bottom of the ocean.Â This was filmed before they knew it had split in two pieces. Raise the Titanic did really poorly at the box offices.
1981 –Time Bandits– The Titanic was featured briefly in this comedy.Â Time traveling dwarf thieves findthemselves briefly on the First Class promenade deck right before the sinking.Â Â In this comedy, time-travelling dwarf thieves enjoy themselves briefly on the First Class promenade before the ship sinks almost immediately after striking the iceberg.
1995- Titanica -This was a documentary film directed by Stephen Low. Â Leonard Nimoy acted as the narrator. Frank Goldsmith and Eva Hart are interviewed. They were two survivors of the Titanic.
1997 –Titanic – Directed by James Cameron and starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, and Kate Winslet as Rose Dewitt Bukater. A romantic epic, this is one of the most well known films about the Titanic. The main characters of Jack and Rose were fictional, but portrayals of real crew and ship passengers were historically accurate.
2003-Ghosts of the Abyss is a documentary with footage shot at the wreckage site. Directed by James Cameron.
2010- Titanic II was aÂ direct to TV release inÂ Australia, and in the US went straight toÂ DVD release.Â It is 100 years later, and the Titanic II is making it’s maiden voyage across the Atlantic. This time, from New York to South Hampton. The ship is caught in a tsunami that sends an iceberg into the ship.