We know that the main reason Titanic sank was because more than 5 consecutive bulkheads of her massive hull were breached, causing water to spill over at E and D deck into rear compartments. But why was the damage so severe that the accident was fatal?
There are many theories as to the reasons behind Titanic sinking that night, just some of these include:
- The construction of Titanic's hull
- The turning ability of Titanic
- The speed at which Titanic was travelling
- The angle and orientation of the impact
- The night time whether conditions
The Construction Of Titanic's Hull
It's possible that the materials used in the construction of the Titanic's hull were actually sub-standard, in fact analysis of rivets from the wreck of Titanic found a high concentration of slag. This essentially made the rivets more brittle and more prone to damage. On the night that Titanic sunk the hull plates buckled in multiple places, allowing water to flood the hull, had the rivets been of better quality and been well fitted then the steel plates may not have buckled.
The Turning Ability Of Titanic
The size of the rudders on Titanic have been criticised by many as being too small for a ship her size. Whilst the rudder size met the standards enforced at that time, were they suitable for a ship her size and did they allow for enough water flow across them for optimum turning ability?
In reality Titanic met all of the shipping standards laid out at that time, including those for lifeboats but they were far from adequate for the amount of passengers on board that night. Ships the size of Titanic were rare and standards at that time weren't designed for ships of this magnitude.
The Speed At Which Titanic Was Moving
It's reported that just before the iceberg was hit, the Titanic had been travelling at around 22 knots, this was 2 knots below her designed top speed. This was in spite of the ice warnings sent throughout the day and later on that evening, the final one being sent by the Californian's only radio operator who left his post at 11:15pm immediately after being told to “shut up” by the Titanic's radio operator. But why was the Titanic going so fast?
It's always been rumoured that J. Bruce Ismay had put pressure on Captain E. J Smith to increase Titanic's speed in order to get to New York earlier than planned. White Star Line were keen to show passengers that they were better than their rivals and could make a 6 day crossing.
The Angle And Orientation Of The Impact
The Titanic hit the iceberg on it's starboard side, this cause the iceberg to buckle the steel plates of Titanic's hull across several of the watertight compartments. It's theorized that had Titanic hit the iceberg head on, less watertight bulkheads would have been breached and the Titanic would not have sunk.
The Night Time Wheather Conditions
On the night that the Titanic sank the weather was cold but good, the sea was extremely calm, described in TV and books as being like a “mill pond”. This meant that there were very few waves present and therefore the icebergs were even harder to see since there were no waves breaking at their surface.
In there are many reasons and theories as to why the Titanic may have sunk that night, do you have any comments or theories of your own as to the demise of Titanic? If so then please go ahead and post them below, we'd love to hear what you have to say.