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-   -   Documentary identifies second culprit in the sinking of the Titanic (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=95153)

Psihala 04 January 2017 02:15 AM

Documentary identifies second culprit in the sinking of the Titanic
 
Everybody knows why the Titanic went down. She hit an iceberg and despite being supposedly designed as unsinkable, she sank and took 1,500 lives with her.

But that, as the film makers of a new documentary say, is not the whole story.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/document...f-the-titanic/

crocoduck_hunter 04 January 2017 02:55 AM

The entire bow of the ship has the same dark smudge on it as the "burn area" in that picture. What makes that little space special?

ganzfeld 04 January 2017 03:14 AM

I thought they would say the "first culprit" was the brittle steel, a hypothesis that was supported by test results on steel brought up from the actual hull. Seems they mean the "first culprit" was the iceberg. Lots of culprits in that disaster, though.

GenYus234 04 January 2017 03:40 AM

The circled section is a small fraction of tbe damage that was done by the collicsion, so it is unlikely that the burn was that significant.

ganzfeld 04 January 2017 03:59 AM

It's the approximate location of the sixth, final, and largest fracture, without which the ship almost certainly would not have sunk.

GenYus234 04 January 2017 02:32 PM

The damage to the hull ended about even with the first funnel, the burn area in the photo appears well before that point. Also, the burn area is well above the waterline, the damage to Titanic's hull was below the waterline.

Mouse 05 January 2017 12:52 AM

I heard many theorize that it was the rivets that helped take down the Titanic. Supposedly the alloy mixture made them weak and when the ship hit the iceberg, they started popping out, one after another. I don't claim to be a Titanic buff, but the rivets theory sounds more plausible than the burn one.

ASL 05 January 2017 01:08 AM

I think we can go with "just generally not well built, in spite of what the advertisements claimed" as the overall "second culprit." The first being the iceberg and the as yet unmentioned third being the decision to transit at an unsafe speed given the conditions.

On the subject of the area of the fire vs. the waterline, it's possible that a fire could cause warping on the hull, bulkheads, and frames would have weakened the hull in areas not directly affected by the heat from the fire. Stresses would be transmitted to other parts of the ship and so on.

ganzfeld 05 January 2017 02:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1938227)
The damage to the hull ended about even with the first funnel,the burn area in the photo appears well before that point.

The area of the smudge is right by the number six coal bunker, which is where the final fracture started. (The water line is above the water in the picture, by the way.)
Quote:

Also, the burn area is well above the waterline, the damage to Titanic's hull was below the waterline.
Yes, heat goes up. The bunker and the coal fire, which is not in dispute at all as it was already documented, went well below the waterline and the fire was said to have heated the hull up to glowing temperatures. It also happens to be very near the start of where the final fracture occurred.

Do you really think this researcher spent all this effort only to misplace these simple items?

ganzfeld 05 January 2017 03:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mouse (Post 1938285)
I don't claim to be a Titanic buff, but the rivets theory sounds more plausible than the burn one.

Although these news articles don't mention it, as far as I can tell this research doesn't contradict any of that previous research on the hull and the rivets. It's known that the hull buckled and leaked at the seams. Whether brittle rivets played a large or small role isn't known but it's still quite plausible. The question this tries to answer is whether the fire weakening the hull and its components (including the rivets) played a role as well.

jimmy101_again 05 January 2017 03:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganzfeld (Post 1938306)
Do you really think this researcher spent all this effort only to misplace these simple items?

The default interpretation of any "new" explanation of a historic event is that it does indeed miss several important aspects of the event. Aspects that the investigators of the time were fully aware of. Since the investigators of the time new about the fire I think it is unlikely that the new analysis adds anything of value. So yes, there is a strong possibility that this new investigator has missed some basic facts that have been known since the time of the sinking.

Fires in coal bunkers of ships of the period (and roughly 50 years further back in time) were surprisingly common.

Any iron that was heated to glowing would have lost all of its annealing. It wont melt in a coal fire (especially an oxygen starved coal fire) but once it looses annealing the strength goes way down (see the WTC). Investigators of the time certainly would have known this and would have probably had first hand knowledge of the affects of a coal bunker fire on the iron structure of a ship.

ganzfeld 05 January 2017 03:31 AM

I agree it does happen that simple things are missed by people who think they are experts. However, much of what was thought to known about the disaster until the ship was found and examined turned out to be wrong. The hull buckled and split at the seams rather than ripped, for example. So since then people have been at work in putting together the pieces as to why that happened. Brittle steel and the rivets have been researched but everyone who looked at them knew they couldn't tell the whole story. One of the remaining mysteries is why it would happen on the Titanic when it didn't happen that way on other ships with lower quality steel and rivets when they were rammed or torpedoed during wartime. Maybe the experts will look at this new work and say it's not right for one reason or another but I don't see that it's so easily debunked as saying "nah, that looks like it's in the wrong place".

Either way, the fire has definitely deserved a better look as to whether it played a role since it was in the right place to have done so for sure, whether or not one accepts this photographic evidence. (As the article says, its role was dismissed in the inquiries that followed but they had far less information about what happened to the hull than we do. I repeat myself but they thought, and it was thought for most of a century that a long, more or less continuous, gash had been opened in the hull. That was wrong.)

Latiam 06 January 2017 03:28 AM

I'm not familiar with the Smithsonian channel. Is it only available in America?

crocoduck_hunter 06 January 2017 04:03 AM

Probably. It's a cable channel that's usually only available on the most expensive packages.

Latiam 06 January 2017 04:13 AM

Well, it's not available to me at least. I just checked the premium cable package and it doesn't have it. I'm thinking USA only.

Psihala 06 January 2017 08:07 AM

Check the Smithsonian YouTube channel. There are a few rotating older Full Episodes, including one or two on the Titanic that pop up every now and again, like The Real Story: Titanic and another one called "Titanic - How It Really Sank" (not available at the moment, but it also appears on the iTunes Music Store).



~Psihala

Latiam 06 January 2017 06:17 PM

Thanks, Psihala, I'll do that.


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