Abby here with the start of my series; after all, Max and Gracie had turns so why not me? On April 4th of this year, James Cameron is re-releasing his film TITANIC, in 3D. There will probably be a lot of stuff going on in newspapers,magazines and TV specials etc., as we approach the 100th anniversary of what is still the greatest maritime disaster of all time. So I've picked out a few interesting primers concerning the great ship RMS TITANIC as an observance and memorial testament.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on 10 April 1912
|Owner:||White Star Line|
|Port of registry:||Liverpool|
|Route:||Southampton to New York City|
|Ordered:||17 September 1908|
|Builder:||Harland and Wolff, Belfast|
|Laid down:||31 March 1909|
|Launched:||31 May 1911 (not christened)|
|Completed:||2 April 1912|
|Maiden voyage:||10 April 1912|
|Identification:||Radio callsign "MGY"|
|Fate:||Foundered on 15 April 1912 on its maiden voyage|
|Class and type:||Olympic-class ocean liner|
|Length:||882 ft 6 in (269.0 m)|
|Beam:||92 ft 0 in (28.0 m)|
|Height:||175 ft (53.3 m) (keel to top of funnels)|
|Draught:||34 ft 7 in (10.5 m)|
|Depth:||64 ft 6 in (19.7 m)|
|Installed power:||24 double-ended and 5 single-ended boilers feeding two reciprocating steam engines for the wing propellers and a low-pressure turbine for the center propeller. Effect: 46,000 HP|
|Propulsion:||Two 3-blade wing propellers and one 4-blade centre propeller|
|Speed:||Cruising: 21 kn (39 km/h; 24 mph). Max: 24 kn (44 km/h; 28 mph)|
|Capacity:||Passengers: 2,435, crew: 892|
|Notes:||Lifeboats: 20 for 1,178 people|
RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. She was the largest ship afloat at the time of her maiden voyage. One of three Olympic class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line, she was built between 1909–11 by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. She carried over 2,200 people – 1,316 passengers and about 900 crew.
Her passengers included some of the wealthiest people in the world, such as millionnaires John Jacob Astor IV, Benjamin Guggenheim and Isidor Strauss, as well as over a thousand emigrants from Ireland, Scandinavia and elsewhere seeking a new life in America. The ship was designed to be the last word in comfort and luxury, with an on-board gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants and opulent cabins. She also had a powerful wireless telegraph provided for the convenience of passengers as well as for operational use. Though she had advanced safety features such as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors, she lacked enough lifeboats to accommodate all of those aboard. Due to outdated maritime safety regulations, she carried only enough lifeboats for 1,178 people – a third of her total passenger and crew capacity.
After leaving Southampton on 10 April 1912, Titanic called at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown, Ireland before heading westwards towards New York. On 14 April 1912, four days into the crossing and about 375 miles south of Newfoundland, she hit an iceberg at 11:40 pm (ship's time; UTC-3). The glancing collision caused Titanic's hull plates to buckle inwards in a number of locations on her starboard side and opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea. Over the next two and a half hours, the ship gradually filled with water and sank. Passengers and some crew members were evacuated in lifeboats, many of which were launched only partly filled. A disproportionate number of men – over 90% of those in Second Class – were left aboard due to a "women and children first" protocol followed by the officers loading the lifeboats. Just before 2:20 am Titanic broke up and sank bow-first with over a thousand people still on board. Those in the water died within minutes from hypothermia caused by immersion in the freezing ocean. The 710 survivors were taken aboard from the lifeboats by the RMS Carpathia a few hours later.
The disaster was greeted with worldwide shock and outrage at the huge loss of life and the regulatory and operational failures that had led to it. Public inquiries in Britain and the United States led to major improvements in maritime safety. One of their most important legacies was the establishment in 1914 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which still governs maritime safety today. Many of the survivors lost all of their money and possessions and were left destitute; many families, particularly those of crew members from Southampton, lost their primary bread-winners. They were helped by an outpouring of public sympathy and charitable donations. Some of the male survivors, notably the White Star Line's chairman, J. Bruce Ismay, were accused of cowardice for leaving the ship while women and children were still on board, and they faced social ostracism.
The wreck of the Titanic remains on the seabed, gradually disintegrating at a depth of 12,415 feet (3,784 m). Since its rediscovery in 1985, thousands of artefacts have been recovered from the sea bed and put on display at museums around the world. Titanic has become one of the most famous ships in history, her memory kept alive by numerous books, films, exhibits and memorials.
Titanic was the second of the three Olympic-class ocean liners – the others were the RMS Olympic and the RMS Britannic (originally named Gigantic). They were by far the largest vessels in the White Star Line's fleet, which comprised 29 steamers and tenders in 1912. The three ships had their genesis in a discussion in mid-1907 between the White Star Line's chairman, J. Bruce Ismay, and the American financier J. Pierpont Morgan, who controlled the White Star Line's parent corporation, the International Mercantile Marine Co. The White Star Line faced a growing challenge from its main rivals Cunard, which had just launched Lusitania and Mauretania – the fastest passenger ships then in service – and the German lines Hamburg America and Norddeutscher Lloyd. Ismay preferred to compete on size rather than speed and proposed to commission a new class of liners that would be bigger than anything that had gone before as well as being the last word in comfort and luxury.
The ships were constructed by the Belfast shipbuilders Harland and Wolff, who had a long-established relationship with the White Star Line dating back to 1867. Harland and Wolff were given a great deal of latitude in designing ships for the White Star Line; the usual approach was for the latter to sketch out a general concept which the former would take away and turn into a ship design. Cost considerations were relatively low on the agenda and Harland and Wolff was authorised to spend what it needed on the ships, plus a five per cent profit margin. In the case of the Olympic-class ships, a cost of £3 million for the first two ships was agreed plus "extras to contract" and the usual five per cent fee.
Harland and Wolff put their leading designers to work designing the Olympic-class vessels. It was overseen by Lord Pirrie, a director of both Harland and Wolff and the White Star Line; naval architect Thomas Andrews, the managing director of Harland and Wolff's design department; Edward Wilding, Andrews' deputy and responsible for calculating the ship's design, stability and trim; and Alexander Carlisle, the shipyard's chief draughtsman and general manager. Carlisle's responsibilities included the decorations, equipment and all general arrangements, including the implementation of an efficient lifeboat davit design.
On 29 July 1908, Harland and Wolff presented the drawings to J. Bruce Ismay and other White Star Line executives. Ismay approved the design and signed three "letters of agreement" two days later authorising the start of construction. At this point the first ship – which was later to become Olympic – had no name, but was referred to simply as "Number 400", as it was Harland and Wolff's four hundredth hull. Titanic was based on a revised version of the same design and was given the number 401.
Dimensions and layout
Titanic was 882 feet 9 inches (269.06 m) long with a maximum breadth of 92 feet 6 inches (28.19 m). Her total height, measured from the base of the keel to the top of the bridge, was 104 feet (32 m). She measured 46,328 gross register tons and with a draught of 34 feet 7 inches (10.54 m), she displaced 52,310 tons.
All three of the Olympic-class ships had eleven decks (excluding the top of the officers' quarters), eight of which were for passenger use. From top to bottom, the decks were:
- The Boat Deck, on which the lifeboats were positioned. It was from here in the early hours of 15 April 1912 that Titanic's lifeboats were lowered into the North Atlantic. The bridge and wheelhouse were at the forward end, in front of the captain's and officers' quarters. The bridge stood 8 feet (2.4 m) above the deck, extending out to either side so that the ship could be controlled while docking. The wheelhouse stood directly behind and above the bridge. The entrance to the First Class Grand Staircase and gymnasium were located midships along with the raised roof of the First Class lounge, while at the rear of the deck were the roof of the First Class smoke room and the relatively modest Second Class entrance. The wood-covered deck was divided into four segregated promenades; for officers, First Class passengers, engineers and Second Class passengers respectively. Lifeboats lined the side of the deck except in the First Class area, where there was a gap so that the view would not be spoiled.
- A Deck, also called the Promenade Deck, extended along the entire 546 feet (166 m) length of the superstructure. It was reserved exclusively for First Class passengers and contained First Class cabins, the First Class lounge, smoke room, reading and writing rooms and Palm Court.
- B Deck, the Bridge Deck, was the top weight-bearing deck and the uppermost level of the hull. More First Class passenger accommodation was located here with six palatial staterooms (cabins) featuring their own private promenades. On Titanic, the A La Carte Restaurant and the Café Parisien provided luxury dining facilities to First Class passengers. Both were run by subcontracted chefs and their staff; all were lost in the disaster. The Second Class smoking room and entrance hall were both located on this deck. The raised forecastle of the ship was forward of the Bridge Deck, accommodating Number 1 hatch (the main hatch through to the cargo holds), various pieces of machinery and the anchor housings. It was kept off-limits to passengers; the famous "flying" scene at the ship's bow from the 1997 film Titanic would not have been possible in real life. Aft of the Bridge Deck was the raised Poop Deck, 106 feet (32 m) long, used as a promenade by Third Class passengers. It was where many of Titanic's passengers and crew made their last stand as the ship sank. The forecastle and Poop Deck were separated from the Bridge Deck by well decks.
- C Deck, the Shelter Deck, was the highest deck to run uninterrupted from the ships' stem to stern. It included the two well decks; the aft one served as part of the Third Class promenade. Crew cabins were located under the forecastle and Third Class public rooms were situated under the Poop Deck. In between were the majority of First Class cabins and the Second Class library.
- D Deck, the Saloon Deck, 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 space was provided for Third Class passengers. First, Second and Third Class passengers had cabins on this deck, with berths for firemen located in the bow. It was the highest level reached by the ships' watertight bulkheads (though only by eight of the fifteen bulkheads).
- E Deck, the Upper 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.
- F Deck, the Middle Deck, was the last complete deck and mainly accommodated Third Class passengers. There were also some Second Class cabins and crew accommodation. The Third Class dining saloon was located here, as were the swimming pool and Turkish bath.
- G Deck, the Lower Deck, was the lowest complete deck that carried passengers, and had the lowest portholes, just above the waterline. The squash court was located here along with the travelling post office where mail clerks sorted letters and parcels so that they would be ready for delivery when the ship docked. Food was also stored here. The deck was interrupted at several points by orlop (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 as cargo space, while the Tank Top – the inner bottom of the ship's hull – provided the platform on which the ship's boilers, engines, turbines and electrical generators sat. This part of the ship was dominated by the engine and boiler rooms, areas that passengers would never normally see. They were connected with higher levels of the ship by flights of stairs; twin spiral stairways near the bow gave access up to D Deck.