THE NIGHT OF
APRIL 14/15, 1912
Abby here with Part 2 of my series. Most of y'all have probably seen Mr. Cameron's original release of his movie TITANIC so you should be familiar with the disaster but there's a lot of stuff of interest no directly addressed by the film, plus they had to add a lot of factious plot and subplots to rake in the coin.
Sinking of the RMS Titanic
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Untergang der Titanic" by Willy Stöwer, 1912
|Date||14 April 1912 – 15 April 1912|
|Location||North Atlantic Ocean|
|Cause||Collision with iceberg|
The sinking of the RMS Titanic occurred on the night of 14/15 April 1912 in the north Atlantic Ocean, four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The largest passenger liner in service at the time, Titanic had 2,223 people on board when she struck an iceberg at 23:40 (ship's time) on 14 April 1912. She sank two hours and forty minutes later at 02:20 on 15 April, causing the deaths of over 1,500 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.
Titanic had received several warnings of sea ice during 14 April but was traveling near her maximum speed when she collided with the iceberg. The ship suffered a glancing blow that buckled her starboard (right) side and opened five of her sixteen compartments to the sea. Titanic had been designed to stay afloat with four flooded compartments but not five, and the crew soon realised that the ship was going to sink. They used rocket flares and wireless messages to attract help as the passengers were put into lifeboats. However, there were far too few lifeboats available and many were not filled to their capacity due to a poorly managed evacuation.
The ship broke up as she sank with over a thousand passengers and crew members still aboard. Almost all those who jumped or fell into the water died from hypothermia within minutes. RMS Carpathia arrived on the scene about an hour and a half after the sinking and had rescued the last of the survivors in the lifeboats by 09:15 on 15 April, little more than 24 hours after Titanic's crew had received their first warnings of drifting ice. The disaster caused widespread public outrage over the lack of lifeboats, lax shipping regulations and the unequal treatment of the different passenger classes aboard the ship. Enquiries set up in the wake of the disaster recommended sweeping changes to maritime regulations. This led in 1914 to the establishment of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which still governs maritime safety today.
At the time of her entry into service on 2 April 1912, RMS Titanic was the largest ship in the world; she and her slightly smaller sister Olympic had almost half again as much gross register tonnage as Cunard's Lusitania and Mauretania, the previous record holders, and were about 100 feet (30 m) longer. Titanic could carry 3,547 people in speed and comfort, and was built on a hitherto unprecedented scale. Her reciprocating engines were the largest that had ever been built, standing 40 feet (12 m) high and with cylinders 9 feet (2.7 m) in diameter, and she could generate more steam than any previous ship, requiring the burning of 600 long tons (610 t) of coal per day.
Her passenger accommodation was said to be "of unrivalled extent and magnificence"; the First Class accommodation included the most expensive seagoing real estate ever, with promenade suites costing $4,350 for a one-way passage (equivalent to over $80,000 in 1997 prices). Even Third Class was unusually comfortable by contemporary standards and was supplied with plentiful quantities of good food, providing its passengers with better conditions than many of them had experienced at home.
Titanic's maiden voyage began shortly after noon on 10 April 1912 when she left Southampton on the first leg of her journey to New York. A few hours later she reached Cherbourg in France, a journey of 80 nautical miles (92 mi/148 km), where she took on passengers. Her next port of call was Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland, which she reached around midday on 12 April She left in the afternoon after taking on more passengers and supplies.
By the time she departed westwards across the Atlantic she was carrying 892 crew members and 1,320 passengers. This was only about half of her full passenger capacity of 2,435, as it was the low season and shipping from the UK had been disrupted by a coal miners' strike. Her passengers were a cross-section of Edwardian society, from millionaires such as John Jacob Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, to poor immigrants who had traveled from countries as disparate as Armenia, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Syria and Russia to seek a new life in America.
The ship was commanded by 62-year-old Captain Edward John Smith, the most senior of the White Star Line's captains. He had four decades of seafaring experience and had previously served as captain of Titanic's sister ship, RMS Olympic, from which he was transferred to command Titanic. The vast majority of the crew who served under him were not trained sailors, but were either engineers, firemen or stokers, responsible for looking after the engines; or stewards and galley staff, responsible for the passengers. The 6 watch officers and 39 able-bodied seamen comprised only around 5 per cent of the crew, and most of these had been taken on at Southampton so had not had time to familiarise themselves with the ship.