In the early 20th century, there were hopes for a new, modern and developed era. With the development of industry, machinery and shipbuilding, people were waiting for something better and convenient for their life. Passenger liners to the "New world" were built together with people's hope for a new life. When the new liner appears, moreover with a reputation of being unsinkable, it is impossible that there would be such an unfair end.
Titanic – the ship that defied the higher powers, the miracle of shipbuilding and the largest ship of its time. The builders and owners of the giant passenger fleet arrogantly declared that God himself cannot sink this ship. Nevertheless, the ship left on its maiden voyage and never returned.
The shipbuilding company "Harland and Wolff" in Belfast, Northern Ireland, started creating Titanic on March 31, 1909, launched it on May 31, 1911 and finished sea trials on April 2, 1912. Unsinkable ship was provided by 15 watertight bulkheads in the hold, creating 16 watertight compartments conditionally; the space between the bottom and the double bottom plating was divided by transverse and longitudinal partitions with 46 watertight compartments.
The first days of the journey passed successfully, nothing boded trouble, the ocean was completely calm. On the night of April 14, the sea remained calm, but somewhere in the navigation area icebergs could be seen. They didn't bother captain Smith. At 11 hours and 40 minutes in the evening, the observation post on the mast suddenly heard somebody yelling: "Iceberg straight ahead!".
"Titanic" collided with an iceberg, and 10 minutes after the collision, the cruise ship captain Smith, chief officer Wilde and the ship's builder, Andrews surveyed the damage and concluded that the Titanic was doomed and nobody could help him, even God himself. Four compartments were opened. There could be chances only if three were damaged. So their pump pumped the water from the ocean into the ocean. They had about two hours. The radio operator of the liner, Philippe, contacted the ship "Carpathia", located in 58 miles. He explained that they have collided with an iceberg and asked for help. "Frankfurt" and similar to "Titanic", "Olympic" responded.
Evacuation of passengers and crew of the Titanic lasted for 2 hours, after which the giant liner, broke in 2 pieces and sank. It happened at exactly 2:20 am on April 15, 1912.
704 people survived the crash, 212 of which were team members, 199 of 329 passengers from 1st class, 119 of 272 from 2nd and 174 - 710 from 3rd class. The rescued were nearly all women and children from first and second class. Mass mortality of the third-class passengers was due to the inability to reach the boat deck for a variety of reasons (including due to the fact that the aisles were blocked).
The official conclusion of the Commission that was investigating the causes of the sinking of the Titanic was: the steel, used for the hull plating of the Titanic, was weak, with a large admixture of sulfur, making it very brittle at low temperatures. If the upholstery was manufactured from high-quality, toughened steel with a low sulphur content, it could have largely ease the impact force. The metal sheets could just arch inside and hull damage would have been less serious. It is possible, then the Titanic would have been saved or, at least, would have remained afloat for a long time. However, at that time, steel was considered the best material and there simply were no substitutions. It was only the ultimate conclusion, however there actually happened a number of other factors that did not allow to avoid colliding with the iceberg
The causes of the crash
Sadly, but after studying the history of the most famous maritime disaster, it is clear that the death of "Titanic" is a result of a long chain of fatal accidents. If just one link in a sinister chain was destroyed, the tragedy could have been avoided.
Perhaps the first link was the unsuccessful beginning of the journey. On the morning of the tenth of April, during the departure of the Titanic from quay wall of the Southampton port, the superliner was too close to the American ship "New York", and there was a phenomenon known in navigation as the suction of the vessels: a big amount of water displaced by Titanic had generated a suction that had drown "New York" of its course. However, thanks to the skill of captain Edward Smith, the collision was avoided. Ironically, if the accident had happened, it would have saved fifteen hundred lives: if "Titanic" was delayed in port, the ill-fated meeting with the iceberg could have been avoided.
It is worth mentioning that the radio operators that accepted the message about the ice fields and icebergs from the "Mesaba" ship, didn't give it to Edward Smith. The telegram was not marked by the special prefix "personally to captain", and got lost in the pile of papers.
However, this message was not the only one, and captain knew about ice and danger. Why did not he slow down the ship? The pursuit of a "Blue ribbon", of course, was a matter of honor, but why did he risk the lives of passengers? Well, he actually did not risk. In those years, the captains of ocean liners were often passing dangerous areas of the ice without lowering the speed: it was how to cross the road on red light. It is prohibited, however, everybody does it. To honor captain Smith, it is required to say that he remained faithful to the nautical tradition and remained on the ship until the very end.
But why nobody saw the bulk of the iceberg? Then it all came together one-to-one: moonless, dark night, windless weather. If the water surface had at least a small wave, the crew could have seen the bubbling white of the waves near the icebergs. A calm and moonless night - two more fatal links in the chain.
After the crew had spotted the danger and reported it to the captain, before the collision, there was a little more than half a minute. The watch officer Murdock gave the order to turn left and “full back”. Thus, he made a serious mistake, adding another link in the chain that led to ship destruction: even if Titanic crashed into the iceberg head-on, there could have been less damage. The bow of the ship would have crushed, part of the crew and those passengers whose cabins were located in the front, of course, would have been killed. But only two watertight compartments would have been flooded. With such damage, the ship could have remained afloat and was able to wait for assistance from other vessels.
So, the collision occurred. The iceberg has damaged the fragile skin of the six ship compartments along the starboard side. It was urgently required to evacuate passengers.
And evacuation is one of the most dramatic circumstances. There were 2208 people on board of the ship (luckily, not 3500, like it was designed), the lifeboats had space for only 1178 people.
But why there was such a monstrous discrepancy in places on the rescue boats? Initially, there were more boats - as many as thirty-five, but fifteen of them were abandoned. First, they "could cause a sense of insecurity," but the main thing – they bothered the first class passengers as it was inconvenient to walk on the deck, and it was quickly corrected: the motto of Titanic was "comfort above all".
Another thing, not far from the perishing Titanic, there stood another passenger steamer, "Californian", waiting out the ice danger. A few hours before it alerted neighboring vessels that is was locked by ice and was forced to stop in order not to accidentally run on ice block. The ship was signaling about the glaciers, but the radio operators of the Titanic were busy. The fact is that in those years, the radio communication on the ship was more of a luxury than a necessity, and this miracle of technology has brought huge interest from wealthy public. From the beginning of the cruise, radio operators were flooded with messages of a private nature - and no one saw nothing wrong with the radio operators of Titanic paying such attention to the rich passengers, who wished to send back a telegram from aboard the ship.
But, luckily for the passengers, some ships had responded to the distress call. Among them was the Olympic, a twin of the Titanic, but it was too far - five hundred miles away. Not counting "Californian", the closest to the sinking ship was "Carpathia" - less than sixty miles. After receiving the SOS signal, it changed the course and rushed to help at top speed. About two hours after midnight, the radio operator of the "Carpathia" received last message from the distressed ship. They asked to go as quickly as possible as the engine room was almost flooded. This was the last radio signal from the ship
There were about seven hundred people in boats in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. People spent hours waiting. Some of the lifeboats spent the night searching out and picking up the sinking people onboard, while others, on the contrary, had sailed away from the scene of the tragedy, afraid that the men overboard, trying to survive, can turn the boat.
At four in the morning, four and a half hours after the collision of Titanic with the icebergs, and in two hours after the stern disappeared in the deep waters, "Carpathia" came to the scene and began rescuing survivors. At 8:30 am last passengers were on board. 704 people were saved. Looking for others in the water was useless: at that temperature, the life jacket does not save: a man dies from the cold within a few minutes. And it was decided to sail to New York.
The death of "Titanic" is certainly a chain of tragic coincidences. But they had to happen naturally – if not on this ship than on the other. The carelessness peculiar to the society of the period of decadence should have resulted into a catastrophe. "Titanic" just had multiple "if", each of which could have saved it or its passengers.
·If the team has paid more attention to the ice warnings.
·If the radio operator om "Californiana" did not go to sleep. It was after "Titanic" that radio watch on ships became persistent.
·If the Titanic had more lifeboats.
·If the iceberg was just a meter to the left.
·If the crew had binoculars
These "if" are endless.
There is a great number of versions of the reasons specified at the present stage of studying this topic. But no one can give the unequivocal answer. Every person can be a supporter of some versions or reasons. Nature and climatic conditions can vary and cannot be predicted. And no one can blame the icebergs or the calm water in deaths. Only the human factor could play a big role in the tragic outcome of all matches. A big amount of pure human errors. Not said, not done, not heard, not passed, not enough and so on. It is clear from all that could have been avoided if, if, if