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LGWflyer
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Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:41 am

So with all the news about the Costa Concordia being on the news I, got around again to reading up on the Titantic and some interesting thoughts came up.

If it haven't of sunk on its maiden voyager were would the ship have ended up? As the First World War only started 2 years later could it have become a armed merchant/transport ship like RMS Lusitania or RMS Maurentania during the war? If it would have survived I suppose it would have gone back to civillian use during the 20/30's... Then again as the Second World War begun in 39, if the Titanic was still in use I would guess it would have become an armed merchant/transport ship again.

Then the final question is if it had beaten all the odds, could the RMS Titanic have become a floating musuem today. Or would she have just been scrapped in the 50's or 60's. I do reckon the latter as the sinking gave it the publicity and possibly if it had not gone down I wonder if me, you or anyone else would have heard of it to this day...

I am interested in your thoughts.
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UAL747
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:45 am

I'm sure there would be documentation galore of the vessel, but it would have nowhere near the fame that it does today, had it not sank. It would have just been as famous as most other ships of its day, and probably broken up later on.

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Polot
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:48 am

Quoting LGWflyer (Thread starter):
Then the final question is if it had beaten all the odds, could the RMS Titanic have become a floating musuem today. Or would she have just been scrapped in the 50's or 60's. I do reckon the latter as the sinking gave it the publicity and possibly if it had not gone down I wonder if me, you or anyone else would have heard of it to this day...

It probably would have been scraped like its sister ship the Olympic (How often do you hear about that ship?). Far more interest probably would have been paid to the Gigantic/Britannic anyways, due to its sinking. If it hadn't sunk, the fact that it was a larger ship in terms of gross tonnage, and I believe was planned to be even more luxurious, probably would have also made it overshadow the Titanic.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:53 am

The fate of her sister ships is the best example.

HMHS Britannic was requisitioned as a hospital ship by the British government on Nov 13, 1915. She was sunk by a mine on Nov 21, 1916 - a bit east and south of Athens. 30 men died in the explosion and sinking - 1,036 survived, including one nurse who also survived the sinking of the Titanic.

RMS Olympic - lead ship of the class - was requisitioned as a troop ship for WWI. She sank a German u-boat (U-103) by ramming it on May 12, 1918. She was returned to the White Star Line after the war and resumed commercial service in 1920. In 1935 she was taken out of service and scrapped in the 1935-37 time period.

BTW - she rammed and sank the Nantucket Lightship LV-117 in 1934 - resulting in 7 deaths.

So it is safe to say the Titannic would be just another of many ships of the first third of the century which was scrapped when it became old and inefficient by newer ships/ technology.

One thing to remember is that the Depression of the early 1930s reduced demand for passenger ships tremendously. A lot of ships were taken out of service/ scrapped at that time.

Titanic would not have survived that period.

[Edited 2012-01-17 17:02:16]

[Edited 2012-01-17 17:05:05]
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:53 am

It would become a troop ship, and then likely be scrapped. Just like it's sister, the RMS Olympic.
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:06 am

I think it would have gone under either in WW1 or withdrawn after it. White Star Line cruises (well, the latter ones) were a bit...cursed. Just by looking at all the incidents to it's fleet, no wonder Titanic and Britannic sank. No doubt, the ships' fates would have been sealed after Cunard and WSL merged into Cunard White Star (and later Cunard when it bought the remaining shares). That's when Olympic and Mauretania were withdrawn along with many WSL ships.

Once thing is certain. If EJ Smith hadn't been on the command of Titanic, perhaps the ship wouldn't have struck the iceberg. Smith had already been involved in a previous incident where Olympic and the HMS Hawke (a warship) collided resulting in massive damage to the warship as well as serious but not grave damage to Olympic. That would have been a sign to not pick Smith for such a job, especially when Titanic was more massive than Olympic.
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:27 am

I would suppose a troop or hospital ship in WWI and perhaps a stint in passenger service afterward like the Olympic to be broken up in the thirties or like the Britannic sunk by a torpedo in war with less notoriety than the sinking of the Titanic. The Titanic would not be a household word and name as it is now. It would be as recognisable in history to the common man as the Olympic, Britannic, Imperator, Vaterland/Leviathan or the Queen Elizabeth I.
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:45 am

We have avoided that awful movie... 
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ltbewr
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:46 am

As with major aircraft accidents, the Titanic disaster caused a number of safety changes as to passenger ships operations that had it not sunk then would have not be done for years later after another disaster.

The requirements of numbers and capacity of lifeboats was changes to match the number of passengers and crew at max an not based on a then long obsolete formula as to the displacement of the ships.

It caused a great expansion and rules changes as to the wireless transmissions, giving priority to communications needed to safely operate the ship.

It led to far more caution as to when in hazardous waters, like near icebergs and other dangerous obstacles.

It caused ship design engineering changes to reduce risks of sinking.

It probably led to more quickly adopting improvements in drills, crew training and so on.
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:27 am

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 7):
We have avoided that awful movie...

Which means three debates would have been avoided:
1. At the end, did Rose die or simply dream her encounter?
2. After ship sank we see that Jack leads Rose to a piece of wood. Is that a wooden wall panel, a door, a bed headboard, or simply debris?
3. Did Rose purposely flip over the (thing from question 2) so that Jack couldn't be on it too?

If I were to tell you that over here the third question is debated intensely every now and again, would you believe me?
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:09 am

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 5):
no wonder Titanic and Britannic sank.

Britannic was redesigned and Olympic was retrofitted so that either would have survived the same iceberg collision which sank the Titanic. Both also received sufficient lifeboats to hold everyone on board in a normal cruise.

The main reason the Titanic sank was that the 'watertight' bulkheads did not extend high enough to stop the water. Olympic was retrofitted to bring the bulkheads up to B deck. The Olympic also had her double hull extended to above the waterline. This made Olympic and Britannic two feet wider than Titanic.
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:13 am

Quoting poLOT (Reply 2):


It probably would have been scraped like its sister ship the Olympic (How often do you hear about that ship?).

More importantly, how often to you hear about her not in relation to the Titanic?
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JakeOrion
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:56 am

No Titanic movie...

I can live with that.
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zippyjet
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:34 am

Quoting LGWflyer (Thread starter):
I am interested in your thoughts.



These are off the wall but here goes:
Had the Titanic not sank....
  • The name would have kept her sailing. She may have been pressed into service for both World Wars. Then, she would have been restored and the premiere cruise ship
  • If not in revenue service would have been purchased by one of the following: Michael Jackson (a floating Never-land),
    A Saudi Royal would have bought her and really made her a combination of glitz, glamor and state of the art.
  • Would be a casino resort docked in London or maybe New York as a 5 star facility.
  • May have starred in a James Bond movie.


Not to sound like Debby Downer but had the Titanic not sank there probably would have been a larger ship down the line that suffered the fate of the Titanic with loss of life. The Titanic tragedy paved the way for many of the safety measures on ships today.
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lhr380
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:56 pm

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 7):

I liked Titanic, however......titanic 2, whata pile of poo!!!!!!
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canoecarrier
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:07 pm

Quoting LGWflyer (Thread starter):
If it haven't of sunk on its maiden voyager were would the ship have ended up? As the First World War only started 2 years later could it have become a armed merchant/transport ship like RMS Lusitania or RMS Maurentania during the war? If it would have survived I suppose it would have gone back to civillian use during the 20/30's... Then again as the Second World War begun in 39, if the Titanic was still in use I would guess it would have become an armed merchant/transport ship again.

I think you're right up until the mid-30s. Assuming it didn't get torpedoed in the Atlantic by a U-boat in WW1. If you look at the list of troop transports used during the early-40's you'll see the QE did a lot of the heavy lifting along with a list of other ships built in the early 30's. Take a look for yourself. If Wikipedia wasn't protesting today I'd give you a couple other examples.

http://ww2troopships.com/crossings.htm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 3):
HMHS Britannic was requisitioned as a hospital ship by the British government on Nov 13, 1915. She was sunk by a mine on Nov 21, 1916 - a bit east and south of Athens. 30 men died in the explosion and sinking - 1,036 survived, including one nurse who also survived the sinking of the Titanic.

Now that's a great piece of trivia!
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:53 pm

One major reason the HMHS Britannic sunk was that the crew disobeyed Admiralty orders and was sailing in the combat zone with the portholes opened. Once the ship began to sink, the open portholes permitted uncontrollable flooding of the shitp to occur. Had the portholes been closed, HMHS Britannic might have remained afloat. Also, the only fatalities in her sinking were those from the two lifeboats that were drawn into her propellers-she remained underway during the event as the captain had hoped to beach her on a nearby island. One of the important features of the Britannic were her massive gantry davits that eliminated listing from launching all boats. The davits had sufficient reach to get boats from either side of the deckhouse.
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:44 am

I agree that the Titanic would have ended up with the same fate as the Olympic if Titanic had not hit that iceberg and continued in service from 1912 on. In short, White Star Line would have replaced the Titanic with more modern ships to better compete against Cunard's Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, both of which came into service in the 1930's.
 
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:18 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 10):
The main reason the Titanic sank was that the 'watertight' bulkheads did not extend high enough to stop the water.

Well, that and that she breached six when she was designed to hold up to four. Perhaps a fifth one might have left her afloat but I suppose the captain would have ordered a full stop to delay any possible sinking. With six, her fate was sealed.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 10):
Britannic was redesigned and Olympic was retrofitted so that either would have survived the same iceberg collision which sank the Titanic. Both also received sufficient lifeboats to hold everyone on board in a normal cruise.

And that wouldn't have happened had the Titanic not sank with a huge loss of lives. Olympic and Titanic only carried just four lifeboats over requirements. Authorities at the time required that ships carry for nearly half of the total passengers served for various reasons like:

-Due to advancements that had been made in ship building it was not necessary for boats to carry more lifeboats.
-The latest boats were stronger than ever and had watertight compartments making them unlikely to require lifeboats at all.
-Sea routes used were well-travelled meaning that the likelihood of a collision was minimal.
-The latest boats were fitted with wireless technology.
-That it would be impossible for crew members to be able to load more than sixteen boats in the event of a disaster.
-That the provision of lifeboats should be a matter for the ship owners to consider.

The original design had 32 lifeboats, but some thought the deck would look too cluttered, so it was reduced to the 16 one in davits and the 4 collapsibles. ...plus who would ever think that the unsinkable ship would require lifeboats when it, in fact, was a "lifeboat"?
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57AZ
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:37 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 17):
In short, White Star Line would have replaced the Titanic with more modern ships to better compete against Cunard's Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, both of which came into service in the 1930's.

Probably not. Remember that the Depression hit transatlantic carriers hard. They merged with Cunard in 1934, forming the Cunard-White Star Line. Titanic might have remained in service for booze cruises, but White Star would still probably have merged with Cunard.
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na
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:26 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 3):
One thing to remember is that the Depression of the early 1930s reduced demand for passenger ships tremendously. A lot of ships were taken out of service/ scrapped at that time.

Titanic would not have survived that period.

100% right. She would have been quickly overshadowed by the other giants launched before WWI. Already in the late 20s (when Italy launched the modern Rex, and Germany the Europa and Bremen) she would have been regarded as an out-of-fashion liner which would have not attracted the news anymore. Latest when Cunard began working on the Queen Mary her days would have been numbered. In fact the Queen Mary directly replaced three older pre-WWI big ships at once, the Olympic, the Majestic and the Berengaria (the latter two being ex-German war prizes and the biggest ships built before WWI).

One should also remember that Titanic´s machinery (Quadruple Expansion) was less advanced than what competitor Cunard had already introduced years before (Turbines). In any case she would have been scrapped before WWII. If I´m not mistaken no major liner with this old type of propulsion survived the (later) depression years of the mid-30s. Almost zero chance she would have still been servicable by the beginning of WWII.
 
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:36 pm

It was famous because it sank. Prob would have been a troop ship and prob would have sunk another way. No Titanic movie and Celine Dion wouldn't be the best selling female artist of all time.
 
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:25 am

WSL may have had a better reputation, and the 1928 RMS Oceanic, would have been the only motor ship, (diesel powered) to win the Blue Ribbon.





You should never say, God could not destroy anything. It was bad enough, when they called the Titanic an unsinkable ship, but to say God could not sink it was way out of line, and I believe that is part of the reason, why the Titanic sank.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:30 am

Quoting LGWflyer (Thread starter):
Then the final question is if it had beaten all the odds, could the RMS Titanic have become a floating musuem today. Or would she have just been scrapped in the 50's or 60's

Consider her syster ship, Olympic. The two vessels were not identical, but pretty close. The only reason you have ever heard of Olympic is because she happened to be Titanic's sister ship. But to drive the point home, have you ever heard of RMS Brittanic? No? She was the third (and final) Olympic class ship, but she only ever served as a hospital ship in WWI. She was sunk in 1915 by a mine. Her sinking was never as big of a news issue because it was an act of war during wartime and there were no civilians aboard (she was a hospital ship). The sinking of a military ship in a time of war is hardly newsworthy in and of itself.

Olympic was scrapped in 1935, although some of her fittings were retained. Currently, some of her paneling is used aboard Celebrity's Millennium in their RMS Olympic-themed restaurant. However, I suspect that if not for the Titanic disaster, these ships would have been relegated to historical trivia.
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Pyrex
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:23 am

Quoting LGWflyer (Thread starter):
So with all the news about the Costa Concordia being on the news I, got around again to reading up on the Titantic and some interesting thoughts came up.

If it haven't of sunk on its maiden voyager were would the ship have ended up?

Too... soon... must... resist... temptation.

Oh, what the heck - they would have gotten an Italian captain eventuallywho would have rammed into an iceberg trying to show off to a bunch of polar bears, so nothing really different would have occurred.

Gotta go pack now - how chilly do the nights get in hell? Should I bring a sweater, just in case?
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:44 am

Had Titanic not have sunk, her career would probably have been much like Olympic's, uneventfull. She'd have ended her days in a scrapping yard. (Olypmic was finaly broken up just around the corner from me, in Inverkeithing, Scotland).
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:25 am

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 17):
Queen Elizabeth, both of which came into service in the 1930's.

Queen Elizabeth went in service in February 1940 as a troop ship, it wasn't until October 1946 that she carried her first paying passangers..
 
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:28 pm

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 14):
I liked Titanic, however......titanic 2, whata pile of poo!!!!!!

     

I've seen it. I remember it. Gruesome.

And you're my hero for surviving Titanic II.
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StarAC17
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:55 pm

Can we all agree to boycott the fact that it will be released in 3d in April for the 100th anniversary of the sinking.
Hollywoood you really need to come up with some new ideas.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 18):
Well, that and that she breached six when she was designed to hold up to four. Perhaps a fifth one might have left her afloat but I suppose the captain would have ordered a full stop to delay any possible sinking. With six, her fate was sealed.

I thought it was 5 when the limit was 4 (as said in the movie) its semantics as it exceeded the limit. There have also been investigations by metallurgists that the rivets in the hull were not as strong as specified.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 8):

As with major aircraft accidents, the Titanic disaster caused a number of safety changes as to passenger ships operations that had it not sunk then would have not be done for years later after another disaster.

  

However outside of a few incidents in aviation, I mean very few as I can think of only one crash out of arrogance. Human arrogance played the biggest part in the sinking of the Titanic, whenever humans think we have beaten something it comes to bite us in the @$$.

Also like most disasters many things made this a tragedy and not just one thing.

Had they hit the iceberg head on I reckon it would have survived and that was another factor that has been over looked which was panic and lack of knowledge by the captain of what to do in the situation.
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:18 pm

I am lead to believe from history lessons that had the Titanic been equipped with Red Flares (only had white ones when she set sail) a lot more lives could have been saved.**


**Wasn't there a ship in range (The Californian) when the Titanic crew first fired the flares, but the ship ignored the "signal" as it was not thought to have any real significance??
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:38 pm

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 29):
**Wasn't there a ship in range (The Californian) when the Titanic crew first fired the flares, but the ship ignored the "signal" as it was not thought to have any real significance??

Yes the ship was extremely close to the position of the sinking Titanic. Yes the Titanic fired 8 rockets but they didn't seem to think anything was wrong. Also there was a few other ships who recieved the distress signals from the Titanic which were SS Mount Temple, Frankfurt, RMS Virginian and even the Olympic (sister ship of Titanic). But sadly they couldn't reach in time and Carpathia was first on the scene.

The Californian was sunk 3 years later and the Carpathia was also sunk 3 years after the Californian.

Information about the Californian during the night of the sinking of the Titanic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Californian
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na
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:46 pm

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 30):
Yes the ship was extremely close to the position of the sinking Titanic. Yes the Titanic fired 8 rockets but they didn't seem to think anything was wrong.

The Californian had stopped to not hit an Iceberg and had switched off the wireless. The Titanic fired those rockets as if they were fireworks, and not in certain intervals as asked for in a case of emergency.
All other ships were too far away to reach the stricken liner in time, even if racing at top speed.
 
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:14 pm

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 29):

Just after the Titanic catastrophe it was decreed that any rocket flares are a distress call in order to remove any ambiguity.

Yes, the men aboard SS Californian were puzzled because the Titanic fired only white flares. It was standard to use differently colored flares in order to identify oneself (e.g. "We're a White Star Lines ship"). The radio of the Californian wasn't permanently manned, too - which was legally OK, like the number of lifeboats the Titanic had.

Sad tragedy. I've read much about it during the last days.
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:15 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 28):
I thought it was 5 when the limit was 4 (as said in the movie) its semantics as it exceeded the limit. There have also been investigations by metallurgists that the rivets in the hull were not as strong as specified.

I remember seeing something that also said that if she didn't try to avoid the berg and hit it head on, she would been just damaged, and wouldnt have sunk.

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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:22 pm

Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 33):
I remember seeing something that also said that if she didn't try to avoid the berg and hit it head on, she would been just damaged, and wouldnt have sunk.

Yes and also the fact that they put the engines full astern while trying to turn decreased the efficiency of the rudder which was too small for the ship I think as well.
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:50 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 24):
Gotta go pack now - how chilly do the nights get in hell? Should I bring a sweater, just in case?

The handbasket will be by to pick you up at 8 tomorrow. Be on time. You can wait for it on the side of the road that is paved with good intentions. Don't bring snowballs; they don't last very long.

  
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:53 am

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 7):
We have avoided that awful movie...

I feel much better now; I had always assumed that I was the only person who didn't go see the movie.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 28):
Can we all agree to boycott the fact that it will be released in 3d in April for the 100th anniversary of the sinking.
Hollywoood you really need to come up with some new ideas.

Here's a great idea for Hollywood......they could get Alec Baldwin to be in every movie they make, then no one would go see ANY of them !

Charley
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:18 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 32):
Yes, the men aboard SS Californian were puzzled because the Titanic fired only white flares. It was standard to use differently colored flares in order to identify oneself (e.g. "We're a White Star Lines ship"). The radio of the Californian wasn't permanently manned, too - which was legally OK, like the number of lifeboats the Titanic had.

Back then there existed two companies providing radio coms. One was the British Marconi corporation, which rented out radio equipment and radio operator officers to shipping lines (due to patent reasons, Marconi insisted that the equipment could only be leased and the operators had to come from his own company) and the German Telefunken company, a consortium of several German electrical engineering companies set up on order of the German emperor after Marconi operators refused to transmit a message by him to a German warship. Marconi radio operators were explicitely ordered at this time to ignore any radio traffic (including emergency calls) not originating from their company affiliates. Only after the Titanic disaster was there an international conference, which standartized radio communications and distress signals.
Then the radios of this time were still extremely unreliable and low powered, using mainly electromechanical components like spark gap oscillators (that´s where the nickname "Sparky" or "Sparks" for a radio operator comes from, similar as the German word "Funk" (from "Funke" = Spark) for radio), fritters and coaleszers to create and receive the signal.
They also operated at low frequencies (long wave radio), which don´t have a good long distance propogation especially during daytime.

BTW, the Titanic´s radio operator didn´t transmit SOS (this only came after the 1912 conference), but CQD (General Call Distress).

Also it was agreed that red flares or rockets (and orange smoke for daytime) would be used for emergencies only.

Jan
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David L
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:18 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 37):
BTW, the Titanic´s radio operator didn´t transmit SOS (this only came after the 1912 conference), but CQD (General Call Distress).

I was under the impression that Titanic transmitted "SOS" in addition to "CQD", even though "SOS" had yet to be officially adopted. I was also under the impression that, at that time, the radio's primary function was as a service to the passengers and that's why they weren't necessarily manned permanently.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:31 am

The Titanic sent SOS messages, in addition to numerous CQD calls.

On the Titanic - like on Californian (and Carpathia) - the radio stations were bogged down with relaying messages for the passengers. That's one of the reasons the Titanic didn't receive a iceberg warning call.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:21 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 38):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 37):
BTW, the Titanic´s radio operator didn´t transmit SOS (this only came after the 1912 conference), but CQD (General Call Distress).
I was also under the impression that, at that time, the radio's primary function was as a service to the passengers and that's why they weren't necessarily manned permanently.

Exactly. Only after the disaster and the following conference it was agreed that a ship´s radio station had to be on permanent listening watch. Also, AFAIK 500 kHz was agreed to be the maritime distress frequency to be watched (this went on until in the 1990s CW, Morse code transmissions, were declared obsolete. Today the international HF long distance distress and call frequency is 2182 kHz upper side band voice transmission).
This meant that at least three radio officers had to be hired for every ship of the size to be equipped mandantorily with radio.
Also compulsory radio silence and listening periods were agreed to (e.g. full hour plus 15 to 18 minutes and again full hour plus 45-48 minutes for Morse Code and (still today) full hour plus 0-3 minutes ( and full hour plus 30-33 minutes for HF USB transmissions on 2182 kHz. During this time no radio transmission except for emergencies is permitted and all stations (ships and costal radio stations like the coast guard) have to listen. these sectors are marked on the radio room clock in red (for Morse code) and green (for USB voice).

In the 1930 some intelligent head invented an auto alert device, which will ring an alarm bell in the radio room, on the bridge and in the radio officer´s cabin in case it receives several signals on 500kHz lasting for 4 seconds with one second break. After the fourth signal the alert device has to trigger the alarm. To hepl the radio officer with keeping these periods, the four seconds and the one second break are marked in red and white on the edge of the clock.
In practice the radio officer of a ship in distress would tune his radio to 500 kHz. Then for one minute he would key his Morse key for four seconds on, then four seconds off to trigger the alarm on any ship within reach. Afterwards he would start the call by keying three times the letters S O S followed by the ship´s callsign (still today any ship´s radio station has a unique callsign). He would then transmit the position and then the type of emergency.
He would repeat this transmission three times and then listen for an answer.

SOS was not picked for some meaning like "Save Our Souls", but just because of it´s very distict sound in Morse code.

Today there exists a satellite based emergency call and locator system, therefore Morse code has been declared obsolete and AFAIK no costal radio station worldwide is still listening to Morse code transmissions, and the listening periods have lost their importance (though they are still been observed. Right after the three minutes listening period the costal stations will usually transmit "all stations" and "Securite" traffic, like weather and navigational warnings.

Jan
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nonrevman
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RE: Titanic - If It Had Not Sunk In 1912...

Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:23 pm

Oddly enough, the memory and fame of the Titanic is owed to the disaster itself. There seem to be very few cruise liners which now function as a museum. Warships are by far more numerous and popular as a tourist attraction. Had Titanic not gone down, I am afraid it would not be on the pier next to the Intrepid in NYC as a museum. She would have been scrapped and the metal likely used for other vessels.

I also wonder how the more human element of history would have been impacted if the ship did not go down. There were many wealthy people such as J.J. Astor on the ship. Had those people survived, what would have changed? Just as no one would have heard about Titanic today had it not struck the iceberg, I do not think Molly Brown would be remembered either. Likely, her house would not be a Denver tourist attraction.

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