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Titanic’s creators wanted to create a ship that could not be defeated by nature and its laws and that’s what they believed when in March 1909, they began work on the ship, it was built in competition against other big luxurious steamships around the 20th century. One of the ships, the Mauretania, belonging to Cunard set a speed record for being the fastest sailing ship across the Atlantic, which was a record it held for 22 years. The Ships that were in competition were part of White Star Line and Cunard, a British firm that had two standout ships, which were rated the most luxurious of their time. Another one of the ships, the Lusitania, was tragically sunk by the German U-Boat after they fired a torpedo at it, also killing hundreds of people and leading to war against Germany.
The Titanic’s hull at this point was the biggest movable manmade object in the world, it took thousands of workers to build the rest of the ship including the lavish interiors and the boilers that powered the steam engines.
Being the world’s most celebrated ship, after visiting and stopping in Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, the Titanic set sail across the Atlantic with many high-ranking officials, wealthy industrialists, dignitaries, and celebrities aboard. The ship accommodation was divided into three parts, first, second and third class. The third class was by far the largest group with more than 700 passengers, which was more than the first and second combined.
Before the launch, aboard the Titanic, a small coal fire was found in the bunkers which was alarming but uncommon. The captain announced that it was unlikely for it to damage the hull structure so orders were given to the stokers to continue controlling the fire at sea.
An unsettling event took place shortly after the ship left the docks of Southampton where it nearly collided with the America Lines S.S New York. Some thought of superstitions of the Titanic having the worst kind of omen and that it was just deemed to be a disaster from the second it departed on the maiden voyage.
After four days of smooth, undisturbed sailing, on April 14th the ship received warnings of ice ahead of them although she was floating on calm seas under clear skies. Unexpectedly, a lookout spotted an iceberg coming out of a slight haze and notified the crew. An emergency alert was sent to the workers at the fires and the engines were reversed to slow down the ship as fast as possible and the ship was turned sharply to avoid contact with the ice.
The crew were relieved that the ship slightly grazed along the side berg and avoided a collision, yet little did they know that the ice underwater had a jagged spur and had torn a 300 ft. gash in the ship’s hull down below the waterline where they couldn’t see it. Since they had no idea that the water was filling up the compartments the captain realized that it was too late to even use the pumps when he saw the damaged area. He then made an announcement to the crew assuring that the Titanic was going to sink, assuming within 2 hours.
The ship had a watertight compartment design that was a critical factor in the disaster. The bulkhead was watertight which meant that the ship could sail without having any leaking problems but the walls inside that divided the bulkheads were not so watertight so when the ship struck the iceberg, the only thing stopping the water from getting inside the ship was torn and busted. This lead to all the compartments being filled up one after another.
The lack of lifeboats on the ship also contributed to the disaster as there wasn’t enough to carry the people on board and more than half of the lifeboats were just for show and didn’t work so that’s basically another reason why many lives were lost. The laws of the sea permitted men from entering any lifeboats until all women and children were off the ship but many important wealthy men had their way and managed to get to safety. Families were separated and many men watched their wives and children sail away as they were about to sink along with the ship and the lifeboats left with only 705 survivors.
Titanic was almost perpendicular with many of her lights still glowing when she slowly dove beneath the ocean at about 2:30 am on April 15.
There are many other theories of why and how the ship sank like the belief that the ship’s steel plates were too brittle for the oceans freezing waters and that the slight graze of the ice caused the rivets to pop and the expansion joint failing. The truth is that the Titanic hit an iceberg and its spur has torn the hull causing it to be pulled underneath the water. It took a long time for other people to believe that the Titanic sunk on its maiden voyage, even with accurate accounts of the event.
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