TITANIC-TITANIC.com | Titanic Articles: Titanic's Last Minutes

By Jason Schultz


What Do Charts Say: Specific angle?

Bedford & Hackett shows Titanic dipped from 9.6° at 6 compartments full; all the way to around a mark of 17° with another half full, which is similar to Edward Wilding's knowledge nearer to the disaster. However, neither show the entire plunge and the flooding was not as dynamic as it could have been, lacking a variable in which the flooding speed drops the closer to the waterline. Oppositely, we see that from 4.5°, B&H is clearly slower in actually reaching an angle. It's true they did work around variables and could have been what resulted in this. The plunge also shows the same trait in which it would have reached an angle too high at 2:15 A.M., yet from 2:12 or 2:13 A.M., the plunge is consistently slow in reaching an actual angle, probably too slow. Regardless, two note open C deck ports (1:50A.M.) and a forward D deck gangway was left open.

As shown again in more recent computer simulations, the ship lost longitudinal stability at 10° as first ever theorized. She plunges regardless of additional intake, as like edging a book too far over a table, it is far too late. From here, it's going fully under in mere minutes. This "book" will also slide forward, increasing speed. As of then, B&H read 1.48 ° per minute for 5 minutes. 17.2° after 2:17 A.M., 18.6° at 2:18 A.M. and 20° at 2:19A.M.; however, animating this from It's start at 2:12-2:13 A.M. shows it as too slow. It couldn't have the sea at much of a knocking force and people would certainly have more then enough reaction time to flee as they were told to. In reaching funnel no.2, it barely differs from what Hugh Woolner described at 2:05 while jumping to boat D (around 0.5° per min), water nearing A's roof before even pulling away.

With real plunges, a nice example being the 911 ft long U.S.S. Oriskany, the speed & power of the plunge seems to be underestimated. If we look at footage of this vessel (available on youtube), the on board camera just amidships shows the waterline in the distance to drop at a very noticeable rate. The shadows also shift with speed as well. Once water hIt's this location, it is without mercy. Many times, a full minute can cover half to all the plunge, big or small (for instance, the Afundamento Victory 8B sank within the same minute smaller vessels such as the Karwela had). Most vessels can take only 2-3 minutes to fully plunge under. This would still appear gradual enough to trick one to overshoot time. Even though Titanic is a large vessel, she is no exception. Adding the weight of water at that size of a vessel would allow the bow to far surpass the stern and It's engines.

Collecting everyone's account along with other data, the plunge seems to be of a more consistent speed that varies lightly, setting a mark of half the plunge at 18-22° as attainable at least between 2-3 minutes. Events being simultaneous, we're free from the perception of films. Looking at f's account on the condition of A as he dived, the port list setting the rim of no.1's base into water as of said condition and how little time he was under, the no.1 funnel seems able to fall in just over a minute and a half tops. This fits with John Collins being located nearer to amidships His testimony shows, along with others, that as the water neared collapsible A, the gradual speed increased and seemed to reach his local just as he was about to turn and go the other way.

Why this is all speculated to begin with, is because an angle in the late teens nearing 20° has more ability to fit with all testimony of the night, from stability or walking, to how far down she went according to many sources that could include Jack Borland Thayer and Charles Lightoller as well. A good amount of people state that the ship went down more to amidships and there is sound linking from other survivors through implication or literal statement that paint a scenario that make their claims sound. Having these people out of equation as if one who claimed Murdoch committed suicide, in their quantity, is too dismissal and could lead to not understanding the probable truth. Unlike a high angle, this isn't at all out of the question having many similarities with the lowest trims.

It is not at all improbable. In fact, the sense of the film is off instantaneously breaking in one throw around a top peak of all stress to begin with. Instead, it would break gradually around this plunge possibly in steps or stages, which is sound with various implication. As history and science teaches us, this is probable anywhere; sometimes called miraculous. A bridge can sway violently for months due to the force of wind and come apart within many minutes despite an enormously unnatural amount of bending, yet this is only bending momentum without the effect anything else aside gravity. It's too random to decide personally the timing of this event, so we should use testimony as a guide and try not to remove pieces. Simulated data can show many things after this, but in the end, this data only swerves the outlook from being "an angle that dooms the ship", to that of the time it took to do so. It would have started at a shallower angle, as if we were to believe the ship began to break slowly in steps at said angle, she would attain 45-90 ° before she would be able to right. Plunges are dangerous animals that are not slow or stable at all, even if they can look gradual.

In a bending momentum diagram on a simple beam (Sam Halpern's), we see that if detailed, 20° starts around 90% and 10-15° differ only over a percent, not making it to even 93 ½% about. Lastly, 10° & 17-18° are near dead even at lightly over 90%. However, this long beam wasn't as nestled being pivoted more center. Another chart shows a lot less bending momentum at 5° on Titanic over the beam. 10° being the chart's load case 22, cases 20 & 21 (4° - 6°?) do not breach the stern's design in handling shear force. We see a bigger difference between load cases in the fore part then aft. After that, the load case should be nearly identical throughout the plunge as there wouldn't be enough time to have a majority of any more intake.

So, as we just saw, rather being the angle, It's that more of the vessel clears the original floating depth where as the center of the bending moment is usually located where buoyancy is pressing oppositely against a part of the vessel without flooding. More over, due to this, there shouldn't be a significant amount of difference to conclude anything from 15-20° in terms of an improbability, as from here, there really isn't a huger difference in what has cleared the original depth or what buoyancy is pressing against these un-flooded segments. However, we can perceive now that there is more a chance to finally undergo this righting movement at said angle within the late teens instead. The time it would have taken for the ship to break at 10-15° should only be slightly more so to that of what it would at 15-20°. The overall bending momentum bypassed the design amidships earlier on in the sinking already, so with both of those two ranges together, along with the fact that the ship is without age or ware and tare yet, this would most likely be within the same 2-3 minutes it took to attain 18-22°.


Break Up: Lighting conditions

Beforehand, it was certain that Titanic's lights went out prior to the break up, but now, according to ones like Emily Maria Ryerson, George Frederick Crowe, Arthur John Bright and Charles John Joughin, they may have went lightly after the joint opened. The conditions of the lighting would have been like a dimmer light adjusted nearer to dead low. Just before hand, they would be growing red due the lack a of power. George Frederick Crowe then said that as she went near perpendicular, her lights went dim, which with two other accounts of the lights slowly going out, the radius of illumination would be very small. A person could actually look dead into the source It 'self without hurting his/her eyes. Deck reflection would be minimum, hiding such things to those afar; though there are limitations to this though and it would not hide everything. An angle less of 15-17° is the probable angle she went dim at.

Charles John Joughin said the electrical lights were burning at the time of looking at his watch, after people were apparently chucked. There are several other accounts similar to this, where the bow's lights are extinguished, yet the stern's lights still burnt onward until after the break. Since no majority supports the roll visually, it may not have been consistent and more a subtle movement at first, then transitioned into a massive roll over to it's port side. Charles John Joughin said nothing on righting as few others did, while at the same time, not only do they not give any details on the way she righted, it's also apparent that Charles John Joughin notes no movement on the starboard side.

In terms of his actions, It's apparent that his only confirmation of hanging off the side of the ship would be upon grasping the poop rail. It would have been a slow time getting to the poop if he started hanging from the start of the well, and thus, the stern would list too far over by then. Beforehand, he had looked at his watch and transferred things into his back pocket about three fourths distance to the rail. The lights would be growing dimmer steadily until they fade into nothingness at nearer to the same time. There is no indication on when the lights went aside an implication in one of his answers, but this may not be referring to the lighting at all.

Emily Maria Ryerson also stated that the lights went out as the bow was going under within a prefix of after the break, which can be sound with her line demonstration of the break up. She, as Jack Borland Thayer, notes nothing of a righting. Along with the other testimony, the first stage Charles John Joughin felt, as well as what Jack Borland Thayer saw moments before the movement to port, was a subtle stage not many saw. Many more state of the righting as after the lights went out fully.

Hugh Woolner talks of looking at a stationary port hole, but looking more clearly at it, if this is only a black object against stars aside the white of anything close hand, then he should be detailing a lit condition. He also notes rumbling as this final plunge began. Indeed, it would be here that these lights had gone out, during that very plunge. This would give nearly less than a minute for these lights to have fully dimmed out. George Frederick Crowe, Thomas G. Ranger and Edward John Buley said plainly that the lights gradually went. Thomas G. Ranger, Arthur John Bright and Emily Maria Ryerson, with many others, tells this as a bit after the "break", further implication of this gradual nature. It's certain then that the generators for the lights did not go instantaneously, but more slowly when the source of It's supply was removed.

If this is the case, we can assume again that if the ship continued to tilt, any subtle movements of the stern would be masked, whereas the major movements would then appear more as though she was beginning to settle. This could be sound if the lights were very dim as of then, or the bow lights were indeed extinguished as stated by a few. It would be hard pressed not to have noticed this if the ship sank straight downwards as it were doing so instead. If we trust this testimony rather throw it away, something new comes to light. We can also add that there was not a huger difference between the trim list angle, which this all together would fit with Frank Osman's assumption of everything sliding out into the fore part before she went back up. She'd still be at angle rather perfectly horizontal, throwing a possibility that only the port prop touched water with the port listing and angle she still had forward.


Break up: What do they say

As of now, testimony has been re-pieced, but losing valuable pieces is not necessary. We know that it's an angle able to walk on, but we can't ignore what doesn't need to disavow onboard testimony.

Beforehand, everyone on trim is spot on, but then we see major change of all on the plunge to the point that one could claim they were mislead by the stages of the after break. If they were that forgetful, to which many claim the same thing, then why are they even being trusted beforehand? Even Charles Lightoller and Jack Borland Thayer can go for this as they hold some of the same variables that can fit with the other survivors' and a few forgotten.

Charles Lightoller dived in while on the officer's quarters, nearer to the no.1 funnel. The list of about 8-10 ° would put the edge of no.1 funnel into the water as it reached Murdoch and means he didn't swim far out. He only needs to go so far as to clear the particular vent before heading in a path in which he would be drug under. Because nothing else is said on the conditions of the crow's nest after the vent incident, it can be submerged simultaneously.

Returning to B after no.1 fell, Charles Lightoller saw a still standing no.3 funnel and was unable to determine anything about no.2, which likely fell just before. It's addressed that the lights would've already burned out as of now, fitting with the claims of John Collins, Edward Buley and Arthur Bright. There is then absolutely no reason to doubt Charles Lightoller. Both after funnels should be standing as of then and he has yet to note boilers coming lose.

In terms of Jack Borland Thayer, as Charles Lightoller, nothing indicated that the ship broke fully here. While water would be over the base of the first funnel from the start, there is a passing of time implied before this superstructure split. He even noted along with others what is thought to have the been the boilers coming loose and despite the no.2 funnel falling afterwards, Emily can only note anything after both had fell. "the two forward funnels seemed to lean and then she seemed to break in half as if cut with a knife, and as the bow went under the lights went out; the stern stood up for several minutes, black against the stars, and then that, too, plunged down".

Thayer also says nothing about the first funnel either, but if were taken literally as them falling at the same time, how does no.2 fall, let alone against a nasty port list? If the funnel fell, as simple as that, it may have fallen away from Thayer to port. We could say the stays snagged it, but wouldn't a fair amount of them need to snap for it to even fall in this scenario? After that, it may only go so far as to strike were Gracie was at on the starboard side. This would serve only to splash him away from B looking at the angle. If the effects of buoyant forces were the culprit however, it may pop up and lean more to starboard, almost hitting him and sending him in a direction towards B as said.

It's claimed that no.1 fell due to the forward joint popping open. While this is possible, assortments of testimony ask the question of weather or not it would have still been visible as of then. For the fore joint to be still visible, the events surrounding the bow has to be altered massively. There appears to be many conflicts in terms of Gracie or people standing near A, to which Gracie was directly at or quite aft of this joint, near the starboard officer's quarters. His account makes clear that he would not be directly next to A as of then also.

It's possible Jack Borland Thayer may not have meant the forward joint as even Gracie believed, but more apart of describing the movement taken in part of buckling upwards. In that case, he may not have been one to one in seaman terms here, meaning more forward from his position to amidships We then get "appeared to split...and bow or buckle upwards" rather "appeared to split or buckle upwards". We can then say his attention was geared aft as no.1 fell.

After this, while Ranger talked of parting between no.1 and no.2, he also states it righted directly after. Within this boat is Frederick Scott & Emily Ryerson. Scott reveals a position strictly behind the stern. He also mentioned pulling away from her side, which would make them at only enough of an angle for Emily to have seen a glimpse of the fore funnels falling. He later stated he never knew exactly where the ship broke at, first estimating it as aft of the no.4 funnel. With the list to port, this joint would've been invisible to them by then. This would mean that if Ranger didn't see the fore joint open, it was because he couldn't have seen this aft clearly in relation to the funnels.

Certainly, if It's so that one said the ship broke before the no.3 funnel and quite a few imply between the fore funnels with one mentioning it righting right after, suppose this was due to their positioning or angle from the ship. They wouldn't be able to pin exactly where it parted in relation to the funnels as Ranger, and thus, the area of break can appear anywhere, even very well forward if this aft joint did go at around 11-15 ° as well. After this yet, we may not conclude on the fore joint situation.

Regardless of anything, while ones such as Emily Ryerson, John Poingdestre or many more only imply this, Frederick Scott plainly tells us the stern end rose after breaking. So there is implication of a higher angle in other pieces of testimony that would look to show the most shallowest of angle as noted before. Again, some people say she broke, yet never detail righting. The other half only just caught the fuller righting that occurred during the failing of the lights and after the bow's disappearance. Some caught all of it and most others thought she was merely gliding in up to a spot.

There is no conclusion to anything aside experience of live plunges and simulation agreeing with the statements of beforehand. In the end, the stern may not have righted until the second funnel was able to fall to starboard. We have Collin's statements on where water met on the ship when the lights went and a comparison of ones like Frederick Scott or Emily Ryerson next to others similar to that of John Poingdestre to act as support. Too many agreed on standing near perpendicular, but is it probable as to thinking so if the boat deck is barely submerged versus what is claimed by many others? Even if someone is tricked to believe it were a higher angle then it was, because the boat deck submergence, one needs to assume that the keel is exposed to the amount needed to be at said angle. This would appear more ridiculous than that of the 97 film. If survivors proceeded to believe that the ship was at this position then, it would have rose enormously quick to those people also. This leans back to the problem of plunge speed.

The most accurate outlook is the easiest. No ship is able to do what is seen in the film. Even in the day, many doubted the film's angle versus posture to the waterline. Though boat deck submergence is correct with accounts, keel exposure is over exaggerated due to the angle. Therefore, we are to simply lower the keel exposure until it would meet a more correct posture. Most likely, we would again end up with an angle nearing 20 ° , something survivors could agree on while also learning something new.

After Break: The V Bend Scenario

It's said that the stern may take on any angle after breaking, but this may not be so with various close hand accounts, some of this being more dominant on board testimony. Practically, the physics of the V bend require the stern to be forced upwards as a cork due to water intake only as far aft as the engine room. This would in turn cause the stern to re-balance upon separation at a lower angle, resting at an angle within the mid teens.

She then may not have crushed as much, to which even then if she did, it doesn't strictly cover why she had dilapidated up to the second funnel without any visual sign of force. The crushing is only one of many possible explanations on the missing middle section and the special's animation doesn't even show the V bend as a benefactor. Many accurate interpretations are possible as it may come down to simple random variable.

There is still a clean knife cut down to the double bottom and it appears as many other areas that have caved inward similarly instead. For example, the fore mast caused the railing just under it to bend outward over time. It could be that an asymmetric break up with the pulling and tarring of the decks or foundation near the end of the bow section accomplished the very result over time with thousands of tons of sea pressure added to the mix. The sharp separation on the bow end possibly came from the clean separation of the double bottom here just under the no.3 funnel.

It's arguable that the ship went back on even keel, however, it was said right before the plunge by one working on getting A over to the falls that the ship took on a greater list to port that would make this increasingly difficult. Before then, it was determined that the ship already gained a near 10 ° list to port much before A was even released onto the boat deck. Gracie and Charles Lightoller thought the ship could capsize at any moment at one point near the end, whereas beforehand, Charles Lightoller himself barely got notice of this list. Therefore, when Thayer talks of evening up, it may not be meant to be taken as grossly literal as almost a lack of any list at all. At the time Charles John Joughin threw deck chairs out, the ship would have been nearing the final plunge, right as collapsible C and D were being launched. Despite this, he barely noticed a forward list, which is similar to Charles Lightoller just beginning to notice the list to port. Regardless, the port side of the double bottom would have faced the most ware and tare from bending stresses as of then.

If the V bend were to support this list, the result would've been greatly uneven as the starboard side of the stern impacted the bow's port side or midsection. However, even if didn't roll over to port to a vast degree, is possible that the 7-10 ° to port would still influence the crushing of the decks to form at an angle regardless. Because of this, separation soon after righting has more ability to fit with survivor accounts. If the ship listed far over to one side rather forward, depending on one view or another, the ship appears at different angles. Charles John Joughin stated she never went perpendicular while onboard and Frederick Scott even said that she never rose a second time after righting.

From Scott's view behind the tail end of the ship, he never interpreted it as rising this other time. This means that the stern's height never actually increased by much and based on Frank Osman and the majority of on board survivors, such as he Abelseths, the righted state was still quite angled. "After she got to a certain angle she exploded, broke in halves, and it seemed to me as if all the engines and everything that was in the after part slid out into the forward part, and the after part came up right again, and as soon as it came up right down it went again."

 Both those facts give reason to ones who said she sank intact, also working better with Emily Ryerson's line drawing representing the breakup and testimony. It's been seen that her lines perfectly coincide with leaning to one side and still being at enough of an angle regardless of being one to one visually at her position. She implies the same as Frederick Scott and is one with those who said it sank intact. "; the stern stood up for several minutes, black against the stars, and then that, too, plunged down". To her, the righting would mostly be this plunge.

For the V bend to have occurred, it needs to follow the events of previous scenario. The aft joint would look as the fore joint, unhinged. It would then flood and bend back the other way until it released at around 20-25 ° . If not, it would give off a second righting unless it were to limit the stern from listing grossly to port as close hand/felt testimony said. The V bend requires listlessness or it would fall through to a more uneven crushing impression.

In the other scenario, she would only have been connected on the port side. Here, the force of the bow would instead pivot the stern more so to port while keeping it balanced at enough angle until It's fore end floods. When the bow lets go, ripping the keel plates, the trim angle of the stern when settling down into the water remains still at only around 4 to 6 degrees less from when intact, giving little discretion to those such as the Abelseths.

After Break: Stern Movements

Apparently, the stern had turned Itself fully around from B, whose position was mostly in front of the boat deck the whole time. Perhaps they had floated a bit over to starboard or a tad towards with suction, but what ever the case, Jack Borland Thayer notes something similar to Charles John Joughin's account, yet had not by all. We know this could not have occurred as it did in the drawings that were made from Thayer's testimony because of Joughin's statements, so this causes us to look towards something that we know is already happening.

The stern would have rose back up, but the height of the stern would not have risen. As water reached Charles Joughin, it would have been nearly 30-90° to port and possibly just over 20-40 ° forward. There would have been many pockets or spaces not yet filled with water. The stern possibly took steps into the water and as Joughin stepped into the water, the stern would have hit all of this and pivoted mid plunge, akin to Jack Borland Thayer's account.

From B's perspective, the height would remain similar and all 3 propellers would hang above them. This scenario, as seen, gives off many interpretation depending on the angle from the ship. Also, because the lights are off, passengers can only discern a black figure against the stars. This figure's detail would also depend on distance. The smaller it is, the fewer stars it will blot out. Therefore, they would sense that it was sinking upright by the fore end.

This now gives factual credence to Charles John Joughin's account. At the moment the stern slows, the ship wouldn't be giving off much suction to battle his life belt. He would begin swimming away just as the ship began pivoting. There is a possibility that the stern merely rolled over enough at about 120 ° to appear to set the three props more or less above Thayer and glided at more a 25-30 ° angle without going fully vertical.

If we head back to Woolner's testimony, we see something similar here in summary as well, from the break to the last moments. "; she seemed to me to stop for about 30 seconds at one place before she took the final plunge, because I watched one particular porthole, and the water did not rise there for at least half a minute and then she suddenly slid under with her propellers under the water". If we look here, there could have been about nearly 30 seconds within the time that the lights began going out, then to many, the ship began gliding under at said angle and just stopped about at a 90 ° angle. This mean she would have to have been giving off some forward momentum.

Looking at all the facts appropriately, it appears they were not confused with the after break stage. Instead, she was about 8 ° more and by the time anyone made something out of the black figure within the stars, due to how stern disappeared, many had merely thought that they had caught the ship sliding in up to near it's end tail, to which remained at a near perpendicular posture in a vertical sense, and finally went beneath the waterline.


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