The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53976   Message #834124
Posted By: Gareth
24-Nov-02 - 07:12 PM
Thread Name: BS: Interesting theory about Titanic sinking
Subject: RE: BS: Interesting theory about Titanic sinking
Yes - Bunker fires on coal fired ships were not uncommon - thru spontaneous combustion or a trimmers ciggarete end. There is some thought ( and I'll look the references up later) that the explosion on the USS Maine ( cause ?? of the Spanish American war) was due to a bunker fire "cooking" off a magazine.

If Gardner & Van Der Vat's factual book "The Riddle of the Titanic" ISBN 0 75280 167 8 WEIDENFIELD 1995 is correct the "Titanic left Belfast with a fire in #10 bunker. Nothing remarkable in this - You had a gang of trimmers and stokers clear the bunker and load any glowing coals into the furnace. This fire would have been against #5 watertight bulkhead, and could have altered the tensile properties of the steel. The loss of #5 Bulkhead would have made no difference to the fate of the "Titanic", water was already lapping over the top, due to the lack of height or a watertight top from #1 collision bulkhead onwards.

What might have saved the "Titanic" could have been "counter flooding" - I E let water into the stern compartments to restore an equilibrium, tho with an overall lowered freeboard and metracentric height. This essential bit of damage control was not really appreciated till the US Navy did some deep research from 1941 onwards as a result of surveys post 'Pearl Harbour'.

In retrospect the loss of "Ark Royal" off Gibraltar was down to lack of counter flooding resulting in the boiler uptakes being sealed by water and a complete loss of power to the pumps as the "Ark" listed. Bluntly ONE torpedo should not have sunk her. Counter flooding would have restored the equilibtium and it is probable that the "Ark" would have made Gibraltar, under her own power.

Interestingly "White Star Line", owners of the "Titanic" was American Owned, the ultimate owner being J P Morgan Trust.

The Cunard vessels, "Mauretania" etc. were built to a different specification. The Admiratly gave a subsidy with the object of taking them up in war as either "Fast Troopships" or " Armed Merchant Cruisers", These specifications included a midships (Bow to Stern) water tight bulkhead, and a watertight deck to eliminate the lapping over of water from one compartment to another. The decks were also reinforced in places to take gun mountings.

But this is a music forum - Click Here for the mathematics of the loss of the "Titanic" and Click 'Ere for the stoke hold views on fireing the big liners.