TIMELINE: The Sinking of the Titanic | Encyclopaedia Britannica

TIMELINE: The Sinking of the Titanic | Encyclopaedia Britannica

The Titanic was a British luxury passenger
liner that struck an iceberg and sank during its maiden voyage on April 15th, 1912, killing
over 1500 people. On the eve of World War One, this tragedy shocked the world and challenged
many old ideas about technology, progress, and modern life. The first ocean liners emerged in the 1840s,
after the development of major industrial technologies like steel and steam power. At
sea, these new ships’ speed, capacity, and large sizes created a market for inexpensive
international travel and shipping. By the early 1900s, the transatlantic passenger trade
was highly profitable and fiercely competitive. Two lines: Cunard and the White Star Line,
were locked in an all-out war for control of this lucrative business. In 1907, Cunard
launched the Mauritania and Lusitania, the fastest ships in the world. The White Star
Line needed something new to compete. The chair of the White Star Line, J. Bruce Ismay,
had arranged the sale of the company to J. P. Morgan in 1902. This brought Ismay, Morgan,
and a man named William James Pirrie, chairman of the Belfast shipbuilding firm Harland and
Wolff, together under one company. Ismay and Pirrie then met for dinner in 1907 and devised
a plan to beat Cunard’s speed with luxury – the new Olympic-class liners – Olympic,
Brittanic, and Titanic. Construction of the Olympic began December 16th, 1908, and of
Titanic soon after. The ships were designed by Thomas Andrews of Harlan and Wolff, who
also happened to be the nephew of William James Pirrie. Andrews had started as an apprentice
and worked his way to head designer, gaining a reputation for innovative designs. Titanic
and Olympic were marvels of engineering. Titanic displaced 52,000 tons and was 882 feet long.
The ships were so powerful that they both were nearly destroyed in port when the vortex
created by their engines sucked in nearby ships. Much attention was paid to the 16 watertight
compartments that would theoretically protect the ship from flooding. This led many at the
time to claim Titanic was unsinkable. Titanic was launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyards
in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on May 31, 1911. For the next year, Titanic was ‘fitted out’
– the interior work was started and the engine machinery was loaded into the ship. For Titanic’s
high-stakes maiden voyage, Ismay chose captain Edward J. Smith, the former captain of the
Olympic known as “the millionaires captain” for his reputation among wealthy passengers.
Under Smith’s watch, Titanic set out for its maiden voyage from Southampton on April 10th,
1912. That night, the ship stopped in Cherbourg, France, where supplies and passengers, including
John Jacob Astor and Molly Brown, were ferried aboard, because Titanic was too large for
the city’s port. After a final stop in Queenstown, Ireland, Titanic set sail for New York City,
carrying some 2,200 people. At sea, Titanic delivered on the power, speed,
and luxury promised by its designers. The turbine engine drove the ship’s main propeller
while two reciprocating engines powered the side propellers. Each engine was capable of
producing 15,000 horsepower. These engines were powered by 29 boilers, which contained
three or more furnaces each. Some 600 tons of coal were fed into the furnaces every day
by a team of workers in the boiler room known as trimmers. The boiler room vented through
Titanic’s immense funnels, one of which was non-functional and included purely for aesthetic
reasons. Many companies paid ocean liners to ship their goods, and Titanic’s cargo manifest
included 63 cases of champagne, 15 cases of rabbit hair, 2 cases of grandfather clocks,
and a Renault automobile. The Royal Mail Ship, or RMS Titanic, also transported mail for
the UK Government. 5 postal workers in the mail room sorted 3,400 sacks and 7 million
individual pieces of mail. The squash court, swimming pool, and Turkish baths were for
first-class passengers only. Titanic’s heated pool was the first in the world, measuring
32 feet by 13. The hospital was more advanced than most on land, with two full-time doctors
and a surgery room. First class passengers could also enjoy a-la-carte dining from cafes
and restaurants above deck. Classes were kept separate on board. Third class rooms accommodated
up to six people and were located on the lower levels. Second class passengers had single
or double rooms in the center of the ship. First class rooms were luxuriously appointed,
with telephones and heaters. Titanic’s four parlor suites included sitting rooms, bedrooms,
and private promenade decks. The first-class dining room was decorated in the Jacobin style,
while the lounge was modeled on the palace of Versailles. The grand staircase was titanic’s
most iconic feature and had a steel-and-glass domed ceiling depicting the figures of Honor
and Glory crowning Time. Titanic’s wireless was one of the most powerful at sea, with
a range up to 2,500 miles. Throughout the voyage, the operators Jack Phillips and Harold
Bride have been receiving regular iceberg warnings, many of which are passed to the
bridge. However, the wireless operators work for the Marconi Company, and their primary
purpose is to relay passengers’ messages. On the night of April 14th, Titanic enters
waters known to have icebergs. Smith alters course slightly, turning south, but maintains
a high speed of 22 knots. At 9:40 PM the nearby Mesaba sends warning of an ice field, but
this message is never relayed to the bridge. At 10:55 PM the California sends word that
it had stopped after becoming surrounded by ice. Wireless operator Phillips is busy handling
passenger messages, and scolds the California for interrupting him. By 11 PM, Smith has
not slowed Titanic. Some survivors reported this was at Ismay’s urging – he wanted to
arrive a day early and make headlines. However, new research has offered up another theory:
The lone coal fireman to survive the sinking testified in 1912 that a fire had been raging
in Titanic’s boiler room for days – since before the ship had first departed. Rather
than delay the maiden voyage a third time, Smith decided to set sail and the firemen
fought the fire at sea, which was not uncommon at the time. It is believed that this onboard
fire is what forced Smith to sail so fast, and could have even weakened Titanic’s hull.
At 11:40 PM, 400 nautical miles south of Newfoundland, an iceberg is spotted. The first officer orders
the ship hard-a-starboard and reverses the engines, which actually slows Titanic’s turning
speed. Titanic’s starboard side scrapes the iceberg, rupturing 5 watertight compartments
below the waterline. It is believed that a higher-speed collision would have caused more
damage to fewer compartments, and Titanic would have survived. But ship designer Andrews
knows immediately that with more than 4 watertight compartments filled, Titanic will founder.
The watertight compartments extend only to E deck, and the water will eventually spill
over. Smith orders the wireless operators to send distress signals, but does not order
a general alarm. Titanic’s sister Olympic responds, but at over 500 miles away won’t
make it to Titanic in time. At 12:15 AM, The Mount Temple responds. It’s 50 miles away
and speeds to Titanic, but is stopped by an ice field. At 12:20 AM, the Carpathia hears
the call. However, the slower ship is 58 miles away, and it will take over 3 hours to reach
Titanic. The Russian steamer Birma is 70 miles away when it hears Titanic’s SOS, also too
far. As Titanic sinks, the crew spots a ship on the horizon. However this mystery ship
does not respond to messages or approach the sinking liner. It is believed this was the
Sampson, a Norwegian boat that was in the area illegally hunting seals. The nearby California
is Titanic’s last hope, but the wireless is turned off. The crew wakes Captain Stanley
Lord when they see Titanic’s emergency flares, but he orders them to respond using the morse
lamp instead of the wireless. They will not hear a response from Titanic. Meanwhile, Titanic begins to launch lifeboats,
with women and children first. But without a general alarm, many below-deck passengers
are not even aware something is wrong. Titanic has 20 lifeboats, enough for 1,178 people,
a little over half of those on board. However a lifeboat drill earlier in the day was cancelled,
and the crew has the wrong impression the ships davits have not been weight-tested,
though they were in Belfast. So the already-too-few lifeboats are launched under-capacity, at
an average of only 60% full. As Titanic’s bow fills with water, the hull begins to rise
out of the ocean. At 2:18 AM, Titanic splits in half. At 2:20 the stern sinks below the
ocean, plunging over 1500 people into the freezing water. Those in the lifeboats are
fearful of getting swamped and wait to return. By the time they do, 68% of the people onboard
Titanic have died. CORRECTION: 45% of first and second class passengers, 75% of third class passengers, 78% of the crew perished aboard. The Carpathia arrived at 3:30 AM, about an
hour after Titanic sank, rescuing 705 survivors from lifeboats. On April 18th, Titanic’s survivors
arrived in New York City, greeted by massive crowds. News of Titanic’s sinking had spread
around the globe, the tragedy magnified by the glamour associated with the ship and its
maiden voyage, and the deaths of many of era’s wealthiest and most prominent people, including
John Jacob Astor, Isidor Strauss, president of Macy’s, and his wife Ida. Ida Strauss refused
to leave her husband’s side, and while Isidor was offered a seat next to her in a lifeboat,
he refused to take it while women and children remained onboard. Titanic’s captain Smith
and designer Andrews also died on Titanic. However others, like J. Bruce Ismay, survived
in lifeboats and were consequently vilified by the press. Both the American and British
governments investigated the sinking. The U.S. Senate Inquiry was led by Michigan Sen.
William Alden Smith and interviewed 80 survivors. It faulted the British Board of Trade for
not regulating the number of lifeboats aboard and doubted the distance claimed by the crew
of the California. The inquiry went so far as to allege the California was the mystery
ship that did not respond to Titanic. As a result of the sinking, ships were required
to hold enough lifeboats for all passengers and keep 24-hour radio watch, and a new international
iceberg monitoring service was created. The sinking of the Titanic had little averse impact
on Harland and Wolff. The Olympic’s watertight doors were extended up to B deck, and the
ship served as a troop transport in WWI. A third ship, Brittanic, replaced Titanic, but
was sunk after striking a mine in 1916. J. Bruce Ismay retired in shame a year after
the sinking. Then in 1935, the White Star Line was acquired by longtime competitor Cunard.
Titanic remained firmly entrenched in the popular imagination, though interest would
wane over time. Then, in 1985, famed oceanographer Robert Ballard announced the discovery of
the wreck of Titanic. Titanic became a testing ground for Argo, a cutting-edge submersible
equipped with a remote control camera. On September 1st, 1985 the first underwater images
of Titanic were recorded. The wreckage has been populated by rusticles, which, over time,
will slowly dissolve the ship. Titanic rests on the ocean floor 13 miles away from its
last reported coordinates.

100 thoughts on “TIMELINE: The Sinking of the Titanic | Encyclopaedia Britannica

  1. The iceberg didnt tear 5 compartments it reared 4 the reason the 5th one was breached was because the water was spill over

  2. So in the end, White Star Line merged with Cunard, which is now a subsidiary of Carnival, the same Miami-based parent company that gave us the Costa Concordia disaster almost exactly 100 years later.

  3. Recent research has indicated that the Samson was reported in port in Iceland shortly before the date of Titanic sinking which would make her presence on the scene impossible. But speculation about the possible presence of a third ship continues.

    Source: https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-ships/samson.html

  4. 9:16 – 9:20 I think the wording is wrong. The %s don't add up so you mean 75% of 3rd class passengers, 45% of 1st/2nd…not 45% of those lost

  5. Question: in the movie ANTR the ship does not break in half before sinking. Was it not known that it did so? Didn't all those people on the lifeboats see it????

  6. They didn't reverse the engines they stopped the engines only did that in the movie. Thomas Andrews and the Canton and several other people did an inspection when Iceberg hit it took them over 40 minutes to figure out if the ship would sink

  7. What a shame, people from the first class were offered seats on life boats while women and children from the third class were left to die..society at its worth.

    respects to all the deceased and the heros who died trying to save others RIP.

  8. 75% of the of third class drown and first class and upperclass together only 45% died,anyone tell me why old ladies should go in front of young men?why should a 21 year old man die and a 80 year old woman live?

  9. First: The Olympic class, was designed by Alexander Carlisle, which actually left H&W after discussing the number of lifeboats ( which Titanic fulfilled and had more lifeboats than the law required) and after that Thomas Andrews took over.
    Second: Nah Titanic never sailed at full speed, nor intended to break any speed records, her speed would never allow her to break Mauretania's Record. Also Boiler room 1 was never lit, so top speed could never be reached.
    Third: It is believed that the engines were reversed during the collision, but according Frederick Barrett the Boiler rooms signal changed from "Full" to "Stop" in steam ships there is no difference for the boiler room if the ship is going "full ahead" or "full astern" the supply of coal remains the same as they need to fulfill coal supply for a full condition . Also First Officer Murdoch knew that putting the engines in reverse would reduce the ship's capability of turning, and another thing in my opinion, I think that if the engines were reversed the vibrations and movement of the ship would've been tremendous and probably would wake up most of the passengers instead of almost every passenger just sleeping through it.
    Fourth: Titanic actually did had a boat drill in Southampton just before departing.
    BTW great video perfectly explained just wanted to address this points.

  10. A tragedy that never should of taken place and because of vanity and ego, the ship sunk and over 1,503 people died that night on April 15th 1912, men, women, children, infants, and animals died just minutes after the Titanic sunk due to the freezing cold water that was 34 degrees that night.

  11. to call it a luxury liner is a bit misleading. White Star line and the others actually made most of the revenue from steerage passengers.

  12. I do believe the Titanic Would of Survived a head on unpack with the Ice Berg it was taller than the Ship some 150 feet high.if you work it out Husband and Wife's could of been SAVED MOST OF 3 Rd class to an some more Crew to not all. 460 spare Seats Spare. absolutely Ridiculous..

  13. 😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😣😣😣😣😣😣😣😣😣😟😟😟😟😟😟😟😟😟😟😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

  14. The center propeller wasn't the main one. It was run off waste steam from the reciprocating engines. Fatally the center propeller could not be run in reverse.

  15. My great grandfather saw the Titanic. He actually warned people that this ship would sink. No one believed him. He warned them again, and they dismissed him. Exasperated, he warned them a third time that TITANIC WOULD SINK!!
    At that point, an usher approached and told him to get out of the theater!

  16. Titanic was built by the Irish in Belfast Ireland 🇮🇪 mate so Titanic was an Irish ship, and it was sunk by the english

  17. The coal fire theory is rubbish. While there was undoubtedly a coal fire, the photo doesn't show "damage" from it. The truth is that coal fires were common. They weren't "blazing infernos," but, rather, smoldering coals. The coal rooms were built with this in mind. Coal was moved away from the starboard to port and possibly helped provide counter-balance against a list from the starboard collision.

  18. Although it was a tragedy, the sinking of the Titanic did a lot to standardize safety regulations and consequently saved countless lives.

  19. A real man, He stayed with the ship to let more women and children survive and had a real women as a wife she refused to leave her man. R.I.P. to all that died

  20. R.i.P to all those poor shrunken foreskins on that cold cold night. Such a shame that they will never again receive pholatio and return to their former glorys. My heart goes out to both all the foreskins frozen to half thier former glory and lest we forget the poor poor mushroom tips that are now fated to rest in the pants of their dead bodys without their warm soft turtle knecks… Brings a tear to the eye i swear. RIP to all those tips

  21. Ok old a lot about ships so hopefully you can help me. Was the Olympic a replica or at least very similar to the Titanic? If so that means it was a luxury ship, and in that case, it’s weird that is was a Troop transport right?

  22. I think the most tragic about the titanic is not that it went down or that so many died but the fact that it was totally preventable but people ignored their true duties. His is ultimately why it sunk and makes it all the more tragic.

  23. Mesaba: yo titanic be careful of ice in the area!

    Titanic: nah, we’ll be fine we can turn in time

    California: titanic I’m telling you be careful I’m surrounded by ice right now!!

    Titanic: I SAID I’LL BE PERFECTLY FI- scrapes iceberg

    Titanic: welp

  24. Wow, can’t believe that if it just hit the iceberg head on it most likely would have been okay. Rip all the souls on the boat that night.

  25. titanic was originally made in Belfast but they named the place titanic quarter after titanic and u can also see titanic sister there

  26. My fraternal grandmother's great-uncle was Wallace Hartley the band-leader His body was found and he received a civic funeral in Colne, Lancashire, where his memorial can be found. The family are immensely proud of him.

  27. More Garbage in and Garbage out. No Salient points to the switching etc. It was Insurance fraud in short. It's almost too easy to not understand this.

  28. Maybe someone can help me with my question, but what would’ve happened if the Titanic just hit the iceberg bow on? Would that just cause damage to the front of the ship, hopefully less than what would be needed to bring the mighty ship down?

  29. Ummm, well your one is from 2 years ago and it’s already it’s “107th” anniversary

  30. I enjoyed this video, though there were a few mistakes.

    First off, the coal fire theory has been debunked. Yes, there was a fire, but it did not weaken the hull. Second of all, the rescue ship, the Carpathia, is pronounced “Car-pay-thee-a”, not “car-path-ia” the mystery ship was the Californian, not the California. Finally, Cunard is pronounced “Cue-nard”, not “coo-nard”.

  31. Britannica, read your own video description. "The story and tragedy of Titanic have captivated the public imagination every since"
    That really doesn't look good for a company in your line of work.

  32. the word "wolff" sounds likes the same but with another "F"

    also my brother alex was born on wednesday, april 10th, 2006

  33. The captain wanted to arrive ahead of schedule in order to impress his rich friends therefore we can safely put some of the blame on the rich upper class of that day. This was another example of how the rich only care about themselves.

  34. Why Captain J.smith Didnt..slow the ship…
    If i have time machine i will board titanic to give a photo titanic wreck..

  35. 10:19 W.H. Taft, president of the U.S. at the time, makes an appearance at the sinking investigation. He can be seen where pleasant park would be on the fortnite map if it were a rectangle and tilted 90 degrees counterclockwise

  36. Everyone here will never forget you titanic and people who died.
    Click here to make the titanic and people who died come back to life:3

  37. the only thing that really sticks out is that you called Californian California, there is an "n" at the end of that ship's name

  38. Titanic also got karma from the California, the wireless operators told them to shut up, so on the titanic sinks, they tried to call other ships, one of them was the California, well the California didn’t mean to leave titanic sinking, but the captain was their captain, and the crew members should follow the captains rule…

  39. “It doesn’t look any bigger than the Mauritania.” “You can be blasé about something’s Rose but not about titanic!”

  40. Britannica if you want to be more better than Wikipedia you should do better research on your maps and stop using the fire theory i makes no sense

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