Titanic’s design was not original. If you look at some of the ships in the SISTER SHIPS page you will see that they resemble Titanic but only with one or two funnels.  This was a design standard that H&W (Harland & Wolff) used.  It was a stout design and provided smooth sailing even in rough waters. However Tommie was concerned that the weight and length of the Olympics had stretched the hull configuration to its limits.


Titanic Cross Section
Cross-section Titanic. Note it resembles a cowbell.
We will focus on the area marked by dotted lines.

structure showing collision

Upon sighting the berg, Murdoch ordered full astern . This cavitated the propellers, making the screws go against the established flow of water. It greatly affected TITANIC’S maneuverability, and made her shake. The Resonant Nodes from first the cavitation of the propellers, then collision with the berg exacerbated the cavitation vibration. It was much like hitting a glass with a spoon. Remember that vibration occurs in all directions.

structure showing oscillation

This graphic shows how Titanic’s hull flexed when the full force of vibration from the collision took place, thus stressing the rivets. Remember again that vibration (sound waves) go out in all directions at once.

Thanks to the work of physicist John Wilcox, Ph.D. of Johns Hopkins University, in Pennsylvania, we were able to run a computer acoustic resonance test of Titanic’s hull using “C” Deck as the control rather than “E” Deck (the level collision occurred).  “C” Deck was known as the strength deck and less flexible. We ran the test 500 times through the computer with the same results. In it we calculated Titanic’s weight at the time she struck the berg her speed and the tensile strength of the metal of that time. Hard military grade steel was used at the waterline and below.  It was very brittle when cold.

Cavitation resonance
This is the resonance of the ship when in reverse and cavitating the propellers. Brown represents Acoustic stress of about 1000 dynes per square centimeter. Black in this case represents little or none. Notice the vibration is strongest at the stern where the cavitation was taking place. A dyne (pronounced: dine) is the amount of force that imparts to a mass of one gram, an acceleration of one centimeter per second per second.

Iceberg force
This graphic reflects the slamming force of the collision force with the iceberg (the light area).  Notice how that force spread out in the bow section. Tommie reasoned (right or wrong) that Titanic’s hull was tapped like a spoon on a cold glass between the third and fourth compartment. This area is where the most damage took place on the ship. The stokers heard the sound of thunder as Titanic made contact with the berg.  This would confirm a glancing blow/tap as it would cause the hull plates to rattle thunderously.

If you ring a bell you will notice that the pitch does not stay the same.  It builds until the vibrations settles out to one tone. The graphic below represents the conflagration of two vibrations 1) from cavitation, 2) from the collision with the berg.  They are working themselves into one pitch. Notice the areas in red. They are located one section behind the collision area. Red in this case is heavy vibration between 2400 plus dynes per square centimeter.  Along the forward areas in red  is where many rivets popped like a zipper effect.
dual vibration diagram

This next graphic represents the acoustic finalization/resolution of the “ring” in Titanic’s hull; about 2400 + dynes per centimeter, represented in red. Notice that the areas in red in the forward part of Titanic are relatively in the same area as the collision and damage. 
As far as the rest goes, once the collision with the berg broke into Titanic’s hull it popped rivets and the others followed especially since the hull was already vibrating.
final ship resonance
To quote Kipling’s  poem The Ship That Found Herself:
“If you go, others will follow,” hissed the Steam [to the rivet]. “There’s nothing so contagious in a boat as rivets going. Why, I knew a little chap like you – he was an eighth of an inch fatter, though – on a steamer – to be sure, she was only twelve hundred tons, now I come to think of it in exactly the same place as you are. He pulled out in a bit of a bobble of a sea, not half as bad as this, and he started all his friends on the same butt-strap, and the plates opened like a furnace door, and I had to climb into the nearest fog-bank, while the boat went down.”


Now I may be dead wrong about this, but the computer test provides a compelling take on what killed Titanic.  The only truth is we shall never really know. Finally, Tommie may not have owned a computer, but he did understand vibration in a ship! For example: Cunard’s LUSITANIA had the problem of stern vibration at over twenty two knots, until the builders figured out where to reinforce that section. She took nearly six months to certify because of the problem. Tommie by the way was lent out by H&W as a paid consultant for John Brown Yards.

(memories from Tommie’s projection)
Titanic sinking sequence

Before Titanic sank, she broke in on herself. This way was much more destructive in that it folded in on people.  When experts use stress graphs to show the forces working on Titanic’s hull in triangular form, they forget that Titanic was a floating box.  She was a box truss design and her plates (also known as strakes) would break along in concert with the box, rather than give way like a welded ship.

James Hanna, a member of my Titanicmemories Yahoo group has offered up his version of how Titanic was damaged and sank.  Click play button on the video below.  You will note that he has animated what I have described above.

This explains the crushed decks and splayed out sides to the midsection.  Titanic’s stern was resting on the rear expansion joint which was design only to flex upward. The strongest point of a structure is where weight is focused. That is an architectural fact. (Consider the keystone in a building’s arch). The stern in the air was focused downward on the expansion joint.  In order for that area of the keel to break it would have to over flex upward in the direction it was designed to flex. In the area of this expansion joint was the engine area. It was an opened area and not as reinforced as it could have been.  The stern was a heavy part of the ship.  In its counter stern were the heavy gears and hydraulics of the rudder system.  Also the  heavy refrigeration units were in the stern.  As the stern raised it put pressure on the sides of the hulls in the area of the engine room, causing the plates to push and pull apart.  Once this occurred the center of gravity changed and the stern was forced upward and over flexed. Upon over flexing, the expansion joint busted and the stern swung downward level with the water breaking  a section of the keel aft of the expansion joint with it. The forward part of Titanic was separated and sank. The stern section followed.  This type of break in the keel would cause the keel to break in two or more pieces. That explains the large section of keel found on the sea floor.  This again is what I understand from memories of Tommie Andrews and how he knew she would break apart.

(transcribed from the regression session):

And then she’s gonna break.
Right here in the engine compartment.
That’s where she’sgonna break. 


As further proof of my claim, I suggest you read the poem THE SHIP THAT FOUND HERSELF, by Rudyard Kipling.  I found it printed out online so I assume it’s Public Domain.  It outlines in layman’s terms exactly what I have been talking about technically. It's a truism that poets describe flowers in more sensuous detail than we normally notice. Kipling's poetry can make the man-wrought metal and wood speak to us.



The link below will take you to a Scientific American Magazine depiction of how titanic sank.  It basically describes the process I describe BUT does not show the stern turning in on the forward section as I have described.

What Jack Thayer saw:
Jack Thayer's sktches of Titanic sinking

Like I said, we may never know for sure but it sure makes for interesting discussion.  Finally I will point out the drawing by survivor/eye witness Jack Thayer that shows the breakup as I describe (above). Even though it was dark, I think Jack got it right. If I recall his lifeboat was nearer to Titanic than others.

The video below covers a lot of what is agreed universally, though it does not fit into my paradigm of her break up, nor does it take into account the acoustical side of vibrating plates. It is, however, an interesting video with reenactments and special effects done by National Geographic. Enjoy!


A REAL Dying Ship

The video below shows what really happens when a ship sinks. The ship is the Oceanos, and it sank off the coast of South Africa on the 4th of August, 1991. There are MANY differences between Oceanos and Titanic, but just to mention a few:

Dramatic as Titanic's death is portrayed in the movies, it is still filtered, and no movie will ever recapture what ensued on April 15, 1912. As Oceanos goes down, there isn't any music playing -- just the sight and sound of a ship dying, and dramatic as it is, it's tame compared to what ensued as Titanic thunderously undertook the last two miles of her maiden voyage.  I hope that those who have experienced a sinking in this or other lives will not be excessively bothered by this video.