Titanic A History Behind The Ship

story of titanic

Article Source Britannica :-The entire Royal Mail Ship Titanic (RMS) Around 1,500 passengers and crew members perished when the British luxury passenger liner Titanic sank on April 14 and 15, 1912, while on her first journey from Southampton, England, to New York City. (See Researcher’s Note: Titanic.) It is one of the most well-known tragedies in contemporary history, and it has sparked many literary works, motion pictures, musicals, and scientific theories.

Also Read:- Titanic Sinking Facts & HISTORY

Origins And Construction

The transatlantic passenger trade was very profitable and competitive in the early 1900s, with ship companies competing to convey affluent tourists and immigrants. White Star and Cunard were two of the leading lines. With the launch of two new ships, the Lusitania and the Mauretania, which were slated to begin service later that year, Cunard appeared ready to grow its market share by the summer of 1907. The two passenger liners were drawing a lot of attention due to their anticipated speed; both would go on to break speed records when they crossed the Atlantic. White Star chairman J. Bruce Ismay reportedly met with William Pirrie, who oversaw Belfast shipbuilder Harland and Wolff, which built the majority of White Star’s vessels, in an effort to counter his competition. The two men came up with a design for a class of huge liners that would excel in comfort rather than speed. Ultimately, it was agreed that the Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic would be the three ships that would be built.

story of titanic

The keel was laid for the Titanic on March 31, 1909, about three months after construction on the Olympic started. The two ships were constructed side by side in a unique gantry designed to handle their unheard-of scale. Thomas Andrews of Harland & Wolff designed the sister ships in substantial part. The Titanic had an enormous first-class dining saloon, four elevators, and a swimming pool in addition to elaborate decorations. Although basic, its third-class cabins were still praised for their relative comfort. Its second-class accommodations were equivalent to first-class amenities on rival ships.

The Titanic had 16 compartments with doors that could be closed from the bridge, allowing water to be confined in the event that the hull was damaged. The bulkheads were not capped at the top, despite being thought to be watertight. Four of the compartments, according to the ship’s designers, could be submerged without harming the liner’s buoyancy. Many people believed that the Titanic couldn’t sink because of the system.

The Titanic’s hull and primary superstructure were finished, and it was launched on May 31, 1911. Then came the fitting-out stage, during which the ship’s machinery was loaded and interior construction got under way. After the Olympics inaugural trip in June 1911, the Titanic’s design underwent minor modifications. The Titanic underwent its sea trials at the beginning of April 1912, and was subsequently deemed seaworthy.

One of the biggest and most luxurious ships in the world, the Titanic was about to set sail on its maiden journey. Its carrying capacity, or gross registered tonnage, was 46,328 tonnes, and at full load, the ship displaces or weighs more than 52,000 tonnes. At its widest point, the Titanic measured roughly 92.5 feet (28.2 meters) long and 882.5 feet (269 meters) broad.

story of titanic

Maiden Voyage

The Titanic embarked on its maiden trip from Southampton, England, to New York City on April 10, 1912. The ship was appropriately dubbed the “Millionaire’s Special,” and Edward J. Smith, also known as the “Millionaire’s Captain,” was in charge. Smith was well-liked by wealthy guests. A number of notable individuals were in fact on board, including British journalist William Thomas Stead, American industrialist Benjamin Guggenheim, and Isidor Straus and his wife, Ida. Ismay and Andrews were also on board the Titanic at the same time.

However, the docked New York nearly collided with the enormous ship when the Titanic’s suction led it to swing into its path. The Titanic sailed after an hour of maneuvers to avert the catastrophe. The ship made a port call in Cherbourg, France, in the evening of April 10. The Titanic had to be carried to and from the city in tenders since the city’s dock was too tiny to accommodate it. John Jacob Astor, his pregnant second wife Madeleine, and Molly Brown were among those who boarded. About two hours later, the Titanic started moving again. The liner made its final scheduled stop in Europe at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, on the morning of April 11. The ship departed for New York City at around 1:30 PM. There were 2,200 persons on board, with 1,300 of them being passengers.

Final hours

The Titanic’s wireless radio operators, Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, had been receiving iceberg warnings for the majority of the voyage, and most of them were relayed to the bridge. The two men relayed messages from passengers as a large part of their work for the Marconi Company. The Titanic started to approach a region known to have icebergs on the evening of April 14. In order to head further south, Smith slightly changed the ship’s course. He nevertheless kept the ship moving at a speed of about 22 knots. The Mesaba transmitted a warning about an ice field at around 9:40 PM. The Titanic’s bridge was never informed of the message. The Californian, a nearby Leyland liner, sent word at 10:55 PM that it had stopped after becoming encircled by ice. The Californian was reprimanded by Phillips for interrupting him while he was handling passenger messages

Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee, two lookouts, were stationed in the Titanic’s crow’s nest. The ocean was particularly calm that night, making their work more challenging because an iceberg would be harder to notice with less water breaking at its foot. Binoculars from the crow’s nest were also absent. An iceberg was spotted at about 11:40 PM, about 400 nautical miles (740 km) south of Newfoundland, Canada, and the bridge was alerted. First Officer William Murdoch gave the orders to reverse the engines and turn the ship “hard-a-starboard,” which, according to the system of orders in use at the time, would turn the ship to port (left). Though it was too close to avoid a crash, the Titanic started to spin. The iceberg was scraped by the ship’s port side. There were ruptures in at least five of its ostensibly watertight compartments at the bow. Andrews evaluated the damage and came to the conclusion that as the ship’s forward compartments filled with water, its bow would sink further into the water, allowing water from the ruptured compartments to flow over into each subsequent compartment, sealing the ship’s fate. The Titanic was about to sink. Murdoch actually made the Titanic turn more slowly than it would have if the engines had been running in the opposite direction. The majority of experts think the ship would have survived if it had collided directly with the iceberg.

story of titanic

On April 15, at around 12:20 AM, Smith gave Phillips the order to start sending distress signals. When one of these signals reached the Carpathia, the Cunard ship promptly sailed toward the sinking liner. However, it would take more than three hours for the Carpathia to get to the Titanic because it was 58 nautical miles (107 km) away when it received the signal. The Olympic and other ships also reacted, but they were all too far away. Although a ship was seen close by, the Titanic was unable to get in touch with it. Although it was nearby, The Californian’s wireless had been turned off for the evening.

The lifeboats started to deploy, with women and children being ordered to go first, as attempts were made to make contact with surrounding vessels. Although the Titanic had more lifeboats than the British Board of Trade mandated, only 1,178 passengers could fit in its 20 boats, much fewer than the total number of passengers. Because crew members were concerned that the davits would not be able to withstand the weight of a fully filled boat, lifeboats were released much below capacity, which made the issue worse. The crew of the Titanic was not aware that the davits had been tested in Belfast because the ship had cancelled her lifeboat exercise earlier in the day. Although it had room for 65, lifeboat number 7, which was the first to depart the Titanic, only held roughly 27 passengers. Only 705 people would ultimately be saved in lifeboats.

The musicians of the Titanic entertained the passengers while they waited to board the lifeboats, first in the first-class lounge and then on the deck. The length of their performance varies depending on the source; some claim that it lasted just before the ship sank. The last song they played, which was probably either Autumn or Nearer My God to Thee, also sparked rumors. The musicians all perished in the sinking.

At the Grand Staircase’s base (E deck), water could be visible by 1:00 AM. When numerous male passengers attempted to board lifeboat number 14, Fifth Officer Harold Lowe fired his revolver three times in response to the mounting panic. Around this time, the ship “cannot last much longer,” according to one of Phillips’s distress calls, which showed rising desperation.

The stern of the Titanic started to rise out of the water while the bow continued to sink, putting tremendous strain on the middle of the ship. The only lifeboats still on board were three collapsible boats at around 2:00 AM, and the stern’s propellers could be seen clearly above the sea. Smith told the team that “it’s every man for himself” and then freed them. (His body was never discovered; he was apparently last seen in the bridge.) The lights on the Titanic went out around 2:18 AM. Then it split in half, the bow submerging. Later reports suggested the part took around six minutes to reach the ocean floor, perhaps moving at a speed of about 30 miles (48 km) per hour. The stern briefly returned to the water before rising once more and finally going vertical. It held there for a moment before starting its fatal plummet. The ship capsized at 2:20 AM, and the stern also sank beneath the Atlantic. That part, which still contained air, is said to have imploded as it sank due to water pressure.

story of titanic

Numerous passengers and staff members fell into the chilly water. Lifeboat crew members postponed picking up survivors because they were worried about getting flooded. Nearly everyone in the sea had perished from exposure by the time they began to row back. In the end, about 1,500 people died. Aside from the crew, which had nearly 700 fatalities, third class lost the most members: of the roughly 710 who were in it, only about 174 made it out alive. (However, later allegations that steerage passengers were prohibited from boarding boats were mostly refuted. Some third-class passengers did not comprehend the seriousness of the situation until it was too late due to Smith’s failure to sound a general warning. Some women reached the top deck after the majority of the lifeboats had been launched due to the difficulty of merely navigating the complicated Titanic from the lower levels, but many women also refused to leave their husbands and boys.


More than an hour after the Titanic sank, at around 3:30 AM, the Carpathia sailed into the vicinity. The second lifeboat to arrive at the liner was number 2. The Carpathia picked up all survivors during the course of the ensuing hours. “Deeply regret to tell you Titanic sank this morning, fifteenth, following collision with an iceberg, resulting in serious loss of life; further details later,” White Star chairman Ismay wrote in a letter to be delivered to the White Star Line’s headquarters. The Californian heard the news around three hours earlier and arrived about 8:30 AM. The Carpathia departed shortly before 9:00 AM in the direction of New York City, where it arrived on April 18 to a throng of people.

Investigation and aftermath

Despite the fact that staff members and third-class passengers made up the majority of the fatalities, many of the wealthy and well-known families of the time, like Isidor and Ida Straus and John Jacob Astor, suffered fatal losses. In the public imagination, the ship’s glitz, her inaugural voyage, and its famous guests accentuated the horror of its sinking. The events of the night, the people who perished, and the people who survived quickly became the subject of legends. The press identified and lauded heroes and heroines, including Capt. Arthur Henry Rostron of the Carpathia and American Molly Brown, who assisted in commanding a lifeboat. Others, most notably Ismay, who had managed to live by finding space in a lifeboat, were demonized. Inquiries into the sinking were held in the United States and Great Britain because there was a significant desire to find an explanation for the tragedy.

US investigation

Sen. William Alden Smith oversaw the US investigation, which lasted from April 19 to May 25, 1912. Over 80 people were spoken with in all. Second Officer Charles Lightoller, the most senior officer to survive, was one of the notable witnesses. He defended his superiors’ conduct, especially Captain Smith’s stand against lowering the ship’s pace. There was a lot of misunderstanding on the ship, according to many people. Many passengers, including crew members, were oblivious of the risk for a while because no general warning was ever issued. In addition, the lowering of the boats was frequently random because there had never been a planned lifeboat drill.

The crew of the Californian reported that their ship was about 20 nautical miles (37 km) from the Titanic in their testimony, which was possibly the most closely investigated. Although the ship appeared to be too small to be the Titanic, crew members witnessed it. They added that attempts to reach it using a Morse lamp had failed because it was moving. The crew alerted Captain Stanley Lord, who had gone to bed, after spotting missiles in the distance. Lord urged the troops to continue using the Morse lamp instead of directing the ship’s wireless operator to turn on the radio. The adjoining ship is said to have left about 2:00 AM.

The British Board of Trade, “to whose laxity of regulation and hurried inspection the world is primarily responsible for this horrible mortality,” was ultimately found at fault by the U.S. investigation. The Titanic’s captain, Captain Smith, was blamed for failing to slow down the ship after getting ice warnings, among other contributing factors. However, Captain Lord and the Californian received some of the sharpest criticism. According to the committee’s findings, the ship was “closer to the Titanic than the 19 miles reported by her Captain, and that her officers and crew saw the Titanic’s distress signals and failed to respond to them in accordance with the dictates of humanity, international usage, and the requirements of law.”

British inquiry

The British enquiry got under way in May 1912. It was supervised by the British Board of Trade, the same organization that U.S. investigators had criticized for having insufficient regulations for lifeboats. Lord Mersey Sir John Charles Bigham presided as the judge. During the 28 days of testimony, not much new information was uncovered. The loss of the aforementioned ship was attributed, according to the final report, to a collision with an iceberg caused by the ship’s excessive speed while navigating. Mersey said that he was “unable to criticize Captain Smith” since he was merely acting in accordance with what other competent men would have done in the similar circumstance. But Captain Lord and the Californian received a stern reprimand. The liner was allegedly 5–10 nautical miles (9–19 km) away from the Titanic when it sank, and according to British investigators, “she might have saved many, if not all, of the people that were lost.”

A number of safety suggestions were also made by the American and British probes, and the first international conference for the safety of life at sea was organized in 1913 in London. The meeting came up with regulations mandating that every ship have enough lifeboats for everyone on board, practise lifeboat drills before every journey, and keep a 24-hour radio watch because the Californian had missed the Titanic’s distress messages. In order to break up ice and alert ships of icebergs in the North Atlantic shipping channels, the International Ice Patrol was founded.

The Californian incident

The British and American examinations into the Titanic’s sinking did little to put an end to rumors and discussion about it. The Californian was the subject of special attention. Lord’s supporters, known as “Lordites,” thought the captain had received unwarranted criticism. In their view, the Leyland liner and the Titanic were sandwiched between a third ship—possibly the Samson, a Norwegian boat engaged in illegal seal hunting. It eventually received a lot of support. Although the sounds would have been discernible if the ship had been closer to the range indicated by American and British investigators, the crew of the Californian did not hear rockets being fired. Additionally, passengers on the Titanic reported seeing a ship approaching them; however, Californian could not have been that ship since it was at the time stopped. Although it is unlikely that the Californian’s exact location will ever be known with certainty, many experts think it was about 20 miles (37 km) distant and could not have reached the Titanic before it sank. However, Lord has continued to receive flak for his reluctance to respond to the distress signals with stronger action.

Discovery and legacy

Days after the Titanic sank, rumors of its wreckage surfaced. However, due to the limitations of technology, significant initiatives did not start until the second part of the 20th century. From the U.S. Navy research ship Knorr, Robert Ballard oversaw an American-French mission in August 1985. The mission served in part as a way to test the Argo, a 16-foot (5-meter) submersible sled that included a remote-controlled camera that could send live photos to a monitor. Approximately 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) down to the ocean floor in the Atlantic, the submersible was launched to transmit video to the Knorr. On September 1, 1985, while the Titanic’s enormous boilers were being uncovered, the first underwater pictures of the ship were captured. Later footage revealed the spacecraft to be in two parts, lying upright. The rear section was severely destroyed, but the bow was still easily identifiable. Rust-colored stalactite-like forms covered the ruins. Later, scientists discovered that the so-called rusticles were produced by iron-eating microorganisms that are consuming the wreck. By 2019, there had been “dramatic” degeneration, and some significant features, like the captain’s bathtub, had vanished.

The Titanic was repeatedly explored by manned and unmanned submersibles. It was found at around 41°43′57′′ N, 49°56′49′′ W (bow section), about 13 nautical miles (24 km) from the place indicated in her distress messages. The long gash assumed to have been caused by the iceberg and torn in the ship’s hull was nowhere to be seen by the expeditions. Instead, scientists found that the impact of the accident had left a number of tiny gashes as well as brittle fractures and seam separations in the neighboring hull plates, which had allowed water to pour in and sink the ship. Marine salvagers recovered tiny relics from the wreckage as well as fragments of the ship, including a sizable portion of the hull, in the years that followed. Examining these components and documents from the builder’s archives led to the theory that the Titanic may have sunk because of shoddy steel or weak rivets

The Titanic disaster has been depicted, interpreted, and studied in countless ways, making the ship a cultural icon. The ship served as the inspiration for countless books and films, including A Night to Remember (1958) and James Cameron’s blockbuster Titanic (1997). The Titanic’s treasures served as the foundation for a hugely popular traveling exhibition in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and a flourishing industry was created to transport visitors to the ship’s wreck. As a result of the strong opposition to the removal of artefacts and the fact that the wreckage is in international waters and thus outside of national authority, the situation became quite problematic.

Each year, thousands of people visit the liner’s museums; in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the ship’s sinking, Titanic Belfast opened on the site of Harland and Wolff’s former shipyard and quickly rose to prominence as one of the city’s top tourist destinations. Even though the Titanic’s ruins will eventually deteriorate, it is doubtful that the storied liner would be forgotten by the general public.

A Night to Remember

The 1958 British docudrama A Night to Remember is based on Walter Lord’s best-selling book of the same name, which was published in 1955 and chronicled the sinking of the passenger ship Titanic. The movie is praised for its emotional intensity and realism.

One of the most well-known disasters in nautical history is the subject of the book A Night to Remember. The Titanic was the biggest and fanciest ship at the time. Due to its double-bottomed hull, which was separated into 16 ostensibly watertight compartments, four of which could be flooded without harming the ship’s buoyancy, it was also believed to be unsinkable. The ocean liner was halfway through its first trip on April 14, 1912, sailing from Southampton, England, to New York. But just before midnight, it collided with an iceberg south of Canada’s Newfoundland, rupturing at least five compartments. Two and a half hours after the accident, at 2:20 AM on April 15, the Titanic sank. Over 1,500 passengers and crew members lost their lives. The Titanic had just 1,178 lifeboat spaces available for the 2,224 passengers, which contributed to the tragic death toll. Charles Lightoller, the ship’s second officer, narrates the story of the movie primarily from his point of view (played by Kenneth More).

In A Night to Remember, sincerity was highly valued. A Titanic officer and a Cunard Line commodore were among the insiders consulted during the production, and the sets were created using the real ship’s designs. The filmmakers made up for a modest budget with inventiveness. The use of a 35-foot (10-meter) model replica of the ship and footage culled from a 1943 German propaganda film contributed to the film’s breathtaking aesthetics and compelling emotional content. Instead of focusing on the spectacle, it focuses on the human drama.

The movie, which was filmed at England’s Pinewood Studios, features a cast of illustrious character performers, with More offering a particularly standout performance. Honor Blackman, Sean Connery, and Desmond Llewelyn would infamously reunite six years later in Goldfinger as Pussy Galore, James Bond, and Q (Bond’s quartermaster of gadgetry), respectively. Blackman played Mrs. Liz Lucas, a passenger irritated by the iceberg who doesn’t understand the seriousness of the situation (1964). The maritime tragedy was subsequently portrayed in a number of movies, most notably James Cameron’s Titanic (1997), which won 11 Academy Awards and set a record for being the first movie to gross more than $1 billion worldwide. 

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