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Even a Modern Battleship Would Have Been Sunk

Discussion in 'WWII Films & TV' started by wm., May 8, 2019.

  1. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    IIRC, I remember reading that one of the firemen saw water seeping up from the floor plates of boiler room (6?). Always wondered if there was some berg under the ship near the keel. The head on collision seems like it would have saved the ship, but not for certain.

    I read some discussion on a forum recently that talked about the possibility of the berg hitting her starboard wing prop, knocking off a blade (which one seems to be missing when looking at photographs of the stern today). I always assumed it was just buried . But a steward I believe stated he though she lost a blade due to hearing the same sound of Majestic or Olympic losing one.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Water coming into the fire room anywhere would collect in the bilges. I faced this problem more than once as a pit snipe.
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    That's how it happens in Morgan Robertson's 1898 novella Futility, or The Wreck of the Titan. The whole starboard side is torn open, and the great liner sinks almost immediately, with just a few survivors.

    A nice neat head-on collision might just crumple the bow, as happened with Arizona, but as you say, the iceberg could be irregularly shaped, or the ship might not hit straight on. Titanic might have banged against the berg her whole length, starting flooding in most or all compartments.

    When a ship puts her rudder over, the first that happens is that the stern kicks out away from the direction of the turn. Titanic's last shift of the rudder likely spared most of the ship from damage and gave passengers and crew what chance of survival they had.
     
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  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If my understanding is correct when the officer on deck orders a turn the sailor executing it is right next to him. Especially in a case like this I would expect the reaction to be pretty quick. Now the following may not be correct (pls correct me if it is wrong). On the other hand when signaling a change in speed there's a "telegraph" that sends the command down to the engine room where it's executed. A command that comes out of the blue to go to full reverse is likely to cause at least an initial "WTF" moment and at least some delay before it is executed especially since it can't be easy on the engineering plant.
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Course that is a novel...

    3 days earlier, in roughly the same area, the French liner Niagara rammed an iceberg head on. She made port under her own power 5 days later. The difference is that she was running at reduced speed in heavy fog. This story got lost following the Titanic sinking.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The photos used as proof are inconclusive. The blade is supposedly to be directly across from a blade on the opposite side. This would be true on a four bladed prop, but false for the Titanic's three bladed one.

    Further, it does not take into account that the engines were full astern, which would created a good bit of cavitation and shaking, which is likely what caused the confusion. A dropped blade was a fairly common experience, but a crash back, not so much.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    It's a matter of how long it takes the ship to answer the helm. Some ships turn like pigs.
    I stood "a few" throttle watches and trained more than a few throttle men. "Emergency back" is the most fun and most practiced, followed by "trail screw", meaning stop that sucker even if the ship is making flank speed. If the throttleman doesn't respond as expected he has to have a chat with the chief. And nobody wants to have a chat with the chief.
     
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  8. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    They had some interesting ideas in that book - Futility, or The Wreck of the Titan:

    In view of her absolute superiority to other craft, a rule of navigation thoroughly believed in by some captains, but not yet openly followed, was announced by the steamship company to apply to the Titan: She would steam at full speed in fog, storm, and sunshine, and on the Northern Lane Route, winter and summer, for the following good and substantial reasons:

    First, that if another craft should strike her, the force of the impact would be distributed over a larger area if the Titan had full headway, and the brunt of the damage would be borne by the other.

    Second, that if the Titan was the aggressor she would certainly destroy the other craft, even at half-speed, and perhaps damage her own bows; while at full speed, she would cut her in two with no more damage to herself than a paintbrush could remedy. In either case, as the lesser of two evils, it was best that the smaller hull should suffer. A third reason was that, at full speed, she could be more easily steered out of danger, and a fourth, that in case of an end-on collision with an iceberg—the only thing afloat that she could not conquer—her bows would be crushed in but a few feet further at full than at half speed, and at the most three compartments would be flooded—which would not matter with six more to spare.

    The impact:

    Had the impact been received by a perpendicular wall, the elastic resistance of bending plates and frames would have overcome the momentum with no more damage to the passengers than a severe shaking up, and to the ship than the crushing in of her bows and the killing, to a man, of the watch below. She would have backed off, and, slightly down by the head, finished the voyage at reduced speed, to rebuild on insurance money, and benefit, largely, in the end, by the consequent advertising of her indestructibility.
    But a low beach, possibly formed by the recent overturning of the berg, received the Titan, and with her keel cutting the ice like the steel runner of an ice-boat, and her great weight resting on the starboard bilge, she rose out of the sea, higher and higher—until the propellers in the stern were half exposed—then, meeting an easy, spiral rise in the ice under her port bow, she heeled, overbalanced, and crashed down on her side, to starboard.
    The holding-down bolts of twelve boilers and three triple-expansion engines, unintended to hold such weights from a perpendicular flooring, snapped, and down through a maze of ladders, gratings, and fore-and-aft bulkheads came these giant masses of steel and iron, puncturing the sides of the ship, even where backed by solid, resisting ice; and filling the engine- and boiler-rooms with scalding steam, which brought a quick, though tortured death, to each of the hundred men on duty in the engineer's department.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I would just muse on the thought that a "speed boat" wouldn't necessarily be good at maneuvering.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Lexington. And Saratoga were notoriously poor in turning, the Essex class had half the Lex's turning radius.
     
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  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Veritas! They weren't expected to bend in the middle to slink down a sidestream. The big boats got shepherds in restricted waters.
     
  12. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    I've tried to modify the article in Wikipedia according to "Giant Kronprinz Hits an Iceberg", and they said it's an invention.
    I'm not a friend of the NYT at all, but it seems too far.

    Why should they have lied about visiting the ship (in New York after all) and interviewing the passengers and the crew? Supposedly "it was standard journalistic practice at the time."

    That no photos exist of the damaged ship strongly suggest there was nothing worth photographing.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, it is Wiki after all.

    "History of the Von Steuben and the Part She Played in the Great War" By Owen W. Norton, 1919:
    History of the Von Steuben and the Part She Played in the Great War

    US Coast Guard "Report of the International Ice Patrol in the North Atlantic", 2000 Season, Bulletin No. 86:
    https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/iip/2000_Bulletin_86.pdf

    The Morse Dry Dock Dial, January, 1919, "The 'Vonnie' Redeems Herself":
    The Morse Dry Dock Dial

    If it's all the same to the Wiki clowns...I'm going with the Kronprinz did hit an ice berg in 1907.

    And that is a google search, which I left out recently published works.
     
  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    If a claim can't be substantiated it's not valid.
     
  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    How are we defining "substantiated?"

    Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
     
  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    True, but it's also not acceptable. Without substantiation, with no substance, it's just a claim. This one sounds like "oh, I'm sure they did it that way".
     
  17. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    I suppose it will be hard to find the bow of the Kronprinz today and examine the damage.
     
  18. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Somebody did the repairs, right? If they're still in business, or someone inherited their records, and you wanted to spend the time...
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Wouldn't do any good...

    The USS Von Steuben(ex-Kronprinz Wilhelm) rammed her sistership USS Agamemnon(ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II) on November 9, 1917.
    [​IMG]

    Damage over damage.
     
  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Wouldn't do any good...

    The USS Von Steuben(ex-Kronprinz Wilhelm) rammed her sistership USS Agamemnon(ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II) on November 9, 1917.
    [​IMG]

    Damage over damage.
     

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