I’m going to tell you something about the Titanic. At the time it was built, it was the biggest moving object ever created. She was nearly the length of three football fields, that’s nearly a sixth of a mile. The Titanic was built in Belfast, Ireland, by Harland and Wolff shipbuilders.
They decided to build 3 ships that would be the largest and most luxerious ships the world had seen so far. It contained 2 swimmingpools, a gym, squash courts, private promonadedecks and hot water for bathing. These were all unusual things to have on a ship.
The ship was devided into the first, second and third class. The first class was very sumptious and therefor attracted many important and rich people. A first class ticket cost about $ 4,000 which translates into $50.000 dollars today.
In the second class, which was still very luxerious, were mostly middle class people like schoolteachers.
Third class was filled with emigrants of europe who went to the New World, hoping to build a better life.
It’s the 10th of April. At noon the Titanic casts off and begins her maiden voyage. The immense ship passes the smaller liner New York and because of her suction, snappe all of the New York's mooring lines, sucking it away from the dock and directly toward Titanic. They almost crashed, but a tug boat was able to save the New York.
After a delay of an hour, the ship can continue her voyage again. After a few stops in France and Ireland to take on passengers, she is ready to begin her first crossing over the Atlantic to her final destination New York.
On the 14th of April they received more than 7 ice warnings from various vessels in the vicinity. But they didn’t pay a lot of attention to it. Yet captain Smith excuses himself from the dining room at 9 pm and joined the second officer on the bridge. The 2 discussed the sudden drop of temperature indicating they were entering an area of ice. But Icebergs would be hard to see in the darkness of the moonless night.
At 11.40 pm lookout Frederick Fleet was on duty as he saw something directly in the ship’s path, and rang the ships bell three times to alert the bridge.
Sixth officer Moody picked up the phone. “What did you see?”
“Iceberg Sir, right ahead!”
Officer Murdoch ordered “hard-a-starboard”. 37 seconds passed by and it seemed that the Titanic would just miss the iceberg. But a soft, scratching noise made clear that they had hit it.
Although the ship had avoided striking the berg head-on, the Titanic scraped against the iceberg for about 10 seconds on her starboard side.
Captain Smith went to the bridge to ask what they had hit. Together with Thomas Andrews, the ship’s designer, they inspected the damage of the ship themselves and found that the iceberg had damaged the ship’s plates in five or six of her watertight compartments. They quickly realized that the ship would sink, since it could not remain a float with more than four compartments flood.
Thomas Andrews calculates the amount of water that has entered the ship and from this information he tells the captain the great ship has perhaps 2 hours left.
At 12.05 am, smith gives order to uncover lifeboats and to get the passengers and crew on the deck. He knows that there are only enough lifeboats for about 1100 people, only half of the almost 2300 people on board. 20 minutes later the order is given to start loading women and children into the boats. The orchestra starts playing ragtime music.
Passengers at first refuse to believe the floating palace would indeed founder, as the Titanic was known as unsinkable. They even said that God himself couldn’t sink the ship.
The first boats pull away far short of their capacity. The first boat leaves with 12 people on board, it could have saved 65. As the huge stern begins to rise from the sea, they begin to realise the seriousness of he situation and the last boat was filled with more than 70 people.
By five past 2, the last of Titanic’s lifeboats has been launched, leaving over 1500 people to await the cold waves. People start to panic. Men try to reach one of the lifeboats, officers shoot to resort the peace.
Then one of the funnels collapses and kills lots of swimmers. From the lifeboats, horrified survivors watch as people jump into the icy water and try to swim from the ship.
The ship’s lights flicker once, then go out forever.
The Titanic breaks apart. The bow section shears away and sinks. For a moment the stern rights itself. But finally the stern turns upward, and slides away into the North Atlantic.
2.20. The Titanic is disappeared.
Today she is known as the ship of the widows, because so many women lost their husband that night.
Captain Edward Smith went into the deep too.
How was it ever possible that the Titanic sank?
At first it was because they ignored the ice warnings. They were so busy with the private telegrams, that they only sent it to the bridge when they weren’t so busy anymore. They even sent a telegram to one of the ships that warned them: Shut up, shut up. I’m busy.
Also captain Smith ordered to speed up that night. They think that he was trying to break the record of Titanic’s sister the Olympic.
But that wasn’t enough trouble yet. The people in the crows nest couldn’t find there telescope. That night was a calm, moonless night. With more wind they would have seen the iceberg earlier, because of the breakers that would have smashed against the iceberg.
The Titanic had actually been designed to carry 48 lifeboats. However, plans add the additional boats were rejected by White Star because they made the boat deck appear too cluttered.
And last: because the Titanic scraped against the starboard, 5 compartments flood. Probably when she just striked head-on, she would not have been sunk.
This all together was the beginning of the end.
Once again the Titanic has become the talk of the day. But why? Was it because so many people died? There have been accidents with ships that killed 6000 people. Because of her beauty? There have been even more beautiful ships, but they are still quit unknown. The story of the Titanic has become a legend probably because the world changed after the Titanic slipped beneath the waves of the Atlantic ocean. Before that time man's faith in human achievement was infinite. The captain of the Titanic Smith put it into words:"I cannot imagine any condition that would cause a ship to founder. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that. "
James Cameron was very interested in the unsinkable Titanic. Likes he sais himselve:
“that’s one of the interesting things about the Titanic disaster. They thought they were the lords of the sea. They thought they had dominated nature. But nature will never be dominated.
They thought they could pave the world and drive their big, metal ships across the ocean with impunity. They were wrong.”
Cameron was even so impressed by the story, that he decided to make a movie about it; the Titanic. The movie cost about $250 million.
The model of the ship in James’ film was built 90 percent to scale.
He replicated everything from the original ship, from chandeliers to wallpapers.
It took 3 years to make the movie. With a great cast the movie was a big succes. They received 11 oscars out of their 14 nominations.
That night they learned a lot and shipbuilding made a lot of improvements that have saved more people than died that fatal night in April 1912.