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RMS Titanic - A Brief History

Although bigger and faster ships have been and will be built, it is improbable that any will become as famous as ther RMS Titanic. No seagoing vessel in history has recieved so much attention. Her story has become a legend which continues to fascinate each new generation.

The RMS Titanic was the second of three nearly identical ships built by the White Star Line in response to the Cunard Line's new Lusitania and Mauretania. But unlike Cunard's Greyhounds, the Titanic was built not for speed but for comfort, safety, size and economy of operation. She was constructed at Harland & Wolff shipyards in Belfast, Ireland, at a cost of about $10,000,000.

The RMS Titanic was 882.5 feet long and 92.5 feet in extreme bredth, and weighed in at 46,328 tonnes. She was divided into 16 Watertight Compartments connected by Watertight Doors. This subdivision allowed for the flooding of any two comprtments, even the first four, without endangering the vessel. Since nothing worse than a collision at the conjuncture of two compartments could be imagined, the RMS Titanic was considered "practically unsinkable".

Following the RMS Titanic's launch on May 31, 1911, her machinery and interiors were installed. 29 Boilers, along with their coal bunkers, filledsix of the Titanic's watertight compartments. Two Triple expansion Reciprocating Steam engines were aft of these boiler rooms, capable of generating 15,000 horsepower each. These giant engines, the largest of their kind ever, ran the wing propellers at 75 revolutions per minute. These wing propellers were the largest ever installed on any liner. They were 5 1/2 feet larger in diameter than those of the Quenn Mary. Behind the main engine room was a special Parson's Low Pressure steam turbine amidships that genertaed 16,000 horsepower. Instead of allowing the steam to escape as exhaust from the reciprocating engines, it was led into this turbine which turned the center propeller at 165 revolutions per minute. The RMS Titanic and her sister ships were the largest liners ever to employ such a propulsion system, which was the innovation at the time. It would allow the Titanic to cruise effortlessly at 21 knots with almost no vibration.

On 10th April 1912, the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage, bound for New York. On the 14th April, at 11:40pm the RMS Titanic brushed past an iceberg in the North Atlantic, slicing open in parts, 1/3 of her length to the sea and sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later on 15th April 1912, leaving over 1500 people to freeze in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. It remains to this day the worlds most controversial maritime disaster.

At 4:00am, the RMS Carpathia, a 13,000 tonne Cunard Liner reached the crash site and piked only 705 survivors out of 20 lifeboats. Out of the 8 Officers, only 4 survived, Captain Edward John Smith, ED, being among the dead. The Titanic will always live in memory as a disaster, but out of this came better sea practices such as a 24 hour wireless vigile on board ships, manditory lifeboat drills, and enough lifeboats on board for all passengers. The United States Coast Guard was established just after the sinking of the Titanic.



RMS Titanic's stern rises and plunges into the cold waters of the North Atlantic


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