Could Lusitania and Titanic Have Survived The Disaster Of Their Opposite?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by politicalnomad, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. Curtain Jerker Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...no. A ~50,000 ton ship going ~20 knots head on into a mountain of ice ends very poorly for the ship. This myth is one of those that just won't die.
     
  2. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    More likely it was a low order detonation of the ordinance she was carrying as cargo. The torpedo hit in the general vicinity of where she had 3" artillery shells loaded (including the explosive filter).

    There was a general coal shortage due to a strike, but White Star made sure Titanic had full bunkers by cancelling a couple other sailings by their smaller ships
     
  3. RLBH Well-Known Member

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    Having done a bit of sniffing, it seems that TITANIC expected to enter New York with two days' coal in reserve.
    TITANIC seems to attract them: see also the 'defective rivets' and 'coal bunker fire' theories. Ultimately, the ship sank because the line's safety management system did not enable the crew to operate in a way compatible with safety in ice-infested waters, leading to the ship colliding with an iceberg and suffering unsurvivable damage.

    Messing around with details isn't going to change that. You either need to have the vessel operated more safely, which requires a lot of attitudes to change, or one of these Amazonian butterflies to flap slightly different such that the iceberg doesn't get in the ship's way. Knowing the maritime industry, Option 1 requires a different disaster at an earlier date, and Option 2 means you get a different disaster at a later date.
     
  4. Hood Flagship of The Royal Navy

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    Yeah, my point exactly. If she'd run up the berg she might have a chance but white star will have a lot of damaged furniture, cutlery etc that's gone flying, probably a few people dead from being hit with anything loose, any people injured along with a ship with a damaged keel.
    Better, of course than hitting something head on, popping a Shitton on rivets and have the ship sink in a few minutes or indeed just the OTL sinking, but that's entirely dependent on the shape of the iceberg.
    But she hits the iceberg head on where it's as close to a flat vertical plane as you can get with an iceberg titanic is absolutely fucked.
    Titanic did indeed have full bunkers. Not to mention white star really didn't want to be fucking up coal levels with their ships. The loss of the Atlantic was down to the captain and officers belie in there wasn't enough coal to make it to New York, which was why they were trying to make Halifax instead. In actuality they had plenty, but the Chief Engineer was doing a common, though looked down on practice of telling the captain they had less coal than they actually did so they'd be more cautious and wouldn't burn through as much coal trying any records or something.. It was somewhat ironic a measure the Chief Engineer was taking to prevent the ship from being in a situation where it'd run out of coal and be stranded mid ocean ultimately led to her demise, wrecked upon the notorious rocks of Halifax
     
  5. Protagoras Well-Known Member

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    Great Eastern would have survived Titanic's experience for sure, and while it being smaller than either Titanic or Lusitania makes me less than completely certain it would have survived Lusitania's experience, I certainly wouldn't bet against it. So they knew how to make safe ships 50 years before these disasters, but didn't bother because it was too expensive.
     
  6. Hood Flagship of The Royal Navy

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    Considering Great Eastern bankrupted her builder, failed to launch 3 times, exploded on her maiden voyage, her third voyage was a mix of a storm and passenger crew politics, and she was so unnecessarily big and expensive to maintain they just used her a giant billboard.
    She took a lot of damage and survived, but you can see why she wasn't exactly looked up too.
    And it's unlikely she would've survived the damage at least Lusitania took. Britannic had a double hull (not just bottom like her sisters) like GE and sank regardless.ocean liners weren't designed to survive explosions against the hull, they were designed for protection against icebergs rocks and other ships.
     
  7. Derek Jackson Member

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    I had heard that the Lusitania was sunk in large part because of the second explosion caused by a particular mixture of air and coal gas being there. How likely is such a thenominan on the Titanic
     
  8. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    Pretty low likelihood of coal dust being the cause of the second explosion. That theory was pushed by the British since it suited their political aims, namely drawing the United States fully into the war. It's far more likely that it was a low order detonation of the munitions she was carrying. But admitting that she was carrying war material would also mean admitting that she was a legitimate military target for the Germans. As carrying mass quantities of small arms ammunition and artillery shells stripped her of any and all protections that passenger ships were accorded under the Rules of War
     
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  9. sparky42 CMII

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    I seem to remember some comments that the wreck itself was fairly well damaged by RN depth charging even without the damage she suffered from the attack and sinking.
     
  10. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    Best case senario there is ship afloat, but ablaze due to damage and fires being started by things falling over in the collision. Maybe the kneel snaps.
     
  11. Resurgam Teacher and Writer of Things

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    Yes. From both tests during the wars and breaking up her hulk as a possible hidings spot for submarines.
     
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  12. Resurgam Teacher and Writer of Things

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    As more general thought I'd point out the Titanic was actually a pretty well designed ship... she was just victim to risky practices, bad luck and a situation she simply wasn't designed to survive. Saying the Titanic was badly designed because it sank after having a third of it opened to the sea is like saying an iPhone is badly designed because it shattered after I dropped it off a skyscraper.
     
  13. sparky42 CMII

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    Don't know if the Irish Navy used it as well or did they use a different spot with the Corvettes...
     
  14. Resurgam Teacher and Writer of Things

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    That I can't tell you but I usually see it being discussed in connection to the British.
     
  15. sparky42 CMII

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    Most likely because nobody pays attention to what the NS was doing.
     
  16. Resurgam Teacher and Writer of Things

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    It's the quiet ones you need to look out for.
     
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  17. sparky42 CMII

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    To be fair they did almost sink one of the Corvettes when they were exercising with the Depth Charges...
     
  18. Mr J Hoping for no fires.

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    Nah according to the latest research the torpedo hit too far aft for it to be the ammo. Well that and the list she took on suggests that more than one coal bunker was opened to the sea. Personally I believe that the second explosion was either the steam line failing or one or two of the boilers exploding.
     
  19. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    We actually don't know where the torpedo hit because she's laying on her side hiding the damage. All we know for certain is that she was hit somewhere in the vicinity of the Bridge.
     
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  20. aaronupright Well-Known Member

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    A ROV inside the hull should be able to get some good details.