History Main / RMSTitanic

17th May '13 3:19:37 PM Tuckerscreator
Is there an issue? Send a Message


-->''It seems to me that the disaster about to occur was the event that not only made the world rub its eyes and awake, but woke it with a start. To my mind, the world of today awoke April 15th, 1912.''
-->'' Jack Thayer, ''Titanic'' survivor''

The RMS ''Titanic'' was a transatlantic liner that [[ForegoneConclusion sank]] in 1912, causing approximately 1,500 deaths. At the time of her maiden (first) voyage, she was the [[BiggerIsBetter largest ship to have ever sailed the seas]]. Construction started in 1909 in the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, and was completed a few months before the big trip enough time for rumours to spread about the luxurious White Star Liner being "unsinkable". Then, said ship sets sail for New York, hits an iceberg on the fourth day, [[OhCrap and sinks in less than three hours]]. Its fate has inspired [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_about_the_RMS_Titanic at least 36 movies]], including a [[MisaimedFandom Nazi propaganda film]], two cartoonified versions in which Everyone Lives, and Creator/JamesCameron's 1997 blockbuster ''{{Film/Titanic}}''.

Throughout the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, millions of emmigrants wanted to go to America to start a new life, and the mail services in Europe needed a swift and reliable means of transporting hundreds of thousands of letters and packages across the Atlantic. Various ship lines in Great Britain, the United States and eventually [[ImperialGermany Germany]] would answer the call with large, [[SteamPunk steam-driven]] ships, but the most famous of these lines, Great Britain's Cunard and White Star, would be the big dogs, constantly competing against each other for emmigrant passenger tickets (the ''real'' bread and butter of the trade, rather than First Class passengers) and the profitable license to carry the mail to and from Britain. Hence the initials ''RMS'' on ships that held that license -- '''R'''oyal '''M'''ail '''S'''teamer.

But in the late 1890s, the Norddeutscher Lloyd and Hamburg America Lines threatened to encroach into Cunard and White Star's competition with the launch and maiden voyages of the ''Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse'' and ''Deuschland'', two liners of unprecedented size, speed (with ''Kaiser'' running at a then-unheard-of speed of 22.35 knots (Just over 41km/h or almost 26mph), and ''Deuschland'' traveling even faster) and luxury. In response, the Cunard Line (that had always placed speed and ''reliability'' as paramount for their ships) produced the 787 and 790-foot long ''Lusitania'' and ''Mauretania'' in 1907, with top speeds of over 24 knots, thanks to their four turbine engines (the first class of ocean liners to be exclusively turbine-driven, after the comparative experiment with Cunard's liners ''Carmania'' and ''Caronia'' over the cost-effectiveness of the turbine in 1905) and the largest liners in the world both in physical size and mass (the empty shell of the ''Lusitania'' at launch outweighed the fully outfitted ''Kaiser'' by 2,000 gross tons), as well as among the first to have elevators (or "lifts" as the British know them) for passengers.

White Star, seeing the threat Cunard's new "Greyhounds of the Atlantic" presented to the company, quickly drafted a response. As opposed to Cunard, White Star prided itself on Comfort and Luxury rather than pure Speed (as that tended to come at the cost of passenger capacity, and resulted in a tendency to vibrate uncomfortably). Part of this was granting modest luxuries to third class, which included linens, silverware, waiters who brought their food, and free postcards on their menus, so that they could praise White Star to their friends and relatives back home. As such, they sought to build two, possibly three, liners that were at least ninety feet longer than the ''Lusitania'' and ''Mauretania'', and by far more luxurious than both together.

The answer was the ''Olympic''-Class of ship: 52,000 ton, 882-foot long superliners with the capacity for 3,000 passengers and crew, ''three'' lifts in first class and one for Second, and two reciprocating high-pressure engines for the two "wing" propellers, and a low-pressure turbine for the smaller, central propeller, increasing cost-effectiveness in steam economy by reusing steam wasted by the reciprocating engines. For luxury, the ships boasted promenade decks for each class, whose cabins for third and second class were just as good as second and first class cabins on other ships, and the first class rooms were just as splendid as any suite at the best hotels in the world, with the most expensive suite of cabins (yes, ''suite of cabins'') went for hundreds of thousands of American dollars in 2012 money, with private baths for more first and even second class cabins than any other ship afloat (even as late as the 1930s most ships still required most passengers to share bathing facilities like in a college dorm). As the popular ships of the day had four funnels, a fake was added on the back, which also doubled as a large ventilator for the engineering spaces, reducing the number of ventilator cowls on deck, producing a clean outline, whereas the ''Mauretania'' and ''Lusitania'''s deckhouse roofs, with their multitude of cowls, looked cluttered in comparison.

Safety was also considered in the design: a double-bottomed hull to contain flooding in the event of running aground; sixteen bulkheads that went two decks above the waterline (any two of which could flood with bulkheads above the floodwater to spare); in the event of a collision, or in the impractical probability of the first four compartments flooding the ship would still float, acting as its own lifeboat until help could arrive; and above all, in the event of the worst, the ships boasted a new [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davit davit]] design that could hold up to 68 lifeboats, but for various reasons (cosmetics, impracticality, cost, etc.) the number was reduced to 20, which was still four boats beyond the legally required 16 for ships 10,000 tons and over in the British Board of Trade regulations.

'''Impractical''' being the operative word. Certainly, unpredictable things might happen, but as a major passenger tragedy had not befallen any ship in some forty years, there was little reason for anyone in the shipping industry to be overly concerned beyond academics.

And so it became known in the shipbuilding world that the ''Olympic''-Class were "''practically'' unsinkable", and the press at large censored out the "practical" part and simply deemed them "Unsinkable," and the public bought it and ran with it. After all, in an age where men were flying, and one person communicating with someone else on the other side of the world in real time, and horses were losing buyers to the horseless carriage, the idea of a ship that could not be sunk was hardly unimaginable.

And so the first ship, RMS ''Olympic'', set sail in 1911, and the response was so successful that White Star ordered a third ship, ''Britannic'' (the urban myth that she was to be named "Gigantic" and renamed after the disaster is just that, ''Gigantic'' was a [[MemeticMutation meme]] bandied about by the workers at Harland and Wolf as a hopeful potential name for all new ships).

It was in this environment that the middle child, ''Titanic'', rose to the prominence. On her maiden voyage, starting at Southampton, England and Cherbourg, France on April 10th before going off to Queenstown ([[IstanbulNotConstantinople now Cobh]]), Ireland, she was loaded with not only hundreds of emmigrants from both the Continent and the British Isles, but the wealthiest aristocrats, by title or by position, on both sides of the Atlantic. These included big names such as John Jacob Astor IV, heir to the Astor Railroad fortune and his [[MayDecemberRomance barely 19-year old]] bride Madeleine returning home from their extended honeymoon (and to wait out the scandal involving JJ's divorce and marriage to a younger woman... and to ensure that their unborn child was born on American soil). As well as the Strauses, Isidor and Ida, Co-Owners of the world-famous Macy's Department Store in New York, along with scores of other members of the 1912 Rich and Famous.

And at the helm, was Captain E.J. Smith, "The Millionaire's Captain," and White Star's favorite officer, who took out every new ship of the line on her maiden voyage for the past decade and a half. At the age of 63, Smith planned to retire. If not after this voyage on ''Titanic'', then certainly after ''Britannic'''s in the spring of 1915.

But the winter of 1911-12 was unusually warm, and the threat of icebergs breaking off from the glaciers of Greenland and Northeast Canada was more dire than usual, with a thicker density of 'bergs and pack ice farther south than usual. ''Titanic'''s wireless operators received a number of ice warnings, [[BystanderSyndrome but due to the nature of their employ]], only sent a few to the bridge.

On Sunday, April 14th, at 11:40 PM ship's time, it was a new moon and the sea as smooth as glass, highly unusual for the typically swell-filled North Atlantic. These circumstances made the prospect of finding icebergs almost impossible, without the light of the moon or the whitewash of waves breaking at the waterline of the iceberg. So it's a testament to Frederick Fleet's eyes and dedication that he saw the iceberg when he did(really more of a black mass where starlight ''wasn't''), his co-watchman Reginald Lee ringing the bell as Fleet telephoned the bridge.

The officer on duty on the Bridge, First Officer Murdoch, saw the iceberg too, and ordered "Hard to Starboard" (technically to Port, or a Left Turn, but ''Titanic'' used Tiller commands and so the directions were reversed [[RealityIsUnrealistic in spite of what some claim about the 1997 movie]]), and ordered all of the engines full astern.

However, in the heat of the moment, Murdoch forgot a vital factor in ''Titanic'''s turning ability: The turbine could not go in reverse, so in a full-astern order it, and the center propeller directly in front of the rudder, simply stopped, and with the two wing propellers turning in reverse, the water flow over the rudder was greatly reduced, rendering the rudder practically useless. It has been speculated that had Murdoch ordered only the port engine reversed, or simply left the engines alone, ''Titanic'' could have either missed the iceberg entirely, or collided with greatly reduced damage. But what was done was done, and ''Titanic'' hit the iceberg.

Most of the passengers never noticed the collision, or felt little more than a slight rumbling bump. Thomas Andrews, the designer, never even knew of the accident until Captain Smith ordered him to go down below to examine the damage. After midnight, Andrew's returned with the news, and it wasn't good: ''Titanic'' could flood with up to two compartments, or the four foremost compartments, flooding. The first four compartments ''were'' flooding, in addition to Boiler Room 6, and Boiler Room 5. The engineers were able to fix Boiler Room 5's two or so feet of damage and began pumping, but for every gallon the engineers pumped out, ''Titanic'' took on 15 more.

Over the next two hours the crew rushed to launch the boats while Senior Wireless Operator Jack Phillips worked frantically to get the word out, right up to the very end.

At 2:20 AM local time, ''Titanic'' broke apart and slipped beneath the waves, and the some-odd 1,500 men, women, and children left behind died of hypothermia in the 28°F (-2°C) water, and the survivors were picked up by the RMS ''Carpathia'' at dawn.

After the disaster, new legislations was passed on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure that such a tragedy couldn't happen again, and the ''Titanic'' became another piece of pop culture until 1985, when a joint French and American team found the wreckage, and the following year the Woods-Hole Oceanographic Institute sent a team, lead by discoverer Dr. Robert "Bob" Ballard to dive and photograph the wreck.

Today the wreck lies in two big chunks, with smaller chunks consisting of the middle section over a fifteen-square mile area. The wreck itself is being consumed by [[ExtremeOmnivore iron-eating bacteria]], and assuming that those don't finish her off, recent sonar scans show that dunes that dwarf the ship are slowly being blown her way by the currents, ensuring that the whole site will be buried.

There is much controversy concerning the near-constant dives on the wreck and the issue of salvaging artifacts from the site, and the damage the efforts do to the wreckage (the team that retrieved the ship's bell destroyed the crow's nest while doing so, which until then had been virtually whole and intact. On one of the dives with the Russian Mir, subs damaged a deckhouse on accident with its propeller). Some equate the salvaging with grave robbing, and that the ship should be left to rust in peace. Others claim that such comparisons are invalidated by the treatment of similar legendary disaster sites such as Pompeii, and that it is important to document the wreck site as clearly and thoroughly as possible while the ship still exists.

Current international legislation prohibits tampering with the wreck of the ship itself, but the debris field containing thousands of artifacts ranging from pots and pans to shoes to tableware to [[EmpathyDollShot dolls]] to wreckage is more or less free reign for the Salvor-in-Possession ''Titanic'', Inc. (now Premier Exhibitions) to collect items from, which can be seen in museums and traveling exhibitions the world over.

[[WMG:Works Set On the RMS ''Titanic'']]

Too many to list here, but there a few noteworthy works:
* ''Titanic'': A 1943 ensemble piece melodrama made in Nazi Germany as an anti-British propaganda piece. However, the film was promptly banned after scenes of disaster and panic turned out to be a hot bed for UnfortunateImplications and it was banned in Germany by Joseph Goebbels. The film established many conventions and clichés that were followed up by future ''Titanic'' films, like interweaving a fictional love story amongst real historical events and portraying J. Bruce Ismay as the villain.
* ''Titanic'': "TheyJustDidntCare" would be a good way to describe this 1953 Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck movie, which concerns itself more with a fictional custody battle between two catty first class passengers than the actual ship and the subsequent disaster.
* ''Film/ANightToRemember'': (1958) A docu-novel and later film that has aged fairly enough, and even today is considered one of the more accurate portrayals of the sinking in film (Pre-1985 that is).
* ''{{Film/Titanic}}'': (1997), Creator/JamesCameron's Multi-Billion blockbuster that launched Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio and KateWinslet into Super Stardom.
* ''WesternAnimation/TitanicTheLegendGoesOn'': ''One'' of the cartoonified versions, featuring a gender-flipped version of the 1997 film's romance, [[StockFootage recycled animation]], and '''a rapping dog'''. ''Seriously''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfTheTitanic'': ''Another'' cartoonified version, featuring another ripoff romance, singing mice, an giant octopus who saves the ship, [[CriticalResearchFailure and everyone lives]]. And it has a sequel, ''In Search of the Titanic''. You can't make this stuff up.

[[WMG: Tropes as Applied to the Real Life Event]]

* AMillionIsAStatistic: The death toll was just over one thousand, five hundred men, women, and children. Even though there are whole towns on both sides of the Atlantic that are smaller than that, it's hard to picture that many dead bodies bobbing in the sea, until you read up on some of the victims, especially the more unknown individuals.
* AnyoneCanDie: If you were a Third Class Male, you had a 2-in-3 chance of winding up as a corpse by morning. In first class, one child died, [[InfantImmortality none in Second Class]], and as for Third... [[TearJerker Best not think about it.]] And as for the engineers... well, there is a reason why there's a memorial specifically for them.
* ArcNumber: Ships are given a specific number in the order of which they are built at a specific yard, and parts for certain ships are stamped with that number to differentiate them from the same or similar parts for other ships. ''Olympic'' 's was 400, ''Titanic'' 's 401, and ''Britannic'' 's 433. The 401 stamp is still clearly visible on one of the propeller blades on the stern. This is vitally important evidence in discrediting the ConspiracyTheories that ''Titanic'' was really the ''Olympic'', scuttled as part of an insurance scam after the latter's accident with the HMS ''Hawke'' the previous year.
* BlasphemousBoast: According to legend (i.e. take it with a grain of sea salt), a passenger asked a deckhand if ''Titanic'' really was 'Unsinkable.' The deckhand proudly claimed that "God Himself cannot sink this ship." Let's hope that deckhand didn't have money riding on that claim.
* CherryTapping: The iceberg damage. For decades the accepted wisdom was that only a massive can-opener type gash 300 feet long could have done ''Titanic'' in, even after the wreck was discovered and the hull outside boiler rooms 5 and 6 showed a slit formed by buckled plates. It wouldn't be until 1996 that, with the use of sonar, it was confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt, [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5d/Titanic_side_plan_annotated_English.png that six tiny slits as wide as your finger]] were all that were needed to lay ''Titanic'' low.
* ExactTimeToFailure: Played straight and averted. Thomas Andrews gave the ship another hour when he saw the damage done, but the ship lasted an additional hour and ten minutes beyond when he assumed she would sink.
* ExactWords: The aforementioned British Board of Trade Regulations concerning lifeboats and ship sizes. It was only after the disaster that they were changed to the much more inclusive "enough lifeboats for all aboard."
* FaceDeathWithDignity:
** There are many stories of fathers leaving their wives and children in the boats, and stepping back so that others may have a seat.
** And there is the famed story of Benjamin Guggenheim and his valet, the former of whom famously told a steward: "We are dressed in our best, and are prepared to go down as Gentlemen."
** And who could forget the brave Wallace Heartly and ''Titanic'' 's band? The men who played cheerful music throughout the sinking to help maintain calm, and at the end played a simple hymn as an instrumental prayer for those in the boats, and the ones left behind.
* FanonDiscontinuity: Until Dr. Robert Ballard discovered the wreck in the 1980's, no one wanted to believe the many survivors who claimed that ''Titanic'' broke in two before sinking, ignoring the fourteen or so survivors who testified such in favor of a handful of officers and first class passengers who claimed that she didn't.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: The four seniormost officers -- Captain E.J. Smith (phlegmatic), Chief Officer Henry Wilde (melancholic), First Officer William Murdoch (choleric) and Second Officer Charles Lightoller (sanguine).
* GodNeverSaidThat: No official source from either Harland and Wolf or the White Star Line ''ever'' called ''Titanic'' or her sisters "Unsinkable." When talking about the safety features of the ship, it was stated that all the usual expected causes for accidents at sea (or more accurately, near a port and thus NOT at full speed) had been considered and countered with structural features to take them into account:
** Grounding: The double-bottom hull will keep the water out of the main hull.
** Hitting something: The first four compartments can flood and the ship would not be in danger, when usually the worst damage would be the first two compartments flooding.
** Being hit BY something: Worst case scenario was being hit right at a bulkhead, resulting in two compartments flooding. ''Titanic'' and her sisters could take such a hit and still have watertight bulkhead space above the waterline. Three in ridiculously favorable conditions.
** What happened was a shipbuilder's trade magazine listed these features and wrote "Practically Unsinkable." The press got word of that and gleefully 'forgot' about the "practically" part and just said "Unsinkable."
* HateDumb: Frederick Fleet, the lookout on duty at the time of the collision, [[TheWoobie who suffered from depression and Survivor's Guilt after the disaster and committed suicide in 1965 mind you]], gets a lot of needless flack. [[http://k9thefirst1.tumblr.com/post/41042231159/fuckyeahrmsTitanic-depressiongottome-you-had Observe.]]
** Captain Stanley Lord of the SS ''Californian'' get this a '''lot'''.
** J. Bruce Ismay, owner and president of the White Star Line (and the company that owned ''it'') doesn't get a much better rap. Even though he helped load nearly a dozen boats, he waited until there were no more women and children present to board one of the last boats to leave (which was the last one to actually get launched to boot), and no one else was going to get in anyway... the fact that he survived got him the animosity and hatred of the world to the point where some think he dressed as a woman and jumped into the first lifeboat to leave while shoving mothers and their babies overboard because they were in the way. Because of this he was forced to resign from the company his father built, was shunned from polite society for the rest of his life, and died of a stroke in October, 1937. What's more, in most fictional portrayals he is presented as an arrogant, money- and newspaper-headlines-only 1910's CorruptCorporateExecutive type concerning the safety of the passengers of his ships, when in reality he had a more balanced mindset to his business.
*** One area in particular concerns the allegations of him urging Smith to speed as fast as possible, when in fact the speed ''Titanic'' was moving at at the time of the collision was SOP for passenger ships at the time: Make as best time as you can, and if you find yourself in a known danger zone (example: ice field), step on the gas to get out of there as quickly as possible. True, at least one passenger overheard Ismay and Smith discussing ''Titanic'''s speed and how much more steam she could make, but as ''Titanic'' was a new ship, it would be a natural discussion between a ship's owner and commander over her performance.
* HeroicBSOD: Captain Edward John Smith, beloved "Millionaire's Captain" of the White Star Line, forty years experience at sea. After the order was given to launch the lifeboats, he was reported to have been detached and in a haze, leaving his officers to carry out the evacuation.
** While he had 40 years experience, he never encountered a serious emergency in his career. He described his own experience of life at sea as "uneventful" in an interview, and the worst event he was ever involved in before Titanic was the collision between Olympic and HMS Hawke a few months earlier. Faced with the prospect of a very real disaster unfolding on his watch (and his own impending death), he simply shut down. Just because you've been at sea a long time doesn't really mean you're experienced.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: The RMS Olympic: Known as "Old Reliable". She served White Star until the merge with Cunard in 1934, covering millions of miles over 257 voyages, served as a troop transport in WWI, was the only merchant ship to ever sink a U-Boat in 1917, and at the outbreak of the war helped rescue the sailors of the mined ''HMS Audacious''. But she wasn't ''Titanic'' so who gives a damn?
* HeroicSacrifice: The engineers stayed below decks, struggling to maintain power vital for the electric lights, the pumps working against the flood, and most importantly the Marconi Wireless, right up to the very end, and by then there was no hope to escape.
* InfantImmortality: Averted, as shown by the tragic story of little Sidney Leslie Goodwin, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Leslie_Goodwin Aged 19 months.]]
* MeaningfulName: The first two ships of the Olympic Class were named after generations of gods from ClassicalMythology
** Olympic was named after the Olympians (Zues, Hera, Hades, that group).
** ''Titanic'' after their parents, the Titans (Chronos, Gaia, them), thus leading to a spooky ContrivedCoincidence in that the Titans were imprisoned in the deepest, darkest depths of Tartarus for all eternity and ''Titanic''... Sank into the deepest, darkest depths of the Atlantic Ocean for all eternity...
** Britannic was two fold -- Firstly after Britannia, the AnthropomorphicPersonification of Britain,and after... Britannic, one of White Star's first and most beloved liners. DeadGuyJunior as applied to ships one could say.
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Inverted: ''Titanic'' is the most [in]famous ship in all of history, while the First Child Olympic is reduced to a glorified footnote ([[HeroOfAnotherStory in spite of her 23-year service record and War Hero status in sinking a U-Boat and saving the crew of the ''HMS Audacious'']]), and the Baby ''Britannic'' is never mentioned at all, having struck a mine in 1916 while serving as a hospital ship in WWI, [[TearJerker having never carried a single paying costumer]].
* RammingAlwaysWorks: Many have suggested that had Officer Murdoch just kept going straight, the ship would have survived. These people are, pardon the colloquialism, [[SophisticatedAsHell pants-on-head retarded]] and should not be listened to for a multitude of reasons. The reasons for why this DefiedTrope is also an AvertedTrope are thus:
** One: the ships that have been cited as having survived a head-on collision with an iceberg were all either much smaller in mass than ''Titanic'', moving much slower than ''Titanic'', or some combination of the two. As a thought experiment, imagine a minivan hitting a reinforced cement bridge support at thirty miles an hour. Violent, but a reasonable chance for survival with something resembling a car afterward. Now imagine a fully loaded 18-wheeler hitting the same support at ''sixty'' miles an hour. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSPjC1Ek7vA Not a pretty sight, is it?]] Furthermore, they don't take into account that modern ships are welded together, whereas ''Titanic'' was held together by rivets. Had ''Titanic'' hit the iceberg as suggested, the whole ship would have folded like an accordion, opening the seams of the plates from stem to stern, resulting in the ship sinking in minutes, rather than hours.
** Two: The front end of the bow was not a battering ram loaded with nothing more than cargo that would regrettably be destroyed but covered by insurance. The bunks for the firemen for the boilers were in there, loaded up with the hundreds of men off-shift and asleep, in addition to the single male and married couples of Third Class being berthed in the front end. Even if by some miracle ''Titanic'' survived, William Murdoch would have been tried for mass manslaughter and seen as the most incompetent sailor ever put in charge of a ship for all time.
* SomebodyElsesProblem: At the time of the sinking, the wireless operators were not part of the crew, but employees of the Marconi Wireless Company, and thus their main priority was sending and receiving telegrams for the passengers, not concerning themselves with "weather reports." Also, this meant that 24/7 service was not a requirement, as not all ship companies could afford to have two or more operators on every single one of their ships. This changed real quick after the disaster, especially in light of the fact that the Californian was stopped due to ice not even 10 miles away, and never knew what was happening until the next morning because... their only wireless guy was asleep.
* TemptingFate: On the maiden voyage of the ''RMS Adriatic'', one of the Big Four (White Star's major Ocean Liner project before the Olympic-Class) in 1907, Captain Smith gave this quote to the press concerning ship safety:
--> "I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that..."
* TogetherInDeath: Isidor Straus, one of the early owners of Macy's Department Store, and his wife Ida. She was offered a seat in a boat, but refused to leave her husband. When Isidor was offered a place, as "no one would object to an older gentleman having a place," he declined, [[HonorBeforeReason not desiring an opportunity not given to every other man]]. Subverted in that [[TearJerker only Isidor's body was recovered and identified.]]
* UnderwaterRuins: ''Titanic'' herself, but especially the bow section. [=ROVs=] have been sent into the deepest parts of the ship and have found chandeliers still hanging from the ceiling, used drinking glasses still on their shelves, windows in the reception room completely whole, and tile from the Turkish bath (think sauna) still in place and retaining their vibrant colors.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: For the Passenger Trade for emergencies: With the advent of wireless, and the fact that most incidents happen close to shore, it was common wisdom that other ships would be near enough to provide assistance, and that the lifeboats would be used to ferry passengers and crew from one ship to the other before the final plunge. And if it was out at sea, the North Atlantic was, and is, among the busiest shipping routes in the world, so it was inconceivable for there to be no one nearby. Shipbuilders just needed to make sure the ship could float long enough for help to arrive. In fact, just three years previous this system worked out flawlessly with the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Republic ''RMS Republic'']], which managed to linger for almost forty hours. What they didn't count on was what happened that night with the damage that occurred (see GodNeverSaidThat), and the fact that the nearest ship's radio was turned off for the night at the time of the disaster.
* VindicatedByHistory: For years lots of miniseries, books, films and even alleged experts claimed that ''Titanic'' was a heavily flawed ship in every respect from design to materials. However, thorough research and new discoveries of the missing middle wreckage proves otherwise:
** The bulkhead design, even though it failed that night, actually stands up remarkably well by even ''modern'' standards.
** Hull samples taken from the wreck, specifically from the portion near the breakup, have been found to be very strong by modern standards, even after nearly a century on the ocean floor.
*** The same goes for the supposedly 'faulty' rivets, the "pins" that hold the plates that form the hull. Both recovered rivets and reproduced seams (made from virgin steel from the same source, and created with the same Edwardian Era processes) were tested under forces similar to what was calculated they were under during the iceberg collision, and in those experiments, the reproduced seams at most popped one or two rivet heads without opening the seam. [[CaptainObvious Turns out that having a 50,000+ ton ship hit a mountain of solid glacial ice (which geologists count as a sedimentary rock) at roughly 30 miles an hour creates a lot of "oomph" that no man-made structure can be reasonably expected to hold up to.]] Imagine that.
** Using the designs of the ship run through computer simulations, it was found that the maximum designed tilt the ship could stand was 11 degrees, which was the equivalent of being exposed to waves as high as the boat deck, which would mean that the prow and propellers (both ends of the ship) would have been exposed to air at the same time. Judging from eyewitness testimony, the ship likely managed to stay together up until ''twenty-three'' degrees. It's not the forty-five degree angle of ''Film/ANightToRemember'', nor the sixty degrees of ''{{Film/Titanic}}'', but that's still ''twice'' the intended designed limits.
** Given the nature of the flooding, Thomas Andrews, the designer, the man who knew this ship better than even her own captain, gave her until 1:10 AM before she went under, an hour and a half. She lasted until 2:20, two hours and forty minutes.
** In 2010, the wreckage of the missing middle section, long thought to have been disintegrated in the sinking, was discovered. And not as thousands of little pieces of scrap metal, but in a series of large chunks ([[http://wormstedt.com/RoyMengot/TitanicWreck/BREAKUP/Center%20Map.html Specifically, as two pieces of the double-bottom hull, the deckhouse of Funnel No. 3 and the adjacent Boat Deck, A through E Decks from one side of the ship to the other, a second "Tower" ranging from the port section to 2/3 of the ship's breadth from the Boat through C Decks immediately aft of that, and D Deck from side to side above Boiler Rooms 1 and 2 in the middle]]), which managed to survive their breaking off of the stern on the way down and land in a state still more or less recognizable. Meaning that rather than being shoddily put together, ''Titanic'' was stronger than some other ships would have been expected to be. [[CaptainObvious It's just that being torn apart by forces that were way beyond even the extremes of what a structure was designed to withstand... Tends to destroy said structure.]] [[SarcasmMode Gee, who knew?]]
* YouCantFightFate: This comes up in fiction but while the sinking of the ''Titanic'' specifically may have been avoidable, considering the nature of the Atlantic passenger business in 1912, a disaster of the same scale, if not worse, ''wasn't''. It was simply a question of Which ship, When, Where, and How many people were going to die. Had things gone different, audiences might have seen the struggles of Jack and Rose to survive the sinking of the ''RMS Queen Mary'', or ''RMS Britannic''.

to:

-->''It seems to me that the disaster about to occur was the event that not only made the world rub its eyes and awake, but woke it with a start. To my mind, the world of today awoke April 15th, 1912.''
-->'' Jack Thayer, ''Titanic'' survivor''

The RMS ''Titanic'' was a transatlantic liner that [[ForegoneConclusion sank]] in 1912, causing approximately 1,500 deaths. At the time of her maiden (first) voyage, she was the [[BiggerIsBetter largest ship to have ever sailed the seas]]. Construction started in 1909 in the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, and was completed a few months before the big trip enough time for rumours to spread about the luxurious White Star Liner being "unsinkable". Then, said ship sets sail for New York, hits an iceberg on the fourth day, [[OhCrap and sinks in less than three hours]]. Its fate has inspired [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_about_the_RMS_Titanic at least 36 movies]], including a [[MisaimedFandom Nazi propaganda film]], two cartoonified versions in which Everyone Lives, and Creator/JamesCameron's 1997 blockbuster ''{{Film/Titanic}}''.

Throughout the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, millions of emmigrants wanted to go to America to start a new life, and the mail services in Europe needed a swift and reliable means of transporting hundreds of thousands of letters and packages across the Atlantic. Various ship lines in Great Britain, the United States and eventually [[ImperialGermany Germany]] would answer the call with large, [[SteamPunk steam-driven]] ships, but the most famous of these lines, Great Britain's Cunard and White Star, would be the big dogs, constantly competing against each other for emmigrant passenger tickets (the ''real'' bread and butter of the trade, rather than First Class passengers) and the profitable license to carry the mail to and from Britain. Hence the initials ''RMS'' on ships that held that license -- '''R'''oyal '''M'''ail '''S'''teamer.

But in the late 1890s, the Norddeutscher Lloyd and Hamburg America Lines threatened to encroach into Cunard and White Star's competition with the launch and maiden voyages of the ''Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse'' and ''Deuschland'', two liners of unprecedented size, speed (with ''Kaiser'' running at a then-unheard-of speed of 22.35 knots (Just over 41km/h or almost 26mph), and ''Deuschland'' traveling even faster) and luxury. In response, the Cunard Line (that had always placed speed and ''reliability'' as paramount for their ships) produced the 787 and 790-foot long ''Lusitania'' and ''Mauretania'' in 1907, with top speeds of over 24 knots, thanks to their four turbine engines (the first class of ocean liners to be exclusively turbine-driven, after the comparative experiment with Cunard's liners ''Carmania'' and ''Caronia'' over the cost-effectiveness of the turbine in 1905) and the largest liners in the world both in physical size and mass (the empty shell of the ''Lusitania'' at launch outweighed the fully outfitted ''Kaiser'' by 2,000 gross tons), as well as among the first to have elevators (or "lifts" as the British know them) for passengers.

White Star, seeing the threat Cunard's new "Greyhounds of the Atlantic" presented to the company, quickly drafted a response. As opposed to Cunard, White Star prided itself on Comfort and Luxury rather than pure Speed (as that tended to come at the cost of passenger capacity, and resulted in a tendency to vibrate uncomfortably). Part of this was granting modest luxuries to third class, which included linens, silverware, waiters who brought their food, and free postcards on their menus, so that they could praise White Star to their friends and relatives back home. As such, they sought to build two, possibly three, liners that were at least ninety feet longer than the ''Lusitania'' and ''Mauretania'', and by far more luxurious than both together.

The answer was the ''Olympic''-Class of ship: 52,000 ton, 882-foot long superliners with the capacity for 3,000 passengers and crew, ''three'' lifts in first class and one for Second, and two reciprocating high-pressure engines for the two "wing" propellers, and a low-pressure turbine for the smaller, central propeller, increasing cost-effectiveness in steam economy by reusing steam wasted by the reciprocating engines. For luxury, the ships boasted promenade decks for each class, whose cabins for third and second class were just as good as second and first class cabins on other ships, and the first class rooms were just as splendid as any suite at the best hotels in the world, with the most expensive suite of cabins (yes, ''suite of cabins'') went for hundreds of thousands of American dollars in 2012 money, with private baths for more first and even second class cabins than any other ship afloat (even as late as the 1930s most ships still required most passengers to share bathing facilities like in a college dorm). As the popular ships of the day had four funnels, a fake was added on the back, which also doubled as a large ventilator for the engineering spaces, reducing the number of ventilator cowls on deck, producing a clean outline, whereas the ''Mauretania'' and ''Lusitania'''s deckhouse roofs, with their multitude of cowls, looked cluttered in comparison.

Safety was also considered in the design: a double-bottomed hull to contain flooding in the event of running aground; sixteen bulkheads that went two decks above the waterline (any two of which could flood with bulkheads above the floodwater to spare); in the event of a collision, or in the impractical probability of the first four compartments flooding the ship would still float, acting as its own lifeboat until help could arrive; and above all, in the event of the worst, the ships boasted a new [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davit davit]] design that could hold up to 68 lifeboats, but for various reasons (cosmetics, impracticality, cost, etc.) the number was reduced to 20, which was still four boats beyond the legally required 16 for ships 10,000 tons and over in the British Board of Trade regulations.

'''Impractical''' being the operative word. Certainly, unpredictable things might happen, but as a major passenger tragedy had not befallen any ship in some forty years, there was little reason for anyone in the shipping industry to be overly concerned beyond academics.

And so it became known in the shipbuilding world that the ''Olympic''-Class were "''practically'' unsinkable", and the press at large censored out the "practical" part and simply deemed them "Unsinkable," and the public bought it and ran with it. After all, in an age where men were flying, and one person communicating with someone else on the other side of the world in real time, and horses were losing buyers to the horseless carriage, the idea of a ship that could not be sunk was hardly unimaginable.

And so the first ship, RMS ''Olympic'', set sail in 1911, and the response was so successful that White Star ordered a third ship, ''Britannic'' (the urban myth that she was to be named "Gigantic" and renamed after the disaster is just that, ''Gigantic'' was a [[MemeticMutation meme]] bandied about by the workers at Harland and Wolf as a hopeful potential name for all new ships).

It was in this environment that the middle child, ''Titanic'', rose to the prominence. On her maiden voyage, starting at Southampton, England and Cherbourg, France on April 10th before going off to Queenstown ([[IstanbulNotConstantinople now Cobh]]), Ireland, she was loaded with not only hundreds of emmigrants from both the Continent and the British Isles, but the wealthiest aristocrats, by title or by position, on both sides of the Atlantic. These included big names such as John Jacob Astor IV, heir to the Astor Railroad fortune and his [[MayDecemberRomance barely 19-year old]] bride Madeleine returning home from their extended honeymoon (and to wait out the scandal involving JJ's divorce and marriage to a younger woman... and to ensure that their unborn child was born on American soil). As well as the Strauses, Isidor and Ida, Co-Owners of the world-famous Macy's Department Store in New York, along with scores of other members of the 1912 Rich and Famous.

And at the helm, was Captain E.J. Smith, "The Millionaire's Captain," and White Star's favorite officer, who took out every new ship of the line on her maiden voyage for the past decade and a half. At the age of 63, Smith planned to retire. If not after this voyage on ''Titanic'', then certainly after ''Britannic'''s in the spring of 1915.

But the winter of 1911-12 was unusually warm, and the threat of icebergs breaking off from the glaciers of Greenland and Northeast Canada was more dire than usual, with a thicker density of 'bergs and pack ice farther south than usual. ''Titanic'''s wireless operators received a number of ice warnings, [[BystanderSyndrome but due to the nature of their employ]], only sent a few to the bridge.

On Sunday, April 14th, at 11:40 PM ship's time, it was a new moon and the sea as smooth as glass, highly unusual for the typically swell-filled North Atlantic. These circumstances made the prospect of finding icebergs almost impossible, without the light of the moon or the whitewash of waves breaking at the waterline of the iceberg. So it's a testament to Frederick Fleet's eyes and dedication that he saw the iceberg when he did(really more of a black mass where starlight ''wasn't''), his co-watchman Reginald Lee ringing the bell as Fleet telephoned the bridge.

The officer on duty on the Bridge, First Officer Murdoch, saw the iceberg too, and ordered "Hard to Starboard" (technically to Port, or a Left Turn, but ''Titanic'' used Tiller commands and so the directions were reversed [[RealityIsUnrealistic in spite of what some claim about the 1997 movie]]), and ordered all of the engines full astern.

However, in the heat of the moment, Murdoch forgot a vital factor in ''Titanic'''s turning ability: The turbine could not go in reverse, so in a full-astern order it, and the center propeller directly in front of the rudder, simply stopped, and with the two wing propellers turning in reverse, the water flow over the rudder was greatly reduced, rendering the rudder practically useless. It has been speculated that had Murdoch ordered only the port engine reversed, or simply left the engines alone, ''Titanic'' could have either missed the iceberg entirely, or collided with greatly reduced damage. But what was done was done, and ''Titanic'' hit the iceberg.

Most of the passengers never noticed the collision, or felt little more than a slight rumbling bump. Thomas Andrews, the designer, never even knew of the accident until Captain Smith ordered him to go down below to examine the damage. After midnight, Andrew's returned with the news, and it wasn't good: ''Titanic'' could flood with up to two compartments, or the four foremost compartments, flooding. The first four compartments ''were'' flooding, in addition to Boiler Room 6, and Boiler Room 5. The engineers were able to fix Boiler Room 5's two or so feet of damage and began pumping, but for every gallon the engineers pumped out, ''Titanic'' took on 15 more.

Over the next two hours the crew rushed to launch the boats while Senior Wireless Operator Jack Phillips worked frantically to get the word out, right up to the very end.

At 2:20 AM local time, ''Titanic'' broke apart and slipped beneath the waves, and the some-odd 1,500 men, women, and children left behind died of hypothermia in the 28°F (-2°C) water, and the survivors were picked up by the RMS ''Carpathia'' at dawn.

After the disaster, new legislations was passed on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure that such a tragedy couldn't happen again, and the ''Titanic'' became another piece of pop culture until 1985, when a joint French and American team found the wreckage, and the following year the Woods-Hole Oceanographic Institute sent a team, lead by discoverer Dr. Robert "Bob" Ballard to dive and photograph the wreck.

Today the wreck lies in two big chunks, with smaller chunks consisting of the middle section over a fifteen-square mile area. The wreck itself is being consumed by [[ExtremeOmnivore iron-eating bacteria]], and assuming that those don't finish her off, recent sonar scans show that dunes that dwarf the ship are slowly being blown her way by the currents, ensuring that the whole site will be buried.

There is much controversy concerning the near-constant dives on the wreck and the issue of salvaging artifacts from the site, and the damage the efforts do to the wreckage (the team that retrieved the ship's bell destroyed the crow's nest while doing so, which until then had been virtually whole and intact. On one of the dives with the Russian Mir, subs damaged a deckhouse on accident with its propeller). Some equate the salvaging with grave robbing, and that the ship should be left to rust in peace. Others claim that such comparisons are invalidated by the treatment of similar legendary disaster sites such as Pompeii, and that it is important to document the wreck site as clearly and thoroughly as possible while the ship still exists.

Current international legislation prohibits tampering with the wreck of the ship itself, but the debris field containing thousands of artifacts ranging from pots and pans to shoes to tableware to [[EmpathyDollShot dolls]] to wreckage is more or less free reign for the Salvor-in-Possession ''Titanic'', Inc. (now Premier Exhibitions) to collect items from, which can be seen in museums and traveling exhibitions the world over.

[[WMG:Works Set On the RMS ''Titanic'']]

Too many to list here, but there a few noteworthy works:
* ''Titanic'': A 1943 ensemble piece melodrama made in Nazi Germany as an anti-British propaganda piece. However, the film was promptly banned after scenes of disaster and panic turned out to be a hot bed for UnfortunateImplications and it was banned in Germany by Joseph Goebbels. The film established many conventions and clichés that were followed up by future ''Titanic'' films, like interweaving a fictional love story amongst real historical events and portraying J. Bruce Ismay as the villain.
* ''Titanic'': "TheyJustDidntCare" would be a good way to describe this 1953 Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck movie, which concerns itself more with a fictional custody battle between two catty first class passengers than the actual ship and the subsequent disaster.
* ''Film/ANightToRemember'': (1958) A docu-novel and later film that has aged fairly enough, and even today is considered one of the more accurate portrayals of the sinking in film (Pre-1985 that is).
* ''{{Film/Titanic}}'': (1997), Creator/JamesCameron's Multi-Billion blockbuster that launched Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio and KateWinslet into Super Stardom.
* ''WesternAnimation/TitanicTheLegendGoesOn'': ''One'' of the cartoonified versions, featuring a gender-flipped version of the 1997 film's romance, [[StockFootage recycled animation]], and '''a rapping dog'''. ''Seriously''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfTheTitanic'': ''Another'' cartoonified version, featuring another ripoff romance, singing mice, an giant octopus who saves the ship, [[CriticalResearchFailure and everyone lives]]. And it has a sequel, ''In Search of the Titanic''. You can't make this stuff up.

[[WMG: Tropes as Applied to the Real Life Event]]

* AMillionIsAStatistic: The death toll was just over one thousand, five hundred men, women, and children. Even though there are whole towns on both sides of the Atlantic that are smaller than that, it's hard to picture that many dead bodies bobbing in the sea, until you read up on some of the victims, especially the more unknown individuals.
* AnyoneCanDie: If you were a Third Class Male, you had a 2-in-3 chance of winding up as a corpse by morning. In first class, one child died, [[InfantImmortality none in Second Class]], and as for Third... [[TearJerker Best not think about it.]] And as for the engineers... well, there is a reason why there's a memorial specifically for them.
* ArcNumber: Ships are given a specific number in the order of which they are built at a specific yard, and parts for certain ships are stamped with that number to differentiate them from the same or similar parts for other ships. ''Olympic'' 's was 400, ''Titanic'' 's 401, and ''Britannic'' 's 433. The 401 stamp is still clearly visible on one of the propeller blades on the stern. This is vitally important evidence in discrediting the ConspiracyTheories that ''Titanic'' was really the ''Olympic'', scuttled as part of an insurance scam after the latter's accident with the HMS ''Hawke'' the previous year.
* BlasphemousBoast: According to legend (i.e. take it with a grain of sea salt), a passenger asked a deckhand if ''Titanic'' really was 'Unsinkable.' The deckhand proudly claimed that "God Himself cannot sink this ship." Let's hope that deckhand didn't have money riding on that claim.
* CherryTapping: The iceberg damage. For decades the accepted wisdom was that only a massive can-opener type gash 300 feet long could have done ''Titanic'' in, even after the wreck was discovered and the hull outside boiler rooms 5 and 6 showed a slit formed by buckled plates. It wouldn't be until 1996 that, with the use of sonar, it was confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt, [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5d/Titanic_side_plan_annotated_English.png that six tiny slits as wide as your finger]] were all that were needed to lay ''Titanic'' low.
* ExactTimeToFailure: Played straight and averted. Thomas Andrews gave the ship another hour when he saw the damage done, but the ship lasted an additional hour and ten minutes beyond when he assumed she would sink.
* ExactWords: The aforementioned British Board of Trade Regulations concerning lifeboats and ship sizes. It was only after the disaster that they were changed to the much more inclusive "enough lifeboats for all aboard."
* FaceDeathWithDignity:
** There are many stories of fathers leaving their wives and children in the boats, and stepping back so that others may have a seat.
** And there is the famed story of Benjamin Guggenheim and his valet, the former of whom famously told a steward: "We are dressed in our best, and are prepared to go down as Gentlemen."
** And who could forget the brave Wallace Heartly and ''Titanic'' 's band? The men who played cheerful music throughout the sinking to help maintain calm, and at the end played a simple hymn as an instrumental prayer for those in the boats, and the ones left behind.
* FanonDiscontinuity: Until Dr. Robert Ballard discovered the wreck in the 1980's, no one wanted to believe the many survivors who claimed that ''Titanic'' broke in two before sinking, ignoring the fourteen or so survivors who testified such in favor of a handful of officers and first class passengers who claimed that she didn't.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: The four seniormost officers -- Captain E.J. Smith (phlegmatic), Chief Officer Henry Wilde (melancholic), First Officer William Murdoch (choleric) and Second Officer Charles Lightoller (sanguine).
* GodNeverSaidThat: No official source from either Harland and Wolf or the White Star Line ''ever'' called ''Titanic'' or her sisters "Unsinkable." When talking about the safety features of the ship, it was stated that all the usual expected causes for accidents at sea (or more accurately, near a port and thus NOT at full speed) had been considered and countered with structural features to take them into account:
** Grounding: The double-bottom hull will keep the water out of the main hull.
** Hitting something: The first four compartments can flood and the ship would not be in danger, when usually the worst damage would be the first two compartments flooding.
** Being hit BY something: Worst case scenario was being hit right at a bulkhead, resulting in two compartments flooding. ''Titanic'' and her sisters could take such a hit and still have watertight bulkhead space above the waterline. Three in ridiculously favorable conditions.
** What happened was a shipbuilder's trade magazine listed these features and wrote "Practically Unsinkable." The press got word of that and gleefully 'forgot' about the "practically" part and just said "Unsinkable."
* HateDumb: Frederick Fleet, the lookout on duty at the time of the collision, [[TheWoobie who suffered from depression and Survivor's Guilt after the disaster and committed suicide in 1965 mind you]], gets a lot of needless flack. [[http://k9thefirst1.tumblr.com/post/41042231159/fuckyeahrmsTitanic-depressiongottome-you-had Observe.]]
** Captain Stanley Lord of the SS ''Californian'' get this a '''lot'''.
** J. Bruce Ismay, owner and president of the White Star Line (and the company that owned ''it'') doesn't get a much better rap. Even though he helped load nearly a dozen boats, he waited until there were no more women and children present to board one of the last boats to leave (which was the last one to actually get launched to boot), and no one else was going to get in anyway... the fact that he survived got him the animosity and hatred of the world to the point where some think he dressed as a woman and jumped into the first lifeboat to leave while shoving mothers and their babies overboard because they were in the way. Because of this he was forced to resign from the company his father built, was shunned from polite society for the rest of his life, and died of a stroke in October, 1937. What's more, in most fictional portrayals he is presented as an arrogant, money- and newspaper-headlines-only 1910's CorruptCorporateExecutive type concerning the safety of the passengers of his ships, when in reality he had a more balanced mindset to his business.
*** One area in particular concerns the allegations of him urging Smith to speed as fast as possible, when in fact the speed ''Titanic'' was moving at at the time of the collision was SOP for passenger ships at the time: Make as best time as you can, and if you find yourself in a known danger zone (example: ice field), step on the gas to get out of there as quickly as possible. True, at least one passenger overheard Ismay and Smith discussing ''Titanic'''s speed and how much more steam she could make, but as ''Titanic'' was a new ship, it would be a natural discussion between a ship's owner and commander over her performance.
* HeroicBSOD: Captain Edward John Smith, beloved "Millionaire's Captain" of the White Star Line, forty years experience at sea. After the order was given to launch the lifeboats, he was reported to have been detached and in a haze, leaving his officers to carry out the evacuation.
** While he had 40 years experience, he never encountered a serious emergency in his career. He described his own experience of life at sea as "uneventful" in an interview, and the worst event he was ever involved in before Titanic was the collision between Olympic and HMS Hawke a few months earlier. Faced with the prospect of a very real disaster unfolding on his watch (and his own impending death), he simply shut down. Just because you've been at sea a long time doesn't really mean you're experienced.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: The RMS Olympic: Known as "Old Reliable". She served White Star until the merge with Cunard in 1934, covering millions of miles over 257 voyages, served as a troop transport in WWI, was the only merchant ship to ever sink a U-Boat in 1917, and at the outbreak of the war helped rescue the sailors of the mined ''HMS Audacious''. But she wasn't ''Titanic'' so who gives a damn?
* HeroicSacrifice: The engineers stayed below decks, struggling to maintain power vital for the electric lights, the pumps working against the flood, and most importantly the Marconi Wireless, right up to the very end, and by then there was no hope to escape.
* InfantImmortality: Averted, as shown by the tragic story of little Sidney Leslie Goodwin, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Leslie_Goodwin Aged 19 months.]]
* MeaningfulName: The first two ships of the Olympic Class were named after generations of gods from ClassicalMythology
** Olympic was named after the Olympians (Zues, Hera, Hades, that group).
** ''Titanic'' after their parents, the Titans (Chronos, Gaia, them), thus leading to a spooky ContrivedCoincidence in that the Titans were imprisoned in the deepest, darkest depths of Tartarus for all eternity and ''Titanic''... Sank into the deepest, darkest depths of the Atlantic Ocean for all eternity...
** Britannic was two fold -- Firstly after Britannia, the AnthropomorphicPersonification of Britain,and after... Britannic, one of White Star's first and most beloved liners. DeadGuyJunior as applied to ships one could say.
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Inverted: ''Titanic'' is the most [in]famous ship in all of history, while the First Child Olympic is reduced to a glorified footnote ([[HeroOfAnotherStory in spite of her 23-year service record and War Hero status in sinking a U-Boat and saving the crew of the ''HMS Audacious'']]), and the Baby ''Britannic'' is never mentioned at all, having struck a mine in 1916 while serving as a hospital ship in WWI, [[TearJerker having never carried a single paying costumer]].
* RammingAlwaysWorks: Many have suggested that had Officer Murdoch just kept going straight, the ship would have survived. These people are, pardon the colloquialism, [[SophisticatedAsHell pants-on-head retarded]] and should not be listened to for a multitude of reasons. The reasons for why this DefiedTrope is also an AvertedTrope are thus:
** One: the ships that have been cited as having survived a head-on collision with an iceberg were all either much smaller in mass than ''Titanic'', moving much slower than ''Titanic'', or some combination of the two. As a thought experiment, imagine a minivan hitting a reinforced cement bridge support at thirty miles an hour. Violent, but a reasonable chance for survival with something resembling a car afterward. Now imagine a fully loaded 18-wheeler hitting the same support at ''sixty'' miles an hour. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSPjC1Ek7vA Not a pretty sight, is it?]] Furthermore, they don't take into account that modern ships are welded together, whereas ''Titanic'' was held together by rivets. Had ''Titanic'' hit the iceberg as suggested, the whole ship would have folded like an accordion, opening the seams of the plates from stem to stern, resulting in the ship sinking in minutes, rather than hours.
** Two: The front end of the bow was not a battering ram loaded with nothing more than cargo that would regrettably be destroyed but covered by insurance. The bunks for the firemen for the boilers were in there, loaded up with the hundreds of men off-shift and asleep, in addition to the single male and married couples of Third Class being berthed in the front end. Even if by some miracle ''Titanic'' survived, William Murdoch would have been tried for mass manslaughter and seen as the most incompetent sailor ever put in charge of a ship for all time.
* SomebodyElsesProblem: At the time of the sinking, the wireless operators were not part of the crew, but employees of the Marconi Wireless Company, and thus their main priority was sending and receiving telegrams for the passengers, not concerning themselves with "weather reports." Also, this meant that 24/7 service was not a requirement, as not all ship companies could afford to have two or more operators on every single one of their ships. This changed real quick after the disaster, especially in light of the fact that the Californian was stopped due to ice not even 10 miles away, and never knew what was happening until the next morning because... their only wireless guy was asleep.
* TemptingFate: On the maiden voyage of the ''RMS Adriatic'', one of the Big Four (White Star's major Ocean Liner project before the Olympic-Class) in 1907, Captain Smith gave this quote to the press concerning ship safety:
--> "I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that..."
* TogetherInDeath: Isidor Straus, one of the early owners of Macy's Department Store, and his wife Ida. She was offered a seat in a boat, but refused to leave her husband. When Isidor was offered a place, as "no one would object to an older gentleman having a place," he declined, [[HonorBeforeReason not desiring an opportunity not given to every other man]]. Subverted in that [[TearJerker only Isidor's body was recovered and identified.]]
* UnderwaterRuins: ''Titanic'' herself, but especially the bow section. [=ROVs=] have been sent into the deepest parts of the ship and have found chandeliers still hanging from the ceiling, used drinking glasses still on their shelves, windows in the reception room completely whole, and tile from the Turkish bath (think sauna) still in place and retaining their vibrant colors.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: For the Passenger Trade for emergencies: With the advent of wireless, and the fact that most incidents happen close to shore, it was common wisdom that other ships would be near enough to provide assistance, and that the lifeboats would be used to ferry passengers and crew from one ship to the other before the final plunge. And if it was out at sea, the North Atlantic was, and is, among the busiest shipping routes in the world, so it was inconceivable for there to be no one nearby. Shipbuilders just needed to make sure the ship could float long enough for help to arrive. In fact, just three years previous this system worked out flawlessly with the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Republic ''RMS Republic'']], which managed to linger for almost forty hours. What they didn't count on was what happened that night with the damage that occurred (see GodNeverSaidThat), and the fact that the nearest ship's radio was turned off for the night at the time of the disaster.
* VindicatedByHistory: For years lots of miniseries, books, films and even alleged experts claimed that ''Titanic'' was a heavily flawed ship in every respect from design to materials. However, thorough research and new discoveries of the missing middle wreckage proves otherwise:
** The bulkhead design, even though it failed that night, actually stands up remarkably well by even ''modern'' standards.
** Hull samples taken from the wreck, specifically from the portion near the breakup, have been found to be very strong by modern standards, even after nearly a century on the ocean floor.
*** The same goes for the supposedly 'faulty' rivets, the "pins" that hold the plates that form the hull. Both recovered rivets and reproduced seams (made from virgin steel from the same source, and created with the same Edwardian Era processes) were tested under forces similar to what was calculated they were under during the iceberg collision, and in those experiments, the reproduced seams at most popped one or two rivet heads without opening the seam. [[CaptainObvious Turns out that having a 50,000+ ton ship hit a mountain of solid glacial ice (which geologists count as a sedimentary rock) at roughly 30 miles an hour creates a lot of "oomph" that no man-made structure can be reasonably expected to hold up to.]] Imagine that.
** Using the designs of the ship run through computer simulations, it was found that the maximum designed tilt the ship could stand was 11 degrees, which was the equivalent of being exposed to waves as high as the boat deck, which would mean that the prow and propellers (both ends of the ship) would have been exposed to air at the same time. Judging from eyewitness testimony, the ship likely managed to stay together up until ''twenty-three'' degrees. It's not the forty-five degree angle of ''Film/ANightToRemember'', nor the sixty degrees of ''{{Film/Titanic}}'', but that's still ''twice'' the intended designed limits.
** Given the nature of the flooding, Thomas Andrews, the designer, the man who knew this ship better than even her own captain, gave her until 1:10 AM before she went under, an hour and a half. She lasted until 2:20, two hours and forty minutes.
** In 2010, the wreckage of the missing middle section, long thought to have been disintegrated in the sinking, was discovered. And not as thousands of little pieces of scrap metal, but in a series of large chunks ([[http://wormstedt.com/RoyMengot/TitanicWreck/BREAKUP/Center%20Map.html Specifically, as two pieces of the double-bottom hull, the deckhouse of Funnel No. 3 and the adjacent Boat Deck, A through E Decks from one side of the ship to the other, a second "Tower" ranging from the port section to 2/3 of the ship's breadth from the Boat through C Decks immediately aft of that, and D Deck from side to side above Boiler Rooms 1 and 2 in the middle]]), which managed to survive their breaking off of the stern on the way down and land in a state still more or less recognizable. Meaning that rather than being shoddily put together, ''Titanic'' was stronger than some other ships would have been expected to be. [[CaptainObvious It's just that being torn apart by forces that were way beyond even the extremes of what a structure was designed to withstand... Tends to destroy said structure.]] [[SarcasmMode Gee, who knew?]]
* YouCantFightFate: This comes up in fiction but while the sinking of the ''Titanic'' specifically may have been avoidable, considering the nature of the Atlantic passenger business in 1912, a disaster of the same scale, if not worse, ''wasn't''. It was simply a question of Which ship, When, Where, and How many people were going to die. Had things gone different, audiences might have seen the struggles of Jack and Rose to survive the sinking of the ''RMS Queen Mary'', or ''RMS Britannic''.
[[redirect:UsefulNotes/RMSTitanic]]
17th May '13 3:18:38 PM Tuckerscreator
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Using the designs of the ship run through computer simulations, it was found that the maximum designed tilt the ship could stand was 11 degrees, which was the equivalent of being exposed to waves as high as the boat deck, which would mean that the prow and propellers (both ends of the ship) would have been exposed to air at the same time. Judging from eyewitness testimony, the ship likely managed to stay together up until ''twenty-three'' degrees. It's not the forty-five degree angle of Film/ANightToRemember, nor the sixty degrees of {{Film/''Titanic''}}, but that's still ''twice'' the intended designed limits.

to:

** Using the designs of the ship run through computer simulations, it was found that the maximum designed tilt the ship could stand was 11 degrees, which was the equivalent of being exposed to waves as high as the boat deck, which would mean that the prow and propellers (both ends of the ship) would have been exposed to air at the same time. Judging from eyewitness testimony, the ship likely managed to stay together up until ''twenty-three'' degrees. It's not the forty-five degree angle of Film/ANightToRemember, ''Film/ANightToRemember'', nor the sixty degrees of {{Film/''Titanic''}}, ''{{Film/Titanic}}'', but that's still ''twice'' the intended designed limits.
17th May '13 3:08:28 PM Tuckerscreator
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The RMS ''Titanic'' was a transatlantic liner that [[ForegoneConclusion sank]] in 1912, causing approximately 1,500 deaths. At the time of her maiden (first) voyage, she was the [[BiggerIsBetter largest ship to have ever sailed the seas]]. Construction started in 1909 in the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, and was completed a few months before the big trip enough time for rumours to spread about the luxurious White Star Liner being "unsinkable". Then, said ship sets sail for New York, hits an iceberg on the fourth day, [[OhCrap and sinks in less than three hours]]. Its fate has inspired [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_about_the_RMS_Titanic at least 36 movies]], including a [[MisaimedFandom Nazi propaganda film]], two cartoonified versions in which Everyone Lives, and [[JamesCameron James Cameron's]] 1997 blockbuster ''{{Titanic}}''.

to:

The RMS ''Titanic'' was a transatlantic liner that [[ForegoneConclusion sank]] in 1912, causing approximately 1,500 deaths. At the time of her maiden (first) voyage, she was the [[BiggerIsBetter largest ship to have ever sailed the seas]]. Construction started in 1909 in the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, and was completed a few months before the big trip enough time for rumours to spread about the luxurious White Star Liner being "unsinkable". Then, said ship sets sail for New York, hits an iceberg on the fourth day, [[OhCrap and sinks in less than three hours]]. Its fate has inspired [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_about_the_RMS_Titanic at least 36 movies]], including a [[MisaimedFandom Nazi propaganda film]], two cartoonified versions in which Everyone Lives, and [[JamesCameron James Cameron's]] Creator/JamesCameron's 1997 blockbuster ''{{Titanic}}''.
''{{Film/Titanic}}''.



* ''{{Titanic}}'': (1997), James Cameron's Multi-Billion blockbuster that launched Leo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet into Super Stardom.

to:

* ''{{Titanic}}'': ''{{Film/Titanic}}'': (1997), James Cameron's Creator/JamesCameron's Multi-Billion blockbuster that launched Leo Di Caprio Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio and Kate Winslet KateWinslet into Super Stardom.
* ''WesternAnimation/TitanicTheLegendGoesOn'': ''One'' of the cartoonified versions, featuring a gender-flipped version of the 1997 film's romance, [[StockFootage recycled animation]], and '''a rapping dog'''. ''Seriously''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfTheTitanic'': ''Another'' cartoonified version, featuring another ripoff romance, singing mice, an giant octopus who saves the ship, [[CriticalResearchFailure and everyone lives]]. And it has a sequel, ''In Search of the Titanic''. You can't make this stuff up.
14th May '13 2:09:11 PM NB2000
Is there an issue? Send a Message


It was in this environment that the middle child, ''Titanic'', rose to the prominence. One her maiden voyage, starting at Southampton, England and Cherbourg, France on April 10th before going off to Queenstown ([[IstanbulNotConstantinople now Cobh]]), Ireland, she was loaded with not only hundreds of emmigrants from both the Continent and the British Isles, but the wealthiest aristocrats, by title or by position, on both sides of the Atlantic. These included big names such as John Jacob Astor IV, heir to the Astor Railroad fortune and his [[MayDecemberRomance barely 19-year old]] bride Madeleine returning home from their extended honeymoon (and to wait out the scandal involving JJ's divorce and marriage to a younger woman... and to ensure that their unborn child was born on American soil). As well as the Stauses, Isidor and Ida, Co-Owners of the world-famous Macy's Department Store in New York, along with scores of other members of the 1912 Rich and Famous.

to:

It was in this environment that the middle child, ''Titanic'', rose to the prominence. One On her maiden voyage, starting at Southampton, England and Cherbourg, France on April 10th before going off to Queenstown ([[IstanbulNotConstantinople now Cobh]]), Ireland, she was loaded with not only hundreds of emmigrants from both the Continent and the British Isles, but the wealthiest aristocrats, by title or by position, on both sides of the Atlantic. These included big names such as John Jacob Astor IV, heir to the Astor Railroad fortune and his [[MayDecemberRomance barely 19-year old]] bride Madeleine returning home from their extended honeymoon (and to wait out the scandal involving JJ's divorce and marriage to a younger woman... and to ensure that their unborn child was born on American soil). As well as the Stauses, Strauses, Isidor and Ida, Co-Owners of the world-famous Macy's Department Store in New York, along with scores of other members of the 1912 Rich and Famous.
10th May '13 2:58:58 PM bkitu
Is there an issue? Send a Message


At 2:20 AM local time, ''Titanic'' broke apart and slipped beneath the waves, and the some-odd 1,500 men, women, and children left behind died of hypothermia in the 28° F water, and the survivors were picked up by the RMS ''Carpathia'' at dawn.

to:

At 2:20 AM local time, ''Titanic'' broke apart and slipped beneath the waves, and the some-odd 1,500 men, women, and children left behind died of hypothermia in the 28° F 28°F (-2°C) water, and the survivors were picked up by the RMS ''Carpathia'' at dawn.
10th May '13 11:32:57 AM ExtrovertFederalist
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

*FourTemperamentEnsemble: The four seniormost officers -- Captain E.J. Smith (phlegmatic), Chief Officer Henry Wilde (melancholic), First Officer William Murdoch (choleric) and Second Officer Charles Lightoller (sanguine).
9th May '13 10:57:35 AM emlodik
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''Film/ANightToRemember'': (1958) A docu-novel and later film that has aged fairly enough, and even today is considered one of the more accurate portrayals of the sinking in film (Pre-1985 that is).



* ''Film/ANightToRemember'': (1958) A docu-novel and later film that has aged fairly enough, and even today is considered one of the more accurate portrayals of the sinking in film (Pre-1985 that is).

to:

* ''Film/ANightToRemember'': (1958) A docu-novel and later film that has aged fairly enough, and even today is considered one of the more accurate portrayals of the sinking in film (Pre-1985 that is).
28th Apr '13 1:24:12 PM passivesmoking
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** While he had 40 years experience, he never encountered a serious emergency in his career. He described his own experience of life at sea as "uneventful" in an interview, and the worst event he was ever involved in before Titanic was the collision between Olympic and HMS Hawke a few months earlier. Faced with the prospect of a very real disaster unfolding on his watch (and his own impending death), he simply shut down. Just because you've been at sea a long time doesn't really mean you're experienced.
28th Apr '13 1:14:46 PM passivesmoking
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Current international legislation prohibits tampering with the wreck of the ship itself, but the debris field containing thousands of artifacts ranging from pots and pans to shoes to tableware to dolls to wreckage is more or less free reign for the Salvor-in-Possession ''Titanic'', Inc. (now Premier Exhibitions) to collect items from, which can be seen in museums and traveling exhibitions the world over.

to:

Current international legislation prohibits tampering with the wreck of the ship itself, but the debris field containing thousands of artifacts ranging from pots and pans to shoes to tableware to dolls [[EmpathyDollShot dolls]] to wreckage is more or less free reign for the Salvor-in-Possession ''Titanic'', Inc. (now Premier Exhibitions) to collect items from, which can be seen in museums and traveling exhibitions the world over.
16th Apr '13 6:03:35 PM LtFedora
Is there an issue? Send a Message


And at the helm, was Captain E.J. Smith, "The Millionaire's Captain," and White Star's favorite officer, who took out every new ship of the line on her maiden voyage for the past decade and a half. At the age of 63, Smith planed to retire. If not after this voyage on ''Titanic'', then certainly after ''Britannic'''s in the spring of 1915.

to:

And at the helm, was Captain E.J. Smith, "The Millionaire's Captain," and White Star's favorite officer, who took out every new ship of the line on her maiden voyage for the past decade and a half. At the age of 63, Smith planed planned to retire. If not after this voyage on ''Titanic'', then certainly after ''Britannic'''s in the spring of 1915.
This list shows the last 10 events of 37. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.RMSTitanic