A Tragedy Unfolded Essay

2811 words - 12 pages

A Tragedy Unfolded
On a dark, but star struck, frigid April night in 1912, the North Atlantic became a part in history like no other. Today, she sits 2.4 miles under the ocean, once adored and applauded for her prestigious amenities and sophisticated elegance, The RMS Titanic lays shattered and scattered on the ocean floor. We read about her in articles and see documentaries on television, the luxurious cruise liner that will forever be known as the “unsinkable ship”, tells a story of her own even more than 100 years after her foundering. Throughout the decades we have learned more and more of what happened that fateful night. What happened in the early hours of April 15th, 1912 in the middle of the Atlantic that would have caused this unsinkable ship to perish and captivate our minds forever? Many factors come into play as the story unfolds, but perhaps we need to go back further to the beginning of her creation. In fact, as you will find, the ship herself may have been doomed from the beginning before she ever left port. Multiple series of unfortunate events will lead this beautiful state of the art craft to her demise. The building of her watertight compartments, the disregard to iceberg warnings and the lack of sufficient lifeboats would all play a part in the tragic night.
The Titanic was the second of three large ships in the ‘Olympic Class’ from the White Star Line company. The rival company, Cunard, had produced and launched two ships in 1907 that took the title of the most prestigious ships ever made, holding record of the fastest transatlantic crossing known at that time. This prompted chief executive, Bruce Ismay of White Star Line to propose the construction of three ships to out beat their competitor. These ships would be the grandest and largest of the time, measuring at 882 feet in length, 92.5 feet at the widest point, and 59 feet tall above the water line, making these ships, precisely what their names suggest. (cite history.com) The building of the Titanic would begin in March 1909 in the Harland & Wolff yard of Belfast, Northern Ireland. She would be built right next to her sister ship, the Olympic. Construction of the hull would continue non-stop until the spring of 1911. (same site history.com)
In 1911 the hull had been completed, making it the largest man made movable object in the world. On May 31st 1911, the Titanic launched from the ship yard to a massive fitting-out dock, in which it only took over a minute, with 100,000 people attending the ceremony. From this location, thousands of people would work to build her eloquent decks, install the 29 enormous boilers that would provide power for her two main steam engines, and her over the top prestigious interiors that were marveled at by all who saw her. (history.com) At this time, the first, and most likely the most critical, flaw was made. She was made with a double bottom hull, and 15 watertight bulkhead compartments that were operated singularly or simultaneously...

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