FALSE. Titanic was made with the same quality of steel and rivets as the Olympic, which as we have seen had an extraordinarily long and successful career. The force with which Titanic struck the iceberg was easily sufficient to puncture the hull of any ship, including a modern ship.
Although it is true that much of the damage to Titanic’s hull occurred along the seams of the plates, possibly due to the failure of the rivets holding them together, this was simply the weakest point in a very strong structure which was nonetheless not designed to withstand anything like the enormous pressure exerted on the ship’s hull by the iceberg. The striking force was calculated by John Knapp, a captain in the US Navy and a hydrographer at the Bureau of Navigation in Washington, D.C:
‘Multiplying the weight of the ship by the square of its speed in feet per second and dividing by twice the force of gravity will give the blow that would have been struck if she had kept straight on her course against this apparently solid mass of ice, which, at a speed of 21 knots, would have been equal to 1,173,200 foot tons, or energy enough to lift 14 monuments the size of the Washington Monument in one second of time. I think from the evidence before your committee it is shown that the ship struck the berg before she had appreciably lost any headway, due either to change of helm or stoppage or reversal of engines, in which event her striking energy would be practically that given above.’
Even assuming Titanic was constructed of the very highest quality steel available today, this enormous force would still have bent her plates and popped her rivets.
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