March 31, 1909: Construction of the Titanic begins at Harland and Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. Later that day senior wireless operator Jack Phillips receives iceberg warnings from ships further west. Titanic strikes a glancing blow from an iceberg and water pours into five of her supposedly watertight compartments. The Captain orders lifeboats lowered, with women and children getting into them first.
The Construction Of The Ship
The construction of the titanic timeline was an immense project that took years to complete. The ship’s design was created by a team of world-renowned engineers and included several groundbreaking innovations. It was the first ship of its kind to use a double hull, allowing it to travel under less turbulent sea conditions. The ship was also the largest passenger liner ever constructed at the time.
The Titanic’s construction began in 1909 and was completed in late May of 1911. A massive crowd gathered to watch the ship’s launching. The massive vessel was christened by the White Star Line’s chairman, J. Bruce Ismay.
Once the hull and side plating of the Titanic were complete, workers began the process of outfitting the ship. This phase took months to complete and included everything from putting in the ship’s enormous engines to building rooms and decks. This was a critical step because it would allow passengers to board the Titanic and experience luxury travel like never before.
During the outfitting process, workers were tasked with making sure that all of the necessary safety features of the Titanic were in place. This included creating a number of lifeboats, which would be used to rescue survivors in the event of an emergency. The crew also ensured that the ship was properly stocked with food, fresh water, and other supplies.
As the ship was being loaded for its maiden voyage, the crew began to assemble. They were required to work long shifts and endured grueling training sessions. This training was meant to prepare the crew for any type of emergency that might arise during the journey.
Titanic departed Southampton on April 10, and the passengers were excited for their trip to New York. The ship was riding high in the ocean, and she covered a number of miles over the next few days. All of the necessary safety checks were taken care of before Titanic left port.
As the Titanic approached the ice field, several ice warnings were received. Captain Smith took the ship through some additional practice turns to test its maneuverability. On the night of April 14, a heavy ice pack was noticed approaching the ship.
The Maiden Voyage
The maiden voyage of the Titanic is a legendary tale that has come to represent a time in American history when millions of people were leaving their homes in search of a better life. Their journey was often difficult, dangerous, and full of hardship. But many of them managed to overcome their difficulties and achieve success. This story is one of the best examples of the American spirit and courage. It is also a great example of the determination of people to reach their dreams.
April 13: Titanic leaves Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York City. She is carrying 2,223 passengers and crew members. The trip will take her through the English Channel and around England’s south coast. The ship is the largest ever built at that point and is supposedly almost unsinkable. The claims about the ship being nearly unsinkable are based on its design and not on actual testing.
The ship stops in Cherbourg, France, for about four hours. At that point, most of the Cherbourg passengers will board one of two ships that will ferry them to Titanic. The ship will then set sail for Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland.
At about 9:40 PM, lookout Frederick Fleet spots an iceberg dead ahead of Titanic. He rings a bell three times and then calls the bridge. Captain Edward Smith is informed that the iceberg has struck the starboard side of the bow and that water is filling at least five of the ship’s compartments.
The iceberg creates an incredibly large hole in the hull of the Titanic. As the ship continues to move through the water, the stern rises higher out of the water and eventually becomes vertical. This places tremendous strain on the midsection of the ship and it eventually breaks in half.
As the Titanic sinks, several other ships hear her distress signals and prepare to rescue her. The Carpathia, the rescue ship that finally arrived, was able to pick up most of the survivors before the stern completely submerged. The survivors were later transported to various cities in the United States.
The Sinking Of The Ship
The sinking of the RMS Titanic was a tragedy with far-reaching effects. Not only did it cause the deaths of many passengers and crew members, but it also served as a catalyst for immigration to the United States and spawned numerous books, plays, and films that recounted the event. In addition, the ship’s wreckage has remained a prominent symbol of the ill-fated voyage.
On April 14th, the Titanic’s senior wireless operator, Jack Phillips, begins receiving iceberg warnings from other ships in the area. The first one came from the liner Caronia, reporting field ice and growlers (smaller icebergs that are harder to see but still dangerous) in an area about a day’s sailing away from the Titanic (42o N, from 49o to 51o W). Philips relays the message to Captain Edward John Smith.
At around 10:00 PM, a lookout spots a large patch of ice ahead of the Titanic. The captain orders the ship to change course to avoid the iceberg, but the massive machine is too close and smashes into it. The collision sends huge chunks of ice flying through the air and bruising the hull.
By midnight, the Titanic is already taking on water as its bow plunges under. The stern goes under shortly thereafter, leaving only a small portion of the vessel above the surface.
Passengers gather on the decks, some crying and others praying. Some begin to panic, and in some cases they begin boarding lifeboats, which are launched at a rate of a boat every three minutes. However, the lifeboats are often launched well below capacity because of crewmen’s fears that they cannot hold a fully loaded boat. For example, boat number 7 on the starboard side is lowered with only 27 people aboard, when it could have carried 65.
The first of eight emergency distress rockets is fired. Despite the efforts of the firemen, most of the lifeboats remain empty, though fifth officer Lowe in boat 14, which was retrieved later, moves some survivors from collapsible D to his boat.
In the end, nearly a thousand passengers and hundreds of crew members perished when the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic. This was the largest maritime disaster in history at the time and remains a profoundly significant event. It has been memorialized through the preservation of artifacts from the ship’s wreckage, the construction of numerous monuments and commemorative sites, and the many books, plays, and movies that have been based on the event.
The Titanic had a number of survivors who were able to escape the disaster, and many of them went on to lead long lives. Some of them even went on to achieve a great deal of fame and success in their chosen fields. One of these was Millvina Dean, who was a young child when she sailed on the Titanic and later became a civil servant and cartographer. She died in 2009 at the age of 97.
11:40 pm: A lookout spots an iceberg dead ahead and warns the captain. He orders the crew to begin loading lifeboats, boarding women and children first.
Almost immediately after this, the ship hits the iceberg and begins to sink. Water rushes into the successive compartments, slowly at first but then with increasing speed. The bow sinks first, then the stern crashes down into the water and disappears from sight.
At the same time, many people try to reach the lifeboats. Some of them make it to collapsible B, which is partially filled with water but still afloat. Some of the men in this boat are rescued by Lowe in Lifeboat No. 14.
Survivors are also sent back to the ship to try to send out distress signals. But by the time they return to their stations, the power has largely ceased to function. The radio operators, Harold Bride and Jack Phillips, decide to stay at their stations, despite the danger.
01:45 More lifeboats are lowered and there is almost a collision between Lifeboat 13 and Lifeboat 15. 02:08 The last wireless transmission is sent, but it will not be heard, as the Titanic has already sunk.
Eventually, most of the survivors board the Carpathia, which takes them to New York. There, they are met by friends and family members who have come to see them. The story of the Titanic has become famous around the world and it continues to be a subject of fascination for many people. There are countless books, movies, plays, and television shows about the events that took place on this fateful night.
The Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage in 1912 remains a tragic reminder of human fallibility and technological overconfidence. Its sinking led to significant maritime reforms and safety measures. The ship’s legacy endures in popular culture, serving as a poignant symbol of both hubris and heroism.
- What caused the sinking of the Titanic? The Titanic hit an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912, which caused severe damage to its hull, leading to flooding of several compartments. As a result, the ship’s buoyancy was compromised, and it sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912.
- How many people survived the Titanic disaster? Out of the approximately 2,224 passengers and crew on board, around 706 people survived the sinking of the Titanic. The majority of the survivors were women and children, as they were given priority during the evacuation in accordance with the “women and children first” protocol.