Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the largest ship in the world, hit an iceberg, setting in motion a chain of events that would ultimately make it history's most famous, and notorious, ship.
The Titanic was neither the first nor last big ship to sink, so it's clear that much of its appeal stems from the nature of ship itself. Indeed, the Titanic stands out not just for its end but for its beginning, specifically the fact that it was the most luxurious passenger ship ever built at the time. In addition to the time it took to come up with the design, the giant ship took a full three years to build, and no effort or cost was spared to outfit the Titanic in the most lavish ways. Given that the Titanic was over 100 feet tall, nearly 900 feet long, and over 90 feet wide, it's obvious that those who built her and provided all of its famous amenities had plenty of work to do. The massive ship was carrying thousands of passengers and crew members, each with their own experiences on board, and the various amenities offered among the different classes of passengers ensured that life on some decks of the ship was quite different than life on others.
Much has been made through the years about the failures of those designing the Titanic to take proper safety precautions, and how these failings led to the disaster and huge loss of life. In fact, the number of lives lost was so great that it can be hard to believe that the death toll might have been higher. Nonetheless, it's true that many more would have died without the courageous efforts of those on the ships who responded to the Titanic's distress calls and sailed through the same dangerous conditions that brought down the "unsinkable" ship itself.
Investigating the Sinking of the Titanic chronicles the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and the investigations and changes that followed.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors