James Cameron Says Titan Sinking Broke All The Rules; Alleged Titan Transcript Deemed A Fraud

Titan (submersible)
Becky Kagan Schott, OceanGate

James Cameron (famed director of Titanic) stated at a recent appearance on a news show about the Titan submersible tragedy that they (OceanGate) broke all the rules. He went on further to say that the submersible should not have been carrying passengers. As the first anniversary of the sinking approaches, Cameron opined that there is a lot of mystery surrounding the investigation. Cameron claims he offered to be part of the investigative community for the U.S. Coast Guard, but they turned it down.

I think they want to do things their way and frankly I think they’ve kind of got egg on their face and they don’t want outside opinions. That’s just my interpretation.”

Cameron also criticized the media circus that erupted over the tragedy saying that they fueled unwarranted hope that they would be alive. And they knew the location of the submersible and had no readily available means to dive to it. He accuses the Coast Guard of withholding information to the families of those who perished. And that they knew from naval intelligence that an implosion had occurred.

“They just didn’t disclose. They were informed by naval intelligence that an implosion event was tracked to the co-ordinate of the Titanic wreck site.”

Cameron does believe charges are appropriate but the main person responsible, OceanGate CEO Rush Stockton, perished in the tragedy.

Cameron indicates that he will build a submersible to go down to Titanic. He was a friend of Paul-Henri Nargeolet,who perished in the tragedy, and wants to honor his friend and show that it can be safely done.

Source

Brennan, A. (2024, June 9). Titanic director’s take on OceanGate tragedy. News. https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/james-cameron-explains-his-theories-behind-oceangate-submersible-tragedy/news-story/364889e3f1a83cd46fcec877f80a004e

==

Log Purported To Be From Titan Submersible Deemed A Fraud

A supposed transcript distributed via YouTube and TikTok not long after the Titan submersible tragedy in June 2023 claimed to be the log from the doomed expedition has deemed a fraud. While many did put disclaimers as to its authenticity, Snopes marked it as “unconfirmed.” Now it has been deemed a fake

“I’m confident it’s a false transcript,” Jason Neubauer, a retired U.S. Coast Guard captain who now chairs the Marine Board of Investigation, told The New York Times. “It was made up.”

The transcript appears to make it sound like those in the submersible knew what was happening. However, the actual transcript (never made public) does not match up with it casting further doubt it was authentic. The men had no idea that Titan was about to implode. So far no one has been identified as the author of the transcript.

Source

Braine, T. (2024, June 11). Detailed log of Titan submersible’s descent to Titanic wreckage deemed fake. New York Daily News. https://www.nydailynews.com/2024/06/10/detailed-log-of-titan-submersibles-descent-to-titanic-wreckage-deemed-fake/

Titanic News Channel  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Fascinating History: Ben Franklin’s Famous Electricity Experiment (10 June 1752)

Photograph of painting depicting Franklin’s famous kite and key experiment. Circa 1911.
Artist: Charles E. Mills (American, 1856-1956)
U.S. Library of Congress, Digital Id#cph 3b42841

On 10 Jun 1752 Benjamin Franklin conducted an experiment on electricity that has become both famous and legendary. Electricity was already understood by this time, and many were studying static electricity. What Franklin was studying was the connection between lightning and electricity. Originally, he wanted to do the experiment on a church spire but decided using a kite would be better. As a thunderstorm began to develop over Philadelphia, he and his son William headed out to a field with a kite to conduct the experiment.

The Experiment

Contrary to popular belief, the experiment itself was conducted without lightning striking the kite. According to the Franklin Institute, he constructed a kite and attached a wire at the top to act as a lightning rod. The bottom of the kite used hemp string, which when wetted with rain, would be an excellent conductor for an electrical charge. And then he attached silk string that he would hold the kite from the doorway of a shed. With his son’s help, they got the kite aloft and just waited to see what would happen during the storm.

Then just as they were about to give up, Franklin noticed the loose strands of hemp were standing erect. Moving his finger near the metal key they had attached; he felt the electricity. He and his son using a Leyden jar collected the static electricity they would discharge later. It was a significant achievement and added more to the study of understanding and using electricity. He wrote of the experiment to the Pennsylvania Gazette (19 October 1752) and how to recreate it. Also, he was not the first to do this type of experiment. One had been done a month earlier in France by Thomas-François Dalibard. A year later Georg Wilhelm Richmann attempted to do the same thing in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, he was struck by ball lightning, which is very rare and to this day baffles scientists and died.

Aftermath

Franklin went on to invent the lightning rod, which over time became widespread in use for homes and buildings. The electrical charge from a lightning strike would pass harmlessly through the rod and cables keeping it safely away from any conductive material. Airplanes utilize them as well since they often have to fly near or around storms where lightning is present. Ships use them as well and the charge is dispersed into the water. Franklin would receive the Copley Award from the Royal Society for his experiments.

Needless to say, many doubt the experiment happened but one has to bear in mind whether the doubters read his own words of how it was done or simply accepted the common fable he stood outside in the rain waiting for lightning. Mythbusters actually tried to do the second one, which is to have lightning strike the kite. And they found it would likely be fatal to do that and that if Franklin really did do it, he was very lucky to have survived. What happened to Richmann is often cited to show how fatal it could be as well. Except Richmann was struck by ball lightning, a very rare occurrence that is not wholly understood. And Franklin was clear lightning never struck the kite and that what he was trying to do was see if lightning generated electricity in the air, which it did. Others either misread or, for reasons of their own perhaps in jest, said Franklin stood out in the rain and flew a kite to get struck by lightning. And it got into the public consciousness where it became considered true after a while. It is not the first, and likely not the last, where an event gets retold and later key facts get lost and the wrong story takes hold instead.

Sources

Ameyers. “Benjamin Franklin and the Kite Experiment.” The Franklin Institute, 19 Oct. 2023, fi.edu/en/science-and-education/benjamin-franklin/kite-key-experiment.

—. “Benjamin Franklin Flies Kite During Thunderstorm.” HISTORY, 6 June 2024, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/franklin-flies-kite-during-thunderstorm.

Ben Franklin’s Contribution to Our Understanding of Electricity. www.ushistory.org/franklin//science/electricity.htm.

Suggested Reading

Brands, H. W. The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin. Anchor, 2002.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: The Original 1793 Edition. Independently published, 2022.

Franklin, Benjamin. Benjamin Franklin’s Book of Virtues. Books of American Wisdom, 2016.

Titanic News Channel  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Forgotten History: Infamous Port Royal Sinks Into Sea Taking 3,000 Lives (7 June 1692

In the tale of Atlantis related by Plato, the island sinks into the sea. While today nearly all historians and archaeologists consider Atlantis a myth, there is one story that true and that is the sinking of Port Royal into the Caribbean Sea on 7 June 1692.

Pre-1692 Port Royal Illustration
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Port Royal was located in southeast Jamaica on the peninsula of Kingston Harbor. It was founded in 1494 by the Spanish though the area where Port Royal was located was of little interest to them. Jamaica was an important island strategically for them since it was located inside the major trade routes. The Spanish primarily used the island for sugar cane and would remain under Spanish control until the British seized it in 1655.

The British added houses, shops, warehouses, and two forts into the area that would be called later Port Royal (it was originally called Cagway). Port Royal would be the unofficial capital of Jamaica (though Spanish town was the official capital under the 19th century when Kingston was made the capital. Privateering found a convenient home in Port Royal. With its easy access to the Spanish Main, privateers carrying Letters of Marque (a document issued by the government authorizing the private person to raid ships of their enemies) could easily attack and bring back their spoils to sold for profit. It also had a large and well protected harbor for the privateers to return to and get ships repaired. Many well-known buccaneers of the period used Port Royal as their base of operations. Between the British Royal Navy and these privateers, the Spanish were on the defense. Additionally, it made it difficult for them to resupply their colonies or ship items home. Thus Spanish, with trade interrupted by ships captured by privateers, were forced to buy their supplies from merchants who got their them from privateers. It was a system called Forced Trade.

Port Royal became a city tied to the fortunes of the privateers as they raided Spanish ships and towns. They privateers received a great deal of money from bringing the items back to Port Royal where merchants would buy them. From all accounts, just about everyone in Port Royal benefited in one way or another from the privateers. Port Royal became a fast-growing city reaching up to 6,500 people at its height making it one of the largest cities in the Caribbean. It also acquired a reputation for its gaudy display of wealth and the large numbers of privateers that lived there. It became widely known as a place of loose morals as well. There were numerous taverns (one for every 10 people), prostitution was widely in use, and money was spent freely causing many of the privateers to go broke. There were also goldsmiths and merchants of all kinds to sold or bought products from the privateers. The city ran out of room due to the increased population, so they had to fill in areas and build on it or build structures above the water (sort of like Venice).  While there were some advice buildings should be built with wood and build them low, many opted to build with bricks not realizing they were not building on bedrock but sand.

By 1692, the need for privateers had diminished for the British with the Treaty of Madrid in 1670 ended their need to raid Spanish ships and cities. Henry Morgan, one of the famous and celebrated privateers of the era, would end up serving in the Jamaican government and even its governor at times. Privateers would still use Port Royal, but they had to be sure never to attack British ships. Morgan could no longer issue Letters of Marque but the French needed them, so they would sail for France against, you guessed it, the Spanish. Morgan received a payment for each Letter of Marque that was signed. It did cause problems for Morgan since some said he was helping the French against the Spanish. France though had become a major threat to the British. Morgan was replaced as governor (he only held the position when the person appointed was away or vacant). During his times as governor he increased defenses of the island from the French. But the accusations (falsely made it seems) would doom him and he would be out of power (except for a brief period) and died in 1684.

Changing attitudes also occurred as well. While many privateers had done service for the realm, pirates were a threat to everyone. And many people in Port Royal had tired of the drunkenness and other things that had given the city quite a sordid reputation. Anti-piracy laws enacted in 1687 turned Port Royal into a place where pirates were executed rather than tolerated. Ships called there and many sailors spent their money in taverns and other places, but pirates were now executed when caught or imprisoned. Then on 7 June 1692 around 11:43 a.m., everything would change. Three massive earthquakes hit Jamaica but was hardest on Port Royal. Buildings built over the water or filled in areas collapsed. Also, the peninsula was mostly sand and soil liquefaction occurred collapsing buildings as they sank. Then to make matters even worse, the tsunami created by the earthquakes struck putting half of Port Royal under water. Nearby Spanish Town was destroyed, and landslides claimed victims as well inland.

Over 3,000 people were killed outright by the earthquakes and tsunami. Many more died later from the looting, from injuries, and from diseases. The wicked pirate city as it was called was gone. While parts of it still remained, it was never rebuilt (subsequent attempts ran into real difficulties) and Kingston became more important as a result. Today there is an effort to restore a small part of it for tourist and also to make it a world heritage site. A large floating pier for cruise ships has been built but much more needs to be done according to news reports. A lot of study by geologists, historians, oceanographers and others of the remains under the sea is being done to understand how it happened. Port Royal, once the haven for pirates, has become known as the city that sank. Many actually were happy to see it suffer its fate from some writings of that time.

Map showing shoreline changes caused by the 1692 Port Royal earthquake
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Sources

Ugc. “Sunken Pirate City at Port Royal.” Atlas Obscura, 3 June 2024, www.atlasobscura.com/places/sunken-pirate-stronghold-at-port-royal.

“Port Royal | Jamaica, Map, History, and Earthquake.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 4 June 2024, www.britannica.com/place/Port-Royal-Jamaica.

“Letter of Marque | Definition and Examples.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 14 Nov. 2017, www.britannica.com/topic/letter-of-marque.

 “Earthquake Destroys Jamaican Town.” HISTORY, 6 June 2024, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/earthquake-destroys-jamaican-pirate-haven.

Vallar, Cindy. Pirates and Privateers: The History of Maritime Piracy – Pirate Havens Port Royal. www.cindyvallar.com/havens4.html.

“Port Royal.” Wikipedia, 3 June 2024, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Royal.

Documentaries & Films

The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered. “Pirates and the Earthquake That Destroyed Port Royal.” YouTube, 7 June 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=EypOHCv2JsY.

NTIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WILD. “Best Documentary History of Port Royal Underwater Cities.” YouTube, 22 Jan. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1VLUevIWIs.

 

 

 

 

 

Titanic News Channel  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Titanic Survivor Family Objects To Billionaire Diving to Titanic

Colorised photo of Ned Parfett, best known as the “Titanic paperboy”, holding a large newspaper about the sinking, standing outside the White Star Line offices at Oceanic House on Cockspur Street near Trafalgar Square in London SW1, April 16, 1912.
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

As noted on 30 May, an Ohio billionaire named Larry Connor wants to dive to Titanic to show that submersibles are safe. This has prompted Shelley Binder, the descendant of Titanic survivors Leah and Phillip Aks to come forward an object to his plan. According to the interview, she believes the resting place of those who died should remain undisturbed.

“Fundamentally, I think one could say these people have more dollars than sense,” Binder told the outlet. “And the idea of tourism to a wreck where 1,496 people lost their lives in a truly horrific disaster of epic proportions is offensive. What happened aboard that ship was extremely traumatic and harrowing for my great-grandmother and great-uncle. This was a devastating and landmark moment in their lives, and it had long-lasting repercussions for my entire family.”

While diving to the wreck to retrieve artifacts requires court approval, merely diving down to see the wreck is legal. When the idea of Titanic dive tourism began, RMS Titanic Inc. sought to stop people from diving claiming it had sole access to the wreck. However a federal appeals court ultimately ruled against them agreeing with the argument that merely viewing cannot violate their salvage claim. After all, one may have exclusive photos of the Empire State Building in New York but you cannot stop people from going to it and taking their own pictures.

Whether or not Larry Connor will go through with it is another story.  However it is more likely to occur than a certain Australian mogul’s desire to build a modern day Titanic. Despite lots of fanfare, it remains unbuilt to this day.

Source:
Pollina, Richard. “Titanic Survivor’s Family Rips ‘offensive’ Ohio Billionaire Larry Connor for Planning to Take Sub to Site After OceanGate Tragedy.” New York Post, 5 June 2024, nypost.com/2024/06/05/us-news/titanic-survivors-family-rips-offensive-ohio-billionaire-larry-connor-for-planning-to-take-sub-to-site-after-oceangate-tragedy.

Suggested Reading

Behe, George. Fate Deals a Hand: The Slippery Fortunes of Titanic’s Professional Gamblers. History Press, 2023.

Fitch, Tad, et al. On a Sea of Glass: The Life and Loss of the RMS Titanic. 2015.

Lynch, Donald. Titanic: An Illustrated History. Hyperion, 1995.

Titanic News Channel  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Remembering D-Day, 6 June 1944 When The Allies Began Liberation of Europe

[Note this has been updated with new source information and the inclusion of Eisenhower’s message to troops on the eve of the invasion. MT 2024]

“Into The Jaws of Death”
U.S. troops from Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division disembarking landing craft on 6 June 1944.
Photo:Chief Photographer’s Mate Robert F. Sargent
Public Domain (National Archives and Records Administration)

In June of 1944, Nazi Germany held total control over Western Europe except for Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland who remained neutral. However its invasion of Russia had collapsed at this point with the German army now forced to retreat. It had already been forced out of North Africa and Allied troops had landed in Sicily in 1943 and by 1944 were in Italy. Mussolini had been deposed in 1943, rescued by German paratroopers, and put in charge of a German supported puppet state in Northern Italy. The Germans knew the allies were planning a major invasion along the coast of France. The question was when and where.

Crossing the English Channel was going to be an enormous challenge. Despite what some want to believe, it was easier in concept that actual implementation. While cries of a second front had been going on for years, it required a vast amount of resources to pull off. You not only needed the men, but they all had to be trained, fed, and properly outfitted. Not just the foot soldiers but also the special units. Then you needed ships not only to bring them over to England, but camps to house them and continue their training. The Army Air Corp needed runways and facilities. The list goes on and on. Imagine a list of needed items that stretches, when laid out flat, from San Francisco to Los Angeles and you get an idea of how enormous an operation this was going to be. And that is just on the planning and supply side.

Then the problem of getting men over to France was a major hurdle. Landing craft at the start of the war were not very good and unreliable. New ones would have to be devised (they were, the Higgins boats) that would allow troops to be dropped off as close to shore as possible. Then you needed accurate intelligence to tell you what the troops were going to face. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel had put up every possible fortification on the beaches and the area around. From mines in the water to barbed wire to turrets filled with guns and German troops. Hitler wanted an Atlantic wall and Rommel was pretty darn close in getting it done.

Thanks to cunning deceptions, the Germans were led to believe the attack would be at Calais. They also did not figure the Allies would attack without a long clear window. And the North Atlantic is a tricky place where weather can be a good one day and stormy the next. Despite all the planning and training, nearly all the top leaders including Eisenhower knew how risky the operation was. And that once begun, it would not go to plan. And they had to consider the possibility the Germans would be able to repel and push back the invasion.

What made the difference was the sheer martial weight thrown at the Germans. With most field officers incapacitated or killed approaching beaches or not long after arrival, it was up to noncoms and ordinary soldiers to put their training and discipline to work. Unlike what was shown in movies, most of the troops did not land on beaches but in the water. Many drowned because the weight of the gear sunk them. Others were killed by gunfire, mortars, mines striking the craft. Yet despite all these odds especially when they landed on the wrong places, allied troops managed to push in and take on the Germans.

It was a bloody day and casualties were high (sometimes 70-80% in some units). One of the big blunders were not understanding the famous hedgerows. These were not hedges like you think of but thick and gnarly. Germans could hide in them and fire on soldiers below. And they were impassible even to tanks. Special ones had to be fitted out to go through the hedges to drive German soldiers out.

Although the term D-Day is used routinely as military lingo for the day an operation or event will take place, for many it is also synonymous with June 6, 1944, the day the Allied powers crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II. Within three months, the northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet forces moving in from the east.

With Hitler’s armies in control of most of mainland Europe, the Allies knew that a successful invasion of the continent was central to winning the war. Hitler knew this too, and was expecting an assault on northwestern Europe in the spring of 1944. He hoped to repel the Allies from the coast with a strong counterattack that would delay future invasion attempts, giving him time to throw the majority of his forces into defeating the Soviet Union in the east. Once that was accomplished, he believed an all-out victory would soon be his.

On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.


“Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is will-trained, well-equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower message to troops on 6 June 1944. It was sent out with the Order of the Day and distributed to 175,000 on the eve of the invasion. He also recorded the message so that others involved with D-Day would hear it as well. You can listen to it here.


By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground; the land invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where 2,000 troops were lost and it was only through the tenacity and quick-wittedness of troops on the ground that the objective was achieved. By day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops–Americans, British and Canadians–had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches.

For their part, the Germans suffered from confusion in the ranks and the absence of celebrated commander Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who was away on leave. At first, Hitler, believing that the invasion was a feint designed to distract the Germans from a coming attack north of the Seine River, refused to release nearby divisions to join the counterattack and reinforcements had to be called from further afield, causing delays. He also hesitated in calling for armored divisions to help in the defense. In addition, the Germans were hampered by effective Allied air support, which took out many key bridges and forced the Germans to take long detours, as well as efficient Allied naval support, which helped protect advancing Allied troops.

Though it did not go off exactly as planned, as later claimed by British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery–for example, the Allies were able to land only fractions of the supplies and vehicles they had intended in France–D-Day was a decided success. By the end of June, the Allies had 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy and were poised to continue their march across Europe.

National D-Day Memorial at Bedford, Virginia
Photo:Public Domain

The heroism and bravery displayed by troops from the Allied countries on D-Day has served as inspiration for several films, most famously The Longest Day (1962) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). It was also depicted in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers (2001).

Further Information & Suggested Reading

  1. Books

Ambrose, Stephen E. Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne: from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. 1992.

—. D-Day: June 6, 1944 — The Climactic Battle of WWII. Simon and Schuster, 1994.

—. The Victors: Eisenhower and His Boys: The Men of World War II. 1998.

Gilbert, Martin. The Second World War: A Complete History. Macmillan, 2004.

Keegan, John. Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris; June 6 – Aug. 5, 1944; Revised. Penguin Books, 1994.

Ryan, Cornelius. Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D Day. Simon and Schuster, 1994.

2) Websites

McGrath, John. Normandy. history.army.mil/brochures/normandy/nor-pam.htm.
Accessed 3 June 2024.

Normandy Landings, Operations Overlord and Neptune. www.naval-history.net/WW2CampaignsNormandy.htm.
Accessed 3 June 2024.

World War II: D-Day, the Invasion of Normandy | Eisenhower Presidential Library. www.eisenhowerlibrary.gov/research/online-documents/world-war-ii-d-day-invasion-normandy.
Accessed 3 June 2024.

Heijink, Eric. “Veterans Remember Normandy Invasion 1944.” Eric Heijink, normandy.secondworldwar.nl/index.html.
Accessed 3 June 2024.

3) Films & TV

The Longest Day. Darryl F. Zanuck Productions, 1962.
This is an excellent adaptation of the book. It is mostly accurate though there are some places where they decided to cut short what really happened or altered it for the film. Many of the actors who were in the movie served in World War II and at least one actor was actually part of the invasion.

Ambrose, Stephen. Band of Brothers. DreamWorks, HBO Films, Playtone, BBC, 9 Sept. 2001. HBO, www.hbo.com/band-of-brothers.
This miniseries is based on the book of the same name and includes interviews by the real people who were there. It does follow the book accurately though there are some small differences between the book and miniseries. The actors were in contact with their real counterparts and learned from them how they reacted to the battles they were in. I highly recommend you read both the book and watch the miniseries. The book goes into details not covered in the miniseries. Note for parents: There is a lot of violence depicted and uses very foul language at times (though it was toned down considerably from what was really used).

Saving Private Ryan. Directed by Steven Spielberg, DVD, Amblin Entertainment, Mutual Film Company, 1998.
While the story is fictional, it is based on real events that took place during World War II. This movie really shows graphically what happened on D-Day as the troops landed. Many movies shy away from showing the true horror of the day, so be warned as what is depicted is very graphic to show what happened to our brave soldiers who came under withering German fire.

 

Titanic News Channel  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Remembering History: Battle of Midway (4-7 June 1942)

[This post has been updated for 2024 with better sources, links, and some punctuation corrections. MT]

Midway Atoll, 24 November 1941
Public Domain (Official U.S. Navy photo)

In June 1942 the Empire of Japan had become the dominant power in Asia and ruled a sizable empire. It acquired Formosa (Taiwan) in 1895, Korea in 1905, and Manchuria (renamed Manchukuo) in 1931. It invaded China in 1937 seizing control of key cities such as Shanghai, Nanking and Peking (Beijing). French Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand) were invaded after the fall of France in 1940 to prevent it from being used by the Chinese to funnel arms. A treaty with German backed Vichy France made French Indochina neutral but within the Japanese sphere of power. British Hong Kong fell to the Japanese after 18 days of heavy fighting on Christmas Day in 1941. Fortress Singapore, so-called because it seemed impregnable to attack, would fall to the Japanese on 15 Feb 1942. The Japanese avoided a frontal assault by coming through the less protected jungle at its rear. The Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) was conquered by March 1942 and The Philippines would fall in May. Burma would also be taken over as well. To protect their position in Dutch West Indies they began attacking northern Australia to prevent it from being used as a staging area. With the old imperial powers gone and Japan firmly in charge, nothing seemed to be in the way of Japan. The Battle of Midway changed that.

Although the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941 was considered a success in Japan, the United States was still in the game. The unexpected bombing of Tokyo on 18 April 1942 (The Doolittle Raid) and its ability to fight as shown at the Battle of the Coral Sea (4-8 May 1942) convinced Japanese leaders they needed to so demolish American morale they would not want to fight any further. They choose a small virtually unknown atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean called Midway to draw out the American fleet to be destroyed. Midway is aptly named and 1300 miles northwest of Pearl Harbor and nearly halfway between Japan and the West Coast of the United States. Its strategic importance meant it was valuable for both sides. A military base was already there and seizing it from the United States would draw out their remaining carriers along with support craft to be destroyed. The plan was to send four carriers and support craft for the initial attack. Then a larger task force comprised of destroyers, support craft and troops commanded by Admiral Yamamoto would follow up to destroy the American ships than came to liberate Midway. A feint of attacking American outposts in the Aleutian Islands was used to distract the U.S. while it attacked Midway.

The Japanese, however, did not know that its code had been broken. A special naval intelligence unit called HYPO had broken it in March resulting in much of the plan becoming known to the U.S. A task force was assembled of three carriers (Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown) seven heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 15 destroyers, and 16 submarines would go out to meet the Japanese fleet. The Yorktown, already in badly need of repair, was patched up and its depleted aircraft and pilots scrounged up from whatever was available. In overall command was to have been Vice Admiral William Halsey but fell sick prior to the mission. Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance, who headed up the escorts under Halsey, would command Enterprise and Hornet. Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher was in command of Yorktown.

On 4 June 1942, Admiral Nagumo aboard the carrier Akagi launched the initial air attack on Midway comprised of dive and torpedo bombers escorted by Zeroes. PBYs launched that morning from Midway would sight two Japanese carriers and radar picked up incoming Japanese fighters. Midway sent up unescorted bombers to delay the attack while the fighters remained behind to defend Midway. Midway came under heavy attack and its air interceptors took a heavy beating fighting the Japanese. Anti-aircraft fire from ground personnel proved to be more precise. Midway took a beating but was still functional and could launch planes.

The pilots of the U.S. Navy Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8), circa mid-May 1942, shortly before battle of Midway. They flew unescorted by fighters to attack the Japanese aircraft carriers. The slow moving planes were no match for the fast Zeros that attacked them. Not one torpedo they launched did any damage. However because of their bravery, the Zeros were out of position when the American dive-bombers arrived allowing them to bomb the Japanese carriers. Ensign George Gay was the only survivor.
Photo: May 1942
Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, digital ID NH 93595
Public Domain

Meanwhile scouting reports flying ahead of the American carriers placed the Japanese carriers at the extreme range for air attack. Making matters more difficult was the fact that Japanese scout planes had sighted the American fleet. Despite the extreme range, Spruance ordered the planes to be launched and increased the speed of the task force to close the distance. The torpedo squadrons left first but due to mechanical problems in launching the dive-bombers, had to fly unescorted. They would reach the Japanese and be quickly shot out of the sky by Japanese Zeroes and anti-aircraft fire. Not one torpedo launched did any serious damage.

Admiral Nagumo had a problem. His planes returned from Midway and were being re-armed for the next bombing run. But he had just gotten a report that the American navy was in the area. Its exact composition was unknown. So, he ordered a change in the ordnance for the attack planes. Instead of attacking land-based targets they would arm to destroy ships. The result was there was a lot of ordnance out on the deck on the carriers where this was being done. With the Japanese combat air patrol out of position having dealt with the torpedo squadrons they were not able to intercept the next wave of attack. American dive-bomber squadrons from Enterprise, Hornet, and Yorktown would seemingly arrive nearly at the same time. It was one of the greatest coincidences in military history. Three Japanese carriers–Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu–would be sunk that day.

Japanese aircraft carrier Hiryu, photographed by a Yokosuka B4Y aircraft from the carrier Hosho shortly after sunrise on 5 June 1942.
Photo: Public Domain ( U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation)

The surviving carrier Hiryu counter-attacked by sending our air squadrons to attack any American carrier they could find. They found Yorktown and dropped three bombs heavily damaging the ship but not sinking it. Admiral Fletcher moved over to cruiser Astoria while it was being repaired. A second air attack an hour later would further damage Yorktown. She would later sink when being towed on 6 June by a torpedo fired by a Japanese submarine, which also sank the destroyer Hamman.

The Japanese believed they had turned the tide and would be able to go on with the Midway plan. They knew a huge fleet of destroyers and support craft was on the way. However, the Hiryu was found late in the afternoon. An air attack by Enterprise and Yorktown bombers resulted in four or possibly five bombs seriously crippling her. The fires prevented any planes taking off or landing. The crew would evacuate and later Hiryu would sink. Spruance, not wanting to risk exposure to Japanese forces and wanting to protect Midway would retire to the west. Admiral Yamamoto still wanted to invade Midway and proceeded on course. Had Spruance not changed course, the remaining two carriers of the American fleet would have been exposed to Yamamoto’s destroyers. Spruance would go after the stragglers. Yamamoto ultimately ordered the fleet back to Japan not knowing the full composition of the American forces that might be pursuing.

The U.S. Navy lost 1 carrier, 1 destroyer, 150 aircraft and 307 killed. Many of those killed were from the torpedo squadrons that lost 80% or more of their pilots. The Japanese lost 4 carriers, 1 heavy cruiser, 248 aircraft and 3,057 killed. It was a major victory for the U.S., but most Japanese would never learn the full details until after the war was over. The survivors of the sunken carriers and those aboard the ships that survived would be quarantined or sent on duty assignments far away from home. None of the senior officers would face any serious repercussions. Only those at the very top were informed as to what really happened. Only the Emperor and the top naval officers knew the full details. The public was told it was a great victory and the Imperial Japanese Army believed the navy was in good condition. However, Admiral Yamamoto and the other senior leaders of the Japanese Navy knew the truth. The United States would soon come out stronger than it had been before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

For the United States it would prove the value of intelligence gathering and codebreaking. It would continue to be an important part of the war effort and would yield even more useful information down the road with dire consequences for Admiral Yamamoto. The code breaking led directly to his plane being shot down in 1943 as payback for Pearl Harbor.

(Please note this is a very condensed description of the Battle of Midway and had a lot more stages in it than reflected in this writing).

Sources:

Books

Lord, Walter Incredible Victory. First Edition, New York, Harper and Row, 1967.

Prange, Gordon William, et al. At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor. McGraw-Hill Companies, 1981.

Websites

Battle of Midway. www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/wars-conflicts-and-operations/world-war-ii/1942/midway.html.

Significance, Battle of Midway-Location Outcome &. “Battle of Midway – Location, Outcome and Significance.” HISTORY, 17 Dec. 2019, www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-midway.)

Michal. “The Battle of Midway.” The National WWII Museum | New Orleans, 22 June 2017, www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/battle-midway.

Battle of Midway: June 4 – 6, 1942. www.cv6.org/1942/midway.

Movies & Documentaries

“Midway Is East.” Archive.org, 1952, archive.org/details/VAS_04_Midway_Is_East. This is episode 4 from the excellent Victory at Sea series which was shown in 1952-1953. Using archived footage along with excellent music, the series conveyed the scope of naval warfare in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Watch the entire series if you can.

“The Battle of Midway (Short 1942) ? 6.1 | Documentary, Short, War.” IMDb, 14 Sept. 1942, www.imdb.com/title/tt0034498. This is a documentary made in 1942 right after the battle with John Ford directing. It uses actual footage and uses actors to voice over parts of accounts of the sailors and aviators that participated. It is available (for free) from some streaming services like Tubi. You can also view it on YouTube (the version linked here is the colorized version, not the original Black & White).

The Federal File. “Destination Point Luck Voices From Midway – Battle of Midway WWII Documentary.” YouTube, 24 Apr. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqpk4Rmfbm8.

Midway. Directed by Jack Smight, The Mirisch Corporation, Universal Pictures, 1976. This 1976 movie starring Charlton Heston uses old stock footage and pushes the real historical figures in the background while pushing a fictional story line. While entertaining, many will find it lacking in a lot of real historical depth. The subplot involving Heston’s son in the movie makes it more of a soap opera at times. Worth watching to see some great actors but not so much if you are looking for something that will relate the real story of the battle.

Midway. Directed by Roland Emmerich, Summit Entertainment and others, 2019. This 2019 version significantly was better in terms of better effects and depicting events leading up and the Battle of Midway itself. Most of the characters are based on historical ones. Reviews were mixed on this one. Some thought it was a decent movie but the story itself was not compelling. Rotten Tomatoes has it as 42% like it and IMDB users rate it as 6.7. It is certainly more historically accurate and shows the Japanese side (with actual Japanese actors speaking Japanese).

Titanic News Channel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Welcome to June

June calendar from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
From Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry Folio 6, verso: June
Between 1412 and 1416, circa 1440 or between 1485 and 1486
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

June is the sixth month on both the Gregorian and Julian calendars.  June is one four months to be only 30 days long. June marks the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere (and the reverse below the equator.) The Summer Solstice usually occurs between the 20-22 of the month and is the longest day of the year. June gets its name from the Latin Iunius, which was used on the old Roman calendar (which June was the fourth month since March used to be the first month) and believed to be named for the Roman god Juno. Juno was the wife and sister of Jupiter (the Roman version of Zeus, king of the gods). Juno was the protector of the nation and watched over women. She was also associated with youth.

Midsummer is celebrated in June on the summer solstice or St. John’s Day on 24 June. It is mainly celebrated in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden but the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania celebrate it as well.  Father’s Day is celebrated around the world in June but not on the same date. 19 June is Juneteenth, a federal holiday  in the United States, which commemorates the Emancipation Proclamation read aloud in Galveston, Texas. This freed the enslaved people in the state that had been outside of Union Army control.

Rose is the June Flower.
Les Roses by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840)
Photo:Public Domain (US Library of Congress: lccn.loc.gov/50049695)

It is a month of celebrations and weddings are very popular during this month. During Roman times getting married during the month of June was considered lucky and has become traditional since then as the month for preferred weddings. The June symbols are pearl, alexandrite and moonstone for the birthstones, with the rose and honeysuckle for the flowers. Although officially summer does not begin until the solstice, for commercial and agricultural purposes summer begins when the month begins.

Sources

“The Month of June 2024: Holidays, Fun Facts, Folklore.” Almanac.com, 29 May 2024, www.almanac.com/content/month-june-holidays-fun-facts-folklore.

The Month of June. www.timeanddate.com/calendar/months/june.html.

—. June – Wikipedia. 2 June 2024, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June.

Remembering the Johnstown Flood (31 May 1889)

Main Street, Johnstown, after the flood
Source Public Domain (Original source:Andrews, E. Benjamin. History of the United States, volume V. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. 1912)

On 31 May 1889, a terrible flood devastated the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. A catastrophic failure of a dam on the Little Conemaugh River, approximately 14 miles upstream of the town occurred. Several days of heavy rains resulted in a large volume of water in the Lake Conemaugh reservoir. It is estimated 20 million tons of water were unleashed when the dam broke. Scientists believe today the volume of water released through the narrow valley to the town temporarily equaled the flow of the Mississippi River.

It took 57 minutes for the water to traverse the distance to Johnstown, whose citizens were unaware the dam had burst. Several towns along the way were hit by the raging waters along the way. Debris included livestock, homes, railroad cars and whatever it picked up along the way. It was temporarily stopped at the Conemaugh Viaduct, a 78-foot railroad bridge but it gave way allowing the flood to resume. This is believed to have made the flood stronger and thus hit Johnstown traveling at 40 mph and reaching 60 feet in height. People who managed to flee to high ground, whether it be in attics or racing to higher ground, generally survived. Many were crushed by falling debris or hit by debris within the flood surge. A second surge to hit Johnstown occurred when flood waters that had been stopped by debris at Stone Bridge gave way and entered the town from a different direction.

The Great Conemaugh Valley Disaster — Flood & Fire at Johnstown, Pa.
Unknown Artist, 1890
Reproduced from a lithograph print published by Kurz & Allison Art Publishers,Chicago Ill.
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

When it was all over, Johnstown had been devastated and the death toll stood at 2,209. This made it the largest single loss of life up to that time. 99 families died, 396 children. A large number of widows, widowers, and orphan children resulted from the tragedy. Some remains were never identified and buried in “Plot of the Unknown” in Grandview Cemetery in Westmont. Property damage was extensive with homes and industry damaged. The American Red Cross, newly founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, assisted survivors and stayed for five months. Although significant improvements have been made to protect residents of the area from floods, they still occasionally threaten and cause damage to property and life. The last major catastrophe occurred in 1977 when severe thunderstorms caused the river to rise and reaching heights of 8 feet and more. 78 people died in the area and $200 million in property damage occurred.

Many blamed the dam failure on the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club for failing to maintain the dam properly. Many of its members were millionaires (and the lawyers that defended it in court were also members). However, due to limited liability laws and a determination that the dam broke due to an act of God, the South Fork Club was deemed not liable and so no money was paid to survivors. However, many members did contribute money to the relief funds for the town. Andrew Carnegie built a new library. Laws would change so that strict liability would be assessed against such organizations in the future.

Postscript

My grandfather was born in Johnstown a few years after this disaster and grew up knowing about what happened. Years later after moving to Leavenworth, Washington (known today as the Bavarian Village) he met a survivor of the flood. She had been a very young girl back then and her entire family had been wiped out. Worse the damage had destroyed the local records office where birth records had been kept. So, while she knew her first name, her family name was unknown. A lasting reminder of the effects of such disasters can have on people

[Note: This has been edited for spelling and punctuation from earlier postings. I have also updated the sources for this post as well and added in a YouTube documentary.]

Sources

Johnstown Flood National Memorial (U.S. National Park Service). www.nps.gov/jofl/index.htm.

“Flood History – Johnstown Area Heritage Association.” Johnstown Area Heritage Association, 13 Dec. 2019, www.jaha.org/attractions/johnstown-flood-museum/flood-history.

Hurst, David. “It’s Still Controversial’: Debate Rages Over Culpability of Wealthy Club Members.” The Tribune Democrat, 25 May 2014, www.tribdem.com/news/it-s-still-controversial-debate-rages-over-culpability-of-wealthy/article_efecef7a-4a87-5b22-95e7-866e8f48206c.html.

Pennsylvania Highways:  Johnstown Flood. www.pahighways.com/features/johnstownflood.html.

—. “Johnstown Flood.” Wikipedia, 25 Apr. 2024, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnstown_Flood.

Ohio Billionaire Plans To Dive To Titanic; Harland & Wolff Warnings; Update on Titan Tragedy and more.

Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)

O’Neill, Natalie. “Ohio Billionaire Larry Connor Plans to Take $20M Sub to Titanic Site to Prove Industry’s Safer After OceanGate Implosion.” New York Post, 28 May 2024, nypost.com/2024/05/27/us-news/ohio-billionaire-plans-to-take-20m-sub-to-titanic-site-to-prove-industrys-safer-after-oceangate-implosion.

Real estate investor Larry Connor, of Dayton, said he and Triton Submarines co-founder Patrick Lahey will plunge more than 12,400 feet (2.3 miles) to the shipwreck site in a two-person submersible. “I want to show people worldwide that while the ocean is extremely powerful, it can be wonderful and enjoyable and really kind of life-changing if you go about it the right way,” Connor told the Wall Street Journal. Lahey has designed a $20 million vessel dubbed the Triton 4000/2 Abyssal Explorer, which Connor said can carry out the voyage repeatedly. The duo said they want to prove that the trek can be done without disaster — despite the implosion of the Titan submersible in June, which killed all five people on board, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.

=

—. “

Harland & Wolff David and Goliath crane in Belfast, 2006
Plastic Jesus (Dave) via Wikimedia Commons

Titanic Shipbuilder Warns Scottish Yards and 500 Jobs Are at Risk.” The Telegraph, 27 May 2024, www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2024/05/27/titanic-harland-wolff-shipbuilder-warns-scottish-yards-risk.

Struggling shipbuilder Harland & Wolff will be forced to close its yards in Scotland and focus exclusively on work for the Royal Navy if a £200m funding lifeline falls through, bosses have warned. The company – best known for building the Titanic –  is understood to have told workers that in a “worst case scenario”, where it cannot secure a loan guarantee from the Government, the Arnish and Methil facilities will shut, putting around 500 jobs at risk.

=

Looby, David. “Kilkenny Titanic Sinking Survivor Is Recalled at Historical Lecture.” Irish Independent, 25 May 2024, www.independent.ie/regionals/wexford/new-ross-news/kilkenny-titanic-sinking-survivor-is-recalled-at-historical-lecture/a1886753959.html.

An interesting and well illustrated lecture on Liam Fitzpatrick, a Kilkenny Titanic survivor, took place recently in Mullinavat parish hall. MaryAnn Vaughan delivered the lecture, which drew a large audience to the hall and also online, via Zoom. William Cecil Fitzpatrick was born on April 26, 1890, exactly 134 years to the day of the lecture, at William Street, Kilkenny, to Robert Fitzpatrick and Mary Gertrude Fitzpatrick (formerly Ryan). Robert and Mary Gertrude were married, in Kilkenny, in September 1895.

=

Titan (submersible)
Becky Kagan Schott, OceanGate

Guinness, Emma. “OceanGate Titan Sub: Key Update on Submersible Investigation Ahead of Anniversary of Tragedy That Killed Five.” The Independent, 24 May 2024, www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/titan-submersible-oceangate-titanic-investigation-b2551060.html.

Now, the Coast Guard has revealed that this investigation is in its “fact-finding” stage almost a year on from the tragedy. A spokesperson for the Coast Guard told The Independent: “The Titan Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) remains in the fact-finding phase of the investigation and is collecting all relevant evidence and information. “A projected completion date is not available. “The latter part of the fact-finding phase will include a public hearing, and the MBI will provide at least 60 days’ notice ahead of the public hearing.”

=

Jesse. “Headline.” Cracked.com, 22 May 2024, www.cracked.com/article_42269_5-phrases-from-the-replica-titanic-wikipedia-page-that-merit-closer-inspection.html.

I had no idea there was a Wikipedia entry called Replica Titanic. It does list some of the more prominent ones of recent years, so it is worth a look to see what Cracked is referring to. Clive Palmer still claims to be plugging along with his Titanic 2 venture. Despite all the flurry, parties, and press releases nothing has been built yet. If you want to read the Wikipedia entry without reading the Cracked story, click here.

=

TITANIC: The Artifact Exhibition Arrives in Germany This July. 22 May 2024, www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/titanic-the-artifact-exhibition-arrives-in-germany-this-july-302153069.html.

Following sold-out Exhibitions across the United States, Europe, and Oceania, the gripping story of the legendary ship arrives in Germany when TITANIC: The Artifact Exhibition opens its doors in Stuttgart on July 21, 2024. Produced by E/M Group and RMS Titanic, Inc., the Exhibition offers guests the chance to experience Titanic and connect with the stories they’ve encountered in movies or books in a deeply personal way.

Get all the details at  https://titanic-ausstellung.com/.

Remembering the Empress of Ireland (29 May 1914)

RMS Empress of Ireland 1908
Photo:Public Domain (Library and Archives Canada / PA-116389)

The Titanic disaster of 1912 was still making waves when on 29 May 1914, the RMS Empress of Ireland collided with the Norwegian coal freighter Storstad in the Saint Louis River at  Pointe-au-Père, Quebec. It occurred around 0200 in the morning. Storstad hit the starboard side, causing severe damage. Empress began to list and quickly filled with water. Portholes had not been secured before leaving port so many were open (many passengers complained of poor ventilation) so that allowed a lot of water to enter. Many in the lower decks drowned from water coming in from the open portholes.

Damage sustained by the SS Storstad after its collision with the RMS Empress of Ireland
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Also, failure to close the watertight doors led to the quick sinking. Three lifeboats were launched quickly with passengers and crew that were in the upper deck cabins able to get away but as the ship listed further starboard, the other lifeboats could not be used. Ten minutes after the collision, Empress lurched violently on the starboard side allowing 700 passengers and crew to crawl out of portholes and decks on her side. Then 15 minutes later, after it briefly looked like she might have run aground, the hull sank dumping all the people left on her into the icy water. When the final tally was done, 1,012 people lost there lives. 465 survived. Many on the starboard side were asleep and likely drowned in their cabins.

The New York Times reporting on testimony of Captain Kendall of Empress of Ireland at inquest 31 May 1914
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

The official enquiry, which began on 16 June 1914, was headed by Lord Mersey who had previously headed the British Titanic enquiry (he would also lead up the enquiry into Lusitania later). Two very different accounts emerged of the collision from the Storstad and Empress. At the end of the day, the commission determined that when Storstad changed course, it caused the collision. The Norwegians did not accept the verdict and held their own enquiry which exonerated the captain and crew of the Storstad. Canadian Pacific, which owned the now sunk Empress of Ireland, pursued a legal claim and won. The Norwegian owners countersued but in the end the liabilities forced them to sell Storstad to put money in the trust funds.

What happened to Empress, though not receiving the same attention as Titanic, was to change ship design. The reverse slanting bow was dangerous in ship-to-ship collisions resulting in below the waterline damage. Bows were redesigned so the energy of the collision would be minimized below the surface. Longitudinal bulkheads were discontinued as they trapped water beneath them causing the ship to list and capsize. Needless to say portholes were to be secured from that point on (in fact nearly all cruise ships use decoratives that can never be opened). The wreck today has been salvaged many times and is now the only underwater historic site in Canada. The wreck is in shallow water (130 feet) but is notably dangerous dive due to the cold waters, currents, and often impaired visibility.

Sources:

Turcotte, Dorothy. “The Empress of Ireland Was Canada’s Titanic.” Grimsby Lincoln News, Niagara This Week, 2 July 2013, www.niagarathisweek.com/opinion/columnists/the-empress-of-ireland-was-canada-s-titanic/article_2b417429-aa48-5dd5-a61c-a2f6f208b0fb.html?

ARCHIVED – Investigating the Empress of Ireland – Inland Waters – Shipwreck Investigations – Library and Archives Canada. www.collectionscanada.ca/sos/shipwrecks/002031-4100-e.html.

“RMS Empress of Ireland.” Wrecksite, www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?30437. Accessed 28 May 2024.

—. “RMS Empress of Ireland.” Wikipedia, 22 May 2024, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Empress_of_Ireland

 

Titanic, historic ship, and general history news.