The RMS Titanic, pride of the White Star Line. Launched in 1912, the ship was the largest ever to set sail. With every amenity known to man on board, the ship was a wonder to behold.
Designed to be the largest and most opulent, the Titanic was not nearly as fast as the Cunard competitors. Built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Ireland, the Titanic and her sister ship RMS Olympic were completed and destined to become the largest and most elegant transatlantic ocean liners.
On April 14, 1912 at 11:40 PM, on the fourth day of the maiden voyage the ship hit an iceberg that critically damaged the luxury liner. By 2:20 AM on April 15, 1912 the RMS Titanic had completely slipped beneath the water and sank. The loss of life was unprecedented with 1,514 people perishing in the icy waters that night. Of the 1,514 souls lost, 1,352 men, 109 women, and 53 children perished in the greatest maritime disaster to date.
Discovered in 1985 by Dr. Robert Ballard, the quest to find Titanic was finally over.
origins of grandeur on the sea
Initially conceived over dinner and drinks one evening in 1907 between J. Bruce Ismay, then chairman of the White Star LIne, and J.P. Morgan, who controlled the International Mercantile Company, the parent company of White Star. The Titanic and her two sister ship were envisioned to be the largest and most luxurious passenger liners to ever grace the sea. Running seemingly non-stop service between Southhampton, Liverpool, and New York, The White Star Line would become the most powerful shipping line in history.
Shortly after, the trio of ships began to take shape. The first two ships, the Olympic and Titanic were designed and built side by side in Belfast by Harland and Wolff shipyards. Taking nearly two years to complete,
Design of a Colossus
Designed with no expense to be spared, the Titanic had many amenities on previously available on ships. With three classes of passengers to work around, the Titanic's designers ensured that all three levels of passengers had unsurpassed luxuries. From a pool and sauna for the first class passengers to plumbing features within second class staterooms and even single family third class berths, the ship was aptly named the ship of wonder.
The largest vessel by both length, width, and tonnage, Titanic lived up to the name. Powered by coal, the boilers were located at the bottom of the ship. Moving to the rear were two reciprocating engines of immense power. Steam from the boilers powered these engines and then passed through to a turbine powering the center and smaller propeller. The ship also utilized several electric generators that surpassed most power generating facilities around the world at the time. The Titanic was not only a luxurious ship, but one of technological superiority of the time.
Tragedy on the Sea
After leaving Queenstown in April of 1912, the Titanic embarked on her maiden voyage. With all the pomp and circumstance afforded to these luxury liners, the voyage began with great fanfare.
All seemed to be going according to plan, until the radio operator began receiving more ominous ice warnings from other liners.
On the night of April 14, 1912 as the Titanic was steaming 370 miles southeast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic, disaster struck. The collision with the iceberg cased too much damage for the watertight compartments and emergency pumps to handle. In less than three hours, the ship would be underwater standing its passengers in scattered lifeboats and in the freezing water. by the time help arrived the next morning by the RMS Carpathia, a Cunard liner in the area, many of the passengers had already frozen to death.
As a result of the tragedy, many maritime laws that were adopted are still in use today.
The Titanic wreck can be found at the following coordinates: 41°43′32″N 49°56′49″W visit the Shipwrecks page on greatoceanliners.com to see the location on a map.
RMS Titanic Ship Facts
882' - 9"
92' - 6"
34' - 7"
Number of Decks:
21 Knots (24 mph or 39 km/hr)
23 Knots (28mph or 44km/h)
Port of Registry:
April 10, 1912
Years in Service:
Shipwreck in the North Atlantic
RMS Titanic Frequently Asked Questions
What was the Titanic? Answer: The Titanic was a British passenger liner that famously sank after colliding with an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, during its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.
Who built the Titanic? Answer: The Titanic was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
When was the Titanic built? Answer: The Titanic was built between 1909 and 1912, and was launched on May 31, 1911.
How long was the Titanic? Answer: The Titanic was 882 feet and 9 inches (269 meters) long.
How many passengers could the Titanic carry? Answer: The Titanic had a capacity of 2,435 passengers and 892 crew members.
What was the Titanic's maximum speed? Answer: The Titanic's maximum speed was 23 knots (43 km/h or 26.8 mph).
How many decks did the Titanic have? Answer: The Titanic had 9 decks.
How long did it take for the Titanic to sink? Answer: The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, just 2 hours and 40 minutes after it hit an iceberg.
How many people died in the Titanic disaster? Answer: A total of 1,514 people died in the Titanic disaster, including passengers and crew members.
What caused the Titanic to sink? Answer: The Titanic struck an iceberg and sustained serious damage to its hull, causing it to take on water and eventually sink.
Could the Titanic have been saved? Answer: There is some debate about whether the Titanic could have been saved if different actions had been taken, but ultimately it sank due to the extensive damage it sustained.
What was the legacy of the Titanic disaster? Answer: The sinking of the Titanic has had a lasting impact on the world, with changes made to maritime safety regulations and numerous books, movies, and documentaries created about the disaster.