The Titanic Doomed By Cheap Iron and Rivets

The Titanic would not have sunk so quickly and 1,500 lives would not have been lost had the shipyard that built it not scrimped on the quality of materials, US researchers have claimed.

The researchers, both metallurgists, have written a book, What Really Sank the Titanic, to coincide with the 96th anniversary of the tragedy.

Despite numerous public inquiries and the discovery of the wreck itself in 1985, there are still questions about how the state-of-the-art Titanic could have descended to the bottom of the North Atlantic in less than three hours.

Jennifer Hooper McCarty and Tim Foecke claim to have uncovered new evidence from archives in London, the shipyard and the wreck that Belfast’s Harland and Wolff overreached itself with three projects to build White Star Line ships: The Titanic, The Olympic and The Britannic and resorted to buying batches of poor quality iron to save money.

As a result, the authors say, the 46,000-ton ship was constructed using cheaper rivets which popped prematurely when it collided with an iceberg off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland on April 15 1912.

The suggestion that the shipbuilders were somehow to blame for the scale of the tragedy is not new, but it has always been dismissed by Harland and Wolff as yet another “conspiracy theory”.

David Livingstone, a retired naval architect and spokesman for Harland and Wolff, insisted the authors had little solid evidence to back up their claims.

“All sorts of conspiracy theories come up.... if evidence is verified, so be it. But that is not the case here,” he said.

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