Titanic's Last Secrets

Titanic's Last Secrets

The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler

Book - 2008
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After rewriting history with their discovery of a Nazi U-boat off the coast of New Jersey, legendary divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler decided to investigate the great enduring mystery of history's most notorious shipwreck: Why did Titanic sink as quickly as it did?

To answer the question, Chatterton and Kohler assemble a team of experts to explore Titanic, study its engineering, and dive to the wreck of its sister ship, Brittanic, where Titanic's last secrets may be revealed.

Titanic 's Last Secrets is a rollercoaster ride through the shipbuilding history, the transatlantic luxury liner business, and shipwreck forensics. Chatterton and Kohler weave their way through a labyrinth of clues to discover that Titanic was not the strong, heroic ship the world thought she was and that the men who built her covered up her flaws when disaster struck. If Titanic had remained afloat for just two hours longer than she did, more than two thousand people would have lived instead of died, and the myth of the great ship would be one of rescue instead of tragedy.

Titanic's Last Secretsis the never-before-told story of the Ship of Dreams, a contemporary adventure that solves a historical mystery.
Publisher: New York : Twelve, c2008.
ISBN: 9780446582056
Characteristics: viii, 325 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.


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Jun 15, 2017

I have read a few books on topics like this: Dive expeditions, behemoth projects. I thought this was an interesting single source to learn about the political and economic forces at play: the monopolies and trusts, the downturns, the notion that only gigantic opulence would prevail. Tremendous hubris, ignoring risks. A potential insurance payout that might bankrupt an economy. A civil settlement for pennies on the dollar. It was the Enron, The 9/11, The Challenger shuttle, of the gilded age. Risk and speed to make deadlines, ignoring warnings.

Jan 31, 2012

Just another one of the many good books on the Titanic.And who thought there could be anything new to learn about this exhaustively researched maritime disaster!Was Titanic built strong enough for her size?Did her back break at a much shallower angle than previously thought?Did Harland and Wolff make changes to her sisters in response to the Titanic sinking?

Apr 03, 2011

The generally accepted demise of the Titanic is she hit an iceberg and sank in 2 hours. A gash in the side just below the waterline caused the ship to founder.

However, Mr Matsen explores another theory that is supported by the files of the builder Harland and Wolff and by observation on the sea floor at the wreck site in the North Atlantic.

The evidence suggested by observations on the sea floor and the records of Harland and Wolff’s archives indicates the Titanic broke up on the surface due to poor engineering, sacrifices in the design and meeting the regulations of the board of trade.

We learn that Thomas Andrews while on the seas trials of the Olympic, Titanic’s sister ship, observed the hull “panting”. This panting goes on with most steel ships but is barely noticeable. Andrews immediately set about reinforcing the Titanic’s hull and bow to reduce the panting he observed on the Olympic. Panting occurs due to the tremendous stress the steel hull is subjected to while a ship is in motion.

The end of the great ship was more horrible than that depicted in films most recently in James Cameron’s Titanic going down at the bows with the ship splitting at high angle. Yet the evidence uncovered by John Chatterton and Richie Kohler on dives to the wreck where they located a portion of the bottom of the hull.
The discovery of the portion of the Titanic’s bottom on the sea floor and the condition of the steel suggested a different end to the liner.

Mr Matson takes us to the U.S. Senate hearings held just after the sinking and the Board of Trade hearings in London (Seldom do we get a chance to review the evidence used in condemning Captain E.J. Smith as the culprit who took his ship at high speed through an ice field that April night.

Roger Long who has studied the sinking for many years propounded the theory that the ship sank quickly after a low angle splitting of the hull. His supposition is supported by the grim evidence on the sea floor and the records of the builders. Who after the Titanic’s sinking set about to redesign the Brittabic, a twin of the Titanic which was sunk by a mine while serving as a hospital ship in the Mediterranean during WWI.
Indeed we visit the wreck of the Britannic to find that the ship, originally to be built from the same plans as Titanic and Olympic has been redesigned based on information that Harland and Wolffe knew but never divulged to any inquiry into the sinking.

This is a fascinating, well-written book that adds more to our knowledge of the sinking of the Titanic.

Feb 18, 2011

I've been interested in the Titanic since reading A Night to Remember at age ten, but I don't know if I count as a "Titaniac" (despite what you might find in my bookshelves): I wasn't crazy about the James Cameron movie, nor am I enamoured of the mechanical trivia surrounding the doomed ship. This book may be aimed at the latter group, but it is written a bit like a historical novel, so if ship engineering isn't your thing, this is a painless way to learn more about it.

The last secrets, though? I seriously doubt it....

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