Tragedy at Sea


The world looked on in awe at the might, magnificence and innovation of Titanic. Its massive propellers, ten decks and four funnels, ‘taller than a six-storey block of flats’, drew admiration and attention. What’s more every piece of the design impacted on the shipyards and then to newsrooms. Even the Titanic’s anchor was so heavy that it took twenty horses to pull it! Thereafter the ‘vast amounts of marble, mahogany, sycamore, walnut, oak and satinwood within staircases and saloons’ suggested opulence about which only a few might ever know. Certainly those travelling below deck, from Southampton to New York, wouldn’t see such sights. Then, they were less likely to be one of the few hundred only to reach a lifeboat when Titanic sank.

On April 14th 1912, Titanic hit a ‘not particularly large iceberg’. The fact that the ship was travelling fast made the impact of the collision devastating alongside the fact that the thousands of iron rivets and steel plates were bent and snapped. Thereafter ‘only a couple hours after hitting the iceberg, the font part of Titanic was almost completely underwater’. 

David Long turns his keen, investigative gaze onto one of history’s biggest disasters. The level of interest and information are high and thorough. Bookwagon recommends this dyslexia friendly non-fiction title highly to our readers.

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Tragedy at Sea

The Sinking of the Titanic

David Long, illustrated by Stefano Tambellini

(Barrington Stoke)

The 1912 Tragedy at Sea fascinates to this day. Investigative writer David Long of Amazing Treasures and Survival in Space amongst many gripping non-fiction titles, turns his gaze to the sinking of the Titanic. We know parts of the story, from its collision with the iceberg, to the world- wide attention at the mighty steamer’s launch. However, there is much left forgotten or unknown.
It seems no detail was left unturned in this boat’s design and construction. It was to be ‘as long as three football pitches and weigh more than 47,000 tonnes’!
Titanic focused on leisure and prestige for the week’s voyage. However, if you were one of the more than thousand third class passengers, you shared two baths only! Meanwhile, the upper decks had orchestras and ‘real palm trees growing in wooden tubs’! Six thousand tonnes of coal was loaded aboard the Titanic before the voyage commenced. Thereafter, the design included sixteen watertight compartments in the hull and 3,500 life jackets. Yet few passengers were likely to be able to swim. What’s more, despite the thousands of passengers it was decided this behemoth needed only twenty lifeboats, as ‘passengers would prefer to have more room to move around deck’. Therefore what happened on the night of April 14th 1912 was a complete shock. Furthermore, all the design preparations, including up-to-the minute Marconi radio systems and a hulking steel hull collated with 6,000,000 rivets were for nought.
Tragedy at Sea is a fulsome piece of research and despairing account of one of the world’s most famous and awful disasters. The size and detail of the story are awesome and dreadful.


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