The Story of the Unsinkable Titanic

Day-by-Day Facsimile Reports
Michael Wilkinson
ISBN 9781566490078 (hardcover)
Published in December 2011
MSRP $24.95
2012 was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic, then the largest and most luxurious passenger liner the world had ever seen. Here is the complete story of the legendary vessel from design to its building in Harland & Wolf's Belfast shipyard and a detailed chronicle of the catastrophic voyage lavishly illustrated with contemporary photographs, many of them previously unpublished. Contemporary news headlines up to the present day reveal the public story as it unfolded including the discovery and exploration of the wreck.

The Story of the Unsinkable Titanic revisits the golden age of ocean-going travel, when White Star's newest liner seemed to have pushed back the boundaries of technological achievement. Using contemporaneous accounts and facsimile reports from the archives of Associated Newspapers, it describes the tragic unfolding of events that led to 1,500 souls being lost in the icy waters of the Atlantic; events which served as a grim reminder that for all man's ingenuity, he was not master of all he surveyed. When she was launched on 31 May 1911, RMS Titanic was the largest moveable object on Earth. A crowd of over 100,000 gathered just to watch this 882-foot, 46,000-ton leviathan glide down the slipway at Harland and Wolff's Belfast shipyard, 20 tons of tallow easing her passage into the River Lagan. Titanic was a floating palace as well as technological marvel, the last word in luxury for first-class passengers, at least. Facilities included a state-of-the-art gymnasium, swimming pool, Turkish bath and squash court; there was a lending library and indoor gardens; bathrooms in plushest suites were fitted with cigar-holders. White Star Line owners were confident that Titanic, along with sister ship Olympic, would be the in the cutthroat battle with arch-rival, Cunard. Shipbuilder magazine endorsed White Star's view that Titanic was as safe as she was sumptuously appointed. 'Designed to be unsinkable,' publication noted, though it carried the caveat far as it is possible to do so'. That cautionary rider proved tragically prescient. In the early hours 15 April 1912, four days into her maiden voyage, Titanic foundered when an iceberg sliced a 300- foot gash in her hull. The pride of the White fleet went to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean less than three hours after the impact. Of the 2,200 on board, just 700 survived. Over the last century, Titanic has become synonymous with maritime disaster, a human tragedy that still stirs the emotions. We register the cruel conspiracy of events and circumstances that sealed her fate. We recognize that she would have berthed triumphantly in New York had different decisions been taken, from the design stage through to the moment of impact. Her story is full of tantalizing 'if onlys'. The Story of the Unsinkable Titanic revisits the golden age of ocean-going travel, when White Star's newest liner seemed to have pushed back boundaries of technological achievement.