How many people were killed during the disaster?
Simon Mills' book "HMHS Britannic: The Last Titan" gives the exact figure as 30, with all the names listed in an appendix.This figure is generally accepted.
However,there is evidence -not substantial yet- for 2 more deaths caused by pathologies developed after the sinking.
Tell me about the open porthole theory.
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One of the contributing factors to the ultimate demise to the ship, after she sustained damage that she should have been able to survive, is without a doubt the fact that many portholes were opened at the D-Deck and C-Deck level, just prior to the ship striking the mine. This was done by the nurses on board, who intended to air the staterooms and passages ready for when the sick and wounded were embarked at Mudros. This was a perfectly innocent and sensible thing to do, but it unfortunately ended up playing a huge part in the sinking.
As the forward bulkheads flooded, the ship would have settled lower and lower into the water, until some of the open portholes actually dropped below the level of the sea. These portholes, which were opened in a organized pattern around the hull, would have eventually allowed a vast amount of sea water to enter the hull, accelerating the sinking process. In effect, this negated the purpose of the watertight bulkheads, because water was allowed to flow freely into otherwise unbreached areas.
The various expeditions to the wreck, especially the most recent, have found many such portholes still laying opened in the wreck, to this day
I've heard that Britannic might have been carrying secret war supplies. Is this true?
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It has been suggested that Britannic was deliberately sunk by the Germans because they somehow found out that she was carrying secret (and illegal) war supplies for the British Government. However, no reasonable evidence to support this claim has ever surfaces, and the numerous expeditions have so far failed to find anything in her cargo holds.
It has also been suggested that she sank so quickly because the impact with the mine caused the alleged weapons to explode, causing massive structural damage. This too has its faults - there are no reports of a smoke plume after the collision, which would have been the tell tale sign of an explosion. Also, the gash in the port side is large and divers have entered it during the various expeditions. None of them have found any sign of munitions or any other evidence to suggest an explosion.
Why did Britannic sink?
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According to the official inquiry Britannic sank because she hit a German-laid mine.This conclusion it's generally accepted by many maritime historians.However,the document clearly states that this is simply the strongest possibility and not a fact.The problem is that there's also a great amount of evidence suggesting that the ship was torpedoed.The underwater expeditions also failed to give answers to this question as no mine anchors were found near the wreck.
How many people were on board when the Britannic sank?
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There were 1066 people. The casualties were 30 dead (21 crew, 9 RAMC), 45 injured (crew+RAMC).
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