She was launched on May 31, 1911 and delivered April 2, 1912. At the time of delivery, she was the largest ship in the world. She made her maiden voyage on April 10, 1912 from Southampton to New York via Cherbourg and Cobh. She was commanded by Captain E. J. Smith and carried a total of 1,316 passengers. On April 14 at 11:40 pm the Titanic struck an iceberg with a glancing blow which opened up a 300 ft gash spanning five watertight bulkheads. Her design called for her to float with any 4 flooded. Though there were 2,208 people aboard, lifeboats were available for only 1,178 which met the Board of Trade requirements of the time. There were, however, over 3,000 life jackets and 48 lifebuoys, but the water was freezingly cold
April 15-12:05 am: The lifeboats were swung out. The 'CQD' signal was sent out.
12:45 am: Radio Officer Phillips changed the signal to 'SOS', the new distress signal. It was the first time it had been used. Cunard's Carpathia signalled she was coming at full speed, but only eight miles away the lights of a still unidentified ship could be seen by Titanic. This ship rendered no assistance and sailed on.
1:10 a.m.: Titanic began settling by the head.
1:27 a.m.: The engine rooms flooded and all motive power failed.
1:50 a.m.: The last lifeboat pulled away, many of them having left only partly filled because so many thought the ship to be unsinkable. When the last boat left there remained aboard over 1,500 persons, including 688 of her 900 crew. As she upended and slid under bow first, the Reverend Thomas Byles led many in hymns and prayer.
2:15 a.m.: When submerged up to the second funnel all lights went out.
2:20 a.m.: Titanic disappeared. 1,503 died and only 705 survived
In the summer of 1985, after many attempts to locate the wreck, French and American scientists collaborated in a two month North Atlantic expedition to find and photograph the Titanic. They searched for fourteen days, and then at 1:05 a.m. on September 1, 1985 they discovered one of Titanic's huge boilers lying on the ocean floor. They had found the Titanic! In 1996 on another expedition to the wreck site, the scientists were able to determine that she was not sunk by a giant slash, but instead it was a series of six thin slits. Some were only as wide as a human finger. The damage totaled no more than 12 square feet. It was these tiny holes that created a pattern of flooding that led to the sinking of the Titanic.