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Title: Network First – The Last Voyage Of The Lusitania
File Name: lusitania.avi
Channel Transmitted: ITV1
Date: Tuesday, 22 March 1994
Category: Documentary / Educational
Size: 373 MB (381,952 Kb / 391,118,848 bytes)
Running Time: 0:50:27.03
Format: .avi 528 x 400
Data Rate: 895 kbps
Video Codec: XviD (XviD 1.0.3)
Video Info: 25 fps 1023 Kbits/sec
Audio Codec: MPEG-1
Audio Bit Rate: 128 kbps
Audio Info: 48kHz PCM Stereo
About The Series:
Network First is a documentary series from the United Kingdom with products from various production companies. Broadcast (weekly) on ITV1 the series started on 4 January 1994 and ended on 20 November 1997 (109 episodes).
About The Episode:
Documentary on the sinking by a U-boat of the 'Lusitania' in 1915 in which nearly 1200 men, women and children were drowned. Dr Robert Ballard investigates the wreckage to find out whether, as alleged by the Germans, the ship was carrying arms.
Why did Germany torpedo the Lusitania, a civilian vessel? And why did such an enormous ship sink so fast? Now, take a high-tech plunge beneath the Irish Channel and relive one of the century's most mysterious maritime tragedies: The date is May 7, 1915, just nine months into World War I. A German U-boat torpedoes the Lusitania - one of the largest and fastest luxury liners in the world. Of the 1,959 people aboard, including millionaire Alfred Vanderbilt, nearly two-thirds will die. Many are trapped inside the great ship as she sinks in just eighteen minutes. Survivors recount a mysterious, massive second blast following the torpedo hit. Was the Lusitania carrying a secret cargo of high explosives from the neutral U.S. for Britain? Some think so, but explorer and scientist Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the R.M.S. Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck, has doubts. Join the great undersea detective on a classic National Geographic adventure, as he probes the sunken liner in a two-person mini-sub for clues that could rewrite history. Included in this video is a behind-the-scenes look at the "Making of Lusitania", featuring never before seen footage and personal interviews with Dr. Robert Ballard and his underwater expedition team.
The sinking of the Lusitania caused great controversy, which persists to this day. In the aftermath of the sinking, the German government tried to justify it by claiming in an official statement that she had been armed with guns, and had had "large quantities of war material" in her cargo. They also stated that since she was classed as an auxiliary cruiser, Germany had had a right to destroy her regardless of any passengers aboard, and that the warnings issued by the German Embassy prior to her sailing plus the 18 February note declaring the existence of "war zones", relieved Germany of any responsibility for the deaths of American citizens aboard.] While it was true that the Lusitania had been fitted with gun mounts as part of government loan requirements during her construction, to enable rapid conversion into an Armed Merchant Cruiser (AMC) in the event of war, the guns themselves were never fitted. However, she was still listed officially as an AMC. Her cargo had included an estimated 4,200,000 rounds of rifle cartridges, 1,250 empty shell cases, and 18 cases of non-explosive fuses, all of which were listed in her manifest, but the cartridges were not officially classed as ammunition by the Cunard Line. Various theories have been put forward over the years that she had also carried undeclared high explosives that were detonated by the torpedo and helped to sink her, but this has never been proven.
In 1993, Dr Robert Ballard, the famous explorer who discovered Titanic, conducted an in-depth exploration of the wreck of Lusitania. Ballard found Light had been mistaken in his identification of a gaping hole in the ship's side. To explain the second explosion, Ballard advanced the theory of a coal-dust explosion. He believed dust in the bunkers would have been thrown into the air by the vibration from the explosion; the resulting cloud would have been ignited by a spark, causing the second explosion. In the years since he first advanced this theory, it has been argued that this is nearly impossible. Critics of the theory say coal dust would have been too damp to have been stirred into the air by the torpedo impact in explosive concentrations; additionally, the coal bunker where the torpedo struck would have been flooded almost immediately by seawater flowing through the damaged hull plates.
More recently, marine forensic investigators have become convinced an explosion in the ship's steam-generating plant is a far more plausible explanation for the second explosion. There were very few survivors from the forward two boiler rooms, but they did report the ship's boilers did not explode; they were also under extreme duress in those moments after the torpedo's impact, however. Leading Fireman Albert Martin later testified he thought the torpedo actually entered the boiler room and exploded between a group of boilers, which was a physical impossibility. It is also known the forward boiler room filled with steam, and steam pressure feeding the turbines dropped dramatically following the second explosion. These point toward a failure, of one sort or another, in the ship's steam-generating plant. It is possible the failure came, not directly from one of the boilers in boiler room no. 1, but rather in the high-pressure steam lines to the turbines. Most researchers and historians agree that a steam explosion is a far more likely cause than clandestine high explosives for the second explosion.
The original torpedo damage alone, striking the ship on the starboard coal bunker of boiler room no. 1, would probably have sunk the ship without a second explosion. This first blast was enough to cause, on its own, serious off-centre flooding, although the sinking would possibly have been slower. The deficiencies of the ship's original watertight bulkhead design exacerbated the situation, as did the many portholes which had been left open for ventilation.
Director: SCHNALL, Peter
Production Company: Central Production
Production Company: National Geographic Society
Production Company: TBS
Presenter: BALLARD, Robert
Stage One: VHSRip (composite video, PAL_B) using ION VCR2PC saved as MPEG-4 AVI file
Stage Two: VHS editing with Pinnacle Studio Plus 11, edited media saved as large AVI file (Full Screen DV, 720 x 576, 28800 kbps, 25fps) – approx 10.5Gb
Stage Three: Large AVI file (10.5Gb) reduced in size with Ashampoo Movie Shrink & Burn 3, media saved as MPEG-4 AVI file (reducing 10.5Gb to 376Mb – 70% Compression – 528 x 400, 895 kbps, 25 fps)
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