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"Shut up!" Four hours before the sinking, the Titanic replied to the iceberg warning

2022-02-03 12:09:34 Sogou wechat

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“CQD SOS 11.50pm from MGY. We hit an iceberg , Sinking fast , The position is N41.46 W50.14.”

1912 year 4 month 14 Japan ,24 Year old amateur radio enthusiast ADI (Arthur Ernest Moore) Received some weak signals . In that message ,MGY It represents the exclusive radio call sign of a ship , And this ship is called  “ Titanic ”.

It was not long before , A few more messages came from the radio :

“ We are sending the passengers away by boat .”
“ The women and children on board , It won't last long .”

But Adie can't do anything about it . He is now at a distance from the sending place 4 In a small town thousands of kilometers away , By radio , Witness the sinking of the great ship .

He may not realize , He is “ Witness ” Events , Will become 20 One of the most famous disasters of the century .

Radio technology has not only added an audience to this extraordinary tragedy . before this , By radio , The people on the Titanic have known this... In advance “ Iceberg killer ”. But even so , remind 、 early warning 、 Calling for help didn't change the tragic ending ……

Arthur Ernest Moore Former residence

Marconi radio system :

Imperfect communication

The Titanic is equipped with Marconi's radio system .

1895 year , Italian engineer Marconi began to study the use of electromagnetic waves for communication . A year later , He successfully carried out in England 14.4 Kilometers of communication test , And obtained a patent . And then , Marconi radiotelegraph company established , And in 1901 The first transatlantic radio communication was carried out in , Unprecedented success .

Marconi, who was in the limelight, began to install radio transmitters on ships , For these lonely boats drifting in the ocean , Build bridges to each other .

Restored radio operation room Science Museum

however , Marconi's radio system has obvious shortcomings . First , This set of The device is very complex , Special personnel are required to operate , And can't send signals continuously . There's more , Marconi used a radio signal with a long wavelength , such The signal is susceptible to interference . at that time , Some radio amateurs who love pranks , By invading the Navy's radio band , To send false information .

Although flawed , But Marconi's huge voice in the radio business , Let his company monopolize the market at that time .

As the largest cruise ship in the world at that time , The Titanic must be equipped with a radio “ High-tech ” device . however , The purpose of this radio system is Deal with the communication information of the passengers on board . such as , There is a rich businessman , He sent a lot of telegrams to his American partners , We talked about playing poker together after the ship landed .

“ Shut up! , I'm busy ”

Busy in the Titanic radio room , Are the only two radio operators on board Phillips (Jack Phillips) and Breed (Harold Bride). The two young people work full load every day , Uninterrupted radio communication service for passengers on board . These two radio operators are from Marconi Company , They are not sailors , Not under the jurisdiction of the captain . therefore , They will Make the needs of customers the first priority , Then it is to report the information from other ships to the captain .

It rains all night when the house leaks , Because the equipment is not stable , The transmitter still broke down for a while , So much so that there is a backlog of information to be sent and received in the radio room . The warning message of iceberg is intertwined with the personal message of passengers , The operators are scrambling with this information .

That's it , Time has come 4 month 14 On the day .

In the morning 9 when , The radio room received a report from the nearby karonia ——“ There are icebergs ”. The operator was Phillips , He told Smith the news (Edward Smith) The captain .

Afternoon 1 when 42 branch , Another Baltic report , Said he found it “ Icebergs and lots of floating ice ”.

After knowing the news , On the safe side , Captain Smith decided to change course , Heading further south , Trying to bypass the sea . But the captain didn't ask the ship to slow down , He also has difficulties : Titanic belongs to the British white star shipping company , Their company has always been known for being punctual . As the maiden voyage of this huge ship , The captain must appear at the destination New York port on time .

In the eyes of sailors , Icebergs are not a big threat . Advanced shipbuilding has made the ships of that time quite strong . It's just 1907 year , A German ship hit an iceberg , But their bow can smash icebergs , Still successfully completed the voyage . therefore , The captain still told the crew to keep their speed at 22 section ( about 25 miles / Hours ), Only lower than the limited maximum speed 2 section .

For the rest of the time , The captain didn't receive any more radio messages about the iceberg .

However , This is not because there is no relevant information , The operator is too busy , So that I forgot the news . Of course , Or the operator may not realize the importance of these messages , They thought the captain had known the news of the nearby iceberg .

The Titanic forwarded a telegram about the location of the two icebergs YvesRenard/WikiCommons

These messages that didn't leave the radio room include :

13 when 45 branch , The Americas report says , they “ Passed two big icebergs ”;
19 when 30 branch , The Californian reported “ Three big icebergs ”;
21 when 40 branch , The maysabah report says “ See a lot of floating ice and large icebergs ”. 

The radio operators at this time , Working overtime to send passengers' messages to Newfoundland relay station , The backlog of pending business is too much .

22 when 30 branch , Just... From the Titanic 30 Kilometers of the Californian , Decided to stop in this water for the night , We'll start at dawn . And then , Californian telegraph operator Evans sent another warning to the Titanic :“ We were blocked by icebergs ……”

here , Phillips interrupted the signal , And reply to :“ Shut up! , I'm busy (Shut up!I'm working)” 

Don't make a noise ! Movies 《 Titanic 》

Iceberg warnings that are constantly being ignored , It finally became the prediction of the Titanic Tragedy .

What kind of distress signal to use ?

1912 year 4 month 14 Japan 23 spot 40 branch , The lookout on the Titanic found an iceberg directly in front of the hull . The officer on duty immediately tried to turn right to make a detour , But it's too late . The Titanic hit an iceberg on the starboard side , Cracks in the hull , The sea poured in .

The great ship did not sink immediately , But began to sink slowly , The people on board still have time to save themselves . Radio operators also began to send out signals , But in the beginning , they Did not choose to use the international distress signal .

The Mayday message received by the biama : We hit an iceberg , Sinking fast , Request help from the British National Archives

The captain rushed into the radio room , Ask Phillips on duty to send a radio distress signal to the surrounding area immediately ——“CQD”. This is the distress signal used by Marconi Company ,CQ Represents the “sécu”, This is a “sécurité( Security )” Abbreviation ;D said “ emergency (Détresse)”.

In half an hour , Breeder advised Phillips to change the distress signal :SOS And CQD Appear in turn in outgoing radio messages .

CQD、SOS Appear in the distress signal

That s , Although ships at sea have long used radio to seek help , But the signals between companies are not uniform .CQD It is a common number in the UK where Marconi's headquarters is located . Besides , Another set of numbers is from Germany , In this set of numbers , The distress signal uses “SOS”.“SOS” It's not an abbreviation for a word , And just because , In Morse code ,SOS yes “ Three short 、 Three long 、 Again and again ” The code composition of , It's convenient to knock it out quickly .

1908 year , International organizations have suggested the use of SOS As an official international distress signal , but Marconi didn't have time to completely replace the new signal . One of these considerations may be ,SOS Users of this code , It's actually Marconi's main competitor . The United States is opposed to international radio regulation , Directly refused to sign SOS agreement .

Disunity of distress signals , So that other radio operators who heard the signal did not respond in time . But for the operator on the nearest Californian , No matter what the Titanic sent out CQD still SOS, He can't even receive . Be scolded “ Shut up ” after , Evans on the Californian turned off communications , Went back to bed .

Switch off and rest The movie 《 Titanic 》

“ We're on our way ”

Titanic's call for help , Finally, it was heard by other ships .

The Frankfurt was one of the first ships to hear a distress signal . When the operator hears the signal , Didn't seem to react , And didn't give the location of his ship . After that 20 minute , The Frank asked what had happened , This makes Phillips on the Titanic anxious and angry , Even directly scold each other is “ A fool (You fool)”. For all that , The Frankfurt still sent a signal : Our captain will come to you (Our captain will go for you).

Schematic diagram of radio communication between Titanic and other ships

“ We're on our way (We are rushing to you)” Bodhi also sent a radio message to the Titanic . As the cry for help continued , More and more ships are turning their bow , Come through the waves . Carpathian 、 The biama 、 Temple Hill …… As they move forward at full speed , I've been trying to keep in touch with the Titanic .

And then , The Titanic is still sinking . Phillips asked brid to go first , Then I continue to send out a distress signal calmly . However, at this time , It's no use sending a distress message farther . Ships coming to rescue cannot travel at the speed of light on the sea at night like a radio , At full speed, they can only wait for the end of the sinking of the Titanic .

In the morning 2 spot 20 branch , Phillips sank to the bottom of the sea with the Titanic . After that, the call of rescue ships , There was no reply .

The end of the

In an hour and a half , The Carpathians arrived at the scene , And saved the... From the lifeboat 710 people . It's called ” Never sink ” The Titanic , There was a shipwreck on its first voyage , The final death toll exceeded 1500 people .

without doubt , The causes of this tragedy are complex , Including the unpredictable climate 、 A dangerous geographical environment , Of course, there are the wrong decisions of the captain and the crew . The problem of radio is only one of many factors .

For all that , We can't help but think “ If the operator Report the iceberg warning to the captain in time ”,“ If all ships Unified distress signal ”,“ If the Californian The radio operator didn't sleep ”,“ If ……”

Ignore 、 Arrogant 、 monopoly …… Radio was a new technology at that time , It really sent the message thousands of miles away . But the inventor must not have thought , The end result of the story is to add a real-time listener to the disaster .

The belated crew of the biama took pictures of nearby icebergs DAVID BRESSAN/

This tragedy made Marconi give up the monopoly of promoting long wave radio communication ; Four months after the disaster , Britain, the United States and other countries have passed new bills , It is required that the wireless communication at sea should be conducted every day 24 Hour run , It also limits the use of long wave frequencies by amateurs .

also , Gradually reach a consensus around the world —— use SOS As a distress call signal .


[1] Sinking of the Titanic. Wikipedia.

[2]Oceanus. Volume 28 Number 4, Winter 1986/86.

[3] United States Senate Inquiry Report. Titanic Inquiry Project.


[5] The Frankfurt, 50 miles away, was told ‘You fool, standby and keep out’ when she contacted Titanic.

[6] Birma's wireless bears witness!

[7] How Amateur Radio Sank the Titanic.

[8] Amateur Radio on the Front Line During Titanic Disaster.

[9] Telegram received by the Russian liner Birma.

* Cover background :Titanic sinking, painting by Willy Stöwer 丨 Wikimedia Commons


source : This article comes from the fruit shell , Shall not be reproduced without authorization , If you need to, please contact [email protected]


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