It was perhaps the most shocking disaster of the century when 1500 people died, drowned in the freezing sea. For towards midnight on a clear but moonless night, the Titanic struck an iceberg and was lost. Legends proliferated and the stories grew: the whole affair still generates a chill on the spine. 2207 people sailed; 705 returned. Walter Lord's account of their voyage, the wreck and the aftermath is a classic of detailed investigation, born of twenty years' research.