In a new documentary, National Geographic reveals how some of history's most famous transatlantic knights decided to sink.
2 min read
In 1912, Benjamin Guggenheim , 46, was one of the wealthiest men in the United States. During his stopover in Cherbourg, in northern France, he decided to board the Titanic with his lover, the French singer Leontine Aubart.
What was to be one more trip for him became his last trip the night of April 14, when the “safest in the world” transatlantic collided with an iceberg in North Atlantic waters.
After safeguarding his mistress and his maid, Benjamin took off his life preserver and went to his room with his employee to change his clothes and wait for the end. They report that he would have said before sitting down to smoke cigarettes and drink brandy: “We dress in the best and are ready to sink like gentlemen.”
The crude reality
But this heroic memory may be clouded, after Sindbad Rumney-Guggenheim, Benjamin's great-great-grandson, was able to see his ancestor's cabins thanks to a new National Geographic documentary, which opens this week.
The millionaire's B84 cabin was ripped from the ship's main section when it sank on April 14, 1912, and is located quite a distance from the main shipwreck, at a depth of nearly 4 kilometers.
On the screen of a laptop that showed the images captured by underwater cameras, Sindbad could see the cabin, where his ancestor lived the last moments.
“We all like to remember the stories of him dressed in his best suit and drinking brandy and then sinking heroically. But what I'm seeing here, this crushed metal and everything, is reality,” Sindbad lamented, as reported by the Sunday Express.