Peaky Blinders follows a story inspired by the real gang that operated in Birmingham in the 1990s. Tied into this story are a number of other historical figures and gangs mentioned throughout the show, including contemporary MPs as well as rival gangs. This includes the recently introduced Titanic gang who made an explosive introduction in episode five of season five.
Who were the real-life Titanic gang?
WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Peaky Blinders season 5, episode 5
In episode five of Peaky Blinders, a new potential rival was mentioned in passing during the attack on the opium smugglers.
When Arthur Shelby (played by Paul Anderson) and Aberama Gold (Aidan Gillen) headed to meet the Chinese drug smugglers, it was revealed that the Titanic gang had been tipped off to their whereabouts.
Described as an Irish gang, Arthur revealed more about who they were.
He said: “They are Titanic boys out there, they’re out of Poplar. In the war they were very capable, very capable soldiers.”
Later on, he reveals someone must have betrayed them to the gang to know their whereabouts.
He later revealed to Gold: “The Titanic heard about this. That means every gang from Poplar to Birmingham will be here.”
The pickpocketing Titanic gang are based on a real-life gang, just like the Sabinis and the Peaky Blinders.
Fans will remember the Sabini gang were also a major part of the few seasons of the show as well.
The gang was also known as the Titanic mob and they were thought to have been formed in Hoxton.
According to Brian McDonald’s book Gangs of London, the gang were also referred to as ’The Nile’ as they were were generally placed in Nile Street.
They were apparently known as a large team of pickpockets whose numbers grew to around 50 by 1921.
The gang operated around underground railway stations, race tracks and football arenas.
They operated in the early 1900s at the same time as other gangs, including the Vendetta Gang led by Arthur Harding and the Stratton Ground mob.
One of the most well known members of the gang was a man named Alf White, who was part of the gang as an early leader.
However, he was also reported to be a member of a number of other gangs during his time.
The Titanic gang were reportedly squashed by their rivals the Elephant and Castle gang in 1919 when they went on to continue as the Finsbury Boys.
In television series, the timings were a bit different and they are seen to still be up and running in the late 1920s.
There also seems to be no record as to whether they were an Irish gang as described.
Whether they may play a bigger role in the final episode or into next season has not been revealed yet.
The final episode of Peaky Blinders airs on Sunday, September 22 on BBC One.
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