Analysis of Smith's Deadly Follies

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John Jaeger

John Jaeger

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The sinking of the RMS Titanic resulted from a most unlikely culmination of events which cascaded one upon the next, ultimately ending with the loss of 1,514 passengers and crew (710 were saved), not to mention a newly launched ocean liner. The oversights and mistakes of Titanic's captain, Edward Smith, extended from well before the great ship was launched May 31, 1911 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to the time the ship's band played Nearer My God to Thee, around 2:10 AM on April 15, 1912. Notwithstanding the adage of "women and children first," only 56 of the 109 children survived.

Perhaps what sets the Titanic's sinking apart from the thousands of others over the centuries is the astounding, indeed head-slapping mistakes that experts in their fields made, each one compounding the previous one in the critical path. Had any one of these critical mistakes (or in some cases, simply random events) not taken place, 1,514 passengers and crew would have survived, and the Titanic as well.

Titanic2Bdeck2B2


Note this interesting warning sign just left of the flag at the stern:

Titanic2Bwarning2Bsign


Let's consider the a priori probability of the litany of errors, oversights, and shortcuts, all of which are my own personal estimates. Use your own estimates just for curiosity.

Before he was given command of the Titanic on this, his final voyage before retirement, Captain Smith commanded the RMS Olympic, which on September 20, 1911, collided with the HMS Hawke, damaging one of Olympic's three driveshafts. In the urgency of returning the Olympic to service, White Star Lines, its owner, scavenged one of the Titanic's driveshafts to replace Olympic's. The Titanic's maiden voyage, scheduled for March 20, 1912, was thus delayed to April 10. Nobody could possibly have known that this separate collision between two other ships would be Event One in the critical path which would culminate with the sinking of the Titanic and the tragic loss of so many innocent people who were simply traveling to America.

My estimate of the probability of Captain Edward Smith causing the minor but critical collision of the RMS Olympic, one of only two ships in White Star Lines, which delays construction and the launch date of the other White Star Lines ship, the Titanic, which Smith will subsequently command, and sink through compound foolhardiness
1 in 10,000.
(One of Titanic's driveshafts was removed and installed in Olympic to get it promptly back into service)

Titanic2

Titanic2Bunder2Bconstruc

Reduction of ship designer's original bulkhead height (steel wall, sectioning off parts of the ship below decks in case of serious water leak) ordered by White Star Lines President Bruce Ismay, in order to enhance ballroom design and customer comforts, ultimately at the supreme expense of the safety of ship, passengers, and crew
1 in 20


The reduction of the number of lifeboats from 46 originally proposed by the Rule of 19th April, 1910, to 16 lifeboats, was ordered by Bruce Ismay, Chairman and Managing Director of White Star Shipping, to save money and enhance passenger enjoyment. This had no bearing on the collision and sinking of Titanic, but it obviously had a profound effect on the number of fatalities.


Use of substandard #3 (instead of #4) cast iron rivets in curved forward section of Titanic, at a savings of mere pennies (The #3 rivets were 9% slag instead of the standard 2 - 3% slag in #4 rivets. This excess slag weakened the rivets, allowing the heads to pop off, and the plates to open up.)
1 in 10

According to documentation found in Harland & Wolf archives, plus some deep sea discoveries in both Titanic and its sister ship Britannic, it appears that J. Bruce Ismay ordered the builders of Titanic to use a thinner steel plate than originally specified. There was possibly likewise a conspiracy to cover up the fact that the Titanic broke apart at only 11 degrees of bow down angle rather than the 45 degree angle shown in the movie. This hastened the sinking by approximately two hours, a critical period of time that would have enabled the Carpathia to rescue hundreds of doomed passengers still on board.
1 in 10


There was a coal fire in Bunker #5 and it was not put out before Titanic left Belfast, seriously weakening the plates on the starboard side where the iceberg hit.
1 in 1000

A few days before Titanic set sail, Second Officer David Blair was replaced by Charles Lightoller, and in Blair's haste to leave the Titanic, he forgot to hand the key to the binoculars locker to Lightoller for lookouts to use in the crow's nest.
1 in 10
The2BKey




Final photograph of the Titanic afloat, departing Southampton

Titanic


Failure of Captain Smith to reduce speed from 21.5 knots (almost full speed) despite repeated warnings of icebergs (Smith was clearly eager to please his boss, Bruce Ismay, who wanted to set a record time for crossing the Atlantic)
1 in 10

Failure of Captain Smith to order crew to use tools and break into locker containing binoculars requested by ship's lookouts, to enhance safer navigation of the ship at night
1 in 50

Insufficient moonlight to disclose iceberg dead ahead, struck at 11:40 PM, April 14 (Crow's Nest Lookout Frederick Fleet had not been given an eye exam in five years)
1 in 10

Calm seas reduced wave action around the base of the iceberg, making it much more difficult to see until it was too late
1 in 5

Titanic radioman Jack Phillips failed to forward last and most critical iceberg warning to ship's bridge, that the Californian had stopped dead in the water to avoid colliding with icebergs
1 in 50

Titanic radioman ordered Californian's communications room to "Shut up, shut up" as they attempted to warn of dangerous icebergs nearby, just ten minutes before Titanic hit the iceberg
1 in 20

The Californian's radio operator, Cyril Evans, shut his radio off at 11:30 PM after being told to "Shut up!" Therefore he could not receive the subsequent SOS calls nearby.
(Captain Stanley Lord, commanding the SS Californian, ordered the ship to a full stop for the night to avoid collision with an iceberg.)
1 in 20

Spotting of iceberg by lookouts in the crow's nest was too late to avoid a collision, but early enough (37 seconds) to commence evasive maneuver which compounded damage beyond survivability - a 230 foot long tear in the Titanic's hull, flooding six separate compartments (Four flooded would not have sunk her.) Had the lookouts been posted on the bow, forty feet lower, they may have seen the outline of the iceberg against the faint horizon sooner. The ship's searchlight should have been lit to illuminate the path ahead, even though it was not standard procedure. It was, after all, a moonless night with no waves washing against ice floes.
1 in 10

Watch officer throwing all engines in reverse while ordering the helm hard a-port, robbing the rudder of the authority it had while running. (If instead he had reversed only the port engine, leaving the center and starboard engines in forward, or if he had reversed all engines while maintaining the original track, the Titanic might not have sustained fatal damage. A direct hit surely would not have flooded all six compartments.)
1 in 20


Inexcusable failure of Captain Edwards or any officers to oversee filling all 20 lifeboats, 4 of which were collapsible, to their rated capacity, much less to some arbitrary but reasonable number over theoretical capacity (say ten more people) in view of the exceptionally calm seas
1 in 50

Failure of Captain Lord, of the SS Californian, twenty miles north, and in sight, to react immediately to distress flares reported to him by his crew (He didn't even bother to summon his radioman to call the Titanic, and inquire if there was an emergency.)
1 in 50

7758872 f520


The a priori probability of all successive events multiplied together is one chance in 5 x 10 to the 23rd power, or about one chance in 500 billion trillion.

I did not set out with a goal of some particular probability of the Titanic sinking. I simply made my own reasonable estimate of each successive dependent factor. Make different estimates of your own if you wish. Using your own estimates will give you a better idea of how unlikely the entire series of events was.

Each of the above factors is arguably on the critical path to the sinking and incredible loss of life. The Titanic might well have survived the collision if not missed the iceberg entirely, or alternatively, all 1,514 passengers lost might have been saved through the elimination of just one of the foregoing events, each of which contributed to the catastrophe. It is noteworthy that there was, on average, 20 empty seats in each of the 20 lifeboats launched. Moreover, an average of 12 crewmen occupied each lifeboat, when only 2 were needed to operate it. Therefore the crewmen put their own lives and safety ahead of their passengers, for whom they were responsible.

[Note on the nature of estimating probabilities: I have had many discussions on the topic of estimating probabilities on the subject of the marvelous improbable nature of life and the universe around us, and the obvious, pervasive hand of our Creator. Almost unfailingly, atheists in particular make the absurd contention that if something happened, then the probability that it would happen was 1. (Because it happened.) The chance of you drawing the three of clubs randomly from a shuffled deck of cards is 1 in 52 before the event. Whether or not you actually did draw the three of clubs, the chances of drawing it were still 1 in 52. Estimating probability is how we measure uncertainty, or likelihood, for an event or an event series.]

Titanic

_____________________________________________________________

Now, suppose there had been one thoughtful officer on board, intent on saving as many passengers and crew as possible, as is every crewman's greatest responsibility.

If he had ordered:

1. The crew to fill every lifeboat to capacity, confiscating all life jackets from women and children before they debarked. In addition to the rated capacity, ten addition children first, and then women, were then loaded into each successive lifeboat launched. Then, after all the children and women were safely away, (One or two able bodied crewmen of course in each boat.)

2. Men to be loaded in lifeboats, likewise with ten additional passengers in each lifeboat over its rated capacity. There was more than ample freeboard for such an overload, and the sea was calm. These two steps alone would have saved an additional 668 people.

Unnamed

Survivors being picked up by the Carpathia. Note the enormous freeboard of the collapsible lifeboat, and the calm sea.
Na lifeboat

The life jackets were unnecessary and more passengers could have been saved even in this lifeboat.

3. Every able-bodied man on board to bring up on deck all wooden deck chairs, tables, and any furniture suitable for constructing as many wooden rafts as possible, and the deck kept clear of all passengers except those immediately boarding a lifeboat or constructing rafts. There was more than enough wood on Titanic to build sufficient rafts to save hundreds. Here is a tiny sample, showing wooden tables and chairs, in a small section of the Cafe Parisian.

Inside the titanic cafe parisian

Wooden chairs and tables in A La Carte Restaurant on B Deck:

Wood2Bchairs2Band2Btables


4. Every crewman to bring up on deck all hammers, saws, axes, wires, ropes, cables, straps, screws and nails suitable to fashion rafts with life jackets securely tied underneath them for buoyancy. Fabricated wooden rafts would be stiffened with longer pieces of wood or lightweight metal rods and a minimum of two paddles fabricated per raft of ten by ten feet. Simple boards would also work for paddles. All men aboard rafts to remain seated at all times, for stability.

5. Two officers and eight able-bodied men to take the first lifeboat and carry hand tools to the iceberg and chip steps out and insert poles with hand ropes so that passengers and crew could climb off rafts, especially if there was an insufficient number of rafts constructed. (Approximately 90 rafts holding ten men each would be needed in the event nobody could debark to the iceberg. Even if that number rafts could not have been constructed, surely many could, and the loss of life would have been further reduced.)

Then that one wise senior officer would have saved a majority of the 1,514 who perished. Casualties included super wealthy passengers John Jacob Astor IV and Benjamin Guggenheim.


This is the photograph of The Iceberg, smeared with Titanic's red and black paint.

Unnamed2B1


JB8jf2YQMs4wZXpAytedyR7SPrf6A4CVEptsbKDCw640 h464



Rescued passengers aboard the Carpathia
Rescued2Bpassengers


One of several letters written by survivors stating Captain Smith had been drinking on that fateful night.
Bstating2BCaptain2BSmith2Bhad2Bbeen2Bdrinking


____________________
Captain Smith's misadventures began even before his collision with the Hawke.



Approaching New York on her final White Star sailing, on January 27, 1889, Republic I runs aground off Sandy Hook and is refloated five hours later. After she docks a 9 foot length of 38 inch boiler flue explodes, scalding ten crewmembers, three of them fatally. Republic's captain, Edward J. Smith, reports that damage to the ship is slight. Later in 1889, Republic will be sold to Holland America and renamed Maasdam; still later, she'll be sold several more times and have several other names before being broken up in Genoa in 1910. (Sources: The New-York Times, 28 January 1889; Eaton & Haas' Falling Star; Bonsor's North Atlantic Seaway.)

Arriving at New York with 881 passengers on board on November 4, 1909, Adriatic II goes aground at 3:20 a.m. on a sand bank at the entrance to the Ambrose Channel. She is freed, undamaged, at 8:10 a.m. due to the combined effect of a rising tide and the discharge of water ballast.

Adriatic's commander is Capt. Edward J. Smith. (Sources: New York Herald, 5 November 1909; The Evening Post (New York), 4 November 1909.)

http://JohnPJaeger.com







First Class passage cost $4,350. Second Class cost $1,750 and Third Class cost $30. Adjusted for constant dollars (inflation), these tickets cost $102,352, $41,176, and $705.

Famous people who missed the boat



J2BPierpont2BMorgan

J. Pierpont Morgan

The legendary 74-year-old financier, nicknamed the "Napoleon of Wall Street," had helped create General Electric and U.S. Steel and was credited with almost singlehandedly saving the U.S. banking system during the Panic of 1907.

Among his varied business interests was the International Mercantile Marine, the shipping combine that controlled Britain's White Star Line, owner of the Titanic. Morgan attended the ship's launching in 1911 and had a personal suite on board with his own promenade deck and a bath equipped with specially designed cigar holders. He was reportedly booked on the maiden voyage but instead remained at the French resort of Aix to enjoy his morning massages and sulfur baths.




Milton2BSnavely2BHershey




Milton Snavely Hershey

The man behind the Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Syrup, and the Pennsylvania city that bears his name had spent the winter in France and planned to sail home on the Titanic. The Hershey Community Archives has in its collection a $300 check Hershey wrote to the White Star Line in December 1911, believed to be a 10 percent deposit toward his stateroom, according to archivist Tammy L. Hamilton. Fortunately for Hershey, business back home apparently intervened, and he and his wife instead caught a ship that was sailing earlier, the German liner Amerika. The Amerika would earn its own footnote in the disaster, as one of several ships to send the Titanic warnings of ice in its path.



Guglielmo2BMarconi


Guglielmo Marconi

The Italian inventor, wireless telegraphy pioneer and winner of the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics was offered free passage on Titanic but had taken the Lusitania three days earlier. As his daughter, Degna, later explained, he had paperwork to do and preferred the public stenographer aboard that vessel.

Although Marconi was later grilled by a Senate committee over allegations that his company's wireless operators had withheld news from the public in order to sell information to the New York Times, he emerged from the disaster as one of its heroes, his invention credited with saving more than 700 lives. Three years later, Marconi would narrowly escape another famous maritime disaster. He was on board the Lusitania in April 1915 on the voyage immediately before it was sunk by a German U-boat in May.

Henry2BClay2BFrick



Henry Clay Frick

The Pittsburgh steel baron was a business associate of fellow non-passenger J.P. Morgan. He canceled his passage on the Titanic when his wife sprained her ankle and had to be hospitalized in Italy.

Alfred2BGwynne2BVanderbilt




Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt

The 34-year-old multimillionaire sportsman, an heir to the Vanderbilt shipping and railroad empire, was returning from a trip to Europe and canceled his passage on the Titanic so late that some early newspaper accounts listed him as being on board. Vanderbilt lived on to become one the most celebrated casualties of the Lusitania sinking three years later.

Theodore2BDreiser

Theodore Dreiser

The novelist, then 40, considered returning from his first European holiday aboard the Titanic; an English publisher talked him out of the plan, persuading the writer that taking another ship would be less expensive.

Dreiser was at sea aboard the liner Kroonland when he heard the news. He recalled his reaction the following year in his memoir, A Traveler at Forty: "To think of a ship as immense as the Titanic, new and bright, sinking in endless fathoms of water. And the two thousand passengers routed like rats from their berths only to float helplessly in miles of water, praying and crying!"
___________________________________________

25602560Titanic2Bwas2Bon2Bfire

25602560Titanic2Bupper2Bdeck

25602560Titanic2Bpromenade2Bdeck

25602560Titanic2Bluxury2Blounge

Tanic2Bmain2Bdining2Broom2Bfor2Bthird2Bclass

25602560Titanic2Bpool

25602560Titanic2Bexercise


25602560Titanic2Bsuite

25602560Titanic2Bsecond2Bclass

______________________

1 BruceIsmay



Bruce Ismay became known as the "Coward of the Titanic". He was savaged by the British and American press for having "deserted" Titanic while women and children were still aboard. Said to be profoundly shocked by the sinking - he retreated from public life, remained in business and later in life made huge donations to seafarers charities. He also sought refuge in Ireland, buying a home in a remote part of Connemara, Ireland in the early 1920s where he spent much of his time. He died in 1937.
http://titanicprobabilities.blogspot.com/goog_2003892533
"Coward of the Titanic" still remembered in Cobh

_____________________________

Titanic menu courtesy of Bruce Caplan, author of The Sinking of the Titanic. Bruce gave a lecture on November 3, 2013 my wife and I attended while transiting the Panama Canal, en route on a 17-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Los Angeles, California.



MenuforTitanicpassengers

Menu the day the Titanic hit the iceberg

25602560new2BTitanic2Bmenu


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Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

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Forgetting about all the misinformation contained in the above list of events, such mathematical exercises is a fallacious misuse of probability theory. You can take any historical event and "prove" that the probability of that event happening is infinitesimally small; i.e., mathematically approaches zero.
 
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Andy A Carter

Andy A Carter

www.andycarter.net
Member
The sinking of the RMS Titanic resulted from a most unlikely culmination of events which cascaded one upon the next, ultimately ending with the loss of 1,514 passengers and crew (710 were saved), not to mention a newly launched ocean liner. The oversights and mistakes of Titanic's captain, Edward Smith, extended from well before the great ship was launched May 31, 1911 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to the time the ship's band played Nearer My God to Thee, around 2:10 AM on April 15, 1912. Notwithstanding the adage of "women and children first," only 56 of the 109 children survived.

Perhaps what sets the Titanic's sinking apart from the thousands of others over the centuries is the astounding, indeed head-slapping mistakes that experts in their fields made, each one compounding the previous one in the critical path. Had any one of these critical mistakes (or in some cases, simply random events) not taken place, 1,514 passengers and crew would have survived, and the Titanic as well.

View attachment 109824

Note this interesting warning sign just left of the flag at the stern:

View attachment 109825

Let's consider the a priori probability of the litany of errors, oversights, and shortcuts, all of which are my own personal estimates. Use your own estimates just for curiosity.

Before he was given command of the Titanic on this, his final voyage before retirement, Captain Smith commanded the RMS Olympic, which on September 20, 1911, collided with the HMS Hawke, damaging one of Olympic's three driveshafts. In the urgency of returning the Olympic to service, White Star Lines, its owner, scavenged one of the Titanic's driveshafts to replace Olympic's. The Titanic's maiden voyage, scheduled for March 20, 1912, was thus delayed to April 10. Nobody could possibly have known that this separate collision between two other ships would be Event One in the critical path which would culminate with the sinking of the Titanic and the tragic loss of so many innocent people who were simply traveling to America.

My estimate of the probability of Captain Edward Smith causing the minor but critical collision of the RMS Olympic, one of only two ships in White Star Lines, which delays construction and the launch date of the other White Star Lines ship, the Titanic, which Smith will subsequently command, and sink through compound foolhardiness
1 in 10,000.
(One of Titanic's driveshafts was removed and installed in Olympic to get it promptly back into service)

View attachment 109826
View attachment 109827
Reduction of ship designer's original bulkhead height (steel wall, sectioning off parts of the ship below decks in case of serious water leak) ordered by White Star Lines President Bruce Ismay, in order to enhance ballroom design and customer comforts, ultimately at the supreme expense of the safety of ship, passengers, and crew
1 in 20


The reduction of the number of lifeboats from 46 originally proposed by the Rule of 19th April, 1910, to 16 lifeboats, was ordered by Bruce Ismay, Chairman and Managing Director of White Star Shipping, to save money and enhance passenger enjoyment. This had no bearing on the collision and sinking of Titanic, but it obviously had a profound effect on the number of fatalities.


Use of substandard #3 (instead of #4) cast iron rivets in curved forward section of Titanic, at a savings of mere pennies (The #3 rivets were 9% slag instead of the standard 2 - 3% slag in #4 rivets. This excess slag weakened the rivets, allowing the heads to pop off, and the plates to open up.)
1 in 10

According to documentation found in Harland & Wolf archives, plus some deep sea discoveries in both Titanic and its sister ship Britannic, it appears that J. Bruce Ismay ordered the builders of Titanic to use a thinner steel plate than originally specified. There was possibly likewise a conspiracy to cover up the fact that the Titanic broke apart at only 11 degrees of bow down angle rather than the 45 degree angle shown in the movie. This hastened the sinking by approximately two hours, a critical period of time that would have enabled the Carpathia to rescue hundreds of doomed passengers still on board.
1 in 10


There was a coal fire in Bunker #5 and it was not put out before Titanic left Belfast, seriously weakening the plates on the starboard side where the iceberg hit.
1 in 1000

A few days before Titanic set sail, Second Officer David Blair was replaced by Charles Lightoller, and in Blair's haste to leave the Titanic, he forgot to hand the key to the binoculars locker to Lightoller for lookouts to use in the crow's nest.
1 in 10
View attachment 109828



Final photograph of the Titanic afloat, departing Southampton
View attachment 109829

Failure of Captain Smith to reduce speed from 21.5 knots (almost full speed) despite repeated warnings of icebergs (Smith was clearly eager to please his boss, Bruce Ismay, who wanted to set a record time for crossing the Atlantic)
1 in 10

Failure of Captain Smith to order crew to use tools and break into locker containing binoculars requested by ship's lookouts, to enhance safer navigation of the ship at night
1 in 50

Insufficient moonlight to disclose iceberg dead ahead, struck at 11:40 PM, April 14 (Crow's Nest Lookout Frederick Fleet had not been given an eye exam in five years)
1 in 10

Calm seas reduced wave action around the base of the iceberg, making it much more difficult to see until it was too late
1 in 5

Titanic radioman Jack Phillips failed to forward last and most critical iceberg warning to ship's bridge, that the Californian had stopped dead in the water to avoid colliding with icebergs
1 in 50

Titanic radioman ordered Californian's communications room to "Shut up, shut up" as they attempted to warn of dangerous icebergs nearby, just ten minutes before Titanic hit the iceberg
1 in 20

The Californian's radio operator, Cyril Evans, shut his radio off at 11:30 PM after being told to "Shut up!" Therefore he could not receive the subsequent SOS calls nearby.
(Captain Stanley Lord, commanding the SS Californian, ordered the ship to a full stop for the night to avoid collision with an iceberg.)
1 in 20

Spotting of iceberg by lookouts in the crow's nest was too late to avoid a collision, but early enough (37 seconds) to commence evasive maneuver which compounded damage beyond survivability - a 230 foot long tear in the Titanic's hull, flooding six separate compartments (Four flooded would not have sunk her.) Had the lookouts been posted on the bow, forty feet lower, they may have seen the outline of the iceberg against the faint horizon sooner. The ship's searchlight should have been lit to illuminate the path ahead, even though it was not standard procedure. It was, after all, a moonless night with no waves washing against ice floes.
1 in 10

Watch officer throwing all engines in reverse while ordering the helm hard a-port, robbing the rudder of the authority it had while running. (If instead he had reversed only the port engine, leaving the center and starboard engines in forward, or if he had reversed all engines while maintaining the original track, the Titanic might not have sustained fatal damage. A direct hit surely would not have flooded all six compartments.)
1 in 20


Inexcusable failure of Captain Edwards or any officers to oversee filling all 20 lifeboats, 4 of which were collapsible, to their rated capacity, much less to some arbitrary but reasonable number over theoretical capacity (say ten more people) in view of the exceptionally calm seas
1 in 50

Failure of Captain Lord, of the SS Californian, twenty miles north, and in sight, to react immediately to distress flares reported to him by his crew (He didn't even bother to summon his radioman to call the Titanic, and inquire if there was an emergency.)
1 in 50

View attachment 109830

The a priori probability of all successive events multiplied together is one chance in 5 x 10 to the 23rd power, or about one chance in 500 billion trillion.

I did not set out with a goal of some particular probability of the Titanic sinking. I simply made my own reasonable estimate of each successive dependent factor. Make different estimates of your own if you wish. Using your own estimates will give you a better idea of how unlikely the entire series of events was.

Each of the above factors is arguably on the critical path to the sinking and incredible loss of life. The Titanic might well have survived the collision if not missed the iceberg entirely, or alternatively, all 1,514 passengers lost might have been saved through the elimination of just one of the foregoing events, each of which contributed to the catastrophe. It is noteworthy that there was, on average, 20 empty seats in each of the 20 lifeboats launched. Moreover, an average of 12 crewmen occupied each lifeboat, when only 2 were needed to operate it. Therefore the crewmen put their own lives and safety ahead of their passengers, for whom they were responsible.

[Note on the nature of estimating probabilities: I have had many discussions on the topic of estimating probabilities on the subject of the marvelous improbable nature of life and the universe around us, and the obvious, pervasive hand of our Creator. Almost unfailingly, atheists in particular make the absurd contention that if something happened, then the probability that it would happen was 1. (Because it happened.) The chance of you drawing the three of clubs randomly from a shuffled deck of cards is 1 in 52 before the event. Whether or not you actually did draw the three of clubs, the chances of drawing it were still 1 in 52. Estimating probability is how we measure uncertainty, or likelihood, for an event or an event series.]

View attachment 109831
_____________________________________________________________

Now, suppose there had been one thoughtful officer on board, intent on saving as many passengers and crew as possible, as is every crewman's greatest responsibility.

If he had ordered:

1. The crew to fill every lifeboat to capacity, confiscating all life jackets from women and children before they debarked. In addition to the rated capacity, ten addition children first, and then women, were then loaded into each successive lifeboat launched. Then, after all the children and women were safely away, (One or two able bodied crewmen of course in each boat.)

2. Men to be loaded in lifeboats, likewise with ten additional passengers in each lifeboat over its rated capacity. There was more than ample freeboard for such an overload, and the sea was calm. These two steps alone would have saved an additional 668 people.

View attachment 109832
Survivors being picked up by the Carpathia. Note the enormous freeboard of the collapsible lifeboat, and the calm sea.
View attachment 109833
The life jackets were unnecessary and more passengers could have been saved even in this lifeboat.

3. Every able-bodied man on board to bring up on deck all wooden deck chairs, tables, and any furniture suitable for constructing as many wooden rafts as possible, and the deck kept clear of all passengers except those immediately boarding a lifeboat or constructing rafts. There was more than enough wood on Titanic to build sufficient rafts to save hundreds. Here is a tiny sample, showing wooden tables and chairs, in a small section of the Cafe Parisian.

View attachment 109834
Wooden chairs and tables in A La Carte Restaurant on B Deck:

View attachment 109835

4. Every crewman to bring up on deck all hammers, saws, axes, wires, ropes, cables, straps, screws and nails suitable to fashion rafts with life jackets securely tied underneath them for buoyancy. Fabricated wooden rafts would be stiffened with longer pieces of wood or lightweight metal rods and a minimum of two paddles fabricated per raft of ten by ten feet. Simple boards would also work for paddles. All men aboard rafts to remain seated at all times, for stability.

5. Two officers and eight able-bodied men to take the first lifeboat and carry hand tools to the iceberg and chip steps out and insert poles with hand ropes so that passengers and crew could climb off rafts, especially if there was an insufficient number of rafts constructed. (Approximately 90 rafts holding ten men each would be needed in the event nobody could debark to the iceberg. Even if that number rafts could not have been constructed, surely many could, and the loss of life would have been further reduced.)

Then that one wise senior officer would have saved a majority of the 1,514 who perished. Casualties included super wealthy passengers John Jacob Astor IV and Benjamin Guggenheim.


This is the photograph of The Iceberg, smeared with Titanic's red and black paint.

View attachment 109836

View attachment 109837


Rescued passengers aboard the Carpathia
View attachment 109838

One of several letters written by survivors stating Captain Smith had been drinking on that fateful night.
View attachment 109839

____________________
Captain Smith's misadventures began even before his collision with the Hawke.




Approaching New York on her final White Star sailing, on January 27, 1889, Republic I runs aground off Sandy Hook and is refloated five hours later. After she docks a 9 foot length of 38 inch boiler flue explodes, scalding ten crewmembers, three of them fatally. Republic's captain, Edward J. Smith, reports that damage to the ship is slight. Later in 1889, Republic will be sold to Holland America and renamed Maasdam; still later, she'll be sold several more times and have several other names before being broken up in Genoa in 1910. (Sources: The New-York Times, 28 January 1889; Eaton & Haas' Falling Star; Bonsor's North Atlantic Seaway.)

Arriving at New York with 881 passengers on board on November 4, 1909, Adriatic II goes aground at 3:20 a.m. on a sand bank at the entrance to the Ambrose Channel. She is freed, undamaged, at 8:10 a.m. due to the combined effect of a rising tide and the discharge of water ballast.

Adriatic's commander is Capt. Edward J. Smith. (Sources: New York Herald, 5 November 1909; The Evening Post (New York), 4 November 1909.)

http://JohnPJaeger.com







First Class passage cost $4,350. Second Class cost $1,750 and Third Class cost $30. Adjusted for constant dollars (inflation), these tickets cost $102,352, $41,176, and $705.

Famous people who missed the boat




View attachment 109840
J. Pierpont Morgan

The legendary 74-year-old financier, nicknamed the "Napoleon of Wall Street," had helped create General Electric and U.S. Steel and was credited with almost singlehandedly saving the U.S. banking system during the Panic of 1907.

Among his varied business interests was the International Mercantile Marine, the shipping combine that controlled Britain's White Star Line, owner of the Titanic. Morgan attended the ship's launching in 1911 and had a personal suite on board with his own promenade deck and a bath equipped with specially designed cigar holders. He was reportedly booked on the maiden voyage but instead remained at the French resort of Aix to enjoy his morning massages and sulfur baths.




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Milton Snavely Hershey

The man behind the Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Syrup, and the Pennsylvania city that bears his name had spent the winter in France and planned to sail home on the Titanic. The Hershey Community Archives has in its collection a $300 check Hershey wrote to the White Star Line in December 1911, believed to be a 10 percent deposit toward his stateroom, according to archivist Tammy L. Hamilton. Fortunately for Hershey, business back home apparently intervened, and he and his wife instead caught a ship that was sailing earlier, the German liner Amerika. The Amerika would earn its own footnote in the disaster, as one of several ships to send the Titanic warnings of ice in its path.



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Guglielmo Marconi

The Italian inventor, wireless telegraphy pioneer and winner of the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics was offered free passage on Titanic but had taken the Lusitania three days earlier. As his daughter, Degna, later explained, he had paperwork to do and preferred the public stenographer aboard that vessel.

Although Marconi was later grilled by a Senate committee over allegations that his company's wireless operators had withheld news from the public in order to sell information to the New York Times, he emerged from the disaster as one of its heroes, his invention credited with saving more than 700 lives. Three years later, Marconi would narrowly escape another famous maritime disaster. He was on board the Lusitania in April 1915 on the voyage immediately before it was sunk by a German U-boat in May.

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Henry Clay Frick

The Pittsburgh steel baron was a business associate of fellow non-passenger J.P. Morgan. He canceled his passage on the Titanic when his wife sprained her ankle and had to be hospitalized in Italy.

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Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt

The 34-year-old multimillionaire sportsman, an heir to the Vanderbilt shipping and railroad empire, was returning from a trip to Europe and canceled his passage on the Titanic so late that some early newspaper accounts listed him as being on board. Vanderbilt lived on to become one the most celebrated casualties of the Lusitania sinking three years later.

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Theodore Dreiser

The novelist, then 40, considered returning from his first European holiday aboard the Titanic; an English publisher talked him out of the plan, persuading the writer that taking another ship would be less expensive.

Dreiser was at sea aboard the liner Kroonland when he heard the news. He recalled his reaction the following year in his memoir, A Traveler at Forty: "To think of a ship as immense as the Titanic, new and bright, sinking in endless fathoms of water. And the two thousand passengers routed like rats from their berths only to float helplessly in miles of water, praying and crying!"
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Bruce Ismay became known as the "Coward of the Titanic". He was savaged by the British and American press for having "deserted" Titanic while women and children were still aboard. Said to be profoundly shocked by the sinking - he retreated from public life, remained in business and later in life made huge donations to seafarers charities. He also sought refuge in Ireland, buying a home in a remote part of Connemara, Ireland in the early 1920s where he spent much of his time. He died in 1937.
http://titanicprobabilities.blogspot.com/goog_2003892533
"Coward of the Titanic" still remembered in Cobh

_____________________________

Titanic menu courtesy of Bruce Caplan, author of The Sinking of the Titanic. Bruce gave a lecture on November 3, 2013 my wife and I attended while transiting the Panama Canal, en route on a 17-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Los Angeles, California.



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Menu the day the Titanic hit the iceberg

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Contact
Full of mistakes.

Love to see the working out behind the percentages.
 
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Dan Parkes

Dan Parkes

Member
There are so many errors/myths in this post that it would require a post of equal length to address them all, but to stay within the subject area of my specific interest:
My estimate of the probability of Captain Edward Smith causing the minor but critical collision of the RMS Olympic
Captain Smith was not in command of HMS Hawke - it was under compulsory pilotage at the time of collision, with Trinity House Pilot George Bowyer in command.
A few days before Titanic set sail, Second Officer David Blair was replaced by Charles Lightoller, and in Blair's haste to leave the Titanic, he forgot to hand the key to the binoculars locker to Lightoller for lookouts to use in the crow's nest.
There was an ample number of binoculars aboard which were used by officers - this key is a red herring.
Failure of Captain Smith to reduce speed from 21.5 knots (almost full speed) despite repeated warnings of icebergs (Smith was clearly eager to please his boss, Bruce Ismay, who wanted to set a record time for crossing the Atlantic)
Ice warnings were plotted (not ignored) and maintaining speed was protocol procedure under the conditions Titanic faced i.e. clear visibility.
Failure of Captain Smith to order crew to use tools and break into locker containing binoculars requested by ship's lookouts, to enhance safer navigation of the ship at night
Binoculars were not used by the lookouts or the officers to spot objects, but to identify them after being spotted, so would have made no difference.
Titanic radioman Jack Phillips failed to forward last and most critical iceberg warning to ship's bridge, that the Californian had stopped dead in the water to avoid colliding with icebergs
If you are referring to the Mesaba message - it was irrelevant whether it got through or not as the area of ice had already been calculated. Regardless, we do not know whether it was received as the three senior officers - Smith, Wilde and Murdoch, plus the wireless operator himself Phillips, did not survive to tell the story. It may well have been delivered.
Watch officer throwing all engines in reverse while ordering the helm hard a-port, robbing the rudder of the authority it had while running.
The engines were NOT reversed.
Inexcusable failure of Captain Edwards or any officers to oversee filling all 20 lifeboats, 4 of which were collapsible, to their rated capacity, much less to some arbitrary but reasonable number over theoretical capacity (say ten more people) in view of the exceptionally calm seas
Smith DID oversee the filling of the lifeboats. Passengers were initially reluctant to enter, so the "rated capacity" becomes irrelevant. If the officers had waited until reaching full capacity they would not have launched all that they did.

Before calculating probability I would recommend getting the facts straight first.
 
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Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

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I haven’t seen a message like this in a long while that is filled with countless inaccuracies. Let me break everything down:
The sinking of the RMS Titanic resulted from a most unlikely culmination of events which cascaded one upon the next, ultimately ending with the loss of 1,514 passengers and crew (710 were saved), not to mention a newly launched ocean liner.
There were 2208 people on-board as noted by the Queenstown immigration officer E.J Sharpe on the clearance certificate. 1496 of the 2208 people sadly died during the sinking, not 1514 or 1490 as concluded by the American Senate and British Board of Trade inquiry. The former didn't had the proper numbers yet and included names of people who weren't even on-board (such as Frank Carlson) while the later missed 6 names (The 2 British Royal Mail Clerks and the 3 United States postal clerks and Assistant glass washer Lazar Sartori (1888-1912). There were 712 survivors listed when the Carpathia arrived in New York as well, and this list is available at Ellis Island. The Titanic wasn't newly launched as well, the term you are looking for is newly delivered.
The oversights and mistakes of Titanic's captain, Edward Smith
There we go again....
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Ireland wasn't an independent country yet in 1912, so the term Northern Ireland as the providence of the United Kingdom that it now wasn't used back then.
Before he was given command of the Titanic on this, his final voyage before retirement, Captain Smith commanded the RMS Olympic, which on September 20, 1911, collided with the HMS Hawke, damaging one of Olympic's three driveshafts. In the urgency of returning the Olympic to service, White Star Lines, its owner, scavenged one of the Titanic's driveshafts to replace Olympic's. The Titanic's maiden voyage, scheduled for March 20, 1912, was thus delayed to April 10. Nobody could possibly have known that this separate collision between two other ships would be Event One in the critical path which would culminate with the sinking of the Titanic and the tragic loss of so many innocent people who were simply traveling to America.

My estimate of the probability of Captain Edward Smith causing the minor but critical collision of the RMS Olympic, one of only two ships in White Star Lines, which delays construction and the launch date of the other White Star Lines ship, the Titanic, which Smith will subsequently command, and sink through compound foolhardiness
Captain Smith wasn't fully in charge of the Olympic at the time of the collision with the HMS Hawke since the ship was under control of the harbour pilot, George Bowyer. Captain Smith himself wasn't seen as responsible during the inquiry led by the British Admiralty, however the Olympic herself was seen as guilty.
Reduction of ship designer's original bulkhead height (steel wall, sectioning off parts of the ship below decks in case of serious water leak) ordered by White Star Lines President Bruce Ismay, in order to enhance ballroom design and customer comforts, ultimately at the supreme expense of the safety of ship, passengers, and crew
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Her original bulkhead design wasn't changed compared to her original design D, except that the collision bulkhead was extended in height on recommendation of Francis Carruthers, the surveyor of the Board of Trade stationed in Belfast tasked by overseeing . There is no proof to support that Mr. Ismay had any involvement with the watertight bulkheads and it is a false claim that has been promoted by some media, yet there's no shred of proof to support it.

The reduction of the number of lifeboats from 46 originally proposed by the Rule of 19th April, 1910, to 16 lifeboats, was ordered by Bruce Ismay, Chairman and Managing Director of White Star Shipping, to save money and enhance passenger enjoyment. This had no bearing on the collision and sinking of Titanic, but it obviously had a profound effect on the number of fatalities.
That has been a false claim as well promoted throughout the years and it is false yet again. Mr. Ismay was perfectly willing to include the newly designed Welin quadrant davits capable of holding more lifeboats in case the rules and regulations of the Board of Trade changed their regulations to increase the minimum lifeboat required by law. At the time there was just simply no need to go beyond those rules from the modern perspective of a person. Mr. Ismay wasn't promoted to "save deck space" since the boat deck wasn't specially designed to walk upon by her first class passengers since on the Olympic they already had two promenades on A and B-deck (with the later being removed on the Titanic, since it was barely used on the Olympic).
Use of substandard #3 (instead of #4) cast iron rivets in curved forward section of Titanic, at a savings of mere pennies (The #3 rivets were 9% slag instead of the standard 2 - 3% slag in #4 rivets. This excess slag weakened the rivets, allowing the heads to pop off, and the plates to open up.)

According to documentation found in Harland & Wolf archives, plus some deep sea discoveries in both Titanic and its sister ship Britannic, it appears that J. Bruce Ismay ordered the builders of Titanic to use a thinner steel plate than originally specified. There was possibly likewise a conspiracy to cover up the fact that the Titanic broke apart at only 11 degrees of bow down angle rather than the 45 degree angle shown in the movie. This hastened the sinking by approximately two hours, a critical period of time that would have enabled the Carpathia to rescue hundreds of doomed passengers still on board.
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I have yet to seen any proof to support this absurd claim, could you tell me to which exact documents you refer to? Nearly all documents except for the inspections by Francis Carruthers, from between 1909 and 1912 were destroyed. Harland and Wolff introduced a policy in 1906 that after 20 years, to save the archives from overflowing, that all documents would be destroyed from that area. A ship's hull is a complex structure, and hull plating is merely one of the many structural elements. It varied in thickness throughout the hull and generally speaking the Olympic and Titanic were

And isn't it very funny that the Olympic which was built before the Titanic from the same materials, with the same plate-thickness of 1 inch, stayed in service with a hull that stayed in a pristine condition up to her retirement in 1935? A ship that was commented about by one of her designers (Edward Wilding) that:
"We have had less repairs to the Olympic than any large ship we ever built, due to external causes, of-course"
A Surveyor of the Board Of Trade in 1925 on commented that: "In fact at that time, various proposals for different repairs and modifications were being discussed to strengthen another large liner of the period, HAPAG's Bismarck- which entered service as White Star's Majestic in 1912. In that context the OLympic was actually used as a benchmark of a strong ship. One official, in discussing a a specific proposal, said that Majestic 'would (still, even after the proposed strengtheningmeasures that were implemented) however, be some 20 weaker than the Olympic"

The Titanic also didn't break because she was badly built, but purely because she rached a bending moment that was two times greater than she could handle

There was a coal fire in Bunker #5 and it was not put out before Titanic left Belfast, seriously weakening the plates on the starboard side where the iceberg hit.
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The coal bunker was coal bunker W, not coal bunker number 5. The damage also didn't weaken the plates were the iceberg hit since it would be unable to do so. To cite the talented Samuel Halpern:
"Spontaneous ignition of coal in a bunker usually begins deep down where the coal absorbs oxygen and gives off hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and some aerosols under rising temperatures. With no real draft of air in the bunker, coal will ignite and smolder at about 750°F. Since the bulkhead was riveted tight around its edges to angle iron which was riveted to the hull and decks, thermal expansion caused by heat from the fire would cause the bulkhead plate to bulge outward to relieve the stress. After cooling back to room temperatures, it would remain somewhat dented as observed. But to get that bulkhead, which was made of mild steel, to glow red hot, would take a temperature of about 900°F or more from a fire being fed with a good draft of air. Despite the drama that some subsequent newspaper accounts wanted people to believe, it certainly was not a raging blaze that was completely out of control. Metallurgical analysis on bulkhead plate similar to that used on Titanic was heated to about 1,200°F so that it became red hot. The plate was bounded to other pieces modeling the shell and floor plates by riveting it to angle iron pieces which in turn were riveted to the other pieces. The results showed the bulkhead plate had distorted by about 6 inches, and the rivets holding the plate would only have been stressed to only 10%-20% of their failure load. Even if the bulkhead was first heated red hot and then cooled down by sea water or water from a fire hose, it would not affect the low temperature properties of the bulkhead. The conclusion of modern day forensics is that the bunker fire would not have weakened the watertight bulkhead sufficiently to cause it to collapse."
A few days before Titanic set sail, Second Officer David Blair was replaced by Charles Lightoller, and in Blair's haste to leave the Titanic, he forgot to hand the key to the binoculars locker to Lightoller for lookouts to use in the crow's nest.
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This is perhaps the biggest misconception. The keys which former second officer Blair took with him were of the crow's nest telephone.
1649700071540

Binoculars wouldn't made much difference either since they are used AFTER an object is sighted.
Failure of Captain Smith to reduce speed from 21.5 knots (almost full speed) despite repeated warnings of icebergs (Smith was clearly eager to please his boss, Bruce Ismay, who wanted to set a record time for crossing the Atlantic)
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The Titanic her full speed was 23.39 knots, not 21.5 knots. And captain Smith's behaviour wasn't the exception but the norm of the time, 11 captain's of the period told, under oath, that as well:

1. Captain John Pritchard, who formerly commanded Cunard's record setting Mauretania, which was capable of 26 knots, said "should only slacken speed if the weather conditions were unfavourable." (The Cambria Daily Leader, 24 June 1913). At the British Titanic inquiry, on day 27, he testified under oath that even with "information that there was a probability of your meeting ice on your course" he would maintain speed: "As long as the weather is clear I always go full speed." Pritchard also explained that this was in his experience a "universal practice" - based on his time commanding Cunard ships between Liverpool and New York for 18 years. He also noted that if following the southern track - as did Captain Smith - he had "never got into an ice-field. We do not go North, you know; we go on the southern tracks this time of year." As for lookouts, he would not double them when in "clear weather."

2. Captain Hugh Young, of the Anchor Line, with 37 years experience crossing the Atlantic on the New York trade, testified under oath that if ice were reported, he "should keep my course and maintain my speed" in clear weather. He also confirmed this was a "universal practice" (British Inquiry, Day 27)

3. Captain William Stewart, Canadian Pacific, worked for 35 years on the trade between Liverpool and Canada. He was posed with the question if you "were given information that you might meet ice and that your course would take you through the place where you might meet ice, and meet it at night, would you reduce your speed?" His answer was: "No, not as long as it was clear." He was asked further, "if you had information that you might meet field ice, would you still maintain your speed?" and responded similarly: "Until I saw it, and then I should do what I thought proper." "(British Inquiry, Day 27)

4. The evidence of Pritchard, Young and Stewart was also confirmed by Captain John A. Fairfull, of the Allan Line, working the Atlantic for 21 years. He was asked "Is your practice in accordance with theirs?" And he answered "All except that when we get to the ice track in an Allan steamer, besides having a look-out in the crow's-nest, we put a man on the stem head at night." (British Inquiry, Day 27)

5. Captain Andrew Braes, who commanded steamers of the Allan Line for 17 years also confirmed not changing speed or course in good visibility - "Just the same. I never slowed down so long as the weather was clear...I kept my course...I never knew any other practice."(British Inquiry, Day 27)

6. Captain Frederick Passow, who had been a captain on the North Atlantic for 28 years, in the American Line, and who had crossed about 700 times, testified that he "had a very large experience of ice" and yet did not slacken his speed for ice as long as the weather was quite clear: "Not as long as it was quite clear - no, not until we saw it...when it is absolutely clear we do not slow down for ice." (British Inquiry, Day 21)

7. Captain Bertram F. Hayes, of the White Star Line, testified that when a position of reported ice he would continue "at the same rate of speed...No alteration...it is the practice all over the world so far as I know - every ship that crosses the Atlantic... Ice does not make any difference to speed in clear weather. You can always see ice then." (British Inquiry, Day 21)

8. Benjamin Steele, marine superintendent at Southampton for the White Star Line, and master mariner with an Extra Master's certificate of 19 years having been at sea "about 26 or 27 years" confirmed the practice of "not slackening speed on account of ice as long as the weather is clear" by responding "It is. I have never known any other practice."(British Inquiry, Day 21)

9. Captain Richard Jones, master of the SS Canada of the Dominion Line, and in the Canadian service for 27 years testified that his ship was stopped by ice on the 11th of April 1912. However he also confirmed that after receiving messages about the ice he continueed at full speed ahead, considering it a usual practice. He said: "I should think it would be just as safe to go full speed with 22 knots... we always make what speed we can..we always try to get through the ice track as quickly as possible in clear weather."(British Inquiry, Day 24)

10. Captain Edwin Cannons, master with the Atlantic Transport Company with 25 years’ experience in the North Atlantic noted that he had "never seen field ice on the southern track." If an iceberg is sighted he testifed that "I keep my speed...Both day and night...I have never had any difficulty to clear when I have met ice ahead." If ice is reported he said: "I should maintain my speed and keep an exceptionally sharp look-out... to maintain speed until the ice is seen." However, if was clear he would not double the look-out. (British Inquiry, Day 24)

11. Captain John Ranson of White Star Line’s Baltic, on the Liverpool-New York run also confirmed the standard practice: "We go full speed whether there is ice reported or not...We keep up our speed... It has always been my practice." He also stated that it is the practice of all liners on that course, "for the last 21 years to my knowledge." and that he would not double the look-outs at night - "not in clear weather."(British Inquiry, Day 26)



There's no evidence to suggest that Captain Smith wanted to please Mr. Ismay, and it is purely speculation to suggest so.
Failure of Captain Smith to order crew to use tools and break into locker containing binoculars requested by ship's lookouts, to enhance safer navigation of the ship at night
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The officer's of the watch all had their own binoculars and as mentioned before, binoculars are used to observe objects after they've been spotted by the naked eye. If the lookouts at the time kept observing the skyline ahead of them with the binoculars they would have blocked their vision off, I would highly recommend this video:
Insufficient moonlight to disclose iceberg dead ahead, struck at 11:40 PM, April 14 (Crow's Nest Lookout Frederick Fleet had not been given an eye exam in five years)
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That there was no moonlight is no one's fault but nature itself. If Fleet didn't had an eye exam for five years why was he still employed as a lookout on the RMS Oceanic (1899), and if he had poor eyesight why wouldn't his watchmate, Reginald Lee, spotted the iceberg before him?
Calm seas reduced wave action around the base of the iceberg, making it much more difficult to see until it was too late
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Once again, this is not captain Smith his fault
Titanic radioman Jack Phillips failed to forward last and most critical iceberg warning to ship's bridge, that the Californian had stopped dead in the water to avoid colliding with icebergs
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The importance of this warning is a bit exaggerated, two other icewarnings of the RMS Baltic and SS Amerika, which the Titanic already recieved and were already delivered, were actually much closer to the iceberg which sank the Titanic.
Titanic radioman ordered Californian's communications room to "Shut up, shut up" as they attempted to warn of dangerous icebergs nearby, just ten minutes before Titanic hit the iceberg
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This is false. This did't happen ten minutes before the collision but 33 minutes before the collision. The "Shut up, shut up, I am busy; I am working Cape Race" from Phillips wasn't meant to be rude, it was the common language used between Marconi officers.
The Californian's radio operator, Cyril Evans, shut his radio off at 11:30 PM after being told to "Shut up!" Therefore he could not receive the subsequent SOS calls nearby.
(Captain Stanley Lord, commanding the SS Californian, ordered the ship to a full stop for the night to avoid collision with an iceberg.)
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Evans did not shut down his wireless set immediately after the rebuke from the Titanic. He listened to some more of the private messages from the Titanic's crew being sent.
Spotting of iceberg by lookouts in the crow's nest was too late to avoid a collision, but early enough (37 seconds) to commence evasive maneuver which compounded damage beyond survivability - a 230 foot long tear in the Titanic's hull, flooding six separate compartments (Four flooded would not have sunk her.) Had the lookouts been posted on the bow, forty feet lower, they may have seen the outline of the iceberg against the faint horizon sooner. The ship's searchlight should have been lit to illuminate the path ahead, even though it was not standard procedure. It was, after all, a moonless night with no waves washing against ice floes.
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Searchlights would have damaged the night eyes of lookouts and the officer's of the watch. A searchlight also offers a path to only a certain distance away from the ship, an Edwardian searchlight couldn't have lit a path 2000 feet ahead of the ship, which was the estimated difference between the Titanic. It weren't six separate watertight compartments that were damaged but the forward six in a row, only four of these attributed to the flooding in the first hour. The height of the crow's nest
Watch officer throwing all engines in reverse while ordering the helm hard a-port, robbing the rudder of the authority it had while running. (If instead he had reversed only the port engine, leaving the center and starboard engines in forward, or if he had reversed all engines while maintaining the original track, the Titanic might not have sustained fatal damage. A direct hit surely would not have flooded all six compartments.)
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Except for fourth officer Boxhall there's no proof that the engines were put full astern. We know from the engine crew, such as Leading Frederick Barrett and trimmer Thomas Dillon (the later was even in the reciprocating engine room at the time), that a STOP order was given.
Inexcusable failure of Captain Edwards or any officers to oversee filling all 20 lifeboats, 4 of which were collapsible, to their rated capacity, much less to some arbitrary but reasonable number over theoretical capacity (say ten more people) in view of the exceptionally calm seas
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Captain Smith only oversaw the loading of lifeboat number 8,6 and 2 in that order. Near the end a lot more lifeboats were filled near their maximum capacity. In the early stages of the sinking many passengers were reluctant


Regarding your other claims I would go into more detail on a later day, but as it is now I am honestly quite amazed how many false claims have been made, and are made in the rest of the post.

Kind regards,


Thomas
 
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John Jaeger

John Jaeger

Member
Full of mistakes.

Love to see the working out behind the percentages.
There was no "work." They are simply my own estimates, as I said.

Why don't you point out the mistakes, instead of simply posting a short, snarky sentence.

The main takeaways are Smith's incredible list of oversights and misjudgments, including his abject failure to personally supervise the emergency evacuation, as is every captain's responsibility. Much blood is on his hands.
 
John Jaeger

John Jaeger

Member
There are so many errors/myths in this post that it would require a post of equal length to address them all, but to stay within the subject area of my specific interest:

Captain Smith was not in command of HMS Hawke - it was under compulsory pilotage at the time of collision, with Trinity House Pilot George Bowyer in command.

There was an ample number of binoculars aboard which were used by officers - this key is a red herring.

Ice warnings were plotted (not ignored) and maintaining speed was protocol procedure under the conditions Titanic faced i.e. clear visibility.

Binoculars were not used by the lookouts or the officers to spot objects, but to identify them after being spotted, so would have made no difference.

If you are referring to the Mesaba message - it was irrelevant whether it got through or not as the area of ice had already been calculated. Regardless, we do not know whether it was received as the three senior officers - Smith, Wilde and Murdoch, plus the wireless operator himself Phillips, did not survive to tell the story. It may well have been delivered.

The engines were NOT reversed.

Smith DID oversee the filling of the lifeboats. Passengers were initially reluctant to enter, so the "rated capacity" becomes irrelevant. If the officers had waited until reaching full capacity they would not have launched all that they did.

Before calculating probability I would recommend getting the facts straight first.

The engines were reversed.

A lookout testified at the board hearing that he felt they would have seen the iceberg if they hadd binoculars. I take his testimony before yours.

Maintaining speed was "protocol" and so another ship was dead in the water after issuing iceberg warnings? Please. Moreover Titanic was faster than other ships.

Officers don't "wait" in an emergency. They order the passengers in and put them in personally if they refuse.
 
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Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

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A lookout testified at the board hearing that he felt they would have seen the iceberg if they hadd binoculars. I take his testimony before yours.
Lookout Frederick Fleet once admitted to this procedure during the US Inquiry saying that he would not have his eyes to the glasses most of the time explaining "if we fancied we saw anything on the horizon, then we would have the glasses to make sure." At the British Inquiry Fleet was also pushed on this matter and eventually stated:

Sir Robert Finlay: Do you agree with this. This is what Symons says: “You use your own eyes as regards the picking up anything, but you want the glasses then to make certain of that object.” Do you agree with that?
Fleet - Yes.
Lookout Frederick Fleet once again admitted to this procedure during the US Inquiry saying that he would not have his eyes to the glasses most of the time explaining "if we fancied we saw anything on the horizon, then we would have the glasses to make sure." At the British Inquiry Fleet was also pushed on this matter and eventually stated:

Sir Robert Finlay: Do you agree with this. This is what Symons says: “You use your own eyes as regards the picking up anything, but you want the glasses then to make certain of that object.” Do you agree with that?
Fleet - Yes.

The other lookouts also agreed:

Do you mean you believe in your own eyesight better than you do in the glasses?
Yes.
Lookout George Alfred Hogg (1883-1946) (B17518)

As a rule, do I understand you prefer to trust your naked eye to begin with?
Well, yes, you trust your naked eye.
Lookout George Thomas Macdonald Symons (1888-1950) (B11994)

This was not just Fleet and Hogg's opinion, but confirmed in other testimony during the inquiries:

Do you think it is desirable to have them?
No, I do not.
Captain Richard Jones, Master, S.S. Canada (B23712)

We have never had them.
Captain Frederick Passow, Master, S.S. St. Paul (B21877)

I would never think of giving a man in the lookout a pair of glasses.
Captain Stanley Lord, Master, S.S. Californian (U. S. Day 8)

I have never believed in them.
Captain Benjamin Steele, Marine Superintendent at Southampton for the White Star Line (B21975)

“Did not believe in any look-out man having any glasses at all.”
Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer

1846. They are a source of danger, Sir. They spoil the look-out.
21847. How is that?
The look-out man when he sees a light if he has glasses is more liable to look at it and see what kind of a ship it is. That is the officer’s business. The look-out man’s business is to look out for other lights.
Captain Bertram Hayes, Master of the White Star Line’s Adriatic
 
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Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

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The engines were reversed.
Leading fireman Frederick William Barrett (1883-1931)
1860. Now just tell us what happened that you noticed?
- There is like a clock rigged up in the stokehold and a red light goes up when the ship is supposed to stop; a white light for full speed, and, I think it is a blue light for slow. This red light came up. I am the man in charge of the watch, and I called out, "Shut all dampers."

1861. You saw this red light?
- Yes.

1862. You knew that was an order to stop the engines?
- It says "stop" - a red piece of glass and an electric light inside.
Trimmer Thomas Patrick Dillon (1879-1939)
3720. Was anything done to the engines? Did they stop or did they go on?
- They stopped.

3721. Was that immediately after you felt the shock or some little time after?
- About a minute and a half.
 
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John Jaeger

John Jaeger

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The Titanic also didn't break because she was badly built, but purely because she rached a bending moment that was two times greater than she could handle
I referred to the reasons this "bending moment" was reached.

The coal bunker was coal bunker W, not coal bunker number 5. The damage also didn't weaken the plates were the iceberg hit since it would be unable to do so. To cite the talented Samuel Halpern:
"Spontaneous ignition of coal in a bunker usually begins deep down where the coal absorbs oxygen and gives off hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and some aerosols under rising temperatures. With no real draft of air in the bunker, coal will ignite and smolder at about 750°F. Since the bulkhead was riveted tight around its edges to angle iron which was riveted to the hull and decks, thermal expansion caused by heat from the fire would cause the bulkhead plate to bulge outward to relieve the stress. After cooling back to room temperatures, it would remain somewhat dented as observed. But to get that bulkhead, which was made of mild steel, to glow red hot, would take a temperature of about 900°F or more from a fire being fed with a good draft of air. Despite the drama that some subsequent newspaper accounts wanted people to believe, it certainly was not a raging blaze that was completely out of control. Metallurgical analysis on bulkhead plate similar to that used on Titanic was heated to about 1,200°F so that it became red hot. The plate was bounded to other pieces modeling the shell and floor plates by riveting it to angle iron pieces which in turn were riveted to the other pieces. The results showed the bulkhead plate had distorted by about 6 inches, and the rivets holding the plate would only have been stressed to only 10%-20% of their failure load. Even if the bulkhead was first heated red hot and then cooled down by sea water or water from a fire hose, it would not affect the low temperature properties of the bulkhead. The conclusion of modern day forensics is that the bunker fire would not have weakened the watertight bulkhead sufficiently to cause it to collapse."

Not all "modern day" forensic analysists agree with your claims.
There's no evidence to suggest that Captain Smith wanted to please Mr. Ismay, and it is purely speculation to suggest so.
Smith was solely in charge. The ship's safety was his responsibility. You are trying to excuse Smith at every turn. His word at sea was "law" around the world.

The officer's of the watch all had their own binoculars and as mentioned before, binoculars are used to observe objects after they've been spotted by the naked eye. If the lookouts at the time kept observing the skyline ahead of them with the binoculars they would have blocked their vision off, I would highly recommend this video:

One lookout testified that he thinks they would have seen the iceberg in time. I take his word rather than yours.
That there was no moonlight is no one's fault but nature itself. If Fleet didn't had an eye exam for five years why was he still employed as a lookout on the RMS Oceanic (1899), and if he had poor eyesight why wouldn't his watchmate, Reginald Lee, spotted the iceberg before him?

Once again, this is not captain Smith his fault

I did not begin to make the inference that it was his fault. I simply estimated the probability of that event. You make assumptions that are wrong and then blame your erroneous assumption on me?

This is false. This did't happen ten minutes before the collision but 33 minutes before the collision. The "Shut up, shut up, I am busy; I am working Cape Race" from Phillips wasn't meant to be rude, it was the common language used between Marconi officers.

Ten minutes, 33 minutes, this is quite trivial.

Evans did not shut down his wireless set immediately after the rebuke from the Titanic. He listened to some more of the private messages from the Titanic's crew being sent.

And so......
Searchlights would have damaged the night eyes of lookouts and the officer's of the watch. A searchlight also offers a path to only a certain distance away from the ship, an Edwardian searchlight couldn't have lit a path 2000 feet ahead of the ship, which was the estimated difference between the Titanic. It weren't six separate watertight compartments that were damaged but the forward six in a row, only four of these attributed to the flooding in the first hour. The height of the crow's nest

Except for fourth officer Boxhall there's no proof that the engines were put full astern. We know from the engine crew, such as Leading Frederick Barrett and trimmer Thomas Dillon (the later was even in the reciprocating engine room at the time), that a STOP order was given.

Captain Smith only oversaw the loading of lifeboat number 8,6 and 2 in that order. Near the end a lot more lifeboats were filled near their maximum capacity. In the early stages of the sinking many passengers were reluctant
He is solely to blame for failing to supervise the emergency evacuation, the lightly loaded lifeboats, the oversight of not building rafts or even trying to put survivors on the huge iceberg using tools and picks.

Regarding your other claims I would go into more detail on a later day, but as it is now I am honestly quite amazed how many false claims have been made, and are made in the rest of the post.

"Kind" regards,


Thomas

I am even more amazed at how thankless you and others are for analyses that persuasively demonstrate how many more lives could have been saved by these "experts" who were in charge.
 
Dan Parkes

Dan Parkes

Member
The engines were reversed.
No, they were not. I recommend you check the latest research. For example, have you read the book "On a Sea of Glass: The Life & Loss of the RMS Titanic" (2012)- the most extensive and accurate book on the sinking? It confirms that the engines were not reversed. There are key reasons for this:

1. No first-hand eyewitness testimony to the order being given (from those in the bridge/engine room/boiler rooms)

2. No eye-witness testimony to the effects of full astern (there would be noticeable movement) e.g. Lightoller does not believe the ship was ever ordered "full astern" notably saying that "I cannot say I remember feeling the engines going full speed astern." (British Inquiry)

3. The only 'witness' to this order - Fourth officer Boxhall - was not on the bridge at the time the order would have been given and also does not report hearing it, only "hard-a-starboard". He only mentions "full astern" when he puts the words in Murdoch's mouth during the conversation with Captain Smith. And later in 1962 changes this to "full speed astern on the port engine." so it is unreliable.

4. Mechanically, there was not enough time for the engines to be able to reverse in time.

5. Reversing the engines would reduce Titanic's ability to turn (Murdoch was very experienced and would know that).

A lookout testified at the board hearing that he felt they would have seen the iceberg if they hadd binoculars. I take his testimony before yours.
Thomas Krom has already listed all the evidence above that binoculars were NOT used to spot objects, but to identify them afterwards. Titanic's lookouts, including Fleet, admitted to this. So I take their testimony over your claims.
Maintaining speed was "protocol" and so another ship was dead in the water after issuing iceberg warnings? Please. Moreover Titanic was faster than other ships.
If you mean the Californian being "dead in the water" then yes of course - because she sighted ice and stopped. Titanic did exactly the same thing but with a different outcome.

As for "Titanic was faster than other ships" then take for example Cunard's Mauretania which was capable of 26 knots - at least 3 knots faster than Titanic. What did her captain say in response to the Titanic disaster?: "As long as the weather is clear I always go full speed." Pritchard also explained that this was in his experience a "universal practice" - based on his time commanding Cunard ships between Liverpool and New York for 18 years. (British Inquiry).
 
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Dan Parkes

Dan Parkes

Member
I am even more amazed at how thankless you and others are for analyses that persuasively demonstrate how many more lives could have been saved by these "experts" who were in charge.
Absolutely more lives could have been saved - Smith and his officers were guilty of both complacency and miscommunication. It was an avoidable tragedy.

But that does not remove the fact that your original post contains substantial errors and demonstrably false claims. Honestly - if you had any respect for the lives lost then please get your facts right.
 
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Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

Member
One lookout testified that he thinks they would have seen the iceberg in time. I take his word rather than yours
And three surviving lookouts disagree with him on it, I rather take their word than a man who in the past can't see to accept he's proven wrong, (see Mark Chirnside and Ioannis Georgiou back in 2018 their responses on your claims) when looking at your past history in several treads with all due respect.
I am even more amazed at how thankless you and others are for analyses that persuasively demonstrate how many more lives could have been saved by these "experts" who were in charge.
We are thankless because you come with claims that are incorrect, you can't point fingers at people by saying that they did and that while there's evidence against it. That is why we come across as thankless, since we wish to fight misconceptions spread by people who write posts like this.
Not all "modern day" forensic analysists agree with your claims.
Come with evidence then. I would be eager to look into it.
I did not begin to make the inference that it was his fault. I simply estimated the probability of that event. You make assumptions that are wrong and then blame your erroneous assumption on me?
You called the very thread: "Smith's deadly follies", why would you mention something that is nature's fault if you start the tread to blame "human errors" for the disaster.
Ten minutes, 33 minutes, this is quite trivial.
It would showcase that you should do more research into it. If there are many mistakes in your claims it won't be considered a good source. You can better be exact than give wrong information.
He is solely to blame for failing to supervise the emergency evacuation, the lightly loaded lifeboats, the oversight of not building rafts or even trying to put survivors on the huge iceberg using tools and picks.
Please do a bit more research into his movements before you'll point fingers. Captain Smith wasn't very active in supervising the loading and lowering of the lifeboats since he only oversaw 3 the lifeboats as mentioned before, in fact chief officer Henry Tingle Wilde (lifeboats 8, 16, 14, 12, 2, 10, C, D and possibly A), first officer William McMaster Murdoch (lifeboats number 7, 5, 3, 1, 9, 11, 13, 15, 10, C and A), second officer Charles Hebert Lightoller (lifeboats number 6, 12, 4, D), fifth officer Harold Godfrey Lowe (7, 5, 3, 1, 14) and sixth officer Moody (16, 9, 11, 13, 15, possibly 10 and A) were a lot more active in loading and lowering the lifeboats. The iceberg was miles away at the position of the Titanic as well.
And so......
You claimed he "shut his radio off at 11:30 PM after being told to "Shut up!" so I point out for the people who are walking into this thread that he didn't went to bed right away as often claimed in some depictions in the media.
Smith was solely in charge. The ship's safety was his responsibility. You are trying to excuse Smith at every turn. His word at sea was "law" around the world.
Yes, he indeed was. The reason I try to excuse him is because it is tiring to constantly see false claims and accusations pop up that is just purely pointing fingers at someone without proper evidence and nearly purely based on just flat out misconceptions about the disaster.



There is already a thread for this, it's called:

Who was the most negligent Captain on the night of the Titanic disaster?

If you remember correctly you were corrected by a few people there in 2018, and yet refused to take their statements from primary sources and sworn statements.
 
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John Jaeger

John Jaeger

Member
Lookout Frederick Fleet once admitted to this procedure during the US Inquiry saying that he would not have his eyes to the glasses most of the time explaining "if we fancied we saw anything on the horizon, then we would have the glasses to make sure." At the British Inquiry Fleet was also pushed on this matter and eventually stated:

Sir Robert Finlay: Do you agree with this. This is what Symons says: “You use your own eyes as regards the picking up anything, but you want the glasses then to make certain of that object.” Do you agree with that?
Fleet - Yes.
Lookout Frederick Fleet once again admitted to this procedure during the US Inquiry saying that he would not have his eyes to the glasses most of the time explaining "if we fancied we saw anything on the horizon, then we would have the glasses to make sure." At the British Inquiry Fleet was also pushed on this matter and eventually stated:

Sir Robert Finlay: Do you agree with this. This is what Symons says: “You use your own eyes as regards the picking up anything, but you want the glasses then to make certain of that object.” Do you agree with that?
Fleet - Yes.

The other lookouts also agreed:

Do you mean you believe in your own eyesight better than you do in the glasses?
Yes.
Lookout George Alfred Hogg (1883-1946) (B17518)

As a rule, do I understand you prefer to trust your naked eye to begin with?
Well, yes, you trust your naked eye.
Lookout George Thomas Macdonald Symons (1888-1950) (B11994)

This was not just Fleet and Hogg's opinion, but confirmed in other testimony during the inquiries:

Do you think it is desirable to have them?
No, I do not.
Captain Richard Jones, Master, S.S. Canada (B23712)

We have never had them.
Captain Frederick Passow, Master, S.S. St. Paul (B21877)

I would never think of giving a man in the lookout a pair of glasses.
Captain Stanley Lord, Master, S.S. Californian (U. S. Day 8)

I have never believed in them.
Captain Benjamin Steele, Marine Superintendent at Southampton for the White Star Line (B21975)

“Did not believe in any look-out man having any glasses at all.”
Sir Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer

1846. They are a source of danger, Sir. They spoil the look-out.
21847. How is that?
The look-out man when he sees a light if he has glasses is more liable to look at it and see what kind of a ship it is. That is the officer’s business. The look-out man’s business is to look out for other lights.
Captain Bertram Hayes, Master of the White Star Line’s Adriatic

This critically important point of course negates everything else I said - paragraphs of ideas you saw nowhere else.

Bertram Hayes said "I would have overfilled the life rafts." No, he did not say that.

Ernest Shackleton said, "I would have ordered the able-bodied men to build life rafts from the wooden doors and furniture to save lives." No, he did not say that.

Benjamin Steele said, "I would have ordered mates to secure footings on the massive iceberg to hold as many as possible rather than let them go down with the ship." Oh wait, he didn't say that either.

Everyone reading this sees the glass as half-empty. Cynical and thankless.

"Science advances one funeral at a time." - Max Planck
 
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Mark Baber

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We've been through this before. No need to redo it.
 
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