Captain Smith where were thou


Erik Wood

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It is worth pointing out here that Smith's job was not to assist Murdoch in any way shape or form. Murdoch was assisting his captain.

My own opinion is that should disaster have struck Smith would have assisted Murdoch, since Smith had no knowledge of what was going on, a practice shown by Captains who trust there officers.

To answer Sam's question: My experience would tell me that logic says if Smith was with Boxhall working on plotting or other chart information, he understood that something needed to be done, or at the very least was in the process of getting the "big picture".

I guess it makes sense to me, because I have been in similar situations (in regards to being up late at night to figure out a better course of travel). While I understand Sam's point, we don't have any definitive information to the opposite.
 

liam forber

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Mar 8, 2006
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i dont mean to be disrepectful but in a book it said captain smith was not the best of captaines he ran 4 ships aground damaged greatly and 4 men died in a boiler incerdent all under his control
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Liam, Captain Smith had his share of incidents but on close inspection, most of them were very minor and not at all out of the ordinary. The only really serious one, the Titanic aside, was the collision between the Olympic and the Hawke, and the question of fault has always been controversial.

As to the boiler accident you mentioned...if it happened at all (I don't know)...it's well to remember that the Captain of the ship has nothing to do with the day to day operations of the engineering spaces. As Captain, he still bears ultimate responsibility, but he's not the one actually tending the fires or supervising the ones who do.
 
May 3, 2005
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>>The only really serious one, the Titanic aside, was the collision between the Olympic and the Hawke, and the question of fault has always been controversial.<<

....I "have heard"....maybe erroneously at that..... that the Pilot was actually in command of Olympic at the time and Smith was more or less an observer of the incident.

Good Grief ! Haven't you people seen the movie "Titanic [1953]" ? Of course ! Captain Smith was down in the First Class Lounge listening to American College Songs ! This is just another case of all the errors in "that movie".

And Fleet and Lee were distracted and didn't see the iceberg until too late since they were watching Jack and Rose smooching on the forward well deck ! ("Titanic" [1997]"

I also noticed Bernard Fox (Fleet) isn't even listed in ANTR credits, but is listed as Col. Archibald Gracie in the 1997 film.


Seriously, in my rather limited Naval Experience (as a Leading/Senior Petty Officer of my division) I never had a direct confrontation with the Captain and it seemed to me that he more or less delegated authority and trusted in his officers to assist him or carry out his orders rather than person-to-person with those down the ladder in the chain of command.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I never had a direct confrontation with the Captain<<

Given that confrontations with the Captain are hazardous to one's career prospects...to say nothing of a good way to invite criminal sanctions...this was most fortunate.

And yes, the Captain does delegate authority to subordinate officers and petty officers. I have to point out however that in no case does this relieve him of the absolute and total responsibility for everything that happens onboard and to his command. Even if he's not culpable in the snese that he would face dismissal or even charges, if something goes wrong on his command, he still has that obligation to make sure corrective actions take place.

Just want to make sure we're all clear on this.
 

Erik Wood

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Or to put it more bluntly. The master or commander of the vessel is responsible for all actions or inactions that occur on his vessel. Regardless of whether he was in a position to stop the incident from occuring or not.

With four bars on your shoulder (or an eagle on the collar in the Navy's case) comes a fancy state room, and a meriad of other perks. As well as watching your career sink with the action of a moron that just happens to be assigned to your ship. Skippers are selective to with whom they serve. If they don't know you, they watch you until they feel confident in your ability.

At least I do.
 
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Wayne Keen

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"As well as watching your career sink with the action of a moron that just happens to be assigned to your ship."

That is sometimes hard for those of us who are used to being covered by "it wasn't my fault!".

Thanks for the perspective guys....

Wayne
 
May 3, 2005
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Michael-

>>I never had a direct confrontation with the Captain<<

>>Given that confrontations with the Captain are hazardous to one's career prospects...to say nothing of a good way to invite criminal sanctions...this was most fortunate<<

By confrontation, I meant even a friendly one.
:)
The only time I had occasion to enter the Captain's Cabin was to check out an AM-FM radio console installed therein. I suppose it worked to his satisfaction...he was known to be a bit picky... since I never got a complaint...or a confrontation,friendly or otherwise.

Robert
 

George Stone

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I understand the cpt was asleep when the titanic hit the berg.I would like to know who awakened him.I think it was an officer,but whitch one I dont know.Can anyone help me here.Hank
 
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I don't believe that Captain Smith was asleep at the time. I believe that is a myth invented to cover the fact that we just don't know what Smith was doing at the time of the collision.

Here's what Boxhall had to say:

16924. Was Captain Smith on and off the bridge during your watch? - Frequently.
16925. At what intervals did he come on the bridge? - The first that I remember seeing of Captain Smith was somewhere in the vicinity of 9 o'clock, but from 9 o'clock to the time of the collision, Captain Smith was around there the whole of the time; I was talking to him on one or two occasions.
16926. Were you talking to him on the bridge? - Sometimes in the Officers' chart room and sometimes at his chart room door.

Could he have been dozing in a chair in his chart room? Maybe. But it seems unlikely that he was, as is so often portrayed, fully asleep in the comfort of his cabin.

Parks

[Moderator's Note: This message and the one immediately above it, originally posted to an urelated thread in this topic, have been moved to this pre-existing thread addressing the same subject. MAB]
 

George Stone

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I have read how an officer awakened the captain,and told him about hit the iceberg.The captain told who ever it was he would be right up.In fact I have read in one of the logs that this true.Hank

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally posted to the same urelated thread as the previous two, has been moved to this thread. MAB]
 
Mar 22, 2003
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George:

I am not sure where you got your information from, but if go to any of the official transcripts from two inquiries into the disaster you will not find any evidence whatsoever that Capt. Smith was asleep. The most descriptive direct evidence that we have about Capt. Smith's actions at the time of the collision comes from QM Robert Hichens.
quote:

Just about a minute, I suppose, after the collision, the Captain rushed out of his room and asked Mr. Murdoch what was that, and he said, "An iceberg, Sir," and he said, "Close the watertight door." ...he passed through the wheelhouse on to the bridge...The Captain immediately gave him orders to close the watertight doors. He said, "They are already closed." He immediately then sent for the carpenter to sound the ship.
We also know from the evidence of 4th officer Joseph Boxhall and standby QM Olliver that this is about the way it happened. The story of an officer going to his cabin to wake him is absolutely pure fiction.

[Moderator's Note: This message and the next five, originally posted to the same urelated thread as mentioned earlier, have been moved to this thread. MAB]​
 

George Stone

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How long have you been following these tips about what happened on the titanic?I have been interested in what happened in the last 3 hours before the ship hit the iceberg and after sense 1940.and I would swear by what I have read back then,and still do.I think there is something you guys are missing.Covering up for captain smith.Hank
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Following tips? I tend to go directly to the primary sources of information, not to what people who weren't there had to say or hypothesize. There were only six people who would have known for sure because they were there: Hichens, Boxhall, Olliver, Murdoch, Moody, and Smith. We only know what we know from the first three. The last three never made it. Anything from anyone else is pure hearsay or rumor.
 

George Stone

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What about the head of the white star esmay.he was saved,and he captain smith were like 2 peas in a pot.Someone has changed what really happened the last 3 hours>I would say it had to be a cover up.Hank
 
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Timothy Trower

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George,

I ask this in all seriousness: What on earth are you talking about?

First off, if you are going to use English, please spell, punctuate and capitalize it correctly.

Second, I'm guessing that you had a post removed, and little of what you are now posting makes any sense.

Third, Ismay and Captain Smith were not like two peas in a pot -- or even two peas in a pod! Are you next going to say that Lightoller was really on the bridge when the ship hit the iceberg and that Murdoch was a patsy?

Sigh.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>How long have you been following these tips about what happened on the titanic?<<

Several years, with a lot of ratbaggery being consigned to the dustbin in the journey. The people you're talking to have been studying the event for a much longer period of time, and from primary sources.

>>I think there is something you guys are missing.Covering up for captain smith.Hank<<

Not likely. Trust me, this bunch has no reason or incentive to cover up for anybody. None of us denies explicitly that Ismay had a hand in some of the events, but the problem here is that the evidence for it is dodgy to say the least, some of it being hearsay which made it into the official record.

By the way, who is "Hank?"
 

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