The concepts and the language to describe his error in bridge team management did not exist until late in World War II.
That must have been on US Ships David. I went to sea just after WW2 and the term was never heard of at that time.
“loss of situational awareness.”It was the real problem Titanic's master faced that night. This condition allowed his ship to run down an iceberg that had been spotted by the lookouts and of which thewas fully aware.
"Situation awareness" and "bridge team" were unheard -of terms before the 1970's David.
The iceberg was originally reported by the crow's nest when it was approximately 2.2 miles ahead. We can calculate this from the single most overlooked (deliberately so by some Titanic historians) piece of evidence: the testimony of seaman Scarrott.
Another bit of evidence you overlook David is the fact that Scarrott hadn't a clue when he heard the three bells, he made a 'stab' at it:
"336. What did you hear?- Three bells.
337. Do you know what time that was?- Not to be exact I do not, but it was round about half-past eleven.
[B,[/B] I could hardly recollect the time; but I should think it was - well, we will say about five or eight minutes; it seemed to me about that time.
Hardly the sure-fire evidence on which to build a case!
He was in the crew's galley and heard the sound of the three strikes on the crow's nest bell.
If he "did not take much notice of the three strikes on the gong" That's contrary to what the man told his questioner David.
It is vital to understand that neither lookout -- Fleet or Lee -- quantified the duration between bell strokes and impact.
If you mean by quantify, they didn't give you a minute and second interval between events then your right. However, when their evidence is combined with that of the helmsman QM Hichen. then their is little doubt of the timing and sequence of events..
Lee stated that he turned, trang the bell then went immediately to the phone and contacted Moody on the Bridge. The latter answered immediately. Fleet dropped the phone and turned to look ahead again. In the time between putting down the phone and turning, Titanic's bow began to swing left. "Ding, ding, ding...3 seconds. Turn round to phone...2 seconds? Murdoch orders hard-a-starboard (Fleet on the phone with Moody) 2 seconds. Helm hard over then impact. 6 seconds. Total 13 seconds at absolute most
Lots of people use quartermaster Olliver's testimony to estimate the duration. They assume that Olliver was leaving the compass platform when the three strikes sounded Since the walk back to the bridge should have take under a minute, they assume the crow's nest bell sounded 45 to 50 seconds before impact. The problem with this is that Olliver never said he was just leaving the platform when he heard the bell, just that he was on the platform at that time. How much longer he remained there was never established. He could have climbed down immediately or remained there for five to eight minutes. Olliver did not say. For this reason it is impossible to use Olliver's testimony to determine the duration between bell warning and impact.
Unless we have a typo in the transcript, QM Olliver stated he was at the "Standing", not "Standard". compass and when he heard the three bells he looked up. He also said he saw the top of the iceberg as it passed the bridge. To do that, he must have been at the entrance to the wheelhouse no more than 6 seconds after impact. This had to be no more than 13 + 6 = 20 seconds from hearing the three bells. The only way he could have done that was for him to have been at the steering compass outside and in front of the enclosed wheelhouse where Hichens was esconced. Remeber he looked up when he heard the bells. No point in that if he had been behind Funnel 2.
Landsmen often make the mistake of assuming that objects can only be seen by light reflecting off their surfaces. Seaman (lookouts especially) know differently. Objects are often spotted not by the light they reflect, but the light they block. When a lookout sees a black area against an otherwise illuminated background, he knows that darkness represents danger. If it happens to be dead ahead, the dark spot requires 3 strikes on the lookout's bell. And, Titanic's lookouts reported just such a scenario. They noted a hazy look to the horizon. There was no possibility of meteorological haze that night, so this luminosity could only be starlight reflected from the ice floating across the ship's track. Then, the lookouts described spotting the iceberg as a "black mass" against that background.
First of all David, at night, a lookout looks directly at the horizon, not at the areas of water below it. In this case, the horizon was 11 miles ahead of the lookouts. For it to have been sticking above the horizon two miles away, it would have been towering above them when they were almost on top of it. it was not, it was below their eye level. It was a relatively small berg.. not much more than a big growler.
Captain Smith allowed situational awareness to slip away during the hours after he returned from dinner. In essence the concept of loss of situational awareness means that while everyone is doing their job, nobody has a grasp of the overall situation. This was the result of Smith inadvertently splitting the two command functions of the senior officer in charge of the ship. Until Smith arrived, Second Officer Murdoch as officer of the watch had both "the deck" and "the con." Although these are naval terms not usually associated with merchant ships, they still describe the OOD's two functions. "The deck" means overall command of the vessel at the moment. "The con" refers to the officer actually issuing the rudder and engine orders. Naval ratings learn to listen only to the officer who has "the con."
I'm not sure what you "class as situational awareness". I'm afraid that in pre 1970s British Merchant vessel term, that's gobbledigook David. It's also mis-leading.
Smith was fully aware at all times what was going on within and out with his vessel. All heads of departmens would have his frequently updated Standing Orders. These would essentialyy require them to keep him constantly updated. That's what all compitent master did and still do. The master is always in command and will, if necessary, over-rule and action of the OOW. We know that he was on and off the bridge the entire time. He was on the bridge at about 9-30pm discussing the ice situation with Lightoller.
In Titanic that night, the presence of Smith as an active member of the bridge team silently moved "the deck" from Murdoch's shoulders and put it on the master. In itself, this did not have cause the accident. But, when Smith began issuing orders to alter course, he also unwittingly removed "the con" from Murdoch as well.
David, their is no evidence pointing to it and you do not know that Smith ordered a change of course. That's just an idea that you have.
" He [Boxhall] would then go aft to the platform and use bell signals to instruct the quartermaster how to bring the ship's heading to the desired new course. Obviously, while directing the quartermaster Boxhall would de facto have taken “the con.”
In making such an observation, you illustrate a lack of knowledge as to what went on a board a British merchant vessel. 99% of the time, a junior officer will not give a helm order. The OOW may do so but usually only when avoiding possible danger or on the instructions of the master or a Pilot.
First and foremost: If Smith had intended altering the vessel's course he would have discussed it with Boxhall then Murdoch. Boxhall in particular would need to have that information for his on-going nav. work and for the log book. The procedure would be as follows:
Smith would calculate the amount of course change. he would then alert Boxhall to the impending change. The he would discuss it with Murdoch.You must remember that in the vent of an accident to the master. the OOW musy know of his intentions. Smith would then, at the appropriate moment order Hichens to "bring her head rounf to **** Quartermaster". When she was on her new course, Hichens would report accordingly. Since they were using mmagnetic compasses, time would be allowed for the compasses to settle. Following that, Boxhall; would do a compass comparison with the standard compass. It would never be a 'seems like a good idea at the time' situation.
I will take a rain check on your last paragraph David because regretfully it is not a situation I can identify on any of the very many ships I have sailed in.