Collision with SS Nomadic at Cherbourg?

A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Survivor Edith Rosenbaum wrote about the incident in 1934. Do you think Edith was describing a common occurrence that takes place when transfers take place and was exaggerating the event, or was there a mishap and the two ships collided?


Extract from her 1934 letter.

'We waited aboard the tender for about 3 hours. I sat next to Colonel Astor with whom I had crossed in the spring of the year. Finally, a murmur went over the tender, 'Titanic sighted' and then from the huge tender (that had been constructed especially for the Titanic and the Olympic as the draught of these boats was so strong that a special tender had to be constructed.) I sighted what appeared to me a six-story house! I have a very strong recollection of a very unusual occurrence ' as we approached the ship, although the sea was perfectly calm, the tender began rocking in the most violent and inconceivable manner, throwing the passengers completely off their feet. I remember remarking, 'Well a boat that will produce this uncanny upheaval, in this kind of a calm sea, is dangerous. I wish I were not going.'......We drew alongside the Titanic, the tender pounding against her sides with such a force that I feared she would break in half.'

'The gangplank was held down by ten men on either side, as it shook and swayed in every direction. I was the last one to leave the tender, hating the idea of crossing that gang plank, and no sooner had I boarded the ship, than I went below to find out if there was not a possibility of locating my luggage, as I wished to turn back.'


I went aboard the Nomadic last week and read out her letter to the staff who were greatly appreciative as they were not aware of it. I also took a few photos (see below). It really felt like going back in time to 1912.




Nomadic10


Nomadic1


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H

Harland Duzen

Member
Lovely pictures, but they didn't know about the letter?!?
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Thanks. The staff I spoke to had not seen the letter before. Not sure if the regular staff were on duty that day as it was so close to Christmas (December 23rd).


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H

Harland Duzen

Member
Ohhhhh! That probably explains it. It just seemed a bit odd since given the notable passengers onboard Nomadic and the amount written on Titanic that this would have been known / found prior to her opening as a museum exhibit.

Back to Topic!

On Nomadic possibly hitting Titanic, it does sound slimiar to the Shallow Canal Effect that occurred just hours earlier in Southampton. Maybe when they first sighted Titanic, they set off while she was just entering Cherbourg and just before she shut off her engines, Nomadic was dragged into the hull.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
One of the staff members mentioned that very thing, but she believed the Titanic's propellers would have had no effect on sucking the Nomadic into her side. As I recall she believed the Nomadic may have been caught by the wake or ripple effect when the Titanic approached and stopped and the Nomadic steamed into her wake which rippled towards them and caused her to rock and bounce about as they approached the Titanic. She also said that the letter was wrong about the sea conditions as the letter states the sea was calm but the member of staff told me the sea was not calm when the transfer was taking place. This could also explain the apparent bumping against the Titanic's side. Perhaps the Nomadic scraped off some of the Titanic's black hull paint as they briefly made contact? I recall she also said the captain of the Nomadic may have been temporarily in command and was taking over from someone else. Perhaps if he was inexperienced with handling the Nomadic and keeping her steady against the side of the Titanic then this may have resulted in a minor collision as they tried to keep her steady beside the Titanic.


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H

Harland Duzen

Member
Since Nomadic is reported to have docked on Titanic's Port side (according to the ''report'' seen on this thread: Calling at Cherbourg check post #54)
It most likely was the Nomadic rocking due to passing though the ship's bow - stern wave and if her Captain was temporary then chaos seems guaranteed.

As for the state of the sea, It was mentioned in the same letter, that ''The gangplank was held down by ten men on either side, as it shook and swayed in every direction'' so it was choppy (a bit ironic since the entire harbour was built to deflect large waves!).
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
When I leaned against the port side railing the woman I spoke to said that the Titanic was on that side (port side of the Nomadic). I understand it may have looked similar to the 1997 film. Perhaps it was a case of trial and error owing to the currents and shipping traffic and they later decided it was better to transfer the passengers on the other side? Perhaps the eastbound vs westbound voyages had different embarkation and departure points? The footage from 1920 shows no difficulties with the transfer. Whatever Edith Rosenbaum had experienced it looked quite different from this:


Skip to 2.00



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H

Harland Duzen

Member
But the 1997 film and Marschall painting is inaccurate since when Titanic stopped in Cherbourg, Land should have actually have been on her Starboard Side. As this picture shows below:
Titanic en rade de Cherbourg Collection Claude Molteni de Villermont1

Maybe the tour guide meant that the Nomadic pulled up on her Port Side to Titanic's Port side.
 
I

Ioannis Georgiou

Member
Nomadic made fast on the port side, Traffic on the starboard side. There is mention that the sea rose up when Nomadic came alongside by a reported aboard her.
Didn't we already had that same discussion here somewhere on ET?
 
H

Harland Duzen

Member
We did and I even mentioned it above but the more we know... ;)

I been just been mentioning what you told me on the other thread so you deserve the real credit here. Thank you.

Back To Topic!
 
Stephen Carey

Stephen Carey

Member
Survivor Edith Rosenbaum wrote about the incident in 1934. Do you think Edith was describing a common occurrence that takes place when transfers take place and was exaggerating the event, or was there a mishap and the two ships collided?


Extract from her 1934 letter.

'We waited aboard the tender for about 3 hours. I sat next to Colonel Astor with whom I had crossed in the spring of the year. Finally, a murmur went over the tender, 'Titanic sighted' and then from the huge tender (that had been constructed especially for the Titanic and the Olympic as the draught of these boats was so strong that a special tender had to be constructed.) I sighted what appeared to me a six-story house! I have a very strong recollection of a very unusual occurrence ' as we approached the ship, although the sea was perfectly calm, the tender began rocking in the most violent and inconceivable manner, throwing the passengers completely off their feet. I remember remarking, 'Well a boat that will produce this uncanny upheaval, in this kind of a calm sea, is dangerous. I wish I were not going.'......We drew alongside the Titanic, the tender pounding against her sides with such a force that I feared she would break in half.'

'The gangplank was held down by ten men on either side, as it shook and swayed in every direction. I was the last one to leave the tender, hating the idea of crossing that gang plank, and no sooner had I boarded the ship, than I went below to find out if there was not a possibility of locating my luggage, as I wished to turn back.'


I went aboard the Nomadic last week and read out her letter to the staff who were greatly appreciative as they were not aware of it. I also took a few photos (see below). It really felt like going back in time to 1912.




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Lots of rivets to count there... What a lovely wee ship!
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Agreed, and her rivets were just as good as the Titanic's rivets as they were built at the same time. Wonder why no effort was made to test the strength of the Nomadic's rivets. Never understood the purpose of testing the Titanic's rivets as they are water damaged century old rivets which had already suffered the stresses of the collision, break up, and striking the seabed, and were bound to react poorly to any modern tests owing to their condition, yet they were tested with modern day fresh rivets and unfairly compared. Glad to say the poor rivets theory was dismissed.


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M

Monmou19

Member
It was the number of compartments the iceberg compromised . The rivets were fine even the ones from the wreck. Everyone always loves to dream up more things but they often aren’t true. For instance that photo they claim shows a black mark from the coal bunker fire on the outside the ship. I honestly think it’s a cloud of Black smoke in the photo or coal dust from when they loaded it on the ship . That’s why they Painted most ships black until they were converted the oil.
 
H

Harland Duzen

Member
...Everyone always loves to dream up more things but they often aren’t true...

Going off topic, but if's there's one thing I learnt last year from The Coal Fire and James Cameron shows, is that things can only remain a mystery if we choose to leave them shrouded in mystery.

The Mary Celeste have theorys of rotten fungus, Mutiny, Aliens, exploding barrels etc, when in reality the simple truth was a malfunctioning pump and a faulty compass which led to the crew leaving in a lifeboat that sadly capsized.

The Bermuda Triangle likewise had gas-bubbles, rogue waves, currents, more Aliens etc when most of it is man-made myths and legends (I would recommend this mini documentary:
)

Overall for Titanic's case, it's likely that due to publicity and the immense interest in her, that we see more shows proclaiming myths as facts in the future.

Back to Topic (and some good photos of Nomadic)!
 
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