Did the Titanic have to sink?


TimTurner

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Besides, some other ship would have eventually come along and sunk, at which point they would have done the same thing anyway.
 

Keith H

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One other practical way of saving the Titanic would be to prevent the water spilling over and down to the next compartment ,( easy in hind sight ) would be to have built a dam across Scotland road above the WTB in boiler room six and the other parallel corridor on the other side of the ship and covering the stair wells and doorways in these two corridors with tarpaulins ect to prevent water cascading down into the next compartment the more holes you can block up in E deck the better to prevent water percolating downwards .
lowering weighted mattresses down the side of the ship to be sucked into the holes and hopefully reducing the inrush of water is also an idea .
And also as the foremost bow compartment was flooding the slowest , if you could get pumps into it and overcome the flow you would be back to four damaged compartments that the Titanic could possibly survive with if nothing else may have bought time till rescue ships arrived.

I know it is a flight of fancy all this but you cant help but think about it.
 
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>> I have to admit that I have had no one come forward to support my theory but then neither has anyone been able to demolished it.<<

Actually, I can see from your replay that Sam Halpern has in fact demolished it. Getting underway by going full speed astern would have done nothing to slow down water ingress to any signifigant degree and it also would have cost lives since there was no way lifeboats could safely be launched while the ship was moving.

The way to save the ship would be to NOT have the collision with the iceberg in the first place. Once the accident happened and those five or more compartments were in open communication with the sea, the ship was doomed.

Sorry.

An interesting initial theory in which with all due respect to the writer JohnBen, instinct would prevail which would be to stop any movement, bearing mind Capt. Smith nor any others on the bridge had a true understanding of Titanic's fatal damage as is known now.

In all reality the reason Titanic sunk was solely on the pride filled Captain. His last voyage and wanting to make a huge impression by arriving in NY early.
Even if it can be said it was safe enough to continue during the night, at that speed was seriously stupid, he wasn't a greenhorn and wasn't it Lightoller who suggested "no moon and ocean like a mill pond will make the bergs hard to spot"?

The 2nd error is the Crows Nest sailors having no binoculars, obviously due diligence and due process was lacking. Their fault, or their senior officers including Captain?
If the captain had continued at half speed and Crows Nest sailors were painstakingly conscientious the infamous iceberg may have been dodged, or at the least far less damage
 

Mark Baber

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His last voyage and wanting to make a huge impression by arriving in NY early.
 

Thomas Krom

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The 2nd error is the Crows Nest sailors having no binoculars, obviously due diligence and due process was lacking. Their fault, or their senior officers including Captain?
If the captain had continued at half speed and Crows Nest sailors were painstakingly conscientious the infamous iceberg may have been dodged, or at the least far less damage
Hello Mr Charlton,

It is a misconception that binoculars would have made the difference in sighting the iceberg earlier. Since they aren't used to spot objects at the time, as you will see below that is what every sailor, captain and lookout would say (even to this day). Frederick Fleet famously said at the US Inquiry when asked about glasses:

Senator SMITH. Suppose you had had glasses such as you had on the Oceanic, or such as you had between Belfast and Southampton, could you have seen this black object a greater distance?
Mr. FLEET. We could have seen it a bit sooner.
Senator SMITH. How much sooner?
Mr. FLEET. Well, enough to get out of the way.

However the more important part of his testimony that is not mentioned is the following:

Senator BURTON. Suppose you had those glasses; would you have them to your eyes most of the time, using them?
Mr. FLEET. No; no.
Senator BURTON. What part of the time?
Mr. FLEET. 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 on Fleet:

Do you mean you believe in your own eyesight better than you do in the glasses?
Yes.
– George Hogg (B17518)

As a rule, do I understand you prefer to trust your naked eye to begin with?
Well, yes, you trust your naked eye.
– George Symons (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.”
Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton

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

Second Officer Lightoller when he was asked if binoculars would not have helped the lookouts identify what they saw as an iceberg sooner, replied: “He might be able to identify it, but we do not wish him to identify it. All we want him to do is to strike the bells.” (B14293)

According to legal expert Gary Slapper, Blair's "forgetfulness wasn’t a material reason for the disaster" as there were other intervening causes. (Gary Slapper, September 5, 2007, "The Law Explored: the law of causation". The Times, London).

From all of this we can conclude that former second officer David Blair has been unfairly blamed for taking that which could have allegedly "saved" Titanic. Firstly, it does not seem the key would have opened anything that would contain binoculars as they were not kept in the crow's nest. Titanic already had binoculars onboard anyway, and even if the lookouts had a pair of "glasses" they still would have firstly used their naked eye to spot an object before confirming its identity. So Blair's key has little-to-no bearing on the tragedy."

I hope this clears the misconception out of the way. For the complete article I recommend reading this page:
Titanic's Officers - RMS Titanic - Second Officer Blair (I slightly edited some of the layout for this post).
In all reality the reason Titanic sunk was solely on the pride filled Captain. His last voyage and wanting to make a huge impression by arriving in NY early.
In all reality the reason Titanic sunk was solely on the pride filled Captain. His last voyage and wanting to make a huge impression by arriving in NY early.
Even if it can be said it was safe enough to continue during the night, at that speed was seriously stupid, he wasn't a greenhorn and wasn't it Lightoller who suggested "no moon and ocean like a mill pond will make the bergs hard to spot"?
To quote the talented historian Samuel Halpern:

“Voicing a belief or desire to Captain Smith is one thing; attempting to order him to do something is quite another, and quite beyond reason or hard evidence. There is little doubt that it would have been impractical for Titanic to have docked on Tuesday evening and allow her passengers to disembark, yet for her to reach the Ambrose Lightship on Tuesday night would have been achievable from a practical point of view, and welcome for the company. Having bettered her sister’s time, the passengers would suffer no inconvenience as Titanic docked – to a warm welcome – very early Wednesday morning, April 17, 1912. This was precisely the scenario on Olympic’s second westbound voyage when she reached Ambrose on Tuesday night and docked early the following morning, having beaten her maiden voyage performance. Captain Smith’s actions as Titanic approached the region of ice would surely have been identical regardless of whether Ismay was onboard or not. Smith did not have a problem with navigating the huge liner at very high speed. Unfortunately, Smith and his officers over-estimated their ability to see an iceberg ahead in sufficient time to avoid it. Although he asked Lightoller to inform him if conditions became “doubtful,” Smith did not feel it was necessary to take any additional precautions. Acting from experience, Titanic’s commander made a simple and understandable error in judgment. His actions were justified by years of experience on the North Atlantic run, following the usual practices. They were condemned by hindsight.”
 
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An interesting initial theory in which with all due respect to the writer JohnBen, instinct would prevail which would be to stop any movement, bearing mind Capt. Smith nor any others on the bridge had a true understanding of Titanic's fatal damage as is known now.

In all reality the reason Titanic sunk was solely on the pride filled Captain. His last voyage and wanting to make a huge impression by arriving in NY early.
Even if it can be said it was safe enough to continue during the night, at that speed was seriously stupid, he wasn't a greenhorn and wasn't it Lightoller who suggested "no moon and ocean like a mill pond will make the bergs hard to spot"?

The 2nd error is the Crows Nest sailors having no binoculars, obviously due diligence and due process was lacking. Their fault, or their senior officers including Captain?
If the captain had continued at half speed and Crows Nest sailors were painstakingly conscientious the infamous iceberg may have been dodged, or at the least far less damage

Ted. have you ever stood an underway lookout watch of any kind?"
I have, and under adverse conditions of extreme low visibility.
The last thing I ever use binoculars for was searching because of the extreme tunnel vision which the instruments imposed. Binoculars were for identifying a target after you've seen it. Searching was done with the naked eye.

As to pride, exactly what pride would you be referring to?

The Titanic was not operated any differently from any of the crack mail boats on the North Atlantic run. They officers, crew and some of the passengers with money in the betting pool would have been gratified that the ship was doing a little better than the Olympic and a Tuesday evening arrival was a possibility but It wasn't something they were going out of their way to make happen.
 
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Mike Spooner

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Ted. have you ever stood an underway lookout watch of any kind?"
I have, and under adverse conditions of extreme low visibility.
The last thing I ever use binoculars for was searching because of the extreme tunnel vision which the instruments imposed. Binoculars were for identifying a target after you've seen it. Searching was done with the naked eye.

As to pride, exactly what pride would you be referring to?

The Titanic was not operated any differently from any of the crack mail boats on the North Atlantic run. They officers, crew and some of the passengers with money in the betting pool would have been gratified that the ship was doing a little better than the Olympic and a Tuesday evening arrival was a possibility but It wasn't something they were going out of their way to make happen.
Hi Michael. I am glad to hear you have experience as a lookout man. I don't know if you have the experience in dealing with temperatures of - 2 centigrade and the time you added on the wind chilled factor Titanic speed of 22 knots at -16 centigrade been blasted into your warm eye balls. How does one cope with a watery eye situation giving you a blurred vision? Would you think using binoculars might of giving some protection against watery eyes?
 

george harris

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Hi Michael. I am glad to hear you have experience as a lookout man. I don't know if you have the experience in dealing with temperatures of - 2 centigrade and the time you added on the wind chilled factor Titanic speed of 22 knots at -16 centigrade been blasted into your warm eye balls. How does one cope with a watery eye situation giving you a blurred vision? Would you think using binoculars might of giving some protection against watery eyes?
Hi Michael. I am glad to hear you have experience as a lookout man. I don't know if you have the experience in dealing with temperatures of - 2 centigrade and the time you added on the wind chilled factor Titanic speed of 22 knots at -16 centigrade been blasted into your warm eye balls. How does one cope with a watery eye situation giving you a blurred vision? Would you think using binoculars might of giving some protection against watery eyes?

The lookouts would have been looking for anything that could have damaged the ship. In general, any large object, like another ship or an iceberg. Also, “small ice and growlers” which could have caused minor damage to the hull of the ship, but more importantly, could have possibly caused major damage if they bumped into the rudder or propellers.

So yes, use your eyes to scan ahead, but take a few breaks occasionally so that your eyes don’t lose focus in the cold, dry wind. That’s one reason why there were two lookouts, so they could give each other a break once in a while.

However, if a large, blurry, unidentifiable object is seen on the horizon ahead of you, get your binoculars and focus in on it. You would clearly see and identify it earlier than if using your own eyes, unaided by magnification. The lookouts did not have this option available on the Titanic. If they had, they may have seen (and reported) the iceberg earlier and maybe, just maybe, the Titanic would have had the few extra seconds it needed.

George
 

Jim Currie

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An interesting initial theory in which with all due respect to the writer JohnBen, instinct would prevail which would be to stop any movement, bearing mind Capt. Smith nor any others on the bridge had a true understanding of Titanic's fatal damage as is known now.

In all reality the reason Titanic sunk was solely on the pride filled Captain. His last voyage and wanting to make a huge impression by arriving in NY early.
Even if it can be said it was safe enough to continue during the night, at that speed was seriously stupid, he wasn't a greenhorn and wasn't it Lightoller who suggested "no moon and ocean like a mill pond will make the bergs hard to spot"?

The 2nd error is the Crows Nest sailors having no binoculars, obviously due diligence and due process was lacking. Their fault, or their senior officers including Captain?
If the captain had continued at half speed and Crows Nest sailors were painstakingly conscientious the infamous iceberg may have been dodged, or at the least far less damage
Hello Ted,

There is a very simple indicator which tell us that Smith did not intend any record, and that is the number of minutes of the intended clock change - 47 .
To determine that number, Smith would have to calculate where he thought his ship was going to be at Noon on April 15. In fact, that number of 47 shows that he did not expect Titanic to travel any greater distance between Noon April 14 and Noon April 15 than she did between Noon April 13 and Noon April 14. All of which also tells us that he did not intend to icrease engine revolutions during the next 24 hours.
Another practical consideration missed by those promoting a record. and one that would have to have been prominent in considering such a voyage plan was the fact that at that time of the year there was a better then even chance that Titanic would be late anyway because April in that part of the ocean is a fog month and if any record had been intended, Smith would need lots of extra mileage up his sleeve , accrued prior to Noon, April16.

Binoculars in the crow;s nest was an exception rather than a normal practice They were (wrongly) considered by many to encourage laziness on the part of a lookout . Besides which, the lookout was up there to see at a greater distance - not for danger at close proximity. His job was to report a sighting then let the OOW decide what to do with it. Under normal circumstances, there was always plenty of time to avoid danger.
In fact, on the Carpathia, they were on full alert for known ice presence and all of them had binocuars. They were on a much slower vessel yet almost hit the very same berg that did for Titanic.
 
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Mike Spooner

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The lookouts would have been looking for anything that could have damaged the ship. In general, any large object, like another ship or an iceberg. Also, “small ice and growlers” which could have caused minor damage to the hull of the ship, but more importantly, could have possibly caused major damage if they bumped into the rudder or propellers.

So yes, use your eyes to scan ahead, but take a few breaks occasionally so that your eyes don’t lose focus in the cold, dry wind. That’s one reason why there were two lookouts, so they could give each other a break once in a while.

However, if a large, blurry, unidentifiable object is seen on the horizon ahead of you, get your binoculars and focus in on it. You would clearly see and identify it earlier than if using your own eyes, unaided by magnification. The lookouts did not have this option available on the Titanic. If they had, they may have seen (and reported) the iceberg earlier and maybe, just maybe, the Titanic would have had the few extra seconds it needed.

George
Hi George,
With the respect to you where you a lookout man? As I am trying to get a point of view from a person who had the face the same problem with very low temperature as the two lookout men had to put up whilst on the Titanic? Wither the binocular might of given some protection against watery eye.
It's the old story there is a difference between the theories and practice!
As the classic evidence that Fleet gave in the US Inquiry. WE could have seen it a bit sooner. followed by Well enough to get out of the way!
 
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Hi Michael. I am glad to hear you have experience as a lookout man. I don't know if you have the experience in dealing with temperatures of - 2 centigrade and the time you added on the wind chilled factor Titanic speed of 22 knots at -16 centigrade been blasted into your warm eye balls. How does one cope with a watery eye situation giving you a blurred vision? Would you think using binoculars might of giving some protection against watery eyes?

I don't think binoculars would have made any real difference. When I used them, even briefly, it was in a ship induced headwind up in the Pacific Northwest in the winter time off of the coast of Canada. I watched the hot chocolate which had been sent to keep us warm freeze in the cup. At the time, I wore eyeglasses and they barely helped. The wind just whipped around the body of the binoculars and eddied in behind the lenses of my eyeglasses.

Oh, and to sweeten the pot, people in the supply ratings were used in the low visibility watches, so not only was it bone chillingly cold, it was under adverse conditions of near non-existent visibility in a pea soup of a fog.

NOT my idea of a good time.
 

Jim Currie

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I don't think binoculars would have made any real difference. When I used them, even briefly, it was in a ship induced headwind up in the Pacific Northwest in the winter time off of the coast of Canada. I watched the hot chocolate which had been sent to keep us warm freeze in the cup. At the time, I wore eyeglasses and they barely helped. The wind just whipped around the body of the binoculars and eddied in behind the lenses of my eyeglasses.

Oh, and to sweeten the pot, people in the supply ratings were used in the low visibility watches, so not only was it bone chillingly cold, it was under adverse conditions of near non-existent visibility in a pea soup of a fog.

NOT my idea of a good time.
Know exactly what you mean. Michael. When I went to sea at first as an Apprentice, I was on the Narvik run. We did not have a crow's nest, all lookout duties were performed at the bow or in bad weather, on the bridge wing. The, we had 3 man Watches on deck...An Apprentice (The lowest form of animal life on board) an AB and either a EDH or SOS. During the Middle Watch, our duties were
A. 1st Wheel to 2 am.. standby to 3 am then Lookout to 4 am
B. 1st Lookout to 1 am, standby to 2 am then 2nd wheel to 4 am.
C. Was what we termed the "farmer". No wheel standby first and last hour and Lookout 1 to 3 am.
The "farmer duty up north was as you describe it without the coco or coffee. We would wrap ourselves in a blanket then put on our oilskin and sou'westers. Sometimes even an old newspaper if we had one.
MN Deck crew had to have 50/50 vision and not be colour blind therefore we were not allowed to wear glasses nor use binoculars. In those days, the North Sea was still heavily mined from WW2 so we had to be very vigilant.
 
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Mike Spooner

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Michael. It sounds like no bundle of fun indeed. The luxury of hot chocolate wow! Came to think about it, did Fleet and Lee get offered a hot drink in those days?
 
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>>In those days, the North Sea was still heavily mined from WW2 so we had to be very vigilant.<<

My last overseas deployment on the USS Comstock was to the Persian Gulf right after the first Gulf War. It was essentially an unswept minefield, only our was broiling hot instead of bitingly cold.

>>Michael. It sounds like no bundle of fun indeed. The luxury of hot chocolate wow!<<

Uh....we watched it freeze. Next time, we bolted it down while it was still tepid.

>> Came to think about it, did Fleet and Lee get offered a hot drink in those days?<<

Not as far as I know. They stood two hour watches and if they didn't bring something with them, that was just their tough luck!
 

Mike Spooner

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>>In those days, the North Sea was still heavily mined from WW2 so we had to be very vigilant.<<

My last overseas deployment on the USS Comstock was to the Persian Gulf right after the first Gulf War. It was essentially an unswept minefield, only our was broiling hot instead of bitingly cold.

>>Michael. It sounds like no bundle of fun indeed. The luxury of hot chocolate wow!<<

Uh....we watched it freeze. Next time, we bolted it down while it was still tepid.

>> Came to think about it, did Fleet and Lee get offered a hot drink in those days?<<

Not as far as I know. They stood two hour watches and if they didn't bring something with them, that was just their tough luck!
Indeed what a heartless bunch they where in those days!
 

Mike Spooner

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Did the Titanic have to sink?

Well it certainty wasn't the lookouts at fault, as they were not in charge or have any say in the destination of the ship.

 
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