Gardeners claims

Dec 8, 2000
And alas, for private that story will stay, at least for the purposes of this thread.

Back to Gardiner's books.

I've yet to read a plausible explanation for how all the shipyard workers at H&W kept shtum. Certainly management there cited the inability to maintain secrecy as a reason a film project wouldn't be practicable.

It's also fair to add that I've read a number of otherwise quite good Titanic histories that contained basic errors. One or two errors do not a bad book make, but they certainly don't help.

Inger Sheil

Dec 3, 2000
Quite right, Fi - I shouldn't have allowed a gossipy anecdote to percolate through to the board.

So back on topic - yes, I would like to see a plausible explanation for the stunning success that H&W, IMM and the WSL had in keeping this all under wraps. The degree of coordination that would be involved is quite remarkable. I'm getting the distinct impression that *everyone* is supposed to have been in on it - large numbers of crew even beyond the deck officers as well as H&W workmen.

Marcus springs to mind as someone who made some surprising errors, and yet produced what I still consider one of the best books on the subject. I think any pioneering and/or comprehensive work is going to make some mistakes...I can't think of any completely flawless work that was of any comprehensive or innovative scale.
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
>>So back on topic - yes, I would like to see a plausible explanation for the stunning success that H&W, IMM and the WSL had in keeping this all under wraps.<<

So would I. Having been in and out of shipyards all throughout my naval career, I can say from first hand experience that some of the really juicy secrets don't keep very well. Put this in the context of 1912, when the labour unions would have dearly loved to get something on "The Big Boys" attempting a scam like this is the sort of Heavan Sent Gift that IMO, they wouldn't have wasted a lot of time exploiting.

Mindy Deckard

Aug 29, 2005
Just a few thoughts on the book from my opinion...

First of all, the book actually is a good read...even if it is totally FALSE. I did get hooked into his writing. He tells an interesting tale (and THAT is my only defense of the book...and now I am done.)

Secondly, doesn't the whole tale kind of remind you of a Star Magazine cover story?

Third, Gardiner has misquoted books and other references throughout the book. Look at his reference list and compare it to his notes. It is actually pretty funny.

Also, the man is not even an expert. Read his bio. That is for a good laugh.

Finally, I am not sure this has been discussed but what about his claims on Charles Lightoller? Gardiner claims that Lightoller was a pompous ass who tried to take control from Smith during the sinking. "Shouldn't we lower the boats, sir" takes on a whole new meaning.

Again, it is a good read for those who know that there is no true, concrete evidence to support his claims.

(My sixth grade students sure did get a bang out of the story though...I may have corrupted an entire group of 12 year olds about the Titanic...but they really were interested to snaps for me!)