In Murdoch's Defense


Kevin Tischer

Member
Dec 24, 2011
57
2
46
I have read many a book and article and seen many a show where people constantly want to hate on Murdoch for not just ramming the iceberg head on. They even bash the poor guy in the inquiries. Now, in my own very humble opinion I believe there is just a very reasonable explanation for it all. Obviously Murdoch knew that slamming into the berg head on probably would not have sunk the ship. In fact the Arizona had done that exact thing just a few days prior. But let's put ourselves into his shoes for a moment. Here he is First Officer of the grandest ship ever built and is aspiring to be Chief Officer, in fact he was for a short time, sailing on her maiden voyage with some of the most influential people at the time. Sure he could've just slammed into the berg, only killing the firemen asleep in their bunks at the time. But if he had not taken any action and done just that it would have effectively ended his career. Ismay surely would've strung him up. How dare he damage Titanic on her maiden voyage! "You should've just gone around it!" is what Ismay would've said. Not to mention the press probably would've gotten a decent laugh out of it. So instead Murdoch decided to try and go around the berg. At the time he had no idea that the ship would not turn in time. Later, he realized his mistake and most certainly felt horrible about it. I'm sure he was kicking himself all night for not ramming the iceberg to start with. Any thoughts on this?
 
Mar 30, 2010
8
0
31
Ramming the iceberg head on at ~ 22 knots would have done far more serious damage than just killing a few firemen. The same reason ships do not just run themselves aground nowadays, rather than trying to avoid whatever obstacles threaten the ship.
Murdoch made a snap decision, one that he thought was the best option for saving the ship at that particular time and circumstances. He did not have time to sit and ponder the politics surrounding his decision, or what would happen to his career given the options he had before him to choose from.
He probably did regret that his actions didn't save the ship, but it wasn't entirely his fault Titanic was running at flank speed into a known ice field.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads