Ismay and the speed of the Titanic


Dec 4, 2000
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The mythical Titanic was steaming hell-bent for New York with its captain asleep and owner yelling for more speed. But, is any of that true? Or, is it little more than Marxian dialectic put to sea?

In 1912 the conventional wisdom from the actual experiences of mariners was that steel ships might be damaged by ice, but could survive encounters with bergs. Paradoxically, this belief grew out of smaller, pre-Titanic ships. Steel does not grow stronger with the size of a vessel. So, although Titanic appeared larger and more robust, its very mass was a negative factor in any iceberg encounter. That realization had not become part of common knowledge in 1912.

Mariners had also noted that bergs were not all that difficult to spot and dodge. Typically, they were seen at about 3 miles range. Once again, however, it was the reassuring size and power of Titanic that paradoxically made it vulnerable. Titanic's speed gave the lookouts one-third less time to safely spot icebergs; and the officers one-third less time to take evasive actions. Yet, the sense of machine over nature must have been overwhelming when standing 60 feet off the sea on Titanic's bridge.

Add to this the total misconception of landsmen regarding how to avoid danger at sea. Those who have not been "out there" assume that slowing down makes for safety. This is true on highways where automobiles are confined to delineated lanes and wandering outside the marked path leads to collisions with other cars or trees. On open water, however, slowing down simply delays the collision. The safest thing to do in a ship is to maneuver--steer--around danger.

Finally, the physical evidence of the wreck in relationship to "The Corner" where the course was changed at 5:45 p.m. (per Rowe) or 5:50 p.m. (per Pitman and Boxhall) indicate that Boxhall's dead reckoning speed of 22 knots was correct for the portion of the track from the turn to the accident.

Finally, human actions are motivated by some underlying philosophy, no matter how twisted in might be. Ismay does not appear to have been an overgrown teenager with a penchant for speed at any cost. His actions were those of a mature man who operated a major shipping company. He had a reason for not wanting to dawdle with Titanic, and a reason for showing the 22 knots of Boxhall's navigation...but what purpose would a faster speed have served?

The old argument that Ismay wanted to best Olympic's maiden crossing is irrational. Titanic was second ship in a class with Olympic the lead vessel (first launched). Anyone with experience in ships knows that the lead ship always has problems corrected in the second and subsequent vessels of that class. If Titanic could not best Olympic's maiden crossing, it would have indicated a serious problem with the machinery or propellers. Besting Olympic would have proven nothing more than that the engineers at Harland & Wolff applied what experience taught them--a normal state for engineering firms.

As I have pointed out before, there is great business logic not to high speed for Titanic, but to sustained speed of 22 knots. And, the overall design of the ship seems aimed at achieving that goal in a most efficient manner. In my view, the Olympic class was designed to force the competition (primarily Cunard, but probably also the Germans) to burn excessive amounts of fuel to be competitive with White Star's Olympic class. And, 22 knots seems the right speed for that purpose.

This doesn't mean that men aren't boys of a larger growth. It is highly probable that on Monday there would have been a short burst of speed...perhaps to 110% power...just to see what the ship would "top out at." But, the Olympic class ships weren't speed merchants like Cunard's Lusitania and Mauritania. Instead, the White Star giants were fast, efficient money-making ships. But, while men will be boys when they have new toys, no mariner of Captain Smith's experience...nor owner of Ismay's experience...would have undertaken a wide-open speed test at night while entering an area of known ice. The risk of encounters with both other ships and icebergs was simply too great. As Ismay said to Senator Smith, that was to be left for Monday during daylight.

So, as 11:30 p.m. ticked past, Captain Smith was in his chartroom plotting ice reports. His vessel was doing operational speed, the usual practice for trans-atlantic mail ships. Was the captain planning a course diversion? We can't know. But, he showed obvious concern for the dangers that night. Still, he didn't know what we know...that Titanic struck and iceberg and sank. As he bent over his chart table Titanic was a stout new vessel with a long career ahead. And, Bruce Ismay was asleep dreaming of the glories tomorrow would bring.

Harland & Wolff never installed a crystal ball on Titanic's bridge. The future was as unknowable to Edward J. Smith, J. Bruce Ismay, William M. Murdoch, and Frederick Fleet as it is to you and me.

-- David G. Brown
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Michael Standart wrote:

"b)The fact that there was nothing especially unusual about the way the ship was operated in the first place. The gradual increase in speed over the course of the voyage was normal practice for "running in" new engines and at the time of the accident, Titanic was operating at what would have been her normal service speed anyway."

Michael I believe you wholeheartedly on point B above. You have just proved my initial belief of Ismay never having requested more speed.

If Ismay had requested more speed, Titanic would have been traveling at her TOP speed, which I was told was 25.

If we were to take a different scenario, say Titanic was traveling at 17 or 19 knots, and then Ismay asked for more speed, she would have been revved up to 22 1 1/2, and this does not feel right, and I would be blasphemed by all if I proposed it, which I am not doing but just presenting it to show how ridiculous it would be.

Now - - in my opinion 22 1/2 is still a speed too fast to be going through ice. The reason I say this is because 22 1/2 is very close to 25, and that is too close to the top number.

What needs to be done is compare the time-stamp of the warnings Smith received to the time he gave orders to turn to the southerly route. This will show if Smith turned south because of the warnings. But even if he did turn south because of the warnings, he still became reckless by plowing through the ice at a higher-than-safe speed (my definition of plowing here is used only because he was going too fast at 22 1/2). I realize he may have turned south to avoid ice, but he was not ABLE to avoid ice, and couldn't he see that he was not able to avoid ice? Couldn't he see the ice next to his ship? Good lordie, one would have to be blind not to see the big boulders flowing by... Did Smith enjoy the thrill of danger??? It sure appears that way.

By plowing through ice then, the CAUSE of the accident rests squarely on Smith's shoulders. It was too dangerous to be traveling at that speed through ice. If there was no ice, I could see traveling at that speed, but that was not the case here.

Thanks for the great posts Michael and everyone else. It helped me prove things in my own mind.

Very Sincerely,

Teri L Milch
 
Jan 5, 2001
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I did want to enquire about one apparent contradiction. Forgive me if I am providing yet another display of ignorance.

David wrote:

quote:

The old argument that Ismay wanted to best Olympic's maiden crossing is irrational.
And went on to say:

quote:

Titanic was second ship in a class with Olympic the lead vessel (first launched). Anyone with experience in ships knows that the lead ship always has problems corrected in the second and subsequent vessels of that class. If Titanic could not best Olympic's maiden crossing, it would have indicated a serious problem with the machinery or propellers. Besting Olympic would have proven nothing more than that the engineers at Harland & Wolff applied what experience taught them--a normal state for engineering firms.
Forgive me, but the text in bold that I’ve highlighted does seem to contradict what you said earlier.

Even if you hold the opinion that there was little point in beating Olympic’s time, as you appear to (and which I disagree with), you do seem to be saying that it would have reflected badly on Titanic if she could not at least match her older sister’s time...which is a key argument in favour of besting Olympic's performance. George Behe has offered a similar opinion in his study, Titanic: Safety, Speed & Sacrifice.

Best wishes,

Mark.​
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Teri,

quote:

If Ismay had requested more speed, Titanic would have been traveling at her TOP speed, which I was told was 25.
FWIW, I think the informed consensus is that Titanic's top speed would have been more in the range of 23-24 knots. There's only so much she could have done with around 59,000 horsepower at her disposal.

Pre-war, Olympic's record for 24 hours was a speed of 24.2 knots. It depends if you're talking the speed through the water, or over the ground (the speed through the water, plus or minus the current).

It's just a small point anyway.

Best wishes,

Mark.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>By plowing through ice then, the CAUSE of the accident rests squarely on Smith's shoulders.<<

As a matter of fact, it doesn't. The ultimate responsibility lies with Captain Smith as he was the commander of the vessel, however, the proximate causes (Note the plural) of the accident go way beyond that. There was a virtual potpourri of factors ranging from the expectations and demands of passengers and express cargo shippers to meet schedules, some highly questionable navigation practices which didn't account for the consequences of handling bigger and faster ships and the on going game of one upmanship where shipping lines tried to show that they were just a little bit better then the other with the crews all too happy to help.

You may want to check out David Brown's comments on that in This Thread. He addresses the problems of playing the "Blame Game" quite well. While his belief that Titanic's officers ultimately lost situational awareness has been debated, I'm inclined to believe he's on target with it.

>>Did Smith enjoy the thrill of danger??? It sure appears that way.<<

Not on close inspection, it doesn't. They had ample reason to believe that they could see danger in plenty of time to avoid it, and they acted prudantly consistant with the practices and understandings of the time which had worked well for nearly half a century. It wasn't as if they were knowingly reckless and the threat of ice was understood well enough that the watch team was given special instructions to be watchful for it.

The problem was that a lot of what they thought they knew was wrong.
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Michael Standardt wrote:

"And when the owner speaks, you better believe that the people driving the ships listen. It's that or the breadline at a time when there was no breadline and no unemployment insurance."

True Michael, very true. May I add that if I was a crewman or officer on Titanic I would take my job very seriously, as White Star was the cream of the shipping industry and I would have been ecstatic to have landed a job on such a great ship with such a fabulous company.

"Appearances are often deceiving. The manager of the Lowe's where I work is the same way, but he can turn the other way in a split second if he sees the reason or the need, and he does. He may be amiably chatting with somebody about the Big Game and fire the same man by the end of the shift for some reason. Ismay may have been a just as much an easy going guy, but that doesn't mean that he couldnt play the part of the cold, calculating businessman. if/when he sees the need."

Please - - I would prefer just the term businessman. I do not see an accuracy in dubbing Mr. Ismay cold or calculating. You can save those terms for our lovely JP Morgan. I do agree with you though that Mr. Ismay would take action if he saw something that posed a threat to his ship or crew, or that was grossly unethical such as stealing.

"Owners calling for more and ever more speed were all a part of the North Atlantic trade. That's a big part of what the century long quest for the Blue Ribband was all about. The competition was as cut throat then as any you see today, and keeping to the schedule on a consistant basis was everything, record breaking attempts or not. This was especially important for the mail boats. If one line couldn't get the mails from one side of the pond to the other in as expeditious a manner as possible and on time, the governments could and did give the mails and the contracts to those who did."

Yes Michael, speed was important and getting the mails to its destination was important, but not when you have lives at stake. The lives take precedence over speed, and clearly on this night as we know it the lives were at high stakes. With ice nearby it meant being alert to the surroundings of the ship which at this point I am not so sure of.
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Hello Mark,

Thank you so much for posting the numbers. I really appreciate your details.

Maybe the person I spoke with rounded the figure to 25, I don’t know. 22 ½ is very close to top speed now. Does pressing for one or two more knots make a difference?

Very Sincerely,

Teri
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Teri,

It may just be a round-up, yeah.

I wasn't really offering any comment on the issue of speed...just clarifying the figure for Titanic's estimated top speed.

Myself, I don't see how you can say it was safe at 20 knots compared to 21 knots, or 21 1/2 knots, or 22 1/2 knots or 23 knots; after all, Mauretania in service regularly did over 25 knots. The faster the more dangerous it is, you would think, but I'm not saying 22 1/2 knots was lethal and 20 knots safe or anything like that. I don't see that a knot or two makes much difference in the overall scheme of things and I agree with you in that respect.

Best wishes,

Mark.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Please - - I would prefer just the term businessman. I do not see an accuracy in dubbing Mr. Ismay cold or calculating.<<

Why not? The realities of the business world were such that on some level, he had to have some ice watrer running through his veins. Neither Ismay nor the White Star Line would have lasted long at all were he unwilling to make the tough choices. I'm not saying it was in his nature to be heartless but the demands of his profession would mean that from time to time, he would have to be that way.

>>You can save those terms for our lovely JP Morgan.<<

A man whom I would point out was known to be devestated by the Titanic's loss.

>>Yes Michael, speed was important and getting the mails to its destination was important, but not when you have lives at stake. The lives take precedence over speed,<<

I wouldn't argue that lives don't take precedence, but you need to understand the demands of the whole of the market that they were all players on. The passengers demanded bigger, better, and faster, the governments demanded bigger, better, and faster, and the very prestige of the line depended on bigger, better, and or faster. If one line was unwilling to deliver, the customers voted with their pocketbook by going to a line that would.

If that meant taking some of what they saw to be calculated risks, they'ed do it.

>>With ice nearby it meant being alert to the surroundings of the ship which at this point I am not so sure of.<<

They may well have been a lot more alert to it then you know. There is at least some secondary evidence that Titanic may have evaded three icebergs if George Behe's sources and his thesis in "Titanic, Speed Safety and Sacrifice is correct.

Even if he's wrong on some if not a whole lot of points, it's a fact that they were aware of ice reports and it's a fact that the watch was briefed, warned, and instructed based on that information, and the ship was handled accordingly. Unfortunately, as I pointed out earlier, contemporary navigation practice just hadn't kept up with the realities and the problems that came with operating ships that were larger and faster.
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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All of sudden we seem to be disagreeing on everything and your view of Ismay rather negative. While I don't like to see that, we ARE entitled to our opinions.

"The ultimate responsibility lies with Captain Smith as he was the commander of the vessel,.."

I am focusing and placing my viewpoints on this and nothing more. In my very humble opinion Michael this says it all. In my own mind the Captain is responsible, he is the one and only person who makes the decisions, and whatever "stuff" is put before him, he must assess and go forward from there. The officers were not sitting on the table playing strip poker. They were professionals doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.

You are entitled to your belief that Ismay was cold and calculating, but I for one completely disagree with it. There is nothing anywhere giving any indication of this in his personality and character. I would dub Thomas Henry more calculating than Bruce simply because it has been written he was harsh.

As for Morgan, you are again, entitled to your opinion. My opinion is that IF he was devastated he was only devastated by the financial implications, nothing more. From what I have read in David Nasaw’s "The Chief, The Life of William Randolph Hearst" he was anything but a pleasant and nice man.

And again, I have never read a single word insinuating Bruce was a cold and calculating man. And just because he ran a shipping company does not automatically dub him mean and unfeeling.

You can post what you want about the crew doing this or that but as I stated in my second paragraph the crew was not sitting playing strip poker. They were professionals with a job to do.
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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Hello Again Mark,

"I wasn't really offering any comment on the issue of speed...just clarifying the figure for Titanic's estimated top speed."

Okay, and thank you very much for that.

"Myself, I don't see how you can say it was safe at 20 knots compared to 21 knots, or 21 1/2 knots, or 22 1/2 knots or 23 knots; after all, Mauretania in service regularly did over 25 knots. The faster the more dangerous it is, you would think, but I'm not saying 22 1/2 knots was lethal and 20 knots safe or anything like that. I don't see that a knot or two makes much difference in the overall scheme of things and I agree with you in that respect."

Thank you for making me aware of this Mark. If I insinuated speed was safe at 20-24, then I apologize. I did not mean that at all. I was trying to say that 20-24 was dangerous. If a knot or two does not make that much difference than my belief that Ismay did not request speed stands firm.

Very Sincerely,

--Teri
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Teri,

I'd agree that any speed in the region of 20-24 knots was dangerous for the conditions...in hindsight, at any rate. I'm sorry I wasn't very clear.

I was really just saying/agreeing that I don't see that a knot or so makes much difference if we're talking dangerously excessive speed. Titanic needed to average around 20 knots to arrive on Wednesday morning, around 5 o'clock, at the Ambrose Lightship -- and 20 knots seems dangerous too.

Clearly, it makes a difference over an extended period if we're talking miles. Over forty-eight hours, 21 knots (for instance) allows 1,008 miles to be covered; 22 1/2 knots allows 1,080 miles to be covered (and saves over three hours)...but all in all I'm agreeing that a knot or two didn't make any significant difference in terms of the collision.

While I believe that Ismay *encouraged* Smith to ensure Titanic put up a good performance on her maiden voyage, at the least, I am not one of those who believes in the rather hideous caricature of him as being solely responsible for the ship's speed -- and by implication the collision.

Best wishes,

Mark.
 
Apr 1, 2005
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I have two questions
1/ did the olympic go any slower when Ismay was not on board?
2/Given Ismays known thoughts on arrival times and the fact that the ships were designed to do 21/22knots, both facts being against the excessive use of speed but more on economy, and the fact that the daily milage travelled by the Titanic only exceeded the olympic by any significant amount on the first day ,where does this leave room for the argument that he was encouraging Smith to more speed? [and if he was he was remarkably poor at doing it.]
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Malcolm,

quote:

1/ did the Olympic go any slower when Ismay was not on board?
It's difficult to answer, in that Ismay was onboard for her maiden voyage in June 1911, which you'd expect to be a little slower than her subsequent voyages (as the engines were run in and the crew became used to the ship). Westbound, Olympic averaged 21.17 knots; eastbound, she did 22.32 knots.

On her second voyage, she increased her average speeds to 21.72 and 22.48 knots respectively. She was going through the water at over 23 knots for a time. J.P. Morgan, Lord Pirrie, and possibly Thomas Andrews (I'm going from memory) were onboard for the westbound crossing. On her third voyage, her speeds were 21.8 knots and 22 knots. Essentially, she went faster and faster on every voyage prior to the Hawke collision -- certainly on westbound voyages. This is in spite of a maximum target of 78 r.p.m. which was imposed (if I remember rightly) after her second voyage.

The most detailed account in any book as to Olympic's early performance can be found in RMS Olympic, Titanic's Sister (Tempus; 2004), pages 73-84.

quote:

/Given Ismays known thoughts on arrival times...
I'd have to refer you to J. Kent Layton's article, which I've already posted a link to in this thread. I think the Titanic's *projected* fourth day's run is significant, but of course that was rudely interrupted by an iceberg. Had she maintained her speed, I think her day's run would have risen to 555-560 miles; compared to Olympic's 525-mile run at the same stage of her maiden voyage.

Best wishes,

Mark.​
 

Noel F. Jones

Active Member
May 14, 2002
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"Then you may want to do a closer study of history. Owners calling for more and ever more speed were all a part of the North Atlantic trade. That's a big part of what the century long quest for the Blue Ribband was all about. The competition was as cut throat then as any you see today, and keeping to the schedule on a consistant basis was everything, record breaking attempts or not. This was especially important for the mail boats. If one line couldn't get the mails from one side of the pond to the other in as expeditious a manner as possible and on time, the governments could and did give the mails and the contracts to those who did."

My understanding is that Cunard, for one, purposefully stood disengaged from such competition and never in their liner history vaunted or flaunted the Blue Ribband.

Mail contracts notwithstanding, Samuel Cunard was a firm believer in his ships arriving safely rather than travelling hopefully and instructed his masters accordingly.

There were lately some injudicious utterances by such as Treasure-Jones at the time of the maiden voyage of Queen Mary but even he would have regarded himself bound by company standing instructions.

Noel
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>All of sudden we seem to be disagreeing on everything and your view of Ismay rather negative.<<

I tend to think of it as realistic. Ismay may well have been a nice guy but he lived and worked in a world of intense competition with rival shipping companys and had to deal with the baggage that came with that reality. This doesn't make him a bad man or an ogre. It does mean that he tended to his own responsibilities and fiduciary obligations to the investors to take care of business. I would expect no less of him.

>> While I don't like to see that, we ARE entitled to our opinions.<<

Yes we are. That doesn't mean we aren't entitled to rebuttal. You're using it and so am I.

>>I am focusing and placing my viewpoints on this and nothing more. In my very humble opinion Michael this says it all.<<

And what is that supposed to say? I'm interested in history as it actually was, the bright spots as well as the warts.

>>In my own mind the Captain is responsible, he is the one and only person who makes the decisions, and whatever "stuff" is put before him, he must assess and go forward from there.<<

Did I say otherwise?

Well, gee, no I didn't. What I *am* doing is looking at all the possible factors that led up to the accident. Ismay may well have been a disinterested party who said zip, but that conversation that Elizabeth Lines claimed to overhear, if true, would tend to indicate otherwise and that there was more going on behind the scenes then what made it into the official record.

It doesn't go away just because we don't like it.

>>As for Morgan, you are again, entitled to your opinion. My opinion is that IF he was devastated he was only devastated by the financial implications, nothing more.<<

Which is why he said "All those people, gone." to a reporter who asked him about that? Because he was interested in only the financial implications? For somebody interested only in the money, he was the one person who appeared to understand what really mattered while everybody else was politicking around.

>>From what I have read in David Nasaw’s "The Chief, The Life of William Randolph Hearst" he was anything but a pleasant and nice man. <<

And I never said that he was.

>>And again, I have never read a single word insinuating Bruce was a cold and calculating man. And just because he ran a shipping company does not automatically dub him mean and unfeeling.<<

Nor did I say that. It would be wise to stay away from the strawman arguments and focus on what was actually said. Whatever else Ismay was, he was also a practical man and had to be. The stockholders demanded it and the survival of White Star depended on it.

>>You can post what you want about the crew doing this or that but as I stated in my second paragraph the crew was not sitting playing strip poker. They were professionals with a job to do.<<

Nor did I imply otherwise. What i am acknowledging is that it's entirely possible that he had some influence on the way the ship was handled. He may not have done it and any asserted publicity stunts or speed runs may well have been planned for the next day, or he may have been in it up to his ears. There would be no need to be mean, pushy or aggressive about it, and I doubt that he was. A hint here, a suggestion there, and a "Consultation" or conference thrown in for good measure...that's all it would take.

Mind you, this does not absolve anyone, certainly not Captain Smith of their responsibility for the chain of mistakes that led to the loss of the ship, but it does point to the factor of other players in the game.

>>My understanding is that Cunard, for one, purposefully stood disengaged from such competition and never in their liner history vaunted or flaunted the Blue Ribband.<<

Nevertheless, Noel, they won it several times with their ships and it *was* a factor behind the birth of the Lusitania and Mauritania. (Admittedly with the Government egging them on.) They may not have flouted it but they didn't complain about it when they held it.
 
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I agree with micheal on the point of Ismay and his job, I also think outside of that he was a kind hearted person, but when it came to business he does what is expected of him.
when it comes to the question of the speed of the Titanic he is interested because he has been told by other directors that it is possible to dock in new york on tues afternoon, but in the case of Olympic there is still to much uncertainty to class the idea as being good for business, on the other hand if the Titanic is significantly faster then it makes it a far more acceptable .
Ismay had repeatedly expressed his doubts about the whole idea, on july 31st 1911 franklin receives a letter with the following quote
"As you are aware, I am not favourably disposed to trying to land passengers on tuesday afternoon, but if , after talking the matter over with Lord pirrie, Captain Smith and Mr Bell, the consensus of opinion is in favour of this being done, you may rest assured that i will not allow my individual feeling to stand in the way" . the question i ask myself is, is it not more likely that on the Titanic smith and bell are working to prove they were right and put Ismays doubts to rest, rather than Ismay himself driving the ship faster.
I have read the article[the arrival that never took place] which mark kindly posted , I am not as experienced a maritime expert as the others posting here, and it takes me much longer to understand these detailed articles, but there was something that caught my eye on page 9. the statement " since it was the desire of Mr Ismay to have the ship run at full speed on monday or tuesday , depending on the weather", was it his desire? or was it smith and bell's? quite clearly Ismay would be interested but he is hardly the only one.another question i ask myself is what would have been different had Ismay not been on board? and would they still have had a speed run?
 

Teri Lynn Milch

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2001
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A sarcastic post makes one look degrading, ugly, and disrespectful. So be mindful.

Regarding the overhearing of Smith’s conversation with Ismay: Those two women were angry and bitter that they being upper class women should be made to sleep on the floor. Being angry and bitter can cause them to conjure up as big a lie as could possibly be made to get back at Ismay who had no control over where they slept in the first place.
"Which is why he said "All those people, gone." to a reporter who asked him about that? Because he was interested in only the financial implications?"

One split-second comment does not carve an entire life's personality.

"For somebody interested only in the money, he was the one person who appeared to understand what really mattered while everybody else was politicking around."

Where can his "caring" be found? Do you have a quote from somewhere to substantiate your claim?

"It would be wise to stay away from the strawman arguments and focus on what was actually said."

I thank you for the condescending suggestion but I was focusing on what was said by responding to your post made Wednesday, 23 November, 2005 at 6:10 am: "Ismay may have been a just as much an easy going guy, but that doesn't mean that he couldnt play the part of the cold, calculating businessman."

Today is Thanksgiving. I hope you all have a very pleasant day.

Very Sincerely,

--Teri
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>A sarcastic post makes one look degrading, ugly, and disrespectful. So be mindful.<<

Irrelvant.

>>Regarding the overhearing of Smith’s conversation with Ismay: Those two women were angry and bitter that they being upper class women should be made to sleep on the floor. Being angry and bitter can cause them to conjure up as big a lie as could possibly be made to get back at Ismay who had no control over where they slept in the first place.<<

Which may be true, but is not de facto evidence that Mrs. Lines was lying. That she may have had an incentive to do so in her eyes, or in ours is not proof that she did.

>>Where can his "caring" be found?<<

It was a remark he made to a reporter when asked of the financial implications. If I recall correctly, it was cited in Beil's work. This isn't the only source that points out the emotional upset the tragedy caused the man. The A&E docmantary "Titanic, Death of a Dream" did the same. As this is one of the better researched and produced documentaries on the affair, I'm inclined to believe they got it right.

>>I thank you for the condescending suggestion but I was focusing on what was said by responding to your post made Wednesday, 23 November, 2005 at 6:10 am: "Ismay may have been a just as much an easy going guy, but that doesn't mean that he couldnt play the part of the cold, calculating businessman." <<

And please take note of the key words "Play the part."

Teri, I'm not trying to say that Ismay was a brute, or callous, reckless or casually indifferent to the point of utter stupidity, nor am I trying to imply that he was some sort of beast. I don't think he was and I've defended Ismay on a number of occasions because I thought I was justified in doing so. I'll leave the stereotypical hackjobs to the likes of William Randolph Hearst and his ilk.

However, I will also be realistic in pointing out that that Ismay was a man of his time. A businessman with some very practical interests and concerns which he would have persued as a matter or workaday routine. When pointing out that he may have interfered in the operation of the ship on some level...and he may not have seen it as such...even to the point of encouraging more speed or planning out some sort of publicity stunt for the next morning, I'm pointing to something that owners tended to do as a matter of routine which they may not have given an awful lot of thought to, (Why should he have? In his eyes, it would have been business as usual. Nothing to get excited about.) and for which some corroberating evidence does in fact exist.

However you may choose to dismiss it, it's still there.

When pointing out that the crew may have taken his hints, ideas, and suggestions as commandments from the Gods to be carried out ASAP, I'm pointing to a general and widely understtod attitude...one that was often as not well justified...that it was unwise to be indifferent to same. Ismay might not have seen it in the same light, but how were any of them to know that with certainty? Experience with other lines would not have inspired confidence.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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On a seperate note here:

>>quite clearly Ismay would be interested but he is hardly the only one.<<

Quite right. He wouldn't have been. That passengers took an interest in how far and how fast a ship went on any given day is reflected in any number of informal betting pools that were created over just that question. Since the bettors were "putting their money where their mouths were" the question of a ship's performance was a matter of some keen interest for obvious reasons.

>>another question i ask myself is what would have been different had Ismay not been on board? and would they still have had a speed run?<<

What would have been different is that Ismay wouldn't have been aboard and that they may have attempted a full power run anyway. Titanic was a new ship, and there would have been quite an interest in seeing what sort of stuff she had.
 

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