Last Log of the Titanic


Jun 11, 2000
2,524
26
313
Thanks, David and Alicia. (The remark about the 'authoritative source' was a joke; not a very good one, I admit, must remember to put a smiley in next time...)
 

Paul Rogers

Member
Jun 1, 2000
1,244
14
313
58
West Sussex, UK
I'd agree with Alicia. However the fact that the engines were not reversed does not necessarily mean that such a command was not given and then rescinded. (Apologies for the plethora of negatives in that last sentence; you know what I mean!)

Hi David. If Titanic was turned in order to slow her down, I'd assume that this means that no-one had seen the iceberg when the turning command was given, and thus the ship was accidentally steered into danger. It seems silly to me to deliberately steer the side of a ship into an obstacle when the bow must be stronger - or am I missing something?

I believe you met Fred Fleet in Southampton? Did he ever mention (off the record, so to speak) what he had thought had happened around the time of the collision?
 
D

David Haisman

Guest
Alicia Coors,

Depending where you are on a vessel, vibration can be felt excessively or not at all. The worst place for any vibration is aft and those I have spoken to that were there had reported many times over, the great turbulence on the water around the stern on impact.
When a ship has collided for'ard of the beam, any ship's master worth his salt will immediately stop his vessel by all means and wait for damage reports before any further engine room movements. This means after a double ring astern to stop her, the next movement must be stop.
How long did your people at tank top level stand staring at the telegraph indicators or did they make that claim after the ship had gone astern.?
Regarding testimony and theories, I only deal with fact and experience and continue to believe the spoken word from those that were there. As far as you and I are concerned, this subject is now closed.


Hi Paul,
Regarding going hard to Starboard(todays terminology) people still can't seem to understand training and gut reaction when there's little time for anything else. Acting on instinct can have many implications but it happens every day, rightly or wrongly. Hindsight can be cruel and even moreso when used in a cavalier fashion by those with little knowledge.
I don't include you in that for a moment but you will spot it from time to time on these threads.

When Fred Fleet was a newspaper seller in Southampton, we as young seamen would sometimes have a chat but only briefly as we respected the man as being quite fed up with the whole business.
Between us we managed to glean from him over a period, that on impact with the iceberg
(there was one incidently. A big bugger!)
the starboard break of the fo'cstle clipped the upper part of the iceberg causing ice to fall on the Well Deck.
They felt the mast heel over on impact and thought she may have ''shelved off''
One statement I've always remembered is this, and I quote, ''We left here with f... all and we came back with f... all!''
Take it from me, he told his fellow seafarers more than anyone else and that's all I'm prepared to say on the matter.

All the best,

David H
 
A

Alicia Coors

Guest
quote:

Regarding testimony and theories, I only deal with fact and experience and continue to believe the spoken word from those that were there.
Huh? If sworn testimony isn't spoken word, what is it? Four men told two inquiries that the STOP orders and impact happened contemporaneously. Not one of hundreds of witnesses told either inquiry that the deck heaved up and down or vibrated or threw anyone off his feet (as is commonly reported in switching from full ahead to full astern). Many survivors said the first inkling they got that anything had happened was that the steady thrum of the engines had stopped. I would give more credence to inquiry transcripts any day than to sea stories I heard down at the local.

And as long as you bring up "fact" and "experience," how do you establish what is fact without testimony? If you weren't there, it's all hearsay. Even what you call "experience" is a form of knowledge. The fact that it is gained first-hand imputes no more validity to it than to any derived from a book. Experience comes from things like doing, seeing, or being told something. It is acquired knowledge. If anything, book learning is probably the most reliable, as it has been tested and modified by others, whereas personal experience is molded only by the individual's psyche. And we're not even talking about a lot of knowledge in this case. I dare say that all of the "lore" accumulated in a career at sea could very easily be compiled into a book not much bigger than Bowditch. It ain't rocket science, as they say.​
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,661
871
563
Easley South Carolina
>>Take it from me, he told his fellow seafarers more than anyone else and that's all I'm prepared to say on the matter. <<

Which doesn't surprise me in the least. The watch team that survived knew that they would be under a lot of microscopes from a lot of people who...qualified to make the judgements or not...had the power to ruin their careers. Alicia makes a good point about testimony. It's there, it's part of the official record, and it came from the people who were the players in the drama. This includes the professional mariners. David also makes a good point when he mentions Fleet as an example of somebody who was willing to say more to his own kind then he would have dared say under oath. It's really a question of "Who can I trust?"

That sure as hell wouldn't have been Senator Smith, Lord Mersey, or White Star corperate officers.

In light of those realities, could I perhaps impose on the membership to please try to understand where the "other guy" is coming from in his/her arguements? These differing points of view are all part of the larger picture, and are not nesseccerily wrong, so we need not be adversarial about this. If we actually listen to each other, we might all just learn something.
 
D

David Haisman

Guest
Alicia Coors,

(a)''The spoken word'' in the context I was relating to meant purely and simply listening to people first hand, relating their experiences. Was that too hard to understand?

(b)''The deck heaving up and down and throwing everyone off of their feet, as is commonly reported as to swithching from full ahead to full astern''

Really!

What are we talking about here? A ride on the big dipper?

(c)''Steady thrum of engines''

What's that!

(d)''Sea stories at the local''

You could have learnt something a bit more useful than what you've revealed so far.

(e)''Tesimony and fact''

It will take experience to determine the two.

(f)''The validity of first hand knowledge and what's written in a book''

Depends on the author.

(g)''The lore created accumulated from a life at sea could be compiled into a book not much bigger than Bowditch''

If you had written it, certainly!

I never thought you had a sense of humour, but clearly you have.


There is obviously a great deal you don't understand regarding testimony given by seamen in a foreign port....but that's another story.

You may get a bit more luck analysing the British Enquiries but I wouldn't bet on it.

Once again, nothing useful from this topic so I am done with you.

David H
 
Jun 4, 2000
1,286
6
313
Sigh.

It seems that 'Derogatory comments directed at ET message board members are not welcome here' wasn't understood.

No more. Ms Coors and Mr Haisman, consider your cards marked. Please moderate the degree of invective in any further discusion on this thread (and any other in this forum) or find it moderated for you.

Thank you.

Back to more civilised discussion...
 
D

David Haisman

Guest
Message understood.
I managed to get the last word in for a change so perhaps there isn't an anti- British agenda after all!

David H
 

Mike Bull

Member
Dec 23, 2000
515
15
263
LOL @ the brilliant quote from Fred Fleet!

I'm still sure that the poor chap wouldn't have wanted a flipping great big Titanic carved all over his gravestone, either...I know the THS meant well, but couldn't they have made the grave a little more...well, dignified? I felt very sorry for him because of that when I visited his resting place.
 

Paul Rogers

Member
Jun 1, 2000
1,244
14
313
58
West Sussex, UK
Hi David. Thanks very much for your reply.

Your post reminded me of an old question I once asked on this Board regarding the Californian. I had previously read that, upon spotting the ice-field, the Californian was stopped by ringing FULL SPEED ASTERN and putting the helm to hard-a-port. The ship still hit the ice-field, carving a sort of question mark in the ice before stopping, but was obviously not damaged. Based on my reading of this story, I asked the following question:

"Assuming the engine room and helm orders on the Californian were given instinctively [as detailed above] is it not possible that Murdoch gave precisely the same orders on Titanic upon seeing the ice-field, also purely from instinct?"

I was informed that such a scenario was not possible because the Officers appreciated that, as Titanic was so much larger than small steamers, she had to be handled differently. (I'm paraphrasing of course.) I wasn't happy with this answer at the time, and I am even less happy with it now.

Regards,
Paul.
 
Oct 28, 2000
3,242
548
388
Thanks to all for participating in this ongoing debate. One of my purposes in writing "Last Log" was to stimulate discussion with the hope it would lead to more research. It was not my purpose to foment personal attacks and angry diatribes. However, a certain amount of personal anger is to be expected when passion for a subject overtakes the knowledge base. In other words, when the discussion focuses not on learning more, but upon promoting personal opinions.

With regard to Titanic, most of the testimony is now reasonably well known by those who frequent ET. And, it is all available, thanks to Rob Ottmers and company with the Titanic Enquiry Project. However, just knowing what was said is not enough. The primary task facing Titanic researchers now is context.

The arguments in this string are de facto proof that they body of evidence is not understood in context. If it were, there would be little point in the heated exchanges.

Even as "Last Log" went to press I was aware that it contained the seeds of argument. Although I am proud of what I accomplished, I have never claimed it was the "last word" on the subject of Titanic. Nor was it the end of my research. Over the past five years my thoughts and opinions have changed as I have learned more. And, as I continue researching I reserve the right to change again. That's the nature of research.

-- David G. Brown
 
D

David Haisman

Guest
Hi Paul,

To answer your question, I'm almost certain Murdoch would have acted in the same way as the Californian incident you mentioned.
To a professional it makes sense for all kinds of reasons, but I wont go into them here.

You are also absolutely right about not being happy regarding the size of the vessel being handled differently.

Out in the open sea, stresses and strains are relative to the size of the vessel and the only difference would be the time it takes to undertake such a manoeuvre.

In shallows and navigational waters, an emergency situation would have to be weighed up carefully given time.

Thank you Paul for your interest,

All the best,

David H
 
A

Alicia Coors

Guest
Barrett, Beauchamp, Scott, and Dillon were all interviewed by the British enquiry, so there is really no question of their evidence being shaded by being in a foreign port. Their testimony is consistent with an impact concurrent with an order to stop the engines. There is a nifty summary of the testimony here: http://home.att.net/~wormstedt/titanic/trinque.html#Trimmer Dillon

Please do go into the reasons you think Murdoch would have done the same as Californian. It would also be interesting to hear why you think Titanic's engines were reversed. And what Fleet told his buddies. And what others who were present said off the record. All fascinating (if unlikely) stuff.
 

Paul Rogers

Member
Jun 1, 2000
1,244
14
313
58
West Sussex, UK
Alicia, IMHO the comments contained within your final paragraph were uncalled for. I wonder if you'd treat people in such a disrespectful fashion if you were meeting them face-to-face. You are obviously intelligent and you should not need to resort to arrogance in your dealings with others. It will not earn you respect.
 

Paul Lee

Member
Aug 11, 2003
2,235
31
243
Paul, which final paragraph is that? I don't see anything in any of Alicia's posts that are derogotary. But then again, I suppose thats the point of the "IMHO"
happy.gif


Cheers

Paul

 
A

Alicia Coors

Guest
Misterogers[sup]1[/sup],

This is a (sometimes heated) debate. I am trying to induce Mr. Haisman to come out from behind his "well I know a lot of stuff but I won't talk about it here" which, you must admit, comes off as a blustering defense for an indefensible position. If he has evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) that everyone else is wrong, then let him present it.

I cite testimony from two formal inquiries plus the best forensics I can find, and he tells me it's wrong because...because...well, because it conflicts with his buddies' tales.

I do not deliberately antagonize. When I am treated with respect, I reciprocate. But when I am pushed, I push back.

[sup]1[/sup] A Yank compliment. Fred Rogers was a gentle and much beloved TV personality who hosted a daily children's program for decades.
 

Paul Rogers

Member
Jun 1, 2000
1,244
14
313
58
West Sussex, UK
Alicia,
quote:

I am trying to induce Mr. Haisman to come out from behind his "well I know a lot of stuff but I won't talk about it here" which, you must admit, comes off as a blustering defense for an indefensible position. If he has evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) that everyone else is wrong, then let him present it.
Firstly, I do not admit that David is using a "blustering defence for an indefensible position" so please don't assume that I do. This is your opinion and you are entitled to it, but that does not make you right. Testimony from the Inquiries can never be the "whole truth" because of the environment in which it is given and I value therefore David's anecdotal and professional evidence. I respect also his right to keep confidences. BTW, this does not mean that I assume his every word is Gospel or that I ignore what was said at the Inquiries.

What annoyed me is your style of language (e.g. "blustering defence" and "fascinating (if unlikely) stuff" etc.) which I find unnecessary. Alicia, this is not a rant or personal attack; I'm genuinely trying to offer some constructive criticism here. If you really want to gain information, you would be more successful in your efforts if you were to phrase your posts politely rather than resorting to sarcasm. Baiting someone will not move this discussion forward or gain further insights. I am sorry to say that I have fallen into this trap myself in the recent past.

I appreciate that you (and others) may feel that I am over-reacting and, of course you are perfectly entitled to write me off as a complete p**t who is overly-concerned with syntax. I'm getting off my soap-box now anyway.​
 
A

Alicia Coors

Guest
Paul,

As I said before, I treat others as I am treated, per The Golden Rule. I will engage in perfectly polite discourse, when polite discourse is what is offered. But it is one thing to present facts that contradict my position; it is quite another to stoop to patronizing jibes, such as "there's a good girl." It could be observed that you have taken a rather unilateral approach to your chiding.

I just happened upon the fact that the manual of naval battle used by the English prior to the advent of steam power was An essay on naval tactics, systematical and historical by John Clerk, first published in 1790. Nelson used several sentences straight from the essay in his orders for the battle of Trafalgar.

Clerk had never been to sea.

If Mr. Haisman has credible evidence that Titanic's engines were reversed at or near the time of the collision, I would be glad to hear it. The credibility of pub chatter unsupported by history is left to the individual.
 
Mar 3, 1998
2,745
261
358
It's a holiday weekend here and I've been too heavily involved in home improvement to pay much attention to this thread. Good thing, too, by the looks of it.

I have maybe a partial answer to David's question from a few days ago.

If memory serves correct, it took 5 full turns of the wheel to go from amidships to hard over. So, basically, we're talking one spoke, one degree...theoretically, of course. Sometimes the sea and weather have something different to say about that, as you well know.

The steering indicator on the telemotor was mechanically linked directly to the wheel, so that indicator would move as the wheel moved. The electrical steering indicator gave almost instaneous feedback from a connection at the head of the rudder and therefore provided the actual angle of the rudder, but that would lag behind the telemotor indicator at a period of time depending on speed and amount of rudder travel. This should not be news to an experienced QM such as yourself, but I state it anyway for the benefit of others.

The wheel could be turned as fast as the helmsman could manage, but to prevent too fast a rotation from rupturing the hydraulic cylinder, coil springs were installed to dampen out the excessive load on the system. Even though the helmsman could physically turn the wheel faster, it took no more than 15 seconds (and quite probably a few seconds less than that) for the rudder to move from amidships to full.

I hope that helps answer your question. As to exactly how the ship handled under a variety of conditions, nobody knows because none of the surviving QMs passed that information down to us.

As for the rest that's been said in this thread, I've said my peace elsewhere and see no reason to repeat myself again.

Parks
 

Similar threads

Similar threads