ONE SHOT TIME TRAVEL TO CHANGE FATE


May 8, 2001
1,359
2
221
HI TO ALL. I haven't seen anything like this post out there, so here goes.
If you could time travel to one place, one time to attempt to change the fate of Titanic, where would you go or what would you do to make the biggest impact either by prevention, persuasion, or sabotage? I know this is a huge "what if" can of worms, but I'd be interrested in the thought process of others.
As for myself, after LONG thought and consideration, I suppose I would make certain that the Olympic did not lose a propeller blade, delaying Titanics maiden voyage.
My husband said he would contact Thomas Andrews while the ships were in the planning stage, and attempt to persuade him through evidence, to change the flaws in the design of the watertight bulkheads, to an alternative which would allow the Titanic or its sisters to float with greater damage.
Now I'm going to go watch the Final Countdown again :) Colleen
 

Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 15, 2011
503
0
71
Colleen,

I don't know if I would want to stop the Titanic's appointment with the berg. That disaster (while tragic) played a major part in history.
If I were do something to stop it from happening though (just a little harmless fantasizing
happy.gif
), several options come to mind:
A. Distract Smith during the encounter with the New York.
B. Run messages from the wireless room to the bridge.
C. Slipped a little ipecac and a healthy dose of laxative into Bruce Ismay's tea on April 9. heh heh heeeeh (oh I'm bad!!!)

Devilishly,
David
 

Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 15, 2011
503
0
71
Colleen,

I don't know if I would want to stop the Titanic's appointment with the berg. That disaster (while tragic) played a major part in history.
If I were do something to stop it from happening though (just a little harmless fantasizing
happy.gif
), several options come to mind:
A. Distract Smith during the encounter with the New York.
B. Run messages from the wireless room to the bridge.
C. Slip a little ipecac and a healthy dose of laxative into Bruce Ismay's tea on April 9. heh heh heeeeh (oh I'm bad!!!)

Devilishly,
David
 

Joshua Gulch

Member
Mar 31, 2001
604
2
173
David,
Between your laxatives and my tying shoelaces together, we've really got it in for Ismay during our exploits in time. ;-)

As for me, I don't think I'd change anything.

1. If anything were changed, we'd all lead very boring lives.
2. I've seen Back to the Future to many times to know better.

I'd just sit back and watch, then make sure I'm on the starboard side with Murdoch when getting the heck off!

Josh.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,641
457
453
Easley South Carolina
I'm not sure I'd stop the accident no matter how desperately I'd want to, even if I had the ability. Rather doubtful persuasion would have worked, though if you were too pushy about it, you might find yourself locked up for your own protection.

The loss of the Titanic did lead to changes that were badly needed in Safety of Life At Sea laws for one thing. They may have been longer in coming then anybody knows, but they did happen. Also, what of the people who would have survived who in real time ended up dead. Would one have been the parent of a lad or lass who found the cure for cancer, or would this person have been the sort to make Hitler look like a nice guy?

With all the possibilities we can't possibly know, I would leave history to take it's course.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
May 8, 2001
1,359
2
221
Hi David Michael and Joshua. I was pleased that there was a nibble on my question.

David. I laugh each time I read your posting. Very good, and ones I hadn't even given thought to. I can't make a yellow smiley face, so this will have to do. :)

Yes, I agree Michael. The loss of Titanic was a huge eye opener to bring much needed laws in order. I will even throw out the thought that if the disaster did not happen, and the Olympic and Britanic were not refitted, what possible loss was averted there? What impact would the Titanic had on being used during the war? Or how would the surviving of the "BIG THREE" affect the long term solvency of the White Star Line? I was (in the words of David) harmlessly fantasizing the possibilities.

Joshua, Tying Ismays shoe laces together and standing on the starboard side (with all the rest of us)? See you have some good jabs too. I will have to say that I have watched "Back To The Future" too many times, but I can't help it, as it was filmed at the mall in my city and I heard gunfire all night at my house. Just a bit of trivia there along the way.

Sincerely,
Colleen
 

Cal Haines

Member
Dec 2, 2000
308
0
171
Tucson, AZ USA
There was a similar thread in the USENET titanic newsgroup a few months back. There was the additional restriction that you would arrive shortly after the collision and could only use what you could carry. There were some rather, er, innovative solutions (such as blowing the ship in two). Most of the more "serious" types in the newsgroup choose not to play and contented themselves with critiques of various contenders.

Here's a link: http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&safe=off&th=60f4078314418910&ic=1
(My solution is around message #30.)

Cal
 

Joshua Gulch

Member
Mar 31, 2001
604
2
173
Colleen,
Back in May we were discussing time travel, and I was elected as the Official ET Time Travel (as my profile still reflects). I think that by giving me that position it means I'm just expendable. See Discovery/Salvage:pure Conjecture for that conversation.

I had read some movie trivia on Back to the Future a while back and it said that many residents called the police in the middle of the night due to all the gunshots being heard. To quote Biff in Part II, "Funny. I never thought it would be you."

Josh.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,641
457
453
Easley South Carolina
Hi Colleen, I suspect the Titanic would have ended up serving as a transport had she survived to World War I, though probably only in the latter stages. Until the U.S. entered the war, there was no need to transport such large numbers of troops acroos the ocean save from Canada which was a de facto belligerant because it was part of the British Empire.

In fact, for awhile. several liners sat around unused because the capacity wasn't needed. Recall that the Lusitania was actually released back to civilian service. Also, the armed merchent cruiser scheme didn't work out. Not much of a surprise as civilian craft with scratch naval and merchent crews made for lousy warships.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
J

James Maxwell

Guest
Hi Colleen,
I think that I would agree with most of the people who say that they would not stop the disaster because of what arose from it afterwards. there are two things I would say
1. I might arrange for Capt Smith to survive so that he could have explained the thinking behind his conduct of the voyage.
2. I'm not so sure that redesigning the watertight bulkheads would have made any difference - if recent theories that Titanic "bottomed" on an underwater ledge of ice rather than grazing the berg are correct, the damage would have been such that water was pouring in all over the place and she was probably doomed anyway. From this point of view I might also arrange for Andrews to survive, so that he could give us his professional opinion as to the nature and extent of the damage he found during his inspection after the collision.
regards.
jim
 

Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 15, 2011
503
0
71
I would save Andrews, if only for the sake of history. If I couldn't save him, however, I'd certainly take his plans and papers, by force if neccesary!

David
 
May 8, 2001
1,359
2
221
I must say Michael, I had a good laugh at the thought that my husband would be locked up for his own good. No disrespect intended here, but this must only come from the mind of a Navy Man. It sounded exacly as his 44 year old brother would have said. (Navy as well...Kittyhawk). Do you believe the White Star line would have still gone under if they hadn't had such bad luck with these 3? It appears that when the government forced them to merge, Cunard scrapped/ sacraficed Olympic for the Queen Mary, however, I do realize that Olympic was 20+ years old, and maybe past her prime. Any thoughts there?
James...from Bellfast huh? What a lucky man to be right there where it all started! I am not familiar with the "Bottoming on the ledge" theory. Where could I read up on that? Is this part of the sonar that was conducted to access the damage to the compartments a while back?
Cal.. The magnetic panels right? Now there was one that I absolutely had not even gotten to. That got me to thinking though that I wonder if the lifeboat covers could have been used to slow the water down. It woud have plugged the hole like a drainplug wouldn't it? ( I am not even thinking just time travel here.) Anything that could have just given her a little more time.
Thanks again for a thought provoking day. Colleen Collier
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,641
457
453
Easley South Carolina
Hi Collen, I can't say for sure whether White Star would have gone under or not. Their union with the International Mercentile Marine in retrospect, wasn't one of the best moves in the world and the loss of the Titanic was a factor...though IMO...not the ultimate cause of it's failure. Let's face it, IMM never floated well to begin with and I suspect were it not for World War One...when every ship was ultimately needed that they could lay their hands on...it would have died a lot sooner.

In this event, I suspect White Star would simply have been sold back to British interests as in fact happened when IMM finally went belly up.

The big kicker was the Depression which appears to have done more damage to the Atlantic trade then any other single factor. It's hard to remain solvent when nobody has the money to book passage at any price. It was a close enough call for Cunard to survive even with government subsidies to help pay the bills. More then anything else, White Star was a victim of the times.

Specifically to the Olympic class liners; Being out of fashion was the kiss of death to many a great ship...Still is...and ultimately, that was what did in the Olympic as well as Cunard's Mauritania. IMO, the Britannic would have had the best chance of survival since she was slightly newer, but that's a guess on my part. Historically, excess capacity goes the way of the scrapyard if business doesn't improve.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,641
457
453
Easley South Carolina
Colleen, browsing through this thread, I noticed you asked a question about whether or not the lifeboat covers could have plugged the holes. Unfortunately, nobody has offered an answer so it falls to me. Fortunately, I have some training in shipboard damage control which may be of some use here.

The short answer is "No way". Remember, the damage was severe enough that the initial flooding rate was estimated at seven tons per second. While this did slow down some later on as the ship reached near equilibrium, by this time, the damaged sections were utterly inaccessible.

Even today, this couldn't really be done. Any patching would have to be done from the outside of the hull, and this would have called for trained divers, the needed equipment, a knowladge of exactly where the damage was, and above all, plenty of time. The Titanic had none of those things. Any patching forced in openings from the inside would have been forced out by water pressure.

What would have helped would have been to have watertight decks. That way, it would be a simple matter to close the hatches and dog them down. In fact, for damage below the waterline, this is still the practice today.

Hope this helps.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Sam Brannigan

Member
Feb 24, 2007
903
10
123
Hi Michael

I recall reading somewhere (I'm vague again, I know!) that a ship(s?) contemporary to the Olympic used "sails" strung over the side to slow the rate of water entering damaged compartments, the desired effect being that the material would be swept over the damaged area and stop, or slow at the very least, the intake of water. Any thoughts OM?


Regards

Sam
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,641
457
453
Easley South Carolina
I think what you're referring to were called collision mats. I don't know whether any such were ever carried by the Olympic class liners, although they seemed to be a part of what warships were equipped with. In any event, the damage control effort was all inside with pumps being lined up and portable suction lines being broken out. If they did have collision mats, (Doubtful) it clearly didn't even occur to them to use them. With damage involving six compartments spread out over a length of 300ft, it would have been a waste of time.

The problem in this case would be the sheer bulk of the ropes needed to control them while trying to move them where needed on a hull of this size. I don't think they would have been of much use for damage below the waterline either. Imagine if you will, trying to get the thing out, rig up the lines needed and trying to find where below the waterline the damage was in the dark!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
May 8, 2001
1,359
2
221
Hi Sam and Michael. My husband seems to believe the ship was called the "Florida" pictured in the Time Life Book "The Great Liners". It had rammed another vessel and they used a canvas covering over the bow and brought her in. He thinks this was either 1906 or 1909, but he doesn't have this book readily available, as he read this about 20 years ago. The patching I was refering to would have been on the outside, but Mike your explaination of lack of time, size of damage and lack of trained seamen is sound. If no one believed that the ship would sink, I don't believe there would be anyone thinking of such measures, except maybe that they had the water pumped out to keep her up longer. I appreciate you taking time to educate me on such things. Sincerely, Colleen
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,641
457
453
Easley South Carolina
Hi Collen, I believe that the ship you referred to had it's damage mostly above the waterline. Collision mats, as far as I know, are of little use for damage below the waterline.

As to the capacity of the Titanic's pumps, it wasn't very impressive. 1700 tons per hour if memory serves. I may be off by some...I'll have to check my sources...but not much. They were used, but with that high flooding rate, it was a losing battle.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Cal Haines

Member
Dec 2, 2000
308
0
171
Tucson, AZ USA
Coleen wrote:
Cal.. The magnetic panels right? Now there was one that I absolutely had not even gotten to. That got me to thinking though that I wonder if the lifeboat covers could have been used to slow the water down. It woud have plugged the hole like a drainplug wouldn't it? ...

Hi Coleen, Mike, Sam, ...

Actually, the magnetic panels was someone else's idea. My approach was two pronged: first, a high power Morse lamp for signaling the Californian; second, a diving suit to facilitate damage control. I my view, the only way to save Titanic or at least buy her some time is to slow the rate of flooding. As Mike notes, the amount of flooding was too much for the pumps. The best way to do that is some type of "fothering", which is the term for using a sail or collision mat to plug an underwater hole. There are several cases of this being done on sailing ships, one of them is James Cooks Endeavour (see: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/5600/cookbook.htm)).

I think having a diver available would be key to being able to control the flooding in time. For one thing, you need to be able to quickly figure out where the damage is an how to best control it. I sure wouldn't want to try it without lot practice in some sort of mock-up, during which different types of hole-plugging approaches could be tried. Take back whatever is the best compromise in terms of size, flexibility and effectiveness.

I'm not going to tell you that Titanic could have been saved for sure, but there might be a fighting chance at it. If you can scrape up a time machine and a few million for training and equipment, I'd be willing to give it a shot.
happy.gif


Cal
 

Similar threads