Personnel decisions impelling collision


Nov 14, 2005
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Could have been as simple as J.P. Morgan telling Ismay that "I had lunch with so and so and he mentioned how nice it would be to have Smith as the captain". It would have gotten done.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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I disagree. Lots of stuff at that level gets done with a simple suggestion. I used Morgan as an example. It doesn't always have to be some of conspiracy or whatever that others have implied. But like I said before I believe it was because he had already commanded the Olympic. Nothing more complicated than that.
 
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Mike Spooner

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Sep 21, 2017
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You've been told this is all not true a thousand times before by a dozen different posters but for some reason you keep ignoring it.

Anyway here we go again ....
  • Many passenger ships went into service still needing some light work done on their accommodation etc.
  • They did not leave Belfast with a coal bunker on fire. It was discovered after they left Southampton.
  • Coal bunker fires were common on ships of that era. The stokehold men were used to them and knew how to deal with them. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary.
  • You have not the slightest proof that Herbert Haddock would have done any better than Smith beyond your own opinion. Opinions are not facts.
  • Again you make a baseless accusation about corporate interference based purely upon "I think this happened - therefore it did". That isn't proof.
  • Name me one credible Titanic historian who believes there were meddling company directors who were tinkering with everything. You will be looking for quite a while.
These are not the amazing revelations you seem to think they are.
Sorry for the delay for a reply. I have been on holiday for a week and my iPad is still not sort out to reply!
One of the things you must understand captains and officers do play a vital roll in the running of the ship, but at the end of the day do not own the ships or the shipping company. That responsibility roll falls on the Board of Directors who are in a more senior position roll. Even a Board of Directors will have a pecking order from the junior Directors to the senior Directors and the ultimate power comes from the company Chairman who has the casting vote. A new voted in Chairman will always make sure will have Directors work for them.
As who will be captain is not for the captain to decide or the officers to. No doubt Smith may been asked and considered a great honour for Titanic indeed. But that was the Directors who gave him that great honour and NOT Smith. As far choosing what officer he wants on board. Again that is the Directors who will say yes or no.
As for the coal bunker fire I seen evidence it did start in Belfast. Therefore it was H&W problem. Would agree were not a such serious issue and can be control in the early stages.
As for taking ownership of the ship from the shipyard that falls down on the Directors and not the crew members.
Clearly I see WSL Directors are taking on responsibilities that belong to H&W by accepting the ship that is not a completed. Then all that nonsense of shifting 4,400 tons coal from five ships at Southampton. Who bright idea was that? Which can only come from the Directors. The last minute changers of senior officers at Southampton. To me this doesn't sound a very well organise company. Again I do not blame the captain. If any one to blame that has to fall on the company Chairman who was know to make quick decisions, not like his Father Thomas Ismay who would look at all angles before making a final decision.
As for Smith I have to question was he the right choice? As I have notice in the inquiries the roll of the captain responsibility is never brought up. As on a top liner of any shipping company must of been stressful job indeed and there seem to be a standard age to retire them of at 60. As for Smith the HMS Hawke accident only just added to his stress level. Not only that I see other factors to consider that Smith was not the right choose. Only IF and a big IF I was a Director I would of chosen Captain Haddock and retired Smith off.
 

Seumas

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Mar 25, 2019
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Sorry for the delay for a reply. I have been on holiday for a week and my iPad is still not sort out to reply!
One of the things you must understand captains and officers do play a vital roll in the running of the ship, but at the end of the day do not own the ships or the shipping company. That responsibility roll falls on the Board of Directors who are in a more senior position roll. Even a Board of Directors will have a pecking order from the junior Directors to the senior Directors and the ultimate power comes from the company Chairman who has the casting vote. A new voted in Chairman will always make sure will have Directors work for them.
As who will be captain is not for the captain to decide or the officers to. No doubt Smith may been asked and considered a great honour for Titanic indeed. But that was the Directors who gave him that great honour and NOT Smith. As far choosing what officer he wants on board. Again that is the Directors who will say yes or no.
As for the coal bunker fire I seen evidence it did start in Belfast. Therefore it was H&W problem. Would agree were not a such serious issue and can be control in the early stages.
As for taking ownership of the ship from the shipyard that falls down on the Directors and not the crew members.
Clearly I see WSL Directors are taking on responsibilities that belong to H&W by accepting the ship that is not a completed. Then all that nonsense of shifting 4,400 tons coal from five ships at Southampton. Who bright idea was that? Which can only come from the Directors. The last minute changers of senior officers at Southampton. To me this doesn't sound a very well organise company. Again I do not blame the captain. If any one to blame that has to fall on the company Chairman who was know to make quick decisions, not like his Father Thomas Ismay who would look at all angles before making a final decision.
As for Smith I have to question was he the right choice? As I have notice in the inquiries the roll of the captain responsibility is never brought up. As on a top liner of any shipping company must of been stressful job indeed and there seem to be a standard age to retire them of at 60. As for Smith the HMS Hawke accident only just added to his stress level. Not only that I see other factors to consider that Smith was not the right choose. Only IF and a big IF I was a Director I would of chosen Captain Haddock and retired Smith off.
One of the things you must understand captains and officers do play a vital roll in the running of the ship, but at the end of the day do not own the ships or the shipping company. That responsibility roll falls on the Board of Directors who are in a more senior position roll. Even a Board of Directors will have a pecking order from the junior Directors to the senior Directors and the ultimate power comes from the company Chairman who has the casting vote. A new voted in Chairman will always make sure will have Directors work for them.

Thanks for the patronising reply. I know how corporate governance works and what ships officers can and cannot do.

For the thousandth time you yet again fail to offer an iota of proof that there was corporate interference resulting in the Titanic's loss there beyond your own wild imagination.

As who will be captain is not for the captain to decide or the officers to. No doubt Smith may been asked and considered a great honour for Titanic indeed. But that was the Directors who gave him that great honour and NOT Smith. As far choosing what officer he wants on board. Again that is the Directors who will say yes or no.

Actually it was a joint decision by Smith and the WSL who agreed upon who the ships officers would be. There is no evidence that Smith was unhappy with any of his men. Indeed Smith had a number of his most trusted men such as Wilde, Murdoch, Bell, McElroy and O'Loughlin amongst others with him in senior positions aboard the Titanic.

Again no proof provided of the big corporate conspiracy.

As for the coal bunker fire I seen evidence it did start in Belfast. Therefore it was H&W problem. Would agree were not a such serious issue and can be control in the early stages.

The evidence the fire started in Belfast is based on Hendrickson who in turn "was told" it stated in Belfast. That's it. All the other evidence points to it starting in Southampton or shortly after leaving.

Read the research paper "Fire and Ice".

If you agree that it was not a serious issue then why on earth bring it up in the first place ? That's pointless.

Clearly I see WSL Directors are taking on responsibilities that belong to H&W by accepting the ship that is not a completed.

Yet again more proof that you don't bother to read people's posts properly. This has been explained to you a number of items before by several different posters.

I'm getting sick of repeating this but here we go again - it's quite common for big passenger liners then and now to go to sea with a bit of light work still to be done on passenger accommodation.

The Titanic's engines, boilers, dynamos, steering gear, navigation and sounding equipment, pumps and watertight doors, signalling equipment, catering, firefighting and lifesaving equipment were all safely installed and in working order. That was all that mattered.

That a lick of paint was still needed here and there or that a few doors didn't hang properly is nothing more trivia.

Then all that nonsense of shifting 4,400 tons coal from five ships at Southampton. Who bright idea was that?

A perfectly sensible move actually.

The nationwide UK coal strike had just ended and the miners had only just went back to work - there was a shortage of coal in the UK.

Many ships of the Merchant Navy had to be laid up and Britain's railways had to reduce their services as a result. It was necessary to top up the Titanic's supply of coal and the best way to scrounge together coal was to take it from ships laid up by the strike.

The last minute changers of senior officers at Southampton. To me this doesn't sound a very well organise company. Again I do not blame the captain. If any one to blame that has to fall on the company Chairman who was know to make quick decisions, not like his Father Thomas Ismay who would look at all angles before making a final decision.

Smith and the WSL both decided to add another experienced, safe pair of hands in Henry Wilde. There is nothing wrong with that.

In any event, Wilde would only have done the Titanic's first few voyages before moving on to command one of his own. Murdoch would then have been back as chief officer. Non story.

As for Smith I have to question was he the right choice? As I have notice in the inquiries the roll of the captain responsibility is never brought up. As on a top liner of any shipping company must of been stressful job indeed and there seem to be a standard age to retire them of at 60. As for Smith the HMS Hawke accident only just added to his stress level. Not only that I see other factors to consider that Smith was not the right choose. Only IF and a big IF I was a Director I would of chosen Captain Haddock and retired Smith off.

I don't see any hard evidence in that last passage at all.

What I do see is a lot of groundless assumption and overactive imagination. None of which constitute evidence.

Therefore that is all irrelevant.

You seem to think that you have made this big discovery here but you haven't. Corporate interference was not responsible for the sinking of RMS Titanic.

Mark Chirnside had to remind you of this a while back but you seem to seem to have forgotten this. Go back and read his replies.
 
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Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Sorry for the delay for a reply. I have been on holiday for a week and my iPad is still not sort out to reply!
One of the things you must understand captains and officers do play a vital roll in the running of the ship, but at the end of the day do not own the ships or the shipping company. That responsibility roll falls on the Board of Directors who are in a more senior position roll. Even a Board of Directors will have a pecking order from the junior Directors to the senior Directors and the ultimate power comes from the company Chairman who has the casting vote. A new voted in Chairman will always make sure will have Directors work for them.
As who will be captain is not for the captain to decide or the officers to. No doubt Smith may been asked and considered a great honour for Titanic indeed. But that was the Directors who gave him that great honour and NOT Smith. As far choosing what officer he wants on board. Again that is the Directors who will say yes or no.
As for the coal bunker fire I seen evidence it did start in Belfast. Therefore it was H&W problem. Would agree were not a such serious issue and can be control in the early stages.
As for taking ownership of the ship from the shipyard that falls down on the Directors and not the crew members.
Clearly I see WSL Directors are taking on responsibilities that belong to H&W by accepting the ship that is not a completed. Then all that nonsense of shifting 4,400 tons coal from five ships at Southampton. Who bright idea was that? Which can only come from the Directors. The last minute changers of senior officers at Southampton. To me this doesn't sound a very well organise company. Again I do not blame the captain. If any one to blame that has to fall on the company Chairman who was know to make quick decisions, not like his Father Thomas Ismay who would look at all angles before making a final decision.
As for Smith I have to question was he the right choice? As I have notice in the inquiries the roll of the captain responsibility is never brought up. As on a top liner of any shipping company must of been stressful job indeed and there seem to be a standard age to retire them of at 60. As for Smith the HMS Hawke accident only just added to his stress level. Not only that I see other factors to consider that Smith was not the right choose. Only IF and a big IF I was a Director I would of chosen Captain Haddock and retired Smith off.
Not really!

Shipping Companies had Marine Superintendents who ensured that the money making assets...the ships... were properly manned and fir for purpose. 99% of Company Directors didn't know the sharp end from the blunt end. They were simply the money men.
The Superintendent hired and fired, not the Directors. Deck Superintendents were time served Master Mariners and Engineering Superintendents were Chief Engineers. These men were charged with the proper manning and daily operation of Company vessels.
The Superintendent advised the senior Management as to the abilities of the personnel (including captains) to perform their duties. Directors were not qualified to make such determinations.

Internal combustion fires do not happen overnight... they develop over time, If Titanic coaled shortly before she left Belfast then it is likely that the yard personnel would not have known about such a fire.

When a ship is built, there is an agreed time on the contract when the ship will be sufficiently complete for official handover to the owners. That is normally at the end of sea trials. Besides her normal Yard trials, Titanic had an additional period of trial consisting of her run from Belfast to Southampton. Being the very latest of her class, improvements would have been made. Not only that but on a vessel that size with so many innovations, inspections under ocean going conditions were needed and any minor defects in fixtures and fittings could be rectified or noted for future attention during her maiden voyage. It was then and for very many years thereafter, a perfectly normal situation for Yard personnel to accompany such vessels on their maiden voyage.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with Captain Smith's ability. Not only that, but there is an old saying that you do not keep a dog and bark yourself. Smith had the luxury of no less than 6 juniors, all of whom were qualified Master Mariners and Certified to take command of any vessel.
 
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