News The 10 mistakes that DOOMED the Titanic - Daily Mail


Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
824
117
88
What doomed the Titanic? Water nothing else! Ships have survived with contacted of icebergs to!
 

Seumas

Member
Mar 25, 2019
459
190
88
Glasgow, Scotland
What doomed Titanic was the manner in which she struck an iceberg. Nothing else!
Don't know how familiar you Americans will be with the Daily Mail Sam but it is one of the worst newspapers in Europe. Rubbish like this is bread and butter to them.

An absolutely horrible newspaper with a disgusting history of endorsing pseudo-science, racism and mob justice. They love a good historical conspiracy too especially if it involves Nazi treasure or Soviet spies.

I was very, very disappointed to see Simon Mills (whose work with the Britannic I admire) of all people espouse that lack of binoculars was a major factor.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,809
1,071
383
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
I was very, very disappointed to see Simon Mills (whose work with the Britannic I admire) of all people espouse that lack of binoculars was a major factor.
The primary function of a lookout is to immediately report any object sighted and convey its general direction such as ahead, to port, or to starboard. That's why they had that bell up there. Being at a higher level than the bridge, lookouts in the nest theoretically could spot an object that is at a further distance than someone on the bridge because the distance to the horizon is greater (11.1 miles Vs. 9.8 miles in Titanic's case). Without binoculars they could spot an object faster (unless it is something really tiny like a periscope) because they would have a wider field of view. Binoculars only help to identify the type of object, which is of secondary importance, once it is spotted. You would think that Simon would know all this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
824
117
88
Don't know how familiar you Americans will be with the Daily Mail Sam but it is one of the worst newspapers in Europe. Rubbish like this is bread and butter to them.

An absolutely horrible newspaper with a disgusting history of endorsing pseudo-science, racism and mob justice. They love a good historical conspiracy too especially if it involves Nazi treasure or Soviet spies.

I was very, very disappointed to see Simon Mills (whose work with the Britannic I admire) of all people espouse that lack of binoculars was a major factor.
I have asked this question before and have had no reply yet? Where the binoculars or glasses a company policy for the lookout men to have? I also understand there were day time and night time binoculars? If that was the case they need two sets.
 

Seumas

Member
Mar 25, 2019
459
190
88
Glasgow, Scotland
It's been positively established that binoculars would have been completely useless in helping Fleet and Lee spot the iceberg sooner. Why does it matter ?

The primary function of a lookout is to immediately report any object sighted and convey its general direction such as ahead, to port, or to starboard. That's why they had that bell up there. Being at a higher level than the bridge, lookouts in the nest theoretically could spot an object that is at a further distance than someone on the bridge because the distance to the horizon is greater (11.1 miles Vs. 9.8 miles in Titanic's case). Without binoculars they could spot an object faster (unless it is something really tiny like a periscope) because they would have a wider field of view. Binoculars only help to identify the type of object, which is of secondary importance, once it is spotted. You would think that Simon would know all this.
Aye, shame Mills had to go and come out with such an elementary mistake like that.

Btw since when did Tim Maltin become "a world-leading expert on the ship" ? I'm struggling to think of any books or web articles by him on the ship :confused:

As it's a British made documentary, they should have got Mark Chirnside and Dr Paul Lee involved. Or maybe that would have been too sensible ? :rolleyes:
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
824
117
88
Hi Seumas,
The reason why I ask whether it was or not company policy to supply binconculars for the lookout men? Is for legal reason.
We have heard the pro and cons of glasses. But if the company Directors have given that order you must abide by it! We have heard of Fred Fleet stating if only had the glasses we would of missed the iceberg.
If it was company policy to supply the glasses. Fleet would of had a strong case in a court hearing against the company!

I see the: The 10 mistakes that sank the Titanic. Is on TV tonight 9.00 on Channel 5.
 

Seumas

Member
Mar 25, 2019
459
190
88
Glasgow, Scotland
If it had been law to have had binoculars in the crows nest and they weren't there - then Fleet and Lee's trade union would have raised merry hell.

They didn't.
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
824
117
88
Yes you may be right the union would of raised the case. But they have a chance to do so? It would be more convincing to see if was the company policy or not. Never mind the Titanic loss, when things do go wrong with transport disasters companies will always try and find away to shift the blame else where. Like the current BOEING 737 MAX!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Kas01

Member
May 24, 2018
169
45
73
24
As it's a British made documentary, they should have got Mark Chirnside and Dr Paul Lee involved. Or maybe that would have been too sensible ? :rolleyes:
The 2012 miniseries was British-made and supposedly got an offer from Dr. Lee regarding fact-checking, and What's-His-Face of Downton Abbey infamy couldn't be arsed to accept it.

I'd like to imagine that Dr. Lee would have taken a look and simply said that the series was factually too far gone.
 
Mar 22, 2003
5,809
1,071
383
Chicago, IL, USA
www.titanicology.com
Where the binoculars or glasses a company policy for the lookout men to have?
From Ismay's testimony:

18607. Had your company come to the conclusion that binoculars were of assistance to the look-out men? - I believe up to the year 1895 we used to supply look-out glasses to the look-out men, and since that date I think it has been left to the discretion of the commander whether he gives them look-out glasses or not.
18608. But if he elects to do it then you supply them? - We certainly would if they are asked for.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

AlexP

Member
May 23, 2019
458
21
43
Usa
Btw since when did Tim Maltin become "a world-leading expert on the ship" ? I'm struggling to think of any books or web articles by him on the ship :confused:
There are quite a lot, including National Geographic documentary, many articles in leading newspapers and so on. Didn’t you know that he made a very important discovery? He discovered that the lookouts did not see the iceberg because it was hidden by a super refraction, and that Californian’s officers thought that the Titanic was a much smaller ship and much closer than she really was because of the presence of a super refraction. He also discovered that nobody could read Morse lamp signals because of a super refraction. Of course low-lying Titanic rockets were also due to a super refraction. In other words Maltin solved all mysteries associated with the Titanic.
 
Last edited:

Julian Atkins

Member
Sep 23, 2017
1,167
554
188
South Wales UK
Tim Maltin discovered records of The Parisian, which was quite significant research, and has been commented on previously on this forum.

I had to take a telephone call just after I posted above and turned the TV volume down, but did see a few pics or was it one pic of The Californian, and I missed the stuff - what ever it was about Phillips.

Perhaps we ought to combine and try and sell to a TV company a proper in depth documentary! Don't ask me to anything on Titanic, but I would make an attempt at The Californian in a few years time.

Cheers,
Julian
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
824
117
88
I see the talk of the Titanic historian took place at the Kempton Steam Museum, who have just has there 90th year anniversary.
Building open on the 24th October 1929 the first day of the Wall Street Crash! The celebrations was a grand affair indeed.
Though the Kempton and Titanic engine where both triple expansion, but in appearance and design where quite different as technology had move on from the Titanic days.
However it still give you a good impression how big this engine where. The next steam up for the engine 19-20 November and the last one for the year. There is also a good turbine with the top covers removed powered by electric motor showing the working of a turbine. Information can be found on the website. I shall be there.
.
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
824
117
88
From Ismay's testimony:

18607. Had your company come to the conclusion that binoculars were of assistance to the look-out men? - I believe up to the year 1895 we used to supply look-out glasses to the look-out men, and since that date I think it has been left to the discretion of the commander whether he gives them look-out glasses or not.
18608. But if he elects to do it then you supply them? - We certainly would if they are asked for.
Hi Sam,
I see you have covered the missing binoculars in your book. I get the picture the lookout men where always provided with binoculars. Due to the last day before sailing second officer David Blair was removed of the ship and took the key of the locker where the binoculars are kept by mistake.
I can not find any record whether it was company policy to supply binoculars for the lookout men. However you raise the question it was down to the captain discretion whether the lookout men should have glasses.
A man called Hogg I believe a lookout man ask second officer Lightoller for glasses and got fobbed off to say he would get them later on.
Followed on by Lightoller bluntly told him there were no glasses for the lookouts. Now to me this seem to be the standard practice that WSL did issue the lookout men with glasses, and be like that for years to. Must of come a bit of a surprise to the lookout men that a senior officer took this action and they where no position to argue about it. That raised the question of the captain discretion? Did Lightoller ask the captain beforehand denying them of the glasses?
As in the inquiry Lightoller gave the impression that a growlers could be seen a mile away! (what in the pitch dark?) He then adds a conversation with Smith icebergs would be visible 3-4 miles away. (again in the pitch dark?)
Or was it the case Lightoller covering his own backside of any come back on his future career within the company?
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,364
680
248
Germany
Due to the last day before sailing second officer David Blair was removed of the ship and took the key of the locker where the binoculars are kept by mistake.
Much had been done about that key which had a sign stating "Crows Nest Key Telephone" so with other words it has nothing to do with binoculars.
crows_nest_telephone_key.jpg

Everytime this key subject came up people came up with the locker were the binoculars are kept to have been locked. What most people seem not to care is that there were at last a copy of the same key. From the voyage Belfast to Southampton the lookouts did not had binoculars it was 2nd officer Blair who lend his own one.


I can not find any record whether it was company policy to supply binoculars for the lookout men. However you raise the question it was down to the captain discretion whether the lookout men should have glasses.
This is from testimony of Captain Bartlett who by that time was Marine Superintendent of the White Star Line;

21708. You are not a believer in binoculars for seamen? - No.
21709. Do you believe in them for Officers? - Oh, certainly.
21710. Even in regard to Officers they are for their use? - Yes.
21711. In the navigation of the ship? - Yes.
21712. To enable the Officer to pick up anything ahead of him? - Not to pick up.
The Commissioner: The evidence appears to me to point to this, that they are not required for picking up objects, but for ascertaining with particularity what the objects are when they have been picked up.
21713. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes, My Lord, I think there is a great deal in that view of the utility of binoculars. (To the witness.) If binoculars have always been thought useful to Officers, how do you come to arrive at the conclusion that they are not at all useful for look-out men and seamen? - Because look-out men are there to use their eyes and to report immediately anything they see, not to find out the character of that object they see.
21714. How could they report anything unless they had some notion of the character of it? - They report what is seen - I mean, if they pick up a light it may be a green or white or a red light -




A man called Hogg I believe a lookout man ask second officer Lightoller for glasses and got fobbed off to say he would get them later on.
And this is what Hogg had to say about use of binoculars which seems that had been regulary missed by so called "experts" or other researchers;

17513. Have you had experience of glasses; have you used them much? - Never before; only in the White Star Line.
17514. But had you used them before you were on this voyage? - On another ship.
17515. Of the White Star Line? - In the "Adriatic."
17516. You had never had them in any ship you have been on except in the "Adriatic," which was another ship of the White Star Line you had sailed in? - No other ship except the White Star.
17517. Did you find them of use? - Well, I believe in my own eyesight.
17518. Do you mean you believe in your own eyesight better than you do the glasses? - Yes.
17519. It is suggested - I only want to know how far you agree with it - that it is easier, or just as easy, to pick up an object that you may see on the horizon with your own eyesight as it would be with the glasses? - You might not see the object, but if you think it is a ship you might just see the smoke.
17520. With your own sight? - Yes, with your own sight. You would not see the ship first; you would see the smoke first.
17521. Would you see it any better with glasses? - You would put the glasses up to your eyes then and make sure.
17522. What it comes to, if I understand that, is you pick it up with your eyesight, and then if you want to see as well as you can what it is you would use the glasses? - That is what they are handy for, Sir.
17523. But not for picking up things, you mean? - No, I pick up things with my own eyesight.

So he had them first when working for White Star Line and only use them to identify an object after seeing it with his own eyes.

This is from the testimony of Fleet

17442. That is right: For picking up anything would you trust to the eyes, and then having picked it up -? - You look with glasses to make sure.
17443. Then as regards picking up an iceberg or anything else, you would pick it up with the naked eye at first? - That is all we had to do that night - use our eyes.
17444. Yes, but do not you see -? - I see what you mean.
17445. Do you agree with this. This is what Symons says: “You use your own eyes as regards the picking up anything, but you want the glasses then to make certain of that object.” Do you agree with that? - Yes.

From Lightoller;

13682. Were you using glasses? - Part of the time, yes.
13683. Do you in practice at night use glasses for the purpose of scanning the track you have to follow. Do you mean it was exceptional to use them? - I mean to say that on this occasion, knowing there were no lights round the icebergs, you would naturally have a pair of glasses in your hand, but where there are lights about you do not use glasses; you pick them up with your eyes first.
13684. Supposing anybody's duty is to look out for ice at night what is your view as to the usefulness of glasses? - With regard to picking up ice?
13685. Yes? - It is rather difficult to say. I never have picked up ice at nighttime with glasses, so it is really difficult for me to say.
13686. (The Commissioner.) What were you using them for on the bridge? - To assist me in keeping a look-out.
13687. Then you were using them; you were looking out for ice? - I was looking out for ice.
13688. And you were using the glasses? - Occasionally I would raise the glasses to my eyes and look ahead to see if I could see anything, using both glasses and my eyes.

13690. (The Solicitor-General.) You see, Mr. Lightoller, I want to get your own view. You will tell us candidly and fairly, I am sure. First of all, in your own experience, when you have used glasses, have you in fact found ice with the help of glasses? - Never. I have never seen ice through glasses first, never in my experience. Always whenever I have seen a berg I have seen it first with my eyes and then examined it through glasses.
The Solicitor-General: I think that is what he said.
13691. (The Commissioner.) You are quite right, and do you say the same thing of ships' lights? - There is no doubt about ships' lights. Personally I do not bother about glasses at all. I prefer to rely on my own eyes.
13692. (The Commissioner.) I am told that is right, and then if you want any detail you take the glasses up to examine the lights that you have already seen with the naked eye? - Exactly, My Lord.

The Witness: I should like to point out that when I speak favourably of glasses it is in the case of a man on whom I can rely, but if I have a man in a case like this which Mr. Scanlan speaks of, a derelict or an iceberg, who is to put the glasses to his eyes before he reports, I most utterly condemn glasses. The man must report first and do what he likes afterwards.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

Similar threads