The Fatal Journey Of Third Class Men On The Titanic by David Gleicher

Thanks for this research, David. The fact pistols were issued to officers, suggests to me that there was some amount of strategizing about how to prevent a panic. Scotland Road, the isolation of men on the forward well deck, and the officers' prejudicies against the Third Class men probably was a part of all that thought process. But there was a panic, in any event, and men were shot.
Mr. Gleicher:In "Liberty" magazine April 23, 1932, Rene' Harris says "Standing at a door leading to the deck, two armed officers were directing the passengers to the lifeboats. A couple was just ahead of us. The woman stepped through the door and the man was about to follow her, when one of the officers said, 'Women only.' The man replied, 'I'm only going to place my wife in a lifeboat. I'll come right back.' They both went on deck."There is another source I have read that suggested there was some effort to allow only women on the boat deck, but do not recall the source. Would this suggest to you there there was also an effort to separate Second and First Class men, thus lending credence to your theory?Mac Smith

I enjoyed this reading about the Third Class men's journey to nowhere. It seems quite an appropriate conclusion too that authorities did consider these men as dangerous elements needing careful control to keep them out of the way while boats were dispatched.

Hi Jan!
Hi All

I too enjoyed this piece and found it to be interesting reading. One thing I noticed that there was no mention of those gates, that many peole consistently mention, may I just ask why is this so?



I don't believe there was really a panic on the Titanic, except during the last 10 or 15 minutes or so when there was a mad rush to the extreme rear of the ship. Certainly, for those who were in the stern the stampede up to the Well Deck must have been terrible.

If there was a confrontation on the forward Boat Deck, inlcuding a shooting, in the loading of the Collapsibles at the end--and that is in much dispute--this would have involved a relatively few people as water was rising over the deck, not a general panic.

By and large, whether or not the men from the Third Class were 'dangerous', they did not turn out to be a major disruptive force in the rescue effort.

Mac Smith,

It's difficult to say much about the Irene Harris statement you cite without knowing when and where this took place. (Tales told this long after the event are not worth much in any case.) I note that she was rescued in Collapsible D so she was not at all typical of First Class passengers (most of whom were off the ship long before she was). Hence it's hard to say what entrance to the Boat Deck she would likely be making reference to.

On the more general question, I know First Class men were not restricted from entering the Boat Deck, since there is no testimony that they were, and the notion of it is utterly improbable. I haven't researched the Second Class men sufficiently to say about them. Perhaps they were told that only women could proceed to the Boat Deck. I wonder if there is any evidence supporting this. It would, by the way, help explain both the high rate of fatalities among the Second Class men, as well as the seeming absence of Second Class men from the forward Boat Deck when the ship was sinking.

Mr. Gleicher:

The interview was in 1932, as I cited in my earlier post. It is possible that Mrs. Harris, as she was in Collapsible D, may have been referring to the ring of men formed to allow only women and children in that boat, now that you mention it.

Mac Smith

I read your profile and noticed that your interest and research lies predominantly with survivors' mental traumas from Titanic. Could you post that research which you have found so far regarding the survivor's traumas, particularly third class traumas, if any? That is a topic I have not had the pleasure of reading about yet. We are all waiting to hear...

Hi Bill, good to hear from you. Say hello to Mrs. De Sena, too. Regarding the "panic," David, I recall that Officer Lowe had to fire his gun, and Lightoller, threatened the crowd --so I'm thinking that there may have been some sort of panic much earlier. On the other hand, I've heard that the panic really didn't break out until people realized that all of the boats were gone. Given that Collapsible D left around 2:00 a.m., it seems that your statement is quite correct. Again, thanks for the interesting article. Terri, I haven't posted any research yet, except that various conversations have much information about PTSD and Titanic victims --there were something like ten suicides, (that we know of so far), and many instances of wierd or unusual behavior. Usually, the suicides were triggered by some other events, such as a spouse or child's death, financial failures, etc. The suicides were often many, many years after the disaster. Check out some of the conversations.

I've read that about the suicides, is terrible. Some lead good lives after the Titanic tragedy, and some didn't. I would venture to say that most didn't, but I have no actual proof of that. If you come across more research, I'll be glad to read of it.

Your article should be required reading (and re-reading) for any student of the Titanic. Your study of the escape routes and attempted escape routes used by third class passengers has encouraged me to take a closer look at where certain passengers spent their time in the critical hours after the Titanic brushed the iceberg.

My apologies for not responding earlier, but my current work situation has not allowed time for the careful and thorough reading your article requires, and little online time to respond.

And let there be no question about it. "The Fatal Journey of Third Class Men on the Titanic" is not casual reading material. To truly appreciate the depth and originality of your research, one needs to read through everything more than once or twice. I printed out a copy of everything and have since made dozens and dozens of margin notes.

Frankly, my initial reaction was to pooh-pooh some of your conclusions and I'm still re-reading it critically once a night, and jotting down questions for myself and for you.

I'm not totally convinced, for example, that the reaction of the single third class males to travel abaft along Scotland Road rather than climbing ladders to the forward well deck was not a completely natural reaction. Nor am I as sure as you that few of the men who took this route from bow to stern were rescued. I'm not necessarily in disagreement -- I just need to do more homework.

When I get back home again next weekend, I hope to get over to Fr. Pirrione's Titanic model at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum to better visualize the designed passenger routes. Then it's time to re-read sections of Titanic literature, and the testimonies and remembrances of third class passengers and crew members.

Thank you for a most provocative and well-written piece.

Thanks for the kind remarks about the article, and I look forward (with some trepidation) to hearing from you when you've checked it out more carefully. My appreciation is of course all the greater given the respect I have for your good judgment and the wealth of knowledge you bring to any piece on the Titanic.

By the way, I am interested in creating some computer diagrams of the different routes listed in Appendix 1, but I have neither the equipment or experience to do so. If anybody's interested in helping me out let me know by private e-mail.

Thanks again Mike, and let's keep in touch.