So very true!Sam, ! This forum is unique among the few I frequent on the web in as much as it has active threads that are, in some cases, almost twenty years old.
I sometimes do not take the time to look at the age of things that I reply to; still, for anyone who comes to Encyclopedia Titanica for first time (it still happens!), I think it is important, if said people encounter this thread, that they realize that Titanic's surviving officers all failed to reach the rank of captain in the merchant navy, not because of their skill as officers, but rather because of their association with Titanic.
This is one of the great problems about this and many sites like it...pontification and wisdom long after the event.
We have a plethora of armchair experts tearing to bits and judging the actions of individuals who acted in a perfectly natural, rational way according to the standards of the day. In fact, by these very standards, the most incompetent captain who was one of the players at the time, was the one who came out of it diamond studded and smelling of roses.
I have even seen those who should know better, referring to the use of part of a navigation instrumentation which, althouh recently invented, was unlikely to have been known about by any British MN Navigating Officer in 1912. In fact, such parts were just becoming common in the years just after WW2.
However, I won't go into that. This forum should not be a window for the displaying of individual wisdom above and beyond. (except it be new facts about the Titanic disaster