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Discussion in 'Collision / Sinking Theories' started by Ajmal Dar, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Ajmal Dar

    Ajmal Dar Member

    Does anyone have a diagram plotting the route taken by Titanic compared to the positions of ice reported by various other ships. This would be really useful to see.

    Best regards,

  2. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    There are other diagrams showing the position of the other ships. What is very critical is the other ships have taken warning of the ice field and are sailing further south to avoid the ice field! One of those ships is the Titanic sister ship Olympic to! When you start to look into the pressure Smith has been under for the last 6-7 months of his life its one wonder Smith is making mistakes. Don't forget his boss is on board Mr B Ismay who is also under huge pressure as the Olympic at this stage is a finical disaster. Titanic is late on delivery and over spent on budget too? Titanic only 53% full of passengers. Ismay as a business man knows the crossing will be a lost making just adding to his problems! Just remember White Star Line is owned by Mr JP Morgan who is a very demanding man and his IMMC is in serious finical trouble. Hard headed business men do not listen to excuses!
  3. What is the source for Olympic sailing south to avoid the ice field? She was even not close to it!
    What pressure are you talking about? What has Ismay or JP Morgan to do with that? Olympic a financial disaster? What is the source for that?
    Sounds more you took your information of conspiracy books/articles.
    Ajmal Dar likes this.
  4. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber Moderator Member

    1. Morgan did not "own" IMM, although J. P. Morgan & Co. effectively controlled it through the mechanism of the Voting Trust. 2. IMM had a net profit of over $4.5 million in 1911. It was not at the time of Titanic's sinking in "serious financial trouble." Source: IMM 1911 annual report.
    Ajmal Dar likes this.
  5. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    I am afraid Mr JP Morgan did own IMMC and formed the company in his a tempt to dominant the North Atlantic shipping trade. Basically he paid too much for the shipping companies especial White Star Line. Even Mr B Ismay did not want to sell out but the share holders thought different as Morgan made an offer not to be turned down! Morgan turned IMMC into a shareholding company at $120 million dollars. $60 million ordinary or common shares and $60 million preference shares. The dividends pay out for ordinary shares set at 10% max and preference shares at 6% dividend. But you must remember if there is no profit that year it only accumulate until there is a profit. Morgan over values the shares for the company which only declined in value. In fact he was lumbered with a safe full of unsold share certificates. Were the profit confusion come from is the fact White Star Line with other shipping companies are making profits but not enough to pay off Morgan investment into IMMC. If you look at Morgan history this is quite a remarkable successful business man and what has under his control in America is amazing and astonishing. IMMC his is only major flop he will have to his astonishing career. IMMC is bankrupted by 1915.Certaintly the loss of Titanic did help matter but he was in finical trouble before the ship even hit the drawing board!
    Michael Rodrigues likes this.
  6. I am afraid your information is not quite right. White Star Line invest the money intself into the ship and also had to bear the loss which she easily survived. The role of JP Morgan was actually a small one.
    Ajmal Dar likes this.
  7. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber Moderator Member

    Some of what you wrote is accurate, Mike, but some is not. What source material(s) are you using?
  8. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    When you are the owner of any company you are in the driver seat. Any financial decision with White Star Line is through the company boss. As JP Morgan has brought the White Star Line lock stock & barrel in October 1902. You want to read some the biographies books of Mr JP MORGAN. Like:The House of Morgan and Morgan by Jean Strouse books they all come to the same conclusion. Morgan has paid far too much for the shipping companies in forming IMMC. Remember Morgan is a banker and finance man. What known about the shipping world is not an awful lot! He realise on good sound finical advise. As he done in the past with his railroad, tractors & agricultural, electric and the most expensive companies the steel industrial. But this time he was not to get the best advise in forming IMMC. The man he relied on was Clement Griscom of American Line who is fighting is own battle in trying to get a foot hold in the North Atlantic shipping trade. As it is the European shipping companies that dominate the route. We can see changes happing in Europe too were at one time it was the British who had over 80% of the market. Britain faces fierce competition coming from France and Germany. Especial Germany. With two fast raising shipping companies Hamburg America Line and North Deutschland Lloyd. Its Mr Albert Ballin of Hamburg America is the smartest and shrewdest business man on the planet when coming to the shipping world. The deal Ballin struck with Morgan the profit shearing of the Germany shipping companies was a great deal for them but not for Morgan as lands up subsidising passenger fares. Not only that Morgan will in counting others in the shipping world who known a lot more than that he does when coming to the business end and drive hard bargains at Morgan expensive We can see frustration is boiling over here. As by 1890 the America has become the largest economy in the world, yet so little is been shipped with America shipping companies. Morgan is to run into a political battle with the British Government. The French & Germany Governments make very clear to Morgan that you are not to take over our shipping companies. The deal he struck with the British Government was not the best deal for a private commercial company. Morgan finds too he is to get no help from the America Government who never wanted him to spend so much out side of America. I have study books on Mr JP Morgan life background in detail. To put into a nut shell Morgan is just taking on far too much at the same time with the other business deals. With his age and health starting catch up with him. Remember he is in his mid sixty life expectation in those days you can always added another ten years on. No computers or calculators the quick thinking Morgan with numbers which was very good at is having to deal with younger tycoons who can think quicker that he can.
    Morgan face other issues in America as the President William Mc Kinley the man who he paid his party to put there was assassinated and were President Theodore Roosevelt took over and did shear the same point of views. Were Roosevelt and Morgan would fall out quickly followed by nasty battles between the two of them. If that wasn't bad enough Morgan faced a five month coal strike in America which was to have a serious in pack on his railroad, steel and coal companies. We can see a chick in Morgan armoury with the Carnegie steel company. Were that canny Scotsman Andrew Carnegie pull off the deal of the century selling the worlds biggest steel company for a record price of $480 million. Still stands at a record price today of individual to so much for a company. Morgan never made any temp to beat the man down on price to! Which is not like Morgan at all as with so many other companies he never paid the going price. Todays value over $14 billon. It would take another seventy years to better that figure with corporation companies.
    Morgan is the largest private banker in the world he also the central and federal bank of America and has control of America Governments gold reservoirs. Of the 112 corporations in America he is the finical adviser for 78 corporations on the board of Directors of 72 companies. But his success come at a price. He his a ruthless, cunning, deceiving ,heartless brutal business man. He has a chilling personal about him. 6ft 3in broad shoulder cold daggered starry eyes with a temper. Very intimidating. As describe when walking into a room it felt like a wind or Gail had blown in. He has awesome power over the America economy to the point of nearly spinning a spider web over the economy. I hope you are getting the flavour of this man and what you will have to put up with. Mr B Ismay position in the White Star Line changes to. As Morgan brought the company Ismay becomes an employee not a employer working for Morgan. All the profits White Star makes are under Morgan control what to with! One can clearly see with so many deals Morgan is involve with how can he think straight any more as a business man. Of all the big deals it is the IMMC takes the longest and most complicated. Morgan come close in backing out of the deal but as he had already starting spending money before forming IMMC and found it hard to walk away. He was in finical trouble from day one with IMMC. The fly in the oil was that Cunard Line not joining his combine. But worse still the British Government gave Cunard a very special loan of £2.6 million interest rate of only 2.75% over a twenty year period to build two new high speed luxury liners. Lusitania and Mauritania. Further more gave Cunard £150,000 per year maintenance cost for the two new super liners. With a further £70,000 per year Royal Mail contract. This is utter gift not to be turn down.
    ! The two new luxury liners the worlds biggest at the time were the state of art of new technology with steam turbines and modern steering gear. Captured the blue ribbon crossing record by second crossing and held on to it for 22 years. This are the ships that the passengers want to sail on. Taking sales away from White Star. When in business you must always look were the competition and threats are coming from. Clearly Morgan never saw this coming. Mr B Ismay in 1904 becomes the President of IMMC. The job he never wanted in the first place and was Morgan third choice. Morgan had a major shake up with the Directors of IMMC. Were Mr C Giscom was removed and blamed him for the finical mess. Morgan wanted Mr A Ballin of Hamburg America. But he turned down the job. Were poor old Ismay got lumbered with the job. To be a President you need to be out going personality. Ismay was not good at that and was a rather shy man due to his back ground of his overbearing dominating father. There is no doubt Ismay tried his hardest to turn the fortune of IMMC around but was impossible task. White Star with other lines were making a profits. But not enough to recover Morgan investments plan. How many times do I see Mr B Ismay is the owner of the Titanic? If he does not own the shipping company how can he be the owner? The true owner of TITANIC is Mr JP MORGAN.
    He is the one who arranged the finical arrangement to build the two new ships Olympic and Titanic.
  9. That's an awful lot of prose used to say nothing. As Ioannis and Mark pointed out, a lot of what you said was inaccurate.

    That is why they asked you "What source material(s) are you using?"
    Ajmal Dar and Ioannis Georgiou like this.
  10. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    Hi there,
    If you do like what I have said in my article please state what it is, as at the moment it sounds like you are moaning at nothing.
  11. Evasive response. You were asked "What source material(s) are you using?"
    Please be so kind as to answer the question.
    Ajmal Dar likes this.
  12. Ajmal Dar

    Ajmal Dar Member

    I think Michael Standart is right in asking where is your source material for the many claims that you make.


  13. Did Titanic crew or passengers report seeing any ice before the berg they struck? I don't remember. I did a quick search and didn't find anything. Its been a long time since I read the Inquiries. Guess I need to re-read them.
    Ajmal Dar likes this.
  14. Ajmal Dar

    Ajmal Dar Member

    Dear Steven,
    I have been reading both of the inquest testimonies from passengers and crew and I havecread a lot of testimonies and so far I have not read one that says they saw ice of any kind before Titanic hit the iceberg.
    All the best,
    Steven Christian likes this.
  15. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    In the book - Sinking of the Titanic - Eyewitness Accounts
    Chapter 18.

    'One of the best accounts was given by Lady Duff-Gordon, wife of Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon who dictated it. Her tale shows that the Titanic was near icebergs before she went to bed on the night of the disaster.'

    "The night was perfectly clear. We had watched for some time the fields of ice. There was one just before I went below to retire. I noticed among the fields of ice a number of large bergs. There was one which one of the officers pointed out to me. He said that it must have been 100 feet high and seemed to be miles long. It was away off in the distance. I went to my bedroom and retired. I was awakened by a long grinding sort of shock...."

    I recall another survivor who saw small pieces of ice before the collision which looked similar to foam on the sea and the only indication that it was not foam was for the calmness of the sea and the freezing temperatures outside.

    Mr. Taylor - US Newspaper
    "I felt the boat rise and it seemed to me that it was riding over the ice. (He immediately looked outside). It was a veritable sea of ice and the boat was rocking over it. I should say that parts of the iceberg were 80 feet high and had been broken into sections, probably by our ship."

    Photo taken aboard the Carpathia. Two icebergs surrounded by loose ice.


    The passengers were aware that icebergs may be seen that night and were probably treating it as a wonderful event to end the day without realizing just how close they would get to one!

    Abraham Hyman - US newspaper

    "They were looking about and admiring something, and so I looked and I saw what looked like a big pile of ice that was glistening under the stars.......as I watched I saw the boat go to one side as if it was avoiding something, and I saw a very big iceberg right in our path, but we were surely going a safe distance away from it, and so I was not frightened and nobody else was either......We got pretty nearly opposite the iceberg when there came a tearing sound and the boat listed a little to one side. I heard some of the sailors talking and heard them say that the ship had struck a spur of the iceberg that jutted out a long distance, and had slid upon it, hurting her keel."

    Fleet believed the ship had listed over to port right after the collision i.e. right after it bumped against the bow. Perhaps the ship had slipped onto the spur after the bow was pushed away? Harold Bride said the captain told him the iceberg had struck "just aft of amidships". Perhaps he saw the ship was pinned on the spur which fractured her keel under the engine room? Frederick Scott was near the main engines and said - "We thought it was something in the engine room that had gone wrong." Perhaps something had fractured underneath which did not become apparent until the ship sagged down in the middle and split her weakened keel open. Mr. Woolner said he felt the collision "under the smoking room". Mr. Daniel said - "The officers who survived told me afterwards that the Titanic slipped up on the iceberg and practically broke in two. It tore out its bottom."

    Perhaps the iceberg did a great deal more damage than any of us realize?

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
    Steven Christian and Ajmal Dar like this.
  16. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    Sorry Michael I seem to send my reply to the wrong person.

    Dear Editor,

    You have asked me were the source of material I base my research from? I presume you mean on IMMC and Morgan. This are the following books I have read and base my research and web sites too.

    I can see not all authors agree on the same figures to. Certainty can see how the TITANIC story can be quite controversial at times. Who the hell in their right mind what’s to take the responsibility of the 1500 deaths! I can see the blame of the lost ship attempts are been made to shift it else were!

    1. The House of Morgan by Ron Chernow

    2. Morgan American Financier by Jean Striuse

    3. Viscount Pirrie of Belfast by Herbert Jefferson

    4. JP Morgan by Charles River

    5. Titanic & Her Sister Olympic & Britannic by Tom Mc Cluskie, Michael Sharpe, Leo Marriott

    6. RMS Titanic Owners Workshop Manual by Richard de Kerbrech & David Hutchings

    7. SS Titanic by Samuel Halpern

    8. On A Sea of Glass by Tad Fitch, J. Kent Layton & Bill Wormstedt

    9. Anatomy of The Titanic by Tom Mc Cluskie

    10. Titanic Triumph and Tragedy by John P Eaton & Charles A Haas

    11. The Tycoons by Charles R Morris

    This are the main books I have and mention the IMMC & Morgan connection with Titanic. I have others books but rather make light comments of IMMC.

    Wikipedia with other web sites also make interesting reading.

    The Viscount Pirrie of Belfast book has quite details of the stocks and shares in forming IMMC This book probably give the best biography of William Pirrie and the author has had one to one interviews with him. I can assure you he wasn’t the smartest businessman as like to make out!

    I have study all the key persons involved with Titanic from boyhood to manhood. This may surprise you as I consider the weakest link of all the men was Mr Bruce Ismay? Bruce is the only one who was not the brightest spark at school work. Below average and poor at maths. He would leave school and University with NO qualifications! As his younger brother James did past all his exams and became his father favourite son. What Bruce was good at is sports. Good cricket and football player and a first class tennis player. As in those days there was no career in sports. Not like today were you can become a millionaire. Although Bruce did work hard but was uphill battle for him dealing with his overbearing dominating father.

    I have study Morgan from boyhood to manhood quite amazing man and certainty born with a silver tea spoon in his mouth and took full advantage of his father successful career in the banking world.

    One question why in the hell did Morgan get involve with shipping business at his age? He should of retired as that canny Scotsman Andrew Carnegie at the age of 66 did. Carnegie story is quite amazing from rags to rich. He becomes one of the richest men in America and Scotsman yet gave away 90% of his wealth to a verity charitable organises in America and Britain. Which gave him more satisfaction that making the millions. Morgan with all the richest grander of life should of handed down the business to his son Jack. Yes still would of have the grandest of life.

    When I hear story than Morgan was not much involved in White Star and Titanic. Clearly this are people who do not understand how business is run. There are some socialises in this world who consider the word profit is a dirty word. As any private company must make a profit to serve. No profit no company. Although the Olympic followed by Titanic are the grandest and some referred as the magnificent ships. There is a serious business to run behind the scene ever White Star Line is a profitable company, but one not can be said for the two new ships. The Olympic is a financial disaster in her first year. The start of the 5th crossing serious accident with HMS Hawke war ship. With no insurance cost of repairs over £125,000 and the lose three returning crossing revenue. The only source to pay for a brand new ship far from been paid off yet! Costly high court case were Smith is to be blamed. Yet further withdrawn from service in 1912 after Titanic loss returned to H&W for expensive modifications out of service for six months. That is six months of lost revenue crossing and ship repairs far from been paid off yet!

    I see with the Titanic late on delivery and over budget has turn into a pressure pot without a safety valve. Pressure is mounting not just for Smith but also for B Ismay too. Morgan is not a man to listen to excuses. To achieve his ambitious like a true banker he was, it’s all about profits and margins.

    I welcome your comments and maybe we might get nearer to the true of the Titanic as I can see cover ups were in operation. Is this any different today with companies who get into finical mess and turn to desperate measures to get out of it?

  17. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    It's difficult for me to understand how J.P. Morgan could pressurise Ismay and by extension Smith.

    The Olympic class could never match the Cunards for speed and were never designed to. They were designed to be bigger and far better appointed. Ismay, as well as many others would know that blue ribbon runs were not possible and there is no evidence to suggest that any attempt was being made. Titanic's engines were barely run in and the boilers were being progressively fired to gently increase the revolutions. Hardly a sign that they were making a mad dash from day one.

    Success for the Titanic and White Star would have been a safe and successful first crossing with the minimum of involvement by Thomas Andrews and his team. JP Morgan could rant and rave but would have had no effect on this. New build ships always have their niggles hence the reason Ismay normally sailed on the maiden voyage to get a feel for the issues.

    As for suggesting that Morgan controlled or had a major influence on Ismay it is noticeable that Ismay sent 8 messages from Carpathia before she docked in New York (as read into his senate hearing testimony) and all of those were to the White Star Offices and his IMM Vice Chairman Franklin. If Morgan was in control in anyway you would have thought that Ismay would have addressed at least one message to him.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  18. Good post. Its been a long time but I remember reading that White Star and other shipping companies got subsidies from the govt for exchange for their ships to be commandeered in war time or other emergencies. Also do you know how big the mail contracts were? Was it enough to tip the scales from profit to loss or not that big a financial asset. I'm curious because I've read of other disasters at sea where they seem to prioritize saving the mail over other things they could be doing. Thanks.
    Ajmal Dar likes this.
  19. Some interesting stuff here – mostly misinformation.

    A simple glance at the average passenger lists for express liners of the period such as Lusitania, Mauretania and Olympic (and the seasonal variation) shows that Titanic’s passenger list was entirely in line with the time of year. People seem to assume these ships should always have been full, which is nonsense. Mauretania was in service for three years before she ever carried a passenger list of over 2,000.

    There’s no evidence she would have made a loss if she had not collided with the iceberg. Instead, with ticket revenues of almost £18,000 then the revenues she had generated already for the westbound crossing alone covered almost 80 percent of her estimated running costs for the entire round voyage.

    There’s no evidence she was a financial disaster. Undoubtedly the Hawke collision hurt her financial performance, but a ship such as Olympic was fully capable of generating over £300,000 gross profit a year based on the best estimates I have seen and knowledge that Mauretania made almost that much profit in 1910 despite having higher running costs and lower known revenues.

    There’s no evidence Titanic ran over budget. In fact, she wasn’t built to a budget but rather whatever the construction costs were plus a fixed percentage commission.

    IMM’s financial performance was sub-par in 1911-12, but White Star’s wasn’t. In fact, even with the impact of the Titanic disaster profits in 1912 were ahead of Cunard’s and they exceeded the 1911 record in 1913.


    Morgan did not do this, nor was American money even the key driver.

    White Star raised the funds without difficulty, via their bankers Glyn, Mills & Co. They issued debenture bonds in October 1908, which were largely subscribed by United Kingdom investors. The market prices and recorded yields in June 1914 indicate the financial community felt it was a good investment.

    Morgan’s interest was in taking money out of White Star, not putting it in. The sad tale of how White Star – a company FAR stronger than Cunard in 1901-02 – suffered a reversal in fortunes due to financial mismanagement while part of IMM and then the Royal Mail Group over about three decades is touched upon in an earlier post I wrote. The first reference is to a financial historian, Professor Hyde:

    Elsewhere in Hyde’s book, he asserted that without the government support used to build Lusitania and Mauretania: ‘it is arguable whether the [Cunard] company would have survived the difficult years of 1903-08. The strength of the competition which they had to meet…would probably not only have reduced receipts below the level of costs, but would, because of the high cost of ships, have wiped out the company’s reserves bringing Cunard to the verge of bankruptcy.’

    It seems to me that the issue of government support and the construction of Lusitania and Mauretania are inseparable. If, indeed, government support secured Cunard’s future then it was achieved through these ships and the profits they generated. In 1910, for example, their net profits amounted to about 30 per cent of Cunard’s entire fleet earnings. Hyde’s argument amounts to the government supporting Cunard, but that had the twin effect of securing the company’s future during these years and retaining the company’s independence.

    An exceptional year for Cunard generated £538,080 of net profit in 1900; £195,849 in 1901; and £247,150 in 1902. Over these three years as a whole, White Star’s profits were seventy percent greater; and in 1901, the last full year before it [White Star] came under the control of American interests, they were more than double Cunard’s.

    The government loan enabled Cunard to borrow, essentially, thirteen times their profits for 1901 at an interest rate substantially less than a commercial one: 2.75%. By contrast, White Star borrowed about 1.5 times their profits for 1907 in order to finance Olympic and Titanic, but they had to pay 4.5% to the debt holders. When Cunard sought to borrow money commercially to finance Aquitania, they paid a similar or identical rate of interest. (In the 1930s, White Star’s final chairman argued that Cunard had reaped the benefits from this funding for many years.)

    Ironically, IMM’s takeover of White Star in 1902 started a period of about three decades during which White Star was part of a larger combine: IMM and then the Royal Mail Group. Both these combines shared a propensity to milk White Star’s profits by taking out generous dividends, rather than reinvesting in the company’s fleet to secure future revenue and allow for the necessary depreciation. Shipping is a capital-intensive industry and, in the long term, such practices were fatal as the company became over-indebted and its fleet aged and lost competitive strength. As an independent company, Cunard continued with a conservative financial policy and benefited from it.

    From 1922 to 1932, Cunard and White Star earned similar revenues, but through a mix of factors Cunard earned a profit of £4,489,000 and paid dividends of £3,806,000, leaving a surplus of £683,000; White Star made a profit of £1,461,000, paid dividends of £3,000,000, and left a deficit of (£1,539,000).

    The end result was that, by the time Cunard and White Star merged, the relatively strong position White Star enjoyed in the early 1900s had reversed. I’ve previously written that in the early 1930s: ‘Cunard’s position was “one of financial soundness, due in the main to conservative finance, ample past earnings, wise and consistent depreciation allowances and moderate dividend payments. On the other hand, the Oceanic company’s [White Star’s] position is financially weak, due to defective financial policy, insufficient depreciation, unjustified dividends, all causing a position today in which the company is entirely dependent on its bankers”.

    Best wishes