Was Titanic really going to be Smith's last trip?

Mike Smith

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Jul 28, 2007
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As most of you know the voyage on Titanic was to be Captain Smith's last. So I want to know who was to replace Smith as Captain of the Titanic when he retired.
I have been searching for this info without much luck and I would be grateful to anyone who can help me.
Thanks Mike
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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As most of us know, there's no proof that it was to be his last voyage! That's one of those things that get repeated down the years with no primary source.

Had he retired, which he may not have, perhaps Captain Haddock would be the obvious choice, but it's pure speculation.
 
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Ben Dover

Guest
Capt Haddock! I guess that he'd have the experience, as he'd commanded the Olympic...
 
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Marc Pony

Guest
who was supposed to replace captain smith after his last voyage to new york?
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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As I pointed out earlier, there's no proof that Smith was going to retire. In fact, I've just come across a statement from White Star's New York office, before the sinking, that says he was going to stay on. The papers at the time made much of the fact that White Star had not fired him over the various Olympic incidents. Most captains would have been "on the beach" after such accidents but evidently White Star did not blame Smith.

It looks to me that the retirement story may merely be something invented after the sinking to give added irony to the tale. Instead of going out in a blaze of glory, Smith ends his career with disaster. The media love that sort of angle.

If a successor was needed it would probably have been Captain Haddock of Olympic, with perhaps the captain of Oceanic taking Olympic but that's total speculation.
 
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Marc Pony

Guest
yes but right now i;m talking bout who was to take the titanic back to engkand....the oceanic was ties up in southampton and the olympic was on its way to england therefore a member of the titanics officers would have to take over

Marc
 

Martin Pirrie

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Dec 30, 2000
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Marc,had Titanic reached New York, Smith would have taken her back to Southampton and continued the weekly journeys back and forth until he decided to retire.
There is no evidence that this was to be Smith's last voyage.
If he had retired in the normal way, he would have probably come back to Southampton to receive a congratulatory retirement party from a grateful White Star company for a long and distinguisehd career.
 
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marc pony

Guest
Perhaps but there are many reliable sources that indicate that he was going to retire..it is writen in hstory and in every majour book
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Marc, books are not primary sources. I can prove just about anything from Titanic books. Let those who think Smith was going to retire produce the evidence. I might be satisfied with a White Star letter or perhaps one from Eleanor Smith, dated 1912, not years later. Best of all would be one from Smith himself.
 

Martin Pirrie

Member
Dec 30, 2000
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Marc,it's not really your fault! The trouble with Titanic is that over the years there has been so much nonsense written that it becomes difficult to separate fact from fiction. If you take a little time and care and read the factual accounts of what happened you will get a better picture of the true events. As you research, you will be able to get an insight into the lives of the people:the engineering designs and the difficulties of seamanship in 1912. Good hunting!
 
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Devan Robertson

Guest
Marc..

it's easy to see that you belive the report that smith was going to retire simply because its written in many books that he was going to, but under the circumstances you would need to rely on more practicle information regarding his retirment for example someone who was directly connected with smith or the administration of white star...as Martin said, the media put a little "twist" on this belif in order to highten the facination of titanic, because as you can see the irony of titanic is tremendosly high without considering smith "was" going to retire, this would just increase intrest and in the future increase sales ofr companies all around the world,

I hope ythis information is helpful

Devan
 
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Marc Pony

Guest
everyone you guy are right considering books are not the best way to find infor that is true but lets say he did retire at new york , who would've taken over?

marc
 

Dan Cherry

Active Member
Mar 3, 2000
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As an author myself of historical chronicles, it
is VERY difficult weeding through all the stories
which filter down through the years. Stories vary
from edition of publication to the next, until the
latest resembles nothing from the original.
Primary sources are invariably the only way to get
the freshest and stories of untarnished fact.

I would tend to agree with Dave's post above, and
that if Smith was indeed planning to retire after
Titanic's voyage (and of course we know on this
thread that there's nothing concrete to support
that), Captain Haddock of the Olympic would
probably be among the top contendors.
I personally would think that Captain Smith would
have stayed on Titanic for a little while, and
perhaps would have made Britannic's maiden voyage
his celebrated last, having brought all three
Olympic-class vessels to New York on their maiden
trips. Of course, we'll never know because of
Smith's demise and the outbreak of WWI.

Dan
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
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Dave Gittins wrote:

>In fact, I've just come across a statement from >White Star's New York
>office, before the sinking, that says he was >going to stay on.

Hi, Dave!

Would you mind quoting your source so that future researchers can make use of your information? Thanks very much, old chap.

All my best,

George
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
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Dan Cherry wrote:

>.... if Smith was indeed planning to retire after
>Titanic's voyage (and of course we know on this
>thread that there's nothing concrete to support
>that),

Hi, Dan!

Well, all we really know is that nobody has posted such information on this bulletin board (which isn't quite the same thing as saying the information doesn't exist.) By the same token, we haven't seen any documentation for the claim that Smith was *not* going to retire, either. Perhaps it would be wise for us to keep an open mind on the subject until we know where Walter Lord got his information about Smith's retirement.

By the way, old chap, I enjoy your postings on the Titanic model bulletin board. Hope I'll get a chance to meet you in person one day.

All my best,

George
 
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Emily Bisignano

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I know how all of you feel about trying to iron out the facts about Titanic. In my short time of study, I admit I've learned a whole lot, but a lot of the information contradicts each other. That's also the fun of researching Titanic
happy.gif
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Hello Emily,

I also share the feeling. I will soon turn 15, and have been hooked on the Titanic since around '94, and I still don't know even a small portion of what's out there. That's what I love about E.T. and this message board. As I've said on other threads, it helps you "sort things out". Honestly, I think there's too much for any single person to ever learn and remember. You just have to rely on your books (even though they're not always accurate), and from what you learn from others (just as we're doing). I think the sinking of the Titanic is a "had to be there" type of experience; you just had to have witnessed it yourself to feel the power of it. No book or movie could ever fully explain or take the place of what actaully happened on the night of April 14/15, 1912. To hear the steam being (loudly) released from the funnels after the collision, to see the forward funnel come crashing to the ocean, to witness and hear all the last conversations between seperated couples, not to mention the Strauses unwilling to leave each other for Lifeboat No. 8. It's a story that's better than fiction, and there's just no way that any single person, book, or film could recreate it. To witness Thomas Andrews' worried look as he tries to get passengers in the boats, or William Thomas Stead, quietly reading in the lounge. Those things would be overpowering to witness.

TITANIC: 1909-1912

-B.W.