What if David Blair had remained as Titanic's Second Officer?

Arun Vajpey

Jul 8, 1999
As I understand, Captain Smith wanted to bring in Henry T Wilde as his Chief Officer for the Titanic's maiden voyage and the resulting reshuffle meant temporary "demotion" for Murdoch to First Officer and Lightoller to Second Officer with David Blair making way and staying behind. I often wonder what if Wilde had not been brought in for the trip and Murdoch had remained the Chief Officer with Lightoller serving his First Officer post and Blair the Second position as originally planned?

First of all that might have meant (perhaps not necessarily so) that Lightoller rather than Murdoch was in charge of the bridge when the iceberg was sighted. Also, Blair remaining on the ship would have meant that those controversial Binoculars would have remained in the crow's nest.

I am not arguing either way but would be interested to know what others think would have happened.....indeed if anything different could have happened. For the record though, I think that William Murdoch was a superb senior officer who was put in a very difficult situation, made the best of it and almost pulled it off.
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Apr 16, 2015
They would have almost certainly done things differently, whether this would have lead to a different outcome we will never know. Who was in charge when they made the course change earlier in the evening? If that course change had been made probably like 10 seconds either side of when it was they would have missed the berg, 1001 things would have changed the outcome completely. I think the whole binoculars thing is a bit of a red herring anyway, lookouts wouldn't stand with the binoculars up to their eyes the whole time anyway, you spot something with your eyes then have a closer look with the binoculars, if a lookout sees anything he is supposed to report it, having a closer look and deciding how important something is is above his pay grade!
Nov 13, 2014
I don't think this would have made much difference. It was Captain Smith (not any other officer) who decided to take 'the turn' later than scheduled, unwillingly putting Titanic on a deadly collision course with an iceberg.

I've always made my points in that whole binoculars issue. dazjstuart said it, it is a red herring. Titanic would have sunk with those binocs.
In my Wattpad book, the main character on board Titanic (who already knows everything about her sinking) even asks Thomas Andrews to get the binocs and place them in the crow's nest. The main character is ordered to sink the ship, and he knows that Titanic will sink with or without binoculars.

P.S. Please read my book!
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