I think it was a combination of many factors. We have discussed on this site, the "arrogance of the age", Captain Smith bowing to Ismay's pressure to speed things up, the unusual circumstance of ice that far south in 1912, the wireless operaters not working for the line, the ignored ice warnings, calm weather and seas, the "missing binoculars", etc, etc, etc. My personal belief is in the rule that "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God". I don't feel that all of the circumstances leading up to that night was coincidental, the odds are too astronomical to be fate alone.From the responses I've seen on this site, I know there are others who feel the same way I do.
i feel that captain smith is to blame.
why did he ignore the warnings. he knew pretty well that fro a ship that size to be able to not hit that berg was that he needed to be going slower then he was going. i feel he lead titanic right into the iceberg for the simple reason that he didnt have enough time to stop,reverse the engines and then try and turn away. now i have not been studying the titanic as long as some of the people here but i consider myself to know my stuff..
Kelly, I'm tempted to say that it was water that caused the Titanic to sink. That would be a joke at your expense. Instead I will say that if you ever get answers to all of the questions, there will no longer be any need for this forum.
with my limited study into the reasons etc. of why she sank my belief is that with her size and so-called watertight system they simply believed that there was nothing she could hit that would be powerful enough to sink her.
The main safety factor today is (please correct me if I'm wrong) is to ensure that if a ship does founder, there will be sufficient time to evacuate the ship safely. It appears a forgone conclusion that NO ship is unsinkable and that human safety is paramount
I'm with you on the theory that water caused the Titanic to sink. Some nay-sayers might attempt to debunk this concept, preferring the 'oil' or 'liquid nitrogen' theories that have been put forward from time to time, but I remain solidly behind the idea that it was water that did for 'er.
Elaine, one is on mighty thin ice indeed when trying to hint that a devine being was instrumental in the ships loss...especially since it is utterly impossible to prove or disprove the existance of any sort of devine being. Irrespective of that, the Titanic didn't need devine intervention to meet her fate. Human error was all that was needed and all that we absolutely know was there. God might have been in a bad mood, but since we can never prove it, I prefer to stay away from it.
In any accident, there is what investigators sometimes refer to as a chain of events where one small thing leads to another, and another, and another until finally you have the final fatal mistake which causes the disaster. Little things in succession killed the Titanic.
For example, a general beleif that it was possible to build unsinkable ships and acting on that beleif, vis a vis not providing enough lifeboats and going full speed into an icefield, poor radio dicipline so that important messages were never sent or recieved such as the Californian's attempt to warn the Titanic about what they were steaming into, and the questionable handling of messages that were recieved (Some never made it to the bridge) insufficeint numbers of trained seamen to handle lifeboats and an unfamiliarity with their qualities, insufficient training for emergencies, and...of course...THE fatal navigation/conning orders which were the direct cause of the collision itself. One way or another, all these factors were there and more.
The really incredible part about it all was that something of this magnatude hadn't happened earlier as the Titanic was really operated no differently from any other liner at the time.
Binoculars have been discussed as a factor, but in my own veiw, I think they would have done more harm then good. I've stood many a low visibility lookout at sea and I preferred to use my eyes alone to keep a good situational awareness of what is going on around me. Binoculars have a place once you've actually sighted something and you want to get a better veiw or what it is you're looking at, but there is a rather dicey problem with the things; they severely restrict your field of vision and if you scan too fast with them...all too easy to do...you actually tend to miss things that you would otherwise see.
Hope this helps you get a better picture of things.
Trying to remember science class now-(don't ask the year) is it Newton, Einstein or somebody like that who says something like two objects (matter) cannot occupy the same place at the same time- also the Newton's gravity thing (probably all 4 rules) and Archimedes principle of buoyancy and all kinds of properties of the behavior of liquids under pressure- what an interesting notion to consider it from this perspective- I must alert the local high school science department- this could be an exciting homework assignment! And if the theory of progressive flooding gets considered, space and volume, etc, this could give the math class some puzzlers too.
Maybe the physical science bunch could ponder the properties of cold steel. I could become very unpopular with the high school set.
Allowing for the humor of recent postings...quite seriously I will be doing a "guest appearance" at a Toledo-area junior high ("middle") school next week. Several teachers have asked me to speak in a variety of classes. The goal is not to teach the kids about Titanic, but to use Titanic to fire their imaginations. The science teacher wants to discuss how a steel ship floats (buoyancy); while the English teacher will focus on the process of research and writing a book.
Good for you David! Kids are so receptive to Titanic- I have been going to schools every April since 1978- from Grade 1 to 12. My Entex model has taken a beating over the years-it has more mileage on it than the real thing did. It is very rewarding to see so much excitement. The most touching encounter I ever had was at a local library when a boy about 15 who had been blind since birth, asked if he could feel what a ship "looked" like- he ran his fingers so lightly over the rigging, crow's nest, funnels- then his whole face lit up because something finally clicked in his mind. I had the tape of Raise the Titanic in the VCR machine (this was pre-discovery when we all thought she was in one piece) and the notion of raising her was discussed. This blind child was listening intently and later said that he felt the size of the ship now he heard that segment of wailing steel coming up- there have been so many magic moments over the years, kids doing term papers, getting excited about history. Hope a lot of you out there are "on the road" with the big ship!
Dear David Brown,
I think that is such a great idea. It is interesting to me that much of the furor at the very beginning of the aftermath of Titanic from our side of the pond was due to what we thought of "corporate" penny pinching on the part of the British. That sort of came and went.
And yet it seems that even now in many things that I have read, the issues that the British had with us as Americans due to our sloppy journalism and lack of clear clean research has not changed much. Many newspapers sprang to print that all was well and the British were furious with us over such lack of truth. It resulted in many regulations brought forward in the House as well as the Senate.
Perhaps teaching young folk how to research a book or article is the best thing for America. I think that it behooves all of us to do our homework before we go to print.
Good luck with your class.
David: I definitely second Shelley's "atta boy!" to you. It's highly commendable of you to take this to the school. As your own book illustrates remarkably well, the Titanic Disaster presents an excellent opportunity for interdisciplinary study -- so many academic disciplines can rightly be applied to the investigation! (As I wrote elsewhere, I've acquired a renewed interest in physics, particularly optical phenomena, myself as a result of this pursuit.)
So indeed, good for you!
And I hope no one took offence to my last-minute humorous interjection (gravity). None was intended.
I wish my motives were as high as your praise for my as-yet-undone efforts. Actually, I got sandbagged by a lady teacher friend who also has a master's license. "You will do it, won't you?" she asked. I agreed, and have been thinking second thoughts ever since. A report of what actually transpires will be posted for everyone's amusement...