Who do you think was to blame

J

James Hill

Member
who would it be?
the man who risked safety for glory-Ismay
a jinx captain who had already damaged her sister-Smith
new but untried technoligy-Ismay
an insuarance scam-company
i would say
1st reason
3rd reason
has anyone here noted that the triple screw made her clumsy,hard to manovore,hard to respond to the engines,and stop.decide for yourself.
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Hi James, unfortunately, it isn't that simple. As I posted in another thread, disasters seldom happen in a vaccuum but are preceeded by a long chain of events, each small in and of themselves, which finally lead to a lot of trouble.

Ismay: While I would ever confuse the man for a saint, were his attitudes really that different from those held by his contemporaries? Not really. Ocean liners had been operating for nearly four decades with little incident, so why shouldn't the trend continue? Why shouldn't they continue to think they could beat the odds when they had been doing it for so long?

Smith A jinxed captain? Jinxed how? He had his share of incidents, mostly minor, and that collsion with the Hawke had little to do with his own skills, so much as it did the hazards of navigation in restricted waters and a poor understanding of what happens when really large ships get too close to each other.

Insurance scam: Doesn't wash, but I suspect you may already understand that. A fact overlooked by the conspiracy theorists is that the Titanic was underinsured by 2.5 million dollars...which was not small change by 1912 standards. People intent on insurance scams don't do so with an eye towards taking a loss.

And how did the triple screw arrangement make the Titanic any more difficult to manuever then her contemporaries? The Titanic was not a warship and had no real need for the sort of agility assocciated with same. Merchent vessels are designed to carry passengers and/or cargo from point A to point B with maximum efficiency and minimal cost.
 
D

Dave Moran

Member
For the record most German battleships and heavy cruisers in both World Wars 1 & 2 had triple screw propulsion.

Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse ( the battleship, not the liner ), Konig, Bayern, Bismarck, Scharnhorst and more than a few others.

Quadruple screws were used in British and US warships, and it is really a question of chanelling the power output . It could be argued that with a propellor working directly on the rudder a triple screw ship is actually more manouverable in certain circumstances.

Regards

Dave
 
L

Larry Robinson

Member
The most simple reason is - the public greed for speed.....in a hurry gotta get there.....thats why we still build high speed trains and the concord.....and next....the space plane to better the concord's time?
 
C

Charles Barlow

Member
Probably a failure to grasp the basic tenant in physics that two objects occupy the same space only with great difficulty. The ship's officers knew what time to expect the ice field, yet continued on at a high rate of speed. Other ships had sense enough to stop for the night (Californian)
 
E

Erik Wood

Member
Larry and Charles both make very good points. I would only add one extra thing:

Why would Smith go at 22 knots through a known ice field and why did Fleet and Lee report the ship rotating to the left while they where on the phone??
 
A

Andrea Jane Rice

Guest
Capt. Wood,

What are you a Captain of, ship, flight, armed forces?

Another question - was there any truth in the question of an explosion in the boiler room. If so, that would indicate that the excess force, to push the ship towards an early arrival in NY, would hold an element of blame.

Personally, I think it was a mix of stupidity, showing off and snobbery.

Andrea
 
C

Charles Barlow

Member
Andrea,

If you double click on the member's name on the message board, their profile will be displayed. As for the question of an explosion, I don't recall any testimony of an explosion before the Titanic struck the iceberg. Some people reported explosions just before the ship sank. It is likely what they were hearing were the boilers and other heavy equipment sliding through bulkheads as the ship rose into a vertical slant.
Welcome to the board!
Chuck
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Andrea, I can assure you that there was no explosion in the boiler room, at least not as a result of driving the ship too hard. When the Titanic stopped for the last time, the safeties lifted and vented out the excess steam. Also, in the boiler rooms no longer needed to maintain steam for the dynamos, the fires were drawn to stop excess production of steam.

The "explosions" reported can be attributed to two events. One being the break up of the ship just befor she took her final plunge, and the implosion of air filled stern spaces in the stern section when it sank to the depth where the pressure was enough to cause collapse.

The prospect of an early arrival and perhaps a speed run on Monday morning has been discussed here a number of times. Unfortunately, the evidence to support this is far from conclusive.
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
I have an article by an eminent Edwardian engineer, who points out that 'the boiler blew up' was no more than a journalistic cliche that was trotted out every time a ship sank. In fact, what often happened is that a great quantity of cold water would rush into the furnaces and a great swoosh of steam and smoke would go up, giving observers the impression of an explosion.

A more realistic danger was that steam pipes might fracture as the hull distorted, releasing high pressure steam.

Edward Wilding said much the same thing in evidence.
 
A

Andrea Jane Rice

Guest
I've always been interested and saddened by the titanic disaster, but only recently actually started researching it. I've printed stuff off from the web and bought some books as well.

It appears that the bulk of you are current or ex naval and obviously have a far better idea of the possibilities than me.

Maybe also general access to historical records in the States is better than here in the UK, I don't know. I'm sure the weather is at least!
 
David G. Brown

David G. Brown

RIP
Andrea Jane -- If you watch the weather, it will change. So do the theories and opinions about Titanic. That's what makes the subject so fascinating. You would think that an event now 90 years in the past would have few remaining surprises, but the ol' ship keeps her secrets well.

As you research, I suggest that you use primary sources such as the transcripts of both the British and U.S. hearings. You want to get as close to the people involved as you can.

== David G. Brown
 
Inger Sheil

Inger Sheil

Member
Andrea Jane, whereabouts in the UK are you based? I moved to London from Australia, and have found access to historical records here in the UK is excellent. Of course, much depends on precisely what you're after, but archives such as the Public Records Office, Greenwich's Caird Library, the British Newspaper Library etc. are both rich in material and user-friendly.

If you can't make it to London, it's still worth checking out local archives (libraries, local history centres etc). Many of these have materials such as local newspapers and access to census returns and the General Record Office (GRO) indexes - births, deaths and marriages.
 
E

Erik Wood

Member
It would appear as though all the questions have been answered. I quess I will go hide in another thread now.
 
S

Stephen Stanger

Guest
Personally I would put the blame straight on Smith.
He was the last and final word on Titanic when it came to decisions regarding her speed and trajectory and I for one don't believe that he would have been "influenced" by Ismay considering Smith's extensive experience.
Those that blame the construction forget that Titanic wasn't designed to play tag with icebergs but for luxury, comfort and safety as I have said (somewhere) before.
Before Titanic there hadn't been a North Atlantic sinking for a couple of years and remember it was the industrial revolution. These people were gullable with a capital G (they called it unsinkable didn't they?!) and to them it just looked like the people in charge are finally getting their act together and getting the ships out of trouble before damage is done.
Ergo, what would have been the point to keep building ships in preparation for disaster anymore y'know? They didn't want double hulls, full compartments and 64 lifeboats just in case when they could concentrate more on the passenger comforts instead.
Tis' sad that she is known as the most luxurious ship ever, because they literally sacrificed every piece of safety (that could have kept her afloat) just to make her that way.
 
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