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Old 04-28-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
George Klass
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Default 100 years plus 14 days...

It was that long ago that the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank.

I read recently that more books have been written about the Titanic than any other subject, with the exception of Christ and the death of JFK. But for all the power as a mataphor and a parable, the Titanic disaster is really a story about people, people who died that night and people who lived on with the memories.

Including the crew, the Titanic sailed with 2,223 persons aboard, of whom 1,517 were lost and 706 were saved. It has been said, "those were different times, when men stepped back knowing they were going to die, and let the women and children into the lifeboats." It's a good story except it was only partially true. "Class status" had alot to do with who lived and who died, who made it and who didn't.

Any of that sound familier?

Case in point. 60% of the 1st class passengers were saved, 42% of the 2nd class passengers were saved, and only 25% of the 3rd class passengers made it. A higher percentage of 1st class men were saved than 3rd class women. So much for women and children first.

I just finished reading the "Official Transcripts of the 1912 Senate Investigation" on the loss of the Titanic (edited by Tom Kuntz). Hundreds of witnesses testified. J. Bruce Ismay testified. Ismay was the president of the White Star Line and onboard for the fateful trip. He was "lucky", he was able to find a seat on a lifeboat (what a surprise). His testimony was revealing. Naturally, he was asked about the lack of lifeboats. He said that the original plans called for 48 lifeboats but during construction, the number was scaled back to 20. Asked why, he said, "Well, 48 boats (24 per side) made the deck too crowded, and would have required us to eliminate some cabins on both sides. Obviously, cabin space was more important, we make money on cabins, we don't make money on lifeboats." He said this with a straight face. It was said that you could hear a pin drop in the senate chambers.





Do you wonder why I'm always saying, "nothing changes".
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: 100 years plus 14 days...

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Klass View Post
It was that long ago that the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank.

I read recently that more books have been written about the Titanic than any other subject, with the exception of Christ and the death of JFK. But for all the power as a mataphor and a parable, the Titanic disaster is really a story about people, people who died that night and people who lived on with the memories.

Including the crew, the Titanic sailed with 2,223 persons aboard, of whom 1,517 were lost and 706 were saved. It has been said, "those were different times, when men stepped back knowing they were going to die, and let the women and children into the lifeboats." It's a good story except it was only partially true. "Class status" had alot to do with who lived and who died, who made it and who didn't.

Any of that sound familier?

Case in point. 60% of the 1st class passengers were saved, 42% of the 2nd class passengers were saved, and only 25% of the 3rd class passengers made it. A higher percentage of 1st class men were saved than 3rd class women. So much for women and children first.

I just finished reading the "Official Transcripts of the 1912 Senate Investigation" on the loss of the Titanic (edited by Tom Kuntz). Hundreds of witnesses testified. J. Bruce Ismay testified. Ismay was the president of the White Star Line and onboard for the fateful trip. He was "lucky", he was able to find a seat on a lifeboat (what a surprise). His testimony was revealing. Naturally, he was asked about the lack of lifeboats. He said that the original plans called for 48 lifeboats but during construction, the number was scaled back to 20. Asked why, he said, "Well, 48 boats (24 per side) made the deck too crowded, and would have required us to eliminate some cabins on both sides. Obviously, cabin space was more important, we make money on cabins, we don't make money on lifeboats." He said this with a straight face. It was said that you could hear a pin drop in the senate chambers.





Do you wonder why I'm always saying, "nothing changes".
Titanic was only required to carry 16 lifeboats.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: 100 years plus 14 days...

I read where a numbers of kids now a days think the Titanic was just a movie. THAT is the sad part...





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Old 04-28-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: 100 years plus 14 days...

Human nature I suppose, survival of the fittest so to speak. Terrible tragedy but when you look at it in a certain light it exposes a bit of the "underbelly" of humanity.



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I read where a numbers of kids now a days think the Titanic was just a movie. THAT is the sad part...





Vanilla
I've seen that too, saddening and yet at the same time not terribly shocking.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: 100 years plus 14 days...

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Human nature I suppose, survival of the fittest so to speak. Terrible tragedy but when you look at it in a certain light it exposes a bit of the "underbelly" of humanity.

I've seen that too, saddening and yet at the same time not terribly shocking.

Alot of fastinating symbolism in the story of the Titanic. That ship was powered by "arrogance", driving the largest moving object ever created by man (at the time) almost full speed at night through an ice field, after receiving six warnings of ice directly on the track that the Titanic was on.

Fuck nature, we'll just push it out of the way, we are invincible. Little did they know that nature was about to push back...

This is the story of man, in so many ways. Nothing has changed in the last 100 years and 14 days.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: 100 years plus 14 days...

Did you read about the binocular story George? The watchmen lost their binoculars..... had they been able to use them, the Titanic may never have hit that iceberg. There were a few strange happenings in that deal.... almost like the planets were aligned, that the ship was going to sink.

We have the Titanic museum in Detroit right now, or was recently.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: 100 years plus 14 days...

Here is a good article about the binoculars

http://www.afloat.com.au/afloat-maga...m#.T5yaVlL9Erg

Titanic lookouts’ missing binoculars
John Kinsella
unlocks the mystery that had the potential to save the Titanic.
In the early fifties I was Assistant Personnel Manager for Ampol and part of my job involved discussions with Sir James Bisset. Sir James and I talked of ships and the sea. He was Commodore of the Cunard Line and Skipper of the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth during World War II.
He told me many marvellous stories and that he was in the process of writing about his life at sea. I wished him well and said I would love to read it when finished. He later returned to England where he died.
Several years later I searched for his book and found that he had written three … Sail-Ho from his days on the square riggers, Tramps & Ladies from his days on merchant ships and naval warships, and Commodore from his days with the Cunard Line. I bought all three from a collector.
In Tramps & Ladies he recalls the sinking of the Titanic and his part in the rescue of the survivors. At that time he was Second Officer of the Carpathia, a 12,000 tonner which was the first ship to arrive on the scene. His first-hand description of the rescue was amazing.
I remember Sir James telling me that the lookouts had no binoculars. I often wondered why. Had they lost them or never been supplied with them?
The answer seems to be at the end of this article. In looking for talk of binoculars I searched through Tramps & Ladies and A Night to Remember by Walter Lord published in 1976.
I could find no mention of binoculars in either book but A Night to Remember relates the sinking of the Titanic through the eyes of the lookouts. The following paragraphs are from this book.
“High in the crows nest of the new White Star Liner Titanic lookout Frederick Fleet peered into a dazzling night. It was calm, clear and bitterly cold. There was no moon, but the cloudless sky blazed with stars. The Atlantic was like polished plate glass. People later said they had never seen it so smooth.
“Frederick Fleet was one of six lookouts carried by the Titanic. They were the ‘eyes of the ship’ and on this particular night Fleet had been warned to watch especially for icebergs.
So far so good.
“On duty at 10 o’clock … a few words about the ice problem with lookout Reginald Lee who shared the same watch … a few more words about the cold … but mostly just silence as the two men stared into the darkness. It was almost 11.40pm on Sunday, 14th April 1912.
“Suddenly Fleet saw something directly ahead even darker than the darkness. At first it was small (about the size, he thought, of two tables put together) but every second it grew larger and closer.
“Quickly, Fleet banged the crows nest’s bell three times, the warning of danger ahead. At the same time he lifted the phone and rang the bridge. ‘What did you see?’ asked a calm voice at the other end. ‘Iceberg right ahead,’ replied Fleet. ‘Thank you,’ acknowledged the voice with curiously detached courtesy. Nothing more said.
“For the next 37 seconds Fleet and Lee stood quietly side by side watching the ice draw nearer. Then miraculously, the bow began to swing to port. At the last second the stem shot into the clear and the ice glided swiftly by along the starboard side. It looked to Fleet like a close shave.”
Then, in the lifeboats after the sinking … “Painfully the boat struggled away with just Major Peuchen and lookout Fleet rowing. Under Mrs (Molly) Brown’s leadership most of the women gradually joined in but Quartermaster Hitchins remained glued to the tiller, shouting at them to row harder or all would be sucked under when the Titanic sank.
“Personal thought weighed heavily on the minds of some. Lookout Reginald Lee told of a haze on the horizon and remembered Fleet saying ‘Well if we can see through that we’ll be lucky!’ Fleet never recalled the conversation.”
Both lookouts survived the sinking.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: 100 years plus 14 days...

Here is another article about the locked up binoculars


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ocker-key.html



Second Officer David Blair was taken off the Titanic at the 11th hour
It was perhaps the most catastrophic lapse of memory in history, costing more than 1,500 lives.


A sailor called David Blair forgot to leave behind a key as the Titanic set off on its maiden voyage.
Without it, his shipmates were unable to open a locker in the crow's nest containing a pair of binoculars for the designated lookout.
The binoculars were to look out for dangers in the distance including signs of bad weather - and icebergs.
Lookout Fred Fleet, who survived the disaster in which 1,522 people lost their lives, later told an official inquiry that if they had binoculars they would have seen the iceberg sooner.
When asked by a US senator how much sooner it might have been spotted, Mr Fleet replied: "Enough to get out of the way."
Ninety-five years later, the key which may have saved the luxury liner is up for auction - along with a postcard from Mr Blair telling of his disappointment at not being on the maiden voyage.


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