Originally Posted by Huntergonzo
Titanic is one of the most fascinating tragedies of all time and probably one of the most studied.
As for the 'man responsible', I don't think there is one in this instance, but it is human nature to look for someone to blame I suppose. For me Titanic's sinking was a series of factors, such as:
1. The fire in the coal bunker which raged on for several days and weakened the bulkheads.
2. Steaming at near full speed in an ice-field and ignoring some of the warnings that were sent, especially the last one where Philips told the Californian to 'Keep out, shut up, I'm working Cape Race'. Although to be fair I believe these guys were retained by Marconi and under serious pressure to get their work done.
3. The shortage of lifeboats, which was perfectly legal at the time.
4. There being no requirement for ships to keep a 24hr wireless service, if there was perhaps the Californian would have come to the rescue as their operator had already gone to bed by the time Titanic started sending out distress signals.
5. Speaking of which the crew of the Californian while they can't be blamed for the tragedy, they were negligent in their duty. 2nd Officer Herbert Stone saw the rockets and reported them to captain Stanley Lord who quite dismissively chalked them down as 'company signals'. This ship was likely only 10 miles away or so but chose to brush off the signals rather than investigate them.
6. Weather conditions, it was a freakishly calm night for the north atlantic, by all accounts the ocean was as smooth as glass with no moon either to light up their surroundings. If the sea had of been a bit choppier, maybe the look outs would have seen the water breaking at the iceberg and spotted it a bit earlier.
7. Bad luck, in fairness this played a part to, it generally does in these tragedies, wrong place wrong time.
Finally as for Murdoch, to be honest I've never really considered him responsible, he was just doing what he was told in maintaining speed and heading and found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He done his best to avoid the berg and done his best to load the lifeboats (over half the people saved were loaded in by Murdoch).
Like many others he lost his life that night and will never get the chance to tell his story.
The bulkhead may have played a part but I think it's given too much weight.
Well that reply to the Californian was in part because the machine had been broken the day before so they were making up the back log of telegrams they were sending. It's another what if because if they hadn't been swampt it's likely the ice warning may have gotten to the captain and maybe things would have turned out differently.
I think titanic had more lifeboats than was required at the time given its tonnage which is how it was calculated. There was provision for more but it wasn't required or wanted so there weren't enough.
The tragedy may have had a good outcome in that after there was a requirement for a 24 hour wireless at sea.
The Californian and its place in the this event are weird to me. Yes the crew as whole aren't to blame but Stanley lord till the day he died was trying to fix his reputation. Wasn't it always the case the the crew told him of the rockets but didn't push the issue ?
Yeah poor murdooch was in the wrong place at the wrong time. If it wasn't him on the bridge at the time of the accident it would have been someone else.