New York City Dec 1937

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 8:17 PM

Flintlock76
In a way, it's even more of a shame Captain Smith wasn't on the bridge. Titanic was observed to have made a series of S-turns on the voyage from Southhampton to Cherborg as Captain Smith got the feel of the ship. Possibly E.J would have given the correct helm orders to have avoided the collision, but again, just speculation.

OK.  I'm going to try again to cite a book and hopefully this time it won't vanish into the net ether!  Wink

The book is THE TITANIC The Extraordinary Story of the Unsinkable Shipby Geoff Tibballs, A Reader's Digest Book, edited and produced by Carlton Books Limited, Copyright 1997.

Under the section of the introduction titled "Enduring fascination" the author speaks of the "prophetic novel" by W.T. Stead titled "From the Old World to the New" in which a ship strikes an iceberg and sinks and the survivors are picked up by a vessel named "Majestic" captained by an E.J. Smith.  The book then goes on to say:

"The real Captain Smith had suffered a string of misfortunes prior to skippering the Titanic, a sequence of events that he superstitiously attributed to a malevolent sea kelpie (in Scottish folklore, a water spirit in the form of a horse).  In September 1911, he had been in charge of the Olympic, the sister ship to the Titanic, when she collided with the Brittish cruiser H.M.S. Hawke off the Isle of Wight and suffered extensive damage."

"Still under Captain Smith's command, Olympic collided with a sunken wreck while making the crossing from New York to Southampton on February 2, 1912.  After being put into dry-dock at Belfast for repairs, she was about to return to the Atlantic when she became grounded on rocks and was forced to return to dry-dock for further repairs."

"Captain Smith was subsequently transferred to the Titanic, but as the great ship left Southampton on April 10, 1912, she was involved in a dramatic near-miss with the moored liner New York.  Many viewed it as a dreadful omen for a new ship.  Four days later, their fears were horribly justified."

"Ironically, Smith had become so disenchanted with his misfortune that he had decided he would retire after the Titanic's maiden voyage."

(Copy...open wordpad...paste in case it vanishes again....Wink)

I've never heard of the two incidents with the Olympic, that I highlighted in bold above, outside of this book.  I know Olympic returned a second time to Harland and Wolff after the Hawke collision because "she threw a propeller blade" as most books say, but I never heard of her striking a wreck until I got this book.  By the way, most of the reports of the Hawke collision I've read say that while sailing on paralell course, the Hawke was suddenly and violently pulled toward the Olympic's side.

Based on all the above, I would suggest that this new breed of super-size liner was something the world didn't understand 100%.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 8:35 PM

By the way, has anyone read Futility?  If not, you can get it here: https://electrodes.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/wreck_of_the_titan_-titanic-_morgan_robertson_1898_1912.pdf

Fascinating book.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 8:55 PM

You betcha, we've got a copy of "Futility!"  A reprint, not an original.

After the shipwreck it's not so hot, so after you've marveled at the comparisons and similarities between the fictional Titan  and the Titanic  you might as well put it back on the shelf.

I don't know about those incidents with Captain Smith, the only accident I'm aware of with Olympic  was the collision with HMS Hawke,  a light cruiser.  Making a long story short, Hawke's  steering gear jammed which put her into the side of Olympic.  The Royal Navy didn't want to admit it at the time, but it came out later.  

In this case the watertight compartments on Olympic  worked exactly the way they were supposed to, flooding was controlled and after a quick patch was applied Olympic  made her way back to Belfast for repairs.

As a matter of fact we've got a book called "Falling Star," which is a history of White Star Line mishaps and sinkings, and the collision with Hawke  is the only pre-WW1 incident mentioned concerning Olympic.  

What we do  have is an original copy from 1912 of a book called "The Sinking Of The Titanic,"  one of many "quicky" publications put out right after the disaster.  Some good reporting in it, some sloppy, some quite frankly made up, but interestingly some of the survivors are quoted as seeing the ship break in two prior to sinking,  observations dismissed at the time.  

We found the book in a used book dealers nook in an antiques mall in Montvale NJ in 1982.  Then in 1985 the wreck was found, broken in two.  "Well how about that" we said, "Those survivors were right after all!"  

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 8:21 AM

Flintlock76
the only accident I'm away of with Olympic  was the collision with HMS Hawke,  a light cruiser.

You should have specified 'pre-WWI' at this point, because ... LV-117.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 9:07 AM

Overmod

 

 
Flintlock76
the only accident I'm away of with Olympic  was the collision with HMS Hawke,  a light cruiser.

 

You should have specified 'pre-WWI' at this point, because ... LV-117.

 

I did.  Check my fifth paragraph. 

For everyone else, LV-117 was the Nantucket lightship, rammed and sunk in a fog by Olympic  in 1934.  

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 12:20 PM

Flintlock76
After the shipwreck it's not so hot, so after you've marveled at the comparisons and similarities between the fictional Titan  and the Titanic  you might as well put it back on the shelf.

No worse than Harry Bedwell, though -- and some highly interesting Jules-Verne-style engineering and science.  Writing and plotting are no worse than most Gernsbackian scientifiction, two decades later.  (It pays to recall when reading these stories that Robertson died in 1915, so all the interesting technical detail in the Titan, and the turbine systems and details of the unnamed destroyer in Pirates, and the secret weapon (and attack without declaration of war, and threatened attack on the Hawaiian Islands, and blatant discrimination in America toward ethnic Japanese) in Beyond the Spectrum, date from well before...)

To be honest, I never questioned that the wreck broke in half before sinking, or that the reason so many survived on the fantail right up to the moment of immersion as it went 'straight down' was due to the forepart of the ship first separating and then being wrenched free of the relatively undamaged stern.  When I was still very young, I read something in my grandfather's library that covered not only a firsthand report of the two halves separating, but that a sketch of the same had been made.  There were also reports (I think in Gracie's book) about a sudden lurch forward and a sound as of 'musketry' which would have been the riveted seams and perhaps the plates separating at the weak point in the hull.

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 3:31 PM

Heard a good one recently...

"My grandfather just knew  the Titanic  was going to sink!  He yelled and screamed about it to all who'd listen, he yelled at people to get off the ship before it was too late and they were all doomed!"

"Then everyone had enough of him and dragged him out of the movie theater!"

By the way, ever wonder what happened to Titanic's  lifeboats?  I suspect they were re-used on other ships, and why not?  They were only used once.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_ek9z0Ljvc  

"Hey Meester, wanna buy a used lifeboat?"  

And here's Nomadic,  the last of the White Star Line...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V70R42gU-hA  

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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 4:22 PM

While Branson, MO, may not be your cup of tea, they have a fantastic Titanic Museum.

They have dozens of artifacts on display.  Their artifacts were not taken from the ocean floor, but were collected over the years from families of those who were on the Titanic.

For days after the sinking, other ships picked up all kinds of debris.  If it could be identified, it was returned to family members.

Amazing place with priceless items on display.

John  --  Saints Fan  

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 5:35 PM

I've heard about that Branson Titanic Museum.  I understand it's very well and tastefully done, and a real sight to see.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 8:11 PM

Overmod

 

 
Flintlock76
the only accident I'm away of with Olympic  was the collision with HMS Hawke,  a light cruiser.

 

You should have specified 'pre-WWI' at this point, because ... LV-117.

 

Since the context was Captain E.J. Smith and his mastering of the ship, rather than the Olympic itself, events occurring after April 15, 1912, the latest date Captain Smith could have been involved, are respectably irrelevant.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 8:26 PM

Flintlock76
Titanic's lifeboats

Well I know what happened to a brass No. 8:

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 9:19 PM

Penny Trains

 

 
Flintlock76
Titanic's lifeboats

 

Well I know what happened to a brass No. 8:

 

Holy smoke I hd no idea that was still around!  From boat #8 where the Countess of Rothes handled the tiller, and Seaman Jones said "She was more of a man than any of us!"  Amazing!

Thanks Becky!  And for those who don't know the Countess' story...

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/countess-of-rothes.html  

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:46 AM

Penny Trains
Since the context was Captain E.J. Smith and his mastering of the ship, rather than the Olympic itself, events occurring after April 15, 1912, the latest date Captain Smith could have been involved, are respectably irrelevant.

Since I thought from the context that the discussion was indeed about the hull size and hydrodynamic considerations of the large Olympic-class ships, I thought Captain Smith's technical involvement in accidents so related was, respectfully [sic] irrelevant.

Smith could not have been expected to know from experience how a ship of that size would handle; we in fact see him making experimental turns with the Titanic herself to test out even how open-sea handling would 'feel'.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 30, 2020 3:20 PM

Well, Captain Smith should  have had a pretty good idea about how well Titanic  would handle, he'd skippered her sister ship Olympic for the better part of a year before he took command of Titanic.    

Yes, it's unlikely both ships would have handled exactly  the same, hence his S-turns on the way to Cherbourg to better familiarize himself with the new ship, but they should have been close enough in handling characteristics. 

At any rate, there wasn't anyone else around who was better qualified to handle ships of that size than he was, no-one else had ships that big, at least not yet.

 

 

 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, January 30, 2020 6:37 PM

Flintlock76
Holy smoke I hd no idea that was still around! From boat #8 where the Countess of Rothes handled the tiller, and Seaman Jones said "She was more of a man than any of us!" Amazing!

You can visit it.

https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/glenrothes-area-heritage-centre-p2246941

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, January 30, 2020 11:24 PM

Flintlock76

Well, Captain Smith should  have had a pretty good idea about how well Titanic  would handle, he'd skippered her sister ship Olympic for the better part of a year before he took command of Titanic.    

Yes, it's unlikely both ships would have handled exactly  the same, hence his S-turns on the way to Cherbourg to better familiarize himself with the new ship, but they should have been close enough in handling characteristics. 

At any rate, there wasn't anyone else around who was better qualified to handle ships of that size than he was, no-one else had ships that big, at least not yet.

One crucial thing Captain Smith never would have thought when commanding the Titanic: Hit the iceberg head-on if it is too close, just like how the Romans used the ram! SurpriseCoffee

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, January 31, 2020 11:21 AM

Jones1945
One crucial thing Captain Smith never would have thought when commanding the Titanic: Hit the iceberg head-on if it is too close, just like how the Romans used the ram!

There's a reason for that: imagine the injuries to passengers caused by an unanticipated deceleration of that magnitude.

That in addition to his reputation being forever sullied both at the inevitable inquest and civil proceedings ... provided the ship didn't conveniently sink afterward, which most of us agree it would not "in too short a time for rescue" even if the impact started a great number of seams in the hull.  He would have been far from a hero for causing all that harm with an 'unsinkable' ship...

 

I would also quietly observe that there were enough 'vacuum' hydrodynamic effects with Titanic to indicate that Captain Smith had not learned quite enough about the big ships from his experience with Olympic... Whistling

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, February 1, 2020 2:49 AM

Overmod

That in addition to his reputation being forever sullied both at the inevitable inquest and civil proceedings ... provided the ship didn't conveniently sink afterward, which most of us agree it would not "in too short a time for rescue" even if the impact started a great number of seams in the hull.  He would have been far from a hero for causing all that harm with an 'unsinkable' ship...

 I would also quietly observe that there were enough 'vacuum' hydrodynamic effects with Titanic to indicate that Captain Smith had not learned quite enough about the big ships from his experience with Olympic... Whistling 

Captain! Captain! what decision should I have made? The moment the crew saw the iceberg thing the unsinkable ship was doomed, it was too late to make any decision that could have saved the whole ship.  But I would have never boarded the Titanic since I am a fan of Lusitania so no big deal! Cunard or the general public never "praised" the Lusy unsinkable, so I probably would have stay alerted for the whole journey and probably would have lived at least 3 years longer. And If it was the Lusitania hit the same iceberg, this speedboat would have arrived in New York harbor before sinking..AutomobileSmile, Wink & Grin

"

Not big and luxurious enough? We also had the Aquitania!

The ship looked better after the 1918 refit, would be perfect if the bridge was 200% wider.

 

Best ship ever made...

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, February 1, 2020 5:17 PM

Ah, Aquitania,  last of the four-stackers.

In service from 1914 to 1949, scrapped in 1950.

Here's a video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU68CmdIpGk  

Ahh, I beg to differ Mr. Jones, I beg to differ ever so respectfully, but by God THIS is the best ship ever!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_New_Jersey_(BB-62)#/media/File:New_Jersey_Sails.jpg   

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, February 1, 2020 7:43 PM

By Brian W. Schaller - Own work, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61238420

THE fastest liner on earth.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, February 1, 2020 8:07 PM

Isn't her official top speed still a secret?

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, February 1, 2020 8:36 PM

SD70Dude

Isn't her official top speed still a secret?

 

That's a good question.  Since the United States  was also intended to be a troopship, if and when it was needed, the ship's top speed was indeed "classified." 

I'll have to check on that.  She did  run away from the Queen Elizabeth  on one occasion.   

I checked.  United States  typically ran in the 30 to 35 knot range.  Supposedly she was capable of making up to 43 knots but was never tried at that speed, to anyone's knowledge anyway.  

Downright disgraceful what she looks like now.  Her days as a speedster are definately over.  Her time's come and gone.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, February 2, 2020 6:46 PM

It's under the protection of a conservancy group and RXR Realty is looking into developing her similar to what they did with the Queen Mary.  The most recent info I've seen is over a year old though: https://www.wearetheunitedstates.org/single-post/2018/12/10/Breaking-News-New-Agreement-with-RXR-Realty

As long as she stays away from here:

Alang India — the burial ground of great liners and ships. https://www.cruiselinehistory.com/cruise-history-cunard-lines-rms-mauretania-blue-riband-holder-one-of-the-most-historic-and-remarkable-atlantic-liners-in-history/

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, February 2, 2020 9:36 PM

Several years ago I remember watching a documentary, I think it was a National Geographic one, that showed that scrapyard in Alang, India.

Run 'em up at best speed on the beach, then cut 'em up in place, that's the drill.  And the working conditions would give an OSHA inspector a heart attack!  

The interesting thing is most commercial ships, and by that I mean freighters of most types, aren't expected to last more than 20 years, 30 years tops.  Then it's off to the scrapper.

Navys are a different matter.  The US Navy, for example, expects to get at least  30 years out of their ocean-going ships, if not a bit more.  

And amazingly, or maybe not, some last even longer, much longer.  Check out these two videos...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nAGbsjM5CE&t=11s  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-iymgVwxis  

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Posted by Jones1945 on Sunday, February 2, 2020 11:55 PM

Flintlock76

Ah, Aquitania,  last of the four-stackers.

In service from 1914 to 1949, scrapped in 1950.

Here's a video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU68CmdIpGk  

Ahh, I beg to differ Mr. Jones, I beg to differ ever so respectfully, but by God THIS is the best ship ever!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_New_Jersey_(BB-62)#/media/File:New_Jersey_Sails.jpg   

Nice video of the good old Aquitania! The USS New Jersey was my father's favorite warship. No doubt she is a great ship and witnessed a lot of important historical events. For warships, my favorite is the old Nelson Class, a lot of shortcomings in WWII era standard but they were unique and cool:

  

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Monday, February 3, 2020 12:57 AM

The RN had to go through a lot of hoops to keep the Nelson class under 35,000 tons, with a rather slow top speed. When the Iowa class was being designed, the USN had enough intelligence about other navies cheating on the 35,000 ton limit and spliced a bigger power plant into the South Dakota design.

The Montana class would have been a sight to behold, but would have been obsolete by the times the keels would have been laid. I did see ~1/100 model of it in the Billings Navy recruiting center back in 1973.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Monday, February 3, 2020 6:44 AM

Erik_Mag

The RN had to go through a lot of hoops to keep the Nelson class under 35,000 tons, with a rather slow top speed. When the Iowa class was being designed, the USN had enough intelligence about other navies cheating on the 35,000 ton limit and spliced a bigger power plant into the South Dakota design.

The Montana class would have been a sight to behold, but would have been obsolete by the times the keels would have been laid. I did see ~1/100 model of it in the Billings Navy recruiting center back in 1973.

Yes, the 1920s-design Nelson Class was too slow but had great firepower and protection. I wish there was at least one G3 battlecruiser was built and participated in WWII, hunt down the dirty Nazi warships! G3's design speed was 32 knots, 2 knots faster than the Bismarck-class... Good enough armor and armament... 

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, February 3, 2020 9:11 AM

Well, HMS Rodney  of the Nelson  class was there for the kill on the hunt for the Bismarck, both she and HMS King George V  pounding the German ship into a floating slag heap.  The RN certainly got it's revenge for the Hood.  

It's a shame none of the great British battleships were saved for preservation, but did you know there's one British built battleship in the world that's been preserved, and it's in Japan?   Here's the story...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyzKKCLJIJA&t=9s  

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