Why The Titanic Was Doomed is a critical evaluation of the reason(s) why Titanic met the fate that it did in April 15th, 1912. If you ask someone why the Titanic sank, more times than not you will be told it was because of an iceberg. While this is true,researcher Bryan Jackson argues that there were also several other things that could have attributed to the sinking. Topics such as the way the ship was built, the way that the crew handled the messages regarding icebergs, and the idea that Titanic was unsinkable are discussed and it is explained how each could have impacted the untimely end of the magnificent ship. It is argued that the “ship of dreams” may very well have been doomed before it even left her first port.
When discussing how the Titanic was built, the author describes some of the short cuts that may have been taken due to time and money. These included man made welding versus machinery welding, limiting the amount of space for life boats, substandard materials, and potentially outdated requirements for all ocean liners. The type of welding played a role because if it had been done by machinery it would have been more secure and thus harder for the water to force its way aboard the ship. Outdated regulations is a topic that comes up multiple times through out the book including examples of how some of these regulations were changed after the tragedy of the Titanic. The limited number of life boats has been a highly debated topic when discussing the sinking of the Titanic. There were only 20 lifeboats aboard the ship and this amount of lifeboats was no where near what was needed to save all the passengers. Originally, there was going to be more lifeboats but the decision was made to pull back the amount in order to create more space for leisure and walking. Personally, I would have much rather had the extra lifeboats!
The Titanic received multiple warnings about ice fields in the area which they were sailing. Some of these made it to Captain Smith for evaluation while others were set aside and not deemed as important. Apparently it was more important to get the messages out to loved ones especially after the transmitter was down for a period of time. If these warnings had been taken more seriously, there would have been more time prepare, reduce speed, and potentially avoid disaster. Unfortunately a major part of this avoidance came from thinking that nothing could possibly happen to this unsinkable ship.
The idea that the Titanic was unsinkable started off relatively innocent. During construction it was going to be a ship that was “nearly unsinkable”. Somewhere along the way the “nearly” part of the idea disappeared and the “unsinkable ship” idea was pushed to the forefront. This was obviously human error and a very costly human error. If this concept had not been brought up perhaps things would have been taken more seriously. Instead anyone involves with the Titanic became very cocky and truly started to believe the unsinkable message. Although I have known about this before, I couldn’t help but cringe the way the author described it and analyzed it. Sadly it seems that the ego of some destroyed the lives of so many.
Why The Titanic Was Doomed is well researched and easy to read. There is alot of information here but it is put together in a very concise manner. Bryan Jackson uses newspaper articles, quotes from survivors, outlines of the building project and the sailing plan in order to formulate his argument. The information is also very interconnected with what ultimately happened. There are alot of “what if” scenarios and sadly even after 110 years our questions may never really be answered regarding what could have prevented the events of that tragic night.
Rating: 4 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**