I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t make a post on the anniversary of the Titanic disaster. So many misconceptions surround that event that have recently come to light with new research. Here are some fun facts.
Credit to SoloMoon of Nanowrimo.org for researching and correcting the misconceptions, which are in bold.
- The captain was an idiot and/or caused the wreck somehow and/or ignored iceberg warnings and/or failed to save as many people as possible
- Several different witness accounts corroborate on the fact that he was a highly experienced captain who expressed concern about the maneuverability of a ship that large and not only refused a spot in a lifeboat twice but also formally released his crew from duty to allow them to run for the last few spots on lifeboats when he knew nothing else could be done to save the ship.
- The “women and children first” procedure was just Victorian SOP
- The decision to save women and children before men was made spontaneously by the crew when they realized that the ship was going down and there wasn’t enough space in the lifeboats for everyone–it was nowhere in any instruction manual, and was also only followed on one half of the ship. The crew also prioritized women with children.
- only followed on one half of the ship. The crew also prioritized women with children.
- First-class passengers got saved at a higher rate because the crew was prioritizing wealthier customers over less wealthy ones
- This is probably the most ridiculous piece of crap that I have ever heard about Titanic, because it just doesn’t even make sense. Let’s just review: THE SHIP WAS SINKING INTO THE OCEAN, THE ENTIRE CREW KNEW THEY WERE ALL GOING TO DIE, and yet for some reason they made a decision to say “we could save everyone we can find as fast as possible regardless of class, but nah, let’s save the wealthy people first”? What the ever-loving hell?
- The reason more first-class passengers than second- or third-class passengers escaped is that the crew was frantically running into hallways, banging on the first doors they came across, and dragging people out of bed to demand that they get into the nearest lifeboat, and the first-class rooms were located on higher decks than the second-class ones. It was faster and resulted in more lives saved to just grab the nearest people and start stuffing them on boats, which happened to prioritize the first-class passengers. The decision had nothing to do with classism.
- J. Bruce Ismay was a terrible human being who caused the Titanic disaster and deserved to die in the wreck
- J. Bruce Ismay committed the unforgivable sin of happening to be one of the survivors, and therefore got branded a villain and accused of everything from dressing as a woman to sneak on board a lifeboat (thank you, James Cameron) to deliberately wrecking the ship to collect on the insurance money, none of which are true. I’m pretty sure he only gets blamed for everything because people don’t feel as comfortable blaming those who actually, y’know, died horribly.
- John Jacob Astor was a terrible person who deserved to die
- J.J. Astor committed the unforgivable sin of inheriting a company from his father, developing a new steel-refinement technique that sped up the development of American railroads, and giving thousands of dollars to the arts every year. Oh, yeah, and then he chose to die rather than take a lifeboat spot away from anyone else. So he was basically the real life Tony Stark of 1912, none of which explains why history has chosen to crap all over him.
- The second mate pulled a gun on the passengers and/or shot passengers and/or shot himself
- This one comes straight from the James Cameron movie, which speculates about the survivor reports of “gunshots” around the time the ship was going down (widely believed now to be loud bangs caused by internal structures of the ship collapsing) to portray the second mate (who died saving a bunch of random strangers and didn’t deserve this crap) shooting passengers and then himself. No basis in reality.