Myths of the Titanic

The BBC has an interesting article about myths associated with the Titanic. The five myths they list, summarized, are:
  1. The unsinkability of the Titanic: "the White Star Line never made any substantive claims that the Titanic was unsinkable - and nobody really talked about the ship's unsinkability until after the event"
  2. The band played Nearer, My God, To Thee: The band probably did play on deck as the ship sank, but there's no good evidence that their final song was 'Nearer, My God, To Thee.'
  3. The Heroic Captain Smith: Captain Smith really wasn't that heroic. In fact, his inaction meant that there wasn't a more orderly evacuation.
  4. The Villainous J Bruce Ismay: Ismay, present of the company that built the Titanic, is traditionally portrayed as a villainous businessman who bullied Captain Smith into going faster, and then jumped into the first available lifeboat to save himself. But he probably wasn't that villainous in real life. He actually helped a lot of people into boats.
  5. Forcibly barring third-class passengers from the lifeboats: There was no deliberate attempt to prevent third-class passengers from reaching lifeboats. However, "Gates did exist which barred the third class passengers from the other passengers. But this was not in anticipation of a shipwreck but in compliance with US immigration laws and the feared spread of infectious diseases." As a result, only one-third of steerage passengers survived.

Exploration/Travel Urban Legends

Posted on Fri Apr 06, 2012


Actually the full length gates seen in the movies are a myth. Most of the gates that separated the third class were only waist high. I've been reading a lot about the Titanic lately. I found a good source of information. Here's an example about the gates:
Posted by KAE  on  Fri Apr 06, 2012  at  05:47 PM
For a good summary of all Titanic myths, watch James Cameron's movie. He pretty much employed them all except he somehow forgot about the mummy's curse. It must have ended up on the cutting room floor.
Posted by Captain Al  on  Sat Apr 07, 2012  at  02:18 PM
With regard to the claim that Titanic was unsinkable, I've heard it said that in those days each time a new, bigger ship was built it was casually refered to as unsinkable. This only becomes pertinent in the aftermath of one of our greatest maritime disasters.

Captain Al, we're not talking about the mummy's curse, in case Cameron hears of it and gets the notion use it as the basis of a sequel to that awful movie.
Posted by Paul Taylor  on  Sun Apr 08, 2012  at  09:11 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.