Whose fault is it that the Titanic sunk?who do you think had the most responsibility on why the titanic sunk

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vmoriarity's profile pic

vmoriarity | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

The ultimate responsibility lies with Captain Edwar Smith, as unfair as that may seem.  His lackadaisical response to the iceberg warnings resulted in the collision.  There were, however, many other parties who contributed to this catastrophe:  First, the telegraph operators ignored the warnings after a time.  Second, the White Star Lines failed to equip the ship with enough lifeboats to save all passengers.  Finally, the overall arrogance of the media played into everyone's belief the Titanic was unsinkable.

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pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

So many factors contributed to the loss of life that it's hard to pin fault on any one person or group. Certainly the captain exhibited terrible judgement, and there were definitely not enough lifeboats.

Another part of the blame apparently rests on the shipyard that built the Titanic. Much study has been done on the samples that Ballard retrieved from the Titanic's hull, and the ship's materials and design seem to have been a factor in the sinking of the unsinkable. Steel from the hull has been found to be of an inferior alloy and quite brittle, and rivets that held the plates together have a lot of slag incorporated into the metal, making them much weaker than they should have been. As a result the gash, which should have been able to be contained by closing waterproof compartments, resulted in major hull buckling, rendering the compartments useless and leading to the sinking of the boat.

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

There were many elements and people that were involved in the disaster of the Titanic.  I do not think the blame can be entirely placed on one person.  Some will say that even the steal and the rivets used to build the Titanic were faulty.  Others would argue that since her sister ship, the Olympic, remained afloat with the same materials and the same design plans, there was no problem with either the design or the materials used.  The ship was simply not designed to hit an ice burg.  The water tight doors did not go high enough to prevent water from spilling over the top in such a major collision.  The passageways of the ship, for instance the long crew passage that ran the length of the ship, also allowed water to travel rapidly through the ship above the water tight doors and hasten the sinking.  

One might say that nature was even partically at fault.  Ice traveled farther south that year putting ice burgs in a usually ice free course.  The night the Titanic sank was reported to be calm and clear making the ice burgs harder to see.  

The crew certainly wasn't blameless.  The Titanic sped up even though the crew knew there were ice warnings.  In their defense, previous experience told them they had nothing to worry about.  The officers did try to port round the ship once it hit the burg, however they did not understand how slowly the new ship design would turn.  They simply were not (and perhaps could not be) fast enough.

The great tragedy of Titanic is the death of so many people.  We can blame this on human arrogance.  There were not enough life boats for each person on board despite the ship builders recommendations to include more boats.  Such a state of the art ship sinking simply wasn't something they thought possible.  The passengers themselves did not truly believe the Titanic would sink until it did.  Many of the passengers chose to return inside rather than wait for a life boat on deck.  The trip down the side of the larger boat into darkness and freezing water supported by a dingy and light ropes was simply too much for them.  

While the Titanic was a great tragedy, there were simply too many factors in its sinking to blame one person or one specific feature of the ship.

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I only answered the original question, but I 100% agree with your premise.  Whe the captain was responsible for the boat sinking, I believe the negligence of others was responsible for the incredible loss of life.  There would have certainly been casualties, but nowhere near the amount that actually occurred.

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

While I agree (and I don't think Smith would disagree) that the captain bears responsibility for the sinking, another way of looking at it is to ask who was responsible for the tremendous loss of life. This, I think, has to go down to the White Star Line, who equipped the ship with about half as many lifeboats as it needed in an emergency. On the other hand, Smith allowed several of the lifeboats to leave at far less than 1/2 capacity, a decision that resulted in many more lives lost than necessary.

stolperia's profile pic

stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The captain of the ship always bears ultimate and final responsibility. Aside from the trite nature of this comment, it does appear that the orders and conduct of Captain Smith were not reasonable or responsible in view of the circumstances he knew were in place that night. Different orders, leading to a different way of dealing with the ice and the poor visibility, may have resulted in a different outcome.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Despite the known threat of icebergs, the captain of the Titanic, Edward Smith, forged ahead on a dark night after charting a new course in the hope of avoiding the huge ice flows. Perhaps the biggest mistake was that the wireless messages received about the icebergs were not relayed to the bridge, since they were considered "non-essential" information.

lentzk's profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

While not oblivious to the big picture, I would put the blame for the sinking of the titanic on the captain.  I think there were other factors involved, but ultimately he was responsible for the safe navigation of the ship.

aarushrao's profile pic

aarushrao | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

it was not the titanic's captain's fault.

The radio operator of titanic did not get the radio message properly and another thing is about the two people that captain smith had sent on the top of the ship to see for the icebergs, they were not able to see the icebergs properly and clearly because of the cold wind striking to heir eyes

and even Captain smith had asked the authorities to board some more lifeboats on the ship. He asked for 42 lifeboats while he was provided with onle18........

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boblinger | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

the captain was the ultimate source of the titanic sinking. Even though it was not completly in control of the situation it was him making the wrong deccisions that lead to the ultimate down fall. not only did he decided to contiune on throught the night after being prewarned about the icebergs. He also thought it was non essential to warn the look outs to look out for the ice begrs which coukd have saved them. I also think they were thinking that it was a unsinkable ship which is why the took greater risk because they weren't expecting the worse to happen.

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whiteboy | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

It was the captains fault. Because when he got a letter from the operator he did not wont to read. He told the operator no more. All he wanted to do is go to sleep and mind his business. Also it was the workers that built the boat because the rivets that they put on the boat was not good to put on. That is because the workers put stage 3 and stage 3 could only hold a few thousand pounds of water coming. When stage 4 could hold tons.If you don't think its not the captain fault then you should do some research watch videos and come up with some better opines about who fault was the titanic s sunk.

najm1947's profile pic

najm1947 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

I believe the fault, even if it is not entirely for the sinking, lies with Stanley Lord. He was captain of the SS californian, a boat situated close enough to the titanic ship to come and rescue the people. He failed to do thhis because he switched off his radio and clocked off early, going to bed, when he later saw what were the flares he siply said in an interview "i thought they were fireworks. I thought a ship was having a party". All he needed to do was switch on his radio to double check or see what they were, then he would have heard the distress calls and it i believed that all the passengers woud have survived. Also crew men on previous shifts clockked off with the key to the cabinet which held the telescopes- some believe that with these they could hve seen th iceberg or at least had more chance. :)

Stanley Lord had nothing to do with the sinking - Titanic would have sunk anyway due to captains fault. Stanley could be blamed only for NOT saving the lives of people aboard and reducing the loss of human life and thjat's how the desiny plays its role.

bluenose20's profile pic

bluenose20 | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

I believe the fault, even if it is not entirely for the sinking, lies with Stanley Lord. He was captain of the SS californian, a boat situated close enough to the titanic ship to come and rescue the people. He failed to do thhis because he switched off his radio and clocked off early, going to bed, when he later saw what were the flares he siply said in an interview "i thought they were fireworks. I thought a ship was having a party". All he needed to do was switch on his radio to double check or see what they were, then he would have heard the distress calls and it i believed that all the passengers woud have survived. Also crew men on previous shifts clockked off with the key to the cabinet which held the telescopes- some believe that with these they could hve seen th iceberg or at least had more chance. :)

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