Monday, September 04, 2006

#10 - The Night Lives On by Walter Lord

Since April 1912 there have been many mysteries, myths and legends surrounding the sinking of the Titanic. While some of the mysteries can never be solved, Walter Lord researched survivor accounts, hearing testimony, and news accounts of the sinking to write this book.

Lord successfully disproves several popular beliefs about the sinking, and gives interesting insights into the ship itself and the crew. Plus, he discusses the reasons why certain safety precautions were not taken, and why shipping regulations of the day did not require more life boats on such a large ocean liner.

This factual account of the accident was very interesting. It wasn't over-dramatized, and Lord presented facts to back up his theories about the sinking. And, he disproved several myths that I believed to be true. I think the most poignant fact in the book for me was that Captain Smith may not have been qualified to head the crew of the Titanic. Titanic was easily twice the size of any ship he had captained before, and Smith was involved in 2 near collisions with Titanic before setting out to sea. Lord surmizes that easily proves that Smith wasn't that familiar with the stopping and turning capabilities of the ship. With ice warnings out on the night of the accident, perhaps a reduction in speed to reduce the ship's stopping and turning time might have prevented the collision, or made it less damaging.

In the end, it is all assumption.....but Lord does present some very interesting facts.


Post a Comment

<< Home