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Old December 28th, 2012, 08:20 PM
Alternatehistorybuff5341 Alternatehistorybuff5341 is offline
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Historical ramifications if the RMS Titanic hadn't sunk?

So, sometimes I ask my real life friends AH what if questions for the sake of academic exercise and debate. I brought up the sinking of the RMS Titanic, and the only response I could really get was "Well, we'd be out a blockbuster movie".

So, I decided to take the questions to the professional and experienced AH fans of this website.

Say that the RMS Titanic had not sunk. For whatever reason. Maybe the ship was built in a way that hitting the iceberg only caused a few of the compartments to flood; maybe First Officer William Murdoch ordered the ship to increase speed instead of decrease; etc.

What (if any) would be the historical ramifications? Take into account the butterfly affect, those who died in OTL who will survived in TTL, etc.

Last edited by Alternatehistorybuff5341; December 28th, 2012 at 09:06 PM..
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Old December 28th, 2012, 08:39 PM
hugh lupus hugh lupus is online now
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No lord Mersy whitewash.
William Alden Smith does not get a boost to his political career.
Ship design ,in particular safety does not change as fast .
US coast guard does not get a big boost in funding.
Film making and the careers of various actors/ directors change.
Conspiricy theorists have to move their paranoia to other areas.
Bruce Ismay has a succesful life.
Possibly white star and Cunard are not forced into a merger latter on.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 08:58 PM
Well Well is offline
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One of the people who went down with the ship was Major Archibald Butt, a close advisor of Presidents Roosevelt and Taft. I believe somebody on these boards wrote a timeline in which he survived to mediate between the two rivals, allowing TR to be elected in 1912 on the Republican ticket. The implications of that on the First World War are obvious.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 09:03 PM
Alternatehistorybuff5341 Alternatehistorybuff5341 is offline
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Originally Posted by Well View Post
One of the people who went down with the ship was Major Archibald Butt, a close advisor of Presidents Roosevelt and Taft. I believe somebody on these boards wrote a timeline in which he survived to mediate between the two rivals, allowing TR to be elected in 1912 on the Republican ticket. The implications of that on the First World War are obvious.
Do you have a link to this TL?
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Old December 28th, 2012, 09:11 PM
Well Well is offline
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I think this is it.
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Last edited by Well; December 28th, 2012 at 09:21 PM..
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Old December 28th, 2012, 09:18 PM
oshron oshron is offline
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the link's broken
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Old December 28th, 2012, 09:20 PM
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Just to point out that safety regulations were lax and invited a disaster. One may say the disaster on the scale of Titanic was overdue. Had Titanic been spared, some other liner would suffer the same fate.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 09:22 PM
Well Well is offline
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the link's broken
Ta, fixed
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Old December 29th, 2012, 12:03 AM
phx1138 phx1138 is offline
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Two things: what about the other 1500-odd people who drowned (or, more probably, died of exposure)? Who's to say there wasn't a brilliant invention or six among them?

Also, what is Titanic used for later? Does she serve as a fast troopship? Or a hospital ship? How many lives does that save that weren't OTL? And are any of them brilliant?

I know, I'm just begging for a "famous nobody" TL... Just sayin'.

BTW, there's no guarantee she wouldn't hit a 'berg again (or anyhow)--tho, based on the weather on that date, it seems unlikely. (Actually, all you need to avoid this is to advance or delay her sailing a few hours.) Nor that a U-boat wouldn't get her, instead of Lusitania...
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Old December 29th, 2012, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phx1138 View Post
Two things: what about the other 1500-odd people who drowned (or, more probably, died of exposure)? Who's to say there wasn't a brilliant invention or six among them?

Also, what is Titanic used for later? Does she serve as a fast troopship? Or a hospital ship? How many lives does that save that weren't OTL? And are any of them brilliant?

I know, I'm just begging for a "famous nobody" TL... Just sayin'.

BTW, there's no guarantee she wouldn't hit a 'berg again (or anyhow)--tho, based on the weather on that date, it seems unlikely. (Actually, all you need to avoid this is to advance or delay her sailing a few hours.) Nor that a U-boat wouldn't get her, instead of Lusitania...
You know I've often thought the same thing about the Somme charge, if done well it would be brilliant. The only benefits I can think off is that whole "Ismay betrayal" plot point is erased and Smith doesn't go anywhere near a ship for the rest of his life.
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Old December 29th, 2012, 01:19 AM
DD951 DD951 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phx1138 View Post
Two things: what about the other 1500-odd people who drowned (or, more probably, died of exposure)? Who's to say there wasn't a brilliant invention or six among them?

Also, what is Titanic used for later? Does she serve as a fast troopship? Or a hospital ship? How many lives does that save that weren't OTL? And are any of them brilliant?

I know, I'm just begging for a "famous nobody" TL... Just sayin'.

BTW, there's no guarantee she wouldn't hit a 'berg again (or anyhow)--tho, based on the weather on that date, it seems unlikely. (Actually, all you need to avoid this is to advance or delay her sailing a few hours.) Nor that a U-boat wouldn't get her, instead of Lusitania...
If Titanic herself missed the berg, then there would be a good chance of the Admiralty requisitioning her for duty as a troopship or hospital ship, like both her sisters. Assuming she survives the war, she'd be returned to passenger service after a refit, but assuming that post-war economics aren't totally skewed by butterflies, then the Depression will hit more or less on schedule, which hammers the shipping lines, & most probably like OTL, as a condition of a bailout, the British government forces Cunard & White Star to merge, & Cunard becomes the dominant partner. Surplus ships are disposed of, which, IOTL included most of the White Star fleet, & as there wasn't a big market for secondhand big ocean liners, Titanic probably ends up in the scrapyard- after all, by this point, she'd be 20+ years old, wearing out mechanically, & have pretty high operating costs due to fuel & manpower requirements compared to more modern ships.
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Old December 29th, 2012, 05:59 AM
phx1138 phx1138 is offline
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Reading this, it occurs to me if she hits the 'berg square, she'd suffer quite a few popped rivets & cracking in her frames. She might break apart en route back. If she doesn't, I see four possible effects:
  1. the builders realize their rivets need to be made better
  2. the hull steel needs to be less brittle
  3. it might be better to weld the hull to avoid popped rivets
  4. designing ships to avoid cracking due to frame failures would be a good thing. (This could prevent fatal breakage of Liberty ships, & possibly Edmund Fitzgerald.)
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Old December 29th, 2012, 10:41 AM
Well Well is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phx1138 View Post
Two things: what about the other 1500-odd people who drowned (or, more probably, died of exposure)? Who's to say there wasn't a brilliant invention or six among them?

Also, what is Titanic used for later? Does she serve as a fast troopship? Or a hospital ship? How many lives does that save that weren't OTL? And are any of them brilliant?

I know, I'm just begging for a "famous nobody" TL... Just sayin'.

BTW, there's no guarantee she wouldn't hit a 'berg again (or anyhow)--tho, based on the weather on that date, it seems unlikely. (Actually, all you need to avoid this is to advance or delay her sailing a few hours.) Nor that a U-boat wouldn't get her, instead of Lusitania...
It's a nice idea, but as far as the research goes, you're flying blind. How to know what anyone might have been but for something?
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Old December 29th, 2012, 11:55 AM
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There were big plans for Prince Rupert which fell through when Charles Melville Hays died on the Titanic. So with him still ticking after April '12 the city could be a lot more prominent than it is now.
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Old December 29th, 2012, 04:10 PM
Archibald Archibald is offline
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Two things: what about the other 1500-odd people who drowned (or, more probably, died of exposure)? Who's to say there wasn't a brilliant invention or six among them?
Not exactly on topic, but I recently discovered that Crawford Gordon mother was a Titanic survivor.
If she had died, quite paradoxically the Arrow may have survived since Gordon had an extremely abrasive caracter that did not helped the project at all with politicians...

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Old December 30th, 2012, 04:22 AM
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Of Titanic's sister ships, Olympia was made a troopship but Britannia ended up a hospital ship. Was there any specific criteria for selecting one role over another for a given vessel?
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Old December 30th, 2012, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Color-Copycat View Post
Of Titanic's sister ships, Olympia was made a troopship but Britannia ended up a hospital ship. Was there any specific criteria for selecting one role over another for a given vessel?
What was needed for the war effort at that moment.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 04:41 AM
hugh lupus hugh lupus is online now
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Originally Posted by Color-Copycat View Post
Of Titanic's sister ships, Olympia was made a troopship but Britannia ended up a hospital ship. Was there any specific criteria for selecting one role over another for a given vessel?
Some ships were built with an admiralty subsidy, where the deal was in the event of war they would be converted into armed mechant cruisers with a R.N crew to man guns.
Supposedly they were built to a higher stronger standard those one such ship was the Lusitania and it did'nt seem to work too well there
I'm not sure if the white star line took up the susidy though
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Old December 30th, 2012, 04:55 AM
Color-Copycat Color-Copycat is offline
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Hmm, interesting tidbit. I'll have to look into it sometime.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 08:22 AM
Kevin C. Smith Kevin C. Smith is offline
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Just to point out that safety regulations were lax and invited a disaster. One may say the disaster on the scale of Titanic was overdue. Had Titanic been spared, some other liner would suffer the same fate.
Not necessarily. No other big liner, to my recall, did founder under the unique circumstacers that made Titanic so tragic. She sank slowly enough that there was time to load/launch all the lifeboats (unlike the Lusitania) and far enough from any help (note: I did not say "any other ship") to lend assitance (such as, say, the Andrea Doria). It's not unreasonale to hypothisize that the transatlantic liner era could have ended without ships ever having been required to carry life boats for all passengers.

OTOH, there would probably be no International Ice Patrol so maybe another ship (or voyage) would have filled the historical gap. But the chain of circumstance was so perfect that for any other ship to suffer it borders on ASB.

Last edited by Kevin C. Smith; January 4th, 2013 at 08:25 AM..
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