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The Last-Minute Change That Sunk The Titanic

The Titanic is still remembered as the most notable maritime disaster in the history of naval travel. On the night of 15th of April, 1912, the Titanic which was considered at the time the largest ship ever built, had hit an iceberg causing major floods to the hull of the ship, therefore sinking. Historians have blamed many different things to the cause of this event, but not many have mentioned the last-minute change that took place right before the ship left the port of Southampton.

The Original Captain

David Blair, Second Officer in the Royal Navy

This last-minute change that I am referring to is the change of captains which took place right before departure. The original captain that was hired to take care of the ship was David Blair, a good Second Officer from the Royal Navy with years of maritime and naval experience at hand. He worked most of his career as a naval merchant for the White Star Line company, therefore, he had his fair share of ups and downs on the sea.

On the 15th of April 1912, when the RMS Titanic was due to depart to New York, Blair was ressigned by the company he was working for (White Star Line) as there was a high demand for good captains on the sea for merchant business which was much more profitable than sea travel (at the time). Blair was upset as he was really looking forward to being the captain on the biggest ship in the world, however, he would not risk his career as a naval merchant. The reason he was chosen as captain for the RMS Titanic was his long years of experience.

The Last-Minute Captain

Edward Smith

Edward John Smith was the captain that replaced Blair, I won't say that Smith has any less experience within the naval profession. Quite the contrary, he had more experience than Blair as he was part of the same naval merchant company (White Star Line) for a longer period of time than Blair.

This is the same reason why he was chosen as the last minute captain, solely for the largest amount of experience. Never the less, we do not know if fate was sorted in such a way for this disaster to happen or if, the captain wasn't able to oversee the disaster before it happened. Something that is imperative to mention with certainty is the fact that Smith was the most prepared captains out of them all for all the risks and disasters that the sea could bring.

What if Blaire would have debarked with the Titanic instead of Smith as originally planned?

Would the fate of the RMS Titanic have been the same?

It does not matter how much of an expert you can be at something nor the number of hours you have put into something, there is no perfect human, we all make mistakes. With this being said, even if Blaire did have less experience than Smith, he could have still maybe spotted the iceberg in time and save the RMS Titanic from the disaster it was condemned to.

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Blair David Blair New York Royal Navy Titanic


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