107 #36: If Titanic had been going more slowly, she could have turned more quickly

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Titanic Tim Maltin

FALSE. If Titanic had been travelling more slowly, she would also have turned more slowly. Edward Wilding, one of Titanic’s designers, explained this at the British inquiry. Wilding had carried out tests on Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic, and recorded that:

‘…whereas in 37 seconds you turn two points at the higher speed, in 74 seconds at the lower speed you will not turn very much more than the two points; that is to say, the turning circle is about the same at the two speeds, but that at the slower speed it takes double as long as at the other. Therefore, you do not by decreasing your speed affect very much your power of averting that which it is your object to avert by your action.’

Nevertheless, if Titanic had been travelling more slowly the lookouts would have had more time to react to their sighting of the iceberg and been able to give a warning at a greater distance from it, which might have made enough difference to avoid a collision.

Furthermore, travelling at half the speed, Titanic would have collided with the iceberg with only a quarter of the force, and this would probably have opened up fewer watertight compartments, and resulted in Titanic staying afloat, although she would still have been badly damaged.

If you’d like to read the full book of101 Things You Thought You Knew About The Titanic…But Didn’t!, or any of my other books on Titanic, please visit my Author Page on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/tim-maltin/e/B005LNHYEQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_1

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