First off, lookout Frederick Fleet, up in the crow's nest of Titanic's foremast, was not issued binoculars! It was a dark, moonless night, and the sea was as calm as glass, with no telltale waves breaking along the base of the Iceberg. Fleet was the "eyes" of the ship, as this was way before radar came along!
This made it hard to detect the berg until Titanic was only about 500 yards away.
A pair of 7X50 Marine binoculars would have detected the berg 7 times father away at about 2 miles, and the binocular's greater light-gathering ability would have made the image much more visible, thereby enabling Titanic to casually make a slight course correction, with no need to reduce her speed of 22.5 knots, and certainly no need to reverse her engines!
Now, a ship's rudder works most efficiently when there is an unobstructed flow of water running rapidly over its surfaces.
First Officer Murdoch, upon receiving Fleet's telephone warning of "Iceberg Right Ahead", did what he was trained to do in the event of an imminent collision: He closed the watertight doors throughout the ship's 16 compartments, ordered the helm "hard over", and
ordered the engines reversed.
So what happens when a ship is travelling at nearly its top speed and the engines are suddenly reversed?
The rudder's smooth flow is interrupted, killing its effectiveness and reducing its ability to react to Murdoch's
"hard over" command!
This is why Fleet didn't see Titanic begin to turn until it was almost on the iceberg, which was then too late!
So much for "hard over" and "reverse engines"!
And now about closing the watertight doors:
By closing the watertight doors (which Murdoch was trained to do when a collision was imminent), the inflow of water through Titanic's ruptured hull was forced to flood ONLY the damaged forward one-third of the ship, leaving the other ten compartments dry.
As the forward part of the ship took on more and more water, the bow sank lower and lower to where more openings became available to accelerate the flooding, such as the anchor chain hawseholes, the forward mail hatch, and the spiral staircases leading from the foredeck to the ship's bottom, which was a passage for the stokers.
By leaving the watertight doors OPEN, the flooding would have progressed thoughout Titanic's entire length, allowing her to settle on an even keel, which would have given her 7 to 8 hours to founder, instead of the 2 hours and 40 minutes that she lasted.
This would have given Carpathia plenty of time to reach Titanic, with enough time for 3 trips with the 20 lifeboats between the ships to transfer all 2300 people to safety!
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