Originally Posted by djaustralia
1: Lifeboat numbers were cut to save cost and so as not to clutter the upper deck
The thinking regarding lifeboats on cruise-liners was somewhat different back then. The north atlantic route
was the aquatic equivalent of a busy highway. So frequented was the route
that it was expected that other cruisers would be passing in the position of a vessel in distress
within a relatively short period. Unfortunately, documentaries tend to 'sex up' their product by missing out some details - they make it seem like the Titanic was the first and only vessel to have set sail for the NE United States that year!
The idea of the rafts was primarily as transfer tenders - the idea being that another vessel or vessels would be coming within range of assistance shortly after an SOS was sent. This also (according to the findings of the original inquest) was one of the reasons that the first life-rafts to be launched were under capacity.
The lifeboats were launched as the officers assumed that the RMS Carpathia, one of the vessels who had answered the call, would be upon their location shortly. However, the Titanic had initially mis-reported their position so that the ensuing confusion resulted in the boats being launched early and under-capacity.
The majority of survivors were women and children
as that was the order-of-loading policy followed by the deck
It was never anticipated that the lifeboats would be required to accommodate the entire volume of passengers and crew - as assistance, it was assumed, wouldn't be far distant.
The "screw the 3rd class" principle was a fallacy mostly embodied by the dramatization of "a night to remember".. this built upon the inverse-snobbery and anti-class sentiment which was becoming prevalent at the start of the 20th Century and came to a head
during the great war.
The "fewer lifeboats to save money" was also a conspiracy theory similar to JFK/UFO/911 - as with all disasters, people look for scapegoats and meaning rather than accepting that a bunch of improbable possibilities came together in alignment and caused a disaster of, erm, Titanic proportions.
...i should know: my great grandfather WAS the Captain
on the RMS Titanic and managed to send me a lengthy email
going down with the ship! I also hold a PhD, MBA and a BBC in Titanicology.. ;-)