"... for readers interested in "the rest of the story" that fateful April night on the North Atlantic." --Steamboat Bill, 08/2009
"...finds a happy medium between that for the professional historian and the general public. ...not only never strays from his central theme, what happened that night, but also, more helpfully, offers sustained analysis of why it happened and suggests how things might have turned out differently." --The Northern Mariner, 10/2009
A few minutes before midnight on April 14, 1912, the “unsinkable” RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage to New York, struck an iceberg. Less than three hours later she lay at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. While the world has remained fascinated by the tragedy, the most amazing drama of those fateful hours was not played out aboard the doomed liner. It took place on the decks of two other ships, one fifty-eight miles distant from the sinking Titanic, the other barely ten miles away. The masters of the steamships Carpathia and Californian, Captain Arthur Rostron and Captain Stanley Lord, were informed within minutes of each other that their vessels had picked up the distress signals of a sinking ship. Their actions in the hours and days that followed would become the stuff of legend, as one would choose to take his ship into dangerous waters to answer the call for help, while the other would decide that the hazard to himself and his command was too great to risk responding.
After years of research, Daniel Allen Butler now tells this incredible story, moving from ship to ship on the icy waters of the North Atlantic—in real-time—to recount how hundreds of people could have been rescued, but in the end only a few outside of the meager lifeboats were saved. He then looks alike at the U.S. Senate Investigation in Washington, and ultimately the British Board of Trade Inquiry in London, where the actions of each captain are probed, questioned, and judged, until the truth of what actually happened aboard the Titanic, the Carpathia and the Californian is revealed.
Daniel Allen Butler, a maritime and military historian, is the bestselling author of “Unsinkable”: The Full Story of RMS Titanic, Distant Victory: The Battle of Jutland and the Allied Triumph in the First World War, and The First Jihad: The Battle for Khartoum and the Dawn of Militant Islam. He is an internationally recognized authority on maritime subjects and a popular guest-speaker for several cruise lines. Butler lives and works in Los Angeles, California.