Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Frankfurt exonerated

Nashua Telegraph (New Hampshire)
April 27, 1912
                                                          Refused to Talk
Paris, April 27---Captain Vesco of the French liner La Provence made public the report of the wireless operator of his ship who states that the German steamship Frankfurt heard the Titanic's calls for help and responded to them, but was unable to get answers from the Titanic enabling aid to be rendered in time.
It seems the Titanic at first "wished to keep in communication only with ships of her own company", adds the French wireless operator.
The captain of La Provence, in transmitting the report, let the record speak for itself, merely stating the facts, but officers of the Campagnie Generale Transatlantique infer that those on the Titanic did not at first realize that she was going down almost immediately and wished to avoid paying the heavy salvage probably amounting to $2,000,000 to a foreign steamship line. Hence the German Llody steamer Frankfurt was not answered when she first proffered assistance.

Milwaukee Sentinel
April 25, 1912
                                                       Denies Refusal of Aid
                                    Frankfort Captain Charges Carelessness Against
                                             Those Running Titanic
BREMMERHAVEN, Germany, April 24---The liner Frankfort reached here on Wednesday with a story of a vain race toward the sinking Titanic. Capt Hattorf denied that he failed to make an effort to aid the sinking vessel. He said the Frankfort was 140 miles from the Titanic when he received the wireless call for help.
"We started immediately for the scene," he said, "and arrived there about 10 a.m. Monday. We saw the iceberg with which the Titanic collided, a huge bulk, about 100 feet long above the water and was 1,000 feet long. We photographed the berg and after cruising about searching vainly for survivors for several hours we resumed our course."
Officers on the Frankfort declared that as the Titanic must have passed through huge fields of ice before it struck the berg I should have proceeded cautiously."

Boston Evening Transcript
April 24, 1912
                                                     Frankfurt Rushed To Rescue
Was Too Late Though She Exceeded Normal Speed---Saw Iceberg That Sank Titanic---Berg 120 Feet High 900 Feet Long
Bremerhaven, Germany, April 24---The North German Line steamer Frankfurt, which, according to her commander, Capt. Hattorff, was the first vessel to receive the Titanic's appeal for help, arrived here today. Capt. Hattorff reports that he sighted the iceberg which sank the White Star steamer, bearing evidences of the collision, shortly before arrived on the scene of the catastrophe. The Frankfurt on receiving the appeal for help immediately headed at the utmost speed in the direction of the Titanic. The German vessel made 13 1/2 knots, though normally her speed was only 12 knots, but she did not reach the scene of the disaster until ten o'clock Monday morning.
Captain Hattorff states that his first message from the Titanic was received at 12:10 o'clock Monday morning. It asked him to communicate the Frankfurt's position, which was immediately done. The Titanic then communicated her own position as 41.54 latitude, 50.24 longitude and stated that she was fast in the ice and urgently needed assistance. The Frankfurt was then 140 nautical miles distant. Captain Hattorff informed the Titanic that the Frankfurt would reach her at eleven o'clock.
Captain Hattorff reports that at 12:15 A.M. the distress signal "C.Q.D." was receivied from the Titanic and that at five minutes past one the Titanic reported that her passengers were being loaded into the lifeboats. Wireless communication with the Titanic was interrupted at 1:15 A.M. and Captain Hattorff believes that the White Star ship then sank.
The Frankfurt, steaming at top speed, reached the scene of the disaster at ten o'clock in the morning, passing on the way three great icebergs, seventeen smaller ones, and great ice fields from ten to thirty miles in extent. The greatest iceberg was 120 feet high and 900 feet long.

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