Tad Fitch, Author and Historic Researcher

A page for providing information about my writing projects past and present, as well as news and updates.

About Me

Tad was born in Northeast Ohio and still lives in the region. He has worked both in the fields of psychology and school administration. He has had a life-long interest in history, and enjoys writing and research.

Tad has written numerous articles that have been published in the Titanic Historical Society’s quarterly journal, The Titanic Commutator, and online at Bill Wormstedt’s Titanic and Encyclopedia-Titanica. His works have been cited or referenced in many publications. Tad is serving as a support consultant for the upcoming video game Titanic: Honor and Glory (official website: https://tom-lynskey.squarespace.com/), which is currently in production.

Having coauthored four books to date, Tad is always keeping his eyes out for new projects to work on. While his works have been nonfiction, he has also begun working on some fiction stories. Research interests include the Titanic disaster and maritime history, the American Civil War, World War I & II, and family genealogy.

Tad's other interests that I have include traveling, scuba diving and home brewing.




Books

Report Into the Loss of SS Titanic, A Centennial Reappraisal

By: Sam Halpern, Cathy Akers-Jordan, George Behe, Bruce Beveridge, Mark Chirnside, Tad Fitch, Dave Gittins, Steve Hall, Lester J. Mitcham, Captain Charles Weeks, and Bill Wormstedt, Foreword by J. Kent Layton
    The History Press, 2011

This reference volume is the result of a collective undertaking by eleven authors from all parts of the world who have spent many years evaluating and analyzing the wealth of evidence that has come to light in the hundred years since 1912. Each of the book’s co-authors is a recognized specialist in his or her chosen area of study, and each chapter has been exhaustively researched, analyzed and referenced utilizing the very best evidence that is currently available.

Following the basic layout of the 1912 British Board of Trade inquiry report, this modern-day report provides fascinating insights into the ship itself, the American and British disaster inquiries, the passengers and crew, the fateful journey and ice warnings received, the damage and sinking, protocol and process of rescue, the circumstances in connection with the SS Californian and SS Mount Temple, and the aftermath and ramifications that followed the disaster.

Visit the official website for the book for more specifics and details about the content:     http://centennial.titanicology.com/




Reviews/comments regarding the book:
On a Sea of Glass, The Life & Loss of RMS Titanic
By: Tad Fitch, J. Kent Layton and Bill Wormstedt, Foreword by George Behe.
    Amberley Books, 2012

Critically acclaimed, On a Sea of Glass: The Life & Loss of the RMS Titanic was nominated for the 2012 Mountbatten Award by the Maritime Foundation of Britain, and remains one of the most noteworthy books ever released on the history of the legendary Titanic.

In the early morning hours of Monday, April 15, 1912, the brand-new, supposedly unsinkable Titanic sank on her maiden voyage after ramming an iceberg. Of the 2,208 people on board, only 712 were saved. The remaining 1,496 either drowned or froze to death in the icy-cold waters of the North Atlantic. The disaster became the most infamous tragedy in maritime history. Yet a century after the liner's sinking, the history of the Titanic is still shrouded in misinformation and mystery.

The authors bring the tragedy to life through a thrilling narrative. They follow the ship’s life from design and construction through to the maiden voyage, using rarely-seen accounts of the sinking from passengers of all classes and crew alike to place the reader in that time and place. They tell the dramatic stories of lives lost and people saved, of the rescue ship Carpathia and of the aftermath of the sinking. The narrative is supported through scholarly research, and hundreds of end notes cite original source material. Numerous appendices focus on some of the most controversial aspects of the disaster and presents rarely-considered evidence on the subjects. The book also features an introduction by George Behe, a former Vice-President of the Titanic Historical Society.

Profusely illustrated with over 300 images (50 in color), including many rare and unique views of the ship, this is as accurate and gripping a telling of the story of the White Star Line's Titanic and her sinking as you will read anywhere.

Visit the official website for the book for more specifics and details about the content, as well as page previews:    http://atlanticliners.com/atlantic_liners_books_-_by_j_kent_layton/onaseaofglassbook/

Official Facebook page:    https://www.facebook.com/OnASeaOfGlass

Reviews/comments regarding the book:

Into the Danger Zone, Sea Crossings of the First World War
By: Tad Fitch and Mike Poirier, Foreword by Hugh Brewster
    The History Press, October 2014

"Nominated for the 2015 Mountbatten Award by the Maritime Foundation of Britain."


As the Great War loomed, the transatlantic passenger trade was then at its peak. As the enormity of the conflict grew, many liners were conscripted into military service. In an attempted counter-blockade of England, German U-boats began sinking Allied merchant vessels. In some cases such as the sinking of the Lusitania, this sparked international outrage. The U-boat campaign would eventually draw the previously neutral United States into the war, following the declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917. By war’s end U-boats managed to sink over 5,000 ships, killing 15,000 people in the process.

Into the Danger Zone recounts what it was like for both military and civilians alike to experience a sea voyage in a time of war and uncertainty, when there was any number of dangers, including U-boats, mines, enemy surface vessels, and unpredictable weather. Attacks were frequent and tragedy all too common. This engaging oral history helps readers to experience this little-explored chapter of the twentieth century through the use of a large quantity of unpublished and rare first-hand accounts, illustrations and photographs.

Visit the official website for the book for more specifics and details about the content:   http://wormstedt.com/TadFitch/Into_the_Danger_Zone.html


Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/intothedangerzone



Reviews/comments regarding the book:


The Unseen Aquitania: The Ship in Rare Illustrations

By: J. Kent Layton and Tad Fitch, Foreword by Mark Chirnside The History Press, November 2016

Showcasing a large quantity of rare and previously-unpublished photographs and illustrations, The Unseen Aquitania reveals the Cunard company’s most successful and beloved ocean liner of the early twentieth century as you have never known her before.

Blessed with remarkable longevity, Aquitania's storied career spanned from 1914-1950. Surviving service in two world wars and decades of change to become the last of the four-funnel liners, Aquitania enjoyed a very successful career, and was a favorite of both those who traveled on her, and the public alike.

This engaging visual history by maritime experts J. Kent Layton and Tad Fitch follows her glorious career, which reached parts of four decades of the twentieth century.

Visit the official website for the book for more specifics and details about the content, including page previews: http://atlanticliners.com/atlantic_liners_books_-_by_j_kent_layton/#TheUnseenAquitania




Published Articles

The following is a list of research articles that I have authored or co-authored, and which appeared in print.

• Did an Officer Commit Suicide on Titanic? Shedding Light on the Controversy
Published in the Titanic Historical Society’s journal, The Titanic Commutator, Vol. 30, No. 173, 2006. This is an article that I co-authored with Bill Wormstedt, and which was an expanded version of the Shots in the Dark (listed below) web article as it appeared back in 2006. Like the website, this article explored whether the rumors and tales of one of Titanic’s officers having committed suicide were true. We examined as many eyewitness accounts as possible, and took into account a wide range of evidence beyond that. The research that went into this article was years in the making and has since continued, leading to additions and revisions to the original web article, as well as the inclusion of a revised and expanded version of this article and the website as an appendix in our book, On a Sea of Glass.

• Down With the Ship, The Fate of Captain Smith (Parts I and II)
Published in The Titanic Commutator, Vol. 32, No. 183 & 184, 2008. This article is based on years of research that I conducted, examining eyewitness accounts and statements, as well as forensic evidence, in order to determine whether Captain Edward J. Smith, Titanic’s master, actually went down with the ship as the legend holds.  Several possible versions of Smith’s end are examined objectively, and ultimately, it is left up to the readers to determine which version of history is most strongly supported by the evidence. A revised and expanded version of both parts of this article was completed as an appendix for On a Sea of Glass.

• The First Distress Rockets and the Launch of the First Lifeboat
Published in The Titanic Commutator, Vol. 33, No. 188, 2009. Co-authored with Bill Wormstedt and George Behe, this article examines several controversial issues relating to the chronology and timeline of Titanic’s sinking. These issues include the timing of the launch of the first distress rocket, and when the first lifeboat was lowered. A detailed study of these issues leads to some surprising conclusions that are well-supported by a number of lines of evidence.

• Lifeboat Launch Sequence, A Fresh Look at the Timing of Titanic’s Lifeboats
 Published in The Titanic Commutator, Vol. 25, No. 155, 2001. This is the original research article based on George Behe, Bill Wormstedt and my years of research into establishing what the actual lifeboat launch sequence was during the Titanic’s sinking, as a framework for an accurate chronology of events which can be used to anchor events described by eyewitnesses, etc. This work is considered groundbreaking by many, having corrected various errors and misconceptions in the historical record dating back to 1912. It has been cited in many books and articles since its publication, as well as being used as one of many references for a computer simulation of the sinking in one of James Cameron’s documentaries that appeared on National Geographic. This original article has since been published online in revised and expanded form, where our work continues to be revised and tightened up as the evidence dictates.

• Reply to the Departure Time of Collapsible C
Published in the “Sea Poste” section of The Titanic Commutator, Vol. 28, No. 168, 2004. A short letter rather than a full-blown article, this served as a rebuttal by George Behe, Bill Wormstedt and myself to a short article by researcher David Gleicher that appeared in the previous issue of the journal, challenging our conclusion as to the launch time of Collapsible C during the Titanic sinking. It provided a summary of evidence contrary to Gleicher’s conclusion.

• A Titanic Survivor Story: Coosan Coleen, Bertha Mulvihill
Published in The Titanic Commutator, Vol. 28, No. 167, 2004. Written with the assistance of her relatives, this biographical article reveals the untold tale of a third class Titanic survivor from Ireland, Bertha Mulvihill. She lived an interesting life, and this article’s focus is not just on what she experienced during the disaster, but also on her life before and after the sinking, which in some ways is even more fascinating.

Online Articles

The following is a list of articles that I authored or co-authored and were published on-line. You can view the articles by clicking on their titles, which contain a link:

• An Examination of David Gleicher’s Lifeboat Launch Sequence
Following David Gleicher’s critique of our lifeboat launch sequence findings in his 2006 book, The Rescue of the Third Class on the Titanic: A Revisionist History, we examined his findings in detail in order to determine whether they stand up to scrutiny. While he makes many good points regarding the third class passengers in his book, we conclude that the evidence does not support his findings on the lifeboat timeline itself.

4 revelations about the Titanic disaster
Written for BBC History Magazine's online supplement, History Extra, and published November 6, 2015, On A Sea of Glass co-authors J. Kent Layton, Bill Wormstedt and Tad Fitch present evidence that leads to surprising conclusions relating to Captain Smith and Bruce Ismay's role in the disaster, the fate of shipbuilder Thomas Andrews, whether one of the ship's officers committed suicide, and relating to the breakup of the ship.

• Plucked from the Sea, Survivor’s Claims Reconsidered
An oldie but a goodie, co-authored with researcher Peter Engberg back in 1999, based on our respective research into the claims of Titanic survivors to have been rescued from the water, rather than simply boarding a lifeboat from the deck. Back in 1912, society unfairly judged male survivors for having lived when so many women perished, so many falsely claimed to have been saved from the water. This study, while somewhat outdated due to its age, provides an objective look at some of the survivor claims, and whether they stand up to scrutiny.

• Setting the Record Straight
This article by Sam Halpern, Bill Wormstedt and myself served as a rebuttal to researcher Senan Molony’s contention that Titanic first class passenger Hugh Woolner’s accounts of the sinking are unreliable. By sifting through the evidence, we conclude that Woolner’s version of events is actually heavily supported by other witnesses and evidence.

• The Record Speaks!
This article by Sam Halpern, Bill Wormstedt and myself serves as a response to Senan Molony’s rebuttal to our article Setting the Record Straight. It details the evidence in support of our position that Titanic survivor Hugh Woolner’s testimony is indeed reliable, in relation to Molony's claims that it isn’t.

• Shots in the Dark
This article is an objective study of eyewitness statements as to whether one of Titanic’s officers really committed suicide during the sinking, as some survivors and rumors suggest. We originally published our findings online, followed by revised and expanded versions in The Titanic Commutator and later, an appendix in On a Sea of Glass. The website is updated to reflect new evidence as it is uncovered.

• Titanic: The Lifeboat Launch Sequence Re-Examined
This article was the result of many years of research by George Behe, Bill Wormstedt and myself. Our research corrects many errors in the historic record relating to the chronology of the lifeboat lowering and sinking, and has been cited and referenced in many books and works. It provides many insights into the disaster that were unexpected. We update the article periodically as new evidence is uncovered. This is the expanded version of the THS article Lifeboat Launch Sequence, A Fresh Look at the Timing of Titanic’s Lifeboats mentioned above.

• Titanic Lifeboat Occupancy Totals
This article is a study of eyewitness statements by Bill Wormstedt and myself, in an attempt to determine the rough number of survivors in each of Titanic’s lifeboats. Our aim was to produce a more specific and closer value of the number of people in each boat. We hope that this will provide a foundation and skeleton for a future evidence-based study of the individual identities of the lifeboat in which each individual survived. Such a work could potentially provide fresh insights into the events of the sinking, particularly when linked to the accurate chronology of events.

Recent Lectures, Book Signings and Interviews

Tad Fitch is available to conduct presentations and book signings. Please contact him at tfitch1980@gmail.com if interested.