Re: Common misconceptions
Let me address some of your points.
The Titanic did NOT use cheap steel and rivets. They were the best that could be obtained at the time. Analysis of some of the rivets showed that some of the steel is comparable to that used today, whereas others show a high degree of slag that could make them succeptible to damage. Quality control was in its infancy in those days, there was no taking of metallurgic samples for testing; why would Harland and Wolff's , the Builders, skimp on materials?
I don't know much about the sea trials, but I was under the impression that the majority of the crew, including the engineering staff, continued to Southampton. Many of the crew had come from the Olympic, the Titanic's sister, so little "extra" training would be needed.
The only evidence that the boats were cut back was because the Titanic complied with the law, and even exceeded it by 4 extra boats. The Welin davits could handle four boats apiece, and these were included in anticipation of a change in the law that would have compelled ships to carry a full complement of boats.
There is no evidence that the ship was termed "unsinkable" for revenue reasons. It was termed unsinkable because those who built and sailed in it believed it to be so, based on the design.
On the voyage that the Titanic sank, the ship was 2/3rds full, and this was only after passengers had been transferred from other crippled ships who could not sail because of a coal strike. There is a little proof to suggest that passengers were so confident in the first hour that the ship would not sink that they didn't enter the lifeboats. But the fault also lies in the hands of the crews preparing the boats. Only a couple knew that the ship was doomed, one of which was Captain Smith - and he only confided in one of his bridge crew. As far as the crew were concerned, the boat lowerings were seen as an inconvenient drill, as none of them knew the ship was doomed. This included the crew who were stationed in the bow and had seen water pouring into the hull.
The bulkheads were not cut short for cost cutting reasons. She complied with the law. Admittedly, she did not gain Lloyd's accreditation, but the Board of Trade had an office
at Harland Wolff. They saw the new ships everyday, and hundreds of tests were carried
out even before the ship left for her trials. Her design was subject to scrutiny by the British
Government - and passed. Ships of that area were designed to float with any two compartments flooded. The Titanic could do this and more - the first three out of four compartments could be flooded and the ship wouldn't have sunk. This was by design. Following the disaster, the shipbuilders were asked for more analysis, and they found that the design was better than they
had thought. The ship could float with all four of her first compartments open to the sea.
The Titanic had 6, with damage extending into a 7th. No ship could withstand this.
The watertight bulkheads went up as far as they were legally required to do so. It is only in the middle section that the bulkheads went up to E deck, but still above the waterline. Those
compartments at the front and back of the ship went up even higher, well after the waterline.
These bulkheads were termed "collision bulkheads" - bulkheads that were designed to crumple and flood, absorbing energy in the event of a collision. Most ships were designed to stay afloat with the first or last compartment flooded (this is the "collision bulkhead"). As a matter of extra safety, the first two compartments on the Titanic were termed as collision bulkheads.
I think 6 ice warning were received by the Titanic, one of which reported ice so far away from the Titanic's track that it could be ignored. The final, vital warning, was never sent to the bridge. The penultimate message was sent to the bridge about 4 hours before the collision, but the wireless operator could not remember who he gave it to. Of the remaining four messages, one was definitely seen by the surviving officers, and two of the three were acknolwedged by the captain. The sending station had sent a "M.S.G" with their messages - an RSVP for commanders. Captain Smith sent a reply back and a cheery message for the ice warnings, but none of the surviving officers said they saw them (very convenient!)
The binoculars that had been used from Belfast to Southampton were indeed missing - but they were marked as being the property of the 2nd Officer, Blair, who left the ship due to a reshuffle of officers in Southampton. It is speculated that these binoculars were used by the "new" 2nd Officer, Lightoller. And why shouldn't he use them? Granted, the lookouts said that they had binoculars in other White Star Line ships, but when other captains of White Star - and other shipping lines - were asked to give evidence, they all dismissed binoculars as being of any great use. The problem is that they cut down on the vision too much, and are really only to be used to identify what a lookout has seen. The look-outs duty was to report to the bridge anything they had seen AND ONLY then use binoculars. I find the suggestion that extra binoculars were not carried to be laughable. All of the senior officers - four of them - were issued with binoculars, and were seen using them!
There is some proof that the Titanic was aiming to get into New York on Tuesday evening rather than Wednesday morning, as you say.
Apart from the last point, which came out in newspaper interviews and in legal matters against the White Star Line in later years (and of course, the line denied it), all of the above can be found in the inquiry transcripts http://www.titanicinquiry.org