True, the Olympic Class of Liners were an isolated excercise in economy mechanically. Oddballs with three props. I was the one that discovered the Achellies Heel of the power plant way back when doing research for Jack Grimm. A secret kept for years.... that in an effort to make the vessel economical to run (there were a lot of coal strikes and the Cunard twins were already shutting down boilers sacrificing speed for economy) the twin reciprocating engines of the Titanic and its sister, fed into the low pressure turbine which in turn fed the steering engines. During docking the turbine was incapable of reversing (it was added as an afterthought due to the success of the Mauretania and Lusitania in 1907/190
. In fact the turbine could not reverse at any time.... it was merely to augment power from the exhaust of the expansion engines. Not that that is special... the German Vaterland which spent 2 years in New Jersey before being taken and turned into the Levithan for US Troop uses... ran the ENTIRE WAR with not reverse in three of its four engines owing to sabotage.
Anyway, the design of the Titanic/Olympic (not the Britannic) did make allowances for the design and the exhausting steam in most of the cases of reverse was bypassed away from the turbine low pressure feed and even the condensor straight out externally. This bypassed the steering engines. However, in docking situations and through a complex set of valves
steam pressure could be directly routed to the steering engines.
Fast forward to April 14, 1912... 11:40 PM... steam is routed through the efficent channels... from boiler... through expansion reciprocating engines and throughout their progressively larger cylinders and through the parsons low presser turbine and then through the steering engines.
"clang clang clang Reverse engines..." the mostly new crew had 37 seconds to stop the massive engines and reverse them.... (SEVEN seconds longer than at the trial weeks before, and at the time of impact they were probably just beginning to think about restoring steam pressure to the rudder... which already was made useless from the lack of slipstream from the loss of the turbine blade and the resulting slack water surrounding the rudder surface caused by the slow progression of reversing propellers.
Essentially, the order to reverse robbed the progression of the rudder (fed partially from the residual steam before the shut off) so the rudder probably never made it hard over.... thus the little turn moments before the impact.
Better though than the Lusitania, build with being a crusier in mind with logitudinal bulkheads which allowed for the storage of coal along the sides on the ship... problem was... no one ever thought how a load of coal would make the bunker doors ineffective... impossible to close from the wieght and dust... they were cut off in 1908.... fast forward May 1915... the Mighty Lusitania, after having its bottom blown out from a coal dust explosion ignited by one torpedo.... also has no less than about 125 open passages between its many watertight compartments... sinks in 18 minutes.