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friends of the Royal Naval Museum and HMS Victory The Magazine of The National Museum

friends

of the

Royal

Naval

Museum

and

HMS

Victory

The Magazine of The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) HMS Victory and the Friends

of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) HMS Victory and the Friends SCUTTLEBUTT THE NAVAL HERITAGE AWARD WINNING
SCUTTLEBUTT THE NAVAL HERITAGE AWARD WINNING MAGAZINE 19141914 GRANDGRAND FLEETFLEET
SCUTTLEBUTT
THE NAVAL HERITAGE
AWARD WINNING MAGAZINE
19141914
GRANDGRAND FLEETFLEET

preparesprepares forfor

WARWAR
WARWAR
War at sea C-Cubed at Jutland Royal Navy The Cold War Hunter Killers in 2014
War at sea C-Cubed at Jutland Royal Navy The Cold War Hunter Killers in 2014
War at sea C-Cubed at Jutland Royal Navy The Cold War Hunter Killers in 2014

War at sea C-Cubed at Jutland

Royal Navy

The Cold War Hunter Killers

in 2014

at Jutland Royal Navy The Cold War Hunter Killers in 2014 Edition No48, Spring 2014 £3.00
BE E PA BE PART OF OF ART OF THE FA THE FAMILY Y THE

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NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL NAVY

NATI

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n 2014, the National Museu um

Coming in 2014, the National Museum

Coming in 2

of the Royal Navy will launch its first ever of the Roya l Navy will
of the Royal Navy will launch its first ever
of the Roya l Navy will launch its firs st ever
membership scheme and will be offering
membership s
p scheme and will be off fering
existing Friends of the Royal Naval
existing Frie ends of the Royal Naval
Museum and HMS Victory
Museum an d HMS Victory
a
a
discount of 2 months
discount o
nt of 2 months
free membe ership!
free membership!
free membe ership!
From just £42 (discounted rate)
From just £42 (
2 (discounted rate)
members of the National Museum
members of t
f
the National Museum
of the Royal N
of the Royal Navy will be entitled to:
l
Navy will be entitled to:
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w
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A A
charitable charitable company company registered registered in in the th he UK UK No No 1126283. 1126283.
friends of the Royal Naval Museum and HMS Victory
friends
of the
Royal
Naval
Museum
and
HMS
Victory

The Magazine of The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) HMS Victory and the Friends

Museum and HMS Victory The Magazine of The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) HMS
SCUTTLEBUTT AWARD WINNING MAGAZINE
SCUTTLEBUTT
AWARD WINNING MAGAZINE

Edition No 48, Spring 2104

ISSN 2052-5451

£3.00 or by subscription

postage additional cost

CONTENTS

Council of the Friends Chairman’s Report (Peter Wykeham-Martin)

UPDATES:

News from the National Museum of the Royal Navy (Graham Dobbin) Reflections of the Chairman of the Trustees of the NMRN (Sir Jonathon Band GCB DL) HMS Victory, Commanding Officer’s Report (Rod Strathern) Steam Pinnace 199 - Progess Report (Martin Marks OBE)

REGULAR FEATURES:

Series on Museum Figureheads (David Pulvertaft) The Grand Fleet in art (Rick Cosby) The Museum Models - HMS Collingwood (Mark Brady) Naval Swords - The Red Earl’s sword (John McGrath) Naval Medals (James Kemp) Naval Museum HMS Victory & Friends Events

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The Anglo-German Naval Armament Race (Bernard Ireland) WW1 commemoration project HMS Caroline (John Roberts) War at sea - C-Cubed at Jutland (Admiral Richard Hill) The Grand Fleet on the eve of the Great War (John Roberts) Secret Diary of a senior naval officer in the Grand Fleet (Chris Howat) Secret submarine operations - Cold War (Iain Ballantyne) Royal Navy TODAY overview (John Roberts) Royal Navy in Mesopotamia (David Gunn) Continuing our history of British naval nuclear weapons – Strategic Part 2: (John Coker)

REGULAR ITEMS:

“Welcome aboard!” (come & join us), benefits of membership Book Reviews Letters to the Editor

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Editor: John Roberts 01329 843427 (jaorob@tiscali.co.uk) Design: MMCS dh.creative 07765 245533 Print: Stephens & George Group 01685 352042 Advertising:: SDB Marketing 01273 594455 www.royalnavalmuseum.org/support_friends.htm

Photographs and images, courtesy of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (© Crown Copyright) unless otherwise stated

*The term ‘Scuttlebutt’ is nautical slang for the latest gossip and rumours; it derives from scurrilous chatter between sailors gathered round the water cask, the equivalent, in modern terms to the office water cooler.

Cover picture: A contemporary picture of HMS Iron Duke leading the 1st & 2nd Battle Squadrons of the Grand Fleet (taken from a periodic review published in the early years of the First World War)

HUNTER KILLERS Secret submarine operations in the Cold war
HUNTER KILLERS
Secret submarine operations in the Cold war
OUR ROYAL NAVY TODAY OVERVIEW
OUR ROYAL NAVY
TODAY
OVERVIEW
199 Steam Pinnacle The Anglo-German naval race
199 Steam Pinnacle
The Anglo-German naval race

The greatest assemblage of naval power ever witnessed in the history of the world The Grand Fleet on the eve of the Great War

of the world The Grand Fleet on the eve of the Great War Strategic nuclear weapons

Strategic nuclear weapons in the Royal Navy

Relections of the Chairman of the trustees NMRN
Relections of the
Chairman of the trustees
NMRN

The Grand Fleet in art

Commemoration project HMS Caroline

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Scuttlebutt | Spring 2014 Edition

Spring 2014 Edition | Scuttlebutt

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friends of the Royal Naval Museum and HMS Victory
friends
of the
Royal
Naval
Museum
and
HMS
Victory

The Magazine of The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) HMS Victory and the Friends

Museum and HMS Victory The Magazine of The National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) HMS
SCUTTLEBUTT AWARD WINNING MAGAZINE
SCUTTLEBUTT
AWARD WINNING MAGAZINE

THE COUNCIL OF THE FRIENDS OF THE ROYAL NAVAL MUSEUM AND HMS VICTORY

Patron: Admiral of the Fleet HRH The Prince of Wales KG, KT, OM, GCB, AK, QSO, ADC

VICE PRESIDENTS Admiral Sir Brian Brown KCB, CBE Rear Admiral Richard Irwin CB Lord Judd

President: Vice Admiral Sir Michael Moore KBE, LVO Chairman: Commodore Peter Wykeham-Martin Royal Navy Vice Chairman: Lieutenant Commander John Scivier Royal Navy Executive Secretary & Treasurer: Mr Roger Trise Honorary Secretary: Dr Campbell McMurray OBE

MEMBERS OF COUNCIL Lieutenant Commander Nicholas Bates, Royal Navy Mr David Baynes – Events Organiser & Volunteer Liaison Lieutenant Commander Mark Brady, Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Clive Kidd, Royal Navy Mr Christopher Knox Captain John Roberts MBE, Royal Navy Mr Ivan Steele – Steam Pinnace 199 Project Mr Paul Woodman

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS OF COUNCIL

Commander John Bingeman, Royal Navy

– Society for Nautical Research

Mr Graham Dobbin – Deputy Director General NMRN Lieutenant Commander Rod Strathern Royal Navy

– Commanding Officer HMS Victory

Councillor Rob Wood - Portsmouth City Council Councillor Chris Carter – Hampshire County Council

Executive Secretary Roger Trise (023 9225 1589) rnm.friends@btinternet.com

The purpose of the Friends is to provide assistance to the National Museum of the Royal Navy (Portsmouth) and HMS Victory when requested, to promote the interests of the museum and to help financially wherever possible

National Museum of the Royal Navy, HM Naval Base (PP66) Portsmouth PO1 3NH www.royalnavalmuseum.org

From the Editor

Scuttlebutt is definitely getting stronger and stronger. The next issue will be a special commerative edition to mark the centenary of ‘The Great War 1914-1918’.

It is our aim to publish Scuttlebutt more frequently with a wealth of articles, to support Royal Navy’s National Museum, HMS Victory and the Royal Navy, as well as stimulate an interest in our great naval heritage

Tell your friends about the magazine and encourage them to buy a copy. We need your support, we are a charity and rely solely on copy sales and advertising to survive.

CAN YOU HELP US?

The Council would like to encourage members of the Friends to become more involved in various ways such as helping on Museum or Friends stands at special days and events to promote the museum and the Friends. If you think you could help please contact us: rn.scuttlebutt@hotmail.com

‘Scuttlebutt’ is most grateful to the many contributors to the magazine for their invaluable support:

Kit Anderson, Andrew Baines, David Baynes, John Bingeman, Mark Brady, John Coker, Rick Cosby, Graham Dobbin, Giles Gould, Richard Halton, Michael Heidler, Nick Hewitt, Richard Hill, Bernard Ireland, James Kemp, Martin Marks, Martin Gates, Campbell McMurray, First Sea Lord, Ken Napier, David Pulvertaft, John Roberts, Peter Samson, John Scivier, Second Sea Lord, Annabel Silk, Rod Strathern, Julian Thomas, Bethany Torvell, Roger Trise, Dominic Tweddle, Allison Wareham, Paul Woodman, and Peter Wykeham-Martin, Iain Ballantyne, David Gunn, Chris Howat, John McGrath

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Scuttlebutt | Spring 2014 Edition

S c u t t l e b u t t | Spring 2014 Edition Commodore

Commodore Peter Wykeham-Martin RN

I

n the last edition of Scuttlebutt, I wrote that the Chairmen of the Friends of the four major constituent Museums were in

discussions with the NMRN to see how we could work with the Museum and their aspirations for a national Membership scheme. I am delighted to be able to reassure you that we have reached a pragmatic way forward, which will allow each of us to retain our “independence” whilst working in concert with the National Museum. You will see in this edition an advert for the new Membership scheme for the National Museum. With the growth of the National Museum’s assets with the acquisition of HMS CAROLINE and other plans afoot, there is a real attraction to becoming a Member with the opportunity to visit the Museum’s various sites. An added bonus is that as a Friend, you are entitled to a reduced Membership fee.

By working with the National Museum on the Membership scheme, we are able to take advantage of the professional marketing expertise being used to market Membership. The Membership leaflets at each of the 4 sites will include the appropriate Friends literature. We see this as being a good recruiting tool. Those members of the public who join the Membership scheme may well decide to strengthen their links with a particular site by becoming a Friend. Whilst being able to “piggy back” on the National Museum’s marketing is a very positive advantage, there are inevitably some downsides to the new environment. The main one is that the National Museum wishes to restrict the visiting benefit to the Museum supported by the respective Friends. However, your Council are actively pursuing other benefits in the way of discounts etc and we will keep you posted.

CHAIRMAN’S

REPORT

So where does all this leave the role of the respective Friends’ organisations? The analogy we have used is that of the National Trust, which has a nationwide membership scheme, but its individual sites have Friends who do everything from acting as guides to working on the site. In other words they provide the vital local support for their particular National Trust site and this is how we see our future support for the National Museum. For many of us, the iconic presence of the VICTORY and the Museum at Portsmouth are the reason we became Friends, and this is exactly what we will continue to support.

Fitting into this role is the exciting new addition to Museum at Portsmouth is the

20th and 21st Century Gallery, scheduled to open in April. This will fill a vital gap in the Museum’s coverage and should prove to be

a fascinating attraction. The Museum is still

fund raising and approached the Friends for support for the 12 minute film “All of One Company” that will be shown in the Gallery. This film uses a mix of archive film and interviews from the Museum’s collection to produce in the Museum’s words “powerful imagery from the Battle of Jutland to the Falklands”. Your Council was unanimous in voting to fund this project, using the money from the West Legacy which we considered was an entirely appropriate use of the legacy in memory of Cdr John West DSC. The Museum will recognise the support of the Friends and of the Wests in the credits for the film. This support has effectively drained our reserves, and we will not be able to support major items at the Museum for a while, but we all considered this to be

the right use of our funds. In this edition of Scuttlebutt you can read more on the film in

a piece written by Matthew Sheldon who is

managing the new Gallery project. Our AGM on 8 May will provide the opportunity for Friends to see the new Gallery and I hope that many of you will take up this invitation for a private viewing.

This year will also see the Steam pinnace back in action. The hull work is now complete, and although the boiler re-tubing has taken longer than expected, installation of the boiler should be all completed by the

time you read this. The plan is still to have

her afloat on trials in April – and we are still within budget! Her programme for this year includes the Old Gaffers weekend in Yarmouth and the Southampton Boat Show.

It will be marvellous to see her afloat and

Ivan and his team of volunteers have done

a magnificent job. 199 is still looking for volunteers for a second crew, so if you are interested in some sea time please contact Ivan.

A very encouraging piece of news has been

the extraordinary increase in visitor numbers to the site over last year – a staggering 121% increase. Whilst it is easy to write off much of this increase to the re-opened Mary Rose Museum, it illustrates the continuing high level of interest in what is on display within the Historic Dockyard site. Sadly the MOD Broadsheet, which kept retired naval personnel up to date with current naval issues, has fallen victim to cuts and we are

carrying some of the Broadsheet type material in this issue of Scuttlebutt with the blessing of the naval PR organisation. I think

it important that we continue to reflect both

present and past naval matters. This edition of Scuttlebutt also includes planned events for this year and I would particularly recommend the day at the RNLI HQ in Poole. Finally, we are not going to be left behind in commemorating the outbreak of the First World War. You will see that this edition covers the preparation of the Grand Fleet for war, but we plan to publish an

additional special edition of ‘Scuttlebutt’ this year specifically dedicated to the Royal Navy

in the Great War. Although this will cover all

the war years, we will also be focusing on various events and incidents in the normal editions as various anniversaries arise. We are also looking at ways of increasing the distribution, coverage and sales of Scuttlebutt and I hope to be able to update you at the AGM on this aspect.

Once again, thank you for all your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the AGM on Thursday 8 May.

Peter Wykeham-Martin

Spring 2014 Edition | Scuttlebutt

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Museum NEWS Top left: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh meets museum staff Top right: HRH

Museum NEWS

Museum NEWS Top left: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh meets museum staff Top right: HRH The

Top left:

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh meets museum staff

Top right:

HRH The Princess Royal at Trinity House fund raising dinner

Bottom left:

USS New York in New York

Middle:

M33 in dry dock

Bottom right:

USS New York presentation

M33 in dry dock Bottom right: USS New York presentation NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF
M33 in dry dock Bottom right: USS New York presentation NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF
M33 in dry dock Bottom right: USS New York presentation NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF
M33 in dry dock Bottom right: USS New York presentation NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF

NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL NAVY (PORTSMOUTH) DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL’S REPORT

ROYAL NAVY (PORTSMOUTH) DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL’S REPORT As I have been intimating for the last few
ROYAL NAVY (PORTSMOUTH) DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL’S REPORT As I have been intimating for the last few

As I have been intimating for the last few issues, NMRNP is going through a period of intense change with much of it pointing towards April 2014 for completion

HMS Galleries After more than ten years in the planning plans are all on schedule to open our new £4.5m exhibition galleries on 3rd April. The permanent exhibition 'HMS: Hear My Story' will

be a dramatic presentation of recent history, best summed up by its strap line '100 years, 1000 stories, 1 Royal Navy'. At the same time we open our first special exhibition ''Racing to War:

the Royal Navy and 1914' which is the first of a series of events to mark the Great War at sea. These new Galleries will be a magnificent addition to the NMRN family and ‘the Friends’ will all get an opportunity for a private viewing of them after this year’s AGM. Curators will be on hand to discuss the new displays with them and I hope as many ‘Friends’ as possible are able to take up this invitation. There will be many events associated with the new galleries and we look forward to welcoming all Friends - and your families and friends - in coming months if you are unable to attend the AGM.

I’m sure it will be said elsewhere, but I would like to take this opportunity to thanks the Friends for their recent generous donation of £30,000 towards the HMS Galleries Project. I’m sure the curators will be able to show you where your donation has been spent during the private viewing after the AGM.

In support of the HMS Galleries fundraising effort, we hosted our annual Trafalgar Night Dinner in the Princess Royal Gallery and hosted a dinner in Trinity House, which both HRH The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence attended.

Integration By 1st April 2014 all of the NMRN Sites (Explosion, Fleet Air Arm Museum, HMS Victory, NMRNP,

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Scuttlebutt | Spring 2014 Edition

S c u t t l e b u t t | Spring 2014 Edition Top

Top left: ‘‘Racing to war’ Dreadnought painting

Top right: Pickle Night dinner in New York

Bottom left: Museum Community Road Show

Bottom right: Lowering in the 4-in gun from HMS Lance

Show Bottom right: Lowering in the 4-in gun from HMS Lance Royal Marines Museum and the
Show Bottom right: Lowering in the 4-in gun from HMS Lance Royal Marines Museum and the
Show Bottom right: Lowering in the 4-in gun from HMS Lance Royal Marines Museum and the

Royal Marines Museum and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum) will be working within an integrated structure under five Functional Directors.

The Functions are:

• Collections, Learning, Research and Access led by Graham Mottram

• Fundraising, Marketing and Communications led by Allison Dufosee

• Finance let by Sarah Dennis who joins the organisation on 1st April

• Operations led by Robert Bruce

• Governance, HR, It and Administration led by myself

The formation of staff within this integrated structure is, as the saying goes, simply the end of the beginning rather than a completion of integration. The challenges for the year ahead will

be to ensure these new Directorates work effectively – it’s a major change in the way we do our business and there are bound to be some glitches so please bear with us if, at least initially, enquiries etc are not responded to as quickly as we would like.

US Fundraising Allison Dufosee, Gemma Louise Martin and I had an extremely productive trip to America (West and East Coasts) last November culminating in the agreement of the American Friends that they see fundraising (primarily for HMS Victory) as one of their objectives – up until now they have done a magnificent job of awareness raising (mainly through the annual Pickle Night Dinner held in the New York Yacht Club). This new

objective is a significant step forward and the American Friends offer a solid platform from which to launch the fundraising events we have planned in America in the next few years – key to this is the generous offer by Cunard to use two of their ships for fundraising events on both coasts (one event per coast) in 2015 which also marks Cunard’s 175th birthday!

Whilst in New York, last November we were extremely privileged to have a tour of USS New York – this is the ship which has some of the metal from the Twin Towers in it. Quite an experience!

Graham Dobbin

Deputy Director General

Spring 2014 Edition | Scuttlebutt

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Museum NEWS ‘All of one Company’ “I would have the gentlemen to haul with the

Museum NEWS

‘All of one Company’

“I would have the gentlemen to haul with the mariners and the mariners to haul with the gentlemen. Let us show ourselves to be of one company

Admiral Sir Francis Drake, 1578

National Museum of the Royal Navy. The unique film forming the centre piece of the new ‘HMS’ (Hear My Story) exhibition

centre piece of the new ‘HMS’ (Hear My Story) exhibition 'We dogged that Uboat till the

'We dogged that Uboat till the following morning, he probably thought he was away, but we'd been trailing him. About 06.30 we closed in. attacked and got him'

In the new 'HMS' exhibition we set ourselves the challenge of conveying to visitors what is unique about the naval service; central to that is what it is that is distinctively different about fighting at sea. At the heart of the exhibition is a film which we have called ‘All of One Company’ - taking as a starting point Drake’s call to his crew over 400 years ago. By drawing on the Museum's collections of letters, diaries and sound recordings we want to draw out the personal experience of conflict, focusing on the reality of fighting at sea in any period. The reality that there is nowhere to hide - that you really are in it together.

The 12 minute film sits literally at the heart of the exhibition gallery and is where we want to make an emotional connection with our visitors. Elsewhere in the exhibitions we display original artefacts, or let people get hands on with technology; the Museum's new book series on naval history which is being published to coincide with the exhibition allows readers to follow the detail of events; this film will be about impact and drama.

Starting with Kipling’s wonderful poem of 1915 ‘My Boy Jack’ the film moves through the last 100 years, looking especially at the Battle of Jutland, the Battle of the Atlantic, and the landings at

of Jutland, the Battle of the Atlantic, and the landings at 'Then the Grand Fleet arrived,

'Then the Grand Fleet arrived, it was like feeling one's feet on the bottom after being carried away by a strong tide, Lord '

they did look fine

carried away by a strong tide, Lord ' they did look fine 'You got awarded so

'You got awarded so many points for spotting an aircraft, a ship signalling in, or even a raft floating by. I remember the Captain saying that if you spotted a submarine and we sank it he'd try and '

get you the VC

and we sank it he'd try and ' get you the VC 'I felt a sickening

'I felt a sickening impact like smashing

your head against a car window, the obvious expletive came from my lips as it did from colleagues either side who'd also been hit, then I went down like a

sack of potatoes

been 'it', I said "I can tell that you daft

bugger, there's blood everywhere

My oppo said "I've

'

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Scuttlebutt | Spring 2014 Edition

S c u t t l e b u t t | Spring 2014 Edition 'Morning

'Morning after passed through miles of wreckage, boats, mess '

deck fittings, papers, oil, dead fish, dead men

mess ' deck fittings, papers, oil, dead fish, dead men 'It's hard, but when you're called

'It's hard, but when you're called up you can't just say "Look, I don't want to go now" You don't join a club and when the going gets tough say "I'm not a member any more". The taxpayers have been paying my wages all these years and OK they've called my number, they've called all our numbers. It's our duty'

San Carlos during the Falklands War. The film will be immersive using sound - whether that is the 'ping, ping' of ASDIC, or extracts from an Ops Room recording during an air raid in 1982 - and dramatic film to fill the whole space. At the heart of the script are the words of those involved conveying their unique experience with drama, excitement, humour, pathos, poetry and even philosophy.

I am delighted that it is the Museum's Friends who have cho sen

to sponsor the film with a donation of £30,000 from the West Legacy. With so many naval and ex-naval members it is fitting that a film dedicated ‘To all the men and women of the Royal Na vy and

Royal Marines who were, are or will be carries their name.

all of one company’

Matthew Sheldon Head of Strategic Development

one company’ Matthew Sheldon Head of Strategic Development Vice Admiral Sir Michael Moor, President of the

Vice Admiral Sir Michael Moor, President of the Friends (left) presents Graham Dobbin, Deputy Director General NMRN, with a cheque for £30,000 for the new ‘HMS’ (Hear My Story) Exhibition.

£30,000 for the new ‘HMS’ (Hear My Story) Exhibition. Friends of the Museum man the Friends

Friends of the Museum man the Friends stand in the Victory starboard arena on Armed Forces Day. Any members of the Friends who would like to help with future events and activities should contact rn.scuttlebutt@hotmail.com or telephone 01329 843427

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Reflections of the Chairman of the Trustees of the National Museum of the Royal Navy
Reflections of the Chairman of the Trustees of the National Museum of the Royal Navy

Reflections of the Chairman of the Trustees of the National Museum of the Royal Navy

of the Trustees of the National Museum of the Royal Navy Sir Jonathon Band GCB DL

Sir Jonathon Band GCB DL

I

t is a pleasure to be able to make a contribution to ‘Scuttlebutt’ in this very significant year for the NMRN and particularly the Portsmouth element.

More of that later but first let me reflect on the achievement of the staff here in Portsmouth over the last 3 years. They seamlessly folded the former RNM organisation into the new NMRN. Oh if only all other aspects of NMRN Integration

had been that smooth. Why was this the case? Firstly, because the trustees saw that with the decision to create the NMRN there was no other option and what we had here in Portsmouth was to be the heart of the new Museum. Then secondly, the team here in Portsmouth and their leadership provided the kernel of the new structure and cracked on doing what was needed to get started on the road to the new world. I am so grateful on both counts.

We all had to raise our game to start to gain the credibility of the wider museum world and indeed our Service. Luckily we had good strength in many fields so the basics were there. It was as much about believing in ourselves that we were up to the task and could really achieve matters. So how does the slate look? I think pretty good. We have taken under our wing the National Flagship, HMS VICTORY. There is much to do still to really establish the state of the ship but we are determined to do that while we stabilise her. A few years ago I was really worried that the MoD was losing the battle. Now, I am confident we have the governance and structure, much of the money, to start to preserve her properly.

We have helped reinvigorate the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the partnership of trusts that reside here in Portsmouth. Attendance was dropping, marketing was not being effective and for years there had been no refreshment of exhibits. Well 2013 saw quite a change – new management, a more collegiate approach by us and others, much better marketing and key, a new attraction – the new Mary Rose Museum – What a world beater she is.

We have met our first real “Save a Ship” challenge – HMS CAROLINE in Belfast. The last survivor of a generation, a Jutland veteran, the RN had decided that she should go to scrap having ceased being the HQ ship for the RNR in the Province. Such an outcome would have been criminal and a body blow for the new museum. But thanks to the imagination, the farsightedness of some of our trustees and members of the executive, and of course the crucial support of the NI Department of

Above: Matthew Sheldon shows HRH The Princess Royal the 4-in gun from HMS Lance.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, she will be saved. Under the overall NMRN umbrella she will open to the public in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast in 2016, the centenary of the great WW1 sea battle.

Closer to home we have our WW1 contestant M33. Rather than just continuing to adorn her dry dock we plan to bring her to life as part of a Gallipoli experience to open next year. Timing for M33 and indeed CAROLINE could not be more important if we are to tell the Navy’s side of the WW1 story here in Portsmouth. But before that I do want to give visibility to two key developments on the Gosport side of the harbour, the imminent reopening of the submarine ALLIANCE and the integration of Explosion! into the NMRN fold.

The first is a very significant achievement by the Submarine Museum Team who ran a quite excellent appeal and have managed the project well to meet the target for opening this spring. Explosion! represents the RN’s armaments collection which frankly should never have left the family. The key issue is that the collection is now back with us and it was the NMRN that made this possible. As in effect the Service’s heritage conscience, we are able to champion causes such as this, sometimes offering affiliation or, as in this case, taking them into the closer family core.

So to return to the importance of 2014 for Portsmouth. It had been the hope of the RNM for a number of years to convert Storehouse 10 into a gallery that properly reflected the activity of the RN and the contribution of its people since the days of sail. Indeed, it was extraordinary that while the Service Museums very ably reflected the contribution of Submarines, the FAA

very ably reflected the contribution of Submarines, the FAA Above: The destroyer HMS Lance, which fired

Above: The destroyer HMS Lance, which fired the first shot of the Great War at sea.

and the RM in the 20th Century nowhere brought it all together.

That deficiency will be corrected in April when the Hear My Story gallery opens to the public. This modern and exciting presentation of the activities of the RN and importantly its people will be an enduring legacy to those that served through WW1, WW2 and in operations since then. It will link to today’s Navy many of those roles that are carried out today but resonate back to the Georgian period – support for British Interests, Defence of the Realm, Defence Diplomacy and protection of shipping and trade.

Also, this gallery includes space to mount special exhibitions. The focus of these in the early years will be telling the tale of the RN’s vital part in WW1, kicking off with ‘the race to war’. This will cover mobilisation in the summer of 2014 and the first months of the war.

Rightly much of the national focus of the WW1 centenary commemorations will be on the activities on the Western front and

the huge loss of life on both sides. But there are wider strategic lessons and activities in the maritime arena that must be given visibility, the contribution of allies and the Empire, the campaign to blockade Germany, the U-boat response by Germany that had Britain facing starvation in 1917, the part played by the Naval Infantry and indeed the war in the Baltic in 1919.

This gives us in Portsmouth the opportunity to be centre stage in the broader interpretation of WW1 and in the NMRN we have the vehicle to do just that. I am proud, as the Chairman, to be associated with the staff and volunteers of NMRN Portsmouth. I salute their achievement to date and what I know will be their successes in the future.

Sir Jonathon Band GCB DL Chairman of the Trustees of the National Museum of the Royal Navy

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Top: ‘Sporting Bears’ super cars parked in the starboard arena

Bottom left: Second Sea Lord, Admiral David Steele presents Meritorious Service Medals

Bottom middle: Fleet Admiral Julio Soares Moura de Neto, Commander of the Brazilian Navy with the First Sea Lord, Admiral Zambellas on board HMS Victory

Bottom right: Nelson’s plaque with the traditional wreath

HMS

VICTORY

COMMANDING OFFICER’S REPORT

HMS Victory has continued to deliver a significant ‘Defence output’ in the six months since I last wrote for Scuttlebutt and has of course marked our most significant yearly anniversary with a Trafalgar Day commemoration on the 21st October 2013. The event was somewhat different from usual; in as much as only the half the Quarterdeck was available.

In a good example of the strong cooperation between the NMRN and the RN, and of the blending of naval tradition with the practicalities of preserving a historic ship, re-caulking work on the Quarterdeck was phased, to ensure the starboard half, with Nelson’s plaque, would be available for Trafalgar Day (the laying of a wreath on the spot where Nelson fell is a key part of the ceremony). In the event, heavy rain meant the Ceremony was conducted on the Upper Gun Deck and as a result was a touchingly intimate event. The subsequent Trafalgar Day Dinner in the Great Cabin that evening was hosted by VICTORY’s Admiral in Charge, Vice Admiral David Steel CBE, Chief of Naval Personnel and Training and Second Sea Lord, with the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Sophie and Edward, as the Guests of Honour.

Also in a good example of VICTORY’s enduring international reach, the end of October saw VICTORY hosting the Royal College of Defence Studies course onboard for dinner and VICTORY’s Lower Gun Deck made a significant impression on the military officers and civil servants of the fifty-two nations represented on this very senior and influential course.

As well as hosting his ‘Influence Dinners’ in the Great Cabin, Second Sea Lord approves a number of charity fund raising dinners each year, including the Sailors Society in September and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Charity in October, both events raising significant amounts of money for worthy causes.

Naval charities also benefit greatly from VICTORY, with over £ 600 collected for the RNRM Charity during December’s Carol Services onboard. December also saw the Second Sea Lord being presented with a large cheque for the RNRM Children’s Fund by the ‘Sporting Bears’, Supercar owners who use their impressively expensive machines (parked for the event in the starboard arena) to generate equally impressive funds for good causes.

VICTORY continues to be the Royal Navy’s most prestigious venue for naval events like the launch of the “Perisher” Submarine Command Course and the RN’s most senior course, the Commanding Officer’s Designate

most senior course, the Commanding Officer’s Designate Course, both of which leave a lasting impression on
most senior course, the Commanding Officer’s Designate Course, both of which leave a lasting impression on
most senior course, the Commanding Officer’s Designate Course, both of which leave a lasting impression on
most senior course, the Commanding Officer’s Designate Course, both of which leave a lasting impression on

Course, both of which leave a lasting impression on those attending them. The Ship has also hosted Valedictories for Service Leavers, a farewell to the Captain of the Base, the Handover of the Warrant Officer of the Naval Service and Second Sea Lord Meritorious Service Medal and Commendation Presentation Ceremonies. Monthly Second Sea Lord ‘Influence Dinners’ in the Great Cabin continue to prove an invaluable means of engaging with key players across society.

VICTORY has hosted a wide range of visitors for tours over the last few months – the International Sub-Lieutenants Course, the Croatian Chief of Naval Staff,

the Senior Management of Jaguar Land Rover, Admiral Essenhigh, the Service Prosecutors, Major General Rowan (ACDS Health), the United States Ambassador His Excellency Matthew Barzun, The Windsor Leadership Trust, officers from the United Arab Emirates and the Spanish Naval Attaché, to name but a few.

December saw one of the most important Great Cabin dinners held onboard for Admiral Bulent Bostanoglu, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces. This high profile dinner was hosted by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Zambellas (whose sword, incidentally, is now on permanent display

in the Great Cabin) who noted the importance of the event for UK relations with a key strategic partner and the fact that the Turkish Admiral ‘departed the UK ‘full of enthusiasm for the Royal Navy’ – the Friends of HMS Victory should be in no doubt as to VICTORY’s key role in that visit. The First Sea Lord also hosted a further high level visit to VICTORY in February this year by the Commander of the Brazilian Navy, Fleet Admiral Julio Soares Moura de Neto, another important defence partner.

Looking further into 2014, the year is shaping up to be busier than ever and the calendar is filling up rapidly. Notable

events in coming months include the First Sea Lord hosting the Chiefs of European Navies (CHENS) onboard, a Navy Board dinner and, appropriately, in the year in which we remember the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, VICTORY will host a function for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

I remain, as ever, grateful to the National Museum and the Friends for enabling and supporting the defence output of the world’s oldest and most famous commissioned warship.

Rod Strathern

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199

STEAM PINNACE

Above: shaft in and propeller fitted, with some rejoicing

Boiler Progress

The target date for completion of the boiler has slipped to the end of February at the time of writing. Over on the Isle of Wight two items have caused delays. In a previous boiler rebuild some years ago, nuts and bolts were incorrectly used in place of studs to secure the hand hole or access doors on the water drums. The bolt heads were welded inside the drum to prevent rotation but the bolt heads are obstructing the use of the mandrel tools for expanding the adjacent tube ends, causing two mandrels to be written off.

The heads were ground out but this is time consuming. In addition the new boiler tubes, ordered on advice from a professional engineer involved in old steam machinery, were over specified.

The walls are 4mm and should have been 2 ½ mm thick. This makes expanding them into place very much harder work and has trebled the time allowed for this part of the job. However, it is virtually complete and a first fill of cold water and a pressure test were carried out on the 19th February.

We are awaiting the results. If successful, the furnace insulation will be inserted and the boiler flashed up for a steam test. It is quite likely that this will disturb some tube joints requiring some more work on the tube ends.

The Pinnace

In the meantime back in Gosport, the volunteer team have been rewiring the pinnace’s electrical systems. She has a

simple 12 volt, battery powered system that supplies automatic bilge pumps, navigation lights and lighting in the compartments similar to a modern day yacht. There is also a 240 volt system that takes shore power when alongside for battery charging, winterisation heaters to prevent condensation in the compartments and the boiler as well as power tools for boiler cleaning. 199’s boiler is ten years older than the pinnace and was an experimental boiler with tubes very close together. This causes soot to clog up quickly and requires very regular cleaning – a messy job.

Work is progressing to replace the pipe systems that run through the machinery space bilges. The pipe work has been protectively coated in a smart red “Bilge

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S c u t t l e b u t t | Spring 2014 Edition and
S c u t t l e b u t t | Spring 2014 Edition and
S c u t t l e b u t t | Spring 2014 Edition and

and Locker” paint from our sponsors International Paints. Each pipe has had two coats.

199 has been asked to be back in operation for Easter. Despite the unpredictable difficulties involved in re- assembling her and the pitfalls of 19th century technology we’re giving it our best shot!

Martin Marks OBE

Top: Chief engineer Frank Fowler working on the donkey pump bilge manifold in the engine room Top right: 199 volunteers John Sheehan, Phil Atkinson and Dave Hill discuss the rewiring work Middle right: volunteer Reg Hill working on some teak Bottom right: 199’s refurbished shaft is inserted

some teak Bottom right: 199’s refurbished shaft is inserted Spring 2014 Edition | S c u

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The Warship

FIGUREHEADS

of Portsmouth

Continuing the series by David Pulvertaft describing figureheads that have been added to the Portsmouth Collection since his book, The Warship Figureheads of Portsmouth, was published in 2009 or where extra material has come to light on those figureheads described in the book.

HMS CALCUTTA

1831-1908

(2nd Rate of 84 guns)

The Figurehead - The most

significant figurehead acquisition by the National Museum of the Royal Navy in recent years has been that from HMS Calcutta, bought from the estate of Lord Fisher of Kilverstone. Carved in Bombay, this huge - length male bust is more than 15 feet tall in the form of a lavishly dressed Indian ruler.

In the last edition of Scuttlebutt we followed the figurehead of HMS Calcutta from the bow of the 1831 ship to the estate of the First Lord Fisher at Thetford in Norfolk. Mounted on a base built of red brick, he must have been a spectacular addition to the Latin American Wildlife Park that Lady Fisher created in the grounds of Kilverstone Hall.

By the 1980s he was in need of restoration and a contemporary press cutting shows a Mr H R Allan from the National Maritime Museum working on him under a shelter. This, it is understood, had been erected to protect him from the weather but it blew away in a storm and from the 1990s he was again exposed to the elements. By 2011 his head had become detached and, on hitting the ground, had broken into several pieces, revealing that, during earlier repairs, much of his face and turban had been reconstructed using wire mesh, plaster and concrete. All were agreed that urgent action was needed to save this historic carving and he was sold for a nominal sum to The National Museum of the Royal Navy so that decisions could be made on how best this could be achieved.

The restoration contract was undertaken by Rod Hare at The Old Court Works, Bickleigh, Devon; an artist/craftsman who has over the years restored several large warship figureheads for naval

years restored several large warship figureheads for naval establishments and created replicas to display outside, thus

establishments and created replicas to display outside, thus allowing the originals to be preserved indoors. For this figurehead he devised a scheme that mounted the body on a metal base and recreated the missing parts of the head and trailboards in clay so that silicone rubber moulds could be made. Resin and fibreglass were then used to create the final product that incorporated all the surviving pieces.

Once assembled, a colour scheme was agreed with the Museum staff, based on period paintings of a Raja with a similar turban to that worn by the figurehead. The items carved in the trailboards were identified as being symbolic of India; lotus flowers, mangoes and figs of the banyan tree and were painted in appropriate colours.

The figurehead was carried along the lane from the workshop at Bickleigh and then lifted onto a low-loader for its journey to Portsmouth. The illustration above shows detail of his cummerbund and ceremonial dagger or ‘khanjar’.

The figurehead it is now safely in store at Portsmouth while decisions are made on where he will be displayed. There is no simple solution as he is 15 feet tall and therefore does not pass through normal doorways or fit into standard galleries. No doubt a site will be found in the future developments of The National Museum of the Royal Navy – the important thing now being that he has been saved for future generations to enjoy!

David Pulvertaft

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saved for future generations to enjoy! David Pulvertaft 18 S c u t t l e

The Grand Fleet in art

The Grand Fleet in art How fortunate that the largest and most diverse maritime force ever

How fortunate that the largest and most diverse maritime force ever to be assembled, the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet of 1914-1919, was so well covered by a variety of artists whose skills and powers of observation appear to have been fully up to the task!

of observation appear to have been fully up to the task! The arrival of the dreadnoughts
of observation appear to have been fully up to the task! The arrival of the dreadnoughts

The arrival of the dreadnoughts from 1906 and a rapidly expanding fleet – big ships and small - clearly fired up anew those marine artists who were already established in their field and led by WL Wyllie, Charles Dixon, Alma Cull and others too, artists such as Norman Wilkinson, Frank Mason, Frank Watson Wood, Bernard Gribble, Muirhead Bone - all turned their skills to paint these new leviathans who posed many exciting challenges.

Frank Watson Wood, for one, became very busy executing commissions for the better heeled officers in these ships in the years up to 1914: other artists just painted the burgeoning fleet as the opportunity occurred although the outbreak of war and the vanishing of the Grand Fleet to storm wracked Scapa, together with the inevitable red tape imposed by censors, must have made things tricky for the

artists. But Wyllie, Wilkinson, Cull and then, it seems, Wood soon found that they were being actively courted by their Lordships for their skills: the public wanted to know what was happening, where the Senior Service had gone, why their beloved navy wasn’t delivering fresh Trafalgars, and so artists of ability were required to go to Scapa, to go to sea to record the busy comings and goings of this great fleet which was trying so hard to bring its adversary in the North Sea to action. Carefully chaperoned photographers with the fleet were tolerated by the censors, artists posed less of a problem it seems and were preferred.

Naval officers of the day had long been trained to record in their Journals and in sketch books what they observed and many such sketches and drawings survive to this day: the Gallipoli landings were particularly well recorded in this way. Sub

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Left page Top picture: "The Grand Fleet's Famous 5th BS at Jutland". © 2012 FW Wood's estate. Image from R Cosby Left page Bottom picture: "Boy Cornwell bravely remaining at his post, wins a posthumous VC. © 2010 Frank Salisbury's estate. Image by R Cosby with permission HMS RALEIGH Left page Middle picture: "Grand Fleet destroyers engaging MAINZ, Heligoland Bight, August 1914". Watercolour by W L Wyllie. © 2008 Image by Rick Cosby Right page picture: “Always at sea, always filthy weather - and back in Scapa, coaling, coaling, coaling! Battlecruisers of the Grand Fleet in roughers again. Watercolour by Charles Dixon. ©2009 and image by Rick Cosby

Watercolour by Charles Dixon. ©2009 and image by Rick Cosby Lieutenant Montague Dawson RN had joined

Lieutenant Montague Dawson RN had joined up in 1914 and was building up his expertise with brush and easel and meanwhile the professional artists such as Wyllie managed days at sea with the Grand Fleet as did Norman Wilkinson (commissioned into the RNR in 1915 and subsequent inventor of dazzle painting).

Charlie Johnson Payne (“Snaffles” of the horse world) was a very competent marine artist also, and, commissioned into the RNVR, he drew and painted what he saw on the cold, storm tossed periods he spent on the Northern Patrol and in minesweepers: his work proved to be some of the most spontaneous of the war at sea and before long he had been recruited by Wilkinson to join his camouflage team.

Charles Pears had joined the Royal Marines and went on to become an official war artist; and serving in the RNVR was Frank Mason painting scenes of the Grand Fleet -ships big and small - in oils and watercolours. Then there was Frank Salisbury, whose iconic oil of Boy Cornwell winning his VC aboard HMS CHESTER was presented to the First Lord in 1917 and now hangs in the chapel at HMS RALEIGH. The arrival at Scapa of the US 6th Battle Squadron in 1917 opened up further possibilities and Cull, Dixon and Gribble, to name three artists, grappled with the hitherto unfamiliar tower masts

and different hull forms that the American battleships presented, Dixon, for one, finding a lucrative market for these paintings in the New World.

Others who captured scenes of the Royal Navy in moments of action as well as the monotonous routine of just keeping the seas in all weathers included Arthur Burgess, Muirhead Bone, Irwin Bevan, Philip Connard, Charles Cundall and Sir John Lavery who was present in Beatty’s flagship, QUEEN ELIZABETH, when R Adm Meurer of the High Seas Fleet (HSF) came aboard to be given the surrender terms. He painted a highly atmospheric oil (“The Arrival”) of Meurer being correctly but coldly received on the quarterdeck by Beatty under the glare of fog haloed arc lamps and passing beneath the muzzles of four 15 inch guns and between a severe, grim looking Royal Marine guard, their fixed bayonets glinting in the cold, damp Scottish November night. He painted too the scene shortly afterwards in Beatty’s large fore- cabin (“The End”) as across a green beize covered table and with other senior representatives of the two fleets, Grand Fleet and High Seas Fleet in attendance, the harsh terms were read out to a pale and gaunt looking Muerer.

Six days later the surrendering HSF duly came across to the Firth of Forth and Dixon, Cull, Wilkinson, Gribble, Tufnell and others

too had a field day painting scenes of the Grand Fleet’s 370 ships (which included some US and French warships too) in all their victorious might. Wood it appears went on up to Scapa and he and John Lavery gave us several panoramic views of the rusting HSF sitting at anchor under the watchful guns of the flotillas and squadrons of the Grand Fleet. And at about this time too a young Rowland Langmaid RN was also honing his artistic skills and was shortly to swallow the anchor and take up painting as a career (a victim of Geddes’Axe?) - we were certainly well served by these accomplished artists and others who helped to ensure The Grand Fleet’s 4 ½ years reign was well recorded on canvas and paper.

Rick Cosby

Rick Cosby has run www.maritimeoriginals.com & www.maritimeprints.com for over 15 years and he has built up an extensive portfolio of images of the Grand Fleet by many of the artists mentioned above. The majority of these are available either for sale as pictures to hang or for use in publications, copyright allowing.

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Grand Admiral von Tirpitz HMS Iron Duke leads the Grand Fleet Admiral Lord Fisher, First
Grand Admiral von Tirpitz HMS Iron Duke leads the Grand Fleet Admiral Lord Fisher, First

Grand Admiral von Tirpitz

HMS Iron Duke leads the Grand Fleet

Grand Admiral von Tirpitz HMS Iron Duke leads the Grand Fleet Admiral Lord Fisher, First Sea

Admiral Lord Fisher, First Sea Lord

THE Anglo-German NAVAL RACE

Bernard Ireland continues our series Part Two commemorating - Fisher and the the Dreadnought Great War

On Trafalgar Day 1904 Admiral Sir John Fisher assumed the post of First Sea Lord (1SL). A no-nonsense man, “Jacky” Fisher was totally alive to the German threat and would prove to be a worthy counterweight to Admiral Tirpitz. To him, war was inevitable.

“THERE WILL BE NO TIME FOR ANYTHING! WAR WILL COME LIKE THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT! SUDDENLY! UNEXPECTEDLY! OVERWHELMINGLY!”

And, defining his own duties as simply perfecting “the fighting and seagoing efficiency of the Fleet”, he set-to with his customary gusto.

“The British Admiralty was taking

a huge risk (something that it had

historically avoided) in initiating

a development calculated to

make its existing numerical superiority obsolete.”

Despite the many fine new ships acquired since the Naval Defence Act, the Navy’s practices were antiquated and its gunnery abysmal. Fisher quickly put in train personnel reforms including improved education of junior officers. First-line reserve ships were given 40 per cent complement to maintain them in ready condition.

Every obsolescent ship, each non- productive imperial posting was subjected to an unblinking and unsentimental stare. Ninety ships went in the first tranche for scrap, with consequent through-life financial savings.

Foreign stations were reduced through amalgamation and many valuable fighting units brought home, Fisher being fully aware of Tirpitz’ “Heligoland to the Thames” policy. The Home Fleet was re-styled the Channel Fleet, its existing eight battleships being supplemented by a further four withdrawn from the Mediterranean, and by five from China. The old Channel Fleet was renamed the Atlantic Fleet, built around eight of the latest battleships. Based on Gibraltar, it could quickly reinforce either the Mediterranean or the Channel Fleet.

Fisher’s final innovation, however, would make naval history …

final innovation, however, would make naval history … The phobias in both Germany and England, fanned

The phobias in both Germany and England, fanned by the popular press and supported by semi-official “navy leagues”, had reached levels at which their respective governments were ready to support continuous construction programmes on

the back of popular acclaim. Articles in German journals “proved” how Britain could be invaded, not least because it was alleged that the Royal Navy had lost its fighting spirit. The British press obliged by peddling the philosophy of a German “bolt

1st and 2nd Battlecruiser Squadrons in 1914

from the blue” invasion – without explaining how exactly the Germans could establish and maintain naval superiority long enough to support such an invasion force through to success.

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THE Anglo-German NAVAL RACE

THE Anglo-German NAVAL RACE German High Seas Fleet at anchor This febrile atmosphere suited Fisher’s purposes
THE Anglo-German NAVAL RACE German High Seas Fleet at anchor This febrile atmosphere suited Fisher’s purposes
THE Anglo-German NAVAL RACE German High Seas Fleet at anchor This febrile atmosphere suited Fisher’s purposes

German High Seas Fleet at anchor

This febrile atmosphere suited Fisher’s purposes admirably. Convinced that war would come, he was not reticent in saying so; in the German press, his name quickly became synonymous with “Royal Navy”.

Before the Duncans were completed, the succeeding octet of King Edward VIIs (1905-1907; 16,000 tons; four 12-inch) were already on the stocks. They were an advance in acquiring four 9.2s as secondary armament. This trend was continued in a final pair, the Lord Nelsons (1908; 16,500 tons; four 12-inch), which received ten 9.2s as a homogeneous secondary armament, and a nod to expected greater battle ranges by the 12-inch barrel length being increased from 40 to 45 calibres. This pair would have marked a significant advance except that, by the time of their completion, they and their preceding classes had been rendered obsolete.

Most of history’s great ideas appear to have originated from several disparate sources almost simultaneously, and the all-big-gun, fast battleship was no exception. As early as 1903 the great Italian designer Cuniberti had proposed a 17,000-ton, 24-knotter with twelve 12-inch, but had been denied funding. In the United States, the navy’s gunnery expert, William S Sims, convinced Congress, which authorised the laying- down of the two 16.000-ton Michigans in 1905. These would have an advanced battery layout of eight 12-inch in four, centreline turrets, of which two were

superimposed (economising on ship length). They would not, however, be completed before 1909, while their reciprocating machinery could drive them at no better than 18.5knots.

The Japanese had taken up Cuniberti’s idea even earlier than the Americans, their Satsuma pair being ordered in 1904. At 19,400 tons, they were intended to carry no less than twelve 12-inch but, not yet manufacturing their own heavy ordnance, the Japanese were obliged to complete them with a mixed armament.

While CinC, Mediterranean, Fisher had demonstrated that the then-standard battle range of 3.000 yards could easily be doubled, while the standard 40-calibre, 12-inch gun was good for 8.000 yards. Salvo-firing, it was shown, improved spotting fall of shot, enabling target range to be found more quickly.

Fisher was friendly with W H Gard, the Chief Constructor based at Malta and, from 1902, tapped his technical knowledge to formulate his ideas for two “super” ships. One of these would be a battleship that could defeat anything that could catch her, the other, heavily-armed but lighter, would be much faster, able to decline an engagement or to have the speed to decide its battle range. It was to the latter that Fisher was particularly drawn. Two vital influences on his ideal were the modern armoured cruiser and Parsons’ recently- perfected steam turbine.

The launch of HMS Dreadnought 10 February 1906

The “armoured” cruiser featured vertical (belted) protection as opposed to the horizontal protection of preceding “protected” cruisers. This had been made possible by the development of Krupp cemented steel plate, which offered a similar level of resistance to penetration on half the previous thickness. Greater areas could thus be covered for the same weight. Armoured cruisers increased rapidly in size. Longer but slimmer than battleships, they were up to five knots faster. Their vitals proof against 6-inch armour-piercing shot, they boasted a heavy battery of the excellent 9.2s, with 7.5s as secondary weapons. They were intended to counter smaller cruisers, but were used also as a fast reconnaissance wing of the battle fleet (a function for which they paid dearly at Jutland – a hard-won truth yet to be experienced).

Fisher formed a “Dreadnought Committee”, whose recommendations came quickly. It met first in January 1905, and saw the laying-down of the eponymous battleship (not the cruiser, it will be noted) exactly nine months later.

The British Admiralty was taking a huge risk (something that it had historically avoided) in initiating a development calculated to make its existing numerical superiority obsolete. Speed of construction was thus of the essence in order to maximise the discomfiture occasioned to rival fleets. Portsmouth Dockyard built her under conditions of considerable secrecy,

completing her to trial-readiness in just a year and a day.

In brief, HMS Dreadnought differed from earlier ships in carrying ten 12-inch guns disposed in five twin turrets, three centreline and two sided in the waist. This layout permitted an eight-gun broadside (twice that of a current battleship) and, theoretically, six-gun chase fire. There was no secondary armament. Steam turbine machinery, a daring extrapolation to so large an installation, saved, directly and indirectly, about 1.000 tons in weight. Developing about 30 per cent more power than that of the reciprocating machinery of the King Edward VIIs, the turbines were good for about three knots more, assisted by a considerably greater waterline length. Weight savings elsewhere enabled full- length armour belts to be worked in but, due to their greater area, they were both shallower and thinner than on the still- building Lord Nelsons. (This latter class initiated the rule of thumb that maximum armour thickness should equal the bore of the main armament – in this case, 12 inches. Dreadnought had “only” eleven.) About half her bunker capacity was for oil, although she was usually coal-fired.

Despite the secrecy, the Germans had a very clear idea of what the British were up to, well before the Dreadnought commissioned. It, nonetheless, put them in a quandary as, until now, they had maintained the fiction that they were not in any way engaged in rivalry with the Royal

‘Racing to War’, Dreadnought painting in the new gallery

Navy. If they now turned to constructing Dreadnought- type battleships, this bluff would have been called. On the other hand, to delay would be to drop further behind Tirpitz’ goal of achieving a 2:3 ratio with the British in capital ships. A further problem lay in German facilities, most of them relatively new. For instance, existing locks at Wilhelmshaven imposed a maximum beam of about 23 metres/ 76 feet (already exceeded by Dreadnought), while the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal still had a depth restriction of nine metres in places. German designers thus did not wish to exceed 16,000 tons displacement in order to obtain a satisfactory ship form.

Tirpitz’ rather theatrical threat to resign (not for the first time) may have helped to push the necessary legislation through the Reichstag when, in May 1906, a Supplementary Navy Bill was agreed. This provided the necessary funds for the necessary infrastructure improvements and for the addition of six “large cruisers”.

Germany had picked up the gauntlet The British 1905 Programme had provided for both the one-off Dreadnought battleship and for three “armoured cruisers”. As no details of the latter were divulged, and security was tighter, these three examples of Fisher’s ideal capital ship had, if anything, a greater impact. Although not yet known by their later title of “battle cruisers”, the three Invincibles were laid down February – April 1906 and completed March – October 1908. Sixty feet longer than Dreadnought, they

were narrower, and of 17.400 tons displacement at load draught compared to 18,100.Their machinery developed about 75 per cent greater power for 25 knots. They carried eight 12-inch guns in four turrets but boasted no armour thicker than 6-inch in the belt and 7-inch in turrets and barbettes. The main function of the battle cruiser (as we will refer to her) was to destroy enemy armoured cruisers from a safe range. Ships so imposing and so heavily armed were bound, however, to be used as a fast wing of the battle fleet or, worse, be placed in a line of battle. This inevitable employment was quickly pointed out by “Brassey”, which observed presciently that, in such circumstances, “their comparatively light protection would be a disadvantage and their high speed of no value”.

The German High Command itself expressed surprise at the readiness with which the British had apparently thrown away their unassailable lead in capital ships. The Parliamentary “Dilke return” for March 1906 (the month following Dreadnought’s launch) put British strength at 47 complete and six building/approved. The comparable German figures were just eighteen and eight respectively. Where Germany was commissioning two ships per annum, Britain was adding three or four. The fact was, however, that the all-big-gun concept was about to break generally, so Fisher decided to steal a march and rely on British wealth and shipbuilding capacity to create and to maintain a new lead – a bold but necessary expedient.

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THE Anglo-German NAVAL RACE

THE Anglo-German NAVAL RACE The launch of HMS Vanguard 1909 News of the Dreadnought’s construction rather

The launch of HMS Vanguard 1909

News of the Dreadnought’s construction rather derailed Tirpitz’ building programme. Unsure of quite what to expect, he slowed the production rate of the current five Deutschlands, all but one of which were commissioned after the British ship’s entry into service. Following the launch of last-of- class Schleswig-Holstein on 17th December 1906 there was a fifteen-month hiatus before the launch of the 18,800-ton Nassau, first of a quartet of Germany’s first Dreadnoughts. (Note that “Dreadnought” became a noun, synonymous with the ship- type. Earlier ships thus became known as “pre-Dreadnoughts”.)

The Nassaus went one better than the Dreadnought in mounting twelve guns to ten. The 28cm/11-inch weapons were mounted in twin turrets, disposed in a hexagonal layout with two on either beam. Somewhat greedy of space, this layout demanded a beam of 26.9 metres in order to maintain a draught of less than nine

metres. These rather enforced proportions assisted in making German capital ships steadier gun platforms. Already potentially slower than British hull forms, the Nassaus suffered further because Tirpitz, at this time, refused to countenance steam turbines for ships larger than cruisers.

British secrecy regarding the Invincibles was rather better than that maintained for the Dreadnought. Fortuitously, they were for long referred-to as “armoured cruisers”. In the Royal Navy these had, as noted above, escalated rapidly in size, so that the three Minotaurs, laid down early in 1905, had a designed displacement of 14,600 tons and an armament of four 9.2s and ten 7.5s. Reports reaching Berlin contained nothing to indicate that the Invincibles would be other than an extrapolation of the Minotaur model, with a likely homogeneous battery of eight or ten single 9.2s.

Anxious not to fall behind, Tirpitz decided to build a prototype “large armoured cruiser” (funded by the aforementioned 1906 Supplementary Bill) but, based upon rumour rather than fact, the resulting Blücher proved to be a one-off, expensive mistake. Repeating the Nassaus’ “hexagonal” layout, she mounted twelve 21cm/8.2-inch guns, with belt armour of up to 180mm/7-inch thickness. For reciprocating machinery, her plant produced a very respectable 24.5 knots

The Blücher hit the water just one month after the Invincible but, although a fine ship in her own right, was a misfit throughout her short career. The Germans reacted quickly, launching the splendid Von der Tann as early as March 1909. By then, however, Britain had laid down the Indefatigable, the first of three “improved Invincibles”.

Britain and Germany were in danger of becoming like addicted gamblers, prepared

were in danger of becoming like addicted gamblers, prepared to stake anything in order to prove

to stake anything in order to prove a point. The average cost of a Royal Sovereign battleship of the Naval Defence Act was about £950,000. The last of the pre- Dreadnoughts, the Lord Nelsons, averaged £1,540,000. The Dreadnought herself, admittedly a prototype, set the nation back some £1,730,000.

The average cost of a British capital ship had, therefore, increased by some 87 per cent. Germany, struggling to expand her heavy shipbuilding capacity to meet the challenge (heavy gun mountings and armour plate were particular bottlenecks) saw costs more than double, a Brandenburg completing in 1893 costing about 16 million Gold Marks, and a Nassau of 1909 requiring 37 million GM.

Wilhelm persisted in his inflammatory speeches, even after King Edward VII visited Germany for the Kiel Week yachting regatta. His interventions were disastrous for German foreign policy, while he appeared to set out to deliberately antagonise the British. (“I have no desire for good relationship with England at the price of the development of Germany’s navy … The Bill will be carried out to the last detail; whether the British like it or not does not matter! If they want war, they can begin it; we do not fear it !”).

There were, nonetheless, increasing signs that German political parties were beginning to have qualms about the huge and increasing expenditure, particularly as

it was becoming clear that the British had no intention of being out-built. With both the Kaiser and Tirpitz at the helm, however, those who valued their career tended not to voice too strong an opinion. Tirpitz continued with his oft-voiced assumption that Britain would, ultimately, be forced by public opinion to seek an accommodation. Indeed, exploratory visits were made to Germany by Foreign Office officials and by the Liberal leader, David Lloyd George, who was known to have referred to Dreadnoughts as “wanton and profligate ostentation”.

This, however, was as nothing compared to the schism which was threatening to rend in two the officer corps of the Royal Navy. “Jacky” Fisher was the man for the job but, like any major reformer, he attracted detractors and opponents, while there were many disgruntled in being adversely affected by the sweeping measures necessarily and fearlessly taken.

Fisher’s sizeable opposition (to whom he referred as the “Adullamites”) included most of the Conservative press, several noted naval journalists, a number of very senior (and aging/retired) flag officers and a considerable segment of Society. They accused him, in varying degrees, of proceeding alone without consulting the full Board of Admiralty, of rushing-through change with insufficient consideration, and that he surrounded himself with sycophants (although that hardly accorded with the first charge!).

HMS Dreadnought

The main rallying point for all the accumulated rancour was the person of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford. Widely popular, a Member of Parliament and a man of proven courage in action, Beresford opposed Fisher as one with similar motives – both men wanted what was best for the Service, but disagreed violently over how best to achieve it.

Beresford unfortunately also had a personal grudge in his belief that Fisher was prolonging his tenure as 1SL to prevent him (Beresford) from being appointed to the post. This, and past clashes dating from when Fisher was serving as CinC, Mediterranean, provided the ingredients of a bitter and destructive feud that divided the Navy into two disparate camps.

Fisher had the strength of character to withstand all of this, helped by the personal support of the King and his own deep-felt beliefs. It was, nonetheless, distracting and would run for years at a most critical time.

Bernard Ireland

Bernard Ireland spent a lifetime with the Royal Naval Scientific Service. For over thirty years he served at the Admiralty Experiment Works, Haslar, engaged in the development of the Royal Navy’s ships and submarines. To a long and deep interest in naval history he has added a thorough technical knowledge and has written thirty books and contributed to many other books, magazines and journals.

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PROJECT

COMMEMORATION

GRANDSON OF JELLICOE, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE GRAND FLEET

(1914-1916)

AND HMS CAROLINE IN BELFAST

Nick Jellicoe pictured with HMS Caroline moored in the Belfast dockyard

Nick Jellicoe, grandson of the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet, Admiral Lord Jellicoe, paid a visit to the World War I cruiser HMS Caroline in Belfast. He claimed that the restoration of the veteran cruiser, now part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, would create one of the most significant Great War commemoration projects.

HMS Caroline was a 4,200 ton ‘C’ class light cruiser which was part of the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916. Jutland was the biggest and most important naval battle of the Great War with sixty-four battleships engaged. Though in the initial stages the German High Seas Fleet inflicted more losses on the Grand Fleet it was an important strategic victory for the Royal Navy. The German Fleet was extremely lucky to escape during the night and make it back to its home base before being caught and

destroyed by the Grand Fleet. Quite a number of the severely damaged German ships only just managed to make port. The Grand Fleet was left in command of the sea for the rest of the war enforcing the blockade of Germany, which was to lead ultimately to the collapse of the Kaiser’s Germany.

Jellicoe, who made his first visit to Belfast to see the Caroline before restoration work begins, said that he was deeply moved to step on board the historic fighting cruiser at its berth in Alexandra Dock. He said “If HMS Caroline can help tell the story of just why Jutland was so important in the first place and tell it in a way that engages a younger generation and sparks new interest, then she will have served a very much higher cause. We have a chance to re-tell some chapters of history, not only of the battle but through her later role in the Royal Navy Reserves. It is absolutely essential that a strong communications role be developed for Caroline in the World War One centenary commemorations and that she contributes and pays her way to helping the rebirth of Belfast through educational tourism.”

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) in Portsmouth, which is now responsible for the decommissioned Caroline, has secured a National Heritage Memorial Fund grant of £1.1m to pay for

repairs to prevent any further deterioration.

A joint application by NMRN and the

Northern Ireland Department for Enterprise Trade and Investment for a major grant was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012. This has resulted in a further £845,000 being made available as a Round One grant to develop the plans further. The successful outcome of the Round Two application would see £14m being used to fully preserve, restore and open the ship to the public in time for the Jutland centenary on May 31 2016. Nick Jellicoe added “I am very happy indeed that Caroline may be the way through which a whole generation can re- discover their history. Caroline played a significant part in a very significant battle but has also had a long, honourable relationship with Belfast so it is fitting that she remains there.”

Nick Jellicoe is writing a book about the Battle of Jutland and his grandfather, Admiral of the Fleet, John Rushworth Jellicoe, the First Earl Jellicoe, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet

at the battle.

John Roberts

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Spring 2014 Edition | Scuttlebutt

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On 31 May 1916, The British and German Fleets clashed in a violent battle called
On 31 May 1916, The British and German Fleets clashed in a violent battle called
On 31 May 1916, The British and German Fleets clashed in a violent battle called
On 31 May 1916, The British and German Fleets clashed in a violent battle called

On 31 May 1916, The British and German Fleets clashed in a violent battle called Jutland by the British and Skagerrak by the Germans. It was tactically indecisive, against most expectations, and has been the topic of much argument and controversy ever since. This article seeks to highlight one aspect that may have been under-emphasized and that could hold lessons for the future.

The battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary, under fire from Derfflinger and Seydlitz at Jutland blows up

Some brief account of the action is necessary. The Fleets were the British Grand Fleet, consisting of some 24 battleships, eight battlecruisers and supporting cruiser and destroyer forces; and the German High Seas Fleet, similarly constituted but numerically inferior. The initial encounter was in the early afternoon between the battlecruiser forces. There was then a ‘run to the south’ before the British battlecruisers under Beatty, with a supporting battleship squadron, made contact with the entire High Seas Fleet under Scheer; their previous opponents had been only the German battlecruisers under Hipper. Beatty turned north, leading the German force into the path of the

main Grand Fleet under the command of Jellicoe. In the ensuing fleet action the High Seas Fleet twice extricated itself from a dangerous tactical situation by well-rehearsed manoeuvres and, after a night in which both forces avoided action, escaped to their base because Jellicoe had not correctly guessed the route they would take. The British lost three major units and suffered many other casualties (far more, incidentally, than at Trafalgar); the Germans were also badly hit, more of their ships being seriously incapacitated though fewer were sunk. Both sides claimed victory, but the High Seas Fleet never seriously tried conclusions with the Grand Fleet again.

The character of war at sea, a hundred years ago, needs to be recalled. Nearly all major units were coal-fired; battlecruisers could make upward of 25 knots, battleships 5 knots less. There were few gyro compasses. The presence of other vessels could be established only by visual observation. Fairly accurate bearings could be obtained by compass; range was available only by visual rangefinder. Great efforts had been made to improve the accuracy of gunnery but fire control, under battle conditions, was not fully reliable. Navigation was, again, a matter for meticulous care, but was limited by equipment and the demands of manoeuvring in action. Communication between ships out of sight of one another, and between ship and shore, was confined to wireless telegraphy – morse code – and for ships in sight, flaghoist, searchlight or

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German light battlecruiser SMS Bluecher sinking at the battle of the Dogger Bank 1915

The battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary hit amidships at Jutland 1916

A British super dreadnought battleship firing a broadside with her 13.5-inch guns

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The German battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz after the battle of Jutland seamphore. Aircraft were in the
The German battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz after the battle of Jutland seamphore. Aircraft were in the

The German battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz after the battle of Jutland

seamphore. Aircraft were in the very early stages of development; submarines were somewhat more advanced, but much had to be learned about their operation. North Sea conditions, too were a limiting factor. Even though the last accurately known position might be only a few hours before, errors lurked. Low visibility was common, tide and tidal streams not always perfectly understood.

In these circumstances, the commander of

a large number of ships at sea – and some

of the commanders, as indicated above, had unprecedentedly large forces under command – had a critical requirement for information: about his own position, the position and intentions of friendly forces, and the composition and movements of the enemy. Without it, he would be confined to guesswork based on his own observation and the advice of his on-board staff. With a limited amount of it from outside sources, he would be helped in such assessments. With a clear picture of the operational situation, he would be able to make necessary decisions. With an over- abundance of such information, he might find himself confused, but this as we shall see was the least likely thing to happen.

So far as advanced intelligence of a sortie into the North Sea by either main force was concerned, both the British and Germans had listening organisations to monitor transmissions that might indicate such a move. In the event, in May 1916 neither side

did very well: in the British Admiralty, through an egregious assumption by a staff officer; in the German High Command by what appears to have been neglect, oversight or lack of technical capacity.

Thus, the clash of fleets, long predicted, occurred with little operational warning. What preparations had been made to cope

with this critical aspect of a battle that had been long considered and indeed rehearsed? Grand Fleet Battle Orders (GFBOs) were voluminous. They were based on the principle that the action between battle fleets would be managed, on the British side, centrally by the Commander-in-Chief from his flagship Iron Duke. Some autonomy would be allowed to Beatty with his battlecruisers and supporting (relatively fast) battle squadron; significantly, his command was named the Battle Cruiser Fleet. But the main action,

if it developed as expected, was to be

conducted by a single long line of battleships under firm command. The High Seas Fleet had adopted similar tactical principles.

By implication – and all accounts of Jutland bear this out – the British tactical command

was to be exercised primarily by flag signal. The fleet was proficient in the hoisting and repetition of flag signals and this had been

a high priority in the Royal Navy for

hundreds of years. The tactical use of wireless telegraphy for manoeuvring had not been similarly developed; there are

indications that the Germans were somewhat more advanced in this aspect. There is little reflection in GFBOs of

Nelson’s wise precaution: ‘Something must

be left to chance

no Captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy’.

shot will carry away the

masts of friends as well as foes

Moreover, given the comprehensiveness of GFBOs, it is surprising that there appears to have been no set format for reporting the presence, whereabouts, compostion and movements of the enemy once encountered. This was primarily the job of the cruiser forces, which were to be stationed beyond the main fleets in their scouting role. A generation later, the by then established formula for enemy reports – ‘What – Where – Whither – When’ - was so well-known that the author, tasked in 1954 to give a lecture on the subject, was told off for being obvious and dull. But the evidence suggests that at the time of Jutland, even the need for such reports, let alone a system for them, was not sufficiently emphasized. Imagination was needed and was far too often lacking.

One senior officer must be exonerated from this criticism. Commodore Goodenough of the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron made (by wireless telegraphy ) an exemplary succession of enemy reports on the High Seas Fleet during the battlecruisers’ runs to the south and north.

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Spring 2014 Edition | Scuttlebutt

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Battleships of the Grand Fleet in the North Sea Unfortunately his ships were then absorbed
Battleships of the Grand Fleet in the North Sea Unfortunately his ships were then absorbed

Battleships of the Grand Fleet in the North Sea

Unfortunately his ships were then absorbed into the main web of the action and Jellicoe must have expected the responsibility to fall upon Beatty; indeed, on at least two occasions he twice asked (by searchlight) ‘where is the enemy battlefleet?’ and got less than accurate replies. By then he could at least see (in conditions of patchy and decreasing visibility) Beatty’s battlecruisers, but that was only part of the picture.

So the opportunity for a decisive, crushing blow to the High Seas Fleet ebbed away that evening, aided by two deft turns-away by the Germans and Jellicoe’s own turn-away from

a destroyer attack that had long been

foreseen in GFBOs and was technically prudent but scarcely Nelsonic. Neither was his refusal to contemplate action during the short summer night that followed; and a final piece of operational intelligence, a shore intercept giving a clear indication of the route Scheer intended to follow, either never reached the Commander in Chief or was discounted. There was not to be another Glorious First of June.

It must be said again: the technical resources

for information, command, control and communication were limited: no radar, no aerial reconnaissance, no direction-finding; communication by visual means only, except by wireless telegraphy that was still distrusted by many and thought to be

insecure. Even the establishment of one’s

own position turned out to be suspect; errors

of many miles in ships’ records had to be

resolved, in subsequent analysis, partly by reference back to the known graves of major units that were sunk. Add to that the fact that both navies had not fought a major action for a century, and were doing it with novel material in every field.

Nevertheless the old schoolboy criticism comes back: Should have Done Better. Considering how comprehensive GFBOs were supposed to be, how constantly the Grand Fleet exercised scenarios similar

to the actual battle, how many major

manoeuvres were conducted in the years before the First World War, surely the question ‘Who Knows What and When?’ should have been asked and tested much more often.

A brief three decades later more tools were

available. By 1946 radar information was presented by plan position indicator (PPI) that gave both range and bearing of contacts. Own ship’s position was generated by the automatic plotting table fed with inputs from the gyro compass course and speed from the ship’s log. (It worked very well if you knew exactly where to kick it). And voice radio allowed rapid exchange of data between ships. The point is that even without these developments, more

preparation could have been made in 1915-16 to ensure that the command in every unit was in possession of all relevant available information. In the historic progression from the fog of war, through C-cubed I, to the current C4ISR (Command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaisance) the Grand Fleet lagged, the High Seas Fleet only marginally less.

Historians have advanced many reasons for the shortcomings at Jutland: over-rigid and cautious command styles, over-complex battle orders, slack ammunition handling arrangements, fire control systems that were not the best availa ble, shell that did not perform as advertised, construction defects in some major units. All no doubt contributed to a disappointing result and disproportionate casualties. But one harks back as so often to the Duke of Wellington: the art of war is knowing ‘what is going on the other side of the hill’.

Jutland will excite controversy for many years to come, and passions will go on raging. I remember talking after dinner some years ago to a charming lady; the topics turned to naval ones, and I lightly observed ‘Well, everyone made mistakes at Jutland’. ‘Oh’, she said, ‘Grandfather didn’t’.

Admiral Richard Hill © RH

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‘Grandfather didn’t’. Admiral Richard Hill © RH 34 S c u t t l e b
‘Grandfather didn’t’. Admiral Richard Hill © RH 34 S c u t t l e b
‘Grandfather didn’t’. Admiral Richard Hill © RH 34 S c u t t l e b
Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Commander-in-Chief HMS Dreadnought leads the Home Fleet to anchor at Spithead

Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Commander-in-Chief

Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Commander-in-Chief HMS Dreadnought leads the Home Fleet to anchor at Spithead HMS

HMS Dreadnought leads the Home Fleet to anchor at Spithead

HMS Dreadnought leads the Home Fleet to anchor at Spithead HMS Agincourt joins the 4th Battle

HMS Agincourt joins the 4th Battle Squadron at Scapa Flow

The ‘GRAND FLEET’

Part Two - Fisher and the Dreadnought

“The greatest assemblage of naval power

On the18th July 1914, King George V reviewed the huge Home Fleet of over four hundred warships, including fifty-three battleships, assembled at Spithead; it was a spectacular demonstration of British naval might, described by Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty as “Incomparably the greatest assemblage of naval power ever witnessed in the history of the world”. The following day the Royal Yacht, the ‘Victoria and Albert’, with the King himself embarked, led the fleet to sea for gunnery firings and exercises in the Channel.

As the crisis in Europe deepened the First Sea Lord, Prince Louis of Battenberg ordered the Fleet to remain fully mobilised and at instant readiness for war. On 28th July Churchill ordered the fleet to sea and the Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet, Admiral Sir George Callaghan, was directed to sail the Home Fleet north to its wartime base in Scapa Flow in the Orkneys. During the night the eighteen mile line of battleships, sailing in line ahead, sailed through the Dover Straight and headed into the North Sea.

At the outbreak of war on 4 August the Home Fleet was reformed as the Grand Fleet. Churchill and Admiral Jacky Fisher, the new First Sea Lord, decided that Admiral Callaghan should be relieved by a more energetic commander and Admiral Sir John Jellicoe was appointed as the new Commander-in-Chief. The newly formed Grand Fleet, described by Churchill as “the crown jewels” consisted of the twenty-one dreadnought battleships, of the 1st, 2nd and 4th, battle squadrons, eight pre-dreadnoughts of the king Edward class forming the 3rd battle squadron, supported by four battlecruisers of the 1st battlecruiser squadron, a total of thirty-three capital ships.

Also in support were eight armoured cruisers, thirteen cruisers and forty-two destroyers. The channel fleet, consisted of nineteen older pre-dreadnought battleships of the 5th, 7th and 8th Battle Squadrons. Facing the grand fleet was the German high seas fleet of thirteen dreadnoughts, sixteen pre-dreadnoughts and five battlecruisers, a total of thirty-four capital ships. The Grand Fleet had three vital tasks, first to protect the British Isles from German invasion, secondly to blockade Germany and thirdly to protect the vital British Army supply lines across the Channel to France.

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HMS Iron Duke leads the Grand Fleet at the Fleet Review, 20 July 1914

on the eve of the Great War

ever witnessed in the history of the world”

At 0830 on 4th August Admiral Jellicoe led the Grand Fleet to sea to carry out the first North Sea patrol of the war. On sailing the Grand Fleet consisted of:

Flagship

Iron Duke (Admiral Jellicoe)

4th Battle Squadron

Dreadnought (Vice Admiral), Temeraire and Bellerophon

1st Battle Squadron

Marlborough (Vice Admiral), St Vincent

1st Battlecruiser

(Rear Admiral), Colossus, Hercules, Neptune, Vanguard, Collingwood

Squadron

Lion (Vice Admiral), Princess Royal, Queen Mary and New Zealand

2nd Battle Squadron

and Superb. King George V (Vice Admiral),

The capital ships of the Grand Fleet were supported by the 2nd and

3rd Battle Squadron

Orion (Rear Admiral), Ajax, Audacious, Centurion, Conqueror, Monarch and Thunderer. King Edward VII (Vice Admiral), Hibernia (Rear Admiral), Commonwealth, Africa, Zealandia, Dominion, Britannia, and Hindustan.

3rd Cruiser Squadrons, the 1sLight Cruiser Squadron and forty-one destroyers. Future editions of ‘Scuttlebutt’ will focus on the many operations, battles and events at sea as we mark their various anniversaries on the appropriate dates.

John Roberts

Spring 2014 Edition | Scuttlebutt

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THE SECRET DIARY OF A SENIOR OFFICER IN THE GRAND FLEET Chris Howat has managed

THE SECRET DIARY OF A SENIOR OFFICER IN THE GRAND FLEET

Chris Howat has managed to acquire a fascinating secret diary written by Commander Arthur Goodenough Craufurd, Royal Navy, Executive Officer of HMS Devonshire in the Grand Fleet, from July to December 1914. Though for security reasons diaries with any naval or military operational information were not allowed in time of war this secretly written personal diary “survived” and gives a fascinating blow by blow account of everyday life in the Grand Fleet at the time. This diary is now being published for the first time and here in the first part we cover the period from 26 July to 4 September 1914.Commander Craufurd went on to be the Commander of the battlecruiser HMS Tiger and served with distinction at Jutland. He became Commodore of the Australian Navy in the twenties

HMS Devonshire was an armoured cruiser of 10,850 tons, overall length 473.5 feet, beam 68.5 feet. Armament 4 x 7.5inch, 6 x 6inch, 2 x 12 pounders and 22 x 3 pounders. Built at Chatham Dockyard and completed 30th April 1904.

The diary starts:

Sunday 26th July at Portland. Went ashore for a game of golf at Combe and got aboard at 7 p.m. At 7.30 received orders to raise steam for slow speed and unmoor. 10.00 ordered to remain at short stay all night and leave harbour at day light to let the battleships and larger cruisers get inside. They had been laying in Weymouth Bay. News received of strained relations over Austria and Serbia and Russia’s mobilization.

Monday 27th July 3.45 a.m. weighed and went out of Southern entrance and anchored in P.I. berth. The battleships and battlecruisers and 2nd cruiser squadron

went in to coal. Spent the day at aiming rifle and exercises generally.

Tuesday July 28th Ordered to be ready for sea. Raised steam.

Wednesday July 29th Portland and at sea. - 7.00 a.m. whole fleet proceeded to sea. Being thick weather all steamed to westward till out of sight and then altered to eastward steaming up Channel keeping out of sight of land. Commenced preparing for war. p.m. Cleared away guns and started war routine in earnest.

Thursday 30th July at sea. Went on preparing for war. Blanche reported a suspicious cruiser which she cleared but did not come up with.

Friday 31st July at sea. - Still making small preparations for war. p.m. Prepared for coaling. Our destination obviously Scapa Flow. 6.50 anchored Scapa Flow.

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S c u t t l e b u t t | Spring 2014 Edition The

The armoured cruiser HMS Devonshire, attached to the Grand Fleet

The cruiser HMS Blanche, attached to Grand Fleet 4th Battle Squadron

HMS Blanche, attached to Grand Fleet 4th Battle Squadron The Second Class cruiser HMS Highflyer The

The Second Class cruiser HMS Highflyer

The super dreadnought battleship HMS Monarch

The Home Fleet in Portland Naval Base, 1914

HMS Monarch The Home Fleet in Portland Naval Base, 1914 Devonshire’s ill fated half sister HMS

Devonshire’s ill fated half sister HMS Aboukir (P Heydon ISM)

The Town class light cruiser HMS Falmouth

(P Heydon ISM) The Town class light cruiser HMS Falmouth The armoured cruiser HMS Roxburgh Saturday

The armoured cruiser HMS Roxburgh

Saturday 1st August Scapa Flow. - 6.15 started coaling; 8.10 finished. p.m. landed all our spare boats and targets and spare wood. 7.00 thick fog. Hands to night defence stations.

Sunday 2nd August Scapa Flow. - A day of rest. Painted out our funnel bands and covered all bright work with paint.

Monday 3rd August Scapa Flow. - More or less ready for war now. 6.35 p.m. weighed and went out in company with rest of 3rd Cruiser Squadron.

Tuesday 4th August at sea. - Searching Shetlands for a supposed base for enemy submarines. Did not find it as it wasn’t there.11.45 a.m. ordered to part company and go in for coal as we had not been allowed to fill up on Saturday. Made for Scapa Flow. Arrived there 8.10 p.m. 9.10 started coaling. 11 p.m. news of declaration of war with Germany.

Wednesday 5th August 2.10 a.m. finished coaling. 8.20 sailed. 11.40 joined up with 2nd CS. Started playing old harry with the fishing industry. We boarded a German drifter (sailing) but not allowed to blow her up.

Thursday 6th August Sighted battle fleet and joined up with our own squadron which we found with them. 0.35 p.m. boarded a German drifter. Took off crew and blew her up with guncotton. A pathetic sight as she looked so helpless but we must stop these devils giving information. After the last few days work I guess the price of fish has risen a bit in Berlin. (This drifter as it turned out was the last German fishing boat we saw). The Monarch says she saw a submarine; we are sent to investigate.

Friday 7th August 3rd CS and groups of 2nd Flotilla of destroyers sent to coast of Norway to look for an enemy’s base. A lovely day and as clear as a whistle which we all enjoyed but needless to say we found

nothing. Joined up with rest of squadron at dusk. Sighted a strange destroyer or light cruiser. Gave chase but she turned out to be Norwegian.

Saturday 8th August at sea. Searching and disturbing enemy’s traffic. Heard of sinking of German submarine U15 by Birmingham Very satisfactory and a bit of good luck this one of their later ones.

Monday 10th August. - All spare time employed ripping down wood work and burning it, a work the sailor revels in and many funny remarks were heard.

Tuesday 11th August Had another search of Stavanger, Norway with 3rd CS, light CS (Barge Goodenough’s Squadron) and destroyers. Nothing doing. I think this will be the last search here as the Norwegians will start getting annoyed if we go on.

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THE SECRET DIARY OF A SENIOR OFFICER IN THE GRAND FLEET

THE SECRET DIARY OF A SENIOR OFFICER IN THE GRAND FLEET T h e o l

The old First Class cruiser HMS Grafton

The Orion class battleship HMS Monarch

Wednesday 12th August Made for Cromarthy; anchored and coaled. Started 12.30 p.m. finished 5.20; a heavy coaling with lead collier. We took in 440 tons. For a wonder heard we were to have a night in harbour.

Thursday 13th August Cromarthy and at sea. - Tagg and the young marines we have for training sent ashore and back to Chatham. They were very sick being afraid they would not be allowed at sea again till after the war.

They all want to fight, the bloodthirsty ruffians. We just managed to get them out of the ship before we sailed at 1.15 p.m. Leaving them in

a very much overloaded motorboat cheering and making a dreadful noise.

Friday 14th August at sea. - Out on patrol. Stopped and examined several steamers; very dull work. Started deck sports to keep the men amused. We are all getting awfully bored. Burning all cabin furniture as we cannot get it ashore. Luckily we have managed to send our private effects to store at Cromarthy. I am living in a tin case practically and have only old uniforms with

me. Stiff collars are a thing of the past as we can get no washing done ashore. My servant

is gradually improving at washing my gear.

Saturday and Sunday 15th & 16th August Still patrolling

Monday 17th August - Anchored Cromarthy at noon 1.00 p.m. commenced coaling. 8.00 finished.

Tuesday 18th August All day in harbour and a day of peace more or less. We’re glad of it as we all want a rest.

Wednesday 19th August Sailed at noon for our patrolling ground

Thursday 20th August A foggy day. Guns manned by watch all day

Friday 21st August Antrim and Roxburgh prepared targets and when dropped we all fired at them making a big splash but the weather was so foggy and the targets so small that the practice was not of much value. p.m. a thick fog; could not see the length of the ship. 8 p.m. anchored in Cromarthy. 8.45 collier alongside.

Saturday 22nd August Cromarthy. 5.10 a/m. started coaling. 8.11 finished coaling. Cleaned up the ship slept all the afternoon.

Sunday 23rd August Cromarthy. A whole day in harbour. Started taking up corticene on the decks

Monday 24th August 1.45 p.m. weighed and went out of harbour. Had an alarm in the middle of the night due to the 1st LCS switching on their searchlights.

Tuesday 25th August Patrolling. Saw LCS and 1st Battlecruiser Squadron (BCS) in the afternoon evidently off on some big show

Wednesday 26th August Patrolling off Norway. 3 p.m. heard rumours by wireless of an action off Heligoland evidently things seem to have gone alright. LCS and destroyers seem to have been in it. Evidently they have sunk two or 3 of the enemy’s light cruisers. A small but nice little action.

Thursday 27th August Spent the forenoon at target practice which was fairly well carried out.

Saturday 29th August Patrolling.

Sunday 30th August 8.30 got into Cromarthy. 9.00 started coaling and drawing provisions and stores; a very full days work. Got our mails, some shirts and socks etc from Annie which will be most acceptable as one’s clothes suffer at this game. Heard the full account of the action of Aug 26th and also the sinking of K.W.Grosse by the Highflyer. Got 16 ABs and boys (RFR mostly) sent us; they were very welcome being good staid men and very useful. We have 48 boys in our ships company which are a continual nuisance to us.

Monday 31st August Ammunitioned ship. Painted a light colour which looks rotten, 4.45 sailed. On the way out passed the Grafton with Pat Heard aboard who gave us a wave.

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S c u t t l e b u t t | Spring 2014 Edition The

The Home Fleet in Portland Naval Base, 1914

The armoured cruiser HMS Antrim

On a sweeping manoeuvre to try to catch mine carrying trawlers.

have reported thick oily tracks such as a heavy oil boat leaves.

luck we should have bagged them all right; now we have to start afresh.

Tuesday 1st September 4 a.m. turned out the hands and made last preparations for battle. Drake’s Drum beaten for the first time, this was by mistake really as I had given orders it was not to be beaten till it was certain we were in for the real thing. Anyway, it probably frightened some of the faint hearted so it did good, perhaps. Started off spread 10 miles apart with 1st BCS in support steaming towards Pentland Firth. 2 p.m. nothing doing, drawn a blank again. Ordered off on patrol again – how boring.

Wednesday 2nd September on patrol. Boarded a British trawler this morning who sent fish to the ship’s company and refused payment. Also gave us yesterday’s Aberdeen paper which has little news in it. Evidently something big on tomorrow. We are to get our orders from the Falmouth at 4 p.m. Lets hope it will lead to some good this time. 7 p.m. we met the Falmouth and the flagships of the various squadrons. Had a conflag and now we have lowered a boat to get our written orders from the Antrim. 8.30 Read orders. 9.0 p.m. lectured to the men on the operations by way of stimulating their interest; they are very easy to lecture to, always. 9.20 the destroyer Martin reports having seen a submarine, charged and missed (worst luck). There are evidently submarines about as several ships

Thursday 3rd September 5 a.m. turned out to relieve the captain at daylight and found thick fog. It came on at 4 a.m. Unluckily captain cannot leave the bridge in this weather except for a few minutes when I relieved him for breakfast. The Squadron are all over the place at present but if it clears we ought to be able to carry on with the operations tonight. Lets hope they result in something. One ship of the 10th CS sank two German trawlers last night. Good work as they had evidently been dropping mines. I cannot imagine them fishing out in English waters. The North sea is quite uncomfortable for German fishermen. The RFR men are quite an acquisition being very reliable if a little slow.

5 p.m. Just come off the bridge. We’ve been in a fog till 2 p.m. and having got separated from the rest of the squadron, I could not get the captain to sleep; he’d been up since 9 p.m. yesterday. Anyway I managed it about 1 p.m. and he’s just relieved me, we joined up during the afternoon. Our orders for tonight and tomorrow are coming through now by wireless. The incinerator makes a fine stove for drying clothes by and the men make full use of it.

10 p.m. it is most unfortunate our information must have been wrong by 48 hours about these submarines coming over. With a little

Let’s hope this bad luck not be attended with any bad luck to our heavier ships. It’s very funny I who have been used to exercise all my life have now been aboard for 5 weeks and I’m as fit as a fiddle and don’t feel it a bit.

Friday 4th September At sea. We are making a big sweep towards the Skagerrack in the hopes of mopping up a few cruisers etc which they ought to have out to support and mother their submarines. We advance until noon another two hours and then go back. It’s blowing fresh from the north today and any submarines will have a rotten time thank heavens. We have the 2nd , 3rd and light cruiser squadrons and a flotilla of destroyers in company. We are still scraping off paint; there’s mighty little left to burn now. We had an emergency surgeon join us at Cromarthy; he seems a very nice fellow, Peyton by name. He’s of course a civilian joined for the war. We are quite merry and bright but rather sick at never getting to grips with the enemy.

5 p.m. We turned at noon not having seen anything and we’re now pelting back towards Cromarthy in filthy weather. I hope it clears up before night. We should be in about noon tomorrow.

Chris Howat

Spring 2014 Edition | Scuttlebutt

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THE

MUSEUMS'

MODELS

THE MUSEUMS' MODELS Top: HMS COLLINGWOOD in 1913, painted by the artist A B Cull. The

Top: HMS COLLINGWOOD in 1913, painted by the artist A B Cull. The ship is pictured as flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Stanley Colville, commanding the 1st Squadron (comprising the 1st Battle Squadron and 1st Cruiser Squadron) of the Home Fleets. Admiral Colville flew his flag in COLLINGWOOD from June 1912 to June 1914, when the flag of V–Adm 1st Squadron was hoisted by the newly-commissioned 'Super-Dreadnought' HMS MARLBOROUGH. The painting, formerly owned by Admiral James Ley CB CVO (who as a Captain commanded HMS COLLINGWOOD from June 1912 until end-November 1916) now hangs in the Wardroom of the Training Establishment HMS COLLINGWOOD. It is reproduced by permission of MOD(N) and of Captain Richard Cosby LVO RN, the Director of 'Maritime Prints' (see www.maritimeprints.com).

The Dreadnought

HMS COLLINGWOOD

www.maritimeprints.com). The Dreadnought HMS COLLINGWOOD The model is probably of HMS COLLINGWOOD as she would have

The model is probably of HMS COLLINGWOOD as she would have appeared in mid-1917 – the 'coffee-pot' searchlight towers at the foot of the mainmast, aft-facing 'range clocks' and the screen on the fore-funnel were all post-Jutland additions. It should be noted, however, that Dr Oscar Parkes' drawing of COLLINGWOOD in 1917 (see inset - drawing reproduced from Parkes' book 'British Battleships') indicates the model may not be wholly accurate in certain details.

The subject of this article is a rather unusual birthday-present given to a young girl in 1937 – a sizeable scale- model of a battleship in which her father had served as a naval officer during the Great War.

In truth neither the ship nor that officer had a remarkable career in the Royal Navy, though both served well enough. Furthermore it's debateable whether the model is a completely accurate representation of the ship at any point in her career, though it appears generally accurate as a scale-model of HMS COLLINGWOOD some 12 months after Jutland. But the model has considerable symbolic importance because the officer later became His Majesty King George VI, and it was presented to his daughter in the period between the abdication of his brother (Edward VIII) and his own Coronation.

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S c u t t l e b u t t | Spring 2014 Edition HMS

HMS COLLINGWOOD, NOVEMBER 1918

HMS COLLINGWOOD at the time of the Surrender of the High Seas Fleet. With the exception of HMS DREADNOUGHT herself (sidelined due to her weak secondary armament) the Grand Fleet 'Dreadnoughts' were considered useful throughout the war; and benefitted from the programme of modification, training and practice which by mid-1918 had rectified most of the shortcomings revealed off Jutland two years previously. In November 1918 HMS COLLINGWOOD was a well-equipped and effective battleship - but with the German naval threat removed there was no reason for the Royal Navy to retain her. (Drawing from Siegfried Breyer's 'Battleships & Battlecruisers 1905-1970' with tinting, minor alterations and annotations by Mark Brady).

The caption accompanying the model reads 'HMS COLLINGWOOD, in which His Majesty King George the Sixth served at the Battle of Jutland, 1916. This model, designed and constructed by (Surgeon Lieutenant- Commander) H M Willoughby RNVR, was presented to Her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth on the occasion of her eleventh birthday, 21st April 1937, by the Governors of the Seamen's Hospital Society.'

Prince Albert, as her father then was, was the second son of King George V – and like his father destined for a naval career. As a Midshipman he joined the 'Dreadnought' battleship HMS COLLINGWOOD in 1914 but was plagued by intestinal problems, which he'd first suffered at Dartmouth but hadn't then reported. The trouble was first suspected to be incipient appendicitis but it persisted after his appendix was removed, and would eventually be diagnosed as a duodenal ulcer. In consequence he spent a good deal of time away from his ship convalescing; but he wished to return to active service, and rejoined COLLINGWOOD in May 1916 as an Acting Sub-Lieutenant. Consequently he served in the ship during the Battle off Jutland, which was a very important experience for the young man – not least because his courage,

determination, and the reality of his having served 'under fire' pleased his father, with whom Prince Albert had not hitherto had a very close or affectionate relationship. His biographer has noted that the Abdication Crisis, and his own accession to the throne, was traumatic for George VI – he probably anticipated becoming King in due course; but not at that point in time, or while his more charismatic older brother was still alive. In the circumstances I believe it's not fanciful to see the gift of the model of HMS COLLINGWOOD as an implied statement of support for the new king – 'Let this be a visible token of your experience, and sense of duty: we now honour you as our Sovereign'. It was certainly the case that during the Second World War the king's status as a veteran of Jutland was often discreetly invoked; and having thus served 'in the front line' himself there was no criticism of his always making wartime public appearances in uniform.

As for HMS COLLINGWOOD herself, the ship was in many respects a 'typical' battleship of the Grand Fleet – so in this particular issue of 'Scuttlebutt' a summary of her career is appropriate.

HMS COLLINGWOOD was one of three Dreadnought-type battleships provided for in

the 1907-08 Estimates, and completed in the first half of 1910. These ships - the St. Vincent Class – were effectively repeats of the Bellerophon Class (completed some 12 months earlier) but with higher-velocity guns. Together with HMS DREADNOUGHT herself, and HMS NEPTUNE (1908-09 Estimates), what may be thought of as the 'Dreadnought Programme' was intended to provide the Royal Navy by mid-1911 with eight Dreadnought-type battleships, and four 'armoured cruisers', all carrying 12-inch guns. Even as the later ships were building, however, the Admiralty was planning to order so-called 'Super-Dreadnoughts', with an improved main-armament arrangement and mounting 13.5-inch guns.

In the second half of July 1914, as it became clear that Austria-Hungary was determined upon war with Serbia even if that triggered a general European conflict, it was fortuitous that Britain had ordered a 'test mobilisation' of the Royal Navy in Home Waters followed by a Fleet Review in Spithead (17-18 July) and tactical exercises in the English Channel (19-23 July). Thereafter ships were to have dispersed to their home ports for Summer Leave and/or to de-mobilise, but instead the First Sea Lord (Battenberg) ordered the Home Fleets to remain at full readiness.

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THE

MUSEUMS'

MODELS

COLLINGWOOD, with other ships of the fully-operational First Fleet (soon to be re- designated 'Grand Fleet' ) anchored off Portland; and thence, on 29 July, proceeded via the Dover Strait to Scapa Flow.

For the first eight months of war ships of the Grand Fleet spent a good deal of time at sea, not least for fear that Scapa Flow - which had not been prepared for use as

a main operational base - might be

penetrated by German submarines. Once Scapa's defences were improved, however, the fleet settled-in for what was likely to be

a long stay. To conserve materiel and

resources (e.g coal - even at 15-16 knots a battleship at sea consumed at least 300

tons each day) the big ships would, during 1915-16, typically be at sea 1-2 days each fortnight for firings, tactical exercises and general fleet-work but otherwise remained

in Scapa Flow most of the time. At least a

week every couple of months would be spent at Invergordon (where there was a 'Floating Dockyard') or otherwise based in Cromarty Firth, where amenities were a little less primitive than at Scapa and every opportunity was taken to give shore leave. For some three years, however, visits to 'civilisation' were extremely rare for COLLINGWOOD and other Grand Fleet battleships: only in the second half of 1917 did it become practical to base the whole fleet in the Firth of Forth, a move which was finally made in April 1918.

Throughout the entire war, incidentally, the ships of the Grand Fleet were based in Scottish waters, far from their home ports. COLLINGWOOD herself only visited an English port twice in over four years, on both occasions for a week in dry-dock – once in Devonport (her home port), and once in Portsmouth.

Admiral Beatty, then C-in-C Grand Fleet, wrote in mid-1917 'the weary waiting is hard indeed' – and for the ships' companies of the Grand Fleet's battleships the whole war was almost entirely 'weary waiting'. The battlecruisers, cruisers and destroyers had somewhat more excitement, but the battle-squadrons sortied en masse just three times with a reasonable expectation of engaging the Kaiser's 'High Seas Fleet'. On 30 May 1916 the result was the Battle off Jutland - during which most British battleships engaged the enemy only briefly (COLLINGWOOD fired 84 main-

engaged the enemy only briefly (COLLINGWOOD fired 84 main- The upper picture is of the COLLINGWOOD

The upper picture is of the COLLINGWOOD model, the lower of a model of HMS DREADNOUGHT which is also in the NMRN(P) collection. The meticulous detailing of the DREADNOUGHT model distinguishes it as the work of a first-rate model-maker – professional or amateur – whereas Commander Willoughby's model of COLLINGWOOD was plainly made by an amateur, albeit dedicated and painstaking. Nonetheless the COLLINGWOOD model is made of durable materials, and appears to be generally accurate as a scale-model of the ship as she appeared some 12 months after Jutland – but its importance lies principally in the historic context in which it was made, and subsequently presented as a gift to a member of our Royal Family.

armament rounds, and probably hit the crippled battlecruiser SEYDLITZ), but to such effect that the Germans never dared risk another full-scale fleet engagement. On 19 August 1916 and 24 April 1918 the Grand Fleet again sailed to counter sorties by the High Seas Fleet, but each time the Germans headed for home once it was known that our battlefleet was at sea. COLLINGWOOD sailed on each of those three occasions so it must have been especially galling that on 21st November 1918, when the High Seas Fleet surrendered to the Grand Fleet, the ship was in a floating-dock at Invergordon.

Throughout the war COLLINGWOOD remained in full commission, and except while dry-docked (on average once a year, typically for 7-10 days) fully-operational. To an extent she, and the other 12-inch gunned 'Dreadnoughts', were outmoded even at the beginning of the war – but they were still relatively new units, were continually modified (principally to increase the effectiveness of their gunnery) and even in 1918 could stand up to virtually any ship in the High Seas Fleet. Shortly after Jutland almost all the Grand Fleet's 'Dreadnoughts' were gathered into the 4th Battle Squadron – and once C-in-C Grand Fleet was in the comfortable position of having around twenty 'Super- Dreadnoughts' operationally-available at all times then one or both divisions of the 4th Battle Squadron could be detached without greatly diminishing the main battlefleet. From the autumn of 1917, therefore, COLLINGWOOD and the other 'Dreadnoughts' were often assigned as 'distant cover' to convoys between our East Coast ports and the Norwegian coast, and the notion that after Jutland the Grand Fleet's battleships did little more than swing around a buoy in Scapa Flow is very wide of the mark – COLLINGWOOD's record shows that in the first six months of 1918 she spent more time underway than in any 6-month period in the previous three years.

After the surrender of the High Seas Fleet, however, there was little future for COLLINGWOOD and her kind. She might

be less than 10 years old, but in that time the Royal Navy's requirements – and, indeed, the very nature of maritime warfare – had changed radically. Well before the Washington Treaty was signed the much- maligned 'Ten-Year Rule' had effectively determined that virtually all Royal Navy

warships completed pre-war

discarded: HMS COLLINGWOOD reduced to Reserve Status at Devonport early in

1919, and after some three years in various training roles finally paid-off on 31 March

should be

1922. The following year she was towed

away for scrapping.

The model itself is on loan to the NMRN from the Royal Collection, but I'm not aware of any intention to display it either in 'our' museum or in the present HMS COLLINGWOOD. Perhaps in Summer 2016, however

Mark Brady

HMS COLLINGWOOD. Perhaps in Summer 2016, however Mark Brady 44 S c u t t l

THE COLD WAR

HUNTER KILLERS

SECRET

SUBMARINE OPERATIONS

DURING THE COLD WAR

A controversial new book by Iain Ballantyne, ‘Hunter Killers’, exposes the incredible secret story of how Royal Navy submarines waged a dangerous and daring, covert campaign, to gain a vital edge over their Soviet counterparts during the Cold War. Here he explains that diesel submarines were essential to enable the Royal Navy to hold the line for NATO during the early years of the long perilous East- West confrontation.

Above: Submarines of the Anglo-Canadian submarine squadron in a chilly Halifax, Nova Scotia during the early 1960s Photo: Forsyth Collection © Rob Forsyth

Right: Cold War 'battle map' as used in ‘Hunter Killers’ by Iain Ballantyne (Image: Dennis Andrews, Copyright © Dennis Andrews)

If Hollywood blockbuster movies and best seller novels are to be believed the Cold War under the sea was an affair of big beasts, nuclear-powered submarines jousting with each other at close quarters. This overlooks the valiant efforts of the smaller, far less powerful but equally hard-worked, diesel- electric submarines. Out of the three primary players in the undersea contest - the USA, Soviet Union and Britain - it was the British who most relied on diesels to do the dangerous work the other two nations quickly handed over to nuclear-powered boats. The three navies began the Cold War using captured experimental Nazi U-boats as the basis for building post-WW2 submarine flotillas.

In the dying days of the Third Reich teams of elite British ‘green berets’ raced for Baltic ports where they secured revolutionary U- boats and associated technology. Among around 100 former Kriegsmarine U-boats

interned at Lishally, near Londonderry, were Type XXI boats. Fortunately, only two ‘electroboots’, as the Type XXIs were known,

had ever deployed on combat patrol. Training

crews, ironing out defects common to cutting-edge technology and intensive Allied bombing ensured the rest of Germany’s 120 ‘electroboots’ remained in port. Equipped

with high-speed batteries capable of

providing up to 17 knots submerged - eight

knots faster than Allied diesels - the Type

XXI possessed snort masts enabling it to

remain submerged for long periods. It was invisible to the enemy while venting

generator fumes, recharging batteries and sucking in fresh air. With its sleek, hydrodynamic hull form, the Type XXI was

very different to other submarines, with no

external guns other than cannons mounted within the fin. The Type XXI did not have to surface to attack a convoy and could fire

18 torpedoes within 20 minutes. This was as

long as it took any other submarine to load a

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THE COLD WAR

HMS Auriga noses through ice in Arctic waters in the early 1960s, while operating out of Canada.(Photo: Forsyth Collection © Rob Forsyth)

single torpedo. Using the snort to recharge batteries, the Type XXI was supposed to conduct an entire patrol submerged. Stealth at low speeds was aided by creeping speed motors (on rubber mountings) that soaked up noise. The Type XXI was also deep diving, managing up to 440ft (around 90ft deeper than the most British submarines of the 1940s). It reputedly had a crush depth of more than 1,000ft. When it came time to dividing up the spoils of war, the victorious powers were keen to ensure they got their share of Nazi U-boats. The British, Americans and Russians each had ten U- boats of all kinds. The remainder were towed out to sea and scuttled off Ireland.

The Americans used their two Type XXIs as the basis of new Tang Class diesels, also reconstructing some of their Second World War-era boats under the Greater Underwater Propulsive Power, or GUPPY, programme to incorporate German innovations. Some Type XXIs were even pressed into service, the British operating two for a short period while the Russians, who had four Type XXIs,

commissioned them into service with their Baltic Fleet. The Soviet Navy replicated the Type XXI in its Zulu and Whiskey classes. The British decided to incorporate Type XXI innovations into some of their T-Class submarines. Eight boats, starting with HMS Taciturn, were taken in hand between 1950 and 1956. They had a whole new section inserted containing two more electric motors and a fourth battery. It gave the Super-Ts, as they became known, a submerged top speed of up to 18 knots but only for a short period. The guns were removed and they also acquired a streamlined casing. A large fin enclosed the bridge, periscopes and masts. Space was also made internally for specialist intelligence-gathering equipment.

Alongside the Super-Ts the Royal Navy continued to operate other Second World War-era diesels, some of which also eventually received similar design improvements, such as the A-Class. The Submarine Service’s main effort against the Soviets in northern waters during the late 1950s saw the Super-Ts and their crews

carrying the burden and taking plenty of risks. They endured marathon deployments during which both men and submarines were pushed to the limit.

In the late 1950s, Lieutenant Commander Alfie Roake, a veteran of the Arctic convoy runs during the Second World War, was appointed captain of HMS Turpin. One deployment under Roake’s command saw Turpin’s hatch shut on Trafalgar Day 1959 and not opened again for another 39 days, the boat spending most of her time carefully husbanding water and air while evading the Soviets in Arctic waters. Roake said he felt like ‘David against Goliath, carrying out a tiny pin prick of an operation against a colossus. We were on our own with the nearest support and succour thousands of miles away.’

On a subsequent foray into the Russian Bear’s backyard, a Soviet submarine Turpin was recording and photographing suddenly dived right on top of her. The British boat dodged quickly out of the way. Later the

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sound of what may have been depth charges detonating was picked up. Roake also feared the Soviets had fired torpedoes at Turpin, issuing orders for the submarine to go deep and turn in order to comb possible tracks. On returning to Gosport from such missions the diesels got no recognition at all – senior officers Roake reported to declined to even acknowledge where he had been. Roake observed rather drily: ‘We flew no “Jolly Roger” listing our achievements and had no special welcoming party – we left and entered harbour like “a thief in the night” … We had no feed-back as to how we had done, meanwhile, we were all ordered not to breathe a word about our adventures …’

The Royal Navy’s remodelled A-Class boats were in the early 1960s drawn into the Cuban Missile Crisis, British naval participation in this dangerous episode going unrecognized.

As Prime Minister Harold Macmillan got up in the House of Commons during those dangerous days in October 1962, to explain

HMS Alliance at Gibraltar in the early 1970s. (Photo: © Rob Forsyth Collection)

what Britain’s response was, there was no mention of the part played by Royal Navy submarines operating from Canada and even deploying on war patrol from Scotland. Both HMS Astute and HMS Alderney were ordered to sea from their home base at Halifax, Nova Scotia, to join a picket line attempting to detect Soviet submarines heading south for Cuba, trailing them if possible and marking them for potential destruction. The crews of the Halifax-based submarines were Anglo-Canadian. They received instructions from the senior Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) admiral who had ordered them on picket duty that had a decidedly chilling effect. The Canadian national government was opposed to military action to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis. However, in the event of hostilities there would be no time for RCN submariners to be taken off the British submarines when they reverted to UK national control for combat. Therefore, in the event of war, the Canadians would stay with their shipmates. The admiral order that they must ensure they were not captured with ‘CANADA’ shoulder flashes still

on their uniforms. Nor could they even be caught dead with them. They must cut the shoulder flashes off.

Meanwhile, among the boats sent out from Faslane on war patrol was HMS Auriga, which was already preparing for a tour of duty, based in Halifax. Her work-up off the west coast of Scotland was interrupted by a FLASH message telling her to return home immediately and store for war. Lieutenant Rob Forsyth thought it was all very exciting. Leading Seaman John Cumberpatch, the experienced rating who really ran things, assured Forsyth everything would be fine as they offloaded dummy fish and took aboard torpedoes with warheads.

Once deployed on picket duty, Auriga made several contacts - Soviet submarines heading south at speed and soon out of range. In the end, while the British submarines deployed on extended war patrols they did not find themselves involved in a hot war.

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THE COLD WAR

THE COLD WAR The diesel submarine HMS Alliance in dry dock at Devonport in the early

The diesel submarine HMS Alliance in dry dock at Devonport in the early 1960s. Photo: Crown Copyright/Royal Navy

command the nuclear-powered Sceptre. Another graduate of the diesels, Dan Conley (who later commanded Courageous and Valiant, both SSNs) experienced the final days of gracious colonial submarining during the early 1970s. As a junior officer in HMS Oberon, he made flag flying visits to exotic ports - including Colombo, Penang, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Manila, though earlier generations of Far East submariners had in the 1960s conducted surveillance and commando insertion missions during the confrontation with Indonesia.

Cold War era Super-T diesel submarine: HMS Tiptoe, pictured in 1967. Photo: Jonathan Eastland/AJAX. www.ajaxnetphoto.com

Soon Auriga was herself operating out of Halifax, conducting training missions that surely tested everybody’s nerve to breaking point. She ventured under ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to simulate lurking Soviet submarines. In that role she was hunted by nuclear-powered US Navy attack submarines keen to hone under-ice tactics. It was a risky job. The mere thought of a fire under the ice sends a shudder through any submariner, especially if combined with battery life seeping away as a diesel boat tries repeatedly, and fails, to smash through. Not only will you have a fire consuming all the oxygen, but also your crew will be fighting for breath as the submarine fills with noxious fumes. There is no means of escape and each time you try to break through your battery gets weaker, death that bit closer. Flood is also a desperate prospect. Should a boat spring a leak she’ll swiftly fill up with water, drowning her occupants or freezing them to death. The pressure will squeeze more and more water into the submarine until the craft sinks like a stone. To the forefront of everybody’s minds as Auriga slid under the ice in 1962/63 was, of course, a desire for the boat to find a polynya – an area of open water - nearby at all times. Auriga endeavoured to be no more than half an hour from one.

Between the end of the 1950s and late 1960s, the Royal Navy produced the excellent Porpoise and Oberon classes of diesel boats, with the Super-Ts and the modified A-Class increasingly obsolete and phased out. The British diesels would carry on shouldering the burden of the main undersea effort against the Soviets well into

the 1960s, but it was their last period at the tip of the spear. HMS Alliance - commanded by Rob Forsyth in 1970/71 - was not taken out of the front line fleet until 1973 (and she serves on today at Royal Navy Submarine Museum).

New nuclear-powered Fleet boats (SSNs, also known as hunter-killers) would increasingly take the lead role in long-range surveillance and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations. The diesels would still be used for close inshore surveillance, on training tasks and Special Boat Service (SBS) insertions, plus patrols in waters close to the UK. They would also go into shallow Scandinavian waters and conduct barrier patrols in the crucial Greenland-Iceland-UK- gap (GIUK).

Meanwhile, some of the future nuclear submarine captains of the 1980s found themselves serving in the diesels during the 1970s, gaining valuable experience. Once such was Doug Littlejohns whose first command in the mid-1970s was the Oberon Class submarine HMS Osiris. He took her up against interfering Soviet spy vessels in waters off Dorset and Scotland and then into the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean on surveillance missions. It all required the customary grit, endurance and derring-do. Both Forsyth and Littlejohns would also

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S c u t t l e b u t t | Spring 2014 Edition Above:
Above: HMS Osiris, an Oberon Class diesel submarine of the Royal Navy. Photo: BAE Systems
Above: HMS Osiris, an Oberon Class diesel submarine of the Royal Navy. Photo: BAE Systems
Below: Side elevation of Nazi-origin Type XXI
U-boat, which provided the technological basis
for early Cold War submarines. Image: Dennis
Andrews, Copyright © Dennis Andrews

With the sun finally setting on the surviving outposts of empire, Oberon was the last British submarine to be deployed for operations from Singapore. Conley found Oberon to be ‘absolutely pristine, well managed and well crewed – generally a happy boat and overall very professional. Returning to the UK, Conley and the Submarine Service, knuckled down to the real dangerous Cold War business.

The diesels would, though, twice be drawn away from their Cold War patrol areas to engage in daring hot war operations. Onyx conducted a marathon 116-day patrol to the Falklands in 1982, unsupported 8,000 miles from the UK under the command of Lieutenant Commander A.P. Johnson. Though Lt Cdr Johnson has never commented on his submarine’s mission, it is believed she landed SBS troops on various raids. Her captain drew on periscope and shallow water navigation skills he had learned during the notoriously demanding Perisher submarine command course. On her return to Gosport, every ship in Portsmouth Harbour sounded sirens and hundreds of sailors cheered the tired old Onyx home.

The last of the Royal Navy’s O-boats was retired in 1993, though there had been a final

opportunity to show their worth during the 1991 Gulf War. Opossum and Otus carried out covert operations not dissimilar from their reputed activities in the Baltic against the Soviets. Their presence in either the Baltic or the Gulf during early 1991 has never been officially confirmed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). It has been claimed that during coalition efforts to evict Iraqi occupiers from Kuwait the O-boats landed SBS reconnaissance teams on the coast to scout out enemy defences. In one incident US Navy strike jets allegedly sank an oil tanker, which began to sink on an O-boat hiding underneath while attempting to recover a Special Forces team. She swiftly withdrew.

In the early 1990s the four Upholder Class diesels commissioned to replace the O-boats switched to Devonport. For Britain, with its Submarine Service shrinking dramatically in post-Cold War defence spending cuts, a decision was then made to go all nuclear. The Upholders were paid off in the mid- 1990s and later sold to Canada, where they continue to serve.

Looking back across the decades of the Cold War, and weighing up the exploits of the diesels and how they produced the men who became warrior scientists in nuclear-

powered boats, it’s worth considering what was fundamental to success.

Tim Hale came up through the hard school of the diesels. He commanded several conventional boats, including Tiptoe (a Super-T), and was XO of Warspite in the late 1960s. He also commanded Swiftsure, first of a new breed of SSNs, bringing her out of the builders and into service during the early 1970s. He points out that good seamanship is absolutely essential to successful operations in any submarine, which, he rightly points out, ‘operates in three dimensions - if it goes to all stop, a surface ship will probably float. Not so in a submarine or aircraft. You have to keep the thing moving and put it on the interface of the fluids - water and air - in order to achieve stability. The need for awareness and competence is thus paramount in order to stay alive’. In the diesels of the Cold War it took a certain kind of luck and courage.

‘Hunter Killers’(Orion) by Iain Ballantyne is available in both hardback and ebook formats (£20.00) from various retailers. The paperback edition will be published in August.

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OUR ROYAL NAVY TODAY OVERVIEW “It is upon the Navy under the good Providence of

OUR ROYAL NAVY

TODAY

OVERVIEW

“It is upon the Navy under the good Providence of God that the safety, honour, and welfare of this realm do chiefly depend”.

(King Charles II, in the introduction to ‘The Articles of War’)

Whilst we look back and reflect on the Navy of yesterday and its many great triumphs, particularly as we focus, at this time, on the mighty Grand Fleet and the launch of the new HMS 20th & 21st Gallery in the museum we must not overlook our Navy of today. The world is no less divided and dangerous than ever it was and today’s Navy confronts those many vital tasks and similar challenges but without the considerable might and power of the Grand Fleet of a hundred years ago.

The enduring quotation above, by Charles II in the 17th Century is almost certainly to be just as relevant in the reign of Charles III in the 21st Century. So let us take a close look at our Navy. This overview is intended to bring readers up to date with the size, shape, responsibilities, tasks and deployments of the Royal Navy today.

In the words of the Right Honourable Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Defence: “The vital contribution that the Royal Navy makes to the United Kingdom’s national security is as varied as the threats are diverse. Whether it is Royal Marines or men serving in Afghanistan, our maritime operations all over the world or delivering our nuclear deterrent – sustained for over forty five years without a moment’s break Britain is safer because of the outstanding work of the Royal Navy”¹

The Framework of British Defence Policy The broad parameters of current British Defence policy were set under SDSR 2010 (The ‘Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2010’) ², due to be reviewed next year. This covered the essential defence and security requirements for the United Kingdom, for the following decade in order to prepare and

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Top left: New Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon on Operation Kipion in the Middle East

Top right: The nuclear deterrent submarine HMS Victorious departs HMNB Clyde

Portrait right: First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC ADC

All pictures (© crown copyright)

shape Britain’s Forces for ‘Future Force 2020’. These plans were made against very severe financial constraints as Britain struggled under the global debt crisis and in the case of the MOD a substantial ‘black hole’ in its budget. The armed forces were cut back across the board to deliver a number of savings. For the RN the headlines were the retirement of four Type 22 frigates and HMS Ark Royal along with the Joint GR9 Harrier force but with a commitment to the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers and the Joint Strike Fighter.

The world remains an extremely unpredictable, divided and potentially dangerous place as events in Libya, the Gulf and the Philippines all underline. With the arrival of new equipment and improved capability, even with reduced numbers and less manpower the Royal Navy continues to

numbers and less manpower the Royal Navy continues to Spring 2014 Edition | S c u

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meet all the ongoing vital tasks necessary to protect the United Kingdom and her many commitments and interests overseas. In other words, the Royal Navy is ‘Protecting our Nation’s Interests’.

The main tasks of the Royal Navy can be summarised as:

a. Preventing conflict (global deployment & deterrence)

b. Protecting our economy (protecting trade routes and ports)

c. Providing security at sea (working with international partners)

d. Promoting Partnerships (cooperating with allies)

e. Providing Humanitarian Assistance (aid and basic disaster relief)

f. Ready to fight

The Maritime Strategic Environment Seventy percent of the earth’s surface is covered by sea. Well over three-quarters of the member states of the United Nations are coastal states and two-thirds of the world’s population live within one hundred miles of the sea. A substantial proportion of the world’s economic and political activity is conducted in a narrow strip of land and sea, no wider than three hundred miles, known as the ‘littoral’. The Royal Navy continues to be a ‘blue water’ navy capable of operating throughout the oceans of the

OUR ROYAL NAVY

TODAY

world but increasingly operations have been concentrated on the 200 miles of sea close to the coast, the ‘littoral’ regions and all evidence indicates that this will become an increasing area of focus for Britain’s strategic interests and force structures. In the process of restructuring the Royal Navy has increased its ‘littoral’ combat capabilities. The end of operations in Afghanistan should present the opportunity to shift the UK’s focus from campaigns to contingency.

The Fleet Today’s Fleet remains a powerful, credible navy with extensive global reach. In size terms it is significantly smaller than the navies of the USA, Russia and China but roughly similar to the fleets of France and just ahead of the Italian navy. However in terms of quality, encompassing training, expertise, experience, efficiency, reputation and tradition the Royal Navy still enjoys a pre-eminent position and is respected worldwide.

Essentially the Fleet consists of: 4 SSBN, 7 SSN, 1 CVH, 3 LPD/H, 19 DD/FF, 15 MCMV and a full range of minor war vessels, specialist support ships, craft and auxiliaries. See the detailed Royal Navy Fleet Guide for further information on each category, type and class.

for further information on each category, type and class. Top left: Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender
Top left: Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender arriving in Glasgow Top right: An anti-submarine Stingray
Top left: Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender arriving in Glasgow
Top right: An anti-submarine Stingray torpedo fired
from the Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster
Bottom: The 18,500 ton Fleet Flagship HMS Bulwark
(Landing Platform Dock)
All pictures (© crown copyright)

Organisation & Personnel The full time trained strength of the Royal Navy is 31,400 ³ (some 24,000 officers and ratings plus 6,500 Royal Marines) supported by 2,000 RFA personnel. The total strength following the SDSR redundancy programme will deliver circa 30,000 by 2015. The professional head of the Royal Navy is the Chief of the Naval Staff and First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas (appointed in April 2013) and he reports to the Defence Council, headed by the Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP. The Fleet is commanded by the Fleet Commander & Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Philip Jones (appointed in 2012). The Maritime operational commanders are Commander UK Task Group (COMUKTG) /Commander UK Maritime Force, who is a sea going rear admiral and the Commander of Amphibious Forces (CAF) who is a Royal Marine major general.

Operations and Deployments The Royal Navy is heavily committed in a range of operations, activities and deployments around the world, either on its own or often in conjunction with allies. The Middle East remains a strategically important region for the UK covering the whole of the Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Northern Indian Ocean. The Royal

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OUR ROYAL NAVY

TODAY

OUR ROYAL NAVY TODAY Navy operate continuously in this area with at least one escort, supported

Navy operate continuously in this area with at least one escort, supported by a tanker of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), employed by United Kingdom Maritime Component Commander on Maritime Security patrol, plus a four-strong squadron of Mine Hunters with a RFA support ship and hydrographic survey vessels. The Royal Navy contributes to the stability by engaging and working with regional partners, as well as conducting hot climate training. The UK has strong political, commercial and trading links with the region and operations have extended further south in order to control regional piracy off the Somalia coast and around the Horn of Africa. RN presence in the region is a high profile demonstration of the UK’s strong commitment to this important part of the world.

For most of the year there is a RN ship on patrol in the North Atlantic providing support to our overseas territories in the

Caribbean through the Hurricane season. RFA Wave Knight is currently on patrol there. Drug trafficking remains a major problem in that part of the world and the RN in conjunction with the US Coastguard and other agencies have seized drugs that would have a street value running into the hundreds of millions of pounds. The RN is part of the ongoing battle to prevent illegal substances reaching the UK and Europe.

Further south, the Royal Navy maintains a patrol around the waters of our South Atlantic Overseas Territory. The Territory is nearly 8,000 nautical miles from the UK and presents one of the harshest working environments requiring the highest level of professionalism to operate in safely. Yet further south the Ice Patrol ship HMS Protector can be found patrolling the Antarctic peninsular.

The Royal Navy regularly contributes to NATO operations and forces. Standing

NATO Response Force Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2), for example, provides an operational mine countermeasures capability permanently available in the Mediterranean and poised for action in peacetime, crisis or conflict.

Closer to home it is the 45th year of Continuous at Sea Nuclear Deterrence delivered by the SSBN community. Meanwhile the Fleet Ready Escort, the duty Towed Array Patrol Ship and the Fishery Protection Squadron along with the Fleet Diving Units all contribute to the daily delivery of the UK’s Maritime Security.

Response Force Task Group In addition to its enduring commitments around the globe the Royal Navy conducts regular deployments to areas of importance and is constantly ready to be called upon at short notice to carry out vital, unexpected tasks.

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The nuclear powered attack submarine HMS Ambush in the Clyde (© crown copyright)
The nuclear powered attack submarine HMS Ambush in the Clyde
(© crown copyright)

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The Response Force Task Group (RFTG) is ready to deploy to areas of crisis. The main elements consist of the Fleet Flagship, HMS Bulwark, and the amphibious force concentrated in Devonport. HMS Illustrious is also part of RFTG together with a number of destroyers or frigates and a Commando Group of Royal Marines. Other units can be attached as necessary depending on the task. Later this year HMS Illustrious will be replaced by the 22,000 ton Helicopter carrier HMS OCEAN, just completing refit in Devonport. The force trains using the Joint Warrior Exercises in Scotland and then deploys under the COUGAR banner delivering engagement, influence, deterrence and, if required, intervention.

RFTG forces were involved in the Libyan crisis in 2011 (OP ELLAMY) and in the Philippines disaster relief in late 2013 (OP PATWIN).

Future Capability The major build programme for Defence and the Royal Navy is for the construction of the two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, the biggest warships to be designed and built in the United Kingdom. They are being built by the ‘Aircraft Carrier Alliance’ using a modular basis with ‘mega block’ sections being constructed in different locations and then being towed on sealift barges to Rosyth and assembled in Babcock’s massive Number one dry dock. The 6,000 ton ‘Lower Block 02’ (the giant

forward section) was built by BAE in Portsmouth and towed to Rosyth (see ‘Scuttlebutt’ No.45). Good progress has been made with QUEEN ELIZABETH and Her Majesty The Queen will launch the ship on 4th July. The completed hull will then be floated out thus enabling the start of the assembly of the hull blocks of the PRINCE OF WALES to begin in the dry dock. Captain Jerry Kyd has been appointed as the first commanding officer of QUEEN ELIZABETH, and the ship is scheduled to start sea trials in 2017.

Work is also progressing on the future Type

26 Frigate, the ‘Global Combat Ship’

designed as the replacement to the Type

23 frigate. Construction is expected to

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Top left: HMS St Albans’ boarding team returns to the Type 23 frigate Top right: Artist impression of the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea Below left: The aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth under construction in Rosyth Below right: The white ensign continues to fly proudly around the world All pictures (© crown copyright)

proudly around the world All pictures (© crown copyright) start in two years with the first
proudly around the world All pictures (© crown copyright) start in two years with the first

start in two years with the first of class to meet an ‘in-service’ date of 2020. The first of four new 37,000 tonne Tankers for the RFA are due in 2016. Work is also in hand to decide the Trident nuclear deterrent replacement programme as the present SSBNs will come to the end of their operational lives by the late 2020s. The first two Astute class SSNs are now operational the rest of the programme is progressing with boats 3 to 7 in various stages of construction.

In the air, the Short Take Off and Vertical Landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter which will be known as the ‘Lightning II’ is undergoing extensive trials in the USA. The first Squadron will be 617 Squadron

RAF and the second 809 Naval Air Squadron both squadrons will have a mixture of personnel. There are also exciting developments in the helicopter fleet with Wildcat replacing the stalwart Lynx, Merlin Mk II introducing improved Anti-Submarine capabilities and the Merlin Mk III programme which will replace the venerable Sea King Mk IV for troop carrying duties. The Crow’s nest programme is also underway to deliver a new Airborne Command and Surveillance capability for the carrier.

In summary, the Royal Navy continues to protect our Nation’s interests by delivering credible War fighting, Maritime Security and Defence Engagement capability

through committed forces deployed on standing tasks and contingent opportunities around the globe. Notes

1. The Royal Navy’s yearbook ‘A Global Force 2012/13’

2. Cmnd 7948 ‘Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence & Security Review’

3. MoD UK Naval Service Monthly Personnel Situation Report January

2014

If you would like to know more about the Royal Navy visit their informative website at www.RoyalNavy.mod.uk

John Roberts

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Castaway House, 311 Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO2 8RN T: 02392 690112 F: 02392 660852