TO PROMOTE THE ADVANCEMENT AND SPREADING WITHIN THE SERVICE OF KNOWLEDGE RELEVANT TO THE HIGHER ASPECTS OF THE NAVAL PROFESSION.
Founded in October, 1912, by the following officers, who had formed a Naval Society: Captain H. W. Richmond R.N. Commander K. G. B. Dewar R.N. Commander the Hon. R. A. E. Plunkett R.N. Lieutenant R. M. Bellairs R.N. Lieutenant T. Fisher R.N. Lieutenant H. G. Thursfield R.N. Captain E. W. Harding R.M.A. Admiral W. H. Henderson (Honorary Editor) It is only by the possession of a trained and developed mind that the fullest capacity can, as a rule, be obtained. There are, of course, exceptional individuals with rare natural gifts which make up for deficiencies. But such gifts are indeed rare. We are coming more and more to recognise that the best specialist can be produced only after a long training in general learning. The grasp of principle which makes detail easy can only come when innate capacity has been evoked and moulded by high training. Lord Haldane Issued quarterly for private circulation, in accordance with the Regulations printed herein, which should be carefully studied. Copyright under A c t of 1911
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'WAKE UP ETHELRED-SOMETHING NON-STOP VARIETY MARITIME STRATEGY
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THE CHANCE T O CHANGE
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ADMIRAL ARMIN ZIMMERMANN . AN OPEN LETTER
THREE? A-A FIRE CONTROL BETWEEN THE WARS
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Defence cut again Shortly after becoming Prime Minister Mr. Callaghan invited the Chiefs of Staff to dinner at 10 Downing Street. This would have been a good opportunity to acquaint the Chiefs with the political constraints upon Defence policy, as perceived by Mr. Callaghan's Cabinet. 'The party', in the words of the late Mr. Anthony Crosland, being 'over', public expenditure must be cut severely, so as to counter inflation and promote economic recovery, without which adequate Defence expenditure in the future could not be assured. The everincreasing preponderance of Warsaw Pact armed force over NATO, which could no longer be seriously disputed, could not convincingly, however, be presented to the British electorate as either a real, or an immediate threat to their security. An attempt to do so would play into the hands of the Marxist minority groups who were utilising our imperfect political process to gain control of constituency Labour parties, thus undermining the capacity of the present Labour government to govern an increasingly hard-pressed country. In short, Defence policy must take account of internal, as well as external threats to national security; and in seeking a balanced response, the requirements of the home front must be given full weight. The Chiefs of Staff would have found this line of reasoning difficult to refute. Their principal concern would have been to agree amongst themselves upon the nature and degree of any immediate cuts in planned Defence expenditure which collectively they could accept, without feeling compelled, in the best interests of the country, to tender their resignations. The Government, apprehensive as ever of left-wing pressure, no doubt proposed further cuts. The Chiefs then dug in their toes. They would exercise their formal right of direct access to the Prime Minister, with due publicity, to represent to him the dangers to the country of the proposed further Defence cuts. Resignation could be held in reserve. The Statement on Defence Estimates (Cmnd 6735) issued on 28 February 1977 no doubt reflects some such sequence of events. Keeping the kingdom united Those who are now advocating resort to a written Constitution in order to keep the United Kingdom united, might well pause to consider how well the existing system of institutionalised common sense has served us. The relationship of the military to the political authority lies near the core of the body politic. Clauses in a Constitution, however carefully drafted, are not likely to prove a satisfactory substitute for a tradition of conduct tempered over centuries in the furnace of national crises. It is a tradition that makes great demands upon the capacity of the military, and particularly their leaders, who must judge when, how, and to what extent to exert pressure upon a government which may seem to be leading the country into danger. Double-think It is a besetting sin of many wellinformed and expensively educated, if trendy, Britons to accept as equally valid two mutually exclusive propositions. As, for example, that absolute social equality and equal opportunity for all can coexist. Or that children can do what they like, and also do what they are told. Or that Marxist socialism is compatible with British political institutions. Fortunately, the alternation of radicalism tempered by responsibility with conservatism tempered by humanity has so
far resulted in a degree of political stability in Great Britain which is her greatest single asset. Let us cherish it. The Armed Forces of the Crown, by definition, think nationally. In a political crisis, therefore, their suppor,t must be for our political institutions as a whole, rather 'than for a particular political party, although the government of the day, provided that it has achieved power and is retaining it constitutionally, remains the fount of authority. The Monarcahy is, of course, primus inter pares of our political institutions. It is representative of the accumulated common experience of the British people and those of the Commonwealth, their present concerns and their hopes for the future. A childish Australian, styling himself 'representative of the educated middle class', throws a cardboard placard into the Queen's car. One has only to contrast the piffling character of this ill-natured protest with the shooting at Sarajevo to be reminded of the transition of monarchy in modern times from absolutism, through paternalism, to its present constitutional form. People both in Britain and in the remainder of the Commonwealth should realise that there is nothing more conservative than a written Constitution, and nothing more radical than a constitutional monarchy. Compared with amending such a Constitution, obtaining the Royal assent to legislation, which then becomes constitutional, is child's play. Besides, monarchy represents, as no written constitution can, many important aspects of life and society about which
legislation can, and in a free country should, have nothing to say. NATO and the European Community In the immediate post-Second World War period liberal intellectuals in Britain canvassed the idea that Western Europe, rehabilitated, should seek to become a 'Third Force' in the world, bringing enlightenment not to be looked for either from communist Soviet Russia or capitalist U.S.A. Realisation of Russian expansionist aims and communist intransigence extinguished such hopes. NATO was born. Western Europe went in with the Americans. Twenty-five years later, the European Community is just beginning to learn how to achieve unity of purpose and action in external as well as internal affairs - but without preiudice to the indispensable military alliance with the U.S.A., through NATO. Given that the members of the European Community have world wide trading in~terests and political connections, it could be that readiness of the Europeans to combine outside the NATO area (which it is fruitless to attempt to extend) would most effectively complement the political, economic and military activities of the U.S.A. world wide in preserving freedom from communist (or any other) dictatorship, in return for a continuing American commitment to the defence of Europe against Soviet Russian assault. Such a development might, by offering more scope for positive action, help to counter the flagging political will and torpid, selfish spirit, of the rising generations in both Europe and America.
Wake Up Ethelred - Something New!
A recent leader in the Guardian set out to demonstrate that there was a lack of communication between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence as far as negotiations on our coastal waters were concerned. Factually, of course, this is simply not true. But from some of the official pronouncements emerging from our present Government, together with the more romantic flights of the media, it would be forgiveable to assume that we had another Ethelred somewhere in the establishment. It has been clear for some years that we were likely to be involved in some degree of police work out to 200 miles, and even discounting the benefit of hindsight, the present rather uncertain situation should have been an odds on bet. However, although Old Unready may have failed sufficiently to contrive money for this police work, his far greater sin would seem to have been a total omission of effort to bring before Parliament and the GBP the political possibilities. What precisely we need to do to maintain order in our waters is, of course, still not clear - nor will it be for some years. New laws, still at best in partially agreed draft, need to be ratified, and the lawyers will take several years to sort them out in practice and establish precedent and usage. In the meantime all depends upon political will, and such as can be discerned seems irresolute and nationalistic. Thus we find ourselves paddling about in water which - we reckon - we shall one day have a clear legal right to police from almost every aspect, without the means properly so to do, but with the same arrogance as that displayed over the Second Navigation Act in 1651. (The insulting of British Ambassadors in the Hague in March of
that year seems likely to be repeated but this time in Brussels.)
Where is European unity? I t is profoundly depressing to be unable to detect any really serious move to form a cohesive international or European political policy, or even to be prepared to surrender a degree of national autonomy, in so far as these apparently emotive waters are concerned. Instead there is springing up, even for fishing and within the EEC, a mystifying web of bi-lateral agreements which in their illogicality, will only be comprehended by the Irish, whose national propensities will in turn lead them to be the first transgressors. In short, a discouraging disarray. It is true that some small voices have been heard protesting that European waters belong to the EEC, but the parochial voices of the fishermen are louder and carry votes. If we are Europeans - and we are it is surely evident that this particular scene must be subject to supra-national agreement and, it follows, similar control. But under the Treaty of Rome, power to effect this authority does not yet fully exist, so that the first necessity is to contrive such power. Failing such centralisation, each piece of EEC water would inevitably be policed in differing ways and with different effect; this would, of course, add to the disarray arising from the bi-lateral agreements mentioned above. And thus there would arise a totally disparate arrangement for European waters - a tapestry whose threads were thin indeed. Stemming from this chaos, and spurred by precedent, the drift to national assumption of total authority, transcending the slender agreements so f a r reached, would become irresistible and an ugly manifestation could be a serious confrontation of sea power
WAKE UP ETHELRED-
between N A T O allies as occurred in icelandic waters. Given, then, the spur to effect supranational control, and assuming the feasibility, for the time being, of includingly only Norway and Portugal with the E E C countries (and perhaps Spain, especially if admitted to NATO), the machinery and method of control needs thought. But first let us examine the possible involvement of the authority. A policeman is concerned with every kind of law-breaking, but finds it unworthy to be bothered with parking offences; thus he forms a force of traffic wardens. Should the E E C have two o r more classes of sea-police? Consideration of the means of enforcement - ships, aircraft, control, surveillance of all kinds - and the scenes in which they could be involved - fishing, search and rescue, counter-terrorist action, traffic regulation, sea-bed activities, ecological and pollution questions, smuggling, hydrography, navigation control, pilotage, aids to navigation and weather prediction - show that if starting from scratch one organisation could perhaps most efficiently deal with the entire problem, rather as do the U.S. Coast Guard. W e in Europe are, however, prisoners of our past and, certainly in Britain, it would be difficult (although not eventually impossible) to transfer from existing organisations like Trinity House responsibilities to a body in Brussels; nor indeed would benefit necessarily accrue a t this time. But fishing regulation, and the surveillance of sea-bed activities seem most readily t o benefit by federal policing as well as offering the easiest political pills. Search and rescue, with its poor command and control potential and thoroughly disparate and inefficient communication organisation, could certainly use a reorganisation and might follow as the next activity to be federalised, and a gradual evolution toward centralised
control would follow in the other fields. Thus eventually someone would be in charge (and a t least gunnery officers would be pleased! ).
'Never mind the quality feel the width' Now let us turn to the position of our own Service. There seem, broadly, to be two views. First the quality team, who wish to remain in the first division, and thus must keep u p with modern techniques and be able to mix it on comparable terms with others in the first division. The sacrifice must of course be in quantity, and following good staff practice, no side-show must detract from the main aim. Secondly the more numerous group, who are keen to enter any league from which they see a return - almost 'the (sea) game is the thing' -- but who reckon that they must take their chance in the first division, hoping by shrewd buying, low overheads and efficient management to make their presence felt, with admittedly less talent. Quality v. Ubiquity. There is no doubt who wins the League. But in the Cup, the giantkillers have a chance. What o n earth does a nuclear submarine, o u r capital ship, do about illegal fishermen? O r a high speed smuggler? O r a yacht in distress? And if all the money has gone on the really expensive units, policing becomes ineffective and the control of the off-shore tapestry is lost. Unless, that is, someone like the Coast Guard will do these chores for you. Ubiquity o n the other hand seeks a t least to provide a presence, to ensure that as far as possible each unit has an effective role in the tapestry as well as in more general conflict. Thus perhaps there is less of the giantkiller syndrome, and the threshold of trouble escalating from the tapestry is raised. Once over that threshold, however, unless someone has been persuaded to produce a lot more money, things look bad, and the nuclear threshold comes down. So, you
pays your money and takes your choice.
A European Coast Guard? History will not really help in this choice. Weapons and systems suitable only for all out conflict are a new factor, and so is the nuclear threat. So a nation, as opposed to a particular Service, should possess two teams, as typified by the U.S.N. and U.S. Coast Guard. And as presently constituted, structured, and financed the Royal Navy cannot carry out an United States Coast Guard role effectively. We are the quality! Thus the national requirement to provide enforcement for laws governing the waters within 200 miles of our coasts must either continue to be met by the Royal Navy under a newly constituted arrangement - perhaps a separate 'tapestry' vote - or by the formation of a new force like the U.S. Coast Guard. In considering the international aspects of control there is one absolutely fundamental point. Fighting services and police forces must be separate. (In this context, the suggestion that the Chief Constable of Aberdeen be made an admiral is not supported! ). The employment of fighting units as policemen leads to trouble. Furthermore the operation of White Ensign units under the control of a supra-national authority in Brussels requires a spur of outside interference to work; thus concerted action against say Russian over-fishing may well be possible, and indeed lead to a greater cohesion and sense of international purpose. But the opposite holds when the dispute is internal. And in either case is it really best to use a warship flying a national flag? It is true that the fishery protection flag has international status, but it did not soften the collisions off Iceland, although both sides could reasonably fly it - and did; national ensigns still waved at the sterns, carrying to sea the failures of the politicians and diplomats.
Thus the only enforcement agency which is likely to prove efficient and effective as an instrument of the collective political will of the EEC nations to regulate the use of their waters, is a centrally controlled federal agency with its own command and control, and communication organisation, its own ships and men and its own flag. This is a new concept conceived to meet new circumstances in a new situation, and in parallel with New Europeanism, is the only way to peaceful progress at sea. As to the British part, let the Royal Navy continue as 'a quality' fighting service. Let us contribute according to our means and responsibilities to a European Coast Guard. And let us join, not attempt arrogantly to organise and run, this international movement and opportunity.
It could happen like this Finally, let us look at a scene during the autumn of 1977 in the North Sea. A very nasty gale has been building up since noon, five days before the equinox, and a late season single handed yacht race is taking place in the area. At the same time, unfortunately, because of unco-ordinated weather reporting, much activity by small craft around the oil and gas rigs is taking place as the gale strikes. Sixteen Russian trawlers and a mother ship are fishing on the Dogger bank, having already exceeded their quota. Co-incidently, a three cornered dispute, which had been festering all summer, between Danish, Dutch and Scottish fishermen over rights in the Dogger bank area has reached a climax, in which one of our 'Isle' class patrol vessels has found it necessary physically to interpose herself between an Aberdeen trawler and a Danish fishery protection vessel, while the Dutch have arrested two Aberdeen trawlers and are taking them to Den Helder with a Dutch 'Leander'. This latter had been shadowing a 'Kashin' which in turn is standing
by a partially disabled 'Delta' transitting slowly north. Two large vessels - one German and one Belgian - are in collision, resulting in a large oil leak, an S.A.S. DC-9 is reported missing, and finally as night falls upon this troubled scene, a confrontation, with major economical and political repurcussions, occurs between a Danish and British sea-bed exploration party over rights near the median line and reaches a peak, with physical interference between the parties - and each side cries for help. Given this unfortunate co-incidence of happenings, which is not all that un-
likely, it is inconceivable that the existing Coast Guard organisation, or any other which at present serves the North Sea would have sufficient information, authority, means or effective command and control organisation to make the best possible use of all the disparate assets which might be deployed. Will it be necessary to experience a major disaster before nations sharing the seas around our islands sink traditional nationalistic attitudes in order effectively to govern their offshore tapestry? R.D.F.
Non - Stop Variety
NOTES ON A NAVAL MISSION T O CHINA
In February 1931 Vice-Admiral H. T. Baillie-Grohman, then a captain of less than a year's seniority, accepted an appointment as Head of a Naval Mission to China to assist in the development of her Navy. He would serve as a Commodore wearing Chinese uniform, and after seeing the form on the ground was to report the supporting staff needed. The Admiral's account of this service in unpublished memoirs intended for his family is both interesting and amusing. The condensation which follows, compiled with his permission, aims a t giving a picture of China and the Chinese Navy in a state of flux, and incidentally providing some detail and background to the article on 'Admiral Sir Howard Kelly and the Shanghai Crisis' which appeared in The Naval Review in July 1976.
The Naval Mission - theory As explained to the prospective Commodore, his function would be to act as adviser to the Chinese Navy with
particular regard to training, and on policy matters such as any future naval programme. He would have no executive authority and was strictly forbidden to get involved in any fighting. It was expected that he would need some twenty or thirty officers and ratings but details were left to him. In return for the services of the Mission and for training some officers in the Royal Navy a contract for a new cruiser was to be placed in a British yard. By custom, British naval officers in this capacity were responsible to the Ambassador of the country concerned and not to a higher naval authority. In his briefing the Director of Naval Intelligence admitted pessimism about the likelihood of the Chinese Navy being receptive to outside advice, but said that retention of the post would be useful in keeping out a foreign rival. One of the great attractions of naval service in the Far East had always been that it was usually full of surprises, but the Commodore met a surprise of an
unwelcome nature before his departure when he found that the Admiralty disclaimed any responsibility for his annual stipend of £2,000 p.a. (about 40% more than a cruiser captain would have drawn in those days). When he asked what his position would be if the Chinese were not forthcoming, he was told that he could rely on the influence of the Ambassador, Sir Miles Lampson (later Lord Killearn).
battalion of Royal Marines. (Notes 1 and
The political situation in China in 1931 An outline of this is needed to explain the problems which faced Commodore Baillie-Grohman on his arrival in Shanghai by P. & 0. liner in March
On the death of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, 'Father of the Republic of China', in 1925, General Chiang Kai-shek became C-in-C of the Kuomintang Army. With unofficial Russian advisers, notably Comrade Michael Borodin, in 1926 he advanced to the Yangtse and after defeating some of his Northern rivals had taken over the foreign concessions in Hankow and some other river ports. Under Russian influence the Communist element in his forces committed the Nanking Outrage of March 1927, in which an attempt to murder all foreigners in the city was frustrated only by forceful and extremely well-judged action by Captain Hugh T. England of H.M.S. Emerald, recently arrived from the East Indies Station, whose gunfire, with some U.S. naval support, enabled foreigners concentrated on Socony Hill to escape to ships in the river. There were, however, some casualties including the British Consul, and extensive looting and raping took place. Chiang dismissed his Russian advisers but their influence remained and Shanghai was in some danger of sharing Nanking's fate on a vast scale until further naval reinforcements arrived and the Shanghai Defence Force had been augmented by an Indian brigade, a British division and B
With the general situation under better control, Chiang announced his retirement in August 1927 and then married Miss Mayling Soong, sister-inlaw of the late Dr. Sun Yat-sen, thus identifying himself with the constitutional element in the Kuomintang. Early in 1928 he resumed command of the Kuomintang Army and managed to capture Peking. On 10 October he was inaugurated President of a Chinese National Government in Nanking. One of his brothers-in-law, T. V. Soong, became Chancellor of the Exchequer, and another was H. Kung, an industrialist reputed to be the richest man in China. When the Commodore was taken to call on Chiang soon after his arrival, he found that the President then spoke no English, so that his American-educated wife had to interpret for him. He seemed a silent, even sad, man, much in the hands of Madame. He had recently been baptised in the Methodist faith but was said to retain Chinese customs - a foot in both camps, apparently! With T. V. Soong, a highly cultured and intelligent man, the Commodore had agreeable social relations, but official discussions with him in his capacity as Chancellor of the Exchequer were less satisfactory. He had no regard for the Minister of the Navy and thought that any funds for defence would be better spent on an Air Force. In Nanking he lived in a European house on top of a round hill and provided for his personal security by clearing houses and trees to give his guards an open field of fire. At about this time the President was at odds with a Cantonese lawyer, Hu Ha-min, holding cabinet office corresponding to that of Lord Chancellor in London. After a fine dinner in the Presidential villa, Chiang politely escorted him to the door and then
appearance. Though in his forties he looked about twenty and had a highpitched voice. Most unusually, for a Chinese of that age, he was unmarried. It later appeared that he had been made a eunuch in his youth to qualify him for court service with the Emperor, but time had overtaken the Chinese Empire and Presidents and War Lords had taken over. Eunuchs were out. On the credit side, Chen seemed unusually honest in a world where 'squeeze' and corruption were the rule. He was a good host and the BaillieGrohmans enjoyed his parties. In spite of numerous differences on service matters, he remained friendly except for short periods on a few occasions. Towards his Admiralty staff and the The Chinese Navy Navy, however, Chen was a petty tyrant. Senior Oficers. In early 1931 Vice- Holidays were rarely given and then at Admiral Yang, as Minister of the Navy, such short notice as to be of little use. combined the functions of our First All the staff under fifty had to be at their Lord and First Sea Lord. Vice-Admiral desks by 0730 and (anticipating General S. K. Chen (Chen Shao-kwan) was Vice- Montgomery's methods) had to carry out Minister. The Admiralty was in Nanking, an hour's physical drill at noon. 'How but Vice-Admiral Yang appeared to they hated it! ' the Commodore recalls. spend a good deal of time in a monastery Flag officers were frequently shifted at in Foochow and much of the rest with a no notice and their staffs so often concubine in Shanghai. Presently he changed that it appeared to be a check wrote a letter of resignation and recom- on intrigue. No programmes were mended that Chen should succeed him. issued; everything was done suddenly by The latter, with the customary Chinese Chen himself, and his personal approval politesse needed to preserve 'face', was required even to use an official car. protested mildly but took over as In financial matters and general policy Minister with the rank of full admiral. he was often childlike. The Kiangyan Soon after Commodore Baillie- Dockyard in Shanghai had flourished Grohman's arrival he received a private until he became a director, but then got visit from a retired officer, Admiral Tu, into debt in two years. The Commodore then holding the office of Governor of when visiting the yard was told that the Fukien, whose object was to warn him altars so much in evidence had been set that he would find Admiral Chen up in the hope of obtaining divine exceedingly difficult. As a young officer Chen had been promising, but advance- assistance with getting wages paid. A ment had gone to his head; he had French firm had offered to run the become conceited and unwilling to dockyard commercially but had to reject accept advice, and was apt to act the outrageous terms proposed by Chen. stupidly. Experience was to show that The Ships und Fleet Personnel. Like the Government and China itself, the this was only too correct. Chen was small and insignificant in Fleet suffered from internal divisions expressed regret at having to put him under arrest, before turning him over to a waiting escort. Since Hu Ha-min was the only Cantonese in the Government, this greatly angered his fellow provincials, a fact that was to have a curious result when the Japanese moved on Shanghai later in the year. On the face of things China in early 1931 might seem to have more cohesion than at any time since 1920, but there remained deeply divergent elements. In addition to Cantonese discontent, the Government still faced Communist forces in the far north-west and a War Lord, Marshal Chang Hsueh-liang, held power in Manchuria, under some pressure from Japan.
and stresses. There were three virtually independent navies: (a) The Nanking, or Central Government Navy, which operated in and southward from the Yangtse as far as Swatow. (b) The Northern Navy, under the control of War Lord Chang Hsuehliang, operating north of the Yangtse. (c) The Cantonese Navy, operating south of Swatow. This was scornfully referred to by Chen as 'The River Boatmen'. He hated the Northern Navy and he was said by several senior officers to be the main obstacle to a unified Navy. The Northern Navy consisted of about fifty ships of various types, mostly old, with just over 6,000 officers and ratings and about 8,000 Marines. Commodore Baillie-Grohman noted at the time: 'The Marines never went afloat and mostly were stationed in the province of Fukien which was always governed by a retired admiral. As one Chinese admiral told me in a moment of confidence, the Foochow Marines gave a sense of stability to the Navy for if the worst came to the worst as regards pay, they could raise taxes in Fukien.' The ships were divided into First and Second Squadrons, a Training Squadron, and the Torpedo-boat and Coastguard Flotillas. The three or four cruisers were old and there were only two gunboats of fairly modern vintage. Two ships described as 'aircraft carriers' were found to be dirty merchant s h i ~ s of about 2,500 tons, having no visible connection wit'h aircraft. Admiral Chen explained that they were allocated to Generals who regarded the Navy's only function as being to provide transport for their soldiery. Unlike the Navy, who maintained a high standard of cleanliness, the troops and their officers led such untidy lives that naval discipline must have suffered from contact with them. Having seen something of the Chinese Army of that period
at Nanking, the Commodore agreed with Chen and they had a good laugh together. Chinese gunboats on the Yangtse were of little assistance to the twelve gunboats, under a Rear-Admiral (Yangtse), which the Royal Navy still maintained to protect trade and merchants, foreign as well as British, from piracy and military interference. The Commodore found that one reason for the inertia of the Chinese gunboats was that their captains had to pay for lubricating oil and other stores out of their own pockets, and their pay, received through the Financial Department of the War Office (which took its 'squeeze') was usually in arrears. Shortage of coal could also be a handicap, since the railways continually withheld supplies when the Nanking Admiralty was adrift in its payments. According to one informant in a position to know, Chinese men-of-war ran a million pounds worth of opium per month down the river, but the profits were so widely divided at higher levels that the Navy retained little profit. Incidentally, when Chinese accused the British river gunboats of smuggling opium, R.A. (Y) indignantly denied this and invited them to search any gunboat. They selected his flagship, H.M.S. Bee, and found opium in his own seaboots! It remained moot whether the opium had been 'planted', or was misnlaced enterprise on the part of the flag officer's domestic staff. The Coastguard Flotilla was a Heath Robinson collection of old and nearly rotten tugs and decrepit ferries, to which Chen had sometimes added a new bow o r a fantastic stern of his own devising. T o foreiqn eyes the fantasy was heightened by conferring on the tugs the title of 'Victory Class' with individual names such as 'Victory by Knowledge', 'Victory by Science' and the like, but perhaps they gave their ships' companies added 'face'.
About 90% of the officers of the were to be built in Britain was no longer Nanking Navy came from the province applicable, because a British firm to of Fukien in the south, and when a which he had offered a contract for a Northerner was appointed to command small cruiser was unable to underbid the one ship, her ladders were hoisted and Japanese. It was a year later that the he was refused admission. Admiral Tu Commodore discovered from a newshad to come and install him personally paper item that a Japanese firm had and even then his lot was not a happy received the contract. The question of providing the Head one. Family loyalty, one of the great virtues of Mission with a supporting staff was of the Chinese, could be an embarrass- dismissed with the flat assertion that no ment in the Nanking Navy. One small money was available. Under pressure on destroyer of 250 tons had fifteen officers some point at a later date, Admiral and 300 men on board, 200 of whom Chen declared that the Agreement was were relations of the ship's company neither legal nor binding, since it had proper. The Commodore found some of been signed by Admiral Yang, then them sleeping curled up in the engine- Naval Minister, instead of the Chinese Foreign Secretary. The Ambassador, room ventilating cowls on deck. Naval Aviation. According to Admiral Sir Miles Lampson, had to concede that Chen, some years earlier he had sent ten this omission was unfortunate. In due course the occasion foreseen naval lieutenants to a military flying school near Nanking, but the general in as a possibility by the Commodore before command had refused to accept them, his departure became a fact: his monthly and apparently even Marshal Chiang salary did not reach his bank. After himself could not overrule him. Chen dwelling a courteous pause, he raised the then sent one Lieutenant Shen To-shen matter with Chen, who simply regretted that no money was available, nor could for training abroad. On return to China this officer was he guarantee when it would be. On posted to the Army with the rank of appeal to the Ambassador, on whose general. He later rejoined the Navy in support the Admiralty had placed so the rank of admiral, to correspond, but much confidence, the Commodore was on being appointed Head of the Naval told that this would be an embarrassing Air Bureau he donned a naval captain's pinprick to add to the demands he was uniform, though being paid by the Army. already making on the Chinese and was In the Navy List he was still shown as a urgently requested to wait. With the Lieutenant. When last heard of he was help of his London bank, he managed employed as director of a military to hold on until eventual payment aircraft repair shop in Hangchow, retain- was made, but he was naturally angry ing the meaningless title of Head of the and referred the matter to Admiral Sir Howard Kelly, Naval Commander-inNaval Air Bureau. Chief, China, who wrote forcefully to the Admiralty, but had received no reply One-man mission problems and a year later. pin-pricks Dealings with the Navy afloat provided After his arrival in China, it soon became apparent to the Commodore other problems. He was always refused that the Agreement upon which his an interpreter, which was awkward, Mission had been established was a since although most of the officers spoke broken reed. Admiral Chen afforded a little English, they were seldom able the first evidence when he contended to follow lectures and technical matters. that the clause under which warships H e had to rely on his Chinese Staff
Commander, S. Jane, and his assistants odore learned from his very loyal to do their best. Chinese staff that Admiral Chen was 'not The language problem also com- as other men are.' He could not have plicated signalling, which could not agreed more. reproduce Chinese characters. Chinese After learning that ships of the signalmen had to learn the English Nanking Navy had never exercised alphabet and had to transmit, without together at sea, he managed to persuade any knowledge of the meaning, a series Chen that this should be done, and on of English letters written down on a two occasions he spent periods afloat slate by an officer. At the other end, of with forces under the command of course, it could only be decrypted by Rear-Admiral C. T. Chen, a jovial another officer. personality with whom he got on At an early stage the Commodore famously. With the larger ships they readily agreed to accept the office of visited Pagoda Anchorage and the 'Chief of All Training'. He naturally Commodore was able to visit the Naval considered that he should first visit the Cadet College and the Training principal naval training establishments Establishment for naval ratings. The for officers and ratings which were former was advised by two retired situated at Mamoi, Pagoda Anchorage, officers of the Royal Navy, an Instructor in the Min River below Foochow, but Captain and an Engineer Commander, on asking Chen whether he should visit on a private contract and quite indepenthem at once or dwell a pause, he was dent of the Naval Mission. During four told 'It is quite unnecessary for you to years at the College, the cadets spent visit them.' As Chen refused to depart 60% of their time in studying their own from this, the matter had to be deferred. language. Some were good at theory and In an apparently more receptive mathematics, but there was a complete mood, Chen approved the suggestion lack of practical work and seamanship. that the Chief of Training should revise A European doctor at Mamoi urgently a ship's internal organisation as a model informed the Commodore that unsuitfor others to follow. A cruiser was able and inadequate diet in the Training selected and he lived aboard with Establishment had led to several deaths Commander Jane and his Secretary and from beri-beri and asked him to repreon British lines drew up Watch Bills, sent this to higher authority. Similarly, Station Bills, Organisation for General the Instructor Captain thought the Quarters, and for drills, and so on. cadets undernourished. The Commodore Lectures were given to the officers and provided a feast costing 70 dollars for they and the Captain seemed delighted the cadets and shared it with them, with the results. Chen was invited to noting their enjoyment. On return to inspect the ship thoroughly and Nanking he found that Admiral S. K. expressed satisfaction. The ship then left Chen was deeply displeased, infuriated for Hankow. Some weeks later she by the visit and the 'spread' which he returned and the commodore went on regarded as an insult, and was only board to ask how the new routines partially appeased by the explanation were working. 'Haven't you heard?' that in England such a gesture was often asked the Captain in surprise. 'No, what made by parents and friends towards is it?' 'After you left the ship that boys at school. The second cruise was with the evening, Admiral Chen came back and gave orders to scrap the new routines Torpedo Flotilla, which worked round the islands in the Yangtse estuary as far and return to the old.' It was at this point that the Comm- as Ninghai. Torpedoes were fired from
above-water tubes in torpedo craft under way, which was regarded as an important advance. Before the cruises the Commodore was obliged to compile a new Signal Book, because the simplest manoeuvres had previously needed an inordinate number of flags. Amongst relatively minor administrative irritations were certain bizarre concepts of Admiral S. K. Chen, such as the establishment of a new Cadet College in a desolate, isolated and malarial area, where prospective officers could be trained for four years in immunity from Communist influence. He also designed a Naval Hospital which he proudly said owed nothing to medical advice. Commodore Baillie-Grohman's most unpleasant experience, however, was having his house, which was near the Chinese Foreign Office in a good quarter of Nanking, invaded a t pistol point by a couple of dozens thugs just as he was about to go out to dinner with his wife. With remarkable restraint, fortified by the courageous calm of his wife, he avoided provocation (which next day led to the murder of a missionary and his wife) but they were stripped of rings and other valuables before the bandits were startled into flight. The Commodore was just too late to pepper them with a 12-bore, but Admiral Chen lost much face from the failure to provide security for his adviser. Light relief and hard labour One evening the Commodore received from Commander Jane, his Chinese Staff Commander, a letter in the following sense: Dear Commodore, To-morrow we have a holiday! ! ! You are invited to be a t the Admiralty at 0630 to-morrow, when we will join the public procession headed. by our President, Chiang Kai-shek, to proceed on foot to the tomb of the late Doctor Sun
Yat-sen. The rig will be full dress. At the tomb the President will read out to the spirit of the late Doctor Sun Yat-sen the new Constitution for China. We will then return to the aerodrome when the new Constitution will be read out again to the public. There is then a meeting in Parliament House, followed by a parade of troops and a luncheon party, to all of which you are invited. At 3 p.m. there is a football match at which it is hoped you will referee! ! ! - and so on and on, until 10 p.m. It was a good six-mile march to the tomb, but somehow the Commodore got a stone in his boot which obliged him, with Commander Jane and another Chinese senior officer, to resort to his car, which happened to be in a convenient spot. Despite this relief and his inability to referee the football match in cocked hat, epaulettes and sword, the Commodore was utterly exhausted by 10 p.m. Admiral Sir Howard Kelly and the Shanghai Crisis of 1931-32 As already mentioned, Admiral Sir Howard Kelly, C-in-C China Station since early 1931, had no direct responsibility for the Naval Mission, but he was ready to assist at any time and the Commodore gratefully accepted his offer to visit Nanking in his flagship. There the C-in-C gave several dinner parties and 'showed the flag' to advantage. Some Germans attached to an unofficial Military Mission who were amongst the guests at one dinner were greatly impressed by him. One typically Prussian colonel declared that Sir Howard was his beau ideal of what a British admiral should be. The C-in-C had returned to central China early in 1932 under very different conditions. Some months before, H.M.
ships on the Yangtse had reported a change in the attitude of their Japanese opposite numbers, who appeared to be deliberately refraining from the usual courtesies. In September 1931 the Japanese army in Kwangtung launched a campaign in Manchuria. Troops sent by train from Dairen entered Mukden virtually without opposition. It was said that the Chinese sentries at night were provided with dummy wooden rifles to prevent them from selling their arms to bandits at a handsome price. Commodore Bailllie-Grahman returning after his exercises at sea with the Chinese in October noted that Chinese warships were everywhere covered by superior Japanese vessels, and he learned that the Japanese naval attach6 had called on Admiral S. K. Chen in the middle of the night to express 'the hope that no Chinese shells would fall on Japanese ships.' The Commodore was expressly forbidden to take part in any hostilities, to avoid embarrassment to H.M.G., but he asked the Admiral what orders he had given to two old Chinese cruisers anchored off Nanking Bund, watched by a stronger Japanese force. 'Fight - fight to the last man' he replied, but on visiting the ships the Commodore was told that they were without orders or instructions, their shells were unfused and their torpedo warheads had not been shipped nor their air vessels charged. The Japanese were soon bombarding Nanking and on more than one occasion the Commodore's wife had to seek shelter on board a British ship or in British premises. It was widely believed that the Japanese Navy's jealousy of their Army was largely responsible for an offensive against Shanghai. An easy success was not unreasonably expected, since Chiang Kai-shek's forces were widely dispersed; but it happened that the Cantonese were negotiating for a greater share in the Government and a strong military force had been sent north in transports
to ensure that the delegates were not arrested like Hu Ha-min. These troops which had encamped just outside Shanghai inflicted many more casualties than the Japanese expected and the Japanese had to send for reinforcements. The situation rapidly developed into an international crisis that brought Sir Howard Kelly back from Batavia at high speed to Shanghai where most of his larger ships had already assembled by the beginning of February 1932. The Commodore happened to be in the C-in-C's cabin when he drafted a signal to the Admiralty and the Foreign Office reporting that he had warned the Japanese admiral that if any more aircraft flew low over British ships they would be shot down, and says that the Admiral 'laughed at the thought of the reaction to this in Whitehall'. Sir Howard was equally tough with the Japanese general, whose call he received without the usual guard of honour. His Secretary explained to the Commodore that some time before, during a visit to Tientsin, the C-in-C, as the newcomer, had paid an official visit to the general in the full dress demanded by custom, and was received without a guard, kept in a small dark waiting room for twenty minutes and met at last by the general in undress uniform. Sir Howard had said what he thought of such studied discourtesy and walked out looking exceedingly angry - on which Admiral Baillie-Grohman observes in his memoirs that 'Sir Howard's features could register anger and disgust better than those of anyone I have ever met.' In Shanghai Sir Howard merely remarked 'Well, General, you didn't give me a guard, so I haven't given you one' and then took him up on deck to show him the A.A. Guns manned with hefty crews. Later, as negotiations began to progress, their relations greatly improved, and became even friendly. The crisis naturally suspended all work of the Mission and the Commodore felt
that Chen would be pleased to have him put out of the way for the time being, so he took his wife by steamer to Shanghai to pay a visit to Peking. As they passed the Woosung Forts guarding the approaches to Shanghai, three or four Chinese men-of-war were at anchor dressed with flags over all, while Japanese warships shelled the forts. It later appeared that the Chinese ships were celebrating some Japanese festival! The Chinese Army, however, contrived to mine a Japanese cruiser alongside the Bund in Shanghai by dumping an ancient mine into a creek under cover of darkness, shifting it by divers to a position under the ship and firing it by electrical remote control, inflicting some damage. Burnt-out veterans may recall an old catchword - 'Damn clever, these Chinese! * The Baillie-Grohmans had some interesting days in Shanghai, where intermittent fighting occurred while negotiations dragged on, then they took a Hamburg America liner to Taku and thence went on to Peking. After about three weeks they returned by train to Nanking where Chen welcomed them warmly.
Mission but he too was frustrated by Chen. Commodore Baillie-Grohman returned returned to U.K. by Italian liner, the Conti Rosso, in which his fellow passengers included Count Ciano and his wife (Mussolini's daughter), and the Northern War Lord, Chang Hsueh-liang (oasted by the Japanese), with his wife and two beautiful concubines. Having spent much of the previous two years acting as naval advisers to a eunuch, what could be more appropriate, the Commodore reflected, than to be dancing with the elegant wives of diplomats and the charming concubines of a Chinese War Lord? Such was the finale to an appointment which could only be described as 'Nonstop Variety'.
End of the mission Mrs Baillie-Grohman returned to England in the autumn of 1932 but the Commodore remained until April 1933 to complete his tenure. Despite frustrations which would certainly have impelled him to ask for an earlier departure date had he not been told that British retention of the post was useful in keeping a rival Mission out, he had found the appointment of great interest and on balance enjoyable. He was given a good send-off by the Chinese Navy, and a year later some officers sent to Chen a petition for his return. This eventually led to the appointment of another Head of
Tail-piece On arrival in England Commodore Baillie-Grohman obtained a temporary appointment to the Naval Intelligence Division, on the pretext of completing a report on his mission but in fact to find out what had happened to Admiral Kelly's strong letter on payment of Naval Missions, which had remained without an answer for some eighteen months, according to Sir Howard's Secretary. After great difficulty he succeeded in having the letter disinterred and found that although Admiral Kelly had been strongly supported by every senior officer who had seen his letter, it had been arbitrarily pigeonholed by a civilian official of standing, who had appended a lengthy minute concluding that a guaranteed salary for these officers would be too heavy a burden for the Admiralty or Treasury to bear! The mildest comment that occurs to the editor of these extracts is that it seems that Government, as represented by some of its so-called servants, can sometimes behave in a way that would cost private firms and citizens total loss
of good will, if indeed they escaped the in The Naval Review: notice of the Public Prosecutor. (See China - The Past and Present Situation, April 1928, Anon. Note 3). Some Aspects of the Chinese Situation, BEAVER Lt.-Cdr. C. F. Faure, October 1928. Notes from a Yangtse Diary, Cdr. C. A. G. Hutchinson, October 1929, October 1930. NOTES The Third Destroyer Floti.la in China, Anon, April 1930. (1) This was perhaps the only crisis in the 20th Century in which 'Too little and too (3) A copy of Admiral Baillie-Grohman's late' did not aoply to the British forces on Report (actually completed during his the spot. This was largely due to Vice- passace home) is held by the Manuscript Admiral Sir Reginald Tyrwhitt, C-in-C Department of the National Maritime China, and his military opposite number. Museum. He feels that his month at the When it had blown over, they were des- Admiraltv (his onlv appoi~trnent there iq cribed in some circles as 'Alarmists'. You nearly forty years' commissioned service) can't win some contests. was fully justified by its eventual success in (2) The situation in the Far East 1926- obtaining security of payment for officers 1929 was dealt with in the following articles serving on Naval Missions.
What is meant by 'strategy'? In its simplest form, it is defined in the dictionary as the 'art of generalship'. In a more classical sense it is defined by General Baufre, a well known writer on military strategy, as 'the art of the dialectic of two opposing wills using force to resolve their dispute'. Admiral Sir Peter Hill-Norton recently described it as 'rather a pretentious word for defining as precisely as possible what one is setting out to do and then working out how one proposes to do it'. But I do not wish to be concerned here with semantic definition. What I do wish to get across first is that strategy does not only involve the military. Military strategy is but one part of a government's total strategy involving other political, economic and diplomatic sub-strategies. Helmut Schmidt when he was West German Minister of Defence put it thus: 'as I see it, strategy does not come into the military but into a foreign or world political category. It is, therefore, not a matter for generals, although it can assign tasks to generals, but for governments . . . . it involves a complex of inter-dependant factors whose rational conduct calls for equal contributions from military men, diplomats, scholars and finally the political leadership'. There are, of course, many different levels of strategy - one may well formulate a strategy for winning a particular battle or campaign, whether that battle be fought upon the high seas or in the corridors of Whitehall. But I wish to discuss strategy at its highest level because this must provide a structure in which all lower level strategies may be set. The concept for ASW operations in the Atlantic might form part of a discussion on ACLANT strategy. But unless we were clear what we were trying to do in conducting ASW operations in the Atlantic, we would be unlikely to come to valid conclusions on ASW operations. It is a lack of clarity in our strategy at the higher levels that has, in my view, been the cause of many of our naval problems concerning the shape and size of the Fleet. For the Fleet is the physical expression of a sequence of
strategic ideas. We have not been clear in our strategic thought. We have not been clear in our interpretation of sea power in the modern context. We have been unable convincingly to answer the question 'What is a navy for?' We have been unable to persuade others of the utility of navies in peace and war unable to demonstrate that a navy is a useful tool of a modern society and that it is not just an expensive insurance policy to be tucked away in a bottom drawer and only to be brought out when disaster has struck. I t is perhaps worth noting at this stage that it is not only in the process of determining strategy that the military and political processes intermingle. Increasingly as military operations are carried out under the gaze of the mass communication media, political authorities are becoming aware of their accountability not only for the formulation of military strategy but also for the results of its implementation even down to a tactical level. No longer can a government concern itself only with the justification of what must be done. It must also be ready to answer for the manner in which it is done. But this should not surprise us. For politics is about power. Power has many components of which one is military power. We cannot thus consider strategy, or even tactics, in a political vacuum. Military commanders must be always clearly aware of, and sensitive to, the political environment in which they are working.
What is a navy for?
Having thus set a general politico/ military context in which strategy should be seen, we can discuss our approach to it from either the political or the military standpoint. From the military standpoint, one of the first questions which we must try to answer is that to which I have already referred, namely 'What is a navy for?' Mahan's theory of sea power,
based on his study of history, was that those nations which possessed sea power had certain options open to them which give them advantages over those nations which do not have sea power; and it was only through the use of these advantages that a nation could become great. This theory has been somewhat challenged recently in a book by Paul Kennedy called The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery which sees naval power much more as the consequence of power and economic growth rather than as the cause of it. Set in a more modern context, Admiral Zumwalt tried during his term of office as C.N.O. to bring up to date the meaning of sea power by the statement of four fundamental missions for naval forces. These were 'strategic deterrence', 'sea control', 'projection of power ashore' and finally, 'presence'. More recently the fourth of these, 'presence' has been rather set aside because one does not build naval forces just to provide presence. The relative importance and priority which is to be afforded the 'sea control' and 'projection of power ashore' roles, is a matter which vitally affects the optimum shape of the Fleet. I personally take the view that sea control must take the first priority; because without it, the maritime forces for power projection ashore would not survive. Thus, setting aside amphibious forces, which are yet a different argument again, I contend that we should look to the carriers, firstly in the sea control role and only thereafter in the 'power projection ashore' role. This is not the way many in the U.S.N. would argue. And we do need to recognise here a vital difference today, from only a few years ago. Then we could take the assumption of sea control for granted. Now, we must plan to fight the Russian Navy for it. I also believe we need to differentiate more between the ability of navies to proiect 'influence' ashore and their ability to project 'power' ashore. The
establishment of sea control will inevitably project influence ashore, and it may well do so far more effectively than striking at shore targets with piloted aircraft, cruise missiles or naval gunfire support. A further way of deriving strategic options is by considering the threat posed by a potential adversary. However, this traditional 'threat' approach suffers from two fundamental disadvantages. Firstly, it introduces the defensive syndrome, always leading towards the defensive option. But even though NATO is a defensive alliance, let us not forget that the name of the game is 'deterrence' not defence. And the greatest deterrence is usually provided by an enemy's knowledge that if he hits you, you can hit back a great deal harder. The other disadvantage is that too seldom do you have the initiative. You are always reacting; you are always beh'ind. Had, for instance, the Russians tried in the early 1950s to produce aircraft carriers to counter the U.S. carrierborne nuclear air threat, they would almost certainly have always lagged behind the Americans in carrier operating techniques. In fact, the Russians chose a non-reciprocal response by going to surface-to-surface GW and have in this way regained some of their lost initiative.
The Soviet Navy's 'concept of operations' At this point it is convenient to discuss briefly the shape of the Russian Navy so as to try and establish a 'concept of operations' against the background of which the Russian Navy has been designed. How do they intend to use their surface ships? Are they likely to send them out into the Atlantic as Surface Attack Groups? If so, why does the main armament of their later ships seem to have such a strong ASW bias? If, as the Russians claim, their recent surface ships are 'Large ASW ships', are their ASW oprations planned as offensive or defensive? What submarines
do they intend to hunt and where? Is it a navy designed only for a short war? In my view, nowhere near enough thought and discussion has been devoted to this area of the strategic problem. My own thoughts on the matter have been inconclusive. Even when I try to think like a Russian, I find it extremely difficult to establish a fully coherent reason for the shape and balance of the Russian Navy - to establish any grand design. Indeed I begin to feel that maybe there is no grand design - that the Russian Navy is, like other large organisations, subject to many different pressure groups, each of which presses to establish primacy for its own particular specialisation. Perhaps the nearest that I can get to a coherent concept goes like this: the Soviet Navy's prime task is defence of the Russian heartland; the main threat to this was seen, in the 1950s, as the U.S. nuclear strike carriers - as a counter the Soviets went into the surface-tosurface missile business with the 'Kresta J's and the 'Krupny', backed by their air and submarine launched missile forces. By the early 1960s the Polaris submarine had replaced the carrier as the prime threat to the Russian heartland, operating from areas in the Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic. And so the SSM ships were discontinued and there evolved from them the large ASW ships - the 'Kresta II', the 'Kara', and the 'Krivak' classes and the Moscvo to help seek out and destroy the Polaris submarines-whilst the SSM armed 'Kashin' and 'Kildin' took on the tattle-tail role targetting the air and submarine launched missile forces. And now the main threat is moving towards the Trident missile which can cover its Russian targets from launch positions close to the American coast - as the Russians now operate their 'Delta's from t h e Barents Sea, their own backyard. How then can these large Soviet ASW ships counter this new threat? Can they hope to survive off the U.S. coast - any
may then well be unable to provide support for friends and allies who may themselves be threatened and unable adequately to defend their own interests alone. And if one can't support one's friends, one isn't likely to have many friends for long. For our practical purposes, we can start from the political assumption of our continued membership of NATO and this of itself imposes a number of constraints upon our defence policy but it does not uniquely define either our defence policy or our strategy. The broad issue that faces us in the maritime field is whether we wish to play the role of the maritime leader of the European members of the Alliance - a role for which our tradition, our history and our geography appear to make us most suitable - or whether we should see Capabilities or intentions? However, before leaving the tradi- ourselves first as the maritime partner tional 'threat' considerations, it is well of the United States, having a capability to remember that it also inevitably in- complementary to that of the U.S. Navy; volves the difficult argument as to filling the gaps of maritime capability whether one plans on an enemy's that even that great country now finds capabilities or unon his intentions. There it difficult to cover. Of course, it would can be no doubt that one should plan be nice to believe that we could fulfil upon capability - for intentions can both these roles without undue conflict chanse overniqht. But in practical terms between them - but the state of it is almost inevitable that availability of European politics does not at present resources will cause one also to take encourage us to believe in the stability into account likely intentions. I t is the of such a happy state of affairs. Notwithstanding, we do need to balance between them that is a matter of sensitive political and military judge- recognise the vital nature of what has ment. been called the 'American Connection'. Moving to a start position in the Some have argued that the only way to political forum, the first step in deciding give Eurone the will to unite is for the strategy would be to define one's ~olitical United States to phase its military and economic interest. From there one presence out of Europe over the next would go on to see what part maritime several years whilst maintaining a force could play in supporting those common Atlantic defence. This, so the interests. But not only is it necessary argument runs, will scare Europe into to consider the question 'What can the making real progress towards unity. Navy do to support my economic and Those who disagree would argue that a political interests?', but also to ask the strong United States military presence question from the reverse standpoint: on the ground in Europe is essential to 'If I did not have a navy, what is it that the credibility of the U.S. strategic .1 cannot do?' One simple answer to this nuclear commitment to the Alliance in the foreign policy field is that one and that without such presence there
more than we should expect our surface ships at the start of a war to survive for long in the North Norwegian Sea? So, have they built the wrong ships again? And can we expect the opening of a new chapter? Is this what the Kiev heralds? Should we now expect to see a new generation of ocean escorts or a new generation of surface-to-surface missiles for which the Kiev's aircraft might provide the immediate tactical targettine. I do not yet know. But is this not all a rather lengthy digression? Certainly not. This is one element of strategy - the Russian maritime strategy. And a clear understanding of our opponent's strategy can make the problems of producing a counter very much easier.
might well be increasing pressure upon could conduct a wide range of maritime European countries to seek accommoda- operations on their own. The problems tion with the Soviet Union on Moscow's of procurement, of limited resources, and of the very heavy overheads which terms. We should also recognize the strength the defence forces inevitably carry these of NATO governments' commitment to days, are such that there are many de'tente. No one in his right mind would attractions in getting NATO navies to dispute that a reduction of tension be- specialise. Indeed to some extent this is tween East and West is a thoroughly already done. The Belgians specialise in desirable aim - and few would believe mine counter-measures, the Danes and that this might be achieved from a Norwegians in FPB warfare. In this position other than that of strength. The country, there are very real doubts as to SALT talks, the Conference on the whether we can maintain in addition to Security of Central Europe and the our other forces both conventional and Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions nuclear submarines. There would thus negotiations are all part of the political be some attraction in our pulling out of background to dttente. But surely, we the conventional submarine business and are in danger of a confusion in terms. leaving this to others, perhaps to the For what we see as de'tente, and call Dutch. The extent to which countries de'tente, is perhaps something quite are prepared to do this sort of thing must different from that which Moscow calls be a measure of their trust in the future de'tente. Peter Vigor makes this point of the NATO alliance and of the well in his book A Soviet view o f Peace, European Community. I t is therefore a War and Neutrality. We associate with matter very much towards the political the word 'peace' a connotation of good end of the politico/military spectrum. will. The Soviet interpretation of the In history alliances have always changed word 'peace' has no such connotation. and it might seem foolish to assume that Peace is merely an absence of war. Thus our NATO alliance will never change in peace and ill-will is just as logical a the future. However, do we want it to concept as peace and good will. We must change? Surely, NO. Perhaps this is an be very careful not to delude ourselves area in which defence policy can lead that the Soviet meaning of de'tente foreign policy, rather than follow it, implies in any way a weakening of the with the aim of further cementing the ideological conflict. In Soviet eyes political cohesion of the alliance. Should, de'tente is concerned only with the means then, our strategy not seek to ensure by which that conflict is pursued. And it that there is no effective military or is perhaps gratifying that increasingly, political alternative to collective defence? politicians are acknowledging publicly Here is a strong non-economic argument that it is only the strength and security for specialisation. of the NATO alliance that has softened The ultimate in specialisation is perthe Russian attitude of open confron- haps to see the creation of a balanced tation. European Naval Force - balanced in Before we leave the political view- two senses. Balanced in respect to its point we ought to consider very briefly own constitution, and balanced in the the problem of 'specialisation'. The sense that it would be a counter-weight fundamental consideration of specialisa- to the power of the U.S.N. - a second tion is the extent to which individual pillar to the J. F. Kennedy twin pillar nations of NATO wish to maintain mari- concept of the Atlantic Alliance. Is this time forces which are themselves then the way ahead for European balanced; balanced in the sense that they defence organisation, that navies should
turn towards navies, armies towards armies, and air forces towards air forces - rather than the spreading of overheads between the three services on a national basis, producing a single defence force clad in mud coloured uniform and effective neither on land, on the sea o r in the air? The academic input and operational research But there are two inputs to the formulation of strategy that we need to complete our picture. The first is the involvement of what Helmut Schmidt refers to as 'the scholars'. Traditionally the Service officer has had little time for the academic strategist. We do so, I suspect, for a number of reasons of which the first is a lack of understanding of the academic process. Perhaps, also, we take the view that academics dealing in maritime matters have no practical experience on which to build. However, in a number of fields our own experience gives us no more claim than the academic to be right. None of us, for instance, has practical experience of nuclear warfare - and long may it be so - but in these circumstances we cannot fairly claim to reject the academic view-point on the vital issue on grounds of lack of experience. However, we should not expect academics to consider this problem in isolation from all other aspects of military operations. We need therefore to involve them, to inform them, so that the contribution which they do make is valid - even if it is not entirely to our own liking. But let us not reject it just because it is academic. The last input to the strategic debate that I wish to consider is that of operational research. We might classify this as being a special contribution which operational research can make to warfare by providing a numerate basis for various comparisons. I believe it deserves a separate place. But how much attention have we paid to the studies of the
Defence Operational Analysis establishment which happened not to support our particular current hobby horse? How many of us have been guilty of searching the report for the one assumption which we can challenge and so using it to dismiss or discredit the total output of the study. Beware! Such an attitude may appear to be in our short term interest. It is unlikely to be so in the long term. I t is in this sense of deriving maritime strategy from the basis of inputs provided by politicians, academics, operational researchers as well as military men that I believe that we in the Navy have very largely failed to produce almost any original constructive thought on maritime strategy for almost the last two decades. After the inevitable reaction from World War Two an attempt to build a sound basis upon which to design a navy was overtaken by the crisis of the Korean War which led to emergency building programmes, such as that for the CMS which, workhorse though it has been in so many areas of naval employment, has never effectively been required for the role for which it was built. I hope I begin to detect a new openness in thinking about maritime strategy. No longer does one universally get, in response to the question 'why do we need a Navy?' that blank look of incredulity and the stammered 'But, Sir, we have always had a navy. I mean we are a maritime nation. We need to protect our trade'. The shadow of Mahan steals over the conversation. The trite phrases ring out, despite Corbett's warning 'the freedom of the seas is one of those ringing phrases which haunt the ear as they continue to confuse the judgement'. 'Blue Water' versus 'Coastguard' or both? But there is no doubt that the protection of trade has in the past been a vital factor in maritime strategy. Many claim that it is still so and indeed they may be
right. Let us be under no illusion that if the Americans felt that their army in Europe could not be supported and resupplied in the face of relatively low level action by the Russians in the Atlantic, without recourse to tactical nuclear weapons, then in America there would be considerable increased pressure to withdraw those ground forces from the European continent. However, if one looks today at the pattern of shipping one may begin to doubt whether, in national terms, this justifies the emphasis given in recent years to trade protection. This is not because shipping is less important or less vulnerable than it has been in the past. It is because today this shipping is more international. Under these conditions a selective blockade by surface ships or submarines appears a t best to be difficult, and at worst impossible; and the more so when one takes into account the high speed of many modern merchantmen. But the international pattern of trade is today so complex that a total or even selective blockade would also be almost as serious a blow to Russia's friends as it would be to her enemies. Perhaps, though, the new national wealth lies not in shipping but in the resources of the sea and of the sea bed within the 200 mile exclusive economic zone. There may be some who would regard the policing of this zone as a coastguard task which is beneath the dignity of a great ocean going navy to undertake. This view would not be supported by history, for the naval history of the late 18th century shows that for long periods the Royal Navy's employment during the American Wars of Independence was primarily directed towards the collection of customs revenue. Some people see the task of maritime policing and good order in the Exclusive Economic Zone as diverting resources from the more manly roles of deterrence and sea control. But where can sea control be more important than in ones own backyard? Yes, of
course, we should impress upon our political authorities that this is a task, the undertaking of which can only be at the expense of other tasks, resources for which are already spread all too thinly; and that it therefore justifies the allocation of additional money. And in Norway this has been particularly successful. It has already not been unsuccessful in this country, where the Island Class Patrol vessels have been approved as an addition to the Naval budget for this task. But the priority to be afforded between the 'blue water' and 'coastguard' task is one which must be continually watched and argued.
NATO strategy and the input of technology Before turning to some of the balances which we should consider as part of the strategic debate, I would like to refer to two important current issues. The first concerns NATO strategy. NATO's strategy is based upon deterrence; not only deterrence at the strategic level but deterrence across the full spectrum of conventional warfare - for the possession of a second nuclear strike capability, alone, allows only the choice between mutual annihilation or surrender. Thus NATO's strategy allows for direct defence a t the level of conventional warfare which an enemy may choose, together with the ability to escalate the conflict should the enemy refuse to back down. This strategy of direct defence and possible escalation has in the NATO context been divided into three parts. The strategy of the Central Front; the strategy of the flanks; and the maritime strategy. It has been argued by some that these were alternative choices. I t was argued that if defence resources became even more limited then one could place an order of priority between these three fronts as a basis for the allocation of resources. However, the counter argument, mounted strongly last year by our
Chiefs of Staff, was that these were not three separate strategies. They are but three legs of a single strategy - and if one leg were greatly reduced or cut off the total strategy would fail. This strategy assumes adequate warning time - the idea that the build up of political tension will allow us up to thirty days to prepare ourselves for a coming armed conflict. You may have noticed that this concept of warning time is increasingly being challenged. General Haig has given repeated warnings recently that the Russian military machine on the Central Front is so increasing its capability and its readiness for a surprise offensive that it could overwhelm NATO conventionally before NATO had time to react. Our Western governments should heed these strong warnings even though some would see the possibility that they were based more on a need to redress a swing in the allocation of resources, which are already inadequate, away from the Central Front towards the maritime sphere as a result of the rapid growth of the Russian Navy, than on any fundamental change in Russian ~apabili~ty or intention. Another key aspect which must also play a critical part in the strategic debate is the impact of technology. There are the obvious factors such as nuclear versus conventional power, the possible impact of precision guided weapons and damage lasers - but at a level far above these we need to look at the fundamental area in which we ask the advances in technology to assist us. Let us look a t this in terms of the qualitylquantity equation - the concept that with limited resources you can have either quantity o r quality but probably not both. During the last twenty years we have used the fruits of advancing technology almost entirely upon the quality side of the equation. We have used technology to produce weapons which go further, faster, higher, lower and hit with far greater accuracy. This has
been one factor in the enormous escalation of cost in military equipment. There is an alternative. That alternative is to ask of technology that it should in the future give us a similar performance to that which we now have but with greater simplicity, improved relsiability and lesser cost. We can therefore look towards putting technology to work on the quantity side of the equation. If we do not do this I can see great dangers ahead. For the lessons of history show all too clearly that the machines of war have always grown to a stage at which they become unwieldy and vulnerable to a lesser, more agile opponent. If our ships become so valuable that to lose one or two would be a major defeat then we are not unreasonably tempted to avoid putting them at risk - and in war little of significance is ever gained without risk. Balancing factors Let me now turn briefly to certain 'balances' which we need to consider in evolving our strategy: Long v Short wur. Are we to put all our resources into the shop window in order to maximise deterrence and have virtually no 'reserves'; or are we to produce reserves of weapons which may never be used but without which the credibility of our deterrence may be called into question? Big ships v small ships. There can already be detected a significant swing of opinion moving towards smaller ships; not only perhaps because of the vulnerability of big ships to precision guided weapons but also because increasingly they are becoming difficult to build. The fitting out and equipping of a large modern warship requires a vast army of electricians and other finishing trades. But it only requires them for a small part of the total building period. Thus unless a continuous flow production can be set up the requirement for such skilled labour must peak strongly and periodically. Today it is becoming in-
creasingly difficult to 'hire and fire' to meet these peaks - and the cost of major units precludes a continuity of flow that would allow them permanently to be retained. Defence v offence. Because NATO is a defensive alliance we have been indoctrinated into a defensive syndrome. Our strategy is not defence, it is deterrence. And we seem in danger of forgetting that the ability to hit the enemy harder than he can hit you is the best deterrent of all. Further I suggest that as the total size of a navy decreases as ours has decreased then the balance between offence and defence needs to be swung significantly towards the offensive end. War at sea v war on land. What view are we to take on the question of whether we plan that war at sea is possible without necessarily involving parallel action on land? This is a key question that must be answered before one can sensibly decide the level of naval forces required to counter possible Russian action at sea. What proportion of our defence resources should we put into the Land/Air war and what into the Sea/Air war? The resolution of this balance lies very much in the geo-political field.
The strategic debate And so I end up at a point which emphasises my first point - that strategy is part of a political as well as a military process. It is a process which in my view we have sadly failed to understand. It is a process governed by influence and not by command. Command is something at which we are good but its characteristics are entirely different from those of influence. Command works in straight lines, influence takes more devious routes. Command is associated with what you know. Influence is associated with whom you know. Thus the characteristics of influence are entirely different from those in which our service. training prepares us. But we must face
the fact that a large part of our career will not be spent a t sea where we would all like to be but in the corridors of power - in our case in Whitehall. If we do not learn to understand the character of influence then we shall be unable to influence the evolution of the strategic debate and the outcame of the strategic debate will not in the end be decided by military men it will be decided by politicians. Politicians who are the masters of influence are themselves influenced not by the military o r by the diplomats or by the scientists but by their voters. It is therefore in our interests, in the interest of every naval officer, to take part in the strategic debate, to understand it's issues and to be prepared openly to discuss the foundations upon which they are based. The debate needs to take place at all levels. The questions flood to mind: a. How do we best deprive Soviet forces of the opportunity to fight the kind of battle which they seem to have planned? b. Can we exploit the weakness, particularly in limited operations, of the highly centralised Soviet command, control and communi~ations system? c. I n view of the enormous and increasing cost of ASW, should we encourage an ASW treaty as part of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT)? What effect might this have on the strategic nuclear balance? d. What do we mean by 'winning' in an era when the strategic nuclear balance rules out any total military victory? Is not the appearance of victory more important than victory itself? (Who 'won' the recent Cod War?) e. How much importance should we attach to survivability? To endurance? To speed? f. Will technological advance favour offence o r defence?
g. What part does the 'third world' play in the strategic balance? Despite the many limitations that we have placed upon us in terms of public speaking I have no doubt that we can
all make a far, far more effective contribution than we have done over the last two decades to answering these sorts of questions. J.H.F.E.
The Chance to Change
There once was a man who s a ~ d'Damnl A t last I percelve what I am A mere creature that moves I n predest~nate grooves, I n fact not a bus but a traml' Anon. x ~ x t hCentury
preserve that urge against the time when it may be needed.
A static administration The Royal Navy is an efficient organisation structured to achieve specific though wide-ranging objectives. Its operations are planned, tested and practised repeatedly - in the hope that they will never be used 'for real'. It is only in war time that novel situations and lack of time compel people on the spot to think and plan for themselves along other than well established and practised guidelines. That this is so is right. In peacetime the Navy's role is to appear efficient, stable and utterly reliable. Such change as it must undergo is gradual, in response to changing balances of power, social and economic forces, technology and so on. These changes are long term ones, require careful planning, and must be initiated high up in the organisational tree. There is no room for the man on the spot to grasp and exploit a sudden opportunity, to restructure his part of the organisation to achieve a short term objective - as there might be in wartime. In short, there is no scope for middleranking officers to leave their mark on the system. The most they can achieve is to run their section of the organisation a little more efficiently than the next man, though still within the established guidelines. The only reputation they can establish, other than for administra-
Everyone would like to change the world, given the chance. The desire to effect change is as basic as, and closely related to, the desire for power - be it over the environment or over other people. There are few people who do not like to feel they have some control over things that affect them. Indeed changing something is an expression of power by changing the thing you prove you control it. Like the desire for power, the desire to effect change must be controlled in a civilized society. More constructively, it can be controlled by channelling it usefully. Much of the advance in technology and business systems is fuelled by inventors and innovators wishing to put into effect their own ideas. Their motivation is primarily the satisfaction of achieving change in the world. With luck and good management that change can be beneficial, but the benefits are often only of secondary importance to those achieving the change. We all like to leave our mark on the world, to feel that we personally have contributed something lasting. Let me bring these generalisations nearer home and see why the Royal Navy cannot afford to channel this dynamic urge constructively in peace time, and see how it nevertheless tries to
THE CHANCE TO CHANGE
tive efficiency, is a reputation barely relevant to their performance of the job: - that of 'character', or for involvement in 'jolly japes and wizzard wheezes'. It is a sad requirement, but a necessary one in a stable peacetime Navy, that such initiative and dynamism as midranking officers have must not be channelled into their work. Other armed forces are less successful than ours in finding outlets for this dynamism. They allow it to be directed into the organisation, or even more dangerously into politics. Peace-time forces can seldom cope with that; the result is all too often a coup, invariably inspired by frustrated mid-ranking officers.
His unit is likely to be efficient when he steps into the job; it is likely to be efficient a few years hence; a similarly trained officer is likely to be able to do the job as well as he will do it; if he thinks of a radically better way of doing the job he will be prevented from doing so by guidelines and regulations which quite properly ensure that any suitably trained officer can do that job adequately. In short, he can do his job well, but he is unlikely to leave his personal mark on it - though the flavour of his personality may linger on in the unit.
Leaving one's mark The method our forces use to direct the dynamic urge away from improvements in the organisation I will mention later. It does however result in preventing an officer from devoting a large part of his talents to his job. There are many officers who want more than the chance to be a high grade of oil in an efficient organisational machine, with their initiative and enterprise focused on matters tangential t o the machine's function. Designing tho machine o r building it o r driving it once it is made is what brings the satisfaction. A dynamic man wants his efforts to achieve a lasting and personalised contribution either to the overall objective or towards structuring the system to achieve that obiective. This is precisely what a naval officer (with a few exceptions in particular jobs) cannot do. He cannot have a part in building the organisation; it already exists in an efficient form, and such changes as are necessary must come from the top, and slowly. Nor can he feel that he is making much personalised contribution to the organisation's objective of 'operational efficiency'. As one particular individual rather than another he will have little lasting effect..
Change for change's sake The attainable objective of 'operational efficiency', then, is one to which the individual does indeed contribute by his efforts, but does so without feeling that there is any significance in the fact that his contribution is specifically his. Many other people could have done the job as well as he did, and in the same way - for that is the only way permitted. I believe that it is frustration caused by this situation that causes so many officers to initiate such small degrees of change as are permitted within official guidelines and regulations. The new captain or executive officer who revises the ship's routines and procedures - in the small ways permitted to him - often seems to do so more to leave his mark, to feel he has achieved something personalised, than in any belief that his changes will be for the direct good of the ship. Change for change's sake is the sterile display of a healthy dynamic urge thwarted by the constrictions of the system.
How to preserve the dynamic urge? Which is not to say those constrictions are wrong. As pointed out earlier, they are necessary in a slowly changing peacetime Navy. But how to preserve that healthy though inconvenient dynamism in officers who must not be allowed, in peace-time, to leave their personal mark
THE CHANCE TO CHANGE
on the system till they get near the top? The Navy's solution is twofold. First, the clearly delineated status associated with high rank is held out as a valuable prize. At any level there are usually a number of officers who are competent enough at their job to merit promotion. How can they single themselves out from the crowd? There is often little scope for them to do their job better the system is sufficiently well established to ensure they would not be in the job if they were not competent to do it, and as already explained they may not change the system to achieve better results. Their only hope is to contract promotionitis, and to expend their dynamic urge in cultivating this disease. The second method is to change officers' iobs every two years or so. The stated objective of this policy is commendable: to give each officer breadth of experience. A useful ancillary result is that an officer is so busy learning new jobs, and initiating petty change for change's sake, that he never has the time to sit down in his present job and do a careful study of how he could do the job better if he had a completely free hand. Then no sooner has he got comfortably to grips with one job than he is whisked away to another. By these methods it is hoped that the dynamic urge can be preserved until an officer reaches high rank, o r until it is needed in wartime.
In summary. The Royal Navy cannot afford to channel the dynamism of its mid-ranking officers into constructive change of an already efficient system. Change in peacetime must be slow, and it must come from the to^. So the dynamic urge is successfully diverted. and the Navy remains stable and reliable - at the exnense of the job satisfaction of its officers. The function of a naval officer is turned into the administration and preservation of an already efficient status quo. It is like being a doctor in an efficient modern hospital, with highly trained and well practised staff, but empty of patients. Till the patients arrive doctors practise their skills, learn the new techniques as they evolve and maintain the system on top line efficiency, refining the guidelines and regulations the while. Their creative urge for change, for leaving their personal mark, they satisfy by reorganisational projects - let us say by rearranging the order of beds in the wards - sterile, but giving some sense of achievement. Only when the patients arrive can they test out their new ideas, and really prove themselves. We can only hope that the Navy never gets the opportunity to prove itself in the war for which it is designed.
The Royal Navy and U.N.C.L.O.S.
THE POSSIBLE EFFECTS ON MARITIME OPERATIONS OF ANY FUTURE CONVENTION OF THE
LAW OF THE SEA
(In July 1976 the Chief o f Naval Operations, United States Navy, held his Fourth International Sea Power Symposium at the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. This is the text o f the address given at the Symposircm by Admiral Sir Edward Ashmore, G.c.B., D.s.c., A.D.c., Chief o f the Naval staff and First Sea Lord. W e are indebted to him, ant1 to theEditor o f The Naval War College Review, in which it was published, for permission to reproduce it here -Editor). When the Chief of Naval Operations but long established freedoms of the kindly invited me to initiate our dis- seas. I hope to show you that both cussions on this important subject, I had maritime and coastal states stand to gain hoped that the recent session of the by the maintenance of this concept. conference at New York would have got Freedom of the seas, of course, implies a little further. That progress was made, not only a freedom of action but a 1 am in no doubt. I am also in no doubt responsibility to respect the rights of that is is very important that at their others. I acknowledge from the start, August 1976 session in New York and I will go over the ground in more enough progress is made to enable detail later on, that we are living in a governments to agree to the broad terms changing world and that there is a very of a new convention which could be reasonable case to be put which calls for finalized in 1977. more careful definition of the rights of But because of this rate of progress, states on, in, and under the oceans of it does mean that we can discuss the the world. States have every right to crucial issues the Conference has before look to their security and economic it in an unrestricted way and not feel interests: and the better understanding bound by any positions our own govern- that is reached on these issues, the less ments might otherwise by now have chance there is of friction and tension. adopted. Indeed, I must stress from the A new convention will depend entirely outset that my views are those of a on a sound balance of all interests being professional naval officer, not of a struck. The United Kingdom has both maritime lawyer nor of an official nego- maritime and coastal state interests. We tiating for his national interests in the firmly believe in the maintenance of the matter. But it is inevitable that I will balance of strategic deterrence and have frequently to refer to the argu- depend extensively for our livelihood on ments that are still taking place in the unfettered contacts with our trading conference for it is these that will colour partners - we have the third largest the backcloth against which any future mercantile marine in the world (after maritime operations will take place. Liberia and Japan). At the same time, Such operations in such a context are our geographical position as an island of course, a peaceful exercise of mari- state, separated from our European time power. I do not address the ques- neighbours by the busiest straits of the tion of belligerence. world, on a continental shelf rich in My theme in this discussion of how hydrocarbons and fish, gives us signifia new convention might affect future cant coastal state interests. A balanced maritime operations is that the corner- convention is therefore as vital to my stone of any future convention must be country as to any. the maintenance of the often challenged We have only reached this view after
THE ROYAL NAVY AND U.N.C.L.O.S.
many years as a maritime nation and in common with most of us here could not claim to have been consistent in our views over the last 2,000 years. Let me say something, since nothing is new under the sun, least of all the ocean, about those 2,000 years and the sum of human experience they convey to us. The policy of the dominant sea powers In the earliest days the sea was believed not only to hold inexhaustible stocks of fish, which were free for anyone to take, but to extend over such vast distances that the waters themselves could not similarly be taken. What could not be taken was free for common use by all men. To the Romans who enshrined this principle in the Justinian Code, such a view was probably more a luxury that the undisputed masters of the Mediterranean could well afford, since it was unlikely that anyone would challenge it, rather than an act of liberal statesmanship. Nevertheless, after the collapse of the Roman Empire there was no major change to this principle until the crusades brought a Europe emerging from the Dark Ages into contact with the Mediterranean. This stimulus to commerce allowed Mediterranean practice, Roman in origin, to spread to the Atlantic seaboard, and the Rolls of OlCron gained immediate success and wide recognition among the nations of north west Europe. But although these codes talked of freedom, this freedom began to become discretionary. As Mediterranean trade revived in the 13th and 14th centuries, the conflicting claims of the trading nations on the waters around their coasts became the dominant issues. The Venetians began to charge a fee for entering the Adriatic, and Venice's chief rival, Genoa, claimed similar jurisdiction over the Ligurian Sea. In northwest Europe, countries made similar claims: The Danes, Swedes, and Poles
claimed various parts of the Baltic and the English, with what some of you may feel was characteristic expansiveness, the Channel, the North Sea, and the whole of the Western Atlantic. Slowly the sea, from being free from any jurisdiction became, like the land, subject to the authority of those who had the power to enforce that authority. But the two great naval powers of the day were Spain and Portugal and, using the Pope as a maritime arbitrator which had the wholly desirable effect of giving their claims the authority of God, they began to apportion the oceans of the world between them so that both countries' interests in their newly discovered possessions in the Americas, East and West Indies, Africa, and India were protected. Their dominance culminated in the Treaty of Tordesillas which, in effect, divided the globe in half; a feature which even the Pope had sought to avoid. With the growth of English naval power in the middle of the 16th century, her ships began to challenge the monopoly of Spanish trade with the Indies. The first Queen Elizabeth sought to justify the activities of men like Sir Francis Drake by an appeal to the principle of the freedom of the seas the first time this concept had been expressed for four or more centuries. Her Majesty refused to concede that Spain 'had any right to debar British subjects from trade or from freely sailing that vast ocean, seeing that the use of the sea and air is common to all: neither can any title to the ocean belong to any people.' While England was having difficulties with Spain, Holland, which was also increasing in power, was having the same difficulties with Portusal. The Portuguese cited the Papal Bull of 1493 in support of their trade monopoly; to counter their arauments Grotius wrote his famous treatise on the law of the sea. He stated quite categorically that
THE ROYAL NAVY AND U.N.C.L.O.S.
'Since the sea is just as unsusceptible of physical appropriation as the air, it cannot be attached to the possession of any nation.' By this time, however, the British had forgotten their late Queen's stand and her successor, King James I, commissioned John Selden to write a refutation of Grotius supporting the concept of a closed sea; a principle which was duly followed so long as the British felt that their interests were best served by protecting their trade against foreign competition. However, during the 18th century there was a slow and gradual change in British policy. The old order whereby strong maritime powers waged war to protect their trade was changed by the Industrial Revolution in England. There was for a time thereafter no foreign competition, and so British interests were now best served by completely free and unrestricted trade. Thus, by the early 19th century Britain was once again an unequivocal supporter of the freedom of the seas. It seems clear that the policy of the superior maritime power, and not for the first time, carried the day. When one power has been predominant, freedom of the seas has been its policy. I t would be an oversimplification to say that when dominance of the sea was in doubt nations pursued a policy of closed seas which went unchallenged until one power again became predominant, but it is nevertheless not far from the truth. Later on I will attempt to show how the maintenance of the freedom of the seas has developed from being principally in the interests of major maritime powers to the situation today when it safeguards the interests of the international community. As trade increased, piracy became a growing nuisance on an international scale. Initially countries were content to rid the seas of pirates harassing their own trade while being quite content to
let them do their worst among their rivals. Nevertheless, the consciences of some enlightened men and the timing of history ensured that piracy and the slave trade were suppressed in an era when the principle of the freedom of seas was being upheld under the umbrella of Pax Brirannica. It could not have been effected in the absence of the freedom of the seas, and the dividend this then gave is enjoyed by all nations. Another example of benefit from the freedom of the seas is to be found in the contribution to the surveying and charting which has been done for over 200 years by the hydrographic fleets of our various countries. Their freedom of navigation and their cooperation results in world chart series for all the mariners of every nation. There is no ship which does not benefit from the ability to sail and work on the seas of the world with hydrographic data which has resulted from this very freedom of access. Long may it continue. Freedom cannot be unfettered That having been said, we all know that the law of the sea is not merely an affirmation of unfettered freedom. The freedom of the high seas became a regulated freedom through agreements by flag states that their ships should follow certain rules about safety, avoidance of collisions, interference with submarine cables, and similar matters of general concern. It is important to recognize, however, that ships were to be regulated only by their own flag states. In more modern times came the recognition that the coastal state had an interest, and indeed a claim, on the belt of water immediately surrounding its own coastline. This claim was ultimately recognized in the concept of the territorial sea. The development which balanced this concession to absolute freedom at sea was the establishment of the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea. Coastal states accepted
THE ROYAL NAVY AND U.N.C.L.O.S.
the erosion of full sovereignty implicit in the acknowledgement that a foreign ship could not be prevented arbitrarily from passing through the territorial sea so long as she was doing no harm. This harmonious compromise was further developed by the 1958 Geneva Conventions on the law of the sea. What started as an attempt to codify all past practice, in fact, went further and resulted in recognition of the increasing attention being given to the exploitation of the resources of the sea and the seabed, and whilst high seas freedoms were to a large extent preserved, these conventions for the first time addressed the rights to exploit the resources of continental shelves and the conservation of the living resources of the high seas. The 1958 Geneva Conventions have, I believe, served the international community well. The listing of the freedoms of the high seas was useful, as were the provisions concerning nationality for all ships, piracy, and slave trading. So also were the definition of innocence of passage in the territorial seas as being not prejudicial to the peace, good order, and security of the coastal state; the definition of the rights of hot pursuit; and the safeguarding of the right of passage through straits. There were also many other valuable provisions relating to navigation and resource exploitation. But there were major omissions too, the most far reaching being the failure of the 1958 conference to agree on a maximum breadth for the territorial sea and the failure to set objective limits to coastal state rights in respect of fisheries and the continental shelf. The large increase since 1958 in the number of merchant ships sailing under flags of convenience has also called into question whether dependence on flag state regulation is sufficient t o safeguard coastal state interest. The main pressure for a new law of the sea convention has, however, been generated by the increase of man's
knowledge associated with a desire to exploit the resources of the sea and the seabed. 'The common heritage of man should be used for the benefit of mankind as a whole' is a popular cry. If we are to use the seas and the resources in and under the sea for the benefit of the international community in an orderly fashion, we must aim to re-examine and strengthen existing law to fit today's circumstances and fill in the gaps in the 1958 conventions that I have already mentioned. There are, of course, a number of ways of doing this, and it is precisely because of this fact that negotiations in the conference directed toward reaching a consensus have been prolonged and difficult. A position somewhere between the somewhat imprecise but possibly maritime oriented regime that came from the 1958 conventions, and those states who have been calling for extensive coastal state sovereignty and jurisdiction must be found. We must not be discouraged by the length of negotiations on this complex subiect. Each member state of the United Nations surely has to attend its own immediate needs before acting as a member of the international community to safeguard the broader world interest. The rights of coastal states With good reason coastal states are concerned with sovereign rights, and the obvious proof of the growing concern for this is to be found in the large increase in the number of states now claiming a wider territorial sea. The numbers have increased markedly since 1958. Some states believe that an extension of sovereignty over the sea is an essential safeguard to their security. There is much public discussion of security, both in the defence or military sense and also in the civil or police sense. Many newly emergent and emerging states think of increased sovereignty as as essential precursor of economic well-
THE ROYAL NAVY AND U.N.C.L.O.S.
being. Many states also, and my own is no exception, look to the wealth of the natural resources of the continental shelf to contribute substantially to economic well-being and are showing a real concern about conservation of fish stocks and an understandable feeling that they should have prime responsibility for assuring the future of a resource they claim for their own country. However we must remember the other side of the coin. This is that to extend the frontiers of sovereignty is at the same time to increase the burden of national sewrity and certainly not to make it easier. If we are to develop new laws, we must ensure that either the coastal state or the international community has the ability to enforce them. Laws that cannot be upheld fall into disrepute and are certain sources of international friction. While I well understand the importance of the work being done in the present conference on the settlement of disputes, I am sure we would rather that its aim should be a consensus likely to minimize the occurrence of disputes. Moreover, it is axiomatic that the greater area of the continental shelf or greater volume of water that the coastal state can lay claim to, the less the resources freely available to others. One of us here represents a landlocked state, and there are others amongst us whose countries say that they are geographically disadvantaged. Any view that the seas are free requires that the rights of every member of the international community be considered in drawing up the balance between the interests of the coastal state and the community as a whole. There is no shortage of public discussion on this either. Coastal states have a third interest which is gaining in importance as the worldwide lobby for the protection of the environment grows. None of us here would quarrel with the need to take
every reasonable precaution to minimize the risk caused by collisions and groundings or by poor construction of ships. Pollution control, too, is listed high in the requirements of all these days. It is an important matter which the convention must address. I mentioned earlier that flaq states had come to accept the need for certain rules to guide the conduct of shipping. An amalgam of these rules on safety, the avoidance of collision and pollution control add up in many minds not merely to the maintenance of good order but to the need for traffic regulations as the means of assuring it. Sealanes and traffic separation schemes do, of course, have a valuable part to play. The United Kingdom and France believe that they have already been instrumental in improving traffic conditions in the Dover Strait, and they look forward to the observance of these schemes becoming mandatory. I would welcome also the establishment of similar schemes in other busy shipping areas around the world. Latterly the International Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) has taken the lead in initiating international conventions in this broad field of good order at sea. However, IMCO neither lays down nor enforces law. Governments use the IMCO machinery to conclude agreements, and it is their responsibility to give these agreements the force of law. Should we not agree to urge our governments to place their trust in IMCO and make proposals to it? Furthermore, should we not also agree that we should urge our governments to ratify conventions agreed through IMCO and to enforce rigorously the ensuring legislation? The international community currently accepts that outside the territorial sea it remains the flag state's responsibility to enforce regulations on their own shipowners and masters. To overcome the laxity of some flag states
THE ROYAL NAVY AND U.N.C.L.O.S.
and in particular to regulate those ships that sail under a flag of convenience, it may be necessary to introduce a different enforcement regime. Consideration should be given to what seems a very sensible idea that a form of port state jurisdiction may well provide a better balance between the interests of the coastal state and those of the international community, the theory here being that a coastal state whose regulations have been flouted and who does not have confidence that the flag state will take appropriate action will appeal to the state into whose port the offending ship next calls to prosecute that ship. Let us now summarize the coastal state's interests as I have outlined them to you. They amount, I suggest, to 'a requirement to extend their sovereignty and jurisdiction into the sea area and on to the continental shelf, adjacent to their shores so as to ensure their state's security, militarily, economically and ecologically.' I have previously laid emphasis on the meeting of these justifiable aims while preserving the natural maritime rights of the international community as a whole. Furthermore, in examining the history of those rights, we saw how we arrived at the basic doctrine of high seas freedoms on the back of maritime power. In the remainder of my talk I would like to show that these freedoms developed in the last 150 years now safeguard the rights of the international community. The high seas freedoms stipulated in the 1958 convention were the freedom of navigation and overflight, the freedom to fish, the freedom to lay submarine cables and pipelines, and other generally recognized and customary international freedoms. Freedom of navigation and overfliqht I would like to dwell for a while on what to us, as mariners, must be the
most important aspect, 'freedom of navigation and overflight.' We are not in this convention addressing the historic rights of warships in time of war. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that I have barely mentioned any military matters so far, I still see a very clear role for the military in the wake of a new convention. We are all here because our countries deem it necessary to maintain navies for reasons of national security. Warships have traditionally been involved with maintaining the freedom of navigation of merchant ships, and we would claim that the deployment of our navy in support of trade has been a stabilizing factor in increasing world prosperity. In the past the number of ships engaged in trade that plied the seas was microscopic compared with the number today. Under the umbrella of high seas freedom and as the economies of the countries of the world, partly under imperial influences, expanded during the 19th century, trade began to flow in all directions. This expansion has accelerated as the colonial empires have waned and the colonies and protectorates have become independent countries. With the growth of international companies and the complex economic relations that exist today, the very foundation of our society depends for its future on economic efficiency. To carry cargo by sea is and will remain in the foreseeable future the most cost effective manner of trading. We see examples everyday of the world's dependence on energy supplies, and the battle against poverty and starvation can only begin to be tackled with any hope of success if trade across the sea is allowed to proceed about its lawful occasions, unhampered and unmolested. Economic stability is intrinsically bound up with the balance of power and in this imperfect world in which we live the balance of strategic deterrence is of the utmost importance. We surely must
THE ROYAL NAVY AND
accept the fact that navies have a part to play in maintaining that balance of power and that they must operate and train in the areas in which they need to exert their power. These areas coincide with the world sea routes which, in many cases, pass through what we expect to become economic zones. Efforts in the past to declare zones of peace have much to commend them, but they will never be zones of peace for all the fine words that are spoken unless we can be confident that no one will cheat. Let us not delude ourselves, we cannot be certain of that today. No doubt we all look forward to the day when world tensions are eased and that the opportunity occurs for the major alliances to scale down the effort deployed to maintain this strategic balance, but we must deal with things as they are and not as we would wish them to be. Meanwhile we should, I think, take advantage of the phenomenon that we are in the presence today of an expanding maritime power, which is far from achieving that position of maritime dominance that I have historically associated with allegiance to the freedom of the seas and which seems to be content. for reasons which are not vet clear, to support a doctrine of maritime freedom. I have now outlined to you why I see a requirement for the coastal states' needs to be put in perspective with the requirements-to safeguard the rights of the international community. Let us then assume that we achieve an acceptable balance of interest in an internationally agreed convention. The need will then arise for coastal states to evolve internationally acceptable methods of enforcing the laws which they will be entitled and indeed have a duty to enact. The maritime tasks Varying historical and constitutional factors will influence the way different
countries tackle the task. It would be wrong to assume that there is a single correct way and if others do not do things in the way we do, either they o r we are in error. I would like to explain to you how we in the United Kingdom see ourselves undertaking this. We could have established some kind of force on the lines of the U.S. Coast Guard and this may be an attractive model for many countries to follow. We have. however, decided to meet our expected increased resnonsibilities by the development and improvement of the existing pattern involving continuing cooperation between the civil authorities concerned and our Armed Forces rather than by some radical change. The Roval Navv has for many years provided shins for fishery protection duties. and though the extent of this task will increase, it will hopefully be carried out in an atmosphere of international accord. As regards fixed offshore installations. these are of course subiect to the normal external threat posed by another power and in this respect we see the Services defending them within the framework of their normal function to defend the realm. But today we face an increasing threat from terrorists. Many people advance the theory that an oil platform, like an aircraft. is an attractive tarqet for hijackers wishing to gain publicity. Around our shores, in the stormy waters of the North Sea and off the coast to the Shetlands. to hiiack an oil rig to make a political point ~ u c has demanding the release of political prisoners, would be verv difficult and require considerable skill and resources. There are many targets associated with the oil and gas industries ashore which it would be much more easv to tackle. Nevertheless there is a threat, and in our view that is best met by mounting deterrent patrols by ships and aircraft. Sophisticated shins are not needed for this. The important thing is to deploy ships with good seakeeping qualities and
THE ROYAL NAVY AND U.N.C.L.O.S.
good communications. If the ships and aircraft can be seen and heard they deter, and if any incident occurs they have the ability to get to the scene quickly and observe and report. This is also a priceless asset in the event of an accident. A new convention will, we assume, confirm the existing entitlement of the coastal state to establish safety zones around installations on its continental shelf and even enhance their status. In the light of this we envisage a requirement to operate a force of about eight ships backed up by fixed wing surveillance aircraft and shorebased helicopters to undertake concurrently fishery protection and deterrent patrols in the area of offshore installations. We have chosen a 200-foot lightly armed ship of about 1,300 tons to fulfil these tasks. In the poor weather conditions around our coasts we have decided that an all-weather capability is more important than high speed, and thus the fast patrol boat, an attractive option for many countries, is not a realistic one for the United Kingdom. We also envisage these ships being useful in reporting incidences of pollution and for assistance in maintaining good order in traffic separation schemes. Here our aim is to advise shipping on the state of traffic so that it can more easily follow the traffic separation scheme. We have not found it either practical or desirable to attempt to positively control the traffic, believing that no sea captain would take kindly to being controlled from shore and that an attempt to do so would be likely to lead to more radio assisted collisions than it avoided. In all these tasks we see our forces being used to safeguard our coastal states' rights and at the same time to ensure that the rights of the international community will be served as well - they will be there to monitor and ieport. The legal action that ensues from
any incident they observe will be taken up by the civil authorities. Maybe in due course an international force should be set up to carry out these tasks. Perhaps regional arrangements can be expanded. We already have in the Northeastern Atlantic a fisheries convention whereby some fourteen countries (both East and West) agree to the monitoring of each other's fleets by fishery protection ships flying an international fishery protection flag.
The rights and duties of warships But before that kind of situation can become commonplace we must achieve an agreed and acceptable convention. Inevitably there will have to be compromises. Some may not be to the liking of the coastal states who may feel that their sovereignty, their ability to exploit their resources, is weakened. Some may not wholly suit the maritime powers whor will find rights and privileges long taken for granted will become conditional. And in the balance it will be the coastal states who will have the major increase in the responsibility for safeguarding all our rights in their waters. Those of us who know how very seriously the progress of mankind can be hampered by failure to resolve issues as those the convention has to address can only wish the negotiators well. I do not think I would be guilty of heresy if I said that it would be nice to think that the convention would put all us naval men out of a job, that there would be no need for armed forces at sea. But, as things stand today, there can be little prospect of this, and only by maximizing the flexibility of maritime forces can the burden they impose on national economies be reduced. Against this background of a future where the rights and responsibilities of maritime and coastal states will need some degree of enforcement and a future where power politics may make the movement of naval forces a sad
THE ROYAL NAVY AND U.N.C.L.O.S.
but necessary condition of preserving peace and good order, may I suggest that we could usefully discuss the following points amongst ourselves: the rights and duties of warships under a
new convention; the enforcement of the laws at sea; and the need to continue to operate and train in key areas to maintain the balance of deterrence. E.B.A.
With 'A.B.C.' in the Med. - I
MEMOIRS OF AN R.N.V.R. OFFICER FROM TRAWLER TO DESTROYER 'You can build a battleship in three years, but it takes 300 to build a naval tradition.' 'A.B.C.', 1941 On New Year's Eve 1940 I was That evening I went ashore to a New appointed in command of the Kingstorz Year's Eve party and was pleasantly Coral, one of the group of A/S trawlers surprised, considering the occasion, to in which I had been serving since I first find the ship strangely quiet when I went to sea ten months earlier. I was returned on board about midnight. Next not, however, as gratified as I might morning, however, the skipper who had have been at my first command. been duty officer the night before Coral was one of several ships in our appeared with a black eye and reported group which was officered by Skippers that, in the course of personally quelling R.N.R. who, although they had many a fight On the mess deck the previous admirable qualities, did have difficultyin evening, he had knocked out the ringrealising that they were not still engaged leader of the trouble and put him in cells in fishing and tended accordingly to be in Resource. This obviously had had a disinterested in K.R. and A.1. The ship most salutary effect on the ship's cornhad just come down from Suds Bay, PanY but I had regretfully to make it where the skipper in command had had clear that in future discipline must be a ,,,isunderstanding with the authorities maintained on lines closer to those laid and was under arrest. I well knew in King's Regu1ati0ns. Coral's reputation for frequent engine room breakdowns and the intransigent No fish for N0.I.C. character of her ship's company and my That day I heard that the trawler general impression of the ship was not Bandolero which was operating with the improved when I went on board and Inshore Squadron in support of General found her large rusty funnel quite Wavell's big advance, which had started innocent of paint and her piratical look- not long before, had been sunk in coling crew lounging about the ship in every lision with one of the Australian sort of grubby undress. There was destroyers of the Tenth Flotilla. Next nothing except her white ensign to in- day I was delighted to get orders to go dicate that the ship had not just returned up to the desert front to take her place. from a prolonged fishing trip. For The orders arrived late that night and officers I had two skippers, a Welsh we had to sail at dawn next morning, Scotsman and a Scots Dutchman. but despite frantic messages to Ras-eI-Tin Neither attempted to conceal his resent- I could get no new charts and eventually ment at my presence. had to set off to Sollum with only a
chart of the whole Eastern Mediterranean and a few vague verbal directions to 'alter course when you see a small hill with a funny shaped top they say you can't miss it', and so on. However we felt our way along the coast until we saw the Libyan escarpment rising ahead and knew we were approaching Sollum Bay which we eventually reached on 3 January 1941, about seventeen hours after leaving Alexandria. Sollum is a cluster of a few white houses tucked away in the south-west corner of the Gulf of Sollum, where the low coast, running westwards from Sidi Barrani, comes up against the sharp edge of the Libyan plateau, which runs north as high coastal cliffs and southward into the desert to form a steep escarpment. A zig-zag road rises above Sollum and about three miles to the south another, marked by a cloud of dust from vehicles, climbed up Halfaya pass. The hills were reddish brown desert. As we approached the anchorage a large force of Italian aircraft appeared high overhead, flying in perfect formation. We hurriedly manned both our Lewis guns, feeling small and lonely, but the aircraft ignored us. They dropped a few bombs around the jetty but were soon driven off by gunfire from ashore. This was the largest group of enemy aircraft I had yet seen and I was much impressed. At Sollum we found the monitor Terror, with two Australian destroyers of the 'V and W' class. I reported to the Senior Officer in Terror and was told to keep up an A/S patrol across the entrance to the bay until further orders. From our patrol line we could see, after dark, the flashes of the guns bombarding Bardia a few miles to the north, and a general rumble of battle was audible. The next day, 5 January, being Sunday, I held divisions and prayers, which obviously startled the ship's company, who had probably not experienced anything of the kind since
they left their training establishment. The same day we heard (on the B.B.C. news) that Bardia had fallen, and next day we saw hundreds of Italian prisoners winding down a path from the top of the escarpment into Sollum, looking like one of those black files of ants which one sees streaming across a sandy path. They seemed exhausted (they had walked over the desert from Bardia, guarded by a very few Australians) and many paddled in the sea to ease their feet before throwing themselves on the ground in the very rough-and-ready looking cages on the beach. A day or two later we had some valuable depth-charging. Going a little inshore of our usual area we found a perfect asdic contact, which gave every indication of being a submarine lying on the bottom. After a couple of brisk depth charge attacks we were thrilled to see oil coming to the surface. But no luck, for a motor boat came dashing round Sollum Point from the anchoraee with a message from N.O.I.C. enquiring why I was wasting charges on a charted wreck. I pointed out that the wreck was not marked on my chart, and as a result I at last got a local chart on a reasonable scale. The briqht feature of the affair however was that we got quantities of welcome fresh fish, including one about five feet long which tasted rather like halibut. The trawlermen were overjoyed at the onnortunity of handlinq and gutting real fish aqain and the two s k i ~ p e r salted s the large one very successfully. The news of our haul somehow got round, and next day N.O.I.C. himself appeared from Sollum and after walking rapidly round the ship suggested that should we happen to have to do any more depth charging at any time and had any fish over he would apnreciate one or two for his own table. He then left, saying that he would send his launch out later in the day to see if there was anything they could do for us.
I t did not take me long to decide that several of our depth charges were possibly unreliable and should be tested at once. We accordingly made a run, close to the rocks, and dropped a charge. After the explosion we returned to collect the fish, only to find the sea completely empty. A second and a third charge had the same lack of result, and I had subsequently rather a delicate interview with N.O.I.C.'s representative, who had heard our charges exploding and arrived well supplied with baskets of ample size. The Nelson's Island touch That night we went up to Bardia and patrolled the entrance to the harbour while the net layer Protector did some surveying inside. There was a brilliant moon and the sea bottom was clearly visible in ten fathoms. We could see the buildings of Bardia standing out white in the moonlight on the top of the high cliffs above the narrow cove. In the morning we could see dead Italians still lying on the slopes and the shore wind brought the smell of death. This was the cove into which the river gunboat Ladybird had penetrated not long before, firing her six-inch guns at point blank range, so close inshore that the guns on the cliff could not depress enough to hit her. We carried on a continuous patrol with no more incidents except nightly air raids and in the middle of January we left Sollum to return to Alexandria after twelve days on patrol. Unfortunately a khamseen was blowing the dust off the desert and visibility was only a few cables. With the very temperamental magnetic compass which was one of Coral's amusing hazards, we would have gone ashore on Ras el Kanais had we not had asdic warning that we were steering straight for the beach. Owing to engine defects we did not get back to regular work for about a week and when we did eventually go to
sea again we were sent to a patrol area twenty to thirty miles off shore. When we reached the area it began to blow hard, with a thick sand storm, reducing visibility to about a cable. This was the furthest off shore I ever saw a sand storm. It was very unpleasant in one's eyes and mouth and soon everything became coated with a yellowish grey colour. I noticed that even the foam on the water was yellowish. After cruising at slow speed through a night of strong gale I had no idea how far off course we had been blown or what our position was and set off doubtfully in the haze in what 1 hoped was the direction of Alexandria. The gale continued, with a twenty foot sea running accompanied by the sandstorm which precluded any possibility of taking sights. At length, when by dead reckoning we should have passed through the village of Mex south of Alexandria and be among the reed beds of Lake Mariut beyond, the water suddenly turned to the green pea soup colour peculiar to the Nile delta and I realised that we must be entering Aboukir Bay, some twenty miles north of our estimated position. As we turned 180' out to sea again a momentary break in the haze showed a glimpse of Nelson's Island, which lies at the entrance to the bay, enabling me to give an accurate bearing and distance from the island in reply to a signal from Alexandria. Some days later Captain, Local Patrols, said to me, 'You really ought to check the coding of your signals. Do you know that the one giving your position the other day actually read that you were two miles off Nelson's Island? ' Thanks to the Evaps. We had two more spells of patrolling in Coral with the engines becoming less and less co-operative. Senior engineering persons came on board, drank my gin and went below in white overalls. Eventually the horrifying fact was
I N TIIE MED.--I
revealed that the engine-room depart- port, I had some pleasant days enjoying ment had been secretly eking out our the unfailing and delightful hospitality boiler water with sea water on the of Admiral and Lady Wells at Port frequent occasions when the evaporators I ?use. When Decoy did arrive I was sent failed to work properly. After this of at->ard in state by Admiral Wells in an course an overhaul was essential, and by imposing launch manned by smart the middle of February we were in Port Egyptian ratings of the Ports and Lights Said, being taken in hand by the Suez Administration, of which he was Canal Company. Director General. On board Decoy I We had nearly a month at Port Said found everything in confusion, as the and had a pleasant rest, with several days ship had been damaged in a gale coming leave in Alexandria. All the time we down from Greece and was undergoing were at Port Said there was considerable emergency repairs. I reported to the enemy air activity, mostly minelaying, Captain, Commander E. G. McGregor, which was successful enough to keep the D.S.O., who was senior officer of the Canal closed for long periods. On one of British division of the Tenth Flotilla, the days when the Canal was open which had originally beeen composed of more than forty ships passed through, five Australian 'V and W's and four including the then new aircraft carrier British 'D' class. but which had recently Formidable which had come to take the been depleted by the loss of Dainty off after the latter had Tobruk. Comm~nderMcGregor was by place of Ill~~strious been bombed and damaged on the same trade a 'springer', and believed implicitly day that Southampton was sunk and the that the mens sanu was only to be found in corpore sano. Even in the most destroyer Gallant badly damaged. When we left Port Said we managed difficult period of the Crete operations to work up to the dizzy speed of nearly he never missed his daily bath and woe twelve knots. One of my skippers had betide his servant if the water was not not recovered sufficiently from his shore hot and ready at the one particular leave to sail with us and I managed to moment when the Captain felt he could get a young New Zealand sub-lieutenant safely leave the bridge. He made no to come instead. It seemed odd to hear concession to slovenliness and no officer him say, as we passed Cape Brulos in the ever tried more than once to appear on Delta, that this was the furthest north the bridge improperly shaved of a he had ever been. morning, even after a night at action I was feeling very bored at the stations. The unfailing optimism and prospect of going back to the old round gaiety with which he kept up our spirits of local patrols and so was deliehted to during anxious night watches or hear when we arrived at Alexandria that long hours at action stations must, T had been appointed to a destroyer, although one took it all for granted at Decoy. I turned over Coral with the time, have required a tremendous alacri,ty to a middle-aged chief s k i ~ ~ e r .mental effort. After the obvious susnicion and dislike The Cantain had one foible, a consumwith which 1 had at first been regarded ing curiosity about all operational by the shin's company I was surprised signals, so that during busy times at sea and gratified when they came in a body all officers had to spend much of their to say good-bye and each insisted on rare spells off duty sleepily deciphering shaking me warmly by the hand. endless signals addressed to other people.
H.M.S. Decoy My new ship being away from the
Kaliphornia here I come Although I was the first R.N.V.R.
executive officer to be appointed to the ship, all my fellow officers were most welcoming and never allowed me to feel that I was a new boy or an amateur among professionals. Decoy was Devonport manned and, coming straight from the China Station, her ship's company still consisted largely of delightful West Country long-service ratings. On 20 March, the day after I joined, we sailed as part of the escort of a convoy taking Australian troops and motor transport to Greece, and next day we came in sight of Crete, which appeared as a line of snow-covered mountains, a refreshing sight after a year of Egypt. We entered the Antikithera Channel to the west of the island, where, in the afternoon, we were attacked by seven or eight Junkers 88s which dive-bombed the convoy and hit a large oil tanker. She caught fire but this was eventually got under control by a salvage party from Waterhen. Next day we reached Piraeus. The weather being wet and cold I found my first sight of the Aegean and the Isles of Greece rather disappointing, but the sight of the Parthenon perched on its rocky hill above Athens was a thrill even to one whose career on the classical side at school had been less than distinguished. My smattering of Greek knowledge I rashly tried to show off to my Dartmouth-educated fellow officers with an unexpected result. Seeing an inscription painted in large white GreeB letters across the breakwater at the Piraeus, I boasted that I could decypher it. Spelling it out rather laboriously I found it said simply KALIPHORNIA SUROP OPH PHIGS! In the evening four or five of us from the wardroom went into Athens, the midshipman acting as guide on the strength of a previous visit in his cruiser some time before. He assured us that the only possible place for dinner was the Hotel Grande Bretagne, and led us to the doors of a large building. In the black-
out we could see very little, but we did think it odd that there should be two armed Greek sentries at the door. Inside we found the reception hall, surprisingly full of clerks banging typewriters. Several Greeks gathered round jabbering excitedly and seemed to be trying to hustle us outside again. We explained slowly and politely that we only required a drink and some dinner. We pushed our way through them into the dining room, which we found full of senior British officers of all three Services who stopped talking and stared at us with disfavour. One of them unbent sufficiently to tell us that the hotel was now Allied Military Headquarters, and we went out past the grinning Greeks feeling very small. After that we fared better and soon found that anyone in British uniform, particularly Australian, was highly popular in Athens. One huge Evzone, in full ballet dancer kilt, insisted on making us a long speech in Greek and shaking hands with a grip which I can still remember. Next day we had another afternoon and evening ashore and were able to get up to the Acropolis and see the Parthenon. Wandering about up there I heard two soldiers in British uniform talking together in German. With thoughts of fifth columnists and saboteurs I stopped one and asked to what regiment he belonged. He replied, with a strong accent, that he was in the Palestine Pioneers and remarked that ever since he had been a student at a German university he had wished for an opportunity to see the Parthenon, but never dreamed he would do so as a private in the British Army. On this occasion we had with us the first lieutenant of Waterhen, a very tough, bearded Australian, who was accosted by a Digger soldier with the remark 'That sairnds like a Sydnee voice! ' after which we found ourselves involved in a riotous party of his countrymen, supported by gigantic Evzones, for the rest of the evening.
Athens to Alexandria and back and back On 26 March we returned to Alexandria with our convoy. Once again we were attacked by JU.88s off Crete, but this time we, had no casualties. We were very thrilled to see one lone Gladiator dive unexpectedly out of the clouds on the Junkers and actually drive one away with smoke pouring from an engine. It was the only time I ever saw a friendly fighter in those waters. During this attack we had a curious accident, the barrel of our foremost 4.7-inch gun splitting in half lengthwise while being fired. Luckily no one was hurt, but the half barrel crashed on to the forecastle and holed the deck. We reached Alexandria on the 29th, having during the last part of the trip been in great excitement over intercepted wireless messages reporting that a powerful Italian squadron was at sea, shadowed by our cruiser force, and that Admiral Cunningham and the battle fleet were steaming at full speed to intercept the enemy. This was the beginning of the manoeuvres which ended in the Battle of Matapan, of which we heard the news while we were frantically racing northwards again to try and join up with the fleet. Unluckily for us the few hours we had to spend in Alexandria having a new gun barrel mounted prevented our taking part in the battle, for which we were just too late. 30 March found us off Suda Bay and next day we picked up a large convoy for Athens, which we reached after only one small abortive air attack. We had four days at Piraeus, during part of which we searched for an improbable submarine which had been reported by some coast watcher. Before we left we heard the disturbing news of the recapture of Benghazi by German armoured forces.
More power to the British On 7 April we were back in Alexandria and learnt of the German invasion of Greece and Jugo-Slavia and of heavy air raids on Piraeus just after we had left. I had dinner at Port House, where the Commander-in-Chief dropped in and told a story which he had heard from his brother, General Cunningham, commanding in East Africa. It appeared that after the capture of Asmara, but while Massawa was still in Italian hands, Air-Marshal Longmore made his headquarters at the best hotel in the former town. Being made very comfortable by the most attentive and friendly Italian proprietor, the Air Marshal congratulated him on the food and service, and remarked how fortunate it was that the electric power was still worlcing and available. The Italian beamed with pleasure and said, 'Ah, you see my brozzer is manager of ze Massawa power station.' Air Marshal Longmore was about to express surprise that Massawa should continue to supply power to British occupied territory when all the lights went out. With a cry of anguish the manager rushed away and after a torrent of Italian had been heard indistinctly from the back premises the lights went on again. The little man returned, all smiles, and said, 'So sorry, Excellency, a dreadful mistake. I ring up my brozzer and he say, sorry, he has orders cut off power to Asmara. I explain I have very important English Marshal staying here. So my brozzer fix ze lights and hope you will excuse, please.' Two days later we escorted the old aircraft carrier Eagle to Port Said, on her way to the Red Sea. We were accompanied by the destroyer Encounter which, with Isis, had been released from the Red Sea after the capture of Massawa. On 10 April we sailed with Glengyle, a large L.S.I., to begin the evacuation from Greece by bringing off a battalion of infantry from Lemnos in
the northern Aegean. We passed through and getting them lowered and away. We left Tobruk in the evening, and the Kaso Strait, to the east of Crete, in darkness and were not attacked from crept along the coast. The area in which the Italian bases in the Dodecanese. At which we were to operate was shallow Lemnos the weather was most disagree- and badly charted, and to assist us in able. I had the morning watch on Easter reaching the extact spot for lowering Day as we patrolled off Mudros Bay our boats one of the river gunboats of where the troops were embarking and the Inshore Squadron, experienced in found it bitterly cold in a north-west those waters, was to act as a mark. In complete darkness and silence we wind which was coming off the Balkan snows. closed the shore until we could see an occasional twinkle from the lights of the enemy vehicles on the road. At this point 'Officers and Gentlemen' We returned to Alexandria unevent- I left the bridge to get ready the starfully, arriving on 15 April, but there was b a r d boats and the soldiers had just no shore leave, for the same day we got into the boats when, looking over the embarked a Guards Brigade commando, ship's side, I saw the water washing past under Major Lord Sudeley, of the from the stern to the bows instead of in Blues, which formed part of 'Layforce' the more usual opposite direction. At which had recently arrived. (Their story first I thought I had got my bearings is told by Evelyn Waugh in Officers and wrong in the dark, but then realised that Gentlemen). They were the first com- the engines were being worked full mandos we had seen. A dozen extra astern. A rating came down from the officers made a crowd in the wardroom bridge and whispered, 'From the captain, but they were very charming and most Sir, we're aground; get the soldiers out appreciative of our efforts to make them of the boats'. The gunboat was a dim comfortable. They represented between shadow close by, and inshore were the lights of the enemy, happily unaware of them every regiment in the Brigade. Next morning we passed through the the fact that we were a sitting target boom at Tobruk, now at the beginning only a few hundred yards away. After a of its long siege. The harbour was full of short time we got clear, but by then it wrecks, the most striking being that of had started to blow, making the sea too the Italian coast defence cruiser Sun rough for heavily loaded boats, so we Giorgio just inside the entrance. It was had to give the whole thing up and go the last occasion we were to enter the back to Alexandra, to the bitter displace in daylight for a very long time. appointment of the commandos. I was told afterwards that not long A constant noise of gunfire from the defence perimeter and frequent clouds after we had struck, the harassed of sand from shell bursts ashore whispered exchanges on the bridge were reminded us that we were in the front interrupted by a nerve-shattering noise from the buzzer on the Asdic cabinet line. The object of the operation was for voice pipe, from which the languid voice the Commandos to land in boats and of our well-educated senior Asdic rating blow up the Libyan coast road, the drawled out, 'Could somebody ask the principal enemy supply line, at a point Navigating Officer, privately, if he where it runs close to the sea in a corner thinks it possible we may be aground?' of the Gulf of Bomba, west of Tobruk. For this we had been given a number of Racial discrimination After this affair we had a welcome extra whalers, and we spent the day exercising loading the boats with soldiers . rest in the shape of a week's boiler clean,
with twenty-four hours shore leave. A party of us from the wardroom accompanied some of our late passengers to the races, which were a weekly event at Alexandria and always great fun. One of the soldiers proved to have access to excellent inside information and we had a very good day. It was on this accasion that I observed with interest two
Bedouin sheiks who, before taking their places in the paddock with other owners in the next race, retired behind the grand-stand to supplicate Allah in fervent prayer. Rather unsporting, we thought. (to be continued) A.G.P.
'The Two Cultures and National Security' - and More
'Let my house not b e w a l l e d on four sides: let all the w i n d o w s be ope? and l e t all the cultures b l o w I n B u t let no culture b l o w m e off m y feet. M a h a t m a Gandhi
I am sure that a number of retired naval officers who have gone around the buoy and become civil servants must habe pondered the very interesting July 1975 editorial on 'The Two Cultures and National Security'. (Its theme was the harmonisation of the two cultures; the Armed Forces and the Diplomatic Service.) To the extent that I venture to comment, it is not on the basis of academic study; but on that of experience as a member of this group who have divided their working life between the Royal Navy and the Civil Service. The quotation from Gandhi sums up a great deal of what I would like to say. It is natural within a free society which is not subject to major external pressure that there should be a range of cultures; and that these different cultures will tend to find expression in different use of language. In this situation what matters for national security is that all concerned should understand each other's language. Indeed, at the risk of underlining the obvious, this understanding is a pre, requisite of successful planning and execution of policy in the whole diffuse area where defence and foreign policy
and economic strength come together. But it is a wider matter than a marriage of language or style between sailors, soldiers and airmen and diplomats. Indeed, to borrow the Editor's shorthand, the officials within the Ministry of Defence have their own culture - to say nothing of the political leadership - of whatever complexion. Li!cewise, the Treasury; and I can already hear the shades of the past observing 'You can say that again'. There are also the media and the academic world and the Trade Unions and many others.
Communication - the name of the game
It seems to me that the central task in our present society, and every bit as important in the field of defence as any other, is how to achieve understanding and effective communication. It is less a technical problem of 'language' than a wider human question of understanding and persuasion. Almost the most important task for those at the top is to achieve a favourable climate for understanding. I hesitate to suggest to the members of The Naval Review that a considerable technical proficiency in
service leadership is insufficient in itself and that an admiral's skills need to include the advocate's art. Not that there is anything very new in the idea. Yet I suppose it is at the heart of the argumentation I am trying to offer on the very important subject which the Editor has raised. To be sure, I strongly believe that by its existence and breadth of expression, The Naval Review itself contributes greatly to the central task of the achievement of wider understanding of defence problems. Those who made a recent television documentary on the enormous expansion of the Soviet fleet also deserve mention. Worthwhile for an even wider audience has been the television series 'Warship': some episodes may jar but overall there is a fair presentation of reasonable men doing a necessary job. As indeed there is in the stance of the Army in Ulster as they have to face up to the on-the-spot television crew. I admit that I pre-suppose our present society - or at any rate one not so very different. But that said, I can but repeat the view that without effective communication within this society the highest professional skill and technique in the field of defence will not achieve the response it deserves from the society to which it is responsible. I also think it important to distinguish effective communication from the mere distribution of information according to one's own light to those who have some idea of the score, and in spirit are already close to one's own culture. The requirement is for a blend of information and persuasion focussed with an understanding of the point of view of others. The target is the whole community. None of this could possibly be new to the Service. At the risk of looking backin a destroyer ward, I recall my C a ~ t a i n in the early davs of the War standing on the cable holder to talk to the ship's company (he seemed an ancient but I suppose he could only have been a man
in his mid-thirties). He told us where we were going, why we had to go, and what we all had to do. And wished us luck. His message got across. It was directed to those it concerned, and was simple, to the point and honest. But we were an uncomplicated lot. Just think instead about, addressing the scientists called together to produce the first atom bomb. Or the kind of communication required to achieve response from international bankers. Or, for that matter, to get a group of shop stewards in a motor factory to see a common purpose. There is no simple code. The paradox is that the more the basic differences (or cultures) are understood (and sometimes bowed to) the better may be the chance of reducing the divisiveness which so often comes before final downfall. Unless much has changed, I imagine that within the Service itself there are still a wide range of cultures, each with its own sensitivity. I am sure that generations of First Lieutenants have learned to be cautious about reacting too explosively to the sudden appearance of the stoker in overalls when everyone else is looking his best. John Winton's first class novel H.M.S. Leviathan tells the story of the Executive Officer of an aircraft carrier who realised just too late that by far his most important duty was that of bridging the divide between the ship and her air group. The Commander was well intentioned and knew his mind. He spoke his own language clearly. But achieved no rapport. The ending was tragedy.
Pulling together The problem which the Editor has raised is as old as the first ship's company. How to get the hands pulling together. It may already be clear that I believe the achievement of common purpose toward national security to be a matter which is separate from language or style. On the whole, I think that academics speak the same language and
'THE TWO CULTURES AND NATIONAL SECURITY'-AND
recognise a similar culture. But often that is just about all on which they are in agreement. If I may for a moment be permitted to be partisan, I really do believe that most of our diplomats do have a concept of 'the object of the exercise'. Within Whitehall they are as they should be - among the best friends of the Armed Forces. The sort of relationship between Howard Kelly and Miles Lampson - Admiral and Ambassador - which the Editor outlined in July is by no means unknown today. The contemporary classic on controlled use of sea power, Gunboat Diplomacy, was written by a diplomat who is now our Ambassador in Helsinki. I believe there is now much common understanding that for a variety of reasons the sea areas of the world may increasingly become the most likely arena for international probing of military and diplomatic strength during the remaining years of this century. There is a risk I suppose that the theme of pulling together can become commonplace - but hardly at a time like the present when the stake is the future of Britain. No doubt most readers of The Naval Review will have read at the time the robust words spoken by the Prime Minister at the 1976 Labour Party Conference at Blackpool. But the words bear repetition, not least to underline the problem: I accept all the criticism. But I say in reply that there are no soft options. Nor will a generation of decline in British industry be reversed by gimmicks. That is why in asking for support of our present industrial strategy I am asking for your understanding too. Loyalty is not enough. That will crumble in time. What we need is conviction as we explain our path to others. There is no other way. If we follow it to the end we shall save not only our government but our country. Her Majesty's Christmas message in 1975
similarly emphasised the need for every citizen to make an effort of understanding. These are messages for the nation and should also prompt those concerned with national security to pull together. As between the Civil Service and the Armed Forces - certainly between the Diplomatic Service and the Armed Forces I do not think the difficulty is at the top. But it may be down the line a little bit where the ldcal loyalty looms larger than the wider group loyalty. And just to offer the suggestion, I myself would like to see those in authority in the Civil Service frown on snide and unhelpful attitudes toward the Forces and those at the top in the Armed Forces frown upon the snide and unhelvful in relation to the Public Service. We are all in a difficult situation together. When Beniamin Franklin observed 'we hang together o r we hang sevarately' he was speaking the most profound of truths. In the mid-1960s the individual services were in sharp competition with each other. And in turn all three of them suffered at the hands of the Treasury. Experience does seem to suggest that when departments damage each other for the sake of their own cause - however good - the upshot is frequently damage all round. Now there may be a feeling that the chickens have come to roost when it is the Treasury itself which is the department in the firing line from academics and outsiders offering alternative wisdom for our fiscal and monetary administration. The chickens of criticism without understanding usually come home to roost. When General Eisenhower assumed command for Eurove, it is said that he issued powerful instructions on the degree of personal abuse which he would permit within his c o m m a ~ d . It was permitted to call a general a bastard. But not a British or an American bastard. I think we could all do with some of this spirit today and every now
'THE TWO CULTURES AND NAT
and then tie a knot in our tongues when we are tempted to generalise in our criticism. Eisenhower recognised and accepted differences. What he would not accept was divisiveness. I recognise that in offering this nonpartisan view I speak from a partisan position. But I really do not think that differences of style and approach between senior Service officers and diplomats - and other civil servants are at present among the major factors which are adversely affecting our national security. I think there is a reasonable level of harmony. Yet at the same time I very much sense the need to maintain this understanding and can see that the problems in the future may be more difficult than they have been in the past. The suggestions that follow are at random but perhaps they may encourage others to come up with their own ideas.
Cross-fertilisation Within the Civil Service and especially within the Diplomatic Service there are still a number who served in the last war. Men like Christopher Ewart-Biggs, the Ambassador murdered in Dublin in 1976, who had lost an eye as a soldier at El Alamein almost thirty-five years previously. These men know the score and are sympathetic to the Armed Forces. How to keep this leavening? I wonder if for a start the short service officer in the Armed Forces might from time to time be encouraged to enter the public service on the same basis as the young man who has just left University. At the moment the advertising of the Short Service Commission does seem to point a little bit exclusively to subsequent careers in commerce or industry. Perhaps some appropriate Civil Service slots might also be negotiated to be available for those who retire at around the age of forty. Not as a silver spoon, because the Civil Service has its own problems of career structure. But as a
chance to make a contribution and a second career. Secondly, and to repeat the point, there might be useful impulse from the top against needless and divisive criticism as between the Armed forces and the Civil Service - and this includes the industrial Civil Service of the dockyards. Thirdly - and I know that much is already done in this field - that over as wide a range as possible contact between the Civil Service and the Armed Forces should be encouraged. The object is not assimilation to any sort of common style. Apart from anything else, this would not be practicable. But once reasonable people get to know each other there is usually gain and, to the extent to which understanding can be achieved, the plus could be significant. In recent years the Army has moved toward an understanding with the Police. This is the sort of contact to be developed. Perhaps on the principle that self-help begins at home, more might be achieved within the Ministry of Defence itself. As for the Diplomatic Service, I am content to rest on the view that the kind of qualities which lead people to make it their career put them close in spirit to those who choose the Forces as their career.
'Think' in this batter'd Caravanserai. .' Perhaps the pot might also be stirred on one other aspect of the July editorial. The Editor rightly observes similarities between the world as a whole today and the Europe of a century ago when nationalism was in ferment; when Germany and Italy were establishing themselves as nations. and a contemporary kind of anti-colonialism was coming toward its zenith against Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. We do indeed live today in a world of ferment. As the Second War came to an end the late General Smuts said 'the caravans of mankind are now on the move.' Now it is the West, in
particular, which faces pressure. It may this generally with the Asian scene where be that under this pressure the present the ethic is on the whole more grouprange of Western cultures may show a orientated. The reason for the difference tendency to coalesce; to move on a wide may relate to security. Perhaps the front toward common attitudes and extreme example is Japan where the 'life employment' concept provides objectives. In recent centuries when the Western maximum psychological security, and is world was thrusting outward, it was at the opposite pole to the Western natural that its ethic should emphasise concept of social mobility for the the individual. And it may be useful to achievement of personal growth and recall that whatever the present position satisfaction. may be the Trade Union movement had In many parts of Asia there is still its origins in the idea of achieving status strong identification with the group even and security for the individual working at the cost of an individual's immediate man through the application of group personal satisfactions. And Asians as a strength. Despite the obvious examples whole lean toward a certain ambiguity of mass behaviour in our Western world and courtesy as the cement to maintain and the 'Admass' effect of the media I the system. Perhaps we should ask ourthink this sense of individual values still selves if there are any lessons for the persists in the West. Indeed, sometimes West? Yet also ask how much which is this individualism is glorified within alien can be taken on board without destroying identity? Questions without managerial circles as 'creative conflict'. I am uncertain how this particular answer. Even so, it would be an interestterm is to be interpreted. On one reckon- ing twist if history were to show that for ing it may be a sense of freedom as a the sake of its survival the West chose whole, which responsibly recognises that in the end to borrow some of the tradithe freedom of one person can only be tional culture of the East. extended at the price of the freedom of another and rationally considers the Understanding the aim frontiers. On another it is the mere I very much hope that this brief argumentation of one with another, the commentary on the July editorial has reverse of consensus; debate in press and not strayed too far from the beaten track Parliament and elsewhere on the basis of what is appropriate. The object of the that if X says black then Y says white; commentary is I think the same as that or vice versa. Not quite a dialogue of the of the Editor. To help achieve understanding and consensus. deaf but doubtfully constructive. I t is always easy to find the exception to disprove an argument but compare J.D.
All to be of a Company
'For b y the l ~ f e of God ~t doth even take my wits from me to thlnk on such stomaching between the gentlemen and the sa~lors, that ~t doth even make me mad to hear ~ t .But my masters I must have it left. For I must have the gentleman to hbul and d r a w ' w ~ t hthe marlner and the marlner w ~ t hthe gentleman. Whatl Let us show ourselves all to be ~t Here I S such controversy between the sa~lorsand the gentlemen and of a company and let us pot glve occaston to the enemy to rejolce at our decay and overthrow. Drake, In the Pelrcan at POR St Jullan. Patagonla. August 11 1578
When, in an idle moment, I rashly with home are easy and msrriage is offered the Editor a series of articles on much earlier. So we tend to embrace our 'Officer Structure and Related Problems' wives and our tribal specialities and I grossly underestimated the scope of the although AFO 1/56 has created a far task, as well as the historical research healthier climate I remain wedded to the needed fully to comprehend such proposals with which I bombarded my problems as they must have appeared at seniors nearly twenty years ago based on various stages in our long naval history. twin battalions (or squadrons) each of In working towards the problems we about 1,000 men (about the maximum face today, as I shall hope to do, it would who can be known personally to any be as well to start by looking at the commanding officer) who would, between present situation. In the Royal Air Force them, operate a group of four frigates. a multitude of technicians, from a wide This solution is analagous to that used variety of skills, send 'the few' into the in some elements of the U.S. Navy a t air in a highly sophisticated machine, that time and of course by our Polaris with technologically very advanced submarines today. weapon systems. The pilot is alone or In those days dockets destined for the almost alone with his foe. His life is 'too difficult' basket were usually disforfeit if he mishandles his instruments, patched for comment either to the a single error may prove fatal. H e is not Medical Director General or the Director fortified by his soldiers or sailors and his of Naval Construction, both fairly duty to them, as an army officer is or as reliably regarded as 'Points of No we are. But if he is to survive he must Return'; and I imagine that this was the have faith in his equipment and in those destination to which some unimaginative who lead the technicians. It was for this young paragon on the naval staff conreason that in the early days of the signed this 'absurd idea by a plumber'. modern Fleet Air Arm it was considered Certainly a subsequent article in The mandatory that a proportion of air Naval Review* procured much more engineer officers should become fully high level interest but not enough to operational pilots. actuate the cogs of conservatism. In the army it is the regiment that As I said earlier, thanks to AFO 1/56, counts. The family which, on the whole, things are infinitely better but we have rLXlains as an intimate unit through to be aware, constantly, of 'the mollusc thick and thin, knowing each others principle' - the tendency to retire into weaknesses and each others strengths in our shells, issuing forth only to do battle times of danger and of hardship. with some other mollusc trespassing on In the navy, in the era of the 'long our preserve. commission' it was the ship that bound In my previous article I referred to our loyalty together; and to an extent this is probably still the case. But now Stormy Present, by Bels (The commissions are short, ~0nImunication~ Review, January 1963, p. 41).
ALL TO BE OF A COMPANY
that great man Professor Michael Lewis to whom most naval officers owe a lot. In his book on naval officers he starts with the 'Buscarles' or 'Butsecarles', the counterparts of the 'Huscarles', the Royal bodyguard of the later Saxon kings. Although the former seem to have ended their naval activities (from their headquarters at the mouth of the Thames) after the Conquest, the title of their principal officer 'the Batsuen' is, as the 'Boatswain', still with us. To move delicately through the ensuing years as Professor Lewis does is beyond me and so I shall try only to highlight a few of the problems surrounding the 'officer corps' which have occurred from that point, round about the Tudors, which saw the introduction of the Great Gun. Wealth was the prize Nowhere perhaps, but on the sea, does man live on that narrow borderline between what he can do and what the elements can do to him. And so, fundamental to the character of anyone who aspires to leadership in any 'office' at sea, is the ability confidently to confront the oceans in all their savagery. Ours is a profession which demands the qualities of physical and moral courage, as well as intellectual qualities of a considerable degree. This was just as much so in the early days as it is today; yet this fact was little understood and even less appreciated. There were no heralds, no knights in shining armour, much less artificial chivalry (though probably much more of the genuine kind). There was only seasickness, cold, constant and pervading damp, rancid food and dirty drinking water. Although men have roamed the seas far back into history landpower was always thought to exceed seapower in importance and a strange but understandable status was accorded to those who indulged in this profession. Both of course needed great technical skills behind them. The Director General who
bred pack horses or pack camels or pack yaks for the Egyptian, Arab or T'ang Empires needed as much skill in the manipulation of genes to produce the right combination of speed and carrying power as the Director General, Ships, of the Phoenician, Roman or Greek Empires needed in mathematics, to build ships to carry cargo, to float upright and to continue to do so in heavy seas. But it was the Middle Ages that produced the great explorations which promised wealth. Marco Polo and his son and Rubruquis showed the way to the East by land, but it was Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama whose voyages led to the advent of seapower. Wealth was the prize. Wealth could be dug from the ground and transported by sea. Wealth could be captured at sea. Wealth could come from trade and barter with countries over the sea. Wealth meant more arms and more arms, then as now, spelt a degree of security and a chance of survival. So seapower came to depend on traffic and the ability to traffic. And because the world was what it was (and is), that is to say given to war and piracy, those who sought wealth overseas had to protect themselves and their goods. And so fighters had to be hired and embarked to protect the merchants' goods and the sailors who brought the goods across the seas. Thus was wrought a shot gun wedding between those who made the ship go and those who wielded the weapons of landwar. It was not an alliance that was easy to consummate. The naval hierarchy is formed But by the Tudor age there was a distinct list of office holders (officers) at sea. Some were in every ship, others only in some ships. There was always a Captain and his deputy, a Lieutenant. There was a Master; sometimes a Pilot and Coaster, a Boatswain, Gunner, Carpenter, Purser, (originally a Bursar), Trumpeter, Surgeon, Corporal, Cock-
ALL TO BE (3F A COMPANY
swain, Quartermaster, Cooper, Steward and Cook and the Swabber and Liar. Most of these are self-explanatory except perhaps the last. While the Swabber was responsible for cleaning inboard the Liar looked after those parts of the ship for'd generally termed 'the usual offices.' But this was not a permanent 'office'; he held it by the week. 'He that is taken first on a Monday morning with a lie, shall be proclaimed from the mainmast with a general cry "a liar, a liar"! ' In China today it is the habit of the Street Revolutionary Committee to sentence anyone found guilty of minor derelictions to a term helping those whose duty it is to spread the 'night soil' of 800,000,000, people over the field. This too was the role of the 'Liar'. So in the Tudor ships there was hardly anything recognisable as the modern naval officer. There were seamen. There were merchants like Drake and Hawkyns turned seamen. Drake was given the post of Vice-Admiral in command of the anti-Armada Fleet and Hawkyns was the first Controller of the Navy. There were explorers and geographers turned seamen, like Frobisher and Gilbert; and there were the 'gentlemen seamen', the amateurs like Doughty who joined for adventure and booty. And then there were the soldiers embarked to do the hand to hand fighting. In a typically English way it was all rather a mishmash and sometimes it hardly worked. But rough sea was a constant reminder of the frailty of human endeavour and of the need for courage. This thread of moral and physical courage and of humility is something which can be traced through all our great sea leaders. We read of it in the quotation at the head of this article and even more perhaps in a succeeding sentence in Drake's address to the three ship's companies still seething with mutiny, after Doughty's execution. 'I have taken that in hand that I know not in the world how to go through with all, it passeth my capacity,
it hath even bereaved me of my wits to think on it' is surely the cry of a humble mind near despair. And several centuries later the Archbishop of Canterbury could say at Jellicoe's funeral, '. . . . another impression left on my mind is that of his own modesty and simplicity'.
The New Model Navy - then Pepys Thus things bumbled on in a muddled way until the Commonwealth government took over. The New Model Army is often spoken of; but the New Model Navy less so. There was not much difficulty in procuring junior officers for it or seamen. But outside the Army there were few of the necessary 'highborn' class with the habit of command who had also sea experience, from whom Parliament could choose. So they turned to that magnificent fellow (then as now) the army colonel. Two great English poets have put it like this: On the anvil of their duty, Hawkyns, Frobisher, and Drake, Forged traditions of the Service for the use of Robert Blake, Who adopted them in toto with the silence of his breed, And bequeathed to his successors, fully proved and guaranteed. Hopwood, 'Our Fathers' And from Henry Newbolt: They left us a Kingdom none can take, The Realm of the circling sea, To be held by the rightful sons of Blake, And the Rodneys yet to be. So it was through Blake, a good but part-time soldier, cultured, educated, able to think and knowing quite a bit about the sea, that the hitherto haphazard conglomerate of ships started to become a navy. And paradoxically, it was after the Restoration, when the navy belonged at last to Parliament and people rather than to the Sovereign that in fact we became the Royal Navy.
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Ships were designed to fight at sea and were manned by seamen, who made them go, and fighters. The two breeds became welded together into what by 1700 may be called a naval profession. Ship Lists are in existence back to the Armada Fleet and even before; but we have to wait for Pepys to produce the earliest form of Navy List. These Lists, painstakingly arranged, show the names in alphabetical order of all the flag officers, captains and lieutenants who held any post in His Majesty's ships between 1660 and 1681. The 'turbulence' factor was high in those days. One officer, in one hectic year was, successively, First Lieutenant of a First Rate, Captain of two different Third Rates, Captain of a Second Rate and then, almost unbelievably, Rear Admiral of the White and lastly (down) to Rear Admiral of the Blue. He did not continue to move about at quite this speed but in the following year he was given a (good) independent command and in the following two years he was back with the fleet in two successive Third Rates. The Sea-Officers List, containing captains, commanders and lieutenants, started in 1718 and continued until 1846. In 1732 there appears a List of Surgeons (with date of warrant) and in 1747 the first List of Flag Officers. The earliest List of Marines dates from 1747 too and the Royal Calendar of 1767 adds the Chaplains. In 1780 the Navy Board issued a List of Masters and in 1810 added those other Warrant officers, the Pursers, the Gunners, Boatswains and Carpenters. Steel's List of the Royal Navy, which came out at intervals between 1779 and 1817, was the true precursor of the modern Navy List and its demise provides a fascinating example of official shabbiness not wholly unknown today. This bit of private enterprise was taken by the Admiralty as the model for the first official Navy List, published 'By Authority' in 1814. Thereafter Steele was driven out of
business as all official information was withheld from him, This question of Lists is in fact important because it gave to those included thereon, whether they were Commission(ed) officers, whose authority stemmed from the Lord High Admiral, or the Warrant Officers (who received their Warrants from the Navy Board), a definite status and position which they were to defend and cherish passionately in the years to come. The gun and the naval officer Coincident with the improvement in naval architecture (more so in France it is true than in England) which allowed the Great Gun to go to sea in bigger and bigger versions and greater and,greater numbers, thus producing the first real advance on the ram as a ship killing weapon, there was the marriage between seamen and fighters resulting in the true naval officer. These two, the gun and the naval officer surely led us into the true Golden Age of the Royal Navy stretching from Boscawen and Hawke to St. Vincent and Nelson. What a breed they were with qualities of fortitude and endurance and a capacity to lead a motley crew of international cut-throats in a way we can hardly credit today. Loyalty to the Crown and veneration for the Sovereign have always formed the hallmark of a naval officer, then as now. But, in addition, by the end of the eighteenth century this emerging officer corps had clearly established a series of values fed from the blood and marrow of a people accustomed to the sea, built and shaped, slowly and surely as such things are, by the wisdom and skill of generations who had known the sea and war at sea. Thereafter came change. Life and thought were altered. But the spirit, the corporate sense and the deep tradition were now fixed. Fixed in the sense that foundations are fixed. Immovable.
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Secure. Foundations upon which those who come after could build, if they would, or upon which they could just rest, if they had no vision. And unhappily except for a few, there was n o vision.
from turning it into a national lake, and the French and Russians from mounting an attack on India. Secondly, the British merchant marine, far the biggest in the world, had to be protected as it plied the trade routes to the colonies and the dominions, and our trading partners The Navy and the Empire overseas. For the first task it was usually The Golden Age ended with Trafalgar assessed that a margin of 20%-40% in but the sun was long in setting and it line of battleships over the combined was during the century after Trafalgar fleets of France and Russia was needed, that the practical use of seapower first while a figure of 190 cruisers was usually lit the imagination of the common folk conceded for the second. The Board of of Britain. Admiralty had a thin time, as they A new sense of responsibility deriving always d o in peace. Mr. Gladstone told perhaps from enfranchisement, a greater Lord Rosebery that 'the admirals had degree of literacy, popular newspapers got their knife into him' and that their and the penny post, a Queen who was proposals were 'mad, mad, mad'. On also Empress of India, the Suez canal another occasion he described those who and the road to the East, the Colonial drew up the Navy estimates as 'mad and wars and the opening up of the drunk'. Finally, however, and almost Dominions, supplies of raw materials for uniquely the Board triumphed and the industrial revolution, new markets Gladstone resigned. for its products, the creation of wealth I t is perhaps possible, however, to put on a scale never before realised, and the Admiralty and the officer corps of investment overseas, all these came to- the Navy in the dock on two main gether as brooks run into streams and counts. 'The history of naval constreams into a great river. But this was servatism', David Divine has written,? a river in flood, a river of patriotism and 'is documented and exact' and Divine Imperial destiny which would flow for possibly underestimates it when he goes nearly a century carrying with it, in the on to suggest that 'Out of twenty major channels of seapower, a Navy looking technological developments between the backwards and dominated by the Great marine engine and the Polaris subGun, to the complete exclusion of the marine, the Admiralty machine has rocket and almost, of the torpedo, the discouraged, delayed, obstructed or submarine, the screw propeller and even positively rejected seventeen'. Certainly steam. as late as 1858 the Surveyor of the Navy Never before, and except for a few had to address the Board in the following brief moments in the early part of the blunt terms: 'Unless some extraordinary twentieth century, has the Navy appeared steps are taken at once to expedite the to capture the imagination of the public building of screw ships the French, at as it was to do throughout the nineteenth. the close of next year, will be actually With this support, too, there went that superior to us as regards the most immense aggregation of industrial wealth powerful ships'. without which a modern navy cannot This materiel failure seems to me to be live. the lesser of the two charges. It is largely The Navy was charged with two main explicable in the context of the general strategic tasks. First there was the national failure then, as since, to exploit requirement to dominate the Mediterranean, in order to deter the French ?David Divine, The Blunted Sword.
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the greater reservoir of inventive and engineering genius in our country. The education in this country then, as now, firmly peddled the thesis that anyone who studied the classics or literature or who carried out so called fundamental research performed a much higher service to mankind than if, in the almost sublime words of the great Charter of the Institution of Civil Engineers, his task was: 'to direct the great services of power in nature for the use and convenience of man'. So it was no wonder that with a few exceptions, Cochrane, Astley Cooper-Key and later Fisher, no one understood the importance of the industrial revolution in the context of seapower. But the same excuse does not hold water in the case of personnel management. It is in this field where the Admiralty and the officer corps might be presumed to excel that performance is so disappointing. Nelson's legacy was much more than the victories of Trafalgar and the Nile, or his example of seizing opportunities when others would have dithered. It was 'the Band of Brothers' tradition that he left us which is his true glory. Superficially this might apply only to his captains but his presence was felt throughout the British Fleet. 'All is changed here', wrote young Fremantle to his father when Nelson relieved dear, brave, unimaginative Collingwood. And it was not only Nelson's personality but his professionalism which made men confide their lives to his leadership. When he rejoined the Fleet off Cadiz, and despite the already prevailing disparity in numbers between the British and Villeneuve, Nelson at once dispatched an almost mutinous old Admiral Louis, so great was his fury at being sent off, and his squadron, bacB to Gibraltar for their long overdue 'Planned Maintenance Period'. In the eighty o r ninety years after Trafalgar the 'Nelson touch' was lost and morale was poor and sometimes down-
right bad. Living conditions were appalling. Discipline was excessively harsh. Opportunity for promotion from the lower deck was practically non-existent. Officers were not trained in the study of war at sea and, with a few honourable exceptions, ignored or actively resented the advent of technology. Thus, the merging of the man who fought the ship with the Great Gun and the man who sailed the ship, who had given to the British Fleet by his skill that prime military asset, mobility, was torn asunder when the engineer arrived. So the Great Gun, and those stentorian voices who arrogated to themselves its mysteries, were left indulging their ships in stately minuets and in performing well arranged point blank target practices, of no practical application at all. We must move on without describing the rising menace of German seapower, or how France reluctantly turned to her old enemy Britain, after the Japanese shattered Russian seapower. How well had they done, then, these statesmen and naval officers who had had the ordering of the British Fleet over the last century? Though neither group had been exactly brilliant in their perception of the needs of British seapower it does seem that, on the whole, the statesmen saw their part of the picture in a clearer light than their professional advisers. The latter, supine in their leadership, dreaming of Trafalgar without much idea of the majesty of that victory, were quite unable to visualise what to do with the unique opportunities provided by the new technology and by the unprecedented public enthusiasm for seapower and its importance to the Nation. Happily for the Royal Navy, happily for Britain, one man, born in the middle of the century, sponsored into the Navy by the last of Nelson's captains still alive, devoted even more than most to Nelson's memory, was rising to a position wherein he could create a gale in the stagnant mill-pond of naval self-satisfaction.
ALL TO BE OF A COMPANY
Between 1885 and 1904 when he became First Sea Lord, Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fisher was, successively, Captain of the Gunnery School, Captain of the Torpedo School (which he founded), Director of Naval Ordnance, Admiral Superintendent of Portsmouth Dockyard, Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy, Commander-in-Chief
Mediterranean and Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel. Never before or since has there been such an apprenticeship. Some of the beneficent changes he wrought, and how they were subsequently undone, I shall discuss in the next issue of The Naval Review. LOUISLE BAILLY
Turkey and NATO
(THE NAVAL REVIEW is indebted to The Commandant, R.A.F. Staff College, BrockneN, and the author, for permission to reproduce the following article written in 1975 by Major I . Uyanik, Turkish Air Force - Editor) In the post World War I1 conditions of Europe, NATO was the unique option for the Western countries to resist the Soviet aggression. There was an imminent threat from Russia and it was in the interest of all Western states to unite their efforts and resources. The U.S.A., on the other hand, considering that her defence also started in Europe, was not too reluctant to join in the alliance. Three years after the foundation, Turkey with Greece acceded, on 18 February 1952, forming NATO'$ Southern flank. In this paper the relations between Turkey and NATO, particularly its dominant member the U.S.A., will be discussed. The paper covers the period from the foundation of NATO up to March 1975. European countries. Although the geostrategic importance of Turkey had never been denied by any of them, this could not justify a NATO membership because of many controversial factors. First, Turkey did not geographically fit into a North Atlantic Treaty. Secondly, there was a big social and economic gap between Turkey and Western Europe. Lastly, occupying a very attractive land in the world, Turkey was facing a most powerful, imminent, communist threat which none of the European countries was willing to share. Moreover, NATO's essence, they argued, was the defence of Europe and the Atlantic. The extension of its commitments towards the southeast with Greece and Turkey was not directly related to defence of Europe. Nor were all agreed then that NATO should extend its purpose to the containment of communism. However, having Turkey in the alliance was and is very valuable militarily. A flank attack was possible from her territory to the communist heartland by sea-borne and land based air power, thus limiting the concentration of Soviet forces for a campaign in central Europe. With this in mind, in the end, the U.S.A. with her firm intention of containing Communist , expansion, disqualified all objections
The need for an alliance Turkey, just after the Second World War, being threatened by the Soviet Union, needed support from someone. The easiest way was joining the Western World. But her accession to the alliance was not welcomed by the Western
TURKEY AND NATO
from Europeans and Turkey was accepted in NATO. Turkey, the first non-Western state ever admitted to the Western state system, although it was historically outside the mainstream of JudaoChristian, Greco-Roman culture, had nevertheless attempted to westernise itself in the twentieth century, especially under Kemal Ataturk's leadership after the First World War. Moreover, as stated in The Truman Doctrine of March 1947, because of its geographical position, Turkey was important to the security of the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Therefore the U.S.A. had supported Turkey in her wish to join NATO. The decisive action on Turkey's admittance to NATO by the Americans also prepared the ground for future Turkish-American special relations. Therefore, whenever the relations between NATO and Turkey are taken into consideration, due weight must be given to the so called Turkish-American special relationship. Why should Turkey want to join NATO? For a complete answer to this question, we should look at Turkish foreign policy. It can be summarized in a few words: 'Peace at home and peace abroad'. This principle allowed the Turkish Republic to have good relations with neighbouring countries and enabled her to escape the disastrous consequences of the Second World War. Turkey's foreign policy is thus peaceful, constructive, and multilateral. The objective of foreign policy has been to ensure the security of the country. Among the neighbouring countries there has been only one major country, Russia, which could threaten Turkey from time to time. Therefore Russia has played a major role in Turkish foreign policy. But for a long period from the early twenties to the late forties, she had been a dependable ally for Turkey. In the late forties the U.S.S.R. changed her attitude once more, and threatened
Turkey by demanding her northeastern territory. To resist this overt aggression Turkey sought help from the West. This event was a clear repetition of what had happened in history. For hundreds of years, whenever Turkey found herself in danger help came from either the West or from Russia. Because neither Western Europeans nor Russia wanted each other, or any strong nation, to occupy the strategically important Dardanelles Straits and the land that gives easy access to the Middle and Near East. At the end of World War I1 Turkey was militarily strong, with one million men under arms. There was also a strong national determination to resist any aggression from any country. It was this spirit that enabled Turkey to stand on her own against the pressure from Russia to revise the Montreux convention in order to permit The Soviet Union to participate in the defence of the Turkish straits. In addition she had pressed Turkey to give the provinces of Kars and Ardahan back to the Soviet Union. In 1945, because of that attempt by Russia, Turkey sought help from the U.S.A. This came two years later in the name of the 'Truman Doctrine'. Therefore, the threat from Russia could be justified as the main reason for joining NATO. But we should not disregard Turkey's great ambition to become a Western country since the nineteenth century. NATO was the best chance for Turkey to take her place in the Western World.
Mutual contributions There is no doubt that the geostrategic position of the country has been of great importance, in giving the allies a good site from which to watch the potential enemy. Moreover Turkey closed the door of access to the Mediterranean and added more than half a million soldiers with strong fighting will, toughness and reliability to the defence
TURKEY AND NATO
of the Western World. This standing army of 400,000 men, whose equipment has been continuously modernized, is organized into one armoured division, four armoured brigades, two mechanized divisions, three mechanized brigades, and twelve infantry divisions plus some commando and marine battalions, missile, and air defence units. The navy, with a strength of 40,000 men, is organized and equipped with fifteen submarines, fourteen destroyers, eighteen torpedo boats, eight mine layers, twenty mine-sweepers and more than ninety amphibious craft. The air force consists of 48,000 men and 360 aircraft. The importance of these figures is that the Turkish armed forces have remained almost in the same strength since 1950, while the other allies have greatly reduced the number of men and units under arms. In the course of the last two decades the modernization of the armed forces has been largely undertaken by the U.S. in the form of a mutual aid program agreed in bi-lateral negotiations. In addition to modernization, NATO helped Turkish armed forces to improve training, organization and concept of operations. The Turkish service personnel have been trained in allied countries, and developed their skills while working together with allied personnel in NATO Headquarters. NATO standards have been the aims to reach in training. NATO exercises, squadron exchanges, and other visits have helped to improve the armed forces. Most important of all, Turkey has enjoyed peaceful years in the security that NATO has provided for her, and is proud of the rightful place she has obtained among the Western nations.
public opinion NATO meant the U.S. In 1964 the country came to the verge of losing her military independence. During the Cyprus crisis at that time, the U.S. 6th Fleet apparently prevented Turkey from coming to the assistance of the besieged Turkish Cypriot community. Shortly afterwards President Johnson bluntly wrote to Turkey saying that if she invaded Cyprus, and as a result came under attack from the Eastern bloc, NATO support would not be available. Mr. Johnson also stated that Turkey could not use the weapons supplied to her on mutual aid terms for its national purposes. At this point integration of national and alliance interests became difficult. The immediate consequence of this issue was that public opinion in Turkey, without making any distinction between NATO and the U.S.A., started to comment on the conflicting claims of NATO and national sovereignty. Most important of all is that for the first time in Turkey, communist subversive activity found a starting point, in this speculation on Turkey's relations with the West. The unacceptable intervention of the U.S. had brought about the most practical and potential communist threat to Turkey, the very threat in response to which she had joined the alliance. In consequence the apparent divergence between national and NATO interests caused severe anti-NATO or antiAmerican feelings and the people started to criticize and to distrust the alliance in the sixties.
The shadows of independence Having totally committed herself to NATO Turkey has become thoroughly conditioned to the bi-lateral TurkishAmerican relationship. In Turkish'
The effect of the new strategy The military and economic supremacy of the U.S. made her the leader of the West in or outside NATO. Therefore to every member of the alliance bi-lateral relations with the U.S.A. meant more than NATO. In NATO's early days the U.S. enjoyed a clear superiority in nuclear forces. This allowed NATO strategy to be based on the 'tripwire'
TURKEY AND NATO
concept by which conventional ground forces in Europe were designed to serve primarily to trigger nuclear retaliation by the U.S. against a Warsaw Pact attack. But as the Soviet Union reached nuclear parity with the U.S., deterrence would be strongly reinforced if the allies maintained a balance of conventional, as well as nuclear forces. Thus the maintenance of a strong conventional capability became more than ever necessary. Turkey, having one of the largest conventional armies in the alliance, did not have to enlarge her armed forces. Therefore, there was no difficulty in maintaining large conventional forces. But there was a point which caused negotiation and created difficulty in assistance to the southern flank in case of a n Eastern Bloc attack. The new concept accepted flexible response in order to control escalation. But Warsaw Pact forces have been so trained and organized that they should achieve their objective in a short time. For instance, according to their known plans, they allocated three days to capture the Turkish Straits. I t seems possible that in these three days the allied countries will be consulting each other about sending a few aircraft and ships to the area to show the solidarity of the alliance. Therefore, the help from NATO becomes difficult and offers very little help to the area, with the new concept of 'flexible response'. In these circumstances, NATO was not as dependable as it was before. As a result, Turkey must have good relations with all neighbouring countries in order to prevent any aggression to her territory. For the sake of peace and good relations, Turkey started in 1965 to follow a more independent line on international events. She let Russian planes carrying aid to the Arabs crass Turkish air space during the Yom Kippur war. This was a very important development in foreign policy. It was the first decision taken by Turkey against or different
from what the U.S.A. wanted. Turkey was going for a more independent foreign policy. In 1974 came the Cyprus crisis once more. Turkey this time did not hesitate to use her right to intervene in the crisis. She sent a considerable amount of force to protect the Turkish community in Cyprus. But the results were the factors that worsened relations within the NATO alliance. Greece left the military structure of NATO and later the American Senate banned aid to Turkey. A pro-Greek lobby in the U.S. Senate was more powerful and the intention to cut aid came into force in February 1975. The consequences of the decision are so complicated that it could be a topic for another discussion. But accepting the fact that the decision played a major role in the deterioration of relations between Turkey, U.S.A., and NATO, it is important to discuss the problem. Relations after the arms embargo After the embargo or what is called the aid cut in 1975, the U.S.A. was asked to leave installations in Turkey that are believed to be very important to NATO as well as to the USA. They include twenty early warning installations and satellite tracking stations, some operated jointly by the U.S. armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency. For instance, the recent redeployment of fifteen Soviet divisions to the central region was detected by installations in Turkey. In February 1975 the Turkish government, in order to inform and use their influence on U.S.A., declared that because of the aid cut by the U.S., Turkey would not be able to maintain its commitments to the alliance at the present level until the aid gap is filled by NATO. Otherwise Turkey would reduce its commitments. However, Turkey's then Prime Minister said that Turkey was not considering a withdrawal
TURKEY AND NATO
from the alliance. Nevertheless, Turkey would review her defence relations both with the U.S. and with NATO. The situation after the aid cut has been considered as tragic by senior NATO and American officials. They believe that it was just not appreciated in the U.S. that if it comes to the crunch they have much more to lose than the Turks. Together with the Sixth Allied Tactical Air Force, the command of Land southeast embraces Greece and Turkey, including the vital Dardanelles exit from the Black Sea. About fifty Soviet, Bulgarian and Rumanian divisions are known to be assigned to the adjacent Warsaw Pact zone, together with powerful air forces and a wide range of short and medium-range missiles targeted on NATO installations in the area. NATO and American installations have been collecting military information about the Southern half of the Soviet Union and the entire Middle East area. Their value is described as inestimable. The Turkish authorities, being aware of Turkey's geostrategic position, insisted that military aid was not a favour but a component of joint defence relations with the U.S. and NATO, and in the absence of this component the whole joint defence equation would be spoiled. In the words of the former Prime Minister Mr. Ecevit: NATO's and America's contribution to Turkey's defence has been very small in proportion to the security risks created by the U.S. installations on our territory. Now we find ourselves in the position of a country which gives a lot but takes nothing in return. Under these conditions, it is meaningless For Turkey to continue to be under great security risks for one-sided defence undertakings and contributions. Looking at all indications it can be assumed that Turkey begins
diversifying its sources of arms, and it reduces its commitments to the U.S. and NATO. In other words Turkey is changing her foreign policy in order to fit the latest developments. A country which was forced to change the sources of its military supplies cannot help but change its foreign policy as well. It is ironic that, by trying to penalize Turkey, Congress has damaged the U.S. and NATO defence relations with Turkey. Future development The resumption of direct military aid ($90m. worth of war material the Americans have been donating annually) is seen as less important. Even the credits, like those allowed in the past for the purchase of Phantoms, are not seen as essential, since Turkey is well placed to borrow from dollar-rich Moslem countries such as Libya. But one point was stressed by officials, including proWestern ones; even if aid or the flow of arms is resumed, Turkey's relations with America will not be the same as in the past. The embargo has created a very real disenchantment with the reliability of the U.S. Therefore, even if aid is resumed, Turkey will review its defence strategy, and keep only those bases and installations that are believed to contribute to its security. Officials are reticent about specific plans, but it is widely expected that these would involve the closing down of the American military mission (Jusmat) as well as some of twenty joint defence installations. The powerful radar and monitoring stations at Sinop, and Diyarbakir are likely to be included. The Turks may also take over the strategic air base at Incirlik, and put restrictions on American movements in this and other bases. The trouble will certainly affect NATO. The Turks now seem less concerned over the effects such moves might have on the alliance. They are already
TURKEY AND NATO
considering how to reduce their NATO commitments (without leaving the military side of the alliance) - for example, by withdrawing some divisions from NATO command, particularly if NATO does not fill the void caused by the aid cut-off. Turkey now looks to other NATO members, particularly West Germany, Britain, Italy and Holland to provide the military hardware it wants. There are also plans to expand the local defence industry. In these circumstances two courses of action seem to be followed. First, the European allies could fill the vacuum created by the Americans. But to do this, the Western Europeans must accept that Turkey is a western country. Moreover they provide not only the military aid but also support Turkey economically, and politically if and when necessary. Nevertheless, in these days it is happening to some extent. West Germany has already guaranteed the supply of urgent needs to Turkey, and this is likely to continue on a greater scale. Any development in this direction will not only help NATO to get out of the crisis, but will help the unity of Europe and will restore the peace and stability of the southern flank.
The second course of action could be a new pact in the Middle East. Turkey is now looking at her rich neighbouring Arab and non-Arab countries closely. These new relations might lead to a regional alliance similar to the Baghdad pact in the 'thirties. For example, recent approaches between Turkey and Iran could mean more than normal relations within CENTO. The three neighbouring countries Turkey, Iran and Iraq have also agreed on the Kurdish problem, and Iraq signed an agreement with Turkey on the pipeline-project which will pump her oil to the Mediterranean. If all these developments in the region are well appreciated by the European allies, and due importance is given to the restoration of Turkey's position in the alliance, NATO would not only have a much stronger position in the Mediterranean and in the Middle East, but also could extend its influence to other countries, from Iraq to Pakistan. Turkey, being the bridge country between Europe and Asia, or NATO and CENTO, is in a good position to convey good relations in both directions. Therefore she must surely be a worthwhile ally for western Europeans. I. UYANIK
Oil Rig Patrol
The patrolling and protection of British on the Government, to exercise blackmail, or to achieve the maxiNorth Sea interests has been the subject mum publicity for the particular of continuing debate both inside and cause which those people represent; outside the Houses of Parliament and, and, finally, underwater attack on of course, within the Royal Navy. I t is the legs of the platforms or rigs by one of those engaging topics in which frogmen or midget submrrine! " everyone, knowledgeable or not, feels that he has an answer or a worthwhlie Probably a bit scaremongery; after all point of view to express, which must be the most cost effective form of blackmail both stimulating and frustrating for is not, as Mr. Wall stated, to attack an those who have to make the decisions. oil rig but to ring up British Rail and In two successive articles in New threaten to blow up a crowded passenger Scientist' Tam Dalyell M.P. has raised train. The rail network is still sufficiently the question as to what type of ship we large to be impossible to police effecexpect to carry out this new task. In the tively so anyone determined enough wake of the H.M.S. Reward inquiry he could blow up a train at will, provided he checked the time table amendments. states that a lot of people think that: we must be relying on some pretty The disruption that such an action, or old tubs to protect our vital fishing threat, would cause could cost more than the £500,000 a day that Mr. Wall and oil interests. and goes on to quote a letter of 10 quotes for: two large charges or mines with October to The Times from the former delayed action; or radio activated FOSNI, Vice-Admiral Sir Ian McGeoch, fuses . . . dropped near a platform! ' who advocated that a ship capable of twenty-five knots and carrying a heli- Yet with all this discussion very little copter was required to police our North has been written about an actual oil rig patrol. This article hopes to highlight Sea interests, amongst other tasks. The Government and Opposition some of the problems encountered on appear to differ. The Under Secretary such a patrol, albeit a very limted one, of State for Defence for the Royal and thereby give some indication of Navy, Mr. A. C. P. Duffy has stated what equipment it would be useful for an 'Offshore Tapestry' vessel to carry. that2: The actual patrol only lasted a week The oil companies are fully aware that they are primarily responsible as mechanical defect: caused the ship to for the protection of the rigs, and leave Chatham late and return to Rosyth they are given every encouragement earlier than had been programmed. Two to take the necessary protective very valuable days were lost when a planned visit by the Minister of State measures. While the Conservative party has em- for Defence, Dr. J. Gilbert M.P., to the phasised the problem of peacetime Forties Field had to be cancelled. I t is protection by H.M. Forces from guerilla to be hoped that he had another opportunity to see the patrols in action. organisations: These threats could include sabotage by employees or infiltrators; 'Vol. 72 No. 1028 page 478 - 25 Nov. '76. Vol. 72 No. 1029 pane 549 - 2 Dec. '76. the seizure of a rig o r platform Vol. 913 No. 123 page 281. by a terrorist organisation, by sea 'Hansard, 3Patrick Wall MP, ibid, page 271. or by air, designed to put pressure 'Zbid.
OIL RIG PATROL
During the patrol the ship passed through three gas fields and ten oil fields,5 visiting four installations and talking to several others. The route taken was planned with a fast night time SOA giving plenty of time during daylight hours to both see and be seen. The area, although a large one to cover, is ideal for exercising with both R.A.F. Honington and R.A.F. Kinloss and there is a lot of open sea for miscellaneous gunnery serials, which 'impress the natives'. Oil rig patrol is also one of those occasions, becoming less and less frequent, when a ship is given a free hand to plan her own programme; all FOSNI asks is to be kept informed. The passage planning therefore provides great entertainment in trying to include as many fields, rigs, and exercises within the allocated period as possible. The critical factor is refuelling; Rosyth is too far off route and Lerwick, which would be ideal, only has bowsers available and the jetty there is too small for a frigate. Invergordon is therefore the best bet and a visit there provides a change, as one may see oil rigs under construction in the Cromarty Firth. Rig visits The original plan was to visit four different types of installations belonging to four different companies in four different fields. The ones chosen were:
A better liaison might be obtained with the rigs if FOSNI requested 'carteblanche' permission for visits once a ship had submitted her proposed programme and any ship passing through the fields ought to be encouraged to 'pay a call'. This method would give the patrol ship greater flexibility and also inform more rigs that a Royal Naval ship was in their area. FOSNI could monitor such units and ensure that an even pattern of calls was made throughout the tapestry. The average time spent on each rig was one hour but the SOA between fields does allow a greater length of time for visits and, of course, several passenger trips can be made.
Production Platform Storage Tank Construction Platform but the first three only were visited. Permission to make such visits has to be obtained through FOSNI by signal. FOSNI in turn contacts the necessary authorities to arrange the visit. In the event only two were contacted, and prior permission to call obtained; the other had to be called up as we passed.
Mobil Shell Burmah B.P.
Beryl 'A' Brent Spar Thistle 'A' 'Forties 'C'
Communications Communications with the rigs can be difficult. Not all of them monitored 2182kHz and it was necessary to call them on several frequencies both VHF and H F to stand a chance of acknowledgement. Even then several platforms failed to reply although a circuit of the rig by the ship usually alerted their radio officer to our presence. Several of the rigs, in addition to manning the normal radio channels, have STD telephone connections with the shore but these latter are not laid down in any easily accessible service publication. In other instances the platforms have decided not to work the frequency allocated to them. For example, when the companies requested helicopter operating frequencies four were allocated based on latitude: Area 1 UK Sector North of 60-00N Area 2 UK Sector 58-00N - 60-00N Area 3 UK Sector 56-00N - 58-00N Area 4 UK Sector 52-00 N - 56-00N which gave Thistle and Brent fields,
"as Fields - Leman, Viking, Indefatisable, Oil Fields - Clavmore, Piner, Beryl, Frigg, Alwyn, Ninian, Brent, Thistle, Cormorant, Heather.
OIL RIG PATROL
both of which are operating helicopters more or less continuously, the same frequency. It is not surprising that in circumstances like these some fields operate on a private net. The larger platforms have microwave links fitted and make use of tropospheric scatter; this creates a RADHAZ problem for approaching helicopters who are advised to make their approach out of line-ofsight of the aerials.
Beryl 'A' The welcome given to our visitors on Beryl 'A', a production platform, was typical; friendly but bemused. Our visit was the first contact the rig, and for that matter all rigs visited, had had with the Royal Navy, although the occasional Nimrod had been sighted. The rig manager (a Chinaman) gave a thorough, but of necessity, speedy tour of the rig and his kind invitation to lunch had to be turned down. The lasting impression gained from the tour was of an intricate and sophisticated machine which was fully computerised and in which the crew of 390 had complete faith. Construction and drilling was still in progress although 28,000 barrels per day were being pumped out by three 28 megawatt generators running on the surplus gas from the drill. The crew, which will be reduced to 200 when the platform becomes fully operational, earns an average £6,000 for a twenty week working year. About half the non-contract labour was ex-Royal Navy. Firefighting Firefighting arrangements were advanced, as was to be expected. The rig'sfully automatic sprays trigger off at 88OC. Because of the expected intensity of any blaze and the height of the platform the rig manager doubted whether an R.N. ship would be able to render firefighting assistance. In this context it
is interesting that BP have converted one of their laid-up tankers, the former British Kiwi, now renamed Forties Kiwi, into a fire-fighting and maintenance vessel. In the wake of her £5 million conversion the ship has now got ancillary propulsion units to keep her on station close to a rig - another problem which a conventionally driven ship would find difficult. The cost of Forties Kiwi becomes insignificant when compared with the insured value of the platforms."
Support vessels Each drilling platform collects a number of support vessels that drift around it like pilot fish around a shark. Of these the least complicated, smallest and rustiest are the trawlers that are hired on a month to month basis to stand off each rig. Their purpose is to fulfil a government ruling that, at all times and in all weather, a boat must be available that is capable of lifting off the full crew of the rig in an emergency. It is obvious that these trawlers are inadequate for the task, and their crews are paid very little for, with the depressed state of the fishing industry, it is a buyers' market. Mobile rigs have an anchor handling vessel in attendance to reposition the eight anchors or carry out any cable work that is required. A lot of platforms have an organic diving module that operates in one of the legs. Those that have no such arrangement have a diving vessel in attendance. A variety of supply vessels, generally painted a gaudy orange, can be seen around those rigs under construction. They are all fitted with bow thrusters, so that they can manoeuvre themselves into position
T h e twenty-five large platforms installed, or being installed, at present in the North Sea have individual insured values between LF100.000.000 and $450.000,000. G . Sherlock, 'North Sea Offshore Insurance', Petrolelcm Times 6/20 Aug. '76.
OIL RIG PATROL
under the rigs for their containers to be craned off. There is no proper facility to land passengers by sea. Lay barges On passage between Beryl and Brent we passed a curious looking vessel that turned out to be a lay barge. This was a vessel about 400 feet long with a beam of 100 feet. It consists of a large pipe assembly deck with two cranes. Sections of pipe are welded together on board and fed out over the stern along a curved guide called the stinger. From the stinger the pipe bends gently down to the sea bed. The problem of corrosion is obviously important when considering the use of these pipe lines which in some cases are over 200 miles long. To solve this problem and that of lateral movement caused by currents on the sea bed the 24-inch diameter pipes are cased in concrete. The pipe lines are well charted and one of our tasks was to patrol them although what one would do if one came across bubbling crude 100 miles out of Aberdeen is difficult to envisage. The spillage from a burst pipe would be enormous and, depending on the time lag from burst to discovery, would be quite capable of polluting all of Scotland's beaches. But ships at present are not even equipped to deal with small areas of pollution, carrying neither antipollution booms nor detergent. The helicopter is of great use in detecting the extent of an oil slick and was in fact used in this role at Invergordon. Brent Spar Brent Spar is an oil storage buoy designed to handle the oil produced from Brent B platform until the pipe line is completed. It is a floating platform 500 feet high (i.e. 100 feet above sea level) with a 60 foot clearance from the sea bed to which it is anchored by six 1,000 ton anchors. The average size of tanker
that the buoy is designed to handle is between forty and sixty thousand tons. The total storage capacity is some 300,000 barrels. The centre core of the buoy is hdlow to permit the lowering of a diving bell. The bell is part of a self contained pressured unit in which divers can spend up to five days after saturated diving. As this is a storage buoy there are only fifteen crew members but they live in very luxurious conditions. It was stated that company policy will only permit transfers to take place by helicopter and surface craft would only lift off personnel in an emergency. Lifesaving The problem of how to treat a medically injured diver under pressure on an oil rig has been a hot potato much passed around but with no one getting their teeth into it. The problem, the proposed solution and the lack of agreement on the issue at the recent meeting chaired by Rear Admiral John Rowlins, Dean of the Institute of Naval Medicine, is admirably discussed in an article, 'Lifeline for North Sea Divers' by Margaret Hamilton.' There is a large compression chamber at Dundee which has six beds and is equipped for surgery. Its pressure capability is over 1,000 feet which exceeds the deepest dive in the North Sea to date and a control room gives it full evironmental control. A transfer to the hospital, under pressure, can be carried out in a specially designed chamber that may be slung beneath an unmodified Sikorsky S61 helicopter. An admirable system if only the oil companies could agree to support it; as Margaret Hamilton states: The problem of rescue under pressure must be solved. And - for a limited time - the U.K. medical profession has the opportunity to be first in the field. Can anyone
'New Scientist, Vol. 72 No. 1029, page 516.
OIL RIG PATROL
galvanise the present fragmented and dilatory activities into a semblance of action - preferably before, rather than after, a diver dies in a decompression chamber because he can't be taken to hospital? The R.N. leads the field in compression medicine and could fulfil this role. Should patrol vessels be fitted with a compression chamber to enable injured divers to be medically treated on board when weather conditions preclude a helicopter transfer?
Thistle 'A' The Thistle field lies 130 miles north east of the Shetland (about 61" North, which qualifies the ship's company to land duty-free drink) in a water depth of 530 feet which makes it the first field in the world to be developed at such a depth. Production here will be from a solitary platform - the world's largest. When we approached the platform it was still under construction but even so it was colossal. When completed its height from seabed to the flare tower will be 967 feet (three times the height of Big Ben). Its base measures 280 x 270 feet and the tower contains some 24,000 tonnes of steel. The foundation piles add a further 11,000 tonnes weight. So that as large an area as possible can be covered by drilling, the sixty wells (forty oil producing and twenty for reinjecting water and produced gas) will fan out from the platform at an angle to cover a circular area of five miles in diameter. The area can be extended still further by the use of semisubmersible drilling rigs. Two of the legs have cylindrical oil storage tanks of 35,000 barrels capacity mounted adjacent to them; they served in a dual role of buoyancy tanks for the 465 mile tow out to the site from Graythorp. All equipment mounted on the platform is in a modular form. The lowest
platform (seventy-six feet above sea level) has twelve modules which contain the power generation equipment; water reinjection pumps; compressors for gas reinjection; gas and water separation equipment and metering equipment. The power for all the platforms' systems comes from two 26 megawatt gas turbine driven generators fuelled by gas produced from the well. The current generated could meet the needs of a small town with 6,000 homes. Three stand by generators exist on the platform. Before the oil can be transported ashore the gas and water content have to be driven off. This is achieved in a threestage separator chain. The gas for the generators is taken off at the first stage. Water extracted will be thoroughly cleansed before returning it to the sea and will contain less than fifty parts per million of oil. The accommodation deck provides living quarters for 122 people and is a three story building on top of which is mounted the helicopter pad. The whole building is air conditioned and provided with a public address and radiodistribution system. Oil will be produced before the pipe line is com~leted.Tankers will be able to top up from a single anchor leg mooring (SALM) which will be situated 1% miles North East of Thistle 'A'. This SALM which weighs 900 tonnes is designed to withstand a 90 foot 100 year wave. The tolerance of all the platforms is worked out similarly so that they are not built to withstand a specific size wave or force, rather a sea state that would produce waves of a certain height in a certain length of time. The SALM will deliver crude oil at a rate of 200,000 barrels per day to tankers up to 80,000 dwt. When Thistle is integrated with the pipeline the SALM will remain on station to provide a back up should the pipe line fail. Cost? The total installed
OIL RIG PATROL
cost of Thistle 'A' will be in excess of £500 million. Our original intention was to visit this monster but our helicopter was directed to Belford Dolphin the support vessel close by.
and off it lead large workshops with the latest up to date machinery capable of manufacturing most things needed on the platform.
Belford Dolphin Belford Dolphin was originally built as an exploratory platform but as she neared completion her owner, Fred Olsen, realised that this market was becoming saturated and converted her into a support rig. In her present role she is anchored seventy yards from Thistle 'A' and is normally connected to the platform by a walk way. In a storm just before our visit one of her cables parted, leaving her with only seven anchors and, rather than risk the walk way fouling it was withdrawn. In stormy weather the rig uses her anchor to move away from the platform, although she is self propelled and capable of five knots. It is estimated that she will remain here for another year before Thistle is completed. The original plan did not allow for such a vessel in attendance but the presence of Belford Dolphin i-i saving millions of pounds in the development of Thistle 'A', especially during periods of bad weather which would stop normal support ships supplying the platform. Belford The accommodation of Dolphin is, perhaps, not as luxurious as that on fixed platforms but it is still very good. In the cinema is a notice which reads: In view of the mess left by smokers this area is now declared 'NON SMOKING'. Anyone disobeying this rule will be landed. Apparently the rigs insist on, and get, a rigid discipline. Belford Dolphin having started life as an exploratory rig she still has a large open space where the drilling deck would have been. This is now an ideal area for working and moving containers
Summary Although the oil rig patrol was interesting we were left with a feeling that none of the people we spoke to could think of a situation in which they might need the assistance of the Royal Navy. As far as sabotage was concerned the manager of Beryl 'A' stated that two pounds of gelignite in the right place could topple the rig and that he could not see a way in which the single minded terrorist could be deterred from carrying out his task. The tasks which still needed a support vessel to perform were those of firefighting; anti-pollution; diving rescue and emergency evacuation. A contract has recently been signed between Norway's Aker shipbuilding group and shipowner Odd Berg for the building of a 'sub-sea construction, fire-fighting and rescue vessel.' This is intended for ocean construction work, as well as firefighting, pollution prevention and evacuation. The vessel will be 21,000 tons and will be delivered by the summer of 1977 which is an unusually short delivery time for a vessel of such sophisticated specifications. This is the sort of vessel that is needed but the jobs it is designed to carry out lie in that general field of responsibility that few of the oil companies wish to take on. Neither is it a task for the Royal Navy. In a forum held in Greenwich in early December it was stated that in the North Sea: There are no fewer than eleven Government Departments involved in controlling about eighty three reasonably sized vessels. . . We are wasting money and energy by dispensing these services in penny
OIL RIG PATROL
packets which are controlled by different Ministries." What is obviously needed is a central authority to take over all these responsibilities under a central control and the cost of this should be borne, like the cost of the American Coastguard service, by the Treasury and not be met by the Defence Budget. As far as the Royal Navy's role is concerned, if such a central authority is
established it should include naval advice. But, as to building a vessel to patrol our offshore wealth, perhaps the Secretary of State for Scotland, Mr. B. Millan M.P. summed it up: In a sense, any suitable naval vessel is available at any time." D. J. CHILDS Wansard vol. 921 No. 8 page 1398. 'Zbid, page 1422.
The Crippling of the Empress of Britain
My story started in Durban early in October 1940, when I was told to report to 'Navy Office, Sea Transport Officer, for passage to U.K.' The Commander, whose name was Pennyfather, said 'you can have the choice of five ships' and stated their names, which included Empress of Britain, two 'Strath' liners, Viceroy o f India and Orion. Unfortunately my choice was the wrong one! I joined the ship in Cape Town a few days later, spending the night in Johannesburg on the way. We sailed next day, with as few as 250 passengers, which included many Service wives, being sent home from the troubled waters of Egypt and Palestine. The five ships had previously taken troops from U.K. to Suez, as part of the 'build up' for the North African campaign, which was about to begin. I had no duties to perform as, fortunately for me, a lieutenant-commander had embarked at Suez, and was put in charge of all naval ratings, of which there were about 100 in all. When taken over by the Admiralty as a 'hired transport' there were two 3-inch H.A. guns (mounted aft) and two Lewis guns in addition on deck which these naval ratings helped to man. The ship was manned by her peace time officers (C.P.R.) and the crew generally were of Liverpool origin (so I was told). I was given to understand afterwards that these numbered about 250 in all, so the total 'bodies' amounted to 600 (fortunately) at the time of disaster, instead of say ten times that, when outward bound for Suez. When the ship was taken over all the furnishings and carpets were left intact and had not been 'gutted' in any way. We sailed from Cape Town in due course, and as I was allowed to visit the bridge, took the opportunity of peeping into the Chart House from time to time, and meeting not only the Captain, but other Captains (R.N.) taking passage home, including one Captain Nicholson, who told me he had been 'Commodore of Convoy' previously. (I met him again in my naval tailor's shop in London, fitting himself out with a new uniform - like me). The voyage was uneventful. From memory, we never saw a ship for fourteen days as our route took us nearly to the other side of the Atlantic until
THE CRIPPLING OF THE EMPRESS OF BRITAIN
we turned for home, bound for the Clyde (or Mersey). The day before our expected arrival, the Captain got on to the 'blower', and announced the fact that we were twentyfour hours ahead of schedule, and proposed to take advantage of this, which of course pleased everyone very much. I promptly went along to the Purser's Office and asked for my money, which I had handed over at Cape Town. This went to the bottom a day or so later, together with all my kit! The drama started at breakfast time (when I was finishing at 9 a.m.) - at first I thought we had hit a mine, as there were two 'sledge like' blows against the ship's side, and said so to the steward who was waiting on me at table. All the glass of the strip lighting fell down on the tables and carpeting and then I noticed that my steward's leg had been seriously cut with the broken glass, so I said 'I'll take you to the Sick Bay', which I did, not without difficulty, as all the lights had gone out. I dumped him in a chair, told the Doctor, and then went out on deck. I looked out (aft) and saw that both three-inch guns had vanished, and the ready use ammunition, from the near by lockers, was going up like fireworks. Someone said 'Look out, he's coming over again'. This was a Focke-Wolff so I leapt into the passage way, turned at the end (to get away from blast) and lay down and waited. It was only a matter of minutes before two more bombs dropped, making four to date, and four more followed in due course. When all was peace and quiet again (though somewhat dizzy myself with blast and fright) I ventured on to the After Deck and found that my 'Abandon ship' lifeboat (there were thirteen each side) was burning furiously - in fact most of those on the port side were in a similar condition.
So I leapt across to the starboard side, and jumped into the first boat (which happened to have an engine in it), and which was being lowered at that identical moment. When we reached the water, the ship was still steaming at some twenty knots, and consequently the unhooking created much difficulty - so much so, that one boat ahead of us turned upside down, and nearly caused us to do likewise. The sea was flat calm fortunately, and the first consideration was to try to start the engine. This refused duty! It was a Kelvin (? Paraffin) 719 H.P. type, and it might be said that its refusal to start bore no reflection on the engine - only my ignorance! Fortunately, I still had semaphore at my finger tips (from Osborne days) and not wishing to give in easily, jumped up on the engine casing and signalled to two or three other lifeboats for help. Soon another boat was alongside, with a much wanted engineer officer, who had the engine going in a matter of minutes. By this time the ship was at least three o r four miles away and the dozen or so lifeboats were scattered about in all directions (only half of the twenty-six ever reached the water). So, between the hour of the attack and 2-3 p.m., I collected four partly filled boats and steered towards the ship with these in tow. The only part of the ship that wasn't blazing was the fo'c's'le head, where most of the 'passengers' happened to be the Naval Draft. As I said before, the sea was flat calm, but a 6-loft swell was running, which made embarking in the boats, with the aid of Jacob's ladders, slow. My boat had 80-90, and only about six inches freeboard, and I remember using my steel helmet as a bailer. By this time two destroyers had arrived, Echo and Burza, and I headed
THE CRIPPLING OF THE EMPRESS OF BRITAIN
towards Echo when all passengers were aboard, the last one being the Ship's Purser. As we arrived alongside, the Bosun's Mate was piping 'Darken Ship'. I went straight up to the bridge, and reported to the Captain - (Commander H. J. Buchanan R.A.N.) who gave orders to let go the four or five lifeboats, and said 'Go and help yourself in the Ward Room', which I did, and where I spent the night - on the steel deck of the ante-room. There I had the privilege of meeting General Gentilhomme, who, in very good English, said to me ' Thank you for saving my life'. We arrived at Gourock next morning, and before boarding a special train for Glasgow I was very impressed with the Guard of Honour from the Polish destroyer, immaculately dressed (with gaiters) and rifles and who presented arms to the coffins, draped with Union Jacks, as they went over the gangway,
and into the train which took us all to Glasgow. The Court of Enquiry, held at Naval Headquarters in the St. Enochs Hotel, took three days. When I eventually got home (to my father's house at Sevenoaks), and had to walk a mile from the station, I was very glad I had my steel helmet on, as ackack was falling in the trees at the time. All he said was 'I thought something must have happened to you - I expected you two or three days ago. You must go out on the lawn in the morning and see the crater made by a bomb that was dropped recently. I am thinking of turning it into another rockery after the war.' This was 1940 and I thought 'What courage', but he never did, as he already had one of the most beautiful and famous rock gardens in the country, as every gardener at that time would testify.
ADMIRAL ARMIN ZIMMERMANN Sir,-Armin Zimmermann's death came as a blow to me personally. I knew that in an E-boat action he had had a head injury but never expected such a vital man would die early whilst in the top job of the Federal German Republic's armed forces. Formerly in N.R. I wrote of another early death, that of Mr. Winkles, Able Seaman. These men, one a three badge able seaman, and the other the leader of the modern forces of the former enemy, had a common bond - a twinkle in the eye and the ability to keep on the right side of the writer! It was at Cuxhaven that I knew Armin best. He was my Staff Officer (Operations), for the minesweeping force of R-boats. This force was carrying out the tedious and unenviable task, after a war, of completing the clearance of minefields. I have a very clear memory of his zest and enthusiasm allied to the sympathetic and understanding way he represented the requirements and views of this force; particularly his happiness for those at sea when he came to me at times to get approval for the fairly rare signal of congratulations on the exploding of yet another mine. He and his charming wife Anna, although he was not the most senior officer in the base, were a great asset in
changing the stiff and formal occasions of entertaining into more relaxed and happy ones. No need in the light of his future to add that one felt c o m ~ l e t e trust in his integrity in every way - an outstanding S.O.O., and after a testing period, a friend. I have kept in touch with him over the years (latterly on the subject of hydrofoils), but it was when he became, in 1957, the first post-war German naval attache in London that one saw how much he had developed, whilst maintaining that special touch, the hallmark of a 'man of the future'. This was whilst carrying out a task of great delicacy not made easier by the hard time given him by the British Press. Captain E. M. Brown, C.B.E., D.S.C., A.F.C., M.A., an ex-naval attache, Bonn, gave me his opinion that this naval attache period had a great effect on Zimmerman's subsequent career, leading to staff jobs concerned with policy which groomed him for stardom. Of course he was a tiger for work but it was the perceptiveness of mind that gave the results their cutting edge; yet all the time drive was tempered with humanity and understanding. You can imagine that it was not so easy for a naval man to work his way to the summit in Germany; officers of the armed forces infighting for money for their own Service are not such gentle people, yet he gained and held the respect of sister Services. Naturally he was helped by meeting Helmut Schmidt, the present Bundeskanzler, at the right time - such is good fortune. But it was his own brand of Eisenhower-like 'binding together' leadership that was his main strength. . . Here again one must mention his wife Anna, who provided the happiness at home and whose beauty and elegance were a superb asset to official occasions. I have written h e ~ e of Admiral Armin Zimmermann, so that N.R. readers may have in their records an appreciation of
one who was a generalinspekteur der bundeswehr, a patriot and true gentleman. MARKTHORNTON
AN OPEN LETTER
Dear James, You asked me to write down briefly some ideas on the likely utility of naval power during the last decade of this century which might assist you in your discussions with Parliamentary colleagues about the long term allocation of resources to Defence. I entirely agree that we must not only get across the security aspects of our Defence policy - but must also show that a navy is a useful tool of a modern society and that it does not just represent an expensive insurance policy to be tucked away in a bottom drawer and only to be brought out when disaster has struck. You asked me to be as specific as possible. I have tried to be so, but without falling into the 'scenario' trap in which arguments about the likelihood of involving military force overshadow the principles underlying its use. It is, of course, impossible to forecast the state of national and international relationships which are likely to exist in some fifteen to twenty years time. But it is difficult now to foresee any factors which are likely to lead to any significant reduction of present world tension. Indeed the progressively increasing mismatch between availability and consumption of primary products look like leading only to increased conflict. There also appears no immediate prospect that violence, including action by armed forces, will cease to play a part in resolving such conflict. It is vital, however, that we remain fully aware of the total influence of strategic nuclear weapons. Providing a world balance of strategic nuclear power is retained, this influence can only sensibly result in severe limitation of those political aims which can rationally be pursued by the use of
naked power, whether that power be economic, political or military. Thus the first contribution of the Royal Navy is in maintaining a balance of world power as a deterrent to war. At the strategic level, the unique characteristics of mobility and survivability of the nuclear submarine give it an unchallengable role as a launching platform for strategic nuclear weapons during the foreseeable future. But the possession only of strategic nuclear strike capability allows little option between the alternatives of mutual annihilation or surrender. Thus a contribution to the spectrum of deterrence is required that can be made by navies alone. This contribution is the ability to control or to dispute the control, of areas of sea some of which may be vital to national interests. In our own case, the North Sea with its oil and gas resources is clearly such an area. After the deterrence of war, I would next list our Navy's capability to provide support for allies who may themselves be threatened and unable, alone, to defend adequately their own interests. Such support might be the ability to supply military forces ashore; or to maintain a supply of arms or essential non military supplies in the face of blockade; or to provide assistance with a fishing dispute. The ability to carry out deterrent and support operations at varying levels of conflict is one factor which can influence international relationships. The degree and direction of such influence depends crucially upon politico/military skill. But no degree of political skill can replace the potential influence of military power if a military capability is not both evident and credible. If one cannot support one's friends, one is not likely to have many friends! Turning away from the field of international relations, I foresee a growing naval requirement for duties in connecz
tion with the maintenance of good order and maritime law. Such duties will lie initially within the regions of the Exclusive Economic Zone, for which nations will bear special rights and responsibilities and which are becoming increasingly important as a source of national wealth. But the new regime of the High Seas, which mu~stnow inevitably result from the Law of the Sea Conference, will also impose new uncertainties upon the wider oceans, the effective resolution of which must require a degree of maritime policing. Finally, we should not forget the need to counter Soviet power at sea. For Russia, the ability to use the oceans of the world is not vital to the economic well being of her people. But it is so for the countries of the NATO Alliance. Thus, whatever the total balance of world power, an adverse balance of power at sea would be a crucial disadvantage to the West - a disadvantage that could sap the morale and will of the Western democracies to fight the spread of Communist, totalitarian influence. I hope this helps, Yours, Jim
TWO CULTURES - OR THREE? Sir,-During the latter part of my service I worked with the Civil Service branch of the Foreign Office in the United Kingdom and also did an appointment as naval attach& I regard myself as very fortunate to have done this as I made many friends and acquired much respect and admiration for individual members of the diplomatic service. But, as a result of my experience, I can only deplore what seems to me to be the 'collective attitude' of the Foreign Office towards the Armed Forcels, and the effect of this upon our foreign policy. Towards the Services the attitude is generally patronising - decent but dim characters, almost fools who must be
suffered gladly. Not having the academic qualifications demanded for entry into the Foreign Service, they lack, inevitably, the intellectual sweep and vital erudition (erudition or Entebbe?). But, as Clausewitz observed, 'war is the continuation of policy by other means'. Thus, the Foreign Office can only be as effective as the strength and quality of the armed forces at its back. Moreover, it is the Services who have to rectify the errors in the end. Our diplomats have in the past been able to look after Britain's interests because we understood sea power and had a universally respected navy. Whittle away the Navy and the other two Services and we are left with a foreign policy which is capable only of reacting to the initiatives of other powers. Contrast this supine posture with the decision t o cut summarily the number of Soviet 'diplomats' to reciprocal size, action of a firmness almost unique in our post-1945 diplomatic history. Could it be that the orthodox Foreign Office view was on that occasion over-ruled by the Cabinet? I believe that advancement in the Foreign Service depends to a disproportionate extent upon ability to write good English, and on acquiring a reputation for consistency in promoting the statutory, but unwritten, collective Foreign Office policy of 'maintaining cordial relations' whatever the cost. How else are we to explain the timid, not to say sanctimonious policy adopted in the face of, for example, the murder of British subjects who were prisoners of war, by Cuban mercenaries of Russianbacked Angola; the Katyn massacre memorial service in London; financial support to Mozambique, conducting guerilla warfare against Rhodesia; and the designs of the Argentine, quite incapable of governing itself, upon the staunchly British Falkland Islands? The liberal intellectuals who determine the Foreign Office view have
accepted commerce, now that nationalisation has made it culturally respectable, as a partner in foreign policy in place of the armed forces, who have been relegated to a subordinate position. In so doing, the Foreign Office has presumed to wield the authority over the military which belongs only to the political power - to the Cabinet. You, Sir, in your editorial of July last, drew attention to the 'two cultures', the one diplomatic, the other military, reflected in the conduct of our defence and foreign policy. May I urge that, in seeking to promote mutual understanding, we now include a third, namely commerce, and ensure that all three recognise the equal importance of the other two in contributing to Britain's safety, power and prosperi'ty. And let us hope that 'An Englishman's word is his bond', rather than 'Perfide Albion', will be the reputation which Britain's soldiers, sailors and airmen combine to uphold. CLASSIARIUS A-A FIRE CONTROL 'BETWEEN THE WARS' Sir,-In the perceptive and appreciative notice of my Naval Policy Between the Wars, Vol. I1 (The Naval Review, October 1976) your reviewer states that 'Britain's failure to equip her fleet with a tachymetric system of A-A fire control has yet to be satisfactorily exp1a.ine.d'. Although my research in the Admiralty's records failed to produce such an explanation I can throw a little light on the matter. The Naval Anti-Aircraft Gunnery Committee of 1921, a body composed of the ablest naval and technical talent available, came down strongly in its final report in favour of developing a tachymetric system; but little or nothing appears to have been done to implement the recommendation, and by the end of the 1920s the need to produce a longrange A-A fire control system of some sort had become urgent.
In 1929 I was a Junior Staff Officer in the Excellent and I remember very well the day when the Experimental Commander, F. E. P. Hutton (later a Rear-Admiral), came into the mess and said something like 'Well, we have taken the plunge and ordered fifty sets a t a cost of half-a-million pounds'. 'But', he added thoughtfully, 'I'm not sure that we have taken the right decision'. I was astonished, and puzzled, at the time to understand how so large a sum could be allocated, and at a time of very severe financial stringency, to a development about which one of the Board's most authoritative advisers was plainly dubious. Though I have found no record of the discussions which must have preceded the Board decision to order from Vickers, Crayford, fifty sets of the system which came to be known as H.A.C.S. Mark 1 (a 'course and speed' system which used guessed data) I am sure that responsibility for the decision must be shared between the Experimental Department of H.M.S. Excellent and the Naval Ordnance Department. The Naval Staff of those days was very weak on the A-A gunnery side, consisting of one commander in the Training and Staff Duties Division; and there is no record of the Staff or the Directorate of Scientific Research having pressed for a tachymetric system instead of H.A.C.S. It is of course true that, because of the need to introduce stabilisation, such a system would have been far more difficult, and far more expensive to produce than a 'course and speed' system. So it is possible that, had we gone for the tachymetric system, we would have had no long-range fire control system in quantity production by 1939. Nonetheless it is in my view plain that a serious mistake was made in the late 1920s. At the least, development of a tachymetric system on the lines recommended in 1921 should have
been put in hand - even if we had to accept the inferior alternative as a stop-gap. STEPHEN ROSKILL
COAL SHIP Sir,-The good general description of 'Coal Ship' in the Indomitable 1915-17', by A.F.C.L. (The Naval Review, January 1977) roused nostalgic memories for me. I can go back ten years earlier, to 1906-07, when I was a midshipman in Prince Louis' flagship H.M.S. Venerable, in the Mediterranean Fleet which, in this pre-Dreadnought period, consisted of London class battleships. These did not have clear 'ijecks like the Indomitable, for the boat-deck was an obstruction taking up about two-thirds of the ship's length amidships. Competition for the best coaling average was intense. In the Venerable our Commander, reckoned the smartest in the Fleet (R. G. D. Dewar), was a ruthless type and a magnificent organiser. He was determined to average 300 tons per hour from a collier, and eventually obtained this. It was then considered very good to average 200. Most ships averaged, from a collier, 150 to 180 tons. At this time, in the Mediterranean, we often coaled from lighters as well; in Venerable there was always a lighter manned entirely by officers. Baskets were used, and stages had to be rigged on the ship's side. The six-inch guns were run back, so that baskets could be passed in through the gun-ports. On the forecastle and quarter-deck there was a clear run on the decks. Coaling in 1906 was officially finished when the coal was on hoard, whether stowed or not. Circumstances later caused this timing to be altered to include stowage. Thanks to Dewar's organisation, for a 1300 ton coaling we once took in 600 tons in the first hour, the final average being 450 tons per hour (checked from
Journal). This was from lighters, but did not include stowage. I still have a photograph of the quarterdeck at half-time, with the coal stowed up to the level of the top of the turret, the two sighting hoods being just visible. It was the same on the forecastle. Another ship - I believe it was the Implacable - tried to emulate us. She did not succeed. Even so trouble followed. When they came to close B and C doors at night many would not close, for the beams had been bent by the weight of coal on the upper deck. They had neglected to shore up the decks, as we had done. A Court of Enquiry followed, resulting in the time to stow the coal being included in reckoning the average, which was very sensible. Later, in 1911, I served in the Atlantic Fleet, in H.M.S. London. Dewar, in the flagship Prince o f Wales, kept up wonderful averages. Unfortunately the Commander of the London was no organiser and our average was about half that of the Prince o f Wales. It was a good lesson to me in the difference a good Commander can make. Finally, I would add that it was very good for discipline - the relations between officers and men - for them to get down together to a real dirty job. The only advantage that coaling ship had? No-one was excused. I remember one seaman, well known to be a 'lower deck lawyer', trying to get put on the Sick List the day before coaling. He went to the Sick Bay with some complaint. The S.B.A. took his temperature. When the S.B.A. was not looking the seaman stuck his thermometer into a cup of boiling cocoa! Result ten days cells and an explosion of laughter on the quarterdeck when the offence and sentence were read out! H.T.B-G. Sir,-What memories A.F.C.L.'s 'Coal Ship' article recalls!
As a midshipman in the New Zealand I worked a winch in No. 3 hold, manned by the Royal Marines, who invariably beat the other parts of ship, just as the New Zealand invariably beat our sister ship, the Australia. We used a number of different colliers, so there was great keenness to identify the one that approached us (while the Boatswain peered through binoculars at its derricks and running gear to make sure that all was safe). The only ones unpopular among us midshipmen were those of the Duncan group, which turned up occasionally. These had extra fast winches, which their owners would only allow their own winchmen to handle, thus depriving us of an interesting and responsible job that we took great pride in. During my eighteen months in the ship our only casualty was one broken leg. Other ships had more, and more serious ones. I had a minor mishap myself. The boy ratings' job was to fling empty bags back into the collier, and one of them threw a bag carelessly right on to me. It struck me on the head - metal bracket first - but caused only a nasty cut and a lot of blood. As I had a hoist in mid-air I could not let go of the controls so was unable to dodge it. I forget if our band played; it would have been nearly inaudible anyway. The bandsmen certainly took no part in the coaling. There was a theory that their hands would be coarsened and spoil their playing. I always doubted this, and many years later when I gave a lift to an attractive girl hitchhiker I was interested to find that she was studying the violin and was also a keen boat sailer, and she assured me that she never had any difficulty playing sensitively after handling sheets and halliards. The time when concentration was most needed was when we returned to harbour in the evening after a patrol and coaled possibly from 1900 to 2300
or midnight by artificial light and with eyes full of coal dust. It was hard to keep them open after the first couple of hours, but we had to - and somehow did. If we were lucky when the collier cast off, there might be a dockyard tug available to hose down the ship's side. Next morning we would enjoy a lie-in, till 0700 instead of 0630. My next ship was a 'Flower' class sloop, which we also coaled by hand, but considerably more slowly. W. G. GERARD Sir,-What memories that article by A.F.C.L. in the January number brought back! How lucky the battle cruisers in World War I were to keep usually to their own private collier. In the Grand Fleet I never remember having the same collier twice and unless my memory plays me very false, double derricks and double winches were far from being the rule. The only bit of routine that I can add to this account was that in the Temeraire the Commander's doggie had to collect the records of hourly intake and then to type out a report on the coaling for all notice boards before he could think of having a bath. I spent 1918 and much of 1919 in a sloop in the Mediterranean when we were usually coaled by shore labour and I think that we only coaled ourselves twice. The first time was when there was a strike of coalheavers at Gibraltar. We had just got started with sailors doing the unaccustomed routine of carrying baskets of coal inboard, for no derrick woul&~plumb, when we received a signal ordering us to send a worlting party to coal another ship. The strength of the party to be sent exceeded by about 20% our total ship's company, officers included! At Mudros in 1919 we were sent to coal from No. 1 hold of a collier who was already supplying a cruiser from the
other three holds. No. 1 hold had double derricks but only a single winch. We started using the centre drum to hoist and turns of the wire of the outhaul as required on the side drum. The clutch of the centre drum was so worn out that everything went in a series of terrifying jerks, so that I thoaght that the mast might go. I took the wire off the centre drum and while keeping the winch going at constant speed had two men handling their respective wires on the two side drums, backing up and rendering as required. I t was necessary to limit hoists to only four bags but they followed each other so rapidly that they were able to keep pace with the small number of men we had available for filling. Coal came in very well, while the commander of the cruiser stood beside me repeating over and over again: 'It won't work, my boy, it won't work. It's not in the Seamanship Manual.' W. E. MAY Sir,-In your issue for January 1977 (Vol. 65, No. 1) at p. 66, appears a contribution headed 'Coal Ship'. As the procedure therein could not always be followed, it has occurred to me that maybe the following account of a n alternative procedure that had to be adopted could be of some interest. The ship involved was the cruiser Hampshire (Captain H. W. Grant), a unit of the then China Squadron. At the time she was busily engaged in attempting to intercept and destroy the celebrated German light cruiser Emden. And the mise en scene was the Bay of Bengal. As the Hampshire had to keep continually on the move, she acquired her own collier, which followed her around. As I recall it, the ship selected was a German prize, that had been brought in to Colombo Harbour. Her proper name was Kurmark; but for short she was referred to quite simply as The Ark. The Englishman placed in command of her, and whose surname now un-
fortunately escapes my memory, habitually wore the uniform of a SubLieutenant of the Royal Naval Reserve. After the Emden had been duly dealt with by the light cruiser Sydney of the Royal Australian Navy, we returned to Colombo, where our Captain took charge of the convoy conveying to Europe the celebrated 'Anzac' Corps (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps). What ultimately became of the Kurmark I am unable to recall. W. Y. PHIPPSHORNBY
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO A.F.O. 1/56 %r,-SNIPE'S article in the October 1976 issue - 'Whatever happened to AFO 1/56' - particularly interested me in that it showed that the day has arrived when there is a naval officer who has forgotten that the sole reason for the Navy's existence is to operate ships. Evidently 'SNIPE' regards sea command as a mere rung on the promotion ladder and does not realise that in some senses it is an end in itself. I find his definition of seagoing command as far off the point as is a chemical analysis of the human body which claims to he a description of a human being. Any or all of the elements he mentions (p. 354, right hand column) can be delegated by a commanding officer, but his unique experience, and the test of his capacity, is his real and final responsibility for all of them. It is he who has to create the unity of the ship and retain the confidence of his ship's company and concurrently of his superior authority; and a failure in either direction is his personal failure shared by no one else: and is usually and justly fatal to his career. This is what makes the sea-command gateway to higher rank more exacting, more hazardous, more fulfilling and better training than any other avenue of promotion. Because of this, many officers join the Navy with the ambition above all else to command
one of H.M. ships and if they go no further are left with something worthwhile which no one can take from them. Everyone has his professional ceiling, and there have been many good C.0.s of ships who reached theirs in that capacity, and were content. But as long as the Navy breeds good seagoing commanders there will be ample material for the main stream of the Flag List. I t is no good blinking the fact that the quality of the Navy depends primarily on the C.0.s of seagoing ships; all else is secondary however important. If this results in a larger proportion of the Flag List being Seaman officers than seems statistically fair, it is in the nature of the maritime profession. You could only alter this fact if you could give officers of all specialisations equal and adequate shares of sea command experience, which is an absurdity. D.B.N.M. Sir,-The facts and figures set forth by SNIPE(The Naval Review, October 1976) are of interest. Taken at face value, they indicate that a seaman specialist still has markedly better prospects of promotion above the rank of commander. Another way of looking at the matter is to compare percentages of each rank held by each group of General List Officers in January, 1955 (or just before AFO 1/56 was promulgated) with the percentages applicable in January, 1975: 9 ' 0 of flag officers who Jan. Jan. were specialists in 1955 1975 X 80f- 70 E 14f- 22fS 5 74 % of captains who were specialists in X 70 55 E 20 34 S 10 11 9 ' 0 of commanders who were specialists in
X 51 46 E 36 42 S 13 12 These figures show an improvement for Engineers at the expense of Seamen, whilst the position of Supply Officers is not changed identifiably. In case SNIPEhas difficulty in checking my calculations, I have included numbers for the ranks in which they were acting. Thus, I have counted an acting captain as a captain. Acting ranks were relatively few in 1975, but in 1955 they had a very significant impact on the figures for Supply Officers - there were thirty-six substantive captains (S) and a further fourteen acting-captains (S). A study of successive editions of The Navy List does indicate that those Seaman Specialists on the 'dry' list had markedly less chance of achieving flag rank than their colleagues on the 'wet' list. Thus, of the 'wet' list captains shown in the January, 1957, edition of The Navy List 34% achieved flag rank. Of the 'dry' list captains shown in the same edition of The Navy List, only 17% achieved flag rank. OBJECTIVE
ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MILITARY INCOMPETENCE Sir,-In your issue for January, 1977, at p. 96, you review a book entitled On the Psychology o f Military Incompetence, published by Messrs Jonathan Cape. The book deals, inter alia, with the disastrous collision between H.M. Ships Victoria and Camperdown. It so happens that my late father, Admiral R. S. Phipps Hornby, acted upon occasion as Tryon's Flag Lieutenant. And from what he told me it would seem that to resort to colloquialism - upon that Flag Officer there were no flies whatever! Your reviewer seems to suggest that lack of a staff to advise the Commanderin-Chief might have been a contributory
factor. According to information made available to me Sir George had already at hand all the staff officers he required. What seems to have happened is that Sir George stumbled into a most appaling error; an error which he was to admit shortly before he drowned. W. M. PHIPPSHORNBY CAPTAIN R. F. SCOTT, R.N. Sir,-For some years I have been trying to put together the Service career of Captain R.F. Scott, R.N. I have been through his Service Record, the Adm 1 series of papers, and dispatches and the like (which have been heavily weeded), log books, Digests and Indexes, as well as the Navy List, Brassey, and the J.R.U.S.I. The Pay Books were destroyed by Hitler early in the last war. I have read all the naval biographies, reminiscences and autobiographies that I can lay my hands on: but apart from a page by Sir William Goodenough, a passing reference by Sir Stephen KingHall and a few lines in the biography of Sir W. W. Fisher, I have found nothing. I would be grateful if anybody could lead me to further references. I think that Rear Admiral Herbert Dannreuther is now the only officer still living who served with Scott. But there must be officers with memories of him, at one remove. I would be glad to gather anything from them. One feature of his two expeditions is the number of outstanding officers who served in them. At the moment, I am particularly interested in Dr. E. L. Atkinson (who took charge in the second winter of the Terra Nova expedition), and Dr. G. M. Levick who was with the Northern Party, helping to bring them through the remarkable hardships of the second winter. I would be glad if I could learn more about them. A. G. E. JONES 1 Fosse, Bank Close, Tonbridge, Kent.
THE ROYAL NAVAL RESERVE generously acknowledged and safely TODAY AND TOMORROW returned. A. J. A. LEYS Sir,-The author of the otherwise informative and interesting article on 14 Adam Close, the Royal Naval Reserves let his Coxheathy imagination loose in describing the Maidstone, Kent ME17 4QU reactions of the old and bold members (Maidstone 44845). of the R.N.V.R. to their merger with NAVAL AVIATION the R.N.R. in 1959 (N.R. July 1976 Sir,-I am engaged in research into the p. 243). Certainly there was dismay at development of naval aviation from the the dropping of Volunteer from their earliest days and into the impact of airtitle, but the change from wavy to power on the Royal Navy generally. I straight stripes had taken place in 1951 would be very grateful if anyone with - except for Sea Cadet officers and personal experience, diaries, corresmembers of the R.N.V.S.R. - so that pondence, etc., which might help my the merger did not affect their stripes. researches, would contact me at the For some months after their wavy braid Department of History and International was straightened R.N.V.R. officers Affairs, R.N. College, Greenwich, retained their square executive curl, but London S.E. 10. this was then changed to the round curl GEOFFREY TILL (Dr.) with the 'R' inside. Some former R.N.V.R. officers continued to wear THE DEVONPORT SIGNAL BOSUN conjunction with his grandtheir distinctive buttons bearing the Sir,-In letters VR, a practice which earned the daughter, I am collecting material for displeasure of a former ACR as these a history of Lieutenant Commander buttons invariably bore the St. Edward's S. G. Smith, M.B.E., Royal Navy (sometime known as the Devonport Signal crown. M. J. ALLWOOD Bosun), who served in both world wars as a Communications Officer. I would be grateful if any of your readers who either possess any material or who could put me in touch with friends who H.M.S. DORSETSHIRE Sir,-I am writing a history of the do, would contact me. In addition to strictly historical County class cruiser H.M.S. Dorsetshire. I should much appreciate any help material, I am most interested to collect which members of The Naval Review personal reminiscences, anecdotes, and photographs. could give me with recollections, docuA. R. HULLEY, ments or photographs relating to any Lieutenant, Royal Navy. aspect of the ship's life o r that of her C/O Mrs. S. M. Roberts, company from her launch until she met 4 Huxham Close, her end in 1942. Any material supplied Widey, Crownhill, would be carefully looked after, Plymouth PL6 5LH.
REVIEWS- I: Naval Periodicals
PROCEEDINGS OF THE UNITED STATES N A V A L INSTITUTE To one who has for years noticed the Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute only when it met his abstracted eye lying on some table in an admiral's outer office, and skimmed its pages with his mind as it were on the waiting dentist's drill, a close study is rewarding. It is of course lavishly produced, as befits a journal with an editorial staff of eleven, operating as just one of the activities of the Naval Institute Press, which itself has a star-studded Editorial Board including five flag officers (plus a captain, U.S.N., and a lieutenant ex-officio). The Institute's Board of Control, whose President - also, it seems, ex-officio- is the Chief of Naval Operations, has a similarly high-ranking number of directors, all serving officers and again including that ex-officio lieutenant (one wonders what his 'primary duty' is) and a staff of seven. There is, one might say, plenty of weight behind the Proceedings. Produced for subscribing members of the Institute - 'a private society for all who are interested in naval and maritime affairs . . . a self supporting nonprofit organization and . . . not a part of the U.S. Navy Department' - and evidently responsive not only to its wellattended Annual Meetings but also to the views of its members as expressed in replies to questionnaires, the journal ranges far and wide in the scope of its papers. The general format includes five or six major articles, which in recent editions have covered subjects from pollution, military 'unionization', and the economics of a 200-mile fisheries zone to broader if not necessarily more challenging and provocative discussions of strategy and command. Amongst the former, an apologia by no less an authority than Donald Rumsfeld, until very recently Secretary of Defence and himself a U.S.N.R. captain, explaining the recent shift of emphasis in the U.S. Navy's new construction programme; and on command, a recent paper highlights one of the distinctive differences between U.S. forces and our own, namely the scales of command through which an individual can be groomed before he becomes a Chief of Staff '. . . as the chef matures in the kitchen, not in the drawing room, so must the Service mature its commanders at sea, not in Washington.' One may in passing wonder whether the part played in the structuring of defence policy by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, all of whom graduate through three major command levels and usually Vice Chief as well, has as a result any more positive influence on government in peacetime than in the case of their British opposite numbers: but then it has to be remembered that the U.S. has fought a major war within the last decade. And the articles include a great deal of history. Thirty-five years on, Pearl Harbour still rated no less than four short papers in the December 1976 issue. There has lately been something of a spate on the 'Liberty' and 'Victory' ships, and some rather indulgent nostalgia for those massive tripleexpansion steam engines, close on twenty feet tall, built in their hundreds to propel the maritime work-horses on which so much depended in the 1940s. There has been some good biography, original, readable, and well-researched, like the article on Commodore 'Dirty Bill' Porter, enigmatic anti-hero son of an heroic father famed in the War of 1812, characterized by his 'tenacity, impatience, despicable disposition, unabashed flamboyance' and a ferocious inabilty to get on with anybody except those whom he drove to glory under his
command; who survived both court martial (for blowing up an ordnance machinist with a shell of his own design; the improper use of civilian labour; stealing government property - the contents of the cabbage patch in his quarters - contempt of a superior officer and sundry other charges) and enforced retirement; who, recalled, promoted and appointed to the command of a n armed Union ferryboat despite suspected Confederate sympathies, had the ship expensively armoured in defiance of his instructions, joined Farragut near Vicksburg and destroyed the Confederate ram Arkansas alone and with his own brand of incendiary shells before, having amassed the wrath of five out of the six Union admirals, two gunboat commanders, the quartermaster general and the Secretary of War himself, he was finally retired with the agreement of President Lincoln a t the age of fifty-three. By way of total contrast, the preceding issue featured a paper on the architect of 20th century Japanese naval doctrine, Rear Admiral Akiyama Saneyuki. 'Withdrawn and introspective, passionately devoted to the study of history and philosophy, more interested in the principles of war than in the actual fighting, he was more a naval intellectual than a rough saltwater professional'; yet as Togo's Staff Operations Officer he had prepared the battle orders which ensured the victory of Tsushima, and some rank him with Corbett and Mahan. The major articles in each issue are followed by others in a variable sequence under a number of standard headings, such as 'The Old Navy', 'Leadership Forum' (a thoughtful paper recently by a destroyer XO), 'Comment and Discussion' (basically letters, including many impassioned, even scurrilous attacks in the last few numbers on Admiral Zumwalt's 'High-Low' mix chapter in his book O n Watch), and a section curiously entitled 'Nobody Asked Me
But . . .', in which a brave, or conceivably foolhardy, midshipman - scorning to hide under a pseudonym - has lately castigated in a vigorous and highly articulate manner the 'stagnant training methods' of Annapolis for producing 'officers ingrained with negative leadership and an insensitivity to the needs of the individual'. There are some excellent book reviews, in addition to the book advertisements liberally sprinkled through the journal: and it was interesting to note, in an editorial review of 'Notable Naval Books of 1976', the tribute paid to the British authors of Electronics and Sea Power (Hezlet), Naval Policy between the Wars (Roskill), Night Action (Dickens), and The Soviet Navy Today (Moore) - not to mention Jane's. Finally, there are some 'Professional Notes', discussing such specialised subjects as aspects of Tactical ASW, the characteristics of the new class of Patrol Hydrofoil Ship, and the shortcomings of the F-14 ('Weapon System in Search of its Engine'); an even more specialized section on Weapons which nevertheless provides much of interest on for example Harpoon o r Aegis; a 'Notebook' of short extracts from other publications; and an occasional 'Special'. one recent example of which was the moving Bicentennial Sermon delivered on the arrival of the Tall Ships in Newport, Rhode Island, by the Dean of Washington Cathedral. T o review a recently-published book is to present it, commended o r possibly condemned, to the potential buyer, o r at least to the reader with a library ticket. To review a monthly journal requires perhaps a different approach: a subscription to something like the Proceedings is not a once-for-all purchase or a withdrawal for a few days, it is more of a continuing commitment; and individual issues of a journal are less susceptible than are complete books to encapsulated review treatment. While it would be comparatively easy for a
reviewer to succumb to the temptation simply to pick and choose, to prCcis and to summarise, such an approach would be to do no more than indicate what the potential subscriber has missed, not - as with a book - what he may hope for. Thus it is perhaps more worth while, given the nature of an evidently prestigious and durable publication like the Proceedings, to attempt to discern, at intervals, any significant trends in the thinking of the Institute - authors, editorial staff, Editorial Board, Directors and all - to draw lessons from specific examples where appropriate, and to try and relate them to our own problems and experience. And if, along the way, your reviewer can pick up such useful tips as that which recently appeared in an advertisement - 'Authentic R.M.S. Queen Mary Equipment and Furnishings - Lifeboat Rations . . . Brass Door Hooks . . . Stateroom Vacuum Bottles . . . Engine and Boiler Room Gauges . . . Purser's Safes . . . nearly 15,000 items. Send $2 for our catalog' - so much the better. P.M.S.
LA REVUE MARITIME In November 1976 M. P. Philiponeau, Ingenieur General de lfArmement (would equate with a Director of Naval Equipment) writes on 'The Industrial Policy of Armament/Equipment in its Naval Aspects'. He argues that in the arms industry as elsewhere, the 'realities of life' impose limits on the desires of engineers and economists for standardisation. This is naturally the case in the maritime environment as opposed to those of the land and the air. There is also the difference due to the greater size and weight of individual naval units. He studies the consequences of this specific problem as applied to the maintenance of warships and the means of industrial plant to carry it out, considering both material and personnel matters. The fundamental difference
between naval and land or air units is underlined observing that, of all weapon systems, the ship remains as the home of its crew. Given its size as a weapon system a ship suffering a single major defect is not fully operational. A defective tank or aircraft deprives its squadron of one sub-unit, not necessarily a major loss and one that can be rectified by the use of identical spare equipment. Each ship refitting raises its own particular requirements. Not all of these can be met by repairing or by replacement. Many skills and technical departments are involved within a dockyard. The problems of co-ordinating work and the unachieved dream of standardisation within a class of ship are all too familiar. M. Philiponeau concludes that, from the very nature of a warship and not from an irrational attachment to outmoded organisations, there is for the French Navy or one of its size and structure an inescapable overlapping of operational and industrial problems. In December the main naval article is 'The Fragile Adam's Apple' by A. Leost of I'Institut de la Mer. The writer regards the Franco-Iberian promontory as the Adam's apple of the body of a Europe in danger of strangulation. His case is presented with force and logic. While the might of the Soviet Navy increases at an enormous rate the Russians are also busy in cautiously acquiring bases and political sympathy along the whole length of the oil route round Africa, citing Somalia, Mozambique, Angola and Algeria. The U.S.A., on the other hand, becomes increasingly disengaged. In the opening paragraphs the assassination of Admiral Carrero Blanco, Franco's Prime Minister, in December 1975 is recalled. Carrero, a friend of France and former student at the Ecole de Guerre Navale was, and always
thought as, a true sailor. In 1940, as Director of Naval Operations, his judgement and advice carried great weight in preventing Spain from fighting alongside the Axis. Thinking in maritime terms he knew that Spain had not the strength to prevail at sea. He considered that victory would go to those who mastered the oceans and was proved right. Thirty-five years later another 'totalitarianism', in process of gigantic expansion, threatens the world and primarily Europe. This time the situation is even more serious as the Russians have learned from Hitler's mistakes and from history. They seek to support their conquests from the basis of a preliminary mastery of the seas. The fight for world communism is unceasing, dktente or flo. The greatest numerical submarine power ever known is available to operate in the weak areas of the very long maritime umbilical cord. Russian surface forces are everywhere, especially in the vital distant sea areas which the West has now deserted, ready to cut the oil routes where they lie unprotected by NATO. NATO is equipped to fight in the cold North Atlantic and in the immediate shallow waters fronting Europe. The distant, deep and warm waters are not covered by ships with weapon systems suitable and exercised for these conditions. The nations of NATO and the Eurogroup have for long blocked the way of an 'unloved' Spain and boycotted the possibilities of a very European France. In an imperative Atlantic solidarity, perhaps ill-perceived by ignorant public opinion, a Franco-Spanish contribution would give the two countries a predominant European function. The credit and debit aspects of American aid to Spain and Spain's attitudes to an Atlantic solidarity alongside the also 'unloved' France are examined. I n America Watergate tolled the knell for Presidents with a vigilance for
the dangers at sea, such as Kennedy and Nixon. Even Ford removed Secretary of Defence Schlesinger for his alarm at increasing Soviet power. What is the 'sailor' (marin) Jimmy Carter going to decide on? The argument is advanced that a Franco-Spanish contribution could even release NATO units to deal with distant threats now virtually unopposed. This collaboration and contribution, thanks to the disposition of coastlines and islands, could at low cost achieve a domination of The Western Mediterranean. Similarly, in the Atlantic, the main shipping routes could be covered from Dakar through the Canaries to Gibraltar and thence to the west of Brittany. The article ends: 'We beg Frenchmen and Spaniards and, beyond them, all Europeans to reflect on the problem. The interests of Europe at sea are absolutely indivisible; Europe needs its "unloved ones" (mal-aimks); the "unloved ones" need Europe. It is the deep sea which makes the laws. What is grave is that the enemy should have appreciated this first.' Surgeon Captain (approximate equivalent) P. M. Niaussat writes on 'Clipperton Island'. A desert atoll in the North Pacific 6 km. square, it is a French possession lying some 600 miles Southwest of Acapulco, Mexico. I f the new provisions of the Law of the Sea are applied this dot in the ocean could acquire a new significance. Named after an English navigator of the early 18th century, Clipperton is an enclosed atoll, the only surface point of the 'Clipperton dorsal' running NNW-SSE, parallel to the American continent. The atoll was formally annexed by France in 1858. This was contested by Mexico who installed a small garrison (with families) in about 1906. In 1915 after great drama and tragedy the women and children, who alone survived, were taken off by U.S.S. Yorktown Frm 1934 onwards
French sovereignty was fully affirmed and in World War I1 the U.S.N. established a munitions dump. Under the Law of the Sea France now has the title to an 'economic' area of 425,200 square km. or a radius of 200 nm. which could be exploited if a French presence was maintained. The capital assets could include: metallic seabed nodules, fisheries (especially for tunny) although there is no anchorage, unproven mineral potential and meteorological reporting. Blasting of channels might open up the lagoon for fishing vessels. In January 1977 an article by Capitaine de Corvette (Lt. Cdr.) A Courau describes 'A Submarine Action in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War' in which the Pakistani Daphne class submarine Hangor pursued two Indian
Blackwood class frigates in the Gulf of Cambay north of Bombay, sank Khukri, crippled Kirpan and eluded a hunt of several days. The article draws on statements of the C.O. of Hangor, survivors of Khukri and the Pakistan Navy News. Training in France, working up a largely new crew (including First Lieutenant and Coxswain), rigorous training and discipline culminating in the thirty hours hunt are graphically described. There is detail of the attacks on the frigates with a good track chart. Success was followed by a three days' hunt by Shackletons, AlizC's and escorts - 156 depth charges (grenadages) ending in an exhausted but triumphant return to Karachi. Informative and readable.
C . McD. STUART
ON WATCH, A MEMOIR by ELMO R. ZUMWALT Jr., U.S. Navy (Retired) (New York Quadrangle, published by the Naval Historical Press-$12.50) On Watch is essential reading for any Naval Review member on the point of departure for a military job in or connected with th,e United States or in the upper reaches of NATO. I will need to adopt a low profile among those of my American friends, who are not admirers of Zumwalt, in case they read into what I say unintended criticism of their way of political/executive life. This is not my line. At least one serving U.S. officer of very high rank agrees with my recommendation.
Elmo Zumwalt retired as CNO in 1974 at fifty-three, the youngest ever. An intellectual, a man of action, a systems analyst, a whizz kid. The 'people' changes he introduced somewhat abruptly into the U.S. Navy are now legend. Many of them have been standard practice in the R.N. for ages. It is not only material features such as angled decks, VSTOL and escortembarked helos that have been U.K. pioneered. But we are in no position to be smug. We have much we can learn from the U.S.N. and regrettably the more as the R.N. gets smaller. On Watch looks like a shotgun marriage of two different books and rather uneasy bedfellows they make. The
first is the story of a meteoric naval career, exciting in parts, but not particularly so in an era covering as it does one world war and many minor ones. Throughout there is a conscious selfpreparation for high rank, much hard work, not too much false modesty. All this leading up to his selection as CNO without experience of major commands, and we read about his ZEEGRAMS, his bypassing of the chain d command downwards to achieve his aims and his reasons for doing so. There are many changes of style in writing probably due to the inclusion of filed away papers, and also more total recall than the ordinary reader can really swallow. But with some reservations I rather liked Zumwalt at this stage and wondered what all the fuss was about. After the sugar there comes the pill, antibiotic or poison, but not placebo. A vitriolic exposure of Leading Villain Henry Kissinger with some swipes at a cast of supporting devils such as General Haig and Admiral Rickover. If all he says proves to be true Benedict Arnold will need to be shifted up alongside George Washington to make room below. Each time LVHK has Miss America lashed to the railway lines the hissing from the wings is clearly audible. If he thinks so Zumwalt has every right to contend that 'national policies and procedures were inimical to the security of the United States', but we move into a different arena when he refers to 'the deliberate systematic and unfortunately extremely successful efforts of the President (Nixon) and Henry Kissinger . . . to conceal sometimes by simple silence, more often by articulate deceit, their real policies about the most critical matters of national security', or more directly 'the disasters that Kissinger is cooking up for America'. According to Zumwalt, Kissinger totally misunderstands the potential of the people of America. Believing the United States is on the downhill and
cannot be raised by political challenge, Kissinger has become so impressed by the Soviets that he considers they will inevitably become the dominating world power - Sparta to America's Athens. Therefore the U.S. must reach an accommodation while she still has a slight edge. According to Zumwalt all this manoeuvring and the philosophy behind it was deliberately concealed from the American people including the Chiefs of Staff. Americans I have asked about this are as divided as I suppose a similar sample of U.K. citizens would be on the far more trivial Crossman diaries. It is interesting how few U.S. naval officers seem to have read the book so my sample is limited. Zumwalt describes how the U.S. Chiefs of Staff were bypassed at the SALT Talks through 'back channelling' between Kissinger and Dobrynin. Similarly he tells of the creation of a U.S. naval task force at the height of the India-Pakistan war without the Navy or the CNO being consulted. On Chile, 'of course no one in defence not even Mel Laird or Tom Moorer I conjecture knew precisely what administrative policy towards Chile was, because Henry had made an elaborate point of not telling them. However that fact was not likely to mollify a man of Henry's peculiar temperament when he found his plans being interfered with. He is a master at putting people who agree with him in false positions'. There are some events with a Cain Mutiny atmosphere such as 'The Admirals Spy Ring Story', the curious handling of an embarrassing (to the President) press leaker, a senior rating who supplied a newspaper columnist with his hot material. There are references to the 'paranoiac reaction' of so many people in high places that it is difficult not to suspect the author of being himself on the brink. Yet he offers some concrete evidence in support of his case. How much is the whole truth?
I cannot judge not being in a position to do so. But whether truth or fiction or distortion we are all concerned because Zumwalt is talking about the future of the world not just the U.S. world. At first sight all this seems an astonishing style of political/strategic life; but I wonder whether it is so very different from what say Castlereagh, Lloyd George, Marlborough or Churchill would have recognised and understood. Certainly Jacky Fisher and Charles Beresford would be entirely at home. It is not clear from such a hurriedly put together book whether Zumwalt possesses the subtlety to influence a Kissinger. It is clearly a PR job for his candidature for the Senate; but On Watch is not a Crusade in Europe. It seems to lack wisdom. I would have thought its polemics could not have advanced his case on this occasion. Still Zumwalt is a colourful, outspoken and effective personality and I believe the U.S.A. will see more of him, particularly with the change in President. Tailpiece: Kissinger: 'Bud, it is always a pleasure to talk to you, You are the only intellectual among the Chiefs, the only one able to take the broad view. We must have these talks more often' (they shake hands warmly, Zumwalt exits. Kissinger makes sure the door is shut tightly and Zumwalt is out of earshot). Kissinger (rolling his eyes) 'If there is one thing I cannot stand it is an intellectual admiral'. Since writing this I have read in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings from April 1976 to January 1977 comments on an article which is an excerpt from On Watch. I believe these are well worth reading but after the book, with which they mainly but not all take issue. I quote only the final paragraph in Drew Middleton's review 'This is a partisan book and as such invites criticsm . . . . but even the total of these criticisms is outweighed by the overall value of this
explosive, provocative book. Its appeal is primarily to the Navy and the other Services. But it is to be hoped that i t will be widely read and understood by the general public. Too few Americans in recent years have provided a more accurate picture of the perils, internal and external, that face this Republic.' R.D.M. NAVIES AND FOREIGN POLICY by K. BOOTH (Croom Helm-£9.95) I have yet to find recognition that in present times the task of those who frame defence policies is more difficult than ever before in history. In 1905-14 the enemy was clear, the weapons well known and the task of making plans finite. In 1935-39 the same situation existed. Germany was the immediate enemy, though the attitudes of Italy and Japan were in doubt, and the naval planners had a straightforward task. Resources were insufficient but their method of use was plain. Today, all is changed. Planners do not know whether to prepare for a nuclear holocaust, for a limited war with tactical nuclears, for a conventional war or for the continuation of the present state of uneasy rivalry in which any surge of superiority by the Soviets might lead to unacceptable political blackmail against the West. Mr. Booth shows few signs of recognising this situation. I find it difficult to evaluate his book. I started by thinking that it was directed at the academic community, mainly based in North America, which studies defence questions and issues a flow of theoretical literature and attends numerous conferences to discuss the effects of Russian naval expansion. But much of the book probes the fundamentals of the use of navies and discusses questions which are ingrained in the minds of every naval officer or student of naval affairs. Matters such as the prestige effect of ship visits are given lengthy
consideration and the value of naval assistance to countries like Egypt for canal clearing and Bangladesh for opening damaged harbours are given over full treatment. Thus the book may be directed to the general public. The author has consulted a very wide range of sources and his reading stretches from Mahan, through Marder and Roskill, to the numerous books and papers on naval and foreign affairs written in North America during the last few years. He quotes extensively from MccGwire, an ex-colleague, for whose work I have a great admiration and who receives insufficient recognition in this country. The author complains, rightly, of the dearth of recently retired British naval officers who have placed their thoughts and experiences on paper. As a result, he is driven to North America from which he has caught some of the contemporary jargon which I find so difficult to understand. He divides the book into two parts the first on naval instruments and chapter titles such as 'The Function of Navies', 'Naval Diplomacy' and 'Navies and Prestige' give a guide to the contents. He refers to the peacetime use of navies in elementary as well as sophisticated terms. I found it surprising that the word NATO was only used once and then in conjunction with the ill-fated project of a multi-lateral nuclear force. Mr. Booth considers that it is generally agreed that the steady geographical expansion of the Soviet navy in the 1960s was due to the need to mark U.S. ballistic missile submarines and strike carriers. My own view is that it was mainly due to the Cuba crisis and the realisation of the navy as an instrument of power politics. Perhaps the answer lies in a mixture of the two. The author is very sound on the concept of Command of the Sea now replaced by 'sea control' of moving areas of ocean filled by one or more
ships - and he also understands sea denial policy. He compares clearly the different sizes and the roles of navies and concludes that even the smallest can be used as a flexible tool of foreign policy. Some of his historical analyses can be challenged. He does not blame the ten year rule for the crippled state of the defence forces in 1939 but criticises the service chiefs for lack of forethought. A glance at Gibbs's Grand Strategy - I would soon dispose of that. He says, also, that the Navy put undue emphasis on the smartness of ships between the wars. But money for firing and tactical exercises was short and the sailors had to be kept busy. Surely the Second World War showed that methods had not been much wrong. In the second part of the book the author discusses the functions of navies from a more practical aspect and divides their use into no less than nine categories, each of which is analysed in detail, from general war to domestic functions. He concludes that all navies, however small, will have a future, mainly because of current emphasis of h h e r y limits and economic zones. But again, I detected insufficient attention to NATO, which after all is the prime reason for the existence of the Royal Navy, and which exists to counter a Russian threat which faced piecemeal might have disastrous political results. Booth supports the British (and French) Polaris forces and in this connection cites an interesting idea that ASW be abolished by mutual consent because of the destabilising effect on the nuclear balance if a breakthrough should come. A good example of academic as opposed to practical thinking. Finally, I must confirm again my difficulties in assessing this book. It is not easy to read, though full of interesting references and examples. I t would be useful reading for someone who was determined to analyse the use and value
of navies from first principles. Nothing is omitted and the result is another useful addition to naval literature by a member of The Naval Review. PETERGRETTON VERY SPECIAL INTELLIGENCE by PATRICK BEESLY (Hamish Hamilton-£5.95) This book may not tell the whole truth, but what it does tell is nothing but the truth. Its author was himself a member of that 'small, under-staffed and overworked department' which was the Operational Intelligence Centre of the British Admiralty during the Second World War. Members of The Naval Review will wish to congratulate one of their number on his valuable contribution to the literature of a subject so important professionally, yet so neglected. No doubt the demands of secrecy, uncritically accepted, may have been responsible for the lack of published work on the subject of Intelligence in general, and naval Intelligence in particular, to which the Bibliography of Patrick Beesly's book testifies. But this may also reflect a failure, or at any rate undue reluctance, on the part of authority to allocate sufficient resources to Intelligence gathering, analysing, and using. It is curious that whereas Surprise remains one of the few principles of war about the validity of which there is no dispute, the means whereby Surprise may both be achieved and prevented, namely Intelligence, should have remained for so long the Cinderella of naval organisation, equipment and training and this despite the Naval Intelligence Division being the senior one in the Naval Staff. In a Foreword Lord Mountbatten recalls that in 1939 few officers shared his fears (proved to have been wellfounded) that as a result of the Admiralty's refusal to adopt his very strong recommendation of machine ciphering, it would be our own codes
and ciphers, rather than those of the enemy (as had been the case in 1914-18) that would be the first to be broken. The Operational Intelligence Centre relied upon many sources of Intelligence and served the R.A.F. as well as the Royal Navy. Its principal architect was Ned Denning (Vice Admiral Sir Norman Denning), and its organisation and methods were successfully developed both inter-Service, and inter-Ally, during the Second World War. Twenty years later, when a unified Ministry of Defence was being created, Denning was a 'natural' for the new post of Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Intelligence). Beesly acknowledges his debt 40 Admiral Denning, whose papers were a major British source of his information; and to Professor Dr. Jiirgen Rohwer, most helpful on the German records. In addition, release by the Public Records Office, at the end of 1975, of certain O.I.C. files made a worthwhile book possible (articles on O.I.C. by Patrick Beesly appeared in The Naval Review for July and October 1975, and January 1976). The strategic and operational background to the work of O.I.C. is to be found in accounts already published, notably in Captain Roskill's The War at Sea. Indeed, it must have been a sore trial to Roskill, and to some others who were 'in the know' about Ultra (the 'Special Intelligence' obtained from decrypting enemy code and cipher traffic), to have had to refrain from mention of the very factor which brought about so many operations, both successful (from the British and Allied point of view) and the reverse. Probably the most remarkable example of the use of this type of Intelligence quoted by Beesly concerns the difficulty caused by the concealment of grid references by U-boat Command in signals to boats on patrol: 'On one occasion we successfully solved a disguised grid reference and diverted a convoy clear of a waiting patrol line, only to find that the C.O. of
one of the U-boats involved had not upon which the plans and operations of been as clever as we had and had mis- the Royal Navy and R.A.F. were based interpreted the disguised grid reference throughout the Second World War. The given in his orders and blundered into Admiralty was thus enabled to exercise the convoy in consequence.' effective operational control direct, as It was lucky for us that the Deputy well as provide subordinate commanders Chief of the Naval Staff during the with the Intelligence necessary to enable Abyssinian crisis of 1936 happened to be them to carry out their tasks. Admiral Sir William ('Bubbles') James. The confidence both of the British and In 1917-18 he had been in charge of the German high naval commands in Room 40 Old Block, the famous the security of their own codes and Admiralty cryptanalysis bureau, and had ciphers, whilst breaking those of the written a biography (The Eyes of the enemy, was remarkable, and hard to Navy) of the legendary 'Blinker' Hall, explain except in terms unflattering to the capacities of the senior officers its creator. James had recorded Hall's view that Room 40 should be turned concerned. Nor do the reputations of into 'an intelligence centre as distinct Prime Minister Churchill and First Sea from a cryptographic bureau', but that it Lord Pound gain from the evidence of was too radical a proposal to be wel- their handling of operational intelligence comed by the Naval Staff. Now James in the conduct of the war at sea. Howwas in a position to persuade the ever, from the descriptions of all the Director of Naval Intelligence, Rear- major actions and campaigns in which Admiral Troup, to organise such a O.I.C. took a hand, which is almost all centre, manned by 'astute men', who of them (the Mediterranean, Far East would use reports from radio direction- and Pacific are not covered in this book), finding stations, agents, own ships and there can be no doubt that Britain and many other sources to build up a her Allies used operational intelligence valuable form of operational intelligence. to better effect than the Germans did. It is not quite fair of Beesly to attribute In sum, Patrick Beesly has brought to the 'Ten Year Rule' the financial 'good order and naval discipline' to bear stringency imposed upon Troup - that upon a vast quantity of material. His pernicious rule had been finally aban- narrative flows compellingly; the people doned in 1933 - though expansion was and the problems come alive; the judgecertainly cautious. But once again luck, ments are balanced; and the modesty of it seems, was on our side. The officer one who himself played so active a part appointed to N.I.D. and entrusted wit11 in the vital work of O.I.C. is in welcome the new task was Paymaster Lieutenant contrast to the tone of certain other Commander Norman Denning. Such published work in this field. End-papers were this officer's energy and clarity of provide a map of the main operational thought that within a few months he and area; there are some useful photographs, his one assistant were able to nrollide and an index. One great question invaluable intelligence of the operations remains unsolved - how on earth, with of 'pirate' (Italian) submarines during so much irrefutable evidence available the Spanish Civil War. in O.I.C., could Winston Churchill have Beesly explains how, from this modest failed to make the R.A.F. disgorge the enough beginning, the Operational Intel- comparatively small number of VLR ligence Centre grew into the inrlisnens- aircraft needed to 'close the gap' of able source of comprehensively garnered, air-cover for convoys in mid-Atlantic? thoroughly analysed, skilfully presented Did the First Sea Lord (Pound) ever and rapidly disseminated information tender his resignation, or bring any
other comparable pressure to bear upon hazardous business of minelaying across the Prime Minister, in order to get these the North Sea during the 'phoney war' vital aircraft? Why was Sir Stafford period; and a magnificent first hand reCripps, a well known pre-war pacifist port of the Taranto epic. Later, Lamb's and wartime 'spare dinner', given the squadron, shore based after the heavy crucial task of investigating the conduct damage to H.M.S. Illustrious by German of the Battle of the Atlantic? Here was dive bombers, operated in the Western the greatest mistake in the conduct of De'sert and had many adventurqs in the the war at sea, and it was not the fault Greek campaign. of operational intelligence, but the On return to Alexandria Lamb was failure of the command to use it to the given some very special orders by the best advantage, which constituted the late Admiral Boyd to go to Malta and failure. ginger up the sinking of Rommel's IANMCGEOCH shipping. He gives an account of joining a rather demoralised squadron suffering from an epidemic of 'twitch', and their WAR IN A STRINGBAG subsequent adventures. This period led by Commander CHARLES LAMB, to his getting involved in 'cloak-andD.s.o., D.s.c., Royal Navy dagger' flying to North Africa, carrying (Cassell-£5.75) Many members of The Naval Review agents, to end with Lamb making a will know Commander Charles Lamb, landing in a muddy lake bed, being the author of this book. He has always captured by the Vichy French, and then been an excellent raconteur. Those of us imprisoned under particularly cruel cirwho have visited him at his White cumstances. After release there was a Ensign office looking for financial advice fascinating interview with Mr. Winston or a mortgage may subsequently have Churchill, and he was given certain enjoyed his conversation in some City historically interesting instructions by pub. It is therefore delightful to discover the great man. On return to England Lamb was that he is an excellent writer. When this reviewer picked up War in a Stringbag pitchforked into front line flying without he found it very difficult to lay it down. being given a proper rest. Following a It is a breezy story, told in a straight- breakdown in health, and after persuadforward and highly readable way. In ing a reluctant Admiralty to give him places it becomes, also, a pretty grim some false teeth (Their Lordships' said account, and is very inspiring through- he had enough to chew his food) he out. The men who flew in Swordfish spent a year ashore persuading Eton were special, and their characters tended boys and others to join the Fleet Air to be formed by the extraordinary Arm. This was followed by his return challenge of their service. Most of the to front line duty as Lieutenant Combook is about flying in Swordfish mander (Flying) of H.M.S. Implacable. It was while serving in Implacable in squadrons, and the author took part in some of the most notable Swordfish the Pacific that Lamb had a bad accident feats. For this reason alone the book with an aircraft on the catapult which nearly cost him a leg. This was followed has considerable historical value. There is an account of the loss of by years of suffering and the triumph of H.M.S. Courageous, the author having returning to full flying duties, p~omotion landed onboard just before she was to commander, and the command of one torpedoed, and an excellent description of H.M. ships. As many know, he took of events after the loss of the ship. a 'golden bowler' in 1958 and spent years Experience in a squadron engaged in the in the City running the White Ensign
Association, finding great happiness in his work, in his family, and in his boat, which is one of the veterans of Dunkirk. Charles Lamb's background was that of the Merchant Service, where he served his time as an apprentice in the Clan Line, the Royal Air Force, in which he held a short service commission for three years, and the Royal Navy, where he made his main career. One detects the formation of high standards in the description of his early life. He was an R.N.R. midshipman in H.M.S. Rodney, and a boxing champion both in the R.A.F. and the R.N. The Fleet Air Arm he joined in 1938 was, apart from its aircraft, of the very highest quality in all respects. His very high standards emerge throughout the book. Many readers will recognise people and incidents and will note the author's occasional asperity. He tries hard to be kind about some of the weaker ones, and generally succeeds, but his life was lived in very special company, and he was one of the best of his time. The book is full of life and humour, and shining through it is his love for the men of the lower deck, both in his squadrons and in the ships. War in a Stringbag is rather an important book because few, if any, naval aviators of the Second World War have yet written their memoirs; most accounts have been written by journalists. Commander Lamb is a capable author and his book covers a period which for him was absolutely crammed with action and adventure. I t was also an important period in history. The author's comments on certain episodes are valuable and potent. Without being rude he has made wo&h while criticism of the way things were sometimes done; very valuable criticism because it comes from the mouth of a junior officer who was there at the time. It is also very nice to note the admiration, even hero worship, he felt for some of the great captains,
admirals and senior officers under whom he served. In reading this book one is privileged to spend some time in the company of the Swordfish squadrons of the Second World War. This is very good company indeed, and their particular qualities are admirably described in the foreword by Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Evans. The book comes with sixteen pages of photographs, a map, and a well compiled index - very good value at £5.75. D.C.E.F.G.
FIGHTING DESTROYER The Story of H.M.S. Petard G . G . CONNELL (William Kimber-£5.75) After Fighting Flotilla (N.R. Nov. 1976) comes Fighting Destroyer from the same publishers but by a different author with an exciting story to tell. Connell, a distinguished Reserve officer, was Gunnery Control Officer of the book's heroine throughout an eventful World War I1 commission. Thirty years later a chance holiday visit to a Border town inspired him to write down the story of Petard's war service as a tribute to his former shipmates, and in particular to commemorate a gallant deed by one of them which had saved his life. This service was remarkable even for wartime. In two years of seemingly endless action Petard sank three submarines (what must be a unique treble chance of one German, one Italian, and one Japanese), shot down aircraft, towed damaged consorts to safety in the teeth of enemy opposition, rescued survivors, bombarded shore targets at point blank range, harried coastal shipping; in short carried out almost every task that a fleet destroyer could conceivably be called upon to perform in war. No doubt she was granted more than her just share of opportunities to render distinguished service in action, but the fact that each one was seized with such enthusiasm and exploited with such efficiency is a
tribute to the quality of leadership displayed by the two commanding officers of the commission and to the loyalty and steadfast endurance of a ship's company driven at times almost literally to breaking point. That Petard survived her many ordeals intact seems almost a miracle, but skill at fighting the ship played a large part, aided by a guardian angel of awe-inspiring benevolence although this was no more than the just deserts of such brave men. So this is a book about a destroyer at war, about the people who fought in her and built up her reputation, and about the acts of gallantry which some of them performed in the heat of battle. But despite its somewhat pedestrian style and maddening mistakes of grammar and punctuation (once again this publisher's editors deserve a reprimand for carelessness), Fighting Destroyer should not be dismissed as just another book about the navy of World War 11. To begin with Petard was no ordinary destroyer. During those two momentous years her ship's company were awarded no less than two George Crosses, one George Medal, two Distinguished Service Orders, four Distinguished Service Crosses, six Distinguished Service Medals, and several Mentions in Despatches, and after reading this book these figures do not seem in the least surprising. Adding another flavour to this well-spiced story is the fact that the ship took part in some of the less well known (or less frequently recorded) actions of the war. There is, for instance, an excellent first-hand account of the disastrous operations in the Aegean Sea in the autumn of 1943, undertaken to prevent the principal Dodecanese Islands from falling under German control after the Italian armistice. Yet after miraculously surviving several weeks of most arduous service in what came to be known as the 'Destroyers' Graveyard', Petard was
then despatched yet further east into what might reasonably have been considered to be the rather less hazardous waters of the Indian Ocean. Far from it. Within weelrs she was present at the sinking of the troopship Khedive Ismail, torpedoed by a Japanese submarine with the loss of over one thousand lives, whilst forming part of a Kilindini-Colombo convoy. The subsequent counter attacks by Petard and her consort Paladin yielded the third and last U-boat victim of the commission, but only after various misadventures had almost ended in disaster. This is also a book about leadership, a subject on which there is nowadays much theoretical debate since the opportunities for its practical application are few and far between after thirtytwo years of peace. But here we have all the ingredients for a contemporary discussion of a wartime case history: a strong-minded and experienced destroyer officer determined to mould his ship's company into an exceptional fighting unit, knowing that in professional efficiency and determined endurance would lie their best chance of survival; the views of a young reserve officer on his captain's training methods, some of which could certainly be considered a trifle controversial; and to cap it all, an unexpected postscript (in the middle of the book) in which a retired flag officer pays tribute to Petard's first commanding officer and justifies the style in which he exercised command. MICHAEL CHICHESTER
THE E-BOAT THREAT by BRYAN COOPER (Macdonald and Jane's-£4.95) Described by the publishers as an 'illustrated war study', this short monograph admirably achieves its aim of describing the development of German and British fast motor boats in the thirties and the campaigns and achievements of these craft in the subsequent
wartime struggles to control the narrow coastal waters surrounding our eastern and southern coasts. Whether by accident or design its appearance is most timely for the story of the E-boat threat reminds us at a time when such a reminder is long overdue how vital to survival in war the control of these waters becomes. The first German 'schnell-boot' (fast boat) appeared in 1930 and by the outbreak of war two flotillas of eighteen well-armed boats were in commission with more building. Across the North Sea a conservative Admiralty suffering from a severe attack of financial stringency showed little enthusiasm for the idea of small fast war craft and it was not until 1935 that the first six British motor torpedo boats were ordered, thanks largely to the efforts of those two early fast boat enthusiasts, Hubert Scott Paine and Commander Peter du Cane. However, although by September 1939 we also had eighteen MTBs in service, their dispersal to distant overseas stations far removed from the likely operational areas of their German counterparts revealed a considerable degree of official uncertainty regarding their most suitable wartime role. From the start both countries adopted widely different solutions to the problems of designing fast motor boats capable of carrying a worthwhile weapon load, particularly over hull design (hard chine planing versus round-bilge displacement hulls) and power units (petrol versus diesel). Bryan Cooper provides excellent technical descriptions of these problems, enhanced by a well chosen collection of photographs and several drawings. Over the years the E-boat threat certainly increased and by 1944-45 there were some 240 of them in service. The author correctly points out that the counter to this threat was not just to build up our own coastal forces to match these numbers craft for craft, it was to
establish a co-ordinated defence in which the efforts of destroyers, and later frigates, together with aircraft, could be integrated with those of our own MTBs and MGBs. Has The E-boat Threat a message for today's naval planners, weaving the inshore tapestry without much sign of official enthusiasm, and clearly with insufficient financial resources? Certainly it has. Even if the conditions under which another inshore campaign might be fought have changed beyond recognition in thirty years, the fundamental need to control coastal waters remains unchanged. After reading this book on2 is bound to ask the apparently unacceptable question, has not the time come to review our whole naval building policy in order to allocate some resources to the offshore/inshore element at present almost wholly neglected? MICHAEL CHICHESTER
THE CRITICAL CONVOY BATTLE OF 1943 by J ~ ~ R GROHWER EN (Ian Allen) Jiirgen Rohwer's book is a 'postEnigma' treatment of the subject; its main theme is the reliance placed upon radio in the tactical direction of the German submarine campaign in World War 11. Radio silence was observed until the convoy was sighted, and then disregarded. Each U-boat which made contact would broadcast the position, course and speed of the convoy to Donitz's headquarters and to other U-boats in the area. The fly in the German ointment was, however, that unknown to the German naval command, certain escorts were fitted with HF/DF. The author underlines the importance of this novel equipment. Neither radar nor asdic could be relied upon to give the escorts the advantage of initial detection in an encounter with U-boats; radar seldom had the advantage of range over visual, detection, except
in low visibility, and asdic was only of use, as a rule, after a U-boat had been sighted or detected by radar, and seen to dive. HF/DF, on the other hand, when operated by experienced people, could be guaranteed to give a reasonably accurate bearing of even the shortest transmission. Professor Rohwer continually stresses the importance of the breaking of each other's wartime crypto-systems by the German and Allied Intelligence Services, and the effect of the time lag involved. Signals which were deciphered relatively quickly, perhaps in two days, were generally of some use, while those which took longer to crack proved to be outdated. Altogether this is a most informative and well-researched book, and the author's thesis is well argued. The only point I would choose to criticise is his attempt to describe simultaneous convoy battles in a 'and now back to the ranch' style. It is relatively easy to get lost in the variations of the convoy system when the description of the battle switches continually from one convoy to another. This, however, is only a minor handicap and does not detract from a well-argued and logical examination of the important, yet often underestimated part played by submarine HIT; radio communications, and their interception, during the Battle of the Atlantic. P.J.F.E.
T H E ROY A L 0A K DISASTER
by GERALD S. SNYDER (William Kimber-f 5.75) The Royal Oak, one of the most famous of submarine victims, a World War I Royal Sovereign class battleship, was sunk in Scapa Flow in October 1939 by U-47. Giinther Prien's action, described by Churchill in the House as 'A remarkable exploit of professional skill and daring', was incredible - literally so, since the Admiralty earlier in 1939 had
considered the possibility and ruled it out. All the most stirring and dramatic elements of war were present. There was surprise, daring, heroism in the attempt; tragedy in the 833 lives lost; and the immediate effect although stunning was overshadowed by the strategic consequences. The loss to the fighting strength of the R.N. was small, but Germany was bursting with pride. The naval giant had indeed been bearded in its den. Prien was feted in Berlin and awarded the Knight's Cross. Donitz was promoted to admiral and appointed Flag Officer U-boats, and the U-boat arm basked in publicity. Donitz had started the war with a bare fifty-six submarines, far short of the numbers he knew to be necessary to prosecute a 'wolf pack' campaign against convoys, but the build up to over 200 in 1942 must have been given a decisive fillip by Prien's triumph. Before reading this book I had thought it very difficult for a nonmaritime author (and a journalist at that) to write on naval matters with accuracy, be critical yet respecltful, and strike a true note. Other efforts of this kind have tended to be banal in descriptions of mess deck furnishings and bathetic in invented conversations. However, Gerald S. Snyder, an American journalist writing about a German attack on a British ship, has done a professional, thorough, factual, non-partisan and interesting job. He has read a lot, travelled, got at the German and British files, studied the Board of Inquiry report, interviewed many of the Royal Oak survivors and everyone on the German side from Donitz to the U47's LEMs. The result is a very readable account in a well produced and illustrated book, and a fitting memorial.
THE THRESHER DISASTER by JOHNBENTLEY (New English L i b r a r ~ ~ f 4 . 9 5 ) The U.S.S. Thresher - SSN 593 - was commissioned in 1961 as the first of a new class of quieter deeper diving nuclear attack submarines. In April 1963 she failed to surface from her first deep dive during post overhaul trials off the East coast of the U.S. This was the first American nuclear submarine to be lost, and without question the subject is worth a book. It could have been treated in several ways. An analysis of the Congressional Hearings would have been important and full of interest. Granted, there were difficulties caused by the deletion of classified material, but even so the testimony says much about the management and quality control philosophies needed in a major technological project. The search for Thresher and her eventual location two months later at a depth of 8,400 feet was a significi~nt achievement. Conventional search tecnniques yielded little and it was the bathyscape Trieste which finally identified parts of the Thresher's wreckage. Here too was a story worth telling. Some balanced account of the Thresher's crew would have been worth while. Even now too few appreciate the years of training both ashore and afloat put in by these men, and the personal sacrifices such a way of life entailed; yet to their credit they remained likeable men rather than technical hermits. Some such account might have been a fitting memorial to their lives, lost in the course of maintaining U.S.N. submarine supremacy at sea. Instead it has to be said that in The Thresher Disaster John Bentley has given us a journalistic patchwork job, combined with a less than fair attack on the U.S.N., who were after all tackling new problems in expanding the limits of underwater performance. I find the opening three chapters on
Thresher's last dive particularly off putting. They are told as if the author was there, 'filling in the details' around the few known facts. The truth is that we do not know exactly what happened to these brave men, although the strong probability is that a flood in the machinery spaces caused a reactor scram, and that the boat had insufficient power and insufficient compressed air to surface from a depth of over 1,000 feet. Thresher's career from August 1961 to April 1963 is embroidered around her Deck Log, the author's main factual source. The result is a lot on the weather, the miles steamed to the nearest decimal point, and the details of all the defaulters by name - without ever catching the atmosphere of life on board. The Deck Log's brief references to minor fires on board are embellished. Local colour is added to taste, as 'In the Officer's Wardroom, as elsewhere, the clean smell of the beautifully waxed linoleum deck deferred to the appetizing odor of steaks on the broil as the officers and civilians came off the various watches.' I find The Thresher Disaster unsatisfactory. Journalism is an honest trade, but from a 360 page book twelve years after the event something more is to be expected. A brief account of the postThresher actions is attempted, but the chapter heading 'Passing the Buck' gives the flavour. Having myself read the whole of the Congressional Inquiry I thought it an open and whole hearted investigation of the facts, and the swift U.S.N. actions on blowing systems were reflected in modifications to R.N. nuclear submarines. In fact, although I cannot recommend The Thresher Disaster, I can recommend the Congressional Committee report as a piece of professional reading, with sobering and perennially relevant lessons on shipbuilding and refit management. In particular, R i c k o y ~ ron responsibility
standing of human nature. At the start of this expedition he was aboard one of the ships, the Karluk, which was blatantly unsuited to ice navigation, when she became beset off the north R.G.H. Alaskan coast. He left the ship with five companions and the two best dog KARLUK teams for the Alaskan ccast, saying by WILLIAM LAIRDMCKINLAY that he would hunt caribou and return (Weidenfeld and Nicolson-£4.95) in about ten days. He never returned, There have been many disasters in the and his efforts to initiate any sort of history of polar exploration, mostly search for her were largely confined to involving ships being crushed in the ice. informing the Government in Ottawa One thinks of Franklin's Erebus and of her last known position while he Terror (1848), Koldewey's Hansa (1869), carried on with his own smaller expediPolaris ( 1 872), Payer's Tegethoff (1873), tion, virtually cutting himself off from De Long's Jeannette (1881) and Shackle- civilisation for five years. Behind him he ton's Endurance (1916). Before the days left six scientists, (of four nationalities), of radio and aircraft, these disasters an elderly trapper, a ship's company of were particularly poignant, because the thirteen, and an Eskimo family of four. men concerned did not know whether The crew, from their subsequent a rescue was imminent or not. A small behaviour, seemed to be largely lownumber of persons involved in such a class dockside loungers, petty thiefs and situation are still alive today. A retired drug addicts. The captain, who had not Scots headmaster is the author of this chosen the crew, was that fine sailor 'disaster' book. Although two other Bob Bartlett who had supported Peary books have described the actual rescue so nobly. After the ship was crushed by which occurred in 1914, th'is is the first the ice in the middle of the winter, he first-hand account of the tribulations of considered, very reasonably, that the the men waiting to be rescued, and it whole party should get ashore to the will be the last, because all the other nearest land, Wrangel Island, supposedly men are dead. forty miles away, with as many supplies This is a very articulate book and the as possible, and that a small party of author, although not bitter, does not experienced Arctic travellers should then mince his words. To naval officers and sledge to the Siberian coast to seek anyone with an interest in, or know- rescue. ledge of, leadership, it is a horrifying In the process of reaching Wrangel story. Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the leader Island over moving, and sometimes very of the expedition, which involved three rough, pack-ice, the captain got everyships, at least two shore parties, and one ashore safely under his immediate fifteen scientists, was a curious man. He command, but two other parties each was the originator of the theory of white of four men disappeared without trace. men 'living off the land' in the Arctic. Strangely, these included Mackay and He was an anthropologist by profession, Murray, the more mature and expera prolific writer, an Arctic explorer who ienced men who had been with Shacklediscovered and mapped several islands ton in the Antarctic. Once at Wrangel, ir, the Canadian Arctic archipelago the captain decided that the most svitbetween 1915 and 1918, and an expert able party to make the dash for rescue hunter. As a leader, he had little or no was himself and one of the Eskimos: organising ability and little or no under- this was undoubtedly a correct decision.
is timeless - 'Unless you can put your finger on the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible.'
He set off in March, knowing that the only time a ship could reach Wrangel Island was mid-July to mid-Sptember. The remaining group, fourteen strong, were left withoult a leader. The Chief Engineer, Munro, a young Scot, was nominally in command but proved quite incompetent. The group split into little cliques who quarrelled, argued, bartered food and stole from each other. Selflessness and self-control were almost entirely absent. The story of the sixmonth wait, living off sparse and mouldy rations, and locally hunted game seals, bear, birds and eggs - is a pitiful reflection of the depths to which desperate leaderless human beings can sink. Two men died of malnutrition and depression, a third shot himself. The only depravity mercifully absent was murder with cannibalism which is known to have occurred in at least three other Arctic disasters. The author, who according to other reports came out of the crisis well, compares this scene of low morale unfavourably with another grim situation he later took part in, namely the trenches in the Kaiser's War, when comradeship succeeded in conquering adversity. On 7 September, just when the group were beginning to prepare for another winter, which they would never have survived, a shin arrived and rescued them. Bob Bartlett had succeeded in his dash. Inevitably, one is reminded of Shackleton's sail to South Georgia to get rescue for the marooned crew of the Endurance which occurred just eighteen months later. But the crew of the Endurance possessed moral fibre and self-discinline, and the inspiring leadership of Frank Wild. What a contrast. A special interest of the book lies in the author's photographs, published for the first time. It is incredible that he managed to preserve these in such primitive conditions. This is a fascinating contribution to
polar history and to the psycfhology of a group of men under strain.
THE OCEAN ON A PLANK by Captain W. A. do us^, C.B.E. (Seeley, Service and Co.-£4.95) The book is sub-titled 'The remarkable life of a marine salvage engineer' and the title is explained by the Chinese proverb 'When the deities protect you, it is possible to cross the ocean on a plank of wood. Without their help you may drown in a wayside ditch'. The early part of this short and breezy book surprised me. In Chapter One the author tells how he was delivering a yacht to Turkey in 1914 at the age of nineteen. He stayed in Turkey during the war '. . . on this lake, learning Turkish and how to process caviare and hunting with a gun Refik Bey gave me, I spent all the years when boys of my generation were being killed off on the Western Front.' At the end of the war he continues 'I was just twenty-three, I said good-bye to Refik Bey and joined the Royal Navy as an acting temporary Sub-Lieutenant. My first command was a big old trawler. . .' And he goes on to tell how he got into salvage in Turkey and then in 1932 came back to Britain as a special officer for the Salvage Association at Lloyds. When war came in 1939 he became Salvage Adviser and later Deputy Director of the Marine Salvage Department at the Admiralty. In 1942 he went out to the Mediterranean as Denuty Salvage Director and opened up Bizerta, Salerno and Naples. The author briefly recounts his wartime successes, particularly in cutting through red tape and 'in getting things done'. In 1944 he had the big job of salving the large floating dock at Trincomalee which had cansized when docking the Valiant. This job is recounted in more detail and consequently holds more interest. The end of the war found
Captain Doust at Hong Kong, where he still works, now head of his own firm, and aged eighty. I found this latter part of the book more to my taste. The author tells his story in more detail, no doubt with a fresher memory. I found the salvage of the Mui Lee, stranded off Hainan, interesting and exciting. Another good chapter tells us how the liner Queen Elizabeth was lost and how salvage proved impracticable. In what seems to me the most interesting paragraph in the book, Captain Doust talks about his profession thus . . . . 'It was the exercise of my profession that satisfied me, the life of the sea, the constant variety of challenge, the improvisation based on exploitation of the element's natural forces; no lifting force is greater than the tide, no energy greater than the heart of a storm. I was never more deeply convinced of anything than that to work flat out at a job that is worth doing and has a spice of hazard is the greatest source of contentment, just as dull safe routine in a job that leaves the body and mind untaxed becomes a mask for despair. And salvage has its own satisfaction. What has been destroyed, lost, damaged, endangered salvage rescues, mends, protects. It is true that we do it for money, but every profession does things for money and there are few where the end result produces more consciousness of merit. I liked my independence and responsibility; the reader will have observed through these pages that I rarely bothered to hide my strong belief that things would go better if I were in charge. When in the course of time I achieved independence it was more by coincidence than aim; I was only following my profession.' I found this an uneven book; the first part did not appeal much but by the end I had warmed to Captain Doust. There are a few rather poor photographs, some of them hardly bearing
on the story, but there are some revealing ones of the author. R.D.F. SWORDS AND COVENANTS Essays in honour of the centennial of The Royal Military College of Canada
ADRIAN PRESTON and PETER DENNIS (Editors) (Croom Helm-£7.95) The Royal Military College of Canada opened in Kingston, Ontario, in June 1876, primarily to qualify officers for the Canadian Army and Militia needed to replace those of the British garrisons withdrawn in 1870-71, but also to train young men to play useful parts in the expanding Dominion. In fact by 1938 the number of its graduates commissioned in the British Army was nearly equal to those in the Canadian forces. Under the pressures of Hitler's War it closed in 1942, but it re-opened in 1948 as a tri-service military university, preserving its uniform and many of its traditions. This book, dedicated to the Gentleman Cadets 1876-1976 by writers all with R.M.C. connections, is introduced by the editors as being 'unrepentantly an historians' festschrift.' Five of the nine essays have a primarily Canadian basis. The wide diversity of the other four may appear to give anyone but a very general historian rather thin value for his money, but they are all readable. Naval topics include only an essay on the parts played by British naval officers stranded in Ontario after peace broke out in 1815 or who migrated shortly after, and a history of the Royal Naval College of Canada founded in 1911 and economised out in 1922. Despite its brief life, the officers it turned out were largely responsible for the remarkable efficiency with which the R.C.N. expanded in World War I1 to something like sixty times the size of its modest establishment in 1939. It is generally
agreed that the debt they - and the country - owed to Commander E. A. E. Nixon, who left the Royal Navy to command R.N.C. Canada throughout its existence, can hardly be over-estimated. BEAVER
R.U.S.I. AND BRASSEY'S DEFENCE YEARBOOK 1976-77 (Brassey's Publishers Ltd.-£12) Judging by the 'Main Events of Defence Interest' chronicled in Brassey's, now in its 87th year and under the aegis of the Royal United Services Institute, resort to force for the resolution of conflict continues. The military profession, if not actually a growth area (except in the Soviet empire) is not falling into desuetude. Lacking a theoretical basis, the study of international politics, defence and internal security has to be empirical. The R.U.S.I. editorial team does well, therefore, to maintain thc aims and intentions of Thomas, first Earl Brassey. His eponymous publisher should not, however, refer to him as 'Admiral' Lord Brassey. He was Civil Lord, and later Parliamentary Secretary, in the Admiralty but never a naval officer although a Master Mariner and founder of the R.N.V.R. Brassey's purpose was 'the study of the events of the year, to draw l e w n s for the future and to provide knowledge of defence matters by stimulating discussion.' 'Civil War in Angola', 'Civil War in Lebanon', 'The Defeat of a Communist Guerilla Force in Oman', 'The Politico-Military Campaign in Northern Ireland 1975' and 'Transitional Terrorism' each provide chapters which reflect the year's events. So, in rather a different sense, does 'The Iberian Peninsula: Key to European Security', by Admiral Worth Bagley U.S.N. Events in Portugal and Spain have certainly shaken some of NATO's assumptions, particularly those upon which much of SACLANT's planning has been based
since his H.Q. was set up in Norfolk Va. in 1952. In this context a perceptive study of 'The Application of Advanced Technology in Modern War', by John H. Morse, lately Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense with particular responsibility for Europe and NATO, includes the following: Colonel Marc Geneste pinpointed a major element of the problem with regard to the security of Europe in a recent article (Orbis magazine, Summer 1975): 'The present troubles of the Western Alliance system stem from one basic mistake - that the concepts for European defence were made in the U.S.A. They should not have been. European perceptions of the threat on the Continent were not, and could not possibly be identical to those held by Americans. The needs of European defence are specific to the European continent, which can be destroyed by missiles, invaded by land, airborne or seaborne forces, or conquered through subversion. The United States' strategic concepts and force postures must be designed to assure the survival of the U.S. homeland in the nuclear age and only secondarily to meet the needs of its allies. The Western allies should recognize this difference and admit that the magnitude of Ithe threat requires some division of labour in developing strategic concepts and putting them into practice.' The true nature of the Soviet threat, as well as its magnitude, which many otherwise reasonable people persist in underestimating, is examined by John Erickson, professor of Defence Studies at Edinburgh University, in 'The Soviet Military Effort in the 1970s: Perspectives and Priorities'. The nub of thz U.S.A.-U.S.S.R. conflict is to be found in the strategic arms limitation talks, in
which the U.S.S.R. is playing a 'merciless game with the cruise missile in an attempt to hobble U.S. technology and to hold the line for Soviet Technological
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system, but is under no illusions regarding the difficulty of coming to terms with United States policy as enshrined by Paul Nitze a t a Congressional hear-
aspect of Soviet power is militarism: The pattern presently emerging in Soviet society - one which has long-term implications quite as significant as the weapons build-up - is unique amongst advanced industrial nations in that the armed forces not only remain but are strengthened as :the school of the nation'. Within the foreseeable future there is no sector o r segment of the Soviet population which will not be either serving in the armed forces, or attached to the active reserve, or recruited into civil defence or para-miltary bodies or even as young persons, boys and girls alike, undergoing the statutory 130 hours of pre-call up training either at school or on collective farms and in the factories. Even the very young are not excluded, for in the Young Pioneers (the youth organisation bracketing the 10-14 age group, before entry to the Young Communists, the Komsomol) some instruction on the Soviet armed forces is part of the political curriculum. The attitude of the British government to arms sales comes under fire from James Bellini, Head of Political Studies at the Hudson Institute in Paris. Writing of 'National Defence Policy and Arms Sales' he argues for the development of a European arms procurement
Our entire arms policy is in fact an instrument of foreign policy, and the military sales program is an accurate reflection of considered agreement at the highest levels of authority. Part I1 of Brassey's consists of a series of succinct articles on nearly a score of modern weapons technology, each one providing the elements of its particular subject, together with any new developments. Reading about cruise missiles, and lasers, in particular, one gets the impression that a more economic use of resources in the future will concentrate upon the delivery with extreme precision of small destructive charges upon critically important targets. Science and technology, hitherto directed towards increasing the size of the bang provided by the buck, is now of most utility in making sure that even the smallest bang is worth several bucks. Such a development offers the prospect of Western qualitative superiority providing a balance of sword and shield which would offer an effective counter to the mechanised hordes at the disposal of the Soviet Union, whilst raising considerably the nuclear threshold. I n Part I11 Brassey'S gives a useful selection of Defence Literature published between June 1975 and May 1976. There is a good deal of it.
The following have been enrolled as new members during the past six months: -
ALBUTT, G. J. ... ... ... ... ALLWOOD, M. J., VRD* BALCHIN, G. J. ... ... BANYARD, P. M. T. ... ... BLAKEY, C. C., RD,JP ... ... K. F. X., MB,B . c ~ BAO, , DPH BOURKE, CHATTERTON-DICKSON, W. W. F. CONNELL, G. G., DSC,VRD*... COOKSON, B. H. T., MBE, RD ... ... COOPER, T. A., OBE,VRD J. F. ... ... ... COWARD, ENGEHAM, P. R, ... ... EVANS, D. L. P. ... ... FALCONER, A. F. ... ... J. D. E. ... ... FIELDHOUSE, FULLER, M. J. ... ... ... GASKIN, S. ... ... ... GUILD, N. C. F. ... ... ... HADDEN, C. S. ... ... ... HANKS, J. I. ... ... ... HARLAND, N. J. G. ... ... ... HATTERSLEY, C. W., BA HEPBURN, J. ... ... ... HONNOR, T. P. ... ... JAMESON, J. R. ... ... ... JOHNSON, R. P. H. ... ... KEITH, R. A. ... ... ... KERR,M. W. G. ... ... KRAMEK, A. E. ... ... ... LEWIN,G. R. ... ... ... LOXTON, C. C: ... ... ... LUCEY, R. N. ... ... ... LYNCH, F. ... ... ... MANNERS, E. A. S. ... ... MARSHALL, N. R. ... ... MARTIN, K. R. ... ... MOWLAM, D. J. M. ... ... MCLEOD,W. H. H. ... ... PEROWNE, B. ... ... ... POTTER, A. K. ... ... ... PREES, A. R. ... ... ... PURVIS, N. ... ... ... QUINN, P. A., BA ... ... RAPHAEL, R. F. ... ... SANDIFER, D. J. E. ... ... SKINNER, B. G. ... ... ...
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Sub-Lieut. Surgeon Commr. RNR Commander Commander Lieut. Commander RNR Doctor Commander Lieut. Commander RNR Lieut. Commander RNR Captain RNZNVR Commander Lieutenant Lieut. Commander Lieut. Commander RNR Rear Admiral Lieutenant Sub-Lieut. Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant Sub-Lieut. Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieut. Col. RM. Lieut. Commander Commander Lieut. Commander RNR Lieutenant Lieutenant Captain R.A. Captain Lieutenant Captain U.S.N. Commander Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieut. Commander Commander Lieutenant Commander 1/0 WRNS Commander Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant Commander
... ... STEVENS, B. J. DSC STYLE, Sir Godfrey, K~.CBE, SUNTER, R. C., RD ... ... ... TALBOT-BOOTH, E. C. ... WALMSLEY, J. G . ... ... ... WATERS, J. H. ... ... WILKIN, M. J. H., MBE ... WILLIAMS, J. L. ... ... WILTSHIRE, G. J. ... ... WRIGHT, J. C. L. ...
Lieut. Commander Lieut. Commander Lieut. Commander RNR Lieut. Commander RNR Lieut. Commander Lieut. (SCC) RNR Commander Lieutenant Sub-Lieut. Lieut. Commander
Prize membership for a period of two years has been awarded to: BILLOWES, J. ... ... CORFIELD, P. N. ... COWDREY, M. C . ... DUVIVIER, P. E. .. EDWARDS, R. J. ... LYSTER-TODD, G. P. . . MANSERGH, R. J. ... SEMKE, B. W., BSC ... SINCLAIR, J. T. ... ... TIBBIT, I. P. G. ...
Sub-Lieut. Sub-Lieut. Midshipman Lieut. Commander Sub-Lieut. Sub-Lieut. Midshipman Lieutenant Sub-Lieut. Sub-Lieut.
THE NAVAL REVIEW
- BALANCE SHEET AS AT 31 DECEMBER,
- AT Cosr
£1,750 4% Consolidated Stock ... £479 Sf % Fundine Stock 1978180 ... £1,510 Debenhams i t d . 64% unsecured Loan Stock 1986191 . . . . . . . . . f 1,012 Courtaulds Ltd. 64% Unsecured Loan Stock 1994196 ... ... Imperial Group Ltd., 2,700 25;'
CURRENT ASSETS Stocks of Stationery . . . . . . . . . Accounts Receivable and Income accrued ...... Cash at Bank and in Hand . . . . . . Less : CURRENT LIABILITIES Accounts Payable and Subscriptions Received in Advance ...... NET CURRENT ASSETS ......
65 504 1,671 2,240 247
Ordinary Shares Royal Insurance Co. ' ~ t d . ,' u 0 2% Ordinary Stock Units £2,584 London County 6 ; % ~t'ock
1988190 ............ ~1,350Allied Breweries Ltd. 7% Red. Deb. Stock 1988193 . . . . . . . . .
SOURCE OF FUNDS ACCUMULATED FUND 10,890 Balance at 1st January 1976 (1,731) Surplus/(Deficit) for year
(Market Value $6,404 1975: f6,997)
Ths above Balance Sheet and annexed Income and Expenditure Account have been prepared by us from and are in accordance with the records and information submitted to us. We have not camed out an audit.
London, WC2B 4JY. 28 February 1977.
BAKER, ROOKE & AMSDONS, Chartered Accountants.
THE NAVAL REVIEW
- INCOME AND EXPENDllWRE ACCOUNT YEAR
ENDED 31st DECEMBER, 1976
4,236 741 208 347
Subscriptions and Payments ... for back volumes Dividends and Interest on Investments Interest on ~ep&i't wit.1; Bowmaker Limited Advertisement Income, ...... Commission
1975 EXPENDITURE 3,545 Printing and Production 440 Literary Services 943 316 61 29 92 81 964
f (1,731) SURPLUS/
Postage and Telephone ...... Stationery and ~uplicating" Expenses ... Travelling and Sundry Expenses ... Meeting Expenses ......... Accountancy Fee ... Bank Charges and ~ r u s t e i i h iF ~ i e ... Editor's Salary and National Insurance Secretary's Salary and National 792 Insurance ............
......... ......... - Subscriptions for Overseas Journals ... - Prize Essays (two years) . . . . . . . . .