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The Military history WikiProject Newsletter : XLVI (December 2009)[edit]

The December 2009 issue of the Military history WikiProject newsletter has been published. You may read the newsletter, change the format in which future issues will be delivered to you, or unsubscribe from this notification by following the link. Thank you.
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The Military history WikiProject Newsletter : XLVII (January 2010)[edit]

The January 2010 issue of the Military history WikiProject newsletter has been published. You may read the newsletter, change the format in which future issues will be delivered to you, or unsubscribe from this notification by following the link. Thank you.
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Nominations for the March 2010 Military history Project Coordinator elections now open![edit]

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The Military history WikiProject Newsletter : XLVIII (February 2010)[edit]

The February 2010 issue of the Military history WikiProject newsletter has been published. You may read the newsletter, change the format in which future issues will be delivered to you, or unsubscribe from this notification by following the link. Thank you.
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David Beatty[edit]

Hi Harley, I have been fiddling with the article on David Beatty. In 'Our Admiral' by Charles Beatty the admirals nephew, the author states that He [Beatty] went back to sea on 2nd June 1902, five months short of his entitlement [to leave]. If this was not because he had become bored with the social round, following in Ethel's wake, it may have been because he was running short of money and was as yet reluctant to be dependent on her p.47 ch4. On the other hand, Roskill, admiral of the fleet earl Beatty, basically says that Beatty was not declared fit for sea duty until1 1902 and then immediately went to a new ship. This seems to be confirmed by his service record posted at http://www.admirals.org.uk/admirals/fleet/beattyd.php which shows him having regular medical assessments for 2 years which he repeatedly fails. (Beatty was injured in the arm at Tsientsin in 1900 and sent home, where he got married.)

I just wondered if you had been interested in this and might have a view which was correct. The Charles Beatty book is plainly an insiders account and has some 'interesting' perspectives on some things, but that doesnt necessarily mean he is wrong. In this case he seems to be talking quite definitively about available leave so I would think there must be some truth behind it. For example, if Beatty had been officially sick, would that mean he was still entitled to ordinary leave after being declared fit? It crossed my mind to wonder if Beatty might have been fiddling his medicals, which seem to have involved paralysis of his arm, since he seems to have been perfectly fit to go about ordinary activities such as hunting.10:08, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Having an actual copy of Beatty's service record in front of me, I can attest that the version on the admirals.org.uk website is substantially correct. "MDG" is Medical Director-General of the Navy (at the time Sir Henry Frederick Norbury, M.D., K.C.B.). Therefore Beatty went back to sea only when he was allowed to. He did well to get a command in less than a month, succeeding Captain Henry Peter Routh in Juno (a man twenty years his senior).
Charles Beatty's book is interesting, but some of his assertions are wide of the mark (later in the book he insists that Beatty and Jellicoe were always friends). Otherwise it's an important accompaniment to Roskill and Chalmers' books, along with the Beatty Papers. It's interesting how Bryan Ranft refused to even acknowledge the allegation that Beatty was a !@#$%^&* in his Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 12:47, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for getting back.
He quotes specific birth and marriage records which I presume are checkable, so its hard to see that this could be incorrect. It entirely makes sense of the odd comments by prospective biographers about how secretive the family was being. I havn't got anywhere near the end but it struck me as interesting that so far the 'good' and 'bad' characteristics he talks about for Beatty are somewhat different to the standard. I await with interest how the friendship with Jellicoe is to be carried forward through wwI. The book is a bit frustrating because it is a bit disorganised about specifics even when the info is present but scattered about the book. Any idea whether medical leave notwithstanding, Charles B. might have ben correct that DB could have taken extra leave if he had chosen to? I'm not entirely convinced why he would have so chosen, because 2 years away seems a very long time in any job you are serious about. There is another issue, that the article currently claims DB spent the two years as commander of Duke of Wellington in portsmouth harbour. I have left a note to neddyseagoon to ask where this came from? Sandpiper (talk) 19:16, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
There's no record of Beatty having ever commanded Duke of Wellington - it seems to have appeared in Webster's Dictionary. It's wrong anyway, as Captain John Leslie Burr commanded Duke of Wellington from 1901 to 1902. As a newly promoted Captain, as far as I can tell, Beatty couldn't be forced to retire for non-service for six years from the date of his promotion, though this was changed in 1903 to three years, by which point he had a command. It's entirely possible Beatty could have taken extra leave had he so chosen, but I can't see it as being very likely. Somewhere I've probably got the leave regulations. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 12:19, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Coordinator elections have opened![edit]

Voting for the Military history WikiProject coordinator elections has opened; all users are encouraged to participate in the elections. Voting will conclude 23:59 (UTC) on 28 March 2010.
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Non Free Files in your User Space[edit]

Information.svg Hey there Simon Harley, thank you for your contributions! I am a bot alerting you that Non-free files are not allowed in the user or talk-space. I removed some files that I found on User:Simon Harley/Battle of Jutland. In the future, please refrain from adding fair-use files to your user-space drafts or your talk page.

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Thank you, -- DASHBot (talk) 00:23, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

The Military history WikiProject Newsletter : XLIX (March 2010)[edit]

The March 2010 issue of the Military history WikiProject newsletter has been published. You may read the newsletter, change the format in which future issues will be delivered to you, or unsubscribe from this notification by following the link. Thank you.
This has been an automated delivery by BrownBot (talk) 21:51, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Hey[edit]

Hey Harls, I hope you don't mind this editEd (talkmajestic titan) 07:09, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

File source problem with File:Ralph Paget.JPG[edit]

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If you have uploaded other files, consider verifying that you have specified sources for those files as well. You can find a list of files you have created in your upload log. Unsourced and untagged images may be deleted one week after they have been tagged per Wikipedia's criteria for speedy deletion, F4. If the image is copyrighted and non-free, the image will be deleted 48 hours after 10:33, 1 May 2010 (UTC) per speedy deletion criterion F7. If you have any questions or are in need of assistance please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 10:33, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

HMS Agincourt[edit]

I'm working on this article and I noticed that you made a correction earlier saying that her turrets were numbered 1-7, although Hough says the day of the week and Burt calls them A, B, P, Q, X, Y, and Z. Do you have a source for your correction? I just noticed Burt's designations, which I'll have to add to the article, but I'd prefer to do all that once.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 02:40, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Preston in Battleships of World War I p. 145 numbers the turrets. Also I have it on the authority of John Roberts that they were numbered 1 through 7. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 09:04, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Curious that the RN wouldn't use the letter names that it had always used. I think I'll say that the days of the week were the unofficial names and add a note discussing the different official names once I get Preston out of storage.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 13:04, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I imagine it was thought inconvenient to add another letter to the accepted A-B, P-Q, X-Y format. Somewhere in my correspondence I have a note that the days of the week was a Captain's nickname for the turrets - is it from Hough? --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 13:11, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
No, Hough doesn't specify who said it. Just someone observed that there was one turret for every day of the week and voilá... --Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 13:51, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Do you have anything showing Agincourt's activities during the war? Hough is almost useless. I read through the official history and found very little other than one time when she was detached at Scapa during the Scandinavian convoy contretemps. I'll have to do another search re the Battle Squadrons she was assigned to, but I'll probably have to generalize her service to the major fleet sorties during the war.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 14:43, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
The only item of note I think is her participation in Operation ZZ, the internment of the High Sea Fleet, which is mentioned in Hough, and her transfer to the Second Battle Squadron just before the end of the war. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 17:45, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

The Military history WikiProject Newsletter : L (April 2010)[edit]

The April 2010 issue of the Military history WikiProject newsletter has been published. You may read the newsletter, change the format in which future issues will be delivered to you, or unsubscribe from this notification by following the link. Thank you.
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Courageous class battlecruiser[edit]

Simon, I've been working on this for a few days now and wonder if you'd mind taking a look at it. There's still some legacy stuff that I need to clean out, but I'd appreciate some input on how much weight to retain on the whole designed for Fisher's Baltic Project aspect. Roberts and Burt generally discount that explanation, as you know, but I'm not sure how to address the other explanations used by them. Any other comments/corrections would be useful as well so don't limit yourself to that particular issue.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 20:59, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

As far as I can tell (from Fisher's own words) the Baltic Project was just an excuse to get the large light cruisers built. From the same source, Keith McBride in The Mariner's Mirror, there's absolutely nothing in the Ship's Covers which actually describe the intended use of Courageous and Glorious. I will have a look when I have a chance. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 15:24, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

The Military history WikiProject Newsletter : LI (May 2010)[edit]

The May 2010 issue of the Military history WikiProject newsletter has been published. You may read the newsletter, change the format in which future issues will be delivered to you, or unsubscribe from this notification by following the link. Thank you.
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For you![edit]

Barnstar of Diligence.png The Barnstar of Diligence
For your hard work on the 'Mystery Rifle' Skinny87 (talk) 09:33, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Arroyo dos Molinos[edit]

The Battle of Arroyo dos Molinos is rated B-Class. Nice work. Djmaschek (talk) 17:11, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

The Military history WikiProject Newsletter : LII (June 2010)[edit]

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The Military history WikiProject Newsletter: Issue LII (June 2010)
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Catch up with our project's activities over the last month, including the new Recruitment working group and Strategy think tank

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Blablaa[edit]

Hi you obviously have a working knowledge of User:Blablaa there is a discussion Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Blablaaa you might be interested in commenting on.--Jim Sweeney (talk) 08:39, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

HMS Lion turret armour photo[edit]

'Q' Turret, Lion: thick front armour-plate pierced at junction with roof-plate (photograph taken after the plate had been removed and placed on deck)

Hi Simon, I've just been scanning and uploading to Commons from Burgess Warships To-day (1936). I thought you might find this photo, and the phrasing of its caption, of interest. (Yes, the naming typo is mine - two photos on the same page, I thought they were both Tiger at first.) Andy Dingley (talk) 14:10, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for that. It just so happens I've started working on an article on the turret explosion, which means digging out relevant photographs. I don't recall seeing this one before, but it certainly corresponds to a drawing in a damage report I have. Cheers, --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 14:44, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
It was published in fighting at Jutland, Fawcett and Hooper. There is also a picture of a hole in lions deck and one of the funnel. The online version at internet archive is less abridged than the paper version I got. Sandpiper (talk) 22:16, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
So it is (exact same caption as well). Poor quality though, and I doubt I'll be shelling out for the hard copy anytime soon. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 23:20, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Just on a technical note, I think Commons admins can move image pages. I'd try pinging Juliancolton (talk · contribs) and see if he can do that. :-)  Ed (talkmajestic titan) 07:56, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

The fleet that had to die by Richard Hough[edit]

Which brings me to why I was visiting. Just been reading 'the fleet that had to die' by Richard Hough about the russian fleet sent to Japan and defeated at Tsushima. Wondered if you had come across it and had an opinion. Its written as a novel, but that does not necessarily mean its fiction. Sandpiper (talk) 22:16, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

I read it when I was eleven or twelve then lost the damned thing, which is a shame as it was a nice hardback edition. Considering that I last read it over a dozen years ago I'm not really in a position to judge, but knowing Hough's other work I can only guess that it's a relatively competent work crammed full of unfounded assertions on his part. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 22:56, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
You really did start early. There is a contemporary account of the voyage too which I shall get round to, which I would expect Hough used as source material. But my main conclusion from the book would be to wonder how anyone could draw conclusions about naval tactics from the result of the battle since the russian crews seem to have been wholly incompetent, operating in impossible conditions and verging on the mutinous. There is one line towards the beginning where at a banquet to send off the fleet one of the captains gets up and says 'every penny spent on the russian fleet has been wasted and we are all going to die'. Dont know if its historically accurate, which is a great shame because it seems to sum up the situation precisely (credited to captain bukhvostoff of alexander III).Sandpiper (talk) 07:48, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

room 40[edit]

another question which you might know the answer to. Where was/is room 40? Patrick beesley says 'it was a room on the first floor of the old building, in the same corridor as the admiralty board room and the first sea lord's office...it was 24 feet by seventeen...it looked out on an inner courtyard.' It starts to be confusing with a foot note saying fisher moved his office to the west building, but mostly, having looked at wiki on the admiralty buildings, 'old building' is a relative term and now seems to be applied to what in 1914 was a rather new building. So i wondered whether you might have a better idea of the layout so as to show where it is. I was thinking we needed a picture at least of the outside of the correct building. Sandpiper (talk) 18:56, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

It was indeed down the corridor from the Board Room (Room 36), on the first floor of the Old Building (now called the Ripley Building). Quite a way down the corridor, it has to be said. The Board Room, and consequently Room 42A (the First Sea Lord's office) were at the Southern end, Room 40 was at the Northern end. God knows what Beesley's on about Fisher changing office, as the First Sea Lord had his office on that same corridor all through the war, although it may have confused the poor chap that Room 42A was counted as part of the West building (later renamed Block I during the war). Old Building may have been a relative term, but the structure was still nearly two hundred years old by the time Fisher became First Sea Lord again.
I was actually in the Admiralty last Tuesday, courtesy of a man at the Cabinet Office. Unfortunately all the rooms have been renumbered, and I didn't have my floor plan and couldn't remember the room sequence. I did wander down the corridor in hope of a miracle (door magically swinging open &c.), but in vain. I doubt you'll find many decent pictures of the Old Admiralty Building as there's a very large masonry screen and archway separating it from Whitehall, and I can attest that all a digital camera can encompass from inside the courtyard is the portico. I also got some very nice photos of the Board Room (including myself sat at the head of the Board Table, trampling on the memory of Eric Geddes), but unfortunately all kinds of paperwork are apparently required before I can "release" them. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 19:54, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Theres a 1794 plan here (first pic)
Admiralty 1794 Draughtsman; Chawner, Thomas.jpg
but I guess its the downstairs layout? I gather the boardroom is at the back of the building, originally overlooking St James park, but now a quadrangle formed by the extension along the side of horseguards. Would room 40 be on the same side and therefore also be looking into this same quadrangle (being what beesley means)? Google earth has a satellite view of the building (the 2005/6 view is better with less marked shadowing). It looks to me as though the old building may have become one side of the quadrangle, but have been joined up with a new section on the north end. It may be that the corridor now extends into a newer section than that shown on the wiki drawing? Would this mean in fact the north end of this corridor is outside the original ripley building? What I meant by old being relative, is that the wiki article seems to describe the extension behind the ripley building as the 'old admiralty building', eg
Old Admiralty Building.jpg
(second pic). If this is correct, when did the new building become the old building? IS it possible some of these refeences to room 40 OB actually mean the new section which had by then been re-designated as the old building? Which could still be consistent with room 40 being on the extended north end of the main corridor, actually in a new bit rather than Ripleys building? So Im confused. Sandpiper (talk) 21:04, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

And one more pic of the boardroom if this looks familiar

Board Room of Admiralty Microcosm edited.jpg

Beesley also says 'In addition to room 40 ID25 probably also occupied rooms 41,42,43 and 44 and certainly occupied rooms 45 to 56. The numbering of the rooms has been changed more than once since 1919. The original room 40 can still be positively identified. Rooms 45 to 56 would appear to have been those on both sides of the first floor of the northern one of two wings which run out from the main entrance of the admiralty to Whitehall'. Again, it is hard to be completely certain what he means, but I imagine a central staircase near the entrance from whitehall with then corridors running north and south on the first floor. The difficulty with this simple interpretation being that probably the buildings have been knocked about over the years so that from the inside the newer parts join on invisibly to the older ones. So from the inside,the northern wing starting at the whitehall entrance might meander seamlessly into the new buildings beside or behind the ripley one. Sandpiper (talk) 23:34, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Apologies for the delay, the after-effects of the 'flu and a persistent toothache have taken their toll on me. In answer to your questions, yes Room 40 did overlook the quadrangle formed with the new buildings. The corridor which it is on was and is part of the Old Admiralty/Ripley Building. There is no main staircase, but there are small staircases at each end of the corridor. Rooms 40 to 56 would have taken up the whole north wing of the Old Admiralty/Ripley Building (with the exception of Room 57) and the western stretch of the corridor including and above Room 40. Presumably that corridor did continue into the North Block (renamed from Block II in 1917) of the Admiralty extension (what the F.C.O. foolishly calls the Old Admiralty Building), but since the rooms were numbered in a different sequence in each block/section, it would have been a noticeable change. It was behind a locked door when I visited so I wouldn't know. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 15:15, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
There was a sign on it sayng it was locked so you could tell? Anyway, I think the best we can do would be a pic of the front of the building saying room 40 was in the northern end. There are several old drawings of the building but I have yet to find a good modern one which gets any kind of sensible view over Mr Adams screen. Do you think their lordships were feeling vulnerable when they ordered it? Does the actual boardroom look west over the courtyard? (sorry about your local difficulties)Sandpiper (talk) 21:55, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

got another point for you (never rains but it pours). You changed the mention of cable ship 'telconia' to 'alert', in the article. Do you know whether telconia did do anything, or how the impression arose it was telconia? Sandpiper (talk) 12:31, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

The author of the article in question, whose name I have already forgotten, puts it down to Barbara Tuchman putting Telconia in The Zimmerman Telegram. It's one of those books from the dark age of history, but Tuchman's so respected no-one bothered to follow up on her "research." The author of the article went through the records of the G.P.O., who owned the cable ships, and found the report of the man who headed the operation and cut all the cables. Maybe Telconia was the ship alluded to which cut cables later? --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 15:23, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

intelligence mixups[edit]

You will gather ive started reading beesly room 40. Its quite a dense book and I havnt got very far what with going backwards and forwards to reorganise information, so he may yet have more to say. What I am wondering is to what extent these intelligence mixups, such as misreporting of Scheer's being still in harbour, might have been deliberate in order to mislead German listeners about british intelligence. It seem entirely in keeping with how these people were thinking and their paranoia about keeping their capabilities secret that they would send out deliberately incorrect messages to mislead the germans, when they thought they could. It seems plain the German were expecting the British to be listening for Scheers call sign, and took steps to disguise his leaving port. What more natural than if the british noticed this deception, to pretend to have been fooled by sending a message of their own likely to be intercepted? I think I read somewhere where this story about jackson originated, but I now forget. But the arguments about it must have been going on at a time the british establishment was still trying to keep room 40 secret, or the extent of its operation secret, so blaming jackson might just have been the preferable cover. Sandpiper (talk) 08:56, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

The key problem with the Jackson story is that it is just that, a story, which appeared in W. F. Clarke's unpublished autobiographical notes and a semi-official unpublished history of Room 40 after the war (which Clarke co-wrote). Hines makes clear that Clarke's accusations are unfounded, and looking through the Jutland material in The National Archives a couple of weeks ago I found nothing to substantiate them either, or any evidence that Jackson was made a scapegoat.
Hines does argue that a limited amount of deception to disguise knowledge of German codes was involved, but this was at the Admiralty level when disseminating SIGINT to the operational level, and Jackson would have been privy to this. Once again, any historian should bear in mind that Clarke's accusation against Jackson isn't borne out by other witnesses, the record, or Jackson's subsequent career. It wasn't until the '50s I believe when the story surfaced, first told by John Irving, father of the notorious David Irving. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 12:02, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Im puzzled in what context Irving (sr) first told the story, given you say it originates with Clarke, though I note Irving was a WW2 naval officer. Beesly is quoting Clarke, where he says the only times Jackson had visited room 40 was firstly to complain about cutting his hand on a box containing intercepts, and another time to express his pleasure when due to a code change he stopped getting messages. On the whole Beeslys book is mildly disorganised but seems to hang together thematically and plot wise. Which i suppose makes sense if a codebreaker is creating a work of fiction, but presuming it to be fact it seems a coherent picture. To what extent he really had inside knowledge and to what extent he was spinning the reminiscences of senile old men, I cant say. I havnt assimilated the book well enough to be clear to what extent the director of operations was in the loop of decoded information. If he was actually getting sensible intelligence reports, which plainly existed at the time of Jutland, his comment about being pleased the messages had stopped is simply insane. No one even half sensible in the job could say something like that if fully informed of the information they were getting.

Beesly basically seems to be saying that at least pre-Jutland dissemination of room 40 information to any other department and any person except Oliver and the first sea lord was non existant. Hall as director of intelligence seems to have been inside the loop, but there is at least one statement in the book early on saying Churchill left the Director of operations off the list of people seeing information. Elsewhere he seems to be getting information, but its not clear to me exactly what. I am still reading and have a little flag up in by head to sort out this point. It is entirely clear from what beesly says that the intellignece department apart from Hall and his immediate assistants was proceeding wholly in ignorance of room 40. The picture he paints is one of only those at the very top (basically Oliver, or I suppose Hall, Arthur Wilson and current 1st sea lord) having both sources of information to compare and intervening based on room 40s information only when they saw fit. Somewhere it says the 2nd sea lord knew about room 40, but also the comments at the time of Fishers resignation show he was not well informed at that time.

But to get back to Jackson, I cant really imagine anyone going off to a secret location to complain about sharp boxes. As an excuse to drop in and poke about and as something to say, yes, but even if that is the case, it sounds like someone wholly ignorant of what was happening in room 40. And again, dropping in and commenting that messages have stopped makes sense if you are curious what is going on, but it seems to me more a complaint he keeps being sent rubbish, than the clearly useful information room 40 was producing. So on my reading of the book so far, beesly is saying the director of operations didnt have a clue what was really going on in room 40 and was not generally allowed access to information important to him in carrying out his job.

Beesly states the original of the message to jellicoe mentioning scheer being in port was hand written by Oliver. So Oliver clearly agreed with it. While I can accept Jackson being ignoramt of actual information coming from room 40, I cannot accept that Oliver was. While he was grossly overworked, he must have by this point got a pretty good idea of how German operations were carried out. Beesly stresses that the Germans had a system, and every single time ships sailed, it all went down the same. Their difficulty was in determining what the German ships intended once they left port, never in when they were planning to do so.

If jackson never normally visited room 40, his presence at this moment is something of a mystery. Beesly observes that in point of fact the Germans changed some of their ciphers immediately before the Jutland operation and this caused some delay in Room 40s ability to decode. he seems to be saying that the specific message transferring the Dk call sign to the harbour was made around 5 pm on 30 may, but this was not decoded until the afternoon of 31 may. Presumably there would have been a bit of a flap in room 40 as they worked on breaking the code asap in the middle of a german operation. If Oliver was expecting such a message to be passed to him (as a matter of German routine), this might explain why jackson would be despatched to room 40 to ask about what was happening. His going there on such a specific mission seems rather odd without a specific explanation. So scenario would be, Oliver is puzzled, sends jackson to check, jackson gets a mixed up message. If Jackson didnt properly understand the meaning of the question he was asking, no surprise he didnt ask it properly. As I said, Room 40 seems to have been very good at determiming exactly when German ships planned to leave port, but their difficulty was with what they intended thereafter, and also with last minute changes, which were quite frequent. If Oliver composed the actual message to jellicoe, then in the end it was Olivers situation assessment which was sent out. Beesly accuses him of overcentralisation and attempting to do far more than one man could, but not of incompetence. Would Jackson be in full possession of the available facts or merely be used literally as a messenger boy despite his nominal high position? Sandpiper (talk) 20:16, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I will get back to you on this, and I apologise for the delay, but I'm catching up on things after being unwell and had a surprise commission for an article in a journal the other day which is nice but time-consuming. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 10:47, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
theres a curious little quote in William James' biography of Oliver. All very jolly hockey sticks, however about Jutland he says:

Oliver and his staff had been busy for about 30 hours before the battle and he found the constant visits of the first lord and other important people to the chart room very trying.[james] James now makes a quotation, presumably from Oliver, Balfour stayed in my office chatting all afternoon and some of the evening and his naval assistant and his private secretary also, and if I went to look at a chart some of them were bound to be in the way and all the talk was distracting. When I could stand it no longer I went to Balfour and shook his hand and said 'Good night sir', and he said goodnight and took his supporters away with him. It was nice of him not to be offended.

So is Oliver saying he couldn't concentrate on the ongoing battle because Balfour was bugging him all the time it was on? That might sound as though the message about scheer was sent before the first lord arrived, but equally after they had been up for 24 hours? Sandpiper (talk) 22:31, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm not a fan of "Bubbles", which is one reason I've never bothered buying his biography of Oliver. Not that it matters, as on Thursday I'm copying Oliver's typescript memoirs in toto at the National Maritime Museum. I'm spending all of Wednesday at The National Archives and among other things I intend to copy every Room 40 logbook connected with Jutland possible. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 06:25, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

I know theres some kind of memoir, but I dont know how extensive it is? If I get round to it, some Bubbles career development will be popping up in Dummies article eventually. There is a chance I shall be in central London thursday afternoon....tempting. (just when you actually want one of those smiley icon things, they dont do them) Sandpiper (talk) 18:35, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Propellant stability[edit]

Hi Simon, I've got a question for you. Do you know if the RN added a stabilizer to their cordite after Jutland, or were they unaware of that aspect of the problem? What I'm getting at is whether unstable propellant played a role in Hood's loss (German RPC generally burned while cordite tended to flash). Any ideas? Parsecboy (talk) 20:49, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

I've had a quick look at my sources. In 1917 the source of the nitro-cellulose was changed from cotton-waste to clean carded cotton silver. Apparently chalk was added as a stabiliser, and cracked petroleum jelly to increase the quantity of unsaturated hydrocarbons: this was Cordite MC, but I've no idea when it was first introduced - Campbell, Brown, McCallum et al. aren't exactly exhaustive in their accounts of Cordite. It was superseded by Cordite SC in 1927, which had a very different chemical composition to that used in Cordite MC and its predecessors. I see that in his Warship International article back in '87 Bill Jurens speculated that Hood might not have been lost had she been carrying single-base instead of double-base propellants (as in U.S.N. practice). I can't remember whether he's reconsidered his views since then, and I'm loath to check my book on the Hood and Bismarck dive documentary, which he was the technical consultant (producers have a habit of twisting technical realities to suit their own prejudices). I may drop him a line and see if he has anything to add. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 06:29, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. I tracked down Bill Juren's article (it's available online here, though there are a few clicks before you get the article) and it was a rather interesting read. I'm curious to hear if he has modified his conclusion since 1987. Thanks again. Parsecboy (talk) 12:52, 16 August 2010 (UTC)
Do you have the source/page numbers for the new cordite formula? Parsecboy (talk) 16:43, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
The reference to the new source of nitro-cellulouse (as well as making the nitrating time at least 2½ hours) from April 1917 is found in "Technical Topics No5." Warship Volume II. p. 139. The reference to Cordite MC containing chalk as a stabiliser and cracked petroleum jelly is on the same page. Cordite SC's composition of 41% Nitroglycerin, 50% Nitro-cellulose, 9% Diethyl Diphenyl Urea, is from p. 140. On the same page, comparing Cordite MD to Cordite SC, Campbell writes that they were of "rather different composition." --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 09:26, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a ton for looking that up for me. For the purposes of a citation, what are the page numbers for the whole article? Parsecboy (talk) 12:22, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
I suppose really with Warship it's a chapter (just so you know). Pages are 138-140. The ISBN is 0-85177-149-1. Incidentally, I did look in the Hood and Bismarck dive documentary book, and in the pages devoted to Bill Jurens's opinion on the loss of Hood cordite instability, or even cordite, isn't mentioned. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 12:30, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

HMS Tiger[edit]

Simon, I'm in the final stages of finishing up the article on this ship and thought you might like a chance to look it over since I've incorporated some of your text. Could you check in Marder to see what she did in 1918 as I can't confirm anything from Newbolt? Still need to work a bit on the post-war career, but not much else remains to be done, other than general tidying, I think.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 06:09, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I will have a look see at the article. Marder mentions nothing specific, and as I think I've mentioned somewhere before when referring to the sortie of the Grand Fleet in response to the High Sea Fleet on 24 April, there is only the unhelpful reference to "4 battle cruisers," which is a very low figure. Hayward's book, HMS Tiger at Bay would no doubt be useful, but it's been years since I consulted a copy. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 09:21, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

The Military history WikiProject Newsletter : LIII (July 2010)[edit]

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Revenge/Royal Sovereign class[edit]

On the subject of the class name, you mentioned on the talk page looking in the Times; do you have access to the Times online archive? I found some references to "royal sovereign class" (about 13) searching between 1910 and 1920; at least half of them are for this RS class, and the earliest is march 1914 (10.3.14 p10 Commons report). There were none at all for "revenge class" (well one referrring to "revenge or class hatred..."; not really useful...)
I can give you some refs if you need them. Xyl 54 (talk) 14:59, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

The Commons reference is a Member of Parliament using the RS designation in a question to Churchill. I see the Germans in their statement on the Skagerrak battle apparently called it the RS class. The other references I can only assume are down to The Times's naval correspondent, Thursfield. I suspect the idea of people referring to the Royal Sovereign class is a reference, unconscious or otherwise, to the original class (afterall, the Revenge class was supposed to number eight ships). --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 15:18, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
To let you know, I’ve left a comment here, if you wish to reply. Xyl 54 (talk) 10:50, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
BTW, your reply, above; are you suggesting that none of those references count for anything? That the people making them were mistaken, or didn't know what they were talking about? I'm not clear that I follow you. Xyl 54 (talk) 10:54, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Milhist A-class and Peer Reviews Jul-Dec 2009[edit]

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Milhist A-Class and Peer reviews Jan-Jun 2010[edit]

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Mediterranean Fleet[edit]

Many thanks for taking the trouble to remove the mass of confusing and irrelevant material around World War I in the Mediterranean Fleet article. It is much clearer now Dormskirk (talk) 08:35, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

It is, isn't it. You'll never get a proper list of all the flag command in the Mediterranean in First World War from published sources or the internet. The only place such details exist is at The National Archives in the Service Records or the list of Squadrons in ADM 6/461. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 08:52, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

The Military history WikiProject Newsletter : LIV (August 2010)[edit]

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The Milhist election has started![edit]

The Military history WikiProject coordinator election has started. You are cordially invited to help pick fourteen new coordinators from a pool of twenty candidates. This time round, the term has increased from six to twelve months so it is doubly important that you have your say! Please cast your vote here no later than 23:59 (UTC) on Tuesday, 28 September 2010.

With many thanks in advance for your participation from the coordinator team,  Roger Davies talk 19:06, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Library[edit]

Could you do some research on the Royal Sovereign class battleship and the Canopus class battleship for me as the web sources I found were not adequate? Thanks in advance. WikiCopterRadioChecklistFormerly AirplanePro 18:40, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

List of fleets and major commands of the Royal Navy[edit]

I've been trying to improve this page for some time, to accurately list the titles of the Flag Officers involved. Now I've just discovered you, you are probably the best person to advise how this one should develop. Would you please indicate which are the greatest inaccuracies there at the moment, for a start, so I can fix them? Maybe you can give me some suggestions for research sources too; I'd like to nail down the list of Flag Officers 1945-1990 for a start. Kind regards Buckshot06 (talk) 09:02, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I'd hardly say I'm the best person. For another website, I've spent the best part of months of trying to work out how to lay out the various fleet command of the Royal Navy from 1889 to 1919 (my area of expertise) and it's an absolute nightmare. For example, you have the Atlantic Fleet, created in 1905. From 1905 to 1910 it was under a Commander-in-Chief, and from 1910 to 1912 it was under a Vice-Admiral Commanding, before it became the Third Battle Squadron. In 1919 it was reformed from the Grand Fleet under a Commander-in-Chief, who for part of that year held the title of Commander-in-Chief Atlantic and Home Fleets, before the Home Fleet became the Reserve Fleet and a totally separate command. The Atlantic Fleet remained under a Commander-in-Chief until 1932, when it was renamed the Home Fleet. And that's an easy one. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 11:01, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Well thanks for that example - I've inserted it into the Atlantic Fleet entry and it improves it enormously. What is the other website? I'd like to take a look. Also, maybe you could advise me on something else. Did Admiral Sir Arthur Wilson command the Channel Squadron or Channel Fleet 1901-03? What were the appointments of the Commander-in-Chief, Channel Fleet's subordinate seagonig admirals? Thanks again, Buckshot06 (talk) 20:41, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Wilson was officially "Senior Officer in Command of the Channel Squadron" from 1901 to 1903. His subordinate flag officer in that squadron was the Second-in-Command, who commanded a division of battleships. The date of the change in title from Home Fleet to Channel Fleet is uncertain - sources say it was either 14 December, 1904 or 1 January, 1905. At any rate, in the Channel Fleet, 1905-1907, the subordinate flag officers were the Second-in-Command, and a Rear-Admiral. This arrangement continued until the absorption of the Channel Fleet into the Home Fleet in 1909. Off the top of my head each of the three flag officers would have commanded a division of battleships. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 21:27, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Nice old topic to return to. I've just had a look through my files. Turns out that in January I found and copied the actual letter sent from the Admiralty to Admiral Wilson informing him of the changes, i.e. Home Fleet → Channel Fleet, Channel Fleet → Atlantic Fleet. Dated 14 December, it states "These changes are to come into force forthwith." The reference to a pre-change Channel Fleet is irritating - it means I'm going to have to go through the Channel Fleet papers and the Beresford service records to try and establish when the Channel Squadron became the Channel Fleet, before of course it became the Atlantic Fleet. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 07:09, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Something for you[edit]

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The Military history WikiProject Newsletter : LV (September 2010)[edit]

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Canada[edit]

Hey Harls, would you happen to have anything substantive on Chilean battleship Almirante Latorre (aka HMS Canada) that you'd be willing to share? Any information at all would be appreciated. Thanks, Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 14:36, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

I've got nothing to add, really. Is the author's name Schenia or Scheina? Burt's use of the term "range clock" isn't strictly accurate, as range clock applies to a fire control device. Maybe "concentration clock" or "range dial" would suffice? I can't see the point of this sentence:
"The varied attempts by the British to sell their excess naval armament led the United States' New York Times to remark that "all information at hand indicates that the [Royal Navy] has decided to sell all battleships and battlecruisers ... that carry main batteries of less than 15-inch caliber.""
It's common knowledge that all British 12-inch gunned ships were paid off after the war, but to say they wanted to sell all their 13.5-inch gunned ships is just idle speculation and plain wrong. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 15:03, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Alright, thanks. I've been misspelling his name...
I included the quote to show the general mood. I'll try to tweak it so it's explicitly clear it is the NYTs opinion. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 20:55, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Robert FitzRoy[edit]

Do you have any more information on the Robert FitzRoy who led the Channel Squadron in 1894-95? The only Robert Fitzroy I can find (Robert FitzRoy) died sometime earlier. Thanks, Dormskirk (talk) 22:38, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Apologies - I have found some material on him now. Dormskirk (talk) 22:58, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue LVI, October 2010[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LVII, November 2010[edit]

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Interesting[edit]

Well heck Simon I don't know many historical studies that are not flawed. Trying to get information on US base propellant powders wasn't easy and I was pretty certain that cordite was at the root cause of the BC losses by the British. I never knew about the US Navy's ordinance testing of cordite till I saw this. I'd sure like to look at the primary records and I wonder if the test results are in the National Archive. I've seen the book that lists out every hit in Jutland and the results but I haven't seen it since or even recall its name now, but the other area for me that was a bit enlightening was that only 17.6% of shell hits by the Brits actually performed correctly. That is comparable to the US Navy sending its submarines out in WW2 with MK14 torpedoes, they were also very humane... The part where the Germans were putting shells back together from fractured pieces was startling if true. I'll root out Massie's book and see if I can find that section today.Tirronan (talk) 15:33, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

What do you mean by "Trying to get information on US base propellant powders wasn't easy and I was pretty certain that cordite was at the root cause of the BC losses by the British."? You were trying to get information on US propellants?
I just cannot take Ott's silly mistakes seriously. He claims the Lions had 6-inch armour before correcting himself later that they had 9-inch belts. He claims that German charges were cased, which is just wrong - the main charge was in a casing and the fore charge was in a silk bag, something which is stated in most sources he references. There are many more errors if you want them. And as Campbell makes clear, it's difficult to work out the effectiveness of German shell on British armour above 9-inch when there was only one possible (a key word Ott ignores) hit on Barham's heavy armour. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 16:49, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
I've just realised who Ott is, so I'm going to be very quiet now. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 17:32, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't intend on getting into a pissing match or anything here. Yes I made a mistake with regards to the Lion's belt armor on the first mention of it, but it was corrected later. Sue me - it's not as though I'm the first person to screw up typing something. As for the propellants, I very clearly stated "The Germans stored their main propellant charges in large brass cartridges equipped with protective metal covers. Smaller fore charges were kept in silk bags and stored in metal cases." at the bottom of page 29. Parsecboy (talk) 18:09, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not all that easy to rile obviously, but I still found value in it. I've always thought it was the cordite was part of the reason and Buord didn't think much of it either. I've included a link to what I found in the Jutland talk page.Tirronan (talk) 22:20, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I fail to see how U.S. testing of a military, as opposed to naval, cordite developed during the Second World War has any relevance to Jutland. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 12:36, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Jellicoe[edit]

I was keeping an eye on your subpage and saw you had it deleted... are you ever going to finish it and move it into the mainspace? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 23:52, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

I got bogged down in Original Research after much digging in the British Library and the British National Archives. A Wikipedia article or series of articles just wouldn't do justice to the subject, plus my intention has always been to write a proper biography for publication someday. A law degree has slowed things down somewhat, however. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 12:38, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Ah, I understand. Good lick with your biography. You'll sell at least one copy, I guarantee it (even if I have to have it shipped from the UK). :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:32, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion of Template:St. Bees School WWI War Honours[edit]

Ambox warning pn.svgTemplate:St. Bees School WWI War Honours has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for discussion page. Thank you. WOSlinker (talk) 17:50, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Invitation to join WikiProject United States[edit]

Flag of the United States.svg

Hello, Simon Harley! WikiProject United States, an outreach effort supporting development of United States related articles in Wikipedia, has recently been restarted after a long period of inactivity. As a user who has shown an interest in United States related topics we wanted to invite you to join us in developing content relating to the United States. If you are interested please add your Username and area of interest to the members page here. Thank you!!!

--Kumioko (talk) 17:05, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue LVIII, December 2010[edit]

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The Bugle: Volume LVIX, January 2011[edit]

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Sources[edit]

Hey Harls, long time no talk. Would you happen to know of any sources you can add to here? User_talk:The_ed17#Starter_library. Many thanks :) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 02:08, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

National Maritime Museum collaboration[edit]

Thought you might be interested in Wikipedia:GLAM/NMM. Have a look when you get a moment! Regards, The Land (talk) 11:01, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue LX, February 2011[edit]

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Seeking impartial advice re WWI 'Malta Exiles'[edit]

Simon, I came across your name on the British military history taskforce list. I need some independent advice on the following.

As copy editor I cleaned up an article on abortive WWI trials of Turkish 'war criminals' or Malta Exiles. In editing the article, I noticed that —

  1. its previous discussion history had been a less than amicable exchange between what I take to be Turkish and Armenian partisans in a dispute about whether a genocide took place;
  2. the article itself obviously needs some TLC from a person with an interest and access to reliable references;
  3. the article appears to be orphaned, but might be a suitable expansion on matters raised in the Malta Exiles article (I say orphaned because very few people are likely to search for 'inter-allied tribunal' when actually looking for post-WWI political settlements); and
  4. in my opinion, throwing these questions back directly at the Turkish Portal without considering first the best available options is likely to re-ignite a currently dormant Turkish/Armenian animus.

I therefore thought I'd seek advice on where someone with an interest in that period of history thinks the article might actually belong.

If you have no interest or desire to discuss this, might you know of someone who does? Regards — Peter S Strempel | Talk 04:08, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Cruisers of the later 19th century[edit]

Just wondered if you had any suggestions on material to read on cruisers, 1860-1910. Our coverage of armoured cruiser and protected cruiser is poor and I am trying to work on it from time to time. In particular I'm interested in, and a bit stuck with, the RN's decision to continue using the deck-only protection scheme during the 1890s and the eventual transition to the "light cruiser". Thanks in advance... The Land (talk) 18:51, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

As with most of these things, there seems to be a lot we still don't know about. While Roger Parkinson bangs on a bit too much about battleships getting all the attention as being the standard of naval power, I think it's true to say that the history and therefore the significance of the Royal Navy's many cruiser programmes has been neglected. For my part, I've been re-reading D. K. Brown's Warrior to Dreadnought and Parkinson's material on cruisers, and whatever I can glean from the work of Sumida and Nicholas Lambert. I probably should dig out Marder's Anatomy of British Sea Power at some point, as he, like Parkes, seemed to have looked at stuff which has either been lost or which nobody else has found. All I can suggest is keep on reading until you get a fairly good idea of the era and the answer to your question regarding the continued use of the protective deck may well pop-up. No answer's coming to my mind off-hand, but it might after I have a trawl through my sources. I will keep you posted. I'm getting bored with my usual hobby of mapping the Royal Navy's flag list, anyway. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 12:25, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Having had a quick think about it, referring to McBride's article on the Diadem class from Warship No. 44, the answer may well lie in Manning's life of Sir William White, who was a strong proponent of the protective deck system, and in D. K. B.'s A Century of Naval Construction. Both of these are on my "shopping list" next time I get to Greenwich. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 12:37, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Norman Friedman's new book on British cruisers might be useful as well.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 13:32, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Friedman only starts with the Town class light cruiser, which to my mind suggests that the title of his book is slightly misleading. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 13:46, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Glad I found out as I was intending to get the book, not least for coverage of the early cruisers which are not well documented. That's odd because Friedman's book on the early British destroyers is pretty good once you get used to his peccadillos and pretty complete from what I can judge. There's coverage of the Powerful class in Preston's World's Worst Warships, but only scattered references in Warship, Warship International and Warships for Export on Armstrong-built ships.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 15:19, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
The destroyer book is a good technical overview, but it's fairly useless on operational details: How they were meant to be used is just as important as what they were capable of. His background knowledge of the Admiralty is pretty atrocious. I only hope he improved it for the cruiser book. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 15:55, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
A faint hope, I suspect. Pity that DKN never got into type histories for the British like Friedman did for the Americans, although his overviews are very nice. More detail would have been very welcome. Friedman never seems to get much involved in doctrinal issues, even when they drove the requirements that ultimately produced the ships. One of his more annoying issues, I must say.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 16:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the man is a machine: He pumps books out like other people write articles. When I was at The National Archives in January I came across one of his request slips in a Grand Fleet record book from 2006 (which he'd evidently misplaced). To have systematically gone through that book alone would have taken weeks or even months - I'm still going through it now, and I copied every one of its 1,000 pages!
Unfortunately (again) I only started properly reading Warrior to Dreadnought after Brown died, which is a shame as I corresponded with him every so often on Grand Fleet matters. I'm fairly sure he would have had answers to many of the questions I now have regarding the pre-dreadnought era. C'est la vie. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 17:58, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Reginald Hall[edit]

Simon, can you confirm that Reginald Hall was the first captain of the Queen Mary and when he was relieved of command? With cites?--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 21:50, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

I can't offhand confirm he was the first captain, as most capital ships had captains appointed for trials. I will have a look. His dates of appointment and being relieved I can do, however. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 07:06, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Just checked, he was appointed for the trials. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 07:26, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Many thanks. BTW, a question has come up on RN ranks on the review. Doesn't the RN hyphenate Rear Admiral?--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 00:39, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Nevermind, I followed the link to the previous discussion.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 04:58, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue LXI, March 2011[edit]

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The Battle of the Falkland Islands[edit]

Be advised that I have taken this to the Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard and that your name has been brought up. We need to get some folks involved here regretfully.Tirronan (talk) 01:54, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

After a bit of research, I've given warning that the section in question will be removed, if reliable source citations can not be provided within seven days under Wikipedia:UNDUE which seems to cover this case verbatim.Tirronan (talk) 04:05, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm shocked you have patience to deal with him. I already have a rock-bottom opinion of Hall, but I can't quite believe that he would have been as stupid as von Rintelen claims. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 16:30, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue LXII, April 2011[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXIII, May 2011[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXIV, June 2011[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXV, July 2011[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXVI, August 2011[edit]

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Titan's cross nomination[edit]

Hello, Simon Harley. I see that you are a member of WP:OMT. I am reminding you that there is a discussion [here] about whther or not to award Bahamut0013, a member of OMt who passsed awsay a short while ago, the Titan's Cross in silver. your opinion will be welcome. Thanks, Buggie111 (talk) 14:04, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Milhist FA, A-Class and Peer Reviews Jul-Sep 2011[edit]

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By order of the Military history WikiProject coordinators, for your devoted contributions to the WikiProject's Peer, A-Class and Featured article reviews for the period Jul-Sept 2011, the Military history WikiProject Reviewers' award. Buggie111 (talk) 22:57, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Learn to read[edit]

Re this edit [1]: do the words "If you are undoing an edit that is not vandalism, explain the reason in the edit summary. Do not use the default message only." sound familiar to you? Either you never bothered to read them, or you didn't comprehend their meaning. Read and comprehend now, and don't revert without explanation like that again. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.163.3.204 (talk) 03:01, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Rolling back your removal of referenced, relevant material is self-explanatory. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 05:29, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Except that he provided a clear, good reason for the removal in edit summaries. Just because information is sourced does not mean it must automatically stay in the article. Further, only one of the IP's edits removed info; the other rephrased what was admittedly some pretty bad English. I've declined the request for semi-protection. I've given 190... a final warning for personal attacks; I've cautioned Fltyingpig about calling good faith edits vandalism, and am now cautioning you the same (it can be considered a personal attack as well]]. Please discuss the issue on the article's talk page. Qwyrxian (talk) 06:03, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
It would seem that both fltyingpig and I both disagree with you on the subject of this particular revision. Given the IP's revolting response, I'm rather flummoxed by this warning. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 06:48, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Which part of "If you are undoing an edit that is not vandalism, explain the reason in the edit summary. Do not use the default message only" do you not understand? It doesn't matter what you think about my edit or my comments. It was obviously not vandalism so you are still not allowed to revert it and leave the default message only. 190.163.3.204 (talk) 09:28, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue LXVII, September 2011[edit]

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Courageous casualties 1939[edit]

Simon, Can you point me to any offical tally of Courageous's crew losses when she was sunk in 1939. The figure of 518 that I have from Burt's British Battleships 1919–39 is being challenged and I'm wondering if the official total is available anywhere online.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 02:34, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Don Kindell's tally comes to 518, but as you may have guessed I'm somewhat wary of accepting an unsourced figure - I could count every individual name that he's compiled here but a) I'd rather not and b) he doesn't reference that, either. He does list the survivors, however.
Looking at the FAC, when did it become accepted that Rear-Admiral shouldn't be hyphenated, but Vice-Admiral should? That sounds insane, to put it mildly. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 09:58, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
It's a Brit vs Amer English thing, I think, but I don't use Vice Admiral in the article so what and where are you referring to?
For the WWI period is the flag captain, the captain of the admiral's flagship? Or is it more the old captain-of-the-fleet aka chief of staff?--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 05:29, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
I was going from this comment of Dank's, which makes no sense to me: ""Rear-Admiral": Correct me if I'm wrong; I think we decided to go with "Rear Admiral" (no hyphen) but "Vice-Admiral" in BritEng." Contemporary British usage at the time was for it to be hyphenated. And if one rank is hyphenated then the others surely ought to be as well. It's not quite irrelevant because from 30 July, 1917 to 26 October, 1918, Trevylyan Napier was Acting Vice-Admiral Commanding the Light Cruiser Force (as well as in command of the First Cruiser Squadron), on 26 October, 1918, he was confirmed in the rank of Vice-Admiral, and from 1 February to 1 May, 1919, he was Vice-Admiral Commanding the Rosyth Reserve, all with his flag flying in Courageous.
As to your question, it depends specifically on the person concerned. There were, in order of most numerous during the First World War, Flag Captains, Flag Captains and Chiefs of the Staff (dual appointments), Chiefs of the Staff, and Captain of the Fleet (of whom there was only one, in the Grand Fleet). Napier in Courageous, for example, had only a Flag Captain.
Looking further at the FAC I'm assuming you're curious as to whether Sir Arthur Bromley was notable. As I said above, he was just the Flag Captain while in command of Courageous. He retired while still only a captain in 1922 because he was held responsible for the loss of Raleigh. He went on to become a courtier of sorts, before succeeding to the family baronetcy shortly before his death. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 11:15, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Did the RN have "tombstone" promotions where an officer was promoted upon his retirement? Because thePeerage.com says that he reached Rear Admiral.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 14:49, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
He was advanced to the rank of Rear-Admiral on the Retired List on 8 July, 1926. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 14:52, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
OK, close but not quite the same thing. Good to know.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 17:06, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
So who was the initial commander of 1st CS when it was reformed after Jutland? I'll add Napier from July 1917. I'll remind Dank that British usage is a hyphen for both Admiral ranks based on the Admiralty report on Dunkirk that I just read.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 01:02, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it was reformed until the formation of the Light Cruiser Force on 30 July. In ADM 6/461, which is the official ledger of appointments during the war, there's noone after Arbuthnot and before Napier. From ADM 116/1645, the squadron was officially abolished on 5 June, 1916. Unfortunately the one way I could be sure is to check the Supplement to the Monthly Navy List which shows who's in command of what each month, what ships are in what squadron, and so on, and I only have up to May, 1916 and after October, 1917. But I'll be at The National Archives in a week or two and copying the rest of them is on my to-do list. —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 09:49, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
I had the impression from Burt that the Squadron was reformed once the two Weird Sisters commissioned, but maybe not. At any rate, some clarification would be nice as we'll need to fill out the Squadron's history, and its commanders, at some point. Thanks for being so helpful with all my questions regarding British officers and such.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 17:19, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've just noticed a gap in my records which hopefully the missing Supplements will solve. While appointed Vice-Admiral Light Cruiser Force on 30 July, 1917, Napier wasn't replaced in command of the Third Light Cruiser Squadron until 1 January, 1918, so technically he would appear to have commanded both the First Cruiser Squadron and the Third Light Cruiser Squadron at the same time (as well as being responsible for every other Grand Fleet light cruiser squadron). Another thing I'm curious about is when exactly he hoisted his flag in Courageous, which should be in one of the service records of his which I don't have. My gut feeling is that the weird sisters were lumped with one of the light cruiser squadrons, probably Napier's Third.

No worries, by the way - my long term goal is to write a book on British flag officers in the First World War, so I've got masses of archival and secondary material collected which needs going through with a fine toothcomb. Exercises like this help me realise what I've missed and need! —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 17:32, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

"I've noticed that sort of thing before. Somebody going through your stuff for his own purposes does help to identify issues/typos that often aren't apparent to the author from sheer overfamiliarity. Glad I can help in my turn. I'll interested to see what you find out about Napier and his cruiser squadrons; that sounds very odd.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 18:12, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue LXVIII, October 2011[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXIX, November 2011[edit]

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WikiProject British Empire[edit]

Hi Simon. I understand you are a member of WikiProject British Empire. Unfortunately the WikiProject British Empire is essentially a 'dead' and inactive Wikiproject. This is a shame because I think that the British Empire plays an essential part in world history. To cut to the point, I am interested in reviving the project and I need your help to do that. If you would like more information see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject British Empire (Listen Up! section, top of Talk Page.) If you want to help, please reply here. Read the Plan of Attack section on my Talk Page.

I really appreciate the work would you do for Wikipedia and would love for you to help me. Vought109 (talk) 11:18, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Military Historian of the Year[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXX, January 2012[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXXI, February 2012[edit]

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New cfd regarding "Old Fooians"[edit]

A new cfd proposes renaming some categories, including one or more that you created. Please consider contributing here and here. Moonraker (talk) 14:51, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Peer review/Carrier Strike Group Seven/archive1[edit]

You're the best naval researcher I know. Would you consider commenting on this peer review? Buckshot06 (talk) 02:09, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Kind of you to say! I'll have a good look though sometime today. —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 09:32, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Disambiguation link notification for April 27[edit]

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Hyman G. Rickover[edit]

Regarding this edit, the 19th Fleet actually does not exist, yet you're quoting good sources. Must go to the library and find a biography of him that has his actual career assignments clearly listed. Buckshot06 (talk) 23:48, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

On what basis are you saying the 19th Fleet didn't exist? The DANFS article doesn't specifically say it didn't. The Polmar Allen first edition has a not particularly rigorous list of career dates in it at the back; e.g. it doesn't date his elevation to head of the Electrical Division at BuEng. —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 07:58, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Military history coordinator election[edit]

The Military history WikiProject has started its 2012 project coordinator election process, where we will select a team of coordinators to organize the project over the coming year. If you would like to be considered as a candidate, please submit your nomination by 14 September. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact one of the current coordinators on their talk page. This message was delivered here because you are a member of the Military history WikiProject. – Military history coordinators (about the projectwhat coordinators do) 09:53, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Book review[edit]

Hi Simon, Thanks a lot for posting that review. I've been considering buying that book and found your review quite helpful. Regards, Nick-D (talk) 10:09, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue LXXXI, December 2012[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXXXII, January 2013[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXXXIII, February 2013[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXXXIV, March 2013[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXXXV, April 2013[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXXXVI, May 2013[edit]

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Book review[edit]

Hi Simon, Thanks a lot for that excellent book review. That book is on my Amazon watchlist, and I might now go ahead and buy a copy. Regards, Nick-D (talk) 11:42, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

I simply can't recommend the book enough. I don't know how much shipping will be your way but I selected free delivery from Amazon and got the book in two days at over a third off the retail price. —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 11:48, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue LXXXVII, June 2013[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXXXVIII, July 2013[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXXXIX, August 2013[edit]

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Kenneth Dewar[edit]

Hi, I've just read the article you wrote on Kenneth Dewar. It's terrific, very in-depth. Interestingly, I've been reading up on Evelyn, Princess Blücher famous in her own right, but died in the same town, Worthing, West Sussex as Kenneth Dewar and is buried in the same graveyard - St Bartholomew's Church, Rainhill in Merseyside - very distant from where they died. Do you know if they're related? It would great to find something linking two very interesting historical figures. Happy editing! Pjposullivan (talk) 11:54, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Hi, never mind, I just found it. He married her sister. All the best, Pjposullivan (talk) 15:59, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history coordinator election[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue LXXXXX, September 2013[edit]

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Royal Naval College, Greenwich[edit]

Yes, the same thought had occurred to me. The Category:Graduates of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, has existed for a couple of months but does seem badly named, as (so far as I am aware) degrees or the equivalent were not being awarded. The section of Royal Naval College, Greenwich, is easily fixed, but what name would you suggest for this category? Moonraker (talk) 08:01, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue XCI, October 2013[edit]

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Titan's Cross nomination[edit]

As you are listed as a member of Operation Majestic Titan, you are receiving this message to notify you that a new Titan's Cross nomination has been opened. You are therefore cordially invited to iVote or offer your opinion on the nomination. Sincerely, TomStar81 (Talk) 05:42, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue XCII, November 2013[edit]

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Possibly unfree File:Jellicoe 1920 portrait.jpg[edit]

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Possibly unfree File:Scheer.JPG[edit]

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New edits concerning Captain Robert Falcon Scott[edit]

Dear Simon,

I would like to inform you that I have done some further edits concerning the fate of Robert Falcon Scott, both on https://simple.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Robert_Falcon_Scott&action=history as IP no.37.230.15.218 and on Wikipedia's Main Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Robert_Falcon_Scott&action=history.

In beg to keep oversight on these changes and put anybody in their place (especially users Ruhrfisch and Brianboulton, who happen to be genuine opponents of Cpt.Scott) Let's hope God and the truth are with us and will prevail! All the best and keep hope alive in remembrance of all who died an unjustified way--37.230.15.218 (talk) 02:36, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Help needed[edit]

Hello, this man https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/62/Scott_of_the_Antarctic_crop.jpg/220px-Scott_of_the_Antarctic_crop.jpg is calling for help to save his dignity. Please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#Could_someone_please_stop_the_manic_attempts_by_the_user_Ruhrfisch_to_defame_British_Antarctic_Explorer_Robert_Falcon_Scott.3F and give him some support.--37.230.12.174 (talk) 10:51, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue XCVII, April 2014[edit]

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The 1920 Royal Navy Mission to Enzeli[edit]

FYI Simon. Kind regards Buckshot06 (talk) 09:30, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Many thanks for bringing it up. Many years ago I read through some first-hand accounts of the Navy's doings in the Caspian in the possession of the Liddle Collection at the University of Leeds, but unfortunately I never made any notes of the material. They also have some audio interviews with Fraser made shortly before his death which may or may not have covered it. —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 12:17, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue XCVIII, May 2014[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue XCIX, June 2014[edit]

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Possibly unfree File:V A C Crutchley.jpg[edit]

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Royal Navy[edit]

Hi Simon, I was pointed here by Buckshot06, regarding Royal Navy personnel. In particular, Frederick Edward-Collins was an Admiral, I created a stub due to surprise at his not having a page, but would you be willing/able to help expand his page? I am aware he has a page on the Dreadnoughts site. Thanks, Matty.007 10:41, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm afraid there's not much I can add offhand. A couple of days earlier, and I'd have obtained a copy of his Service Records while I was researching at The National Archives, otherwise there's not much more to add other than dates of promotion and anything in his Times obituary. —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 19:15, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah well. Thanks for the help. Where could his Times obituary be found? Thanks, Matty.007 11:10, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I believe quite a few libraries in the UK (if you're here) have free access to the Times Digital Archive. Or it might be in a volume of obituaries from the Times which used to be published occasionally. —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 09:00, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I have a library account, have I actually got to go to a library? Thanks, Matty.007 12:41, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
You'll need to go onto the library service's website, find their electronic resources (or equivalent) page and see if they have access. And if all else fails maybe ask them to get a subscription. —Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 12:51, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah, found it. Apparently nothing in the Times. Thanks, Matty.007 13:09, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
There's definitely an obituary of Edward-Collins in the Times as I have a copy of it. As I said, it's the Times Digital Archive you want. Not just the Times website. 13:21, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I go onto the 'The Times Digital Archive 1785-2007' tab, searching 'Admiral Frederick Edward-Collins' gets a Telegraph article I have already seen, entering him without title gets nothing, results are in:
  • The Houston Chronicl... (7)
  • The Post and Courier... (4)
  • Birmingham Evening M... (3)
  • Telegram & Gazette (... (3)
  • Daily Herald (Arling... (2)
  • Frederick News-Post ... (2)
  • Geelong Advertiser (... (2)
  • The Indianapolis Sta... (2)
  • Targeted News Servic... (2)
  • Africa News Service (1)
  • The Atlanta Journal-... (1)
  • Birmingham Mail (Eng... (1)
  • Daily Telegraph (Lon... (1)
  • Daily Telegraph (Syd... (1)
  • The Denver Post (Den... (1)
  • ENP Newswire (1)
  • Evening Gazette (Mid... (1)
  • The Gazette (Colorad... (1)
  • The Guardian (London... (1)
  • The Hawk Eye (Burlin... (1)
  • La Crosse Tribune (L... (1)
  • Mail on Sunday (Lond... (1)
  • The News & Record (P... (1)
  • Reno Gazette-Journal... (1)
  • Rocky Mountain News ... (1)

Thanks, Matty.007 13:27, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The Bugle: Issue C, July 2014[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue CI, August 2014[edit]

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The Bugle: Issue CII, September 2014[edit]

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