Talk:Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on November 28, 2007.
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Biography / Military / Peerage and Baronetage / Politics and Government (Rated FA-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the military biography work group (marked as Mid-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Peerage and Baronetage (marked as Mid-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the politics and government work group (marked as Mid-importance).
Note icon
This article has had a peer review which is now archived.
WikiProject Military history (Rated FA-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions. Featured
Featured article FA This article has been rated as FA-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject Ireland (Rated FA-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Ireland, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Ireland on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Irish Maritime
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Irish Maritime, a collaborative effort to improve and standardise the content and structure of maritime, seafaring and inland waterways articles associated with the island of Ireland. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks.

older entries[edit]

I assume "ABC" is notable enough to leave the middle name in the article title? ugen64 03:08, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Wouldn't you say Admiral Mountbatten was more famous than Admiral Cunningham? I suggest removing the sentence stating that the latter "was the most famous British admiral of World War II". --F Sykes 14:55, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Although I don't agree that Cunningham was less famous than Mountbatten, I think that statement should be removed purely because it seems rather subjective. Niether one of them is so famous that they're household names, so "who's more famous" depends on who you talk to. If no one minds, i'll change it too " 'a' famous British Admiral.."

While I think the change is fine it's a pretty tough argument that Cunningham is as famous as Mountbatten. C was well known publically for a small window in and around WW2, Mountbatten's royal connections ensured he had a profile from the war to his death with a widely covered funeral. Alci12 09:35, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Review for FA[edit]

I've just gone through the article and I think it's generally well-written and informative, but there are some issues standing in the way of my support:

  • Why is (WW1) written after World War I in the opener, but (WW2) is not written after World War II? I think the abbreviation is unnecessary.
    • Done
  • Why is Cunningham written in bold in the "Early Naval Career" section? The section "Interwar" years has no spacing, but "Inter war years" is used several times in the text. Whichever is correct should be used exclusively.
    • Done
  • This sentence, "For his actions in the Baltics Cunningham was awarded a second bar to his DSO along with promotion to Captain in 1920 and when he returned he was appointed Captain of the British 6th Destroyer Flotilla in 1922" sounds awkward. It should either be split into two sentences or simplified somehow.
    • Split
  • I'm fairly certain that the block quotation in the "Battle of Taranto" violates the MoS, and if not, it's awkward. The MoS states that only quotations 4 lines or longer should be placed in a block, and never with inverted commas (this article essentially has two sets, but the graphics are fine). Furthermore, it comes out of nowhere without an introduction.
    • Done, albeit begrudgingly, by integrating
  • The same goes for the block at the start of the next section, though it looks a bit more appropriate there.
    • Integrated text so avoided problems
  • The way in which you quoted the author differs in both quotations: it should be consistent.
    • same as above
  • Why is "Air Attack" written upper-cased?
    • Done
  • Why is "Operation MERCURY" written with the second word small and in all caps?
    • Don't know so i changed it
  • Italics should be removed from within quotations as per the MoS, unless emphasis is absolutely intended.
    • Emphasis was intended so kept them
  • Commas seem to be used far too sparingly throughout, making the article a bit difficult to read. See the WP:PUNC about serial commas.
  • You should also go through to make sure that refs appear consistently without whitespace. I removed this a few times, but may have missed it in other areas. Also quite a few full stops were missing.
    • Checked, removed some duplicate refs from within paragraphs as well
  • The last sentence makes it sound like he died at the garden party. I think it should be split into two sentences.
    • Done by separating them


How on earth does this article warrant A-class let alone FA when it skirts over one of the most important periods of the war? It UTTERLY misses out the period following the battle of Crete to the Torch landings in November, 1942. This saw the sinking severe damaging of the battleships Queen Elizabeth and Valiant, the sinking of the carriers Ark Royal and Eagle, the vicious fighting surrounding the Malta convoys and general prosecution of the naval war in the face of Axis air control and the see-sawing land situation in North Africa.

There is also the controversy surrounding Cunningham's perceived lack of forethought in the naval planning for Operation Husky and the minimal interdiction provided by the navy and the Royal Air Force in the Straits of Messina.

For what it's worth the rest of the article is very good (aside from the absence of Cunningham's earliest ships, which I will find and mention). --Harlsbottom 09:42, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

This article is written in summary style as per WP:SUMMARY, it is not meant to be a critique of every single operation that he ever fought in. I do understand your point that the Malta Convoys and Pedastal in partciular were important in relation to Cunningham, i will add them in soon (or you can). However this article is not meant to explore every operation that occured in the Meditteranean in the Second World War. Therefore your mention of see-sawing situations in Africa and Operation Husky could be seen as irrelavent to this article. Husky was predominantly controlled by Patton and Eisenhower as far as i know. Operation Torch is already mentioned but could be expanded upon somewhat i agree. The key idea we have to retain is; is it notable in relation to Cunningham? We already have articles on Operation Pedestal and the Malta Convoys and for the most part they were controlled by other Admirals although i am sure Cunningham would have had direct responsibility.
What i am keen to stress is that this article is not a critique on the War in the Meditteranean, it is an encyclopedia article on Cunningham. Also do you think it neccessary to include every ship he ever served on. Could you expand on which ships you want to mention? Thanks Woodym555 10:04, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Colleges before the age of 10?[edit]

From the article:

...Cunningham was born in Rathmines, Dublin on 7 January 1883 and he attended several schools and colleges before he was enrolled at a Naval Academy, at the age of 10..

Maybe I don't understand the British use of the term college, but I've not heard of children under 10 enrolled in college, excepting the rare genius, and this article seems to suggest he was in a number of colleges before this age.

JordanHenderson (talk) 00:15, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

College in this sense of the term includes some Private schools in Britain. The British education system has an extremely complicated, confused and generally strange way of codifying schools. It is written in British English and does not refer to higher education colleges. Hope this clears it up. Woodym555 (talk) 00:20, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
It does. Thanks! JordanHenderson (talk) 01:29, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

"first carrier-based air attack in history"?[edit]

The statement about Taranto being the first carrier-based air attack in history goes too far. There was at least one raid from Japanese carriers during the Sino-Japanese war in 1937; there may have been others. Okumiya, M. and Horikoshi, J., with Caidin, M., Zero, pp. 22-27; E. P. Dutton & Co. (New York, 1956). Possibly Taranto was the first carrier attack against enemy ships. That quibble aside, congratulations to the authors of this interesting article on a worthy subject. Kablammo (talk) 00:15, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Agree he was worthy, thanks for the congrats, and have reworded the lead sentence accordingly. According to the sources i could find to hand, it was the first completely all-aircraft naval attack in history. I will amend the blurb on the main page as well. Thanks for pointing it out. Woodym555 (talk) 00:49, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
That's not true either - see the Deutschland incident (1937) in the Spanish Civil war. (talk) 00:04, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Early naval career section is goofy[edit]

How does this section get in there so it doesn't show up on the edit screen and cannot be edited, no matter what I do.

It also messes up the edit section links below it, everything out of whack. Gene Nygaard (talk) 03:28, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I guess it was just vandalism removing the section, and I was going back to the version with it and trying to hit he edit links there. I put that section back in. Gene Nygaard (talk) 03:36, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


Excellent article. Well done to all involved. His Knighthood (KCB) is mentioned in the table of honours at the bottom by not in the main body, unlike his DSOs. Wouldn't it be worth a mention? Epeeist smudge (talk) 10:11, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Strange Graphic in the Introduction section[edit]

Please note these is a strange "table" formed of coloured squares in a languaje that's not english, just before the first paragraph of the article. Don't know what it means, but it's pretty clear to me that it shouldn't be there. Can anyone please review and cleanup the article, if necessary?
Thanks DPdH (talk) 11:08, 28 November 2007 (UTC) .

Experimentation or vandalism, since removed. Kablammo (talk) 11:13, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

More vandalism[edit]

Someone replaced the entire page with a few random letters. I restored it to it's original state. firstlensman 9:09, 28 November 2007 (EST)

Errors in second paragraph?[edit]

"... schooling in Dublin and Edinburgh, Scotland". Dublin is not in Scotland.

"... enrolled at a naval academy, at the age of 10.". Is that correct? The age of 10? Hard to believe. - mbeychok (talk) 19:51, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

As it had already been pointed out earlier in the article that Dublin is in Ireland, it hardly needs to be continually emphasised. (talk) 19:54, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh and age of 10 is correct, especially within the context. In the 1890s it was common place. The Naval Academy was a prepatory academy for Dartmouth. Woodym555 (talk) 19:56, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Cause of death[edit]

Is there no recorded cause of death? Would be extra info for the article if it could be found. SGGH speak! 22:41, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Little has actually been written about his life in retirement and his death. I don't have the books to hand though I will check when and if I reacquire them. Woodym555 (talk) 22:50, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


Would not his title actually be Andrew Cunningham, Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope and not Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope due to the fact that he did not have anyone to succeed him in the title, and there was not a 2nd Viscount? Abraham, B.S. (talk) 07:41, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

No, this is to show he was a hereditary peer and not a life peer. He was the first in the line of Viscounts Cunningham of Hyndhope. Unfortunaty, he was also the last, but that doesn't matter for the distinction. There is some slight difference in ranking between a hereditary peer and a life peer. For example, a hereditary baron just have a higher order of precedence than a life baron. The prestige of a hereditary peer is also slightly higher than a life peer, althought this is a belief not supported by everyone. It's a fact that in the past hereditary peerages were given to persons of high age, from which they knew he or she didn't have descendants. So, beforehand it was known the hereditary title couldn't be passed on. Still, they sometimes prefered to give a hereditary peerage instead of a life peerage. Demophon (talk) 11:24, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, all life peers have always been Barons, even with the law lords of the nineteenth century, so a Viscount is automatically recognised as a hereditary peerage. Life Barons are also Baron xxxx of xxxx so there's nothing to be distinguished from by appending "of Hyndhope" to the page title as it "shows" nothing. For a recent example of a rather pointless honouring with a hereditary peerage, see William Whitelaw. --Harlsbottom (talk | library | book reviews) 12:02, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm not an expert, but to my knowledge in the (far) past also life peerages were created that were higher than the title baron. I agree, nowadays, and especially after the Life Peerages Act 1958, only baron titles are given as life peerages. But in 1840 Cecilia Underwood was made Duchess of Inverness, and this was a life peerage, not a substantive title and not a hereditary peerage. There are also other examples. But these are indeed a long time ago. Demophon (talk) 17:04, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I would have thought it was obvious from the Underwood article that her elevation to Duchess was a very rare case in a rare situation. --Harlsbottom (talk | library | book reviews) 19:41, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Should Baronet be included as part of his postnoms, my understanding was that the Viscountcy superceded that. Can anyone confirm or refute that? Woody (talk) 19:28, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I've seen "Bart." or "Bt." appended to the list of post-nominals of a peer before. There might be something in the order of succession of England to indicate where it would come in the list. it's on Wikipedia somewhere but I always lose track of it. --Harlsbottom (talk | library | book reviews) 19:41, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Good question Woody... I would say yes (to be included), since it is an offical used postnominal, see Orders of Knighthood at the British government website and Addressing a Baronet at the website of The Standing Council of the Baronetage. However, these don't describe the situation of using the postnominal Bt. in case someone is a peer as well. But peers do use their knightly postnominals also. At the other hand, does a Baronetcy merge into a peerage? It's not a peerage at is own, and peerages don't have official postnominals.... We have to find this out. Demophon (talk) 19:58, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
The gazette announcing his viscountcy does not use Bt, he's listed as Admiral of the Fleet the Right Honourable Andrew Browne, BARON CUNNINGHAM OF HYNDHOPE, K.T., G.C.B., D.S.O. (see The London Gazette: no. 37407. p. 1. 28 December 1945. Retrieved 2008-08-05.) I think the fact he's a peer trumps the baronetcy (in the same way you don't bother with "sir" for a peer who's also a knight). David Underdown (talk) 08:42, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
(Sanity re-dent). Correct. Peers do not have Bt added. Check a random LG eg. "the Most Honourable the Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, O.B.E." even though he holds a baronetcy from 1642 only the OBE is used. I have edited as such AllsoulsDay (talk) 16:24, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Succession boxes[edit]

What does everyone think about succession boxes? I think we now have a lot of boxes with little output. Shall we just wipe them all out completely?, cut them back? hide them under a master box? Or leave them as is. Personally, I think removing them altogether would be beneficial. All of the boxes are already covered in the text and add little to nothing to the article. Woody (talk) 19:34, 4 August 2008 (UTC) Solution 1=

Solution2= Cutdown: I think the baronets and Viscountcy ones are redundant given that they don't actually show any successions and it is all covered in the text. The First Sea Lord one is covered in the navbox, so again, that is redundant. Thoughts? Woody (talk) 19:42, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

We've also got a whole section on honours. It seems to me that we sould just mention in the text when these are awarded, and they canall be listed in the relevant section of the infobox for anyone who wants a list of them in one place. David Underdown (talk) 08:44, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Start of WWII - some minor issues[edit]

The article seems a little unclear on what Cunningham did in late 1938-early 1940.

He retained command [of the Battlecruiser Squadron] until September 1938, when he was appointed to the Admiralty as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, although he did not actually take up this post until December 1939 (...) For six months during an illness of Admiral Sir Roger Backhouse, the then First Sea Lord, he deputised for Backhouse on the Committee of Imperial Defence and on the Admiralty Board.
Cunningham described the command of the Mediterranean Fleet as "The finest command the Royal Navy has to offer" ... Cunningham was made Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, hoisting his flag in HMS Warspite on 6 June 1939, one day after arriving in Alexandria on the 5 June 1939. (...) In his role as Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, Cunningham had to negotiate with the French Admiral Rene-Emile Godfroy for the demilitarisation and internment of a French squadron at Alexandria, in June 1940, following the Fall of France.

Three questions arise -

a) did he actually become Deputy Chief in December 1938, and then serve until mid-1939?

b) If not, did he go back to London for six months and then return to the Med in mid-1940?

c) Why did he become C-in-C Mediterranean? This isn't actually explained; did Blake formally retire due to ill-health, or was Cunningham appointed to relieve him for other reasons? Shimgray | talk | 10:13, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

According to his service record, Cunningham served as D.C.N.S. from November, 1938 to May, 1939. Also according to the record (from ADM 196/47) Cunningham assumed command of the Mediterranean Fleet on 7 June, 1939, and not the unreferenced 6 June which appears in this article. Cunningham succeeded Pound as Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet upon the latter's elevation to First Sea Lord. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 10:56, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Aha - so Blake was 2-in-C not C-in-C - that makes sense. The article manages to give the impression (at least to me) that Cunningham became 2-in-C because the commander was ill, not because his predecessor in that role was ill. I suppose it's worth mentioning Pound and thus explicitly clarifying why Cunningham got made C-in-C. Shimgray | talk | 11:10, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
The use of the word "Commander" is never a good idea with British naval history, as a commander tends to be the executive officer of a big ship. Blake was the first person to be both Vice-Admiral Commanding the Battle Cruiser Squadron and Second-in-Command of the Mediterranean Fleet (being preceded by Vice-Admirals S. R. Bailey and Sir Charlie Forbes respectively), Cunningham the second. --Simon Harley (Talk | Library). 11:27, 19 March 2010 (UTC)