Naval Commanders Quotes

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Then it hits me.... And it hits me with the force of a blow. I am maybe fifteen years old. I am a girl. I am also acting lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and, by the Naval Rules and Regulations as regards the chain of command, I am in command of His Majesty's Ship Wolverine.
L.A. Meyer (Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack, #3))
The Navy speaks in symbols and you may suit what meaning you choose to the words.
Patrick O'Brian (Master & Commander (Aubrey & Maturin, #1))
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who was a commander in the Naval Reserves, tried several times to persuade Mattis to appear on Sunday talk shows on behalf of the administration. The answer was always no. “Sean,” Mattis finally said, “I’ve killed people for a living. If you call me again, I’m going to fucking send you to Afghanistan. Are we clear?
Bob Woodward (Fear: Trump in the White House)
Stephen nodded. 'Tell me,' he said, in a low voice, some moments later. 'Were I under naval discipline, could that fellow have me whipped?'He nodded towards Mr Marshall. 'The master?' cried Jack, with inexpressible amazement. 'Yes,' said Stephen looking attentively at him, with his head slightly inclined to the left. 'But he is the master...' said Jack. If Stephen had called the sophies stem her stern, or her truck her keel, he would have understood the situation directly; but that Stephen should confuse the chain of command, the relative status of a captain and a master, of a commissioned officer and a warrant officer, so subverted the natural order, so undermined the sempiternal universe, that for a moment his mind could hardly encompass it. Yet Jack, though no great scholar, no judge of a hexameter, was tolerably quick, and after gasping no more than twice he said, 'My dear sir, I beleive you have been lead astray by the words master and master and commander- illogical terms, I must confess. The first is subordinate to the second. You must allow me to explain our naval ranks some time. But in any case you will never be flogged- no, no; you shall not be flogged,' he added, gazing with pure affection, and with something like awe, at so magnificent a prodigy, at an ignorance so very far beyond anything that even his wide-ranging mind had yet conceived.
Patrick O'Brian (Master & Commander (Aubrey & Maturin, #1))
no man who rises to command of a United States naval ship can possibly be a coward. And
Herman Wouk (The Caine Mutiny)
She did not approach Caesar wrapped in a carpet, she was not a seductress, she did not use her charm to persuade the men in her life to lose their judgement, and she did not die by the bite of an asp…Yet other important elements of her career have been bypassed in the post-antique recension: she was a Skilled naval commander, a published medical authority, and an expert royal administrator who was met with adulation throughout the eastern Mediterranean, perhaps seen by some as a messianic figure, the hope for a future Eastern Mediterranean free of Roman domination.
Duane W. Roller (Cleopatra: A Biography)
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation Delivered on December 8, 1941 Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
(28) “Doctrine draws on the lessons of history
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan...As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense...With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God." -President F.D. Roosevelt - 8th December 1941
Franklin D. Roosevelt
What marvelous things happen when men and women walk with faith in obedience to that which is required of them! I recall reading the story of Commander William Robert Anderson, the naval officer who took the submarine Nautilus beneath the polar ice from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, a daring and dangerous feat. It recounted a number of other exploits of similar danger and concluded with a statement that the commander carried in his wallet a tattered card that had on it these words: “I believe God will always make a way where there is no way.” I too believe that God will always make a way where there is no way. I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, if we will follow the counsel of the priesthood, he will open a way even where there appears to be no way.
Gordon B. Hinckley
Married to a naval commander who happened to be Benjamin Franklin’s great-great-grandson, Wainwright prayed to the graven image of Lafayette, since neither the president nor Congress seemed to be listening. “We, the women of the United States,” she told the bronze Lafayette, “denied the liberty which you helped to gain, and for which we have asked in vain for sixty years, turn to you to plead for us. Speak, Lafayette, dead these hundred years but still living in the hearts of the American people.” She beseeched the inanimate Frenchman, “Let that outstretched hand of yours pointing to the White House recall to him”—President Wilson—“his words and promises, his trumpet call for all of us, to see that the world is made safe for democracy. As our army now in France spoke to you there, saying here we are to help your country fight for liberty, will you not speak here and now for us, a little band with no army, no power but justice and right, no strength but in our Constitution and in the Declaration of Independence; and win a great victory again in this country by giving us the opportunity we ask—to be heard through the Susan B. Anthony amendment.” She then echoed the words uttered by the American officer in Paris on July 4, 1917. “Lafayette,” she said, “we are here!
Sarah Vowell (Lafayette in the Somewhat United States)
What made Bacon’s Rebellion especially fearsome for the rulers of Virginia was that black slaves and white servants joined forces. The final surrender was by “four hundred English and Negroes in Armes” at one garrison, and three hundred “freemen and African and English bondservants” in another garrison. The naval commander who subdued the four hundred wrote: “Most of them I persuaded to go to their Homes, which accordingly they did, except about eighty Negroes and twenty English which would not deliver their Armes.” All through those early years, black and white slaves and servants ran away together, as shown both by the laws passed to stop this and the records of the courts. In 1698, South Carolina passed a “deficiency law” requiring plantation owners to have at least one white servant for every six male adult Negroes. A letter from the southern colonies in 1682 complained of “no white men to superintend our negroes, or repress an insurrection of negroes. . . .” In 1691, the House of Commons received “a petition of divers merchants, masters of ships, planters and others, trading to foreign plantations . . . setting forth, that the plantations cannot be maintained without a considerable number of white servants, as well to keep the blacks in subjection, as to bear arms in case of invasion.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Andropov’s concerns were heightened by the Reagan administration’s top secret psychological warfare program, designed to spook and confuse the Kremlin. American naval exercises were staged without warning near important military bases along the Soviet coastline; SAC bombers entered Soviet airspace and then left it, testing the air defenses. The
Eric Schlosser (Command and Control)
Pilots say that learning to fly makes you feel taller. In my father’s case that was certainly true. By the time his commanding officer pinned on his gold flight wings at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station in June 1943, he had grown two inches since his enlistment, topping out at six feet, two inches. He was not quite nineteen years old, making him the youngest pilot in the United States Navy.
George W. Bush (41: A Portrait of My Father)
Therefore, Sir Walter, what I would take leave to suggest is, that if in consequence of any rumours getting abroad of your intention; which must be contemplated as a possible thing, because we know how difficult it is to keep the actions and designs of one part of the world from the notice and curiosity of the other; consequence has its tax; I, John Shepherd, might conceal any family-matters that I chose, for nobody would think it worth their while to observe me; but Sir Walter Elliot has eyes upon him which it may be very difficult to elude; and therefore, thus much I venture upon, that it will not greatly surprise me if, with all our caution, some rumour of the truth should get abroad; in the supposition of which, as I was going to observe, since applications will unquestionably follow, I should think any from our wealthy naval commanders particularly worth attending to; and beg leave to add, that two hours will bring me over at any time, to save you the trouble of replying.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
admiral. Technically, all admirals come from the Arabian desert, for the word can be traced to the title of Abu Bakr, who was called Amir-al-muminin, "commander of the faithful," before he succeeded Muhammad as caliph in 632. The title Amir, or "commander," became popular soon after, and naval chiefs were designated Amir-al-ma, "commander of commanders." Western seamen who came in contact with the Arabs assumed that Amir-al was one word, and believed this was a distinguished title. By the early 13th century, officers were calling themselves amiral, which merely means "commander of." The d was probably added to the word through a common mispronunciation.
Robert Hendrickson (The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins: Definitions and Origins of More Than 12,500 Words and Expressions)
The English too, were turning their eyes to the South. In 1769, there was to be a transit of the planet Venus across the disc of the sun, a rare event which astronomers wanted to observe. The newly discovered island of Tahiti was judged the perfect site. The Royal Society in London asked the Royal Navy to organize the expedition. The Navy obliged. This was to have profound and unlooked-for consequences. It led to the virtual monopolization by naval officers of British Polar exploration until the first decade of this century. The voyage inspired by the transit of Venus was commanded by a man of quiet genius, James Cook, one of the greatest of discoverers.
Roland Huntford (Scott and Amundsen: The Last Place on Earth)
Let's see, we've got the Empress of Manticore, the President of the Republic of Haven, the Protector of Grayson, the chairman of the Beowulf Board of Directors, Queen Berry, and the Andermani emperor's first cousin. Not to mention your own humble self as Steadholder Harrington and the commander of the Grand Fleet, followed by a scattering of mere planetary grand dukes, dukes, earls, members of the Havenite cabinet, three other members of the Beowulf Board of Directors, the chairman of the Alliance joint chiefs of staff, the First Space Lord, the Havenite chief of naval operations, the Beowulfan chief of naval operations, High Admiral Yanakov, Admiral Yu, two or three dozen ambassadors, and God alone only knows who else.
David Weber (A Rising Thunder (Honor Harrington, #13))
His identity as a naval officer is the essential balancing factor. It’s the key to his personal security and therefore he’s excessively zealous to protect his standing. That would account for the harshness and ill temper I spoke about before.” “Would he be disinclined to admit to mistakes?” “Well, there’s a tendency that way. The commander has a fixed anxiety about protecting his standing. Of course there’s nothing unbalanced in that.” “Would he be a perfectionist?” “Such a personality would be.” “Inclined to hound subordinates about small details?” “He prides himself on meticulousness. Any mistake of a subordinate is intolerable because it might endanger him.” “Is such a personality, with such a zeal for perfection, likely to avoid all mistakes?” “Well, we all know that reality is beyond the hundred-per-cent control of any human being—” “Yet he will not admit mistakes when made. Is he lying?” “Definitely not! He—you might say he revises reality in his own mind so that he comes out blameless. There’s a tendency to blame others—
Herman Wouk (The Caine Mutiny)
A German admiral, Henning von Holtzendorff, came up with a plan so irresistible it succeeded in bringing agreement between supporters and opponents of unrestricted warfare. By turning Germany’s U-boats loose, and allowing their captains to sink every vessel that entered the “war zone,” Holtzendorff proposed to end the war in six months. Not five, not seven, but six. He calculated that for the plan to succeed, it had to begin on February 1, 1917, not a day later. Whether or not the campaign drew America into the war didn’t matter, he argued, for the war would be over before American forces could be mobilized. The plan, like its territorial equivalent, the Schlieffen plan, was a model of methodical German thinking, though no one seemed to recognize that it too embodied a large measure of self-delusion. Holtzendorff bragged, “I guarantee upon my word as a naval officer that no American will set foot on the Continent!” Germany’s top civilian and military leaders converged on Kaiser Wilhelm’s castle at Pless on January 8, 1917, to consider the plan, and the next evening Wilhelm, in his role as supreme military commander, signed an order to put it into action, a decision that would prove one of the most fateful of the war.
Erik Larson (Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania)
America’s last step into the Vietnam quagmire came on November 22, 1963, when Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn in as the thirty-sixth president of the United States. Unlike Kennedy, Johnson was no real veteran. During World War II he used his influence as a congressman to become a naval officer, and, despite an utter lack of military training, he arranged a direct commission as a lieutenant commander. Fully aware that “combat” exposure would make him more electable, the ambitious Johnson managed an appointment to an observation team that was traveling to the Pacific. Once there, he was able to get a seat on a B-26 combat mission near New Guinea. The bomber had to turn back due to mechanical problems and briefly came under attack from Japanese fighters. The pilot got the damaged plane safely back to its base and Johnson left the very next day. This nonevent, which LBJ had absolutely no active part of, turned into his war story. The engine had been “knocked out” by enemy fighters, not simply a routine malfunction; he, LBJ, had been part of a “suicide mission,” not just riding along as baggage. The fabrication grew over time, including, according to LBJ, the nickname of “Raider” Johnson given to him by the awestruck 22nd Bomber Group.
Dan Hampton (The Hunter Killers: The Extraordinary Story of the First Wild Weasels, the Band of Maverick Aviators Who Flew the Most Dangerous Missions of the Vietnam War)
Navy Seals Stress Relief Tactics (As printed in O Online Magazine, Sept. 8, 2014) Prep for Battle: Instead of wasting energy by catastrophizing about stressful situations, SEALs spend hours in mental dress rehearsals before springing into action, says Lu Lastra, director of mentorship for Naval Special Warfare and a former SEAL command master chief.  He calls it mental loading and says you can practice it, too.  When your boss calls you into her office, take a few minutes first to run through a handful of likely scenarios and envision yourself navigating each one in the best possible way.  The extra prep can ease anxiety and give you the confidence to react calmly to whatever situation arises. Talk Yourself Up: Positive self-talk is quite possibly the most important skill these warriors learn during their 15-month training, says Lastra.  The most successful SEALs may not have the biggest biceps or the fastest mile, but they know how to turn their negative thoughts around.  Lastra recommends coming up with your own mantra to remind yourself that you’ve got the grit and talent to persevere during tough times. Embrace the Suck: “When the weather is foul and nothing is going right, that’s when I think, now we’re getting someplace!” says Lastra, who encourages recruits to power through the times when they’re freezing, exhausted or discouraged.  Why?  Lastra says, “The, suckiest moments are when most people give up; the resilient ones spot a golden opportunity to surpass their competitors.  It’s one thing to be an excellent athlete when the conditions are perfect,” he says.  “But when the circumstances aren’t so favorable, those who have stronger wills are more likely to rise to victory.” Take a Deep Breath: “Meditation and deep breathing help slow the cognitive process and open us up to our more intuitive thoughts,” says retired SEAL commander Mark Divine, who developed SEALFit, a demanding training program for civilians that incorporates yoga, mindfulness and breathing techniques.  He says some of his fellow SEALs became so tuned-in, they were able to sense the presence of nearby roadside bombs.  Who doesn’t want that kind of Jedi mind power?  A good place to start: Practice what the SEALs call 4 x 4 x 4 breathing.  Inhale deeply for four counts, then exhale for four counts and repeat the cycle for four minutes several times a day.  You’re guaranteed to feel calmer on any battleground. Learn to value yourself, which means to fight for your happiness. ---Ayn Rand
Lyn Kelley (The Magic of Detachment: How to Let Go of Other People and Their Problems)
Lieutenant Smith was asked by Mister Zumwald to get him a drink,” Wilkes said. “She responded with physical violence. I counseled her on conduct unbecoming of an officer and, when she reacted with foul language, on disrespect to a superior officer, sir, and I’ll stand by that position. Sir.” “I agree that her actions were unbecoming, Captain,” Steve said, mildly. “She really should have resolved it with less force. Which I told her as well as a strong lecture on respect to a superior officer. On the other hand, Captain, Mister Zumwald physically accosted her, grabbing her arm and, when she protested, called her a bitch. Were you aware of that, Captain?” “She did say something about it, sir,” Wilkes said. “However… ” “I also understand that you spent some time with Mister Zumwald afterwards,” Steve said. “Rather late. Did you at any time express to Mister Zumwald that accosting any woman, much less an officer of… what was it? ‘The United States Naval services’ was unacceptable behavior, Captain?” “Sir,” Wilkes said. “Mister Zumwald is a major Hollywood executive… ” “Was,” Steve said. “Excuse me, sir?” Wilkes said. “Was a major Hollywood executive,” Steve said. “Right now, Ernest Zumwald, Captain, is a fucking refugee off a fucking lifeboat. Period fucking dot. He’s given a few days grace, like most refugees, to get his headspace and timing back, then he can decide if he wants to help out or go in with the sick, lame and lazy. And in this case he’s a fucking refugee who thinks it’s acceptable to accost some unknown chick and tell him to get him a fucking drink. Grab her by the arm and, when she tells him to let go, become verbally abusive. “What makes the situation worse, Captain, is that the person he accosted was not just any passing young hotty but a Marine officer. He did not know that at the time; the Marine officer was dressed much like other women in the compartment. However, he does not have the right to grab any woman in my care by the fucking arm and order them to get him a fucking drink, Captain! Then, to make matters worse, following the incident, Captain, you spent the entire fucking evening getting drunk with a fucktard who had physically and verbally assaulted a female Marine officer! You dumbshit.” “Sir, I… ” Wilkes said, paling. “And not just any Marine officer, oh, no,” Steve said. “Forget that it was the daughter of the Acting LANTFLEET. Forget that it was the daughter of your fucking rating officer, you retard. I’m professional enough to overlook that. I really am. There’s personal and professional, and I do actually know the line. Except that it was, professionally, a disgraceful action on your part, Captain. But not just any Marine officer, Captain. No, this was a Marine officer that, unlike you, is fucking worshipped by your Marines, Captain. This is a Marine officer that the acting Commandant thinks only uses boats so her boots don’t get wet walking from ship to ship. This is a Marine officer who is the only fucking light in the darkness to the entire Squadron, you dumbfuck! “I’d already gotten the scuttlebutt that you were a palace prince pogue who was a cowardly disgrace to the Marine uniform, Captain. I was willing to let that slide because maybe you could run the fucking clearance from the fucking door. But you just pissed off every fucking Marine we’ve got, you idiot. You incredible dumbfuck, moron! “In case you hadn’t noticed, you are getting cold-shouldered by everyone you work with while you were brown-nosing some fucking useless POS who used to ‘be somebody.’ ‘Your’ Marines are spitting on your shadow and that includes your fucking Gunnery Sergeant! Captain, am I getting through to you? Are you even vaguely recognizing how badly you fucked up? Professionally, politically, personally?
John Ringo (To Sail a Darkling Sea (Black Tide Rising, #2))
Second. The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect, his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies—all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
Nimitz, who undoubtedly had one of the world’s most stressful jobs, during the Guadalcanal campaign developed a tremor that his doctor said was due to nervous tension. His doctor suggested that the admiral, who had grown up in the Texas hill country hunting and fishing, take up target shooting. Nimitz set up a pistol range outside his Pearl Harbor office and practiced with a .45 automatic that had been modified to fire .22-caliber ammunition. He would balance a half-dollar on the barrel and slowly squeeze off rounds without the coin falling off. The doctor’s prescription calmed the Pacific Ocean naval commander, and the tremor vanished, but Nimitz continued to target-practice.18 In February,
Joseph Wheelan (Bloody Okinawa: The Last Great Battle of World War II)
That fusion was complete in October 2005, with the realignment of cryptology, recently renamed information warfare in the U.S. Navy. The Naval Security Group was decommissioned, its units resubordinated under the Information Operations Directorate of the Naval Network Warfare Command, headquartered in Norfolk, VA.
John Schindler (Silent Warriors: The Naval Security Group Reserve, 1945 - 2005)
The first was to secure uninterrupted control of the sea-lanes supplying the British Isles, the great future base for the Allied invasion forces, but that had meant the defeat of the U-boat menace, which came only in the summer of 1943. The second was to attain command of the air, not just over France but also over the Reich, and that was properly secured, interestingly enough, only by early 1944.23 The third and absolutely critical prerequisite had been of course the entry of the United States into the war and the commitment by the American government to a Germany First strategy, for only its vast productive power could guarantee that the Allies would be strong enough to push their way into France. Yet there was also a fourth great factor at work, though it was far to the east, namely, the vast Nazi-Soviet struggle that sapped so much of the Third Reich’s resources and was still pinning down the majority of the German Army’s divisions in 1944.
Paul Kennedy (Victory at Sea: Naval Power and the Transformation of the Global Order in World War II)
Let me ask you, Captain, what is the weakest word in the English language? You don’t know? You use it daily, and so do I, in conversation. But when I write, I avoid it like the plague. The weakest word in the English language is the word ‘very,’ V-E-R-Y. If ever you feel when writing that you would like to use the word ‘very,’ just don’t do it. Maybe that’s a little too strong. Evaluate its use. Put it to the test. Try substituting the word ‘damn’ for ‘very.’ Ordinarily ‘damn’ will improve the sentence immeasurably. “Let me illustrate. This is a fine day. Some would be inclined to say this is a very fine day. In speaking, I would say this is a damn fine day. But in writing, I would say this is a fine day, and let it go at that. And it is a fine day, isn’t it, Captain?” A cab arrived at the northwest gate, halted a moment by the gate guard, and then proceeded slowly up the gravel drive to the main entrance. “It is very”—with much emphasis—“nice to have met you, Captain.” And Mr. Woollcott was off.
John L. McCrea (Captain McCrea's War: The World War II Memoir of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Naval Aide and USS Iowa's First Commanding Officer)
Yet Jack, though no great scholar, no judge of a hexameter, was tolerably quick, and after gasping no more than twice he said, ‘My dear sir, I believe you have been led astray by the words master and master and commander – illogical terms, I must confess. The first is subordinate to the second. You must allow me to explain our naval ranks some time. But in any case you will never be flogged – no, no; you shall not be flogged,’ he added, gazing with pure affection, and with something like awe, at so magnificent a prodigy, at an ignorance so very far beyond anything that even his wide-ranging mind had yet conceived.
Patrick O'Brian (Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin, #1))
The original flagship for the company was the MS City of New York, commanded by Captain George T. Sullivan, On March 29, 1942, she was attacked off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, by the German submarine U-160. The torpedo struck the MS City of New York at the waterline under the ship’s bridge, instantly disabling her. After allowing the survivors to get into lifeboats the submarine sunk the ship. Almost two days after the attack, a destroyer, the USS Roper, rescued 70 survivors, of which 69 survived. An additional 29 others were picked up by USS Acushnet, formerly a seagoing tugboat and revenue cutter, operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. All these survivors were taken to the Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. Almost two weeks later, on April 11, 1942, a U.S. Army bomber on its way to Europe spotted a lifeboat drifting in the Gulf Stream. The boat contained six passengers: four women, one man and a young girl plus thirteen crew members. Tragically two of the women died of exposure. The eleven survivors picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter CG-455 and were brought to Lewes, Delaware. The final count showed that seven passengers died as well as one armed guard and sixteen crewmen. Photo Caption: the MS City of New York Hot books by Captain Hank Bracker available at “Salty & Saucy Maine,” is a coming of age book that recounts Captain Hank Bracker’s formative years. “Salty & Saucy Maine – Sea Stories from Castine” tells many sea stories of Captain Hank’s years at Maine Maritime Academy and certainly demonstrates that life should be lived to the fullest! In 2020 it became the most talked about book Down East! “The Exciting Story of Cuba -Understanding Cuba’s Present by Knowing Its Past” ISBN-13: 978 1484809457. This multi-award winning history of Cuba is written in an easy-to-read style. Follow in the footsteps of the heroes, beautiful movie stars and sinister villains, who influenced the course of a country that is much bigger than its size! This book is on the shelf as a reference book at the American Embassy in Havana and most American Military and Maritime Academies.
Hank Bracker
Fortunately for Hypo, and the navy, and the United States, Chester Nimitz was not such an admiral. He was briefed each morning at eight o’clock by his fleet intelligence officer, Lieutenant Commander Edwin Layton. Layton also had a standing invitation to walk into Nimitz’s office at any hour of any day if he believed he had important information for the C-in-C. (No one else on the staff, except perhaps the chief of staff, had this privilege.) Hypo provided a daily briefing to Layton, who in turn drew on other sources and briefed Nimitz. Layton and Rochefort had known one another when both men were stationed in Tokyo as language officers in the 1920s. They had shared in the long trial of learning Japanese. They counted one another as friends, and this tended to smooth the contours of their professional partnership, which might otherwise had been complicated by the organizational rivalry between the Fourteenth Naval District (of which Hypo was a part) and the Pacific Fleet staff. Nimitz paid close attention to all the intelligence products that crossed his desk. On his first day as CINCPAC, he told Layton, “I want you to be the Admiral Nagumo of my staff. I want your every thought, every instinct as you believe Admiral Nagumo might have them. You are to see the war, their operations, their aims, from the Japanese viewpoint and keep me advised what you are thinking about, what you are doing, and what purpose, what strategy, motivates your operations. If you can do this, you will give me the kind of information needed to win this war.
Ian W. Toll (Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941–1942)
Britain emerged with the moral credit of having furnished the maximum of military assistance to her ally and this certainly earned the approval of the Americans.63 It revealed ‘the importance of the old military virtues such as toughness, good discipline, professional proficiency, ready resource, determination and the ability to take command’.64
Michael K. Simpson (Life of Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Cunningham: A Twentieth-Century Naval Leader (Cass Series: Naval Policy and History))
The forces committed were in any case marginal, the command structure was flawed and the aims of the operation were unclear.40
Michael K. Simpson (Life of Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Cunningham: A Twentieth-Century Naval Leader (Cass Series: Naval Policy and History))
In June 1842 the British fleet entered the Yangtze. The Chinese were ready to receive their enemy, having assembled a considerable fleet of sixteen war junks and seventy merchant men and fishing vessels requisitioned for naval duty. In the forts of Woosung, near the mouth of the river, they had placed 253 heavy artillery pieces. The Chinese also unveiled a secret weapon: paddle-wheelers armed with brass guns, gingals, and matchlocks, and propelled by men inside the hull operating treadles. Nin Chien, governor-general of Nanking, wrote of them: `Skilled artisans have also constructed four water-wheel boats, on which we have mounted guns. They are fast and we have specially assigned Major Liu Ch'ang to command them. If the barbarians should sail into the inland waterways, these vessels can resist them. There is not the slightest worry.`23 The battle of Woosung was swift. The British ships of the line soon silenced the guns of the forts. The Nemesis, towing the eighteen-gun Modeste, led the fleet into the river, firing grape and canister at the Chinese crafts, which fled. The Nemesis and the Phlegethon thereupon chased the fleeing boats, captured one junk and three paddle-wheelers, and set the rest on fire.
Daniel R. Headrick (The Tools of Empire: Technology and European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century)
Because American cryptographers had also broken the Japanese naval code, the leaders in Washington also knew that Japan’s “measures” would include an attack on Pearl Harbor. Yet they withheld this critical information from the commanders in Hawaii, who might have headed off the attack or prepared themselves to defend against it.
Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. (Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto)
COL Nicholas Young Retires from the United States Army after More than Thirty -Six Years of Distinguished Service to our Nation 2 September 2020 The United States Army War College is pleased to announce the retirement of United States Army War College on September 1, 2020. COL Young’s recent officer evaluation calls him “one of the finest Colonel’s in the United States Army who should be promoted to Brigadier General. COL Young has had a long and distinguished career in the United States Army, culminating in a final assignment as a faculty member at the United States Army War College since 2015. COL Young served until his mandatory retirement date set by federal statue. His long career encompassed just shy of seven years enlisted time before serving for thirty years as a commissioned officer.He first joined the military in 1984, serving as an enlisted soldier in the New Hampshire National Guard before completing a tour of active duty in the U.S, Army Infantry as a non-commissioned officer with the 101st Airborne (Air Assault). He graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1990, was commissioned in the Infantry, and then served as a platoon leader and executive officer in the Massachusetts Army National Guard before assuming as assignment as the executive officer of HHD, 3/18th Infantry in the U.S. Army Reserves. He made a branch transfer to the Medical Service Corps in 1996. COL Young has since served as a health services officer, company executive officer, hospital medical operations officer, hospital adjutant, Commander of the 287th Medical Company (DS), Commander of the 455th Area Support Dental, Chief of Staff of the 804th Medical Brigade, Hospital Commander of the 405th Combat Support Hospital and Hospital Commander of the 399th Combat Support Hospital. He was activated to the 94th Regional Support Command in support of the New York City terrorist attacks in 2001. COL Young is currently a faculty instructor at the U.S. Army War College. He is a graduate of basic training, advanced individual infantry training, Air Assault School, the primary leadership development course, the infantry officer basic course, the medical officer basic course, the advanced medical officer course, the joint medical officer planning course, the company commander leadership course, the battalion/brigade commander leadership course, the U.S. Air War College (with academic honors), the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Naval War College (with academic distinction).
...of the 10 thopusand Indian soldiers and camp followers who went into captivity at Kut, as few as one third would live to see the war's end. ....Taken to Constantinople, he [Gen. Charles Townshend British Commander of forces surrendered at Kut] spent the remainder of the war in a pleasant villa on an island on the Bosporus, where he was given the use of a Turkish naval yachtand frequently attended diplomatic receptions at the Ottoman court. Joining him in Constantinople were his 3 prized Yorkshire terriers, pets that, despitethe mear-starvation co9nditionsin Kut, had weatheredthe ordeal quite nicely. (p. 178)
Scott Anderson (Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East)
he left America for the last time. On the way to Denmark, he stopped in Paris. Here he heard some news which pleased him very much. For some time Russia had been at war with Turkey, and the Russian navy had lately met with several disasters on the Black Sea. The Russian minister in Paris had heard a great deal about the hero, Paul Jones. So he sent word to the Empress Catherine, who was then the ruler of Russia, that if she would give Paul Jones the command of the Russian fleet, "all Constantinople would tremble in less than a year." When Paul Jones heard that this message had gone to Russia, he was sure that a chance would come to win still more glory and fame. He was more anxious than before to go to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. He would then be nearer to Russia and could more quickly answer the summons of the empress. He was not disappointed in this. He
Mabel Borton Beebe (Four American Naval Heroes Paul Jones, Admiral Farragut, Oliver H. Perry, Admiral Dewey)
one who told me I would be taken to Ofuna, which I later learned is—was—their naval interrogation center.” “He did not question you?” “No, sir. He said there would be specialists for that. Experts.” “Torturers, you mean,” Captain Wilson said. “I’ve heard about Ofuna.” “Did you reveal anything to him or anyone else while in his custody?” “Yes, sir, I did. I spoke to the CO of the carrier when he offered me a gun so I could shoot myself.” “He did what?” “He said he was disgusted by the sight of a commanding officer being
P.T. Deutermann (Ghosts of Bungo Suido: A Novel (P. T. Deutermann WWII Novels))
In an unfortunate and unintended preview, newspapers reported that “Commander Saito was enthusiastic over his experience and expressed his faith in the aeroplane for naval purposes in time of war.
Lawrence Goldstone (Birdmen: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies)
Midway was merely a convenient target chosen by Yamamoto to draw the Americans out, and both sides’ objectives were attritional attempts to degrade their opponents’ carrier units. Nevertheless, the result created space for the Americans to begin their cautious advance back across the Pacific. This started with Guadalcanal and proceeded along two axes. Nimitz would command the larger and predominantly naval effort across the central Pacific, and island fortresses such as Saipan and Iwo Jima would soon go down in military legend. To the south, General Douglas MacArthur led a campaign across New Guinea and the Philippines, with a more land-based focus. Notwithstanding that, it was off Leyte Gulf in the Philippines in October 1944 that the Imperial Japanese Navy suffered a fatal blow in the largest naval battle in history, during which four carriers and three battleships were lost.
Charles River Editors (The Greatest Battles in History: The Battle of Midway)
Some of the most highly trained and successful military forces – Nelson’s fleet, Montgomery’s 8th Army, Wingate’s Chindits – were worked up to excellence in remote environments, undistracted by the comforts of normal life.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Uniformity distinguishes men by rank rather than character; and “as ships became divided [in departure from central batteries] and gun positions more isolated, did we take enough trouble”, William Goodenough wondered later,       to teach the mass of men a feeling of individual responsibility? – or did we fall into the easier custom of considering it necessary to have a commissioned officer in every isolated position and creating more and more petty officers and leading seamen, so that each small compartment had its leading hand? The known opinion is that we erred in over-inspection and did not, when the chance was first made, pay sufficient attention to individual responsibility.59
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
On November 2, 1899, eight members of the United States Navy were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism and service beyond the call of duty. On the night of June 2, 1898, they had volunteered to scuttle the collier USS Merrimac, with the intention of blocking the entry channel to Santiago de Cuba. On orders of Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, who was in command, their intention was to trap Spanish Admiral Cervera’s fleet in the harbor. Getting the USS Merrimac underway, the eight men navigated the ship towards a predetermined location where sinking her would seal the port. Their course knowingly took them within the range of the Spanish ships and the shore batteries. The sailors were well aware of the danger this put them into, however they put their mission first. Once the Spanish gunners saw what was happening, they realized what the Americans were up to and started firing their heavy artillery from an extremely close range. The channel leading into Santiago is narrow, preventing the ship from taking any evasive action. The American sailors were like fish in a barrel and the Spanish gunners were relentless. In short order, the heavy shelling from the Spanish shore batteries disabled the rudder of the Merrimac and caused the ship to sink prematurely. The USS Merrimac went down without achieving its objective of obstructing navigation and sealing the port. ‎Fête du Canada or Canada Day is the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the Canadian Constitution Act. This weekend Americans also celebrate the United States’, July 4, 1776 birthday, making this time perfect to celebrate George Fredrick Phillips heroic action. Phillips was one of the men mentioned in the story above of the USS Merrimac. He was born on March 8, 1862, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada and joined the United States Navy in March 1898 in Galveston, Texas. Phillips became a Machinist First Class and displayed extraordinary heroism throughout the Spanish bombardment during their operation. He was discharged from the Navy in August 1903, and died a year later at the age of 42 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His body was returned to Canada where he was interred with honors at the Fernhill Cemetery in his hometown of Saint John, New Brunswick.
Hank Bracker
At a time of deep naval peace, when social connections were a means to the top, when royal yachts brought career advantage, and when officers had to use whatever leverage they could to stand out from the crowd – when obedience and paintwork, pomp and circumstance, were what made the Fleet tick – it was a simple matter for the Craft to step onto the quarterdecks of the Royal Navy’s flagships. And there it found an ample supply of recruits.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
The way Jellicoe fought Jutland had to be consistent with the action-principles with which he had imbued his forces, and with the narrow range of tactical options he had made available to himself thereby.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Some of them are blinding glimpses of the obvious (BGOs), several overlap, and I make no claims of discovery. The fundamental proposition – and the one from which most others flow – is certainly a BGO: (1) In times of peace, empirical experience fades and rationalist theory takes its place. This trend, we may aver, is most marked in periods of major technical change, for, (2) The advent of new technology assists the discrediting of previous empirical doctrine. Furthermore, through both myopia and self-interest, (3) The purveyors of new technology will be the most evangelising rationalists.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
steam-tactics saga illustrates that (4) Rationalism, unlike empiricism, tends to assume an accretion of vested interests.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(5) The training establishment may try to ignore short bouts of empirical experience to preserve its ‘rationalist’ authority.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
The literal meaning of ‘doctrine’ is “what is taught within a group as its corporate beliefs, principles or faith”52 – although “what is learnt . . .” would be more useful to us, since (6) Military cultures impart doctrine by corporate ambience as much as by explicit teaching
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(7) In long periods of peace, ‘ambient’ doctrine may be no more than the habits of the years in which war has been forgotten. From this we derive the warning that, while taught-doctrine can, of course, be wrong, (8) If doctrine is not explicitly taught, vested interests will probably ensure that wrong doctrine is ambiently learnt. We have just performed our first circle, and this is where technology re-enters the argument, for (9) In peacetime, doctrine is vulnerable to commandeering by ‘systems lobbyists’. Examples
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(10) Innovations adopted in accordance with peacetime doctrine, may lock the Fleet into both systems and doctrine which will fail the empirical test of war – for “the harsh lessons of combat will always be a world away
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
can therefore attribute the many reporting failures at Jutland to a cocktail of factors, including: (a) lack of initiative, and ‘seniority knows best’; (b) fear of being direction-found; and (c) insidious organizational flaws. Perhaps all senior officers, not just Goodenough, should have gone to their cabins at nightfall on the 31st of May, had a glass of port, and thought through the enemy’s options. But that
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
would have been venturing into what Tryon had tried to reintroduce as their ‘secondary-syllabus’ duties, whereas all too many of them owed their rank to their ‘primary’ accomplishments.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
The one lesson to be learned is the necessity for every officer to cultivate belief in his own judgment, so as not to be afraid of acting correctly when the day of trial comes. This incident has provided the Navy with a lesson of the duty owed by juniors towards senior officers that it is well for officers to ponder over and digest. 105 [underlining
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
When the British attacked Havana in 1762, Admiral de Hevia failed to scuttle the ships under his command. Thus, his ships fell into the hands of the British. The Admiral was returned to Spain where he was court-martialed, stripped of his titles and sentenced to house arrest for 10 years. Fortunately, he was pardoned three years later, on September 17, 1765. Reinstated he returned to active duty as the commander of the Marine Corps in Cadiz. He died seven years later on December 2, 1772, at Isla de León, Spain. Havana being under the rule of the British governor Sir George Keppel, the 3rd Earl of Albemarle, the British opened trade with their North American and Caribbean colonies, causing a dramatic transformation in the culture of Cuba, as well as bringing an increase to the population. Thousands of additional slaves were brought to the island under British rule, ostensibly to work on the new sugar plantations. The British occupation, however, didn’t last long, since the Seven Years’ War ended less than a year after the British arrived, and with the signing of the Peace of Paris Treaty the English agreed to surrender Cuba in exchange for Florida. In Britain, many people believed they could have done better, had they included Mexico and some of the colonies in South America, as part of the deal. The Florida Keys, not being directly connected to the Florida mainland, also remained in dispute, but it was not contested as long as free trade was permitted. After the deal was made with the British, Spain retained control of Cuba until after the secessionist movements were ended with the Treaty of Paris, signed on December 10, 1898. The United States Senate ratified the treaty on February 6, 1899. In 1793, many more slaves were imported into Cuba when French slave owners fled from Haiti during the Slave Rebellion, also known as the Haitian Revolution. This brought 30,000 white refugees and their slaves into Cuba. With their knowledge of coffee and sugar processing, they founded many new plantations. This period of the English occupation and French influx, although chronologically short, was when the floodgates of slavery were opened wide. It was at this time that the largest numbers of black slaves ever, were imported into the country.
Hank Bracker
And how nationally disgraceful, in every conceivable point of view, is the IVth of our American Articles of War: "If any person in the Navy shall pusillanimously cry for quarter, he shall suffer death." Thus, with death before his face from the foe, and death behind his back from his countrymen, the best valor of a man-of-war's-man can never assume the merit of a noble spontaneousness. In this, as in every other case, the Articles of War hold out no reward for good conduct, but only compel the sailor to fight, like a hired murderer, for his pay, by digging his grave before his eyes if he hesitates. But this Article IV is open to still graver objections. Courage is the most common and vulgar of the virtues; the only one shared with us by the beasts of the field; the one most apt, by excess, to run into viciousness. And since Nature generally takes away with one hand to counterbalance her gifts with the other, excessive animal courage, in many cases, only finds room in a character vacated of loftier things. But in a naval officer, animal courage is exalted to the loftiest merit, and often procures him a distinguished command.
Herman Melville (White-jacket; or, The World in a Man-of-war)
The White House, realized former naval officer Steve Bannon after a few weeks, was really a military base, a government-issue office with a mansion’s façade and a few ceremonial rooms sitting on top of a secure installation under military command.
Michael Wolff (Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House)
By some quirk of fate, I had been chosen—along with five others—as a candidate to be the next equerry to the Princess of Wales. I knew little about what an equerry actually did, but I did not greatly care. I already knew I wanted to do the job. Two years on loan to the royal household would surely be good for promotion, and even if it was not, it had to be better than slaving in the Ministry of Defense, which was the most likely alternative. I wondered what it would be like to work in a palace. Through friends and relatives I had an idea it was not all red carpets and footmen. Running the royal family must involve a lot of hard work for somebody, I realized, but not, surely, for the type of tiny cog that was all I expected to be. In the wardroom of the frigate, alongside in Loch Ewe, news of the signal summoning me to London for an interview had been greeted with predictable ribaldry and a swift expectation that I therefore owed everybody several free drinks. Doug, our quiet American on loan from the U.S. Navy, spoke for many. He observed me in skeptical silence for several minutes. Then he took a long pull at his beer, blew out his mustache, and said, “Let me get this straight. You are going to work for Princess Di?” I had to admit it sounded improbable. Anyway, I had not even been selected yet. I did not honestly think I would be. “Might work for her, Doug. Only might. There’re probably several smooth Army buggers ahead of me in the line. I’m just there to make it look democratic.” The First Lieutenant, thinking of duty rosters, was more practical. “Whatever about that, you’ve wangled a week ashore. Lucky bastard!” Everyone agreed with him, so I bought more drinks. While these were being poured, my eye fell on the portraits hanging on the bulkhead. There were the regulation official photographs of the Queen and Prince Philip, and there, surprisingly, was a distinctly nonregulation picture of the Princess of Wales, cut from an old magazine and lovingly framed by an officer long since appointed elsewhere. The picture had been hung so that it lay between the formality of the official portraits and the misty eroticism of some art prints we had never quite got around to throwing away. The symbolic link did not require the services of one of the notoriously sex-obsessed naval psychologists for interpretation. As she looked down at us in our off-duty moments the Princess represented youth, femininity, and a glamour beyond our gray steel world. She embodied the innocent vulnerability we were in extremis employed to defend. Also, being royal, she commanded the tribal loyalty our profession had valued above all else for more than a thousand years, since the days of King Alfred. In addition, as a matter of simple fact, this tasty-looking bird was our future Queen. Later, when that day in Loch Ewe felt like a relic from another lifetime, I often marveled at the Princess’s effect on military people. That unabashed loyalty symbolized by Arethusa’s portrait was typical of reactions in messhalls and barracks worldwide. Sometimes the men gave the impression that they would have died for her not because it was their duty, but because they wanted to. She really seemed worth it.
Patrick D. Jephson (Shadows of a Princess: An Intimate Account By Her Private Secretary)
Being the commander of a Ruminarii war vessel meant that he had risen to the rank by means of assassination and ruthlessness and was therefore implicitly distrusted by the Tidhii Mah’k’hai (Naval Command, that is The Queen Of Suth Herself.) He was expected to mete out, in generous portions, brutality to conquered subjects and to act swiftly and mercilessly in dealing with alien encounters. In short, he was expected to be a bad example.
Christina Engela (Black Sunrise)
Vader made most of the naval officers he encountered uncomfortable. To them, he was a towering dark figure outside their chain of command who had emerged from nowhere and possessed powers they did not understand.
Paul S. Kemp (Lords of the Sith (Star Wars))
Also in Edenton was a young seaman named John Paul Jones. In spite of his youth, he was a capable captain, and it is thought that he commanded many of Hewes’ vessels on trips to Ocracoke and Portsmouth Island, as well as to the West Indies. There was much coming and going between Edenton and North Carolina’s Outer Banks even in those days. When war finally came, young John Paul Jones applied for a commission in the fighting ships of the colonists. There were two problems with his application. In the first place, it was thought that he did not have the experience or the skill for such an important position. In the second, the colonists had no navy, as such, with which to fight the British fleet—at that time the strongest in the world. Observing these problems, Jones’ friend and erstwhile employer came to the aid of both his protégé and his country. Incredible as it may seem, Joseph Hewes made a gift of all his ships to his country and thus helped to form the nucleus of the Yankee fleet. It is said that this magnanimous gesture, coupled with urgings from Hewes, persuaded the Continental Congress to name young John Paul Jones as a first lieutenant of the Continental Navy. History has proved the wisdom of this decision. The young lieutenant became what one historian has called “the greatest fighting naval commander America ever had.” His spirited “Sir, I’ve not yet begun to fight” is one of the proudest traditions of the United States Navy.
Charles Harry Whedbee (Outer Banks Tales to Remember)
In the years following Hannibal’s birth, his father Hamilcar had fought doggedly and with great skill to preserve the remnants of the Carthaginian garrisons in western Sicily. That he was finally unsuccessful was because the Romans had been quick to learn an all-important lesson—to succeed in the Mediterranean theatre it is essential to have command of the sea. In the early stages of this great war the Carthaginians, with centuries of experience behind them, had found little difficulty in trouncing the Romans in naval engagements and in harrying their coastline. But one of the Roman qualities which would greatly assist them to their successful imperial role was an ability to learn from mistakes.
Ernle Bradford (Hannibal)
That same week, on distant Lake Nyasa, in central Africa, a British naval officer, Commander E.L. Rhoades, sailed his gunboat, the Gwendolen, with its single 3-pounder gun, across the lake from the British port of Nkata Bay to the tiny German port of Sphinxhaven, thirty miles away. There he opened fire on, and captured, the German gunboat Wissman, whose commander, Captain Berndt, had not yet heard that war had broken out between Britain and Germany. ‘Naval Victory on Lake Nyasa,’ was the headline in The Times.
Martin Gilbert (The First World War: A Complete History)
The admiral was famously unflappable, but found the attack on Pearl Harbor a shattering experience. Spruance revealed this only to his wife and daughter, then waited anxiously for Admiral Chester Nimitz to take over as CincPac—Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet. After the obscenity at Pearl, America’s Pacific Fleet leadership was demoralized. Spruance sensed that Nimitz would inject some sorely needed fighting spirit, and he was right. Nimitz proved bold, aggressive, confident. Energized, the Pacific fleet began to sortie out and fight back. Spruance was elated.
Lynn Vincent (Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man)
It was an obsessive secrecy which meant that the full benefits of knowing what the signals meant could never be realised. Worse, it brought the whole intelligence from the Admiralty to the fleet at sea into disrepute. When individual naval commanders on their bridges at sea had no idea of the significance of what they were being told, they would often ignore it, even when it was both vital and accurate. The verdict by one post-war expert on German signals security was that they “elaborately hid from subordinates facts and intentions which at least for three quarters of the war, they failed to conceal from the enemy”. This probably applied to both sides, though on the German side it was made worse by the fact that – before the war – nobody had any idea just how powerful their wireless transmitters could be: their high power transmitter signals could be picked up as far away as China, so they could certainly be heard by a small group of friends sheltering on the roof of a lifeboat station in Norfolk.
David Boyle (Before Enigma)
The MS City of New York commanded by Captain George T. Sullivan, maintained a regular schedule between New York City and Cape Town, South Africa until the onset of World War II when on March 29, 1942 she was attacked off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina by the German submarine U-160 commanded by Kapitänleutnant Georg Lassen. The torpedo struck the MS City of New York at the waterline under the ship’s bridge instantly disabling her. Surfacing the U-boat circled the crippled ship making certain that all of the crew had a chance to abandon ship. In all four lifeboats were lowered holding 41 passengers, 70 crewmen and 13 officers. The armed guard stayed behind but considering the fate of those in the lifeboats did not fire on the submarine. At a distance of about 250 yards the submarine fired a round from her deck gun striking the hapless vessel on the starboard side at the waterline, by her number 4 hold. It took 20 minutes for the MS City of New York to sink stern first. The nine members of the armed guard waited until the water reached the ships after deck before jumping into the water. The following day, a U. S. Navy PBY Catalina aircraft was said to have searched the area without finding any survivors. Almost two days after the attack, a destroyer, the USS Roper rescued 70 survivors of which 69 survived. An additional 29 others were picked up by USS Acushnet, formally a seagoing tugboat and revenue cutter, now operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. All of the survivors were taken to the U.S. Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. Almost two weeks later, on 11 April, a U.S. Army bomber on its way to Europe, located the forth boat at 38°40N/73°00W having been carried far off shore by the Gulf Stream. The lifeboat contained six passengers, four women, one man and a young girl plus 13 crew members. Two of the women died of exposure. The eleven survivors and two bodies (the mother of the child and the armed guard) were picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter CG-455 and were brought to Lewes, Delaware. The final count showed that seven passengers, one armed guard and 16 crewmen died.
Hank Bracker
In 1821 the United States government sent Dr. Eli Ayres to the Pepper or Grain Coast of West Africa, to buy the land discovered by Samuel Bacon prior to his death the preceding year. Dr. Ayres sailed aboard the U.S. naval schooner the USS Alligator, commanded by Lieutenant Robert Stockton, to the proposed new colony near the Mesurado River. After several days of negotiations in November of 1821, this valuable land was purchased at gunpoint from the tribal chief King Peter. Soon after this purchase, the colonists and their stores were landed on Providence Island and Bushrod Island, two small islands in the middle of the Mesurado River. Once the armed schooner sailed out of sight, the settlers were challenged by King Peter and his tribe. It took some doing, but on April 25, 1822, this group moved off the low-lying islands and took possession of the highlands behind Cape Mesurado, thereby founding present-day Monrovia, which was named after U.S. President James Monroe. It became the second permanent African American settlement in Africa, after Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Hank Bracker
The Rapid Reflection Force (RRF). Simply put, the RRF is an interdisciplinary group charged with assisting the incident commander “grasp and confront issues raised by unconventional situations.”127 Lagadec describes the RRF as …a spur that will prod crisis leadership to keep moving, keep thinking, never indulging in trench warfare against unconventional disruptions—as such events will instantly overwhelm or turn round all attempts to draw static lines of defense or restore intellectual comfort zones. With this objective in mind, the critical weapon in the RRF’s arsenal turns out to be insightful questions, rather than preformatted answers, which are the building blocks of artificial certainty, the Trojan horses of instant collapse.128
Naval Postgraduate School (When Will We Ever Learn? The After Action Review, Lessons Learned and the Next Steps in Training and Education the Homeland Security Enterprise for the 21st Century)
Zumwalt-class destroyer,” Brooks responded without hesitation. “I know a little about naval vessels, Commander, but I’ve never seen a destroyer like this before.” “She’s a stealth ship, sir ... the only one of her kind. Cost three-and-a-half billion dollars. The stealth design of this thing gives us the radar signature of a row boat. We can get real close to some pretty unfriendly countries without them knowing we were ever there.
John Lyman (The Deep Green)
Germany’s gamble of early 1917 was to declare unlimited submarine warfare, making fair game almost any vessel headed for Allied ports—including those from a neutral country. Cutting off the Atlantic supply lines so crucial to the British and French war effort, the Germans hoped, would force the Allies to sue for peace. The danger of unlimited submarine warfare, of course, was that it was certain to sink American ships and kill American sailors, therefore sooner or later drawing the United States, the world’s largest economy, into the war. As reckless as this might seem, the German high command calculated that, even if the United States declared war, severing the Atlantic lifeline would strangle Britain and France into surrender in less than six months, long before a substantial number of American troops could be trained and sent to Europe. Despite its size the United States had a standing army that ranked only seventeenth in the world. In any case, how would American soldiers cross the ocean? German naval commanders were confident that U.S. troopships and merchant vessels alike would fall victim to U-boats, because Allied technology for locating submarines underwater was still so primitive as to be almost useless.
Adam Hochschild (To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918)
Tindale gazed at the rider with a frozen smile. He was doing his level best to hide his contempt for the man. Fassbinder and his team had not given away a single clue. The degree of secrecy that enveloped the mission was incredible. The fact that Naval Command decided to keep him in the dark was simply galling.
Gerard O'Neill (May Day (The Erelong Trilogy #2))
Alan Evans (Dauntless (Commander Cochrane Smith Naval Thrillers Book 3))
Lieutenant Commander William Sowden Sims brought about a complete revolution in United States naval gunnery, and from the outset was a powerful advocate of the all-big-gun battleship, with its advantage of uniform shell splash for long-range salvo spotting.
Richard Hough (Dreadnought: A History of the Modern Battleship)
Sims revolutionized American gunnery in the early years of the century, was Mahan’s leading contestant in the Dreadnought controversy, and commanded the United States Naval Forces in European waters in the First World War. Sims’s reasoned, sagacious, and totally crushing attack on the Mahan school decided American battleship construction policy in the vital years leading to 1912. Sims made America a major maritime power.
Richard Hough (Dreadnought: A History of the Modern Battleship)
At New London, parking was available for submariners at the head of the finger piers. Should a submarine be brought alongside at too high a speed, or if a backing bell failed to be answered, the heavy, protruding bow on occasion overrode the dock and damaged the car parked at the head of the pier. To emphasize the need for caution in avoiding a possible submarine-auto collision, the first parking space was reserved for the skipper of the submarine, thereby guaranteeing the enthusiastic co-operation of the CO in preventing possible damage to a U.S. naval vessel if only to avoid more serious damage to the family wheels. Insurance claims based on collisions between submarine and automobile in New London were unusual but far from unknown.
Paul R. Schratz (Submarine Commander: A Story of World War II and Korea)
Many notorious military blunders have been set up by poor personal relationships (if not wilful taciturnity) between key participants, the need for whose informal collaboration seems, in retrospect, to have been blindingly obvious. “It is instructive to mark how the squabbles of historic admirals with their Admiralties and with their captains have played into the hands of the enemy.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
In all aspects of shipboard life, “guides, tables, reports, logs, books, inspection provisions and other methods of supervision were developed, mostly in the 1860s, to ensure compliance and uniformity”.56 But with the defining of boundaries and performance criteria, the broader conceptual sense of duty was all but eclipsed by the narrow hierarchical sense.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Fisher said, “to be a good admiral, a man does not need to be a good sailor. That’s a common mistake. He needs good sailors under him.”65
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Without a dedicated naval staff to define requirements and shape policy in technical matters, and, where appropriate, tap civilian expertise, the Navy was bound for trouble in the twentieth century. It is no doubt easier to see this now than it was then. It happened to be over the problem of long-range fire-control, the ‘nuclear physics challenge’ of the Edwardian age, that the service first fell victim to the corruptibility and hand-to-mouth nature of the Admiralty’s appraisal and acquisition processes – and to Fisher’s caprice in matters incidental to his capitalship revolution.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(25) Every proven military incompetent has previously displayed attributes which his superiors rewarded. Almost every
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
The sudden disproof of the reassuring, structured assumptions about the formula for naval mastery, which had accumulated during the untesting age of Victoria, was real enough for the RN’s senior officer corps.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Vice-Admiral Scheer’s own confidential report to Wilhelm II. Here he made the tendentious, and highly questionable, assertion that “even the most successful outcome of a fleet action will not force England to make peace”, and he advised the All Highest that “a victorious end of the war within a reasonable time can only be achieved through the defeat of British economic life – that is, by using the U-boats against British trade.”59
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(21) Heavy signalling, like copious orders, is symptomatic of doctrinal deficiency,
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
The promise of signalling fosters a neglect of doctrine.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(23) War-fighting commanders may find themselves bereft of communications faculties on which they have become reliant in peacetime training. Most forms of radio-transmissions can
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(24) Properly disseminated doctrine offers both the cheapest and the most secure command-and-control method yet devised by man.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(26) Peacetime highlights basic ‘primary’ skills to the neglect of more advanced, more lateral ‘secondary’ abilities, the former being easier to teach, easier to measure, and more agreeable to superiors. If it is in the interests of the country that our military
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(27) The key to efficiency lies in the correct balance between organisation and method.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
that (11) Purveyors of technical systems will seek to define performance criteria and trials conditions.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
A service which neglects to foster a conceptual grasp of specialised subjects, will have too few warriors able to interrogate the specialists. This is especially important in spasms of technical change, for
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
The volume of traffic expands to meet capacity, is
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Chester William Nimitz, Sr. was the last surviving officer to serve as a five star admiral in the Unites States Navy, holding the rank of Fleet Admiral. His career started as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy where he graduated with honors on January 30, 1905. Becoming a submarine officer, Nimitz was responsible of the construction of the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear powered submarine. During World War II he was appointed the Commander in Chief of the Unites States Pacific Fleet known as CinCPa. His promotions led to his becoming the Chief of Naval Operations, a post he held until 1947. The rank of Fleet Admiral in the U.S. Navy is a lifetime appointment, so he never retired and remained on active duty as the special assistant to the Secretary of the Navy for the Western Sea Frontier. He held this position for the rest of his life, with full pay and benefits. In January 1966 Nimitz suffered a severe stroke, complicated by pneumonia. On February 20, 1966, at 80 years of age, he died at his quarters on Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco Bay. Chester William Nimitz, Sr. was buried with full military honors and lies alongside his wife and some military friends at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.
Hank Bracker
Signals ‘capacity’ tends to be defined by how much the senior end can transmit, rather than by how much the junior end can conveniently assimilate. In Operation
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Signals’ prioritising mechanisms become dislocated in times of overload.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(16) Incoming traffic can act as a brake on decision-making,
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(18) The ‘centre’ must subject its own transmissions to the strictest self-denying ordinance, and, in this, seniority is critical. Admirals no doubt imagine that they are always curbing signals traffic (or,
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(19) Signalling promotes the centralisation of authority.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
(20) There is an inverse law between robust doctrine and the need for signalling.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
that the shaky premiss on which British fleets had, for two generations, been practised and led – the assumption that tactical signals could be relied upon to ‘get through’ in action – was fallacious, and that conditions might obtain in which manoeuvring without signals would “become essential”.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
In 1821, the United States government sent Dr. Eli Ayres to West Africa to buy, on what was known as the “Pepper Coast,” land that could be used as a colony for relocated slaves from America. He sailed to the location on the Mesurado River aboard the naval schooner USS Alligator, commanded by Lieutenant Robert Stockton. When they arrived, Stockton forced the sale of some land at gunpoint, from a local tribal chief named King Peter. Soon after this sale was consummated, returned slaves and their stores were landed as colonists on Providence and Bushrod Islands in the Montserado River. However, once the USS Alligator left the new colonists, they were confronted by King Peter and his tribe. It took some doing but on April 25, 1822 this group moved off the low lying, mosquito infested islands and took possession of the highlands behind Cape Montserado, thereby founding present day Monrovia. Named after U.S. President James Monroe, it became the second permanent African American settlement in Africa after Freetown, Sierra Leone. Thus the colony had its beginnings, but not without continuing problems with the local inhabitants who felt that they had been cheated in the forced property transaction. With the onset of the rainy season, disease, shortage of supplies and ongoing hostilities, caused the venture to almost fail. As these problems increased, Dr. Ayres wanted to retreat to Sierra Leone again, but Elijah Johnson an African American, who was one of the first colonial agents of the American Colonization Society, declared that he was there to stay and would never leave his new home. Dr. Eli Ayres however decided that enough was enough and left to return to the United States, leaving Elijah and the remaining settlers behind. The colony was nearly lost if it was not for the arrival of another ship, the U.S. Strong carrying the Reverent Jehudi Ashmun and thirty-seven additional emigrants, along with much needed stores. It didn’t take long before the settlement was identified as a “Little America” on the western coast of Africa. Later even the flag was fashioned after the American flag by seven women; Susannah Lewis, Matilda Newport, Rachel Johnson, Mary Hunter, J.B. Russwurm, Conilette Teage, and Sara Dripper. On August 24, 1847 the flag was flown for the first time and that date officially became known as “Flag Day.” With that a new nation was born!
Hank Bracker
Many of the more ghastly and idiotic aspects of the Great War were made possible by the coincidence of mass-production and the social religion of deference.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
James R. Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara, Chinese Naval Strategy in the 21st Century: The Turn to Mahan (New York: Routledge, 2008); Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes, “Command of the Sea with Chinese Characteristics,” Orbis, Fall 2005; Gabriel B. Collins et al., eds., China’s Energy Strategy: The Impact on Beijing’s Maritime Policies (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2008); and Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, “Beijing’s Energy Security Strategy: The Significance of a Chinese State-Owned Tanker Fleet,” Orbis, Fall 2007. * One should not forget the French, whose role, particularly in the islands of the southwestern Indian Ocean, is covered expertly by Richard Hall in Empires of the Monsoon: A History of the Indian Ocean and Its Invaders (London: HarperCollins, 1996).
Robert D. Kaplan (Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power)
My comments are directed at the system which was responsible for their poor performance, not at the officers concerned. I do not recall ever having taken part [before the war] in an exercise that was other than a set ritual, which, while not without value, certainly did little to prepare us for our wartime activities.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Whether or not his remarks are fully warranted, they are a reminder that the “canker of a long peace” is a creeping sickness to which all professional military forces are susceptible.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Thus was obscured the fact that his most essential contribution to British naval mastery was as a trainer of Collingwoods, Blackwoods and Hardys: his greatest gift of leadership was to raise his juniors above the need of supervision.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
By the close of the Victorian age Britain’s officer classes were increasingly the inheritors, rather than the winners, of empire.
Andrew Gordon (The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
Captain Joseph Frye One of the nicest parks in present day downtown Tampa, Florida, is the Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. The 5-acre park, which lies between the Tampa Bay Times Forum (Amalie Arena) and the mouth of the Hillsborough River at the Garrison Channel, is used for many weddings and special events such as the dragon boat races and the duck race. Few people give thought to the historic significance of the location, or to Captain Joseph Frye, considered Tampa’s first native son, who was born there on June 14, 1826. Going to sea was a tradition in the Frye family, starting with his paternal great-grandfather Samuel Frye from East Greenwich, Rhode Island, who was the master of the sloop Humbird. As a young man, Joseph attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated with the second class in 1847. Starting as an Ensign, he served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy until the Civil War, at which time he resigned and took a commission as a Lieutenant in the Confederate Navy. The Ten Years’ War, also known as “the Great War,” which started in 1868 became the first of three wars of Cuban Independence. In October 1873, following the defeat of the Confederacy and five years into the Cuban revolution, Frye became Captain of a side-wheeler, the S/S Virginius. His mission was to take guns and ammunition, as well as approximately 300 Cuban rebels to Cuba, with the intent of fighting the Spanish army for Cuban Independence. Unfortunately, the mission failed when the ship was intercepted by the Spanish warship Tornado. Captain Frye and his crew were taken to Santiago de Cuba and given a hasty trial and before a British warship Commander, hearing of the incident, could intervene, they were sentenced to death. After thanking the members of his crew for their service, Captain Frye and fifty-three members of his crew were put to death by firing squad, and were then decapitated and trampled upon by the Spanish soldiers. However, the British Commander Sir Lambton Lorraine of HMS Niobe did manage to save the lives of a few of the remaining crewmembers and rebels.
Hank Bracker
According to the Treaty of Versailles, the post World War I German Navy was only permitted to have six light cruisers. One of these was the Emden, with a length of over 508 feet and a draft of 17 feet 5 inches. She was launched on January 7, 1925 and commissioned over nine months later on October 15, 1925. The light cruiser had a standard displacement of 5,400 tons, and was the only ship ever constructed in her class. She was built by the Reichsmarine shipbuilding company in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. As a new ship the Emden became the German Navy’s training ship and conducted several world cruises to train future naval officers. In September of 1934, Kapitan Karl Dönitz, the future commander of the German Navy, the Kriegsmarine, took command of the ship and remained her master until the following year. The Emden visited Cape Town in December of 1934 and was there for the Christmas celebration at the Cape Town German Club, described on page 30 of “Suppressed I Rise.” It was then that Adeline danced with the renowned Captain Dönitz, who would later replace the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, as the head of state in Germany. The cruiser Emden was severely damaged by British bombers in February of 1945. On May 3, 1945, the Germans scuttled the ship, to prevent her from being captured by the Allies. Ultimately in 1949, the ship was taken for scrap. Her bow ornament is still on display at the popular Deutsches Museum in Munich.
Hank Bracker (Suppressed I Rise)
On June 12, 1775 the Rhode Island Assembly commissioned armed ships to fight the British Navy. That Fall on October 13, 1775 the Second Continual Congress established the United States Navy marking this date as the Navy’s official birthday. The first United States naval vessel was the USS Ganges, built in Philadelphia as a merchant vessel. She was bought by the US Navy, fitted out with 24 guns for a crew of 220 men, and commissioned on 24 May 1798. Following this, John Paul Jones was appointed Commander of the French ship Duc de Duras, which had been in service as a merchant ship between France and the Orient. Her design was such that she could easily be converted to a man of war, which she was, when fitted out with 50 guns and an extra six 6-pounder and renamed the Bonhomme Richard. On September 23, 1779 the Bonhomme Richard fought in the Battle of Flamborough Head, off the coast of Yorkshire,England where, although winning the battle, caught fire from the bombardment and sank 36 hours later. John Paul Jones commandeered a British ship named the HMS Serapis and sailed the captured ship to Holland for repairs. The Serapis was transferred her to the French as a prize of war, who then converted her into a privateer. In 1781, she sank off Madagascar to an accidental fire that reached the powder locker, blowing her stern off. Following the Revolutionary War the Continental Navy was disbanded, however George Washington responded to threats to American shipping by Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean with the Naval Act of 1794, which created a permanent U.S. Navy. As a part of this Act, the first ships that were commissioned were six frigates, which included the USS Constitution and the USS Constellation.
Hank Bracker (Suppressed I Rise)
Historians and critics too often overlook the state of mind of the commanders in judging a military or naval action.
Tameichi Hara
They called her names. They spoke derisively of her and made jokes about her. They dubbed her a ‘white Elephant’ and they referred to her as a ‘sick widow.’ When in the 1965 Indo-Pakistani conflict it was reported that she was in dry dock, they sarcastically asked ‘When was she not?’ To Admiral N. Krishnan, FOC-in-C, Eastern Naval Command is, however, attributed the grand slam retort. To scoffers he quipped, ‘After all, what is wrong with a lady getting indisposed once a month and dry docking every nine months? Every ship needs to be serviced once in nine months, even as every motor car has to be serviced every 1,000 miles of run. This is a normal practice and it just happened, a pure accident, that when the Indo-Pakistani conflict broke out in 1965, VIKRANT was on its nine-monthly visit to the hospital!
Arjun Krishnan (A Sailors's Story: Autobiography of Vice Admiral N. Krishnan, Indian Navy)
In 1777, the U.S. Congress ordered a second naval ship built, the Ranger. The Ranger was the most famous of all the ships built on Langdon's Island. She was an 18-gun sloop and was the first American ship to be coppered. Her biography mirrors that of the Raleigh: designed by William Hackett, built by James Hackett on Rising Castle/Langdon's Island, and captured by the British, off Charleston, South Carolina, in 1780. John Paul Jones commanded the vessel, and she captured a number of British ships during her brief career. She also carried news of British general John Burgoyne's surrender at the Battle of Saratoga to Europe and received the first salute ever given to an American ship, off Quiberon Bay in France.12
Peter Kurtz (Bluejackets in the Blubber Room: A Biography of the William Badger, 1828-1865)
In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl argued that a life purpose is not some mystical fairy tale, but the reality of every single human being on our planet. What is more, having an understanding of your life’s purpose has life-saving potential. He observed this while being detained in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. Similar experiences were recounted by the survivors from USS Indianapolis, a United States heavy cruiser that was sunk at the end of the World War II. The need to maintain radio silence meant nobody in naval command knew about the attack until days afterwards. The survivors had several nights in the water before rescue came. They reported that virtually everybody wanted to give up their struggle for life at one point or another. The effort to stay afloat so long was overwhelming. Some did give up and died. But the rest, when tempted to quit the effort, focused on their reasons to keep fighting. They encouraged each other with thoughts of people who depended on them in their civil lives: spouses, parents, siblings, and kids. If someone had no one to live for, others would tell them about those in their future who would surely need them—their future spouses and kids. They had a reason to survive: wanting to be there for others who needed them. Those sailors became committed to fulfill this, and their commitment was enough to keep them alive. A good reason is a magnificent tool. A reason-powered motivation can save your life in more than one way. We’ve seen how a reliance on emotion-filled inspiration derived from others doesn’t ultimately motivate you at all if your core values are not involved. However, that does not mean that emotions won’t help you. Far from it. Just be aware of the limitations of relying on your emotions to power consistent action. Emotions are elusive in their nature, but as long as they last, they can boost your abilities many-fold. Emotions give you the ability to get fired-up to begin something. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Well begun is half done.” Starting is the action that magically produces progress. Consider things you’ve begun in the past. One moment you were doing nothing, so had exactly zero potential to reach your goal. Then you made a decision that you would do this and a surge of enthusiasm moved you forward. You were in motion; you’d started. An infinite ocean of possibilities had opened in front of you. Any decision to start something will have this effect.
Michal Stawicki (The Art of Persistence: Stop Quitting, Ignore Shiny Objects and Climb Your Way to Success)
Since 1884 Bath Iron Works was incorporated by General Thomas W. Hyde who had served in the Union Army during the Civil War. At first the shipyard made iron hardware and windlasses for the wooden ships of the day but soon built warships for the United States Navy although it also started builting commercial vessels. The USS Machias a schooner rigged, steam driven, gunboat was one of two 190-foot (58 m) gunboats, first built by the company. It has been said that Chester Nimitz commanded the Machias during World War I, although this has not been substantiated. In 1892 the yard built their first commercial vessel, the 2,500-ton steel passenger steamer the SS City of Lowell. From these humble beginnings BIW became a major United States shipyard and has designed and built almost every type of naval vessel that the US Navy had or has, including the new stealth destroyers of the Zumwalt class. I first saw Bath Iron Works when I crossed the Kennebec River in 1952. I wrote about this in “Seawater One” describing how our bus crossed on the Carlton Lift Bridge and how I saw the USS Dealey (DE-1006) being built. During World War II, ships built at BIW were considered by Navy officers and sailors to be the toughest afloat, giving rise to the slogan "Bath-built is best-built." In 1995, BIW became a subsidiary of General Dynamics and at that time was the fifth-largest defense contractor in the world.
Hank Bracker
General Paris received from the representative of the Admiralty the command of the Royal Naval Division which he was destined to hold with so much honour until he fell grievously wounded in his trenches after three years’ war. This was the most important military command exercised in the great war by an officer of the Royal Marines.
Winston S. Churchill (The World Crisis Vol 1: 1911-1914)
Room 40 had long followed Kptlt. Walther Schwieger’s U-20 and kept a running record of his patrols: when he left, which route he took, where he was headed, and what he was supposed to do once he got there. In early March 1915, Commander Hope monitored a voyage Schwieger made to the Irish Sea that coincided with a disturbing message broadcast from a German naval transmitter located at Norddeich, on Germany’s North Sea coast just below Holland. Addressed to all German warships and submarines, the message made specific reference to the Lusitania, announcing that the ship was en route to Liverpool and would arrive on March 4 or 5. The meaning was obvious: the German navy considered the Lusitania fair game.
Erik Larson (Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania)