governed by the same principle.
The only two Directors that will work immediately under the First Sea
Lord will be the Director of Intelligence Division (Rear-Admiral Sir
Reginald Hall) and the Director of Training and Staff Duties
(Rear-Admiral J. C. Ley), whose functions obviously affect all the other
Staff Divisions alike.
Under the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff will be grouped three Directors
whose duties will relate entirely to the planning and direction of
operations in the main sphere of naval activity, viz.: -
Director of Operations Division Captain A.D.P. Pound.
Director of Plans Division Captain C.T.M. Fuller,
Director of Air Division Wing Captain F.R. Scarlett,
together with the Director of Signals Division, Acting-Captain R.L.
Nicholson, D.S.O., whose duties relate to the system of Fleet
Under the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff will be grouped four Directors,
whose duties relate to Trade Protection and Anti-Submarine Operations,
Director of Anti-Submarine Captain W.W. Fisher, C.B.
Director of Mine-sweeping Captain L.G. Preston, C.B.
Director of Mercantile Movements Captain F.A. Whitehead.
Director of Trade Division Captain A.G. Hotham.
Under the Deputy First Sea Lord there will be one _Director of
Operations Division (Foreign)_ - Captain C.P.R. Coode, D.S.O.
The chief change on the Maintenance side of the Board relates to the
distribution of duties amongst the Civil Members. The continuance of the
war has caused a steady increase in the number of cases in which
necessary developments of Admiralty policy due to the war, or experience
resulting from war conditions give rise to administrative problems of
great importance and complexity, of which a solution will have to be
forthcoming either immediately upon or very soon after the conclusion of
the war. The difficulty of concentrating attention on these problems of
the future in the midst of current administrative work of great urgency
may easily be appreciated, and the Civil Lord has consented to take
charge of this important matter, with suitable naval and other
assistance. He will, therefore, be relieved by the Second Civil Lord of
the administration of the programme of Naval Works, including the
questions of priority of labour and material requirements arising
therefrom and the superintendence of the Director of Works Department.
It has further been decided that the exceptional labour and other
difficulties now attending upon the execution of the very large
programme of urgent naval works in progress have so greatly transformed
the functions of the Director of Works Department of the Admiralty that
it is desirable, whilst these abnormal conditions last, to place that
Department under the charge of an expert in the rapid execution of large
The Army Council have consented, at the request of the First Lord of the
Admiralty, to lend for this purpose the services of Colonel Alexander
Gibb, K.B.E., C.B., R.E., Chief Engineer, Port Construction, British
Armies in France. Colonel Gibb (of the Firm of Easton, Gibb, Son and
Company, which built Rosyth Naval Base) will have the title of Civil
Engineer-in-Chief, and will be assisted by the Director of Works, who
retains his status as such, and the existing Staff of the Department,
which will be strengthened as necessary.
Another important change has reference to the organization of the
Admiralty Board of Invention and Research, and has the object at once of
securing greater concentration of effort in connection with scientific
research and experiment, and ensuring that the distinguished scientists
who are giving their assistance to the Admiralty are more constantly in
and amongst the problems upon which they are advising.
Mr. Charles H. Merz, M.Inst.C.E., the well-known Electrical Consulting
Engineer, who has been associated with the Board of Invention and
Research (B.I.R.) since its inception, has consented to serve as
Director of Experiments and Research (unpaid) at the Admiralty to direct
and supervise all the executive arrangements in connection with the
organization of scientific Research and Experiments. Mr. Merz will also
be a member of the Central Committee of the B.I.R. under the presidency
of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher. The functions of the Central
Committee will, as hitherto, be to initiate, investigate, develop and
advise generally upon proposals in respect to the application of Science
and Engineering to Naval Warfare, but the distinguished scientific
experts at present giving their services will in future work more much
closely with the Technical Departments of the Admiralty immediately
concerned with the production and use of apparatus required for specific
The general arrangements in regard to the organization of scientific
research and experiment will in future come under the direct supervision
of the First Lord.
Possibly by reason of the manner in which the announcement was made, the
Press appeared to assume that the whole of this Admiralty organization
was new. Such was not the case. Apart from the changes in the personnel
of the Board itself and a slight rearrangement of their duties and those
due to the establishment of an Air Ministry (which had been arranged by
the Cabinet before December, 1917), there were but slight alterations in
the organization shown in Table A [above], as will be seen by comparing
it with Table C on p. 27 [below], which indicates graphically the
organization given in the Admiralty communique.
FIRST SEA LORD AND CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF.
Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.
Director of Signals Division.
Director of Operations Division (Home).
Director of Plans Division.
Director of Air Division.
Deputy First Sea Lord.
Director of Operations Division (Foreign) and
Administrative detail work.
Director of Intelligence Division.
Director of Training and Staff Duties.
Assistant Chief of Naval Staff.
Director of Trade Division.
Director of Mercantile Movements.
Director of Mine-sweeping.
Director of Anti-Submarine Division.
It will be seen that the alterations in Naval Staff organization were as
(a) The new Deputy First Sea Lord - Rear-Admiral Hope - who since the
spring of 1917 had been Director of the Operations Division, was given
the responsibility for operations in foreign waters, with a Director of
Operations (foreign) under him, and was also definitely charged with the
administrative detail involving technical matters. The special gifts,
experience and aptitude of this particular officer for such work enabled
him, no doubt, to relieve the pressure on the First Sea Lord for
administrative detail very materially.
(b) The Operations Division was separated into two parts (home and
foreign), with a Director for each, instead of there being a Deputy
Director for home and an Assistant Director for foreign work, both
working under the Director. This was a change in name only, as the same
officer continued the foreign work under the new arrangement.
(c) The Director of the Intelligence Division and the Director of
Training and Staff Duties were shown as working immediately under the
First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff.
(d) A Director of the Air Division was introduced as a result of the
Naval Air Service having been separated from the Admiralty and placed
under the Air Ministry. A larger Admiralty Staff organization for aerial
matters thus became necessary, since the Staff could no longer refer to
the Naval Air Service.
There were no other changes in the Staff organization. As regards the
general Admiralty organization, there was no change except that caused
by the disappearance of the separate Naval Air Service, the addition of
a Second Civil Lord, and some reorganization of the Board of Invention
and Research which had been under discussion for some months previously.
It is probable that in 1918 the Chief of the Naval Staff had more time
at his disposal than was the case in 1917, owing to the changes in
organization initiated in the later year having reached some finality
and to the fact that the numerous anti-submarine measures put in hand in
1917 had become effective in 1918.
The future Admiralty Naval Staff organization, which was in my mind at
the end of 1917, was a development of that shown in Table A, p. 20,
subject to the following remarks:
In the organization then adopted the personality and experience during
the war of many of the officers in high positions were of necessity
considered, and the organization to that extent adapted to
circumstances. This resulted in somewhat overloading the staff at the
head, and the principle on which the Board of Admiralty works, i.e.,
that its members are colleagues one of another, and seniority in rank
does not, theoretically, give greater weight in council, was not
altogether followed. Thus the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff, the
Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff, and the Deputy First Sea Lord were,
by the nature of their duties, subordinate to the Chief of the Naval
Staff and yet were members of the Board. The well-known loyalty of naval
officers to one another tended to minimize any difficulties that might
have arisen from this anomaly, but the arrangement might conceivably
give rise to difficulty, and is best avoided if the Board system is to
The situation would be clearer if two of the three officers concerned
were removed altogether from the Board, viz., the Deputy First Sea Lord
and the Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff, leaving only the Deputy
Chief of the Naval Staff as a member of the Board to act in the absence
of the Chief of the Naval Staff and to relieve him of the administrative
and technical work not immediately connected with operations.
The work of the two officers thus removed should, under these
conditions, be undertaken by officers who should preferably be Flag
Officers, with experience in command at sea, having the titles of
Directors of Operations, whose emoluments should be commensurate with
their position and responsibilities.
I did not consider it advisable to carry out this alteration during the
war, and it was also difficult under the hour to hour stress of war to
rearrange all the duties of the Naval Staff in the manner most
convenient to the conduct of Staff business, although its desirability
was recognized during 1917.
It may be as well to close this chapter by a few remarks on Staff work
generally in the Navy. In the first place it is necessary in the Navy to
give much weight to the opinions of specialist officers, and for this
reason it is desirable that they should be included in the Staff
organization, and not "attached" to it as was the case with our Army in
pre-war days. The reason for this is that in the Army there is, except
in regard to artillery, little "specialization." The training received
by an officer of any of the fighting branches of the Army at the Staff
College may fit him to assist in the planning and execution of
operations, provided due regard is paid to questions of supply,
transport, housing, etc.
This is not so in a navy. A ship and all that she contains is the
weapon, and very intimate knowledge of the different factors that go to
make a ship an efficient weapon is necessary if the ship is to be used
effectively and if operations in which the ship takes so prominent a
part are to be successfully planned and executed, or if a sound opinion
is to be expressed on the training necessary to produce and maintain her
as an efficient weapon.
The particular points in which this specially intimate knowledge is
(a) The science of navigation and of handling ships of all types and
(c) Torpedoes and mines.
It is the case at present (and the conditions are not likely to alter)
that each one of these subjects is a matter for specialist training.
Every executive officer has a general knowledge of each subject, but it
is not possible for any one officer to possess the knowledge of all
three which is gained by the specialist, and if attempts are made to
plan operations without the assistance of the specialists grave errors
may be made, and, indeed, such errors were made during the late war,
perhaps from this cause.
In my view, therefore, it is desirable that specialist officers should
be included in a Naval Staff organization and not be merely "attached"
to it. It may be said that a Staff can take the advice of specialist
officers who are _attached_ to it for that purpose. But there is a
danger that the specialist advice may never reach the heads of the
Staff. Human nature being what it is, the safest procedure is to place
the specialist officer where his voice must be heard, i.e. to give him a
position on the Staff, for one must legislate for the _average_
individual and for normal conditions of work.
The Chief of a Staff _might_ have specialist knowledge himself, or he
_might_ assure himself that due weight had been given to the opinions of
specialists attached to a Staff; but, on the other hand, it is possible
that he might not have that knowledge and that he might ignore the
opinions of the specialists. The procedure suggested is at least as
necessary when considering the question of training as it is in the case
In passing from this point I may say that I have heard the opinion
expressed by military Staff officers that the war has shown that
artillery is so all important that it would be desirable to place the
Major-General of the Royal Artillery, now _attached_ to General
Headquarters, on the Staff for operational matters.
Finally, great care should be exercised to prevent the Staff becoming
larger than is necessary, and there is some danger that the ignorant may
gauge the value of the Staff by its size.
Von Schellendorff says on this subject:
"The principle strictly followed throughout the German Service of
reducing all Staffs to the smallest possible dimensions is moreover
vindicated by restricting every Staff to what is absolutely necessary,
and by not attaching to every Army, Army Corps and Divisional Staff
representatives of all the various branches and departments according to
any fixed rule.
"There cannot be the slightest doubt that the addition of every
individual not absolutely required on a Staff is in itself an evil. In
the first place, it unnecessarily weakens the strength of the regiment
from which an officer is taken. Again it increases the difficulty of
providing the Staff with quarters, which affects the troops that may
happen to be quartered in the same place; and these are quite ready
enough, as it is, occasionally to look with a certain amount of
dislike - though in most cases it is entirely uncalled for - on the
personnel of the higher Staffs. Finally, it should be remembered - and
this is the most weighty argument against the proceeding - that _idleness
is at the root of all mischief_. When there are too many officers on a
Staff they cannot always find the work and occupation essential for
their mental and physical welfare, and their superfluous energies soon
make themselves felt in all sorts of objectionable ways. Experience
shows that whenever a Staff is unnecessarily numerous the ambitious
before long take to intrigue, the litigious soon produce general
friction, and the vain are never satisfied. These failings, so common to
human nature, even if all present, are to a great extent counteracted if
those concerned have plenty of hard and constant work. Besides, the
numbers of a Staff being few, there is all the greater choice in the
selection of the men who are to fill posts on it. In forming a Staff for
war the qualifications required include not only great professional
knowledge and acquaintance with service routine, but above all things
character, self-denial, energy, tact and discretion."
THE SUBMARINE CAMPAIGN IN THE EARLY PART OF 1917
The struggle against the depredations of the enemy submarines during the
year 1917 was two-fold; _offensive_ in the direction of anti-submarine
measures (this was partly the business of the Anti-Submarine Division of
the Naval Staff and partly that of the Operations Division); _defensive_
in the direction of protective measures for trade, whether carried in
our own ships or in ships belonging to our Allies or to neutrals, this
being the business of the Trade and Mercantile Movements Divisions.
Prior to the formation of the Mercantile Movements Division the whole
direction of trade was in the hands of the Trade Division of the Staff.
The difficulty with which we were constantly faced in the early part of
1917, when the effective means of fighting the submarine were very
largely confined to the employment of surface vessels, was that of
providing a sufficient number of such vessels for _offensive_ operations
without incurring too heavy risks for our trade by the withdrawal of
vessels engaged in what might be termed _defensive_ work. There was
always great doubt whether any particular offensive operation undertaken
by small craft would produce any result, particularly as the numbers
necessary for success were not available, whilst there was the practical
_certainty_ that withdrawal of defensive vessels would increase our
losses; the situation was so serious in the spring of 1917 that we could
not carry out experiments involving grave risk of considerably increased
On the other hand, the sinking of one enemy submarine meant the possible
saving of a considerable number of merchant ships. It was difficult to
draw the line between the two classes of operations.
The desire of the Anti-Submarine Division to obtain destroyers for
offensive use in hunting flotillas in the North Sea and English Channel
led to continual requests being made to me to provide vessels for the
purpose. I was, of course, anxious to institute offensive operations,
but in the early days of 1917 we could not rely much on depth-charge
attack, owing to our small stock of these charges, and my experience in
the Grand Fleet had convinced me that for success in the alternative of
hunting submarines for a period which would exhaust their batteries and
so force them to come to the surface, a large number of destroyers was
required, unless the destroyers were provided with some apparatus which
would, by sound or otherwise, locate the submarine. This will be
realized when the fact is recalled that a German submarine could remain
submerged at slow speed for a period which would enable her to travel a
distance of some 80 miles. As this distance could be covered in any
direction in open waters such as the North Sea, it is obvious that only
a very numerous force of destroyers steaming at high speed could cover
the great area in which the submarine might come to the surface. She
would, naturally, select the dark hours for emergence, as being the
period of very limited range of vision for those searching for her. In
confined waters such as those in the eastern portion of the English
Channel the problem became simpler. Requests for destroyers constantly
came from every quarter, such as the Commanders-in-Chief at Portsmouth
and Devonport, the Senior Naval Officer at Gibraltar, the Vice-Admiral,
Dover, the Rear-Admiral Commanding East Coast, and the Admiral at
Queenstown. The vessels they wanted did not, however, exist.
Eventually, with great difficulty, a force of six destroyers was
collected from various sources in the spring of 1917, and used in the
Channel solely for hunting submarines; this number was really quite
inadequate, and it was not long before they had to be taken for convoy
Evidence of the difficulty of successfully hunting submarines was often
furnished by the experiences of our own vessels of this type, sometimes
when hunted by the enemy, sometimes when hunted in error by our own
craft. Many of our submarines went through some decidedly unpleasant
experiences at the hands of our own surface vessels and occasionally at
the hands of vessels belonging to our Allies. On several such occasions
the submarine was frequently reported as having been sunk, whereas she
As an example of a submarine that succeeded not only in evading
destruction, but in getting at least even with the enemy, the case of
one of our vessels of the "E" class, on patrol in the Heligoland Bight,
may be cited. This submarine ran into a heavy anti-submarine net, and
was dragged, nose first, to the bottom. After half an hour's effort,
during which bombs were exploding in her vicinity, the submarine was
brought to the surface by her own crew by the discharge of a great deal
of water from her forward ballast tanks. It was found, however, that the
net was still foul of her, and that a Zeppelin was overhead, evidently
attracted by the disturbance in the water due to the discharge of air
and water from the submarine. She went to the bottom again, and after
half an hour succeeded in getting clear of the net. Meanwhile the
Zeppelin had collected a force of trawlers and destroyers, and the
submarine was hunted for fourteen hours by this force, assisted by the
airship. During this period she succeeded in sinking one of the German
destroyers, and was eventually left unmolested.
For a correct appreciation of submarine warfare it is necessary to have
a clear idea of the characteristics and qualities of the submarine
herself, of the numbers possessed by the enemy, and of the rate at which
they were being produced. It is also necessary, in order to understand
the difficulty of introducing the counter measures adopted by the Royal
Navy, to know the length of time required to produce the vessels and the
weapons which were employed or which it was intended to employ in the
The German submarines may be divided into four classes, viz.: Submarine
cruisers, U-boats, U.B.-boats, U.C.-boats. There were several variations
of each class.
The earlier _submarine cruisers_ of the "Deutschland" class were
double-hulled vessels, with a surface displacement of 1,850 tons, and
were about 215 feet long; they had a surface speed of about 12 knots and
a submerged speed of about 6 knots. They carried two 5.9-inch guns, two
22 pounders, two torpedo tubes, and 12 torpedoes. They could keep the
sea for quite four months without being dependent on a supply ship or
The later _submarine cruisers_ were double-hulled, 275-320 feet long,
had a surface speed of 16-18 knots, and a submerged speed of about 7 to
8 knots. They carried either one or two 5.9-inch guns, six torpedo
tubes, and about 10 torpedoes. They had a very large radius of action,
viz., from 12,000 to 20,000 miles, at a speed of 6 knots. A large number
(some 30 to 40) of these boats were under construction at the time of
the Armistice, but very few had been completed.
There were two or three types of _U-boats_. The earlier vessels were 210
to 220 feet long, double-hulled, with a surface displacement of about
750 tons, a surface speed of 15 to 16 knots, and a submerged speed of
about 8 knots. They carried one or two 4.1-inch guns, four to six
torpedo tubes, and about 10 torpedoes.
Later vessels of the class were 230 to 240 feet long, and of 800 to 820
tons surface displacement, and carried six torpedo tubes and 16
torpedoes. Some of them, fitted as minelayers, carried 36 mines, and two
torpedo tubes, but only two torpedoes. A later and much larger class of
minelayers carried a 5.9-inch gun, four torpedo tubes, 42 mines, and a
larger number of torpedoes. The earlier _U-boats_ could keep the sea for
about five weeks without returning to a base or a supply ship; the later
_U-boats_ had much greater sea endurance.
The smaller _U.B.-boats_ were single-hulled, and about 100 feet long,
had a surface speed of 7 to 9 knots and a submerged speed of about 5
knots, and carried one 22-pounder gun, two torpedo tubes and four
torpedoes. These boats could keep the sea for about two weeks without
returning to a base or supply ship. A later class were double-hulled,
180 feet long, with greater endurance (8,000 miles at 6 knots), a
surface speed of 13 knots and a submerged speed of 8 knots; they carried
one 4.1-inch gun, five tubes and 10 torpedoes.
The earliest _U.C.-boats_ were 111 feet long, with a surface