Main Index

 


Frontispiece
Preface
Illustrations

CHAPTER I

ENTRY INTO THE NAVY

 

PAGE

Entry into the Navy - Life in the Britannia - My First Sea-going Ship - A Sailing Passage to Bombay - Discipline on Board - Chasing Slave Dhows - The Slave Market at Zanzibar - Lessons in Seamanship - Gazetted Sub-Lieutenant - With H.M.S. Active on the West Coast of Africa - Life on Ascension Island - A Punitive Expedition up the Congo - A Successful Operation - More River Expeditions - On Board the Guardship at Cowes - An Incident of the Crimea.

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CHAPTER II

A CRUISE ROUND THE WORLD

 

Admiralty Attitude towards Gunnery Uselessness of Inspection A Typical Report of the Period Course of Instruction on board H.M.S. Excellent Mud Island Convict Labour A Scheme of Drainage Gunnery Lieutenant of H.M.S. Inconstant A Training Squadron Masts and Sails The Young Princes as Midshipmen The Boer War takes us to the Cape Voyage to Australia Parting with the Bacchante Invention of an Electrical Range Transmitter How the Admiralty regarded it Back in Simon's Bay A Fire on Board Putting out the Flames in a Diver's Dress.

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CHAPTER III

WITH THE NAVAL BRIGADE IN EGYPT

Ordered to Alexandria - Naval Brigade Ashore - Collecting Unexploded Shell - Fleet's Deplorable Shooting - Improvisation

Mounting 7-ton Guns - Blowing up a Dam - Queen Victoria and her Troops - Bluejackets and their Medals

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CHAPTER IV

H.M.S. EDINBURGH AND WHALE ISLAND

H.M.S. Excellent again King George's Gunnery Course - Improvements in Big Gun Targets Service on board H.M.S. Duke of Edinburgh Making Ships look Pretty Duke of Edinburgh's Interest in Gunnery Invention of a Signalling Lamp How the Admiralty treated it - Sinking of H.M.S. Sultan A Unique Salvage Operation - Back to Whale Island A Prophecy fulfilled How a Cricket Pitch converted the Admiralty Convict Labour A Committee on Naval Uniform A Naval Barnum How the Royal Naval Fund was instituted Farewell to Whale Island.

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CHAPTER V

H.M.S. SCYLLA AND GUNNERY

In the Mediterranean again Condition of Gunnery and Signalling Revolutionising Night Signalling The Admiralty and Inventions A Source of Discouragement The Boat that went Adrift The Scylla's Cruise Improvement in Gunnery A New Sub-calibre Gun and Target History of the "Dotter" Prize Firing The Scylla's Triumph On Half-pay.

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CHAPTER VI

HOW THE 4.7-INCH GUN REACHED LADYSMITH

In Command of H.M.S. Terrible - State of the Ship's Gunnery Useless Appliances Making Good Defects Arrival at the Cape The South African War Deficiency in Long-range Guns Mounting Naval Guns for Service Ashore Why the 4.7-inch Guns were sent to Ladysmith Admiral Sir Robert Harris's Statements A Recital of the Facts How the Mountings were turned out The Value of the 12-pounders Appointment as Military Commandant of Durban Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein A Keen Soldier Assistance in the Defence of Durban General Buller's Visit The Man-hauled 4.7-inch Gun An Effective Object Lesson Communication with Ladysmith Mounting the Terrible's Searchlight on Shore Successful Signalling.

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CHAPTER VII

MARTIAL LAW IN DURBAN

Military Commandant of Durban Multifarious Duties Censorship : an Effective Threat The Spy Trouble A Boer Agent's Claim for Damages Contraband Difficulties The Bundesrath Guns for General Buller A Gun-Mounting in Fifty-six Hours Hospital Ships Mr. Winston Churchill Relief of Ladysmith A Letter from Sir Redvers Buller Farewell to Durban.

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CHAPTER VIII

IN THE FAR EAST: THE BOXER RISING

H.M.S. Terrible's Welcome in the East Hong Kong's Lavish Hospitality News of the Boxer Outbreak Orders at last ! Arrival at Taku Tientsin's Plight The Relief Column Long-range Guns left behind A Neglected Base Anomalies of the Situation Useless Appeal to the Admiral Belated Use of the Rejected Guns Capture of Tientsin Relief of the Legations.

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CHAPTER IX

GUNNERY ON THE CHINA STATION

A Return to Gunnery at Sea - Results of the First Prize Firing - A Machine to increase Efficiency in Loading - The Deflection Teacher and its Effect on Shooting - Re-modelling the Target - Target Practice of the Fleet - Underlining an Inference - Admirals and Prize Firing - Back at Hong Kong - Raising the Dredger Canton River - Lieut. Sims, U.S.A., and Gunnery - Sir Edward Seymour's Valuable Reforms - Admiralty Opposition - Prize Firing of 1901 - First Ship of the Navy - The Barfleur and the Terrible's Example - The Admiralty and Improved Shooting - A Disastrous Order.

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CHAPTER X

WEI-HAI-WEI AND THE CRUISE HOME

Wei-hai-wei Controversy - Naval Base or Seaside Resort? - Wei-hai-wei's Useless Forts - A Report to the Admiralty - Further Work stopped - Final Prize Firing - Petty Officer Grounds' Record - The Homeward Voyage - A Congratulatory Address - Reception at Portsmouth - Visit to Balmoral - The King's Deer Drive - How I shot a Hind - His Majesty's Interest in Naval Gunnery

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CHAPTER XI

GUNNERY MUDDLE

Efforts towards Reform - Admiralty Obstruction - Waste of Ammunition - Official Reprimands - Two Gunnery Committees appointed - Conflicting Reports - The Centurion's Gun Sights - A Tardy Discovery - The Dawn of a New Era.

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CHAPTER XII

INSPECTOR OF TARGET PRACTICE

My Appointment as Inspector of Target Practice - Battle Practice Conditions - Order out of Chaos - Improvement at Last - My Visit to Kiel - The Chief Defect of the German Navy - A Lost Experiment - "Director Firing."

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CHAPTER XIII

H.M.S. GOOD HOPE WITH THE CHANNEL FLEET

In Command of the Second Cruiser - Squadron Obsolete Ideas - Inadequate Training for War - Housemaiding the Ship Paramount - The Test of War - Confusion and Unreadiness - Wrong Pattern Torpedo - Lord Charles Beresford and the Admiralty - H.M.S. Good Hope's Gunnery - First in the whole Fleet - Our Cruise in Northern Waters - My New Appointment - An Independent Command - A New Routine and Efficiency

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CHAPTER XIV

AN IMPERIAL MISSION

En route to the Cape - Durban's Welcome - The National Convention - Old Foes and New Friends - An Inland Trip - At Pretoria and Johannesburg - Lavish Hospitality - Farewell to Durban - Festivities at Capetown - Farewell Messages - Off to the New World - Arrival at Rio - Promoted Vice-Admiral - Brazilian Enthusiasm - The President's Visit to the Good Hope - Uruguay and the Navy - Speeches at Montevideo - The Pelorus at Buenos Ayres - A Great Modern City - Departure from Montevideo - Battle Practice at Tetuan - I haul down my Flag

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CHAPTER XV

VICISSITUDES OF DIRECTOR FIRING

My New System of Routine - Approved by Lord Fisher but generally Opposed - What Naval Gunnery means - No further Employment at Sea - Back to Director Firing - Success of the Neptune Trials - The Thunderer and Orion Test - Superiority of Director Firing demonstrated - More Admiralty Delay and a Stiff Protest - Warning unheeded and Proposals rejected - Tragic Fruits of Neglect - History of Parallel Firing - Position of Director Firing at the Out-break of War - The First Dreadnought - Position of the Mast - Perpetuating a Blunder - Mr. Churchill's Wise Decision - A New Blunder in Exchange for the First

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CHAPTER XVI

MY RETIREMENT FROM THE NAVY

A Letter from Prince Henry of Prussia - Created a Baronet and promoted to Admiral - Menace of the Submarine - Protective Measures necessary - The Official Attitude - Lessons of Manoeuvres - The Admiralty unconvinced - Mr. Winston Churchill's Suggestion - Director Firing - My Services dispensed with - A Remarkable Letter from Whitehall.

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CHAPTER XVII

WAR BACK TO WORK, 1914 AND 1915

The Shadow of Ireland - Letter to the Times on Submarines - Criticisms by many Naval Officers - The War settles the Controversy - The War Office and the Lack of Big Guns - Lord Roberts' Advice ignored - Ten Months' Delay and Repentance - The Fleet's Gun Equipment - Recall to the Admiralty - Fitting out the Dummy Fleet - The Submarine Problem demands Attention - Visit to the Grand Fleet - The Peril of the Grand Fleet - Lord Fisher's Influence - The Tragedy of the Battle of Jutland - Official Persistence in Error - The Dardanelles Failure - Gunnery Practice in the "Sixties" - Successive Changes in the Target - Valueless Prize Firing - My Suggestions for Improvement - Method adopted on the China Station and its Results - Admiralty Opposition to its Adoption - King Edward's interest in the Question - Admiralty insist on a New Rule with Disastrous Effects - Immediate Improvement

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CHAPTER XVIII

THE DEFENCE OF LONDON AGAINST ZEPPELINS

A Providential Raid by a Zeppelin - London Undefended - My Recall to the Admiralty - Deficiency of Guns - Unsuitable Ammunition - Commander Rawlinson's Good Work - A Flying Visit to Paris - Co-operation of the French - My Protest against Admiralty Methods - Termination of my Command - The Anti-Aircraft Corps - Target Practice in the Air

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CHAPTER XIX

WAR REFLECTIONS 1915-1917

Guns for the Army - Visit to the Front - Inferior Elevation of the 9.2-inch Gun - The Mounting improved after Official Delay - Naval Searchlights - A Primitive Method - My Improved Design - A New System ultimately adopted - A Letter from the Admiralty - The Dardanelles Commission - A Question of Gunnery - The Essence of the Problem - A Criticism of the Report

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APPENDIX I

Progress of Gunnery .

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APPENDIX II

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INDEX

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