Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Review: ‘Attack on Orleans: The World War I Submarine Raid on CapeCod’

Book Review: ‘Attack on Orleans: The World War I Submarine Raid on Cape CodPDFE-mail
Written by Heather Bailey   
Ask most people what was the only place on American soil that was fired upon during the first World War and they will most likely look at you with a blank stare. Surely they must be referring to World War II and somewhere out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, far from the crowded shores of the U.S. East Coast. However ask someone from the outer parts of Cape Cod and you might just get a different answer. Lucky for us, native Cape Codder Jake Klim has chronicled the arrival of a German U-boat off the shores of Nauset Beach, located on the outermost part of the Cape's elbow. His book “Attack on Orleans, The World War I Submarine Raid on Cape Cod” tells a story that is little known but still a rather significant event in U.S. naval history.
The book illuminates events that occurred on a sultry Sunday morning, July 21, 1918. Most Americans were aware of the new German technology known as U-boats that were responsible for sinking allied ships throughout the North Sea and Eastern Atlantic for much of the war. It didn't seem possible at the time they could build those hulking steel submarines with enough range to actually make the transatlantic journey, but Klim's book sheds light on that innovation as well as many other capabilities these early submarines had, making them formidable weapons during the war.
The book does not simply cover the morning of the attack, which lasted approximately 2.5 hours, but delves briefly into the lives of the people who played a significant role in the battle. Klim introduces us to Robert Pierce, who ran Lifesaving Station #40 out on Nauset Beach and was responsible for saving the families on the Perth Amboy and the other tugboats that were attacked that fateful day. We also learn about Eric Lingard, who was one of the earliest Navy fighter pilots based at the new Chatham Naval Air Station and how he played a critical role in attempting to turn the tide in the attack on Nauset Beach. We are introduced to a whole host of men and women, ranging from other military personnel stationed in Chatham to the families and mates on the tugboats, to the Orleans residents who were both bystanders and first responders. There are a large number of historical photographs, many from the collection of noted Orleans historian William P. Quinn, that lend faces to these brave men and women, who were the only Americans to face foreign invaders on U.S. soil during the first great war.
It is easy for us as American citizens to take a back seat to the many conflicts our country is involved in because they rarely come close enough to home to make us acutely aware of them. For the summer cottage owners on the bluff we now call Nauset Heights that humid July morning, the war hit very close to home. Jake Klim's “Attack on Orleans” relates an important piece of U.S. history that is little known and reminds us that we were vulnerable then and we still are today.

President Truman Creates the National Intelligence Authority and theCentral Intelligence Group, January 22, 1946: The Documents

President Truman Creates the National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group, January 22, 1946: The Documents

by  on September 25, 2014

Today’s post was written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, Senior Archivist at the National Archives in College Park.
Recently I went to look in the stacks in the National Archives at College Park, MD for some information in the records of the Army’s Adjutant General (Record Group 407) about the relationship between the War Department’s Military Intelligence Division (MID) and the National Intelligence Authority’s Central Intelligence Group (CIG). Specifically, I was hoping to find something in the Classified Decimal Files (1946-1947), under the War Department Decimal File System’s Decimals 020 and 040. The former decimal is for War Department Administration and Functions, subdivided alphabetically by name or title of department or bureau, and the latter decimal is for Executive Departments of the United States Government, subdivided alphabetically by name or title of bureau, department, division, commission, or board.
While I did not find anything that was useful to me regarding the MID-CIG relationship, I did, unexpectedly, find in a folder labeled “AG 040 National Intelligence Authority (1946-1947)” an original copy of President Harry S. Truman’s January 22, 1946 directive, establishing the National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group.

Directive establishing National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group
Directive establishing National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group
Directive establishing National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group
Directive establishing the National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group
File AG 040 National Intelligence Authority (1946-1947), Classified Decimal File, 1946-1947, (Entry 360) Records of the Adjutant General, 1917-, Record Group 407.

I thought it would be interesting to see what was in the State Department records regarding the directive. I checked online at NARA’s website for agency file manuals and determined that in the State Department Decimal File for 1945-1949 (General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59) I needed to look under decimal 101 “The White House (the President’s Office)”. In a file folder for decimal 101.5 I found a letter from the President to the Secretary of State, dated January 23, 1946, notifying him of the appointment of Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy as the President’s personal representative on the National Intelligence Authority and the appointment of Rear Admiral Sidney W. Souers to serve as the Director of Central Intelligence.

Appointment of Adm. Leahy to NIA and R-Adm Souers to CIG
Decimal 101.5/1-2346, Decimal File, 1945-1949 (NAID 302021), General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59.
In the same folder was a communication from the Office of The Legal Adviser to the Division of Management Planning, dated January 30, 1946, regarding the question of whether the President’s directive should be published in the Federal Register.
Establishing of National Intelligence Authority and Central Intelligence Group
Decimal 101.5/1-3046, Decimal File, 1945-1949 (NAID 302021), General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59
Establishing of National Intelligence Authority and Central Intelligence Group
Decimal 101.5/1-3046, Decimal File, 1945-1949, General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59.

Once it was decided to publish the presidential directive, the Department of State prepared the appropriate documentation, dated February 1, 1946, to be provided to the Federal Register. The directive was then published in the Federal Register of February 5, 1946 (11 Fed. Reg. 1337, 1339).

Establishing the National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group
Decimal 101.5/1-2246, Decimal File, 1945-1949, General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59.

Useful for understanding President Truman’s directive, its background and implementation, please see Thomas F. Troy’s study “Truman on CIA: Examining President Truman’s Role in the Establishment of the Agency.” and the volume Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945-1950, Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment.

The German Agent–A World War One Thriller

german 2It’s been a hundred years since the beginning of the ‘war to end all wars’, and there have been a spate of books published this year looking at all aspects of World War One. I add a fictional element with The German Agent, a thriller set in Washington, DC, in 1917. Though the war had raged in Europe, the Middle East, and even parts of Africa for three years, the U.S. did not join in hostilities until 1917. The German Agentprovides background to how we got involved in the international stage and is also a good, old-fashioned thriller in the style of Ken Follett.
The German Agent is available in England at the end of  September, and coming to the U.S. market in January, 2015. First a quick blurb, and please read on for a post on the inspiration for the book:
A ruthless German spy is torn between love and duty in this powerful espionage thriller
February, 1917. A lone German agent is dispatched to Washington to prevent the British delivering a telegram to President Woodrow Wilson – by any means possible. For this is the Zimmermann telegram: it contains a devastating piece of news which is sure to bring the USA into the war on the side of Britain and her allies.
Having fought in the trenches himself, Max Volkman knows that America’s involvement will only prolong the slaughter of innocents and is implacable in his determination to kill the British envoy carrying the telegram. But when his pursuit of the Englishman leads him to the home of American heiress Catherine Fitzgerald, wife to one of Washington’s most powerful politicians, he is presented with a terrible choice: loyalty to his comrades in the trenches or the loss of the one woman he has ever truly loved.
His decision will determine the outcome of the First World War.
The German Agent was inspired by two documents: a 1917 telegram sent from zimmermannGermany to Mexico, and a work of historical re-creation written four decades later. This is the story of that dual inspiration:
“Make war together, make peace together.”
That was the crux of a telegram sent in January 1917 by Germany’s foreign minister, Arthur Zimmermann, to Mexico via the German ambassador in Washington, D.C. What Zimmerman offered was a chance for Mexico to reclaim its lost territories in the American Southwest, simply by allying with Germany in the event that the United States declared war against the Central Powers–hardly a remote possibility, as Germany was set to recommence its unrestricted submarine warfare in a matter of weeks.
In other words, Germany was telling Mexico, Join us, and you’ll get Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico back.
But the telegram never became the diplomatic coup it was intended to be; instead, it was turned into the crux of a real-life spy thriller that sounds like something from John Buchan, or better yet, John le Carré. And it is the subject of Barbara Tuchman’s 1958 bestseller, The Zimmermann Telegram.
Like the best spy novels, Tuchman’s book is told from multiple points of view; it shifts location from London to Berlin to Washington to Mexico in a dizzying whirl of cross and double-cross, encoding and decoding lore, back-corridor negotiating and haggling; and it has a cast of high-profile, sometimes pompous, sometimes noble, sometimes risible characters that keeps the reader always guessing for motive and means.
decoded-message-l“The first message of the morning watch plopped out of the pneumatic tube into the wire basket with no more premonitory rattle than usual,” writes Tuchman at the start of her book. A classic sort of in medias resopener that is familiar from all good, fast-paced thrillers. I remember reading that sentence as a college student in a freshman modern European history survey course, and it hooked me. It still does. It was the first time I encountered hard-driving narrative history that could equal the best of fiction for pace and action.
The “message” in question, so innocent-seeming at first, is, of course the intercepted telegram sent by Zimmermann. The pneumatic tube spitting out its staple products is located in the ultra-secret Room 40 at British Naval Intelligence, the center of cryptanalysis for the Brits and run by the legendary Admiral William Reginald “Blinker” Hall. The folks in Room 40 are quickly able to decipher the telegram, as they have broken the German code. Soon analysts, strategists, and politicians in England will know they have geo-political gold: the smoking-gun evidence of evil intentions by the Kaiser and his cronies that will force the reluctant and insular Americans into the bloody fray of the First World War, and thereby end the deadly trench-war stalemate in Europe. (Ironically, in the Second World War the British trotted out a similar scenario–fabricated this time–prior to Pearl Harbor. A suddenly discovered German map displayed Mexico and the United States checkerboarded into German administrative districts, or Gau. This formed the basis of William Boyd’s 2006 novel, Restless.)
But now, as all good thriller writers do, Tuchman ups the stakes. There are complications upon complications. The British cannot simply hand over the decoded message to President Woodrow Wilson. First, they are guilty of poaching the telegram from a supposedly secure cable that Washington has established with Berlin in hopes of keeping peace communications open. Second, they do not want to let the Germans know they have cracked their code, in which case it will be changed and future valuable information will be lost. The British want their cryptographic pie and to eat it, as well.
Even as a fix is found for these early complications–fabrication of a tale that the
Willard Hotel, Washington, DC--scene of some of the action in THE GERMAN AGENT
Willard Hotel, Washington, DC–scene of some of the action in THE GERMAN AGENT
telegram has been discovered via the telegraph office in Mexico–others arise. Will the telegram be discounted as a forgery, a nefarious British invention by American isolationists such as Senator Robert La Follette? Can pro-war Americans such as Senator Henry Cabot Lodge and former President Theodore Roosevelt be counted on to back its authenticity? What will the anti-war Wilson do if and when the telegram is put into his hands?
Author Tuchman lets us see each of these characters in turn, using a few brisk and memorable words to fix them in our minds, as she does with Admiral Hall upon our first meeting, dubbing him “a demonic Mr. Punch in uniform.”
Meanwhile, the tide seems to be turning in Europe; resumption of Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare could spell the end for the Allies, cut off from American aid. Can the telegram save the cause? Tuchman sets the clock ticking, and the reader feels the urgency, feels the anguished tug of war between competing agencies and governments, all after the American prize.
And then on April 2, 1917, the Allies won that prize, with the American declaration of war on Germany. Although many people blamed Germany’s torpedoing of civilian ships for Wilson’s agonized decision, Tuchman has gone behind the scenes to show us other reasons for U.S. involvement. Hers is a tale of conspiracy and deceit mixed with occasional splendid bravery that can serve as the model for any aspiring thriller writer.
Commenting on the importance of the incident, Tuchman notes in the last lines of her book: “In itself the Zimmermann telegram was only a pebble on the long road of history. But a pebble can kill a Goliath, and this one killed the American illusion that we could go about our business happily separate from other nations. In world affairs it was a German Minister’s minor plot. In the lives of the American people it was the end of innocence.”

Noisette/Creative Commons Shot At Dawn – Not Forgotten

Noisette/Creative Commons

Friday 26TH
posted by Morning Star in Features
PETER FROST mourns Thomas Highgate who was shot for desertion a century ago this month

Young Tom Highgate was terrified. Nothing had prepared the boy from a farm village in Kent for the horrors of the battle of the Marne early in the first world war.
Certainly not the recruiting sergeant who had signed him up aged just 17. He had told him about the fine uniform and the comradeship, how the girls all love a soldier, but hadn’t mentioned the actual fighting.
He had even hinted that Highgate might earn a place in British military history. Sadly he was only too right.
Nothing had steeled young Highgate for the heavy artillery bombardment from the German guns. Nor the fact that the German infantry appeared to far outnumber British troops.
Highgate, along with his comrades, had done his best. Hand-loading their Lee-Enfield rifles 15 times a minute, he and his fellow heroes stemmed the German advance.
But then the French had retreated leaving the British flanks exposed.
All around him his young friends were lying in the mud, blown to bloody pieces in the huge shell craters.
Then came the ultimate humiliation. The British forces were ordered to retreat. All the fright, the blood, the gore, the death, the suffering were for naught.
The terrified young soldier tripped over the edge. Today we would call it post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A hundred years ago they had harsher, crueller names — shell shock, cowardice and desertion.
Private Thomas James Highgate was about to earn his place in British military history. He would become the first British soldier shot for desertion in World War I.
Highgate was discovered and arrested by a gamekeeper in a barn on the estate of Baron de Rothschild.
He told the gamekeeper: “I have had enough of it. I want to get out of it and this is how I am going to do it.”
He had abandoned his uniform and weapon. They were found hidden beside the barn.
The army moved fast. He was court-martialled and convicted of desertion and the death sentence was confirmed on a single day in September 1914. The war had been on for only a month.
Highgate had no-one to defend him. Indeed all of his comrades had been killed, injured or taken prisoner. He called no witnesses in his defence.
His account was that he was a straggler trying to find his way back to rejoin his regiment having got separated from his comrades. No-one believed him.
Highgate’s death was almost as hasty as his trial. Senior officers insisted that he be executed at once. They wanted it to be as public as possible.
The next day Highgate was told of his fate at 6.22am on that September morning, in the presence of a Church of England clergyman. An officer then ordered a burial party and firing squad to prepare, and the 17-year-old lad from Kent was shot at 7.07am.
News of his fate was published in Army Routine Orders and distributed to the remainder of the British Expeditionary Force. The example had been made.
Highgate was the first of over 300 Tommies shot for desertion. By contrast most shell-shocked officers were shipped home and treated in officer-only hospitals.
Shell shock, also called war neurosis or combat stress and today recognised as PTSD, was deliberately misdiagnosed by the officer class.
Victims were picked out and convicted as a lesson to others.
Charges included desertion, cowardice or insubordination. Often the symptoms were just walking around dazed and confused.
Most of those shot were young, defenceless and vulnerable teenagers who had volunteered for duty like Highgate.
General Haig — or Butcher Haig as he was known — when questioned declared that all men accused of cowardice and desertion were examined by a medical officer and that no soldier was sentenced to death if there was any suspicion of him suffering shell shock.
As so often, he lied.
Haig not only signed all the death warrants but when questioned later on this issue lied repeatedly.
The general’s stubborn and ignorant belief was that anyone suffering shell shock was malingering. In fact in Butcher Haig’s mind, shell shock and malingering were one and the same thing.
Highgate has no known grave. As recently as 2000, the caring folk on Shoreham Parish Council voted not to include his name on its recently restored war memorial. His only marker is on the British memorial to the missing at Seine-et-Marne.

The Armed Forces Act 2006 allowed the mass pardon of 306 British empire soldiers executed for certain offences during the first world war.
One of them was Highgate.
Today between 9,000 and 10,000 British soldiers who served in various foreign wars are homeless and numbered among our rough sleepers. Many have PTSD.
Many have medals, commendations and other awards, but that doesn’t stop the likes of supermarket giant Tesco putting down spikes to stop them sleeping in some kind of shelter.
Shockingly, ex-service personnel account for one in 10 rough sleepers across Britain, according to homeless charity Crisis.
Simon Weston OBE, who suffered serious burns in the Falklands war, has accused the government of betraying veterans after learning of the disturbing numbers without a home.
“A huge amount of rhetoric comes from politicians, but they never actually do anything,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s a betrayal.”
In so many cases it has led to a cycle of family break-up, addictions to drugs or alcohol and homelessness.
In a particularly crass case last year Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith used his notorious bedroom tax to take away the room in his mother’s home of a soldier serving in Afghanistan. His mother was told she could not keep his room.
“He had a bed in a barracks in Germany,” declared the government.
Defence cuts have reduced the number of soldiers by over 10,000 in recent years.
A total of 20,000 are due to be axed by 2017. The RAF and Royal Navy are each shedding 5,000.
In themselves these reductions are good news but unless adequate resources are put in place a flood of redundant ex-service personnel will end up on the streets.
Jim Jukes, founder of charity Homes 4 Heroes told us there were an estimated 9,000 homeless ex-servicemen in Britain, including rough sleepers and those in hostels and B&Bs.
He said: “With the redundancies coming up and more with PTSD, this is only going to get worse. It’s a ticking time bomb.”
His charity helps ex-service personnel in London, Brighton, Birmingham and Northampton, giving them sleeping bags, blankets and food.
In 2011, when body bags were being paraded in the streets of our garrison towns, David Cameron and Nick Clegg tried to claw back some popularity with the much-heralded Armed Forces Covenant. Not so much hopping on the bandwagon as hopping on the hearse.
It was, like most Con-Dem initiatives, a hollow promise. Numbers of homeless, unemployed, traumatised and distressed service personnel have soared since then.
In reality the Cameron and Clegg coalition has enforced further austerity measures that have reduced help to ex-soldiers and indeed increased the time handling compensation claims to up to two years.
In their own way, they are
just as cynical and unfeeling as Butcher Haig and the officers who shot young Thomas Highgate a century ago.

Air Force Academy leaders provide board with list of problems,corrective actions

Air Force Academy leaders provide board with list of problems, corrective actions

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (MCT) — Ahead of the release of an inspector general's report on the Air Force Academy's athletic department, leaders at the school outlined a string of problems and actions to correct them for the academy's Board of Visitors.
Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson told the school's Board of Visitors Thursday that a top issue is financial. As the Defense Department works to cut $900 million in spending over 10 years, academy budgets have been cut, with nearly 100 jobs cut. The school has a budget plan for 2015, but is waiting for Congress to clarify its spending plans for future years. "We need more stability in the budget," Johnson said. "We're looking for stability, but everybody in the Air Force is."
Here are some of her key points:
Civilian Exchange Program: The Academy is pondering a way for cadets to nearly become civilians for a semester with an exchange program through college Air Force ROTC programs. The academy is working out details on the proposal, but it could allow cadets a semester at a select civilian school as long as they helped lead that school's ROTC program.
Curriculum tweak: The Academy's dean of faculty, Brig. Gen. Andy Armacost told the Board of Visitors that he's looking at ways to tweak the school's math and science-laden core curriculum. The move, which comes up about once a decade at the school, would allow more flexibility for cadets to pick their own courses, too. The academy also is looking at ways to meld the arts and sciences in courses that would allow cadets to learn a series of skills across the curriculum in a single class.
Fly-by: Just before lunch the school's visitors got to see a pass by T-38 trainers. The three black-painted trainers came from an squadron in Florida that simulates enemy planes to train opposing fighter pilots.
Essence of the Academy: Johnson filled the board in on her campaign to define the academy's "essence." By defining what makes the academy special, she said, leaders can focus on the basics while changing how they get their jobs done. "The why we're here is to produce these agile and innovative airmen, but how we deliver that essence is what has to change," she said.
Athletic Director Hans Mueh told the panel that he's working with coaches to better identify problem recruits and is pushing programs to clean up character issues in the academy's 27 sports teams. The academy's athletic programs came under fire after an August investigation in The Gazette revealed athlete misconduct, including drug use, drinking, sexual assault and cheating on tests.
"We're good at stamina and courage and teamwork and self-confidence and self-discipline and the indomitable will to win," Mueh told the board, which advises the Defense Department on academy issues. "The area we didn't focus on enough is this culture of commitment and climate of respect."
Inspector general Col. David Kuenzli's report on the athletic programs is due to superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson on Oct. 7. Kuenzli told the board that a team of 15 inspectors spent a month reviewing regulations, interviewing some of the athletic department's 300 workers and preparing a report that examines leadership, mission, finances and whether the program meets academy conduct standards.
Kuenzli didn't reveal findings, but said the report would include observations of key areas, including discipline and whether athletics is accomplishing an Air Force mission. The colonel said after the athletic review is complete his office will turn its eyes to the academy's Preparatory School, subject of a September Gazette investigation.
The school accepts 200 cadet candidates annually for a 10-month program to bring them up to the Academy's academic standard. The Gazette investigation of the school found it is a pipeline for athletes with hazy admission standards. The IG review of the Prep School is expected to examine whether its mission meets Air Force needs and academy standards.
No timeline has been given for when that review will be finished.
On athletics, Mueh told the board that the vast majority of academy athletes have spotless records. The school has earned NCAA sportsmanship awards in four or the past six years,
"The cadet athletes at the Air Force Academy are embarrassed to be identified by what they are on the margins," Mueh said. "The American public has a right to hold us to a much higher standard, so the margins do define us."
While the formal report is nearly two weeks away, Mueh told the board that he's identified problems with coaches recruiting athletes who don't meet the Academy's values.
"We do have a huge wide diversity of coaching staffs," Mueh said. "We have some coaches who get it. They didn't get it right away."
Board member Marcelite Harris quizzed Mueh on how the academy holds coaches to the school's values.
"Are the coaches evaluated, and ... is their ability to instill cadet values (evaluated)?," she asked.
"We need to define that a little better," Mueh said. "We have seen examples where coaches have abrogated that responsibility and pushed it off on cadets rather than being the adults in the room."
Questions about conduct in the athletic department stem, in part, from allegations that surfaced after a Dec. 2, 2011 party in Manitou Springs. A cadet confidential informant told agents of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations that cadets, including a core group of football players used drugged rum to incapacitate women for sex.
Those claims led to a wide-ranging probe of athlete conduct called "Operation Gridiron," which led to the court-martial convictions of three athletes. Five more cadets received administrative punishment that resulted in their dismissal, another half-dozen cadets resigned and three were kicked out for unrelated misconduct.
Mueh said training programs for coaches and players, cadet groups and other steps are curbing misconduct.
"Just think about this," Mueh said. "At that party on the 3rd of December, 2011 if somebody, if one of them had stood up and said 'What in the world are we doing,' I think it could have stopped it."
Mueh earlier announced plans to retire as athletic director next spring, and may be moving out more quickly.
"I think this may be my last Board of Visitors meeting," he said as he wrapped up his remarks.
The athletic director is the last academy leader who was at the school during the party and its aftermath. Johnson took command last year, replacing Lt. Gen. Mike Gould.
The academy has conducted a national search to find Mueh's replacement and Johnson, the superintendent, said she's placing a big priority in finding a leader who can instill character in athletes. The pay — about $170,000 — is sub-par for the industry, but the superintendent that will help her find someone who is motivated to meet the school's values.
"I had said if we lose some games it's a disappointment, but if we lose our character it's a disaster," Johnson said.
"That's why we're not paying very much for an athletic director, it's because it is not about going to the BCS (college football's Bowl Championship Series)," Johnson said. "We're not going to the BCS anyway."
While the academy is shoring up character and leadership programs for cadets and athletes, the bigger emphasis may be on the school's faculty and staff. Johnson said she wants all academy workers to play a role in showing the cadets how to behave.
"Blaming the followers doesn't seem to be an effective approach," she said. "Don't blame the water if there's a leak in the pipe. We have had some leaks in the pipe."
The academy is setting up training programs and refining a document called the commander's intent to drive home that message.
Board chairman Alfredo Sandoval said he's confident that the academy is turning around its conduct issues and focused on making cadets who will be effective officers. He added that fewer than 2 percent of cadets have been involved in misconduct incidents during Johnson's tenure.

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