Saturday, January 14, 2017

BOOK REVIEW – U.S. Navy Codebreakers, Linguists, and Intelligence Officers Against Japan 1910-1941: A Biographical Dictionary

By Captain Steven E. Maffeo, USNR, (Ret.), Rowan & Littlefield, Lanham, MD (2016)

Reviewed by Michael F. Solecki

Any leader worth his salt will tell you that the acquisition, interpretation, and proper dissemination of intelligence is arguably the most important key to solving any problem; from identifying what is in front of you to winning at war. Of course, selecting the right information and convincing the command staff to act on it is paramount to being an excellent intelligence worker. The sailors and civilians listed in this work were "that" exceptional.  The work, formatted like a "book of who's who," profiles fifty-nine of the most significant of Naval intelligence personnel and their positions during World War II; specifically, in the Pacific Theater. It clearly illustrates how the author is a real student of the field of Naval Intelligence and its history. While reading the detail of each profile, it is evident Captain Maffeo did his homework, though; you would think he knew each personally. I suggest reading his profile at the end of the book; he has quite a resume.

I will start this review with a little background. The opening line in my "Fundamentals of Naval Intelligence" course manual states, "intelligence is the second oldest profession, with fewer scruples than the first." Like that quote, from some unknown philosopher, implies the acquisition of knowledge of an or potential enemy or intelligence, specifically human intelligence (HUMINT) is arguably one of humanity's oldest professions and more valuable than pretty much anything else. Governments will stoop to any level and invest expansive wealth to acquire and verify intelligence. Once verified, HUMINT even today, is the most valuable. Before electronic communications such as telegraph and radio, passing source HUMINT was and still is, dangerous. Communicating it is best left to "mouth to ear" or passing a note either, face to face or via dead-drop depending on the level of importance. HUMINT as a whole is also the most challenging and dangerous to acquire and disseminate, yet alone verify. As mentioned, vast amounts of wealth have been spent to establish and develop many internal "cloak and dagger" organizations to fulfill their intelligence needs. In the U.S. Navy as far back as 1882, there were a "few" Navy folks that knew that intelligence was necessary to operate as a successful Navy and established the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI); which is the world's "oldest continuously operating intelligence agency." It was always small, way underfunded, got little to no respect and/or membership. According to Maffeo being an intelligence officer could hurt the chances of advancement in the naval ranks, which hurt recruiting new intelligence officers. ONI, somewhat covertly, was always on the lookout for people that would benefit them. They would underhandedly advertise by putting crypto/codebreaking games in periodic Naval Communications Bulletins with a request to send the results to the Navy Communications Research Desk. On occasion they would get a reply and track down the perspective "spook" and try to recruit them; even getting one now and then. Since the Navy has always been a "travel agency" of sorts, they also had a decent foreign-language program also used for recruiting. Although they had in-house courses, they rightfully preferred the total-immersion method of sending the aspiring linguist to live in a country. This, in turn, benefitted the student in the spoken and written language, context and interpretation of the language as it related to culture, sociology and economic mentality and many others too vast to list here; but, importantly HUMINT.

The low-tech of the era produced the only true asset, the people; thus the focus of this book. Most of the top pioneer cryptologists, linguists and other "intelligence type" personnel in not only U.S. Naval history but, in the whole of U.S. history, went through ONI during that period. Though, ONI worked on inventing and decrypting codes and interpreting intel from many countries around the world, they and this book centers on Japan, also known as "orange" and the people that analyzed that information. Such people as Mrs. Agnes May Meyer Driscoll a civilian and arguably the most groundbreaking cryptologist, not only of the day but, to date. Such sailors as Captain Lawrence "Sappho" Safford, Captain Tommy Dyer and Captain Joe Rochefort, of Station HYPO/Battle of Midway fame and many more pioneers graced the ONI with their genius. These people worked tirelessly and in many cases Spartan conditions to break down and interpret Japanese codes, determine their importance and convince the proverbial powers that be, as to the value of what they found.

All information is intelligence its value to a particular issue is determined once it is acquired and analyzed. For instance, once HUMINT gets into an Electronics Intelligence (ELINT) system it can become either communications intelligence (COMINT) and/or signals intelligence (SIGINT) depending on context and how and who receives and/or uses it. Within the timeframe of this book, technological developments allowed COMINT, SIGINT, and ELINT to come into their own. Although the U. S. Navy often benefits from the HUMINT, they found COMINT, SIGINT and ELINT more practical; as you won't "usually" find a dead drop or some spook hanging out on a buoy in the middle of the ocean waiting to pass on intel. As the art of naval intelligence evolved the Navy found that emphasis on counter-intelligence best fit their needs. As the author points out or example, before the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor there was a running argument that turned out to be quite significant within ONI. It pertained to a lack of SIGINT within the intercepted Japanese message traffic. Everything was quiet. The argument was: some thought the relative silence was because all of the Japanese Naval assets were in port; the other side of the argument felt they were on the move and at radio silence. After December 7, 1941, everybody knew who was correct. I can go on forever on this subject since almost all of my Navy and civilian career is working with many levels of "spook" so, I'll cut the background off here.

If you have any interest in U.S. naval history, read this book! Although classified as a biographical dictionary of ONI from 1910 to 1941, the author cleverly builds the history and development of the office and its sub-topics into the bios. Each individual portrait is a standalone. I would suggest you keep it close hand as a reference.

Michael F. Solecki, is an independent naval historian, holds a Master of Arts in Military History from Norwich University, is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and NOAA where he acquired, processed and disseminated environmental intelligence for Anti-Submarine and Anti-Aircraft Warfare and developed consequence management plans for Weapons of Mass Destruction. He is currently an Enforcement Officer and an Emergency Response Incident Commander for the U.S. Government, and he performs technical peer reviews for several publishers of U.S. and Japanese naval history.



Original Page: http://www.navyhistory.org/2017/01/book-review-u-s-navy-codebreakers-linguists-and-intelligence-officers-against-japan-1910-1941-a-biographical-dictionary/



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World War I: Understanding the War at Sea Through Maps

(The following guest post is by Ryan Moore, a cartographic specialist in the Geography and Map Division.)

Sperrgebiete um Europa und Afrika. 1925. Geography and Map Division.

Sperrgebiete um Europa und Afrika. 1925. Geography and Map Division.

Soldiers leaping from trenches and charging into an apocalyptic no man's land dominate the imagination when it comes to World War I. However, an equally dangerous and strategically critical war at sea was waged between the Central Powers and the Allies, with Germany and Great Britain as the primary belligerents. The primary strategy was to disrupt the flow of supplies, thereby diminishing the other side's ability to fight.

In 1914, the Allies commenced a blockade, which included the draconian measure of declaring food as contraband of war. Germany responded with one of its own, using its submarine fleet, known as U-boats, to sink merchant ships. The map "Sperrgebiete um Europa und Afrika" ("Restricted zones Europe and Africa") depicts areas where Germany threatened to sink both Allied and neutral merchant ships.

Although Germany publicized its plan, the strategy ran contrary to the accepted rules of war. The practice prior to attacking a merchant ship was to fire a warning shot; inspect the ship for contraband of war, and if found, evacuate the crew and passengers, providing them with safe refuge; or finally sink or capture the ship. This method was impractical for small submarines, which could not accommodate additional persons aboard. But more so, it sacrificed the submarine's surprise attack potential. After weighing their options, the Germans proceeded with a shoot without warning policy that became known as "unrestricted submarine warfare."

American civilians were soon after caught in the crossfire. On May 7, 1915, the passenger ship RMS Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk off of Ireland by a U-boat, and of the 1,959 people on board 1,198 died, including 128 Americans. President Woodrow Wilson was outraged, because he believed that Americans had the right to "Freedom of the Seas" and should be able to travel safely on any civilian ship despite the war. He demanded that the Germans conform to the rules of war. American newspapers explained the issue with maps that illustrated areas where Germans submarines were active as well as minefields.

"British Islands: Approximate Positions of Minefields. 19th August 1918." Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty, under superintendence of Rear-Admiral J.F. Parry, C.B. Hydrographer, August 6th, 1917. Geography and Map Division.

The Germans feared the political repercussions of their strategy and curtailed these attacks. Germany continued, however, to employ some 43,000 sea mines that claimed more than 500 merchant vessels by the end of war. The British Navy lost 44 warships and 225 auxiliaries to mines. The British, in response, constantly swept for mines that frequently threatened their naval facilities, commercial ports and ports in Ireland, which were often a stopover for ships sailing from North America. This blog post from World's Revealed looks at these sea mines.

Britain hoped to use its superior surface fleet to destroy the German counterpart in Trafalgar-type engagement, an allusion to Admiral Horatio Nelson's destruction of the French fleet in 1805. The opportunity came at the Battle of Jutland (May 31-June 1 1916), where the British lost 14 ships and more than 6,000 men, and the Germans lost 11 ships and more than 2,500 men. Though a German tactical victory and an utter shock to British pride, the Kaiser's fleet never again seriously challenged British control of the North Sea and the blockade of Germany continued.

Desperation to break the deadlock in the land war and growing short of supplies, Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917. Attacks were planned on all commercial vessels, which included attacks on American ships, as illustrated in the map "Amerikanisches Sperrgebeit." In response, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Germany, and the two nations were at war within months.

The U-boat attacks were devastating. The map "Die Schiffsversenkungen unserer U-Boote" ("Ships sunk by our U-boats") highlights the carnage. By the end of the war, Germany had sunk more than 5,000 merchant ships and more than 100 warships; tens of thousands of lives were lost. This was achieved at a high cost to the German navy, as 217 of its 351 submarines were sunk with a loss of more than 5,000 sailors. The German effort, nonetheless, could not overcome Allied sea power and their industrial capacity to replace lost ships and supplies.

More information on the Library's World War I maps can be found in this guide.

World War I Centennial, 2017-2018: With the most comprehensive collection of multi-format World War I holdings in the nation, the Library of Congress is a unique resource for primary source materials, education plans, public programs and on-site visitor experiences about The Great War including exhibits, symposia and book talks.



Original Page: http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2017/01/world-war-i-understanding-the-war-at-sea-through-maps/



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WATCH LIVE: IRIDIUM-1 MISSION - 14 Jan 2017


 

WATCH LIVE:  IRIDIUM-1 MISSION

SpaceX is targeting launch of the Iridium-1 mission tomorrow, January 14, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.  The instantaneous launch window opens at 9:54:39 am PST or 5:54:39 pm UTC, and the launch will be broadcast live at www.spacex.com/webcast beginning at approximately 9:34 am PST or 5:34 pm UTC.

With this mission, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit for Iridium, a global leader in mobile voice and data satellite communications. The 10 satellites are the first of at least 70 satellites that SpaceX will be launching for Iridium’s next generation global satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT.  For more information, visit www.spacex.com.

 


Historian seeks public's help in recovering Worcester's WWI stories

WORCESTER - A century after Worcester soldiers marched off to France to fight in World War I, a new call has gone out for volunteers.

The summons is for local people with a love of history. They're being asked to uncover stories of the men and women from Worcester who gave their lives in the great world conflict that President Wilson called "the war to end all wars."

"I would love to get 20 or 30 people to do a guy or two," says Linda N. Hixon, a history instructor at Worcester State University, who is inviting people in community to join her students in a new project to research every name on the wall of the Worcester Memorial Auditorium.

The names of more than 350 servicemen and women from Worcester who died in the final year of the 1914-18 World War or in the influenza epidemic afterward are recorded on a commemorative wall at the Worcester Auditorium, dedicated in 1933 as a memorial to the city's sons and daughters who served the nation in wartime.

The World War I Biography Project is the latest for Ms. Hixon and her Worcester State history students. Last year they researched each and every one of the 398 names on the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, the Civil War monument on Worcester Common that was restored and rededicated in July.

Now the hope is to chronicle the 355 names at the Worcester Auditorium. Or the 353 names. There is some discrepancy, Ms. Hixon says: While the 1933 dedication book cites 355, she said, she has counted only 353. Perhaps the project will turn up the missing two, she said.

The names on the auditorium wall include that of Army Sgt. Cornelius Kelley - misspelled, without the "E" - the namesake of Kelley Square, who was awarded the Silver Star and the French Croix de Guerre for valor, and who died after a mustard gas attack at Verdun in October 1918.

Another is that of Cpl. Homer J. Wheaton, sports editor at the Worcester Evening Gazette, who was the first soldier from Worcester to die in the war. In February 1918 at Chemin-Des-Dames, France, Cpl. Wheaton saved the lives of nine men when he threw himself on a live grenade. His family received his Distinguished Service Medal and Croix de Guerre. The square at Salisbury and Grove streets is named for him, as is Homer Wheaton Street, its name changed from Berlin Street after the war.

MORE:http://www.telegram.com/news/20170112/historian-seeks-publics-help-in-recovering-worcesters-wwi-stories

The Great War comes to life at Indiana Historical Society

INDIANAPOLIS — World War I has faded from Hoosier memories, overshadowed by the World War II and the other events of the 20th century, but Emily Engle is bringing it to life at the Indiana Historical Society.

The Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis graduate student is the museum’s public history intern and played a major role in the newest exhibit, which focuses on World War I through the lens of Indiana. “The Great War through Hoosier Eyes” will open to the public Saturday.

This image gives a glimpse of what a U.S. Army hospital looked like during World War I. This photo and others will be featured in the Indiana Historical Society’s “The Great War through Hoosier Eyes” exhibit set to open Saturday. Photo provided by Indiana Historical Society

This image gives a glimpse of what a U.S. Army hospital looked like during World War I. This photo and others will be featured in the Indiana Historical Society’s “The Great War through Hoosier Eyes” exhibit set to open Saturday. Photo provided by Indiana Historical Society

“One of the neat things about the exhibit is it really shows how connected Indiana was to the war,” Engle said. “For me, it was really fascinating to see how much information and how many documents we had from World War I right here at the historical society.”

Combining history with 21st century technology, the exhibit provides visitors with a glimpse of life during the early 1900s. From postcards to diary entries, Hoosier men, women and children describe the struggles they faced in this time period, specifically related to the United States’ role in the war.

Rachel Hill Ponko, the Indiana Historical Society’s public relations director, said she hopes the exhibit will open visitors’ eyes to the vast amount of resources the historical society offers. The World War I exhibit is just one of several special exhibits the society has developed to teach Hoosiers about their history.

“We try to cover a whole array of topics,” Ponko said. “Upstairs in the last year, we had T.C. Steele exhibits. We had maps from our collections that dated back 500 years. We just try to explore a lot of different topics.”

Over the last several months, Engle spent hours in the museum’s library searching through archives and collections. A majority of the pieces featured in the exhibit were chosen by Engle.

One postcard to be displayed in the exhibit is from Kenton Emerson, a World War I soldier, to his mother in Angola, Indiana. The postcard is one of many featured in the Indiana Historical Society’s “Great War through Hoosier Eyes” interactive exhibit. Photo courtesy of Indiana Historical Society

One postcard to be displayed in the exhibit is from Kenton Emerson, a World War I soldier, to his mother in Angola, Indiana. The postcard is one of many featured in the Indiana Historical Society’s “Great War through Hoosier Eyes” interactive exhibit. Photo courtesy of Indiana Historical Society

“The really neat thing about this exhibit in particular is we’re doing a lot of stuff we haven’t done before on the fourth floor in terms of interactives and using different technology,” Engle said.

One of those features is an interactive postcard viewer. Visitors can choose from more than 20 different postcards preserved from the war to read. Engle called this her favorite element of the exhibit.

In addition, an oral history listening desk is available for visitors to hear recordings from four World War I veterans and their recollection of experiences.

The exhibit opens Saturday, and will run through July 8. Visitors may also request additional World War I materials in the Indiana Historical Society’s William H. Smith Memorial Library on the second floor.  

Shelby Mullis is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

Two Bridger Ancestors, Joseph and Jim: Seeking Pictorial Reference Points January 13, 2017 by Jeff Bridgers

People often come to Prints & Photographs Division collections seeking pictorial reference points for aspects of their family history. Until fairly recently, to the degree that I had considered my ancestry at all, I’d assumed the earliest Bridgers to settle in the New World had been “encouraged” to emigrate from the British Isles as an attractive alternative to prisons, asylums, poorhouses, almshouses, or other storehouses for ne’er-do-wells! By setting the ancestral bar low, I figured I might shine in contrast by simple measures of success such as maintaining employment, paying taxes, home ownership and the like. Imagine my comedown when I learned otherwise!

My cousin engaged in tracing our genealogy a decade or so ago. A key point is that four or five centuries back license and leeway was granted regarding spelling “consistency,” so the surnames Bridges, Bridger, and Bridgers are variants of the same lineage. Cousin Don learned that Col. Joseph Bridger was the our earliest ancestor from England to settle in Virginia in the town Smithfield in the maritime Warrescoyack Parish (now Isle of Wight County) in the 1650s. The Historic American Buildings Survey for the parish church there credits Col. Bridger with overseeing the completion of what was originally called the “Old Brick Church.” Inside the sanctuary, the survey’s catalog record notes that the woodwork is considered “particularly fine, such as the exposed timber roof structure, the turned balusters at the kneeling rail and the rood screen.” Some four hundred years after his death, Col. Bridger’s skeletal remains were scrutinized by forensic anthropologists associated with the Smithsonian Institution as contemporary technology enables historians to learn much about the lives and lifestyles of people from the Colonial Era in America. From long use of pewter dinnerware, the Colonel had absorbed enough leached lead to choke a horse!

Mountain man Jim Bridger was a notable exception to my genealogical indifference as I longed to be related to him after reading his biography at age ten or eleven. I consumed numerous volumes in the orange-bound series of biographies for “young readers” on the shelves of my school’s library. I was taken by early explorers (Magellan, Balboa, Hudson), Indian chiefs (Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Crazy Horse), and especially pioneers (Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Kit Carson) and Jim Bridger. The details have faded from memory now but the sense of Bridger’s free-spirited life as expedition guide, pathfinder, army scout, fur trapper and trading post owner in the rugged western expanse of the Wyoming and Montana territories lit fire to my boyhood imagination! Below are two photos taken a century apart of the area near Fort Bridger, the strategically situated outpost in western Wyoming built and owned by Bridger and his business partner Louis Vasquez:

Closer view from west of four kilns - Piedmont Charcoal Kilns, Fort Bridger vicinity, Piedmont, Uinta County, WY

Closer view from west of four kilns – Piedmont Charcoal Kilns, Fort Bridger vicinity, Piedmont, Uinta County, WY. Photo by Jack E. Boucher, 1974. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hhh.wy0034/color.571856c

Photograph shows a prominent rock formation rising above the surrounding landscape near Fort Bridger, Wyoming.

Church Buttes – near Fort Bridger, Wyoming Territory. Photograph by Andrew J. Russell, 1868. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g11384

The biography I read glossed over some events and aspects of Bridger’s character such as selling liquor to American Indians and a real estate dispute with Brigham Young and the Church of Latter Day Saints. His adventures traipsing around mountains, canyons, and passes named for him was enough for me. The stereograph below is of Bridger Can[y]on in the Montana Territory by photographer William Henry Jackson in his role as member of F.V. Hayden’s 1871 U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories:

Bridger Canon -- near Fort Ellis, Montana Territory.

Bridger Canon — near Fort Ellis, Montana Territory. Stereograph by William Henry Jackson, 1872. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.07822

Photographer Arthur Rothstein documented “Bridger country” for the Farm Security Administration: below left, in Montana in June 1939, grazing sheep are pictured with the Bridger Mountains as backdrop; in the center, in Wyoming in June 1940 he documents Fort Bridger’s stables for the Pony Express; and, on the right, a metal sculpture that clearly presages works by Mark di Suvero:

Sheep grazing at the foot of the Bridger Mountains. Gallatin County, Montana.

Sheep grazing at the foot of the Bridger Mountains. Gallatin County, Montana. Photo by Arthur Rothstein, June 1939. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8b17681

Pony Express stables at Fort Bridger, Wyoming.

Pony Express stables at Fort Bridger, Wyoming. Photo by Arthur Rothstein, March 1940. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8b38018

Fort Bridger, Wyoming.

Fort Bridger, Wyoming. Photo by Arthur Rothstein, March 1940. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8b19518

Just as my ancestors made their mark on the nation, P&P collections mark my family’s experience visually for me.

Learn More

  • Apprise yourself of the Historic American Buildings Survey of  St. Luke’s Church, State Route 10 vicinity, Smithfield, Isle of Wight County, VA . According to the survey’s Historical Data, ”The church is remarkable as the only remaining example of a buttressed Gothic Church of the seventeenth century America.”
  • Launch your investigation into the Written in Bone site from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The forensic investigation of human skeletons, such as that of Col. Joseph Bridger, provides intriguing information on people and events of America’s past. The site examines history through 17th-century bone biographies, including those of colonists in Maryland and Virginia.
  • View photographs as well as historic building and engineering surveys related to these two Bridgers, Joseph and Jim, in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.
  • Explore the site of Local History & Genealogy Reference Services. The Library of Congress has one of the world’s premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications. The Library’s genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson’s library.

VFW Joins the $200,000 Giveaway Program to Rescue Ailing WWI Memorials

WASHINGTON - The 100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS program is a $200,000 matching-grant for groups who undertake the restoration, preservation or conservation of local World War I memorials. 

After the war, thousands of World War I memorials were erected across the country to honor the local veterans who fought. Now, 100 years later, many of these have been neglected, or fallen into obscurity.VFW Joins the $200,000 Giveaway Program to Rescue Ailing WWI Memorials

The 100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS program was created to do something about this. The program will support up to 100 World War I memorial rescue projects in 100 places around the country.

“The VFW strongly believes in honoring all who served as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  This project allows us to take action at the local level in communities across the country to bring attention to those who served in World War I," said Debra Anderson, Quartermaster General for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Commissioner with the WWI Centennial Commission.

The 100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS program launched in July, 2016, and the grant application period runs until June 15, 2017. 

"Having the VFW as a supporting organization is a real benefit", said Theo Mayer the 100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS program manager for the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission. "With the help and support of the VFW's 1,300,000 members, we can expand the awareness of these available funds. Our mutual goal is to ensure the memory of World War I veterans, and the memorials placed all over America to honor their are remembered."

To help local VFW members to identify & adopt community World War I memorial projects, the 100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS program managers have prepared new resources that are specially-tailored to VFW regional and local posts. These will be distributed in the coming weeks.

For more information about the 100 CITIES/100 MEMORIALS preservation program, go to WW1CC.org/100Memorials

Information on the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission can be found at www.ww1cc.org

Information about the Pritzker Military Museum and Library can be found at www.pritzkermilitary.org/WW1.

Friday, January 13, 2017

World War I: Understanding the War at Sea Through Maps

(The following guest post is by Ryan Moore, a cartographic specialist in the Geography and Map Division.)

Sperrgebiete um Europa und Afrika. 1925. Geography and Map Division.

Sperrgebiete um Europa und Afrika. 1925. Geography and Map Division.

Soldiers leaping from trenches and charging into an apocalyptic no man's land dominate the imagination when it comes to World War I. However, an equally dangerous and strategically critical war at sea was waged between the Central Powers and the Allies, with Germany and Great Britain as the primary belligerents. The primary strategy was to disrupt the flow of supplies, thereby diminishing the other side's ability to fight.

In 1914, the Allies commenced a blockade, which included the draconian measure of declaring food as contraband of war. Germany responded with one of its own, using its submarine fleet, known as U-boats, to sink merchant ships. The map "Sperrgebiete um Europa und Afrika" ("Restricted zones Europe and Africa") depicts areas where Germany threatened to sink both Allied and neutral merchant ships.

Although Germany publicized its plan, the strategy ran contrary to the accepted rules of war. The practice prior to attacking a merchant ship was to fire a warning shot; inspect the ship for contraband of war, and if found, evacuate the crew and passengers, providing them with safe refuge; or finally sink or capture the ship. This method was impractical for small submarines, which could not accommodate additional persons aboard. But more so, it sacrificed the submarine's surprise attack potential. After weighing their options, the Germans proceeded with a shoot without warning policy that became known as "unrestricted submarine warfare."

American civilians were soon after caught in the crossfire. On May 7, 1915, the passenger ship RMS Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk off of Ireland by a U-boat, and of the 1,959 people on board 1,198 died, including 128 Americans. President Woodrow Wilson was outraged, because he believed that Americans had the right to "Freedom of the Seas" and should be able to travel safely on any civilian ship despite the war. He demanded that the Germans conform to the rules of war. American newspapers explained the issue with maps that illustrated areas where Germans submarines were active as well as minefields.

"British Islands: Approximate Positions of Minefields. 19th August 1918." Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty, under superintendence of Rear-Admiral J.F. Parry, C.B. Hydrographer, August 6th, 1917. Geography and Map Division.

The Germans feared the political repercussions of their strategy and curtailed these attacks. Germany continued, however, to employ some 43,000 sea mines that claimed more than 500 merchant vessels by the end of war. The British Navy lost 44 warships and 225 auxiliaries to mines. The British, in response, constantly swept for mines that frequently threatened their naval facilities, commercial ports and ports in Ireland, which were often a stopover for ships sailing from North America. This blog post from World's Revealed looks at these sea mines.

Britain hoped to use its superior surface fleet to destroy the German counterpart in Trafalgar-type engagement, an allusion to Admiral Horatio Nelson's destruction of the French fleet in 1805. The opportunity came at the Battle of Jutland (May 31-June 1 1916), where the British lost 14 ships and more than 6,000 men, and the Germans lost 11 ships and more than 2,500 men. Though a German tactical victory and an utter shock to British pride, the Kaiser's fleet never again seriously challenged British control of the North Sea and the blockade of Germany continued.

Desperation to break the deadlock in the land war and growing short of supplies, Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917. Attacks were planned on all commercial vessels, which included attacks on American ships, as illustrated in the map "Amerikanisches Sperrgebeit." In response, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Germany, and the two nations were at war within months.

The U-boat attacks were devastating. The map "Die Schiffsversenkungen unserer U-Boote" ("Ships sunk by our U-boats") highlights the carnage. By the end of the war, Germany had sunk more than 5,000 merchant ships and more than 100 warships; tens of thousands of lives were lost. This was achieved at a high cost to the German navy, as 217 of its 351 submarines were sunk with a loss of more than 5,000 sailors. The German effort, nonetheless, could not overcome Allied sea power and their industrial capacity to replace lost ships and supplies.

More information on the Library's World War I maps can be found in this guide.

World War I Centennial, 2017-2018: With the most comprehensive collection of multi-format World War I holdings in the nation, the Library of Congress is a unique resource for primary source materials, education plans, public programs and on-site visitor experiences about The Great War including exhibits, symposia and book talks.



Original Page: http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2017/01/world-war-i-understanding-the-war-at-sea-through-maps/



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A visit on board the Russian Frigate Shtandart


The other weekend we were down in Cowes for a long weekend to watch the Cowes Torquay Cowes powerboat race. We were all having dinner on Friday night in the Island Sailing Club when there was a bit of a commotion on the balcony as people were trying to get a photograph of something coming into Cowes Roads. It couldn't just be a powerboat arriving so I sent Guy off to have a look.

 "It's a big Square rigger coming into the Jubilee landing stage" he said. Now you see quite a few square riggers in the Solent but they all tend to be sail training ships which usually have a nineteen twenties configuration with large deck houses etc. 

This was different, however, as it looked exactly like an eighteenth century ship.  "A pirate ship! as the Old Bat declared. Looking at it more closely I saw that it had a large yellow band along the hull and distinctive circular decorated gun ports. It looked just like the sailing ship that had appeared in the film The Sovereign's Servant which I reviewed on these pages some years ago. 

When we went down to look at it the next morning I saw that it was flying a Russian flag and, having spoken to one of the crew, found out that it was, indeed, the vessel that had appeared briefly in the Russian film about the Great Northern War. We got to explore what turned out to be the frigate Shtandart, a replica of Peter the Great's first flagship of the Russian Imperial Fleet which was launched in 1703. 

It looked like a pirate ship because it was from bang in the middle of the Golden Age of piracy (although the effect was increased by the fact that they were playing the soundtrack to Pirates of the Caribbean on board). The ship was designed to be the first of a fleet which would wrest control of the Baltic from the Swedish Navy.  This shot demonstrates why I am unhappy with most model pirate ships for wargaming and, especially, most of the scratch built ones you see, which have slab sides.  Look at the inward sloping curve on the hull; that's what a pirate ship needs to look like!

The replica took six tears to build and was launched in St Petersburg (as was the original) in 1998 and had been built from larch, with an oak keel and frames, from forests planted in 1730 specifically designed to be used as ship lumber.  All the wood for the vessel came from forests around St Petersburg.

20 people sleep in here

The permanent crew is six to ten people with twenty five to thirty trainees.  The original ship had a crew of 120.  In the main cabin they now have up to 20 people sleeping in hammocks which must be very cosy, as there was not a lot of space.  

Not a lot of privacy either; we met several young Russian ladies who were part of the crew coming back from a shopping trip from the new Marks & Spencer food shop in Cowes (at last!).  We were told by the Russians that although the lower deck has modern facilities, on several occasions the toilets had failed and they actually had to use the traditional 'head' at the bow (above).  Scary!

Guy and Charlotte at the captain's table

The Captain's stern cabin was on the cozy side too and it made me realise, when watching Black Sails last night, how ludicrously oversized the ship's cabin sets are in that.

The cannons on deck (the original carries twenty-four) were all made of iron and not plastic as you usually see these days.

Looking over the stern towards the RYS

They all were capable of firing too, we were told by the crew.  Indeed, when they had sailed into port the night before, they had fired a cannon in salute as they passed the Royal Yacht Squadron.  Quick as a flash the RYS fired one of their cannon in salute back.  

Compared with ships from the period you see portrayed on TV and in films the amount of deck space was very small, even with the cannon tucked away under the gunwales.

The ship is 113 feet overall with just a 23 feet beam and a 100 foot tall mainmast.  Everything is very cramped and it is the first time I have got a real feeling for what it must have been like to serve on a frigate in the age of sail.  Standing on the deck of HMS Victory or USS Constitution (which is over twice the length and twice the beam) does not really do this!

Oh, and there are a lot of ropes.  I mean, really a lot of ropes.  Everywhere.  No wonder you don't see them portrayed on wargames models!

Charlotte has always wanted to be a pirate and I think this was the closest that she will ever come.  Even the Old Bat found it fascinating but, having crossed the Gulf of Finland in a small boat in a force seven, I wouldn't fancy going too far on the Shtandart in rough weather, let alone going aloft to get the sails in and out as the Russian girls said they did.

So it was really like stepping back in time and next time I read a Patrick O'Brian or Alexander Kent novel I will have a much better idea of what the conditions were like on these early frigates. 



Original Page: http://greatnorthernwar.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-visit-on-board-russian-frigate.html



Sent from my iPad

Remembering a WWI Historian: George B. Clark, USMC

A friend of ours, Marine and historian George B. Clark, 90, died in his sleep on 23 December 2016 in Lebanon, NH.

George Clark (rt.) with Roads Reader Mark Mortenson
George is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jeanne; four children; four great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. George was the son of James B. and Alice L. Clark of Providence, RI. He joined the U.S. Marines during WWII just out of high school and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. For many years he administered grants, contracts, and patents for Brown University and the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. After retiring, he wrote history prolifically,  mainly on U.S. Marine history. 

George's books on the Marines in the Great War are the most thoroughly researched and readable that are available. A selection of three of his works that focus on the Marine Corps experience in the war are displayed below. (Click on the links to learn about the books in detail.) His works are at times very critical of the 2nd Division's high command as well as AEF GHQ, for repeatedly assigning the Marine Brigade's parent 2nd Division to predictably high-casualty-producing operations like Belleau Wood, Soissons, and Blanc Mont. George loved the Corps and all Marines, though.




Original Page: http://roadstothegreatwar-ww1.blogspot.com/2017/01/remembering-wwi-historian-george-b.html



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A glimpse of the end of a military legal ethics inquiry

In this post I noted news reporting about a military legal ethics inquiry connected to the ongoing case of Marine Major Mark Thompson (CAAFlog news page), our #7 Military Justice Story of 2016. Such ethics inquiries are notoriously opaque.

That inquiry is now over. Stars and Stripes reports here that:

The ethics probe into Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Cmdr. Aaron Rugh was closed after the investigation "found that the available evidence failed to support a violation" of the Rules of Professional Responsibility governing Navy lawyers, according to a memo signed by Vice Adm. J.W. Crawford III, the Navy Judge Advocate.

"Accordingly, no further inquiry will be conducted and the matter is now closed," said the brief memo dated Monday and received Tuesday by Stars and Stripes.

The Washington Post's Jonathan Woodrow Cox – whose reporting led to this prosecution of Major Thompson – also writes about the end of the inquiry here.



Original Page: http://www.caaflog.com/2017/01/12/a-glimpse-of-the-end-of-a-military-legal-ethics-inquiry/



Sent from my iPad

The greatest hackers of the first world war


 



To all those computer hackers exulting in pizza-encrusted bedrooms across central Europe — the US presidential election was influenced! The CIA said so! — I would say this: yes, yes, perhaps. But listen: when it comes to altering the course of history through hacking, Britain is waaaay ahead.

Indeed, if you want to hear about intercepted communications properly changing the world, there is one incident in particular, 100 years ago this week, that had a much more seismic effect.

The hacker hero of this story is a witty Old Etonian, a young publisher with a love for amateur dramatics. And the secret message, obtained by tapping telegraph wires (the hacking of its day) and then subsequent decoding, was from the German foreign secretary to his ambassador in Mexico.

The Zimmermann Telegram, as it came to be known, was critical to the Americans entering the first world war, which was crucial for the Allies to gain victory. More than this, in January 1917, the efforts of the young codebreaking genius Nigel de Grey, and his eccentric colleagues, shaped the thinking of President Woodrow Wilson on America’s future role as a supremely powerful interventionist force that lasted until… well, about now. So, geeks: think on and look sharp.

Nigel de Grey, then a 30-year-old Balloon Corps veteran transferred to the Admiralty intelligence department, would become one of the most senior figures at Bletchley Park during the second world war. He would also go on to have a vital role in constructing the modern post-war form of GCHQ. But the interception of the Zimmermann Telegram was a uniquely pivotal — and for many years classified — moment. And it is one that his grandchildren Michael and Anthony are still learning more about even now. ‘Obviously we are overwhelmed with pride,’ says Michael de Grey. ‘The more so for hearing so many people say just how vital Nigel de Grey’s work was.’

At the beginning of 1917, in the aftermath of the Somme and with the land war slogging bloodily on, the Germans planned a new and terrible submarine offensive in the Atlantic. The idea was to target all merchant shipping heading for Britain. No matter where they came from, cargoes and crews would be blasted into the dark icy depths. That even meant ships from America.

At this stage in the conflict, America was determinedly neutral. Such actions, the Germans knew, might change that. So Arthur Zimmermann, the German foreign secretary, got in touch with his ambassador in Mexico: in for a penny, in for a pound. Zimmermann wanted to encourage Mexico to attack the US. He would promise Mexico the return of Texas. Germany would help out with money and arms. That way the US would be fighting on multiple fronts and its power diffused. It sounds mad now. But it was a genuine proposition.

Here is where the hacking came in. German telegraph cables across some parts of Europe had been cut but they could still send messages via circuitous neutral routes. One of the connecting cables, used by Americans, ran under a Cornish village prior to crossing the Atlantic seabed. The British codebreakers were secretly tapping it. And so it was that they got hold of the encoded message from Herr Zimmermann.

Back in a rather dusty corner of the Admiralty, Nigel de Grey, together with a volcanic horror called Alfred ‘Dilly’ Knox, and William Montgomery, set to work. This department, Room 40, was the forerunner to Bletchley. Codebreakers then tended to be classicists rather than mathematicians. They were no less ungovernable. De Grey was rather brilliant on languages, but he also had the extra element of lateral-thinking genius. One section of the department had — randomly — a large bath at the end of a corridor. Dilly Knox monopolised it, often sitting naked and quite still in the hot water, miles away in abstruse thought.

To all those computer hackers exulting in pizza-encrusted bedrooms across central Europe — the US presidential election was influenced! The CIA said so! — I would say this: yes, yes, perhaps. But listen: when it comes to altering the course of history through hacking, Britain is waaaay ahead.

Indeed, if you want to hear about intercepted communications properly changing the world, there is one incident in particular, 100 years ago this week, that had a much more seismic effect.

The hacker hero of this story is a witty Old Etonian, a young publisher with a love for amateur dramatics. And the secret message, obtained by tapping telegraph wires (the hacking of its day) and then subsequent decoding, was from the German foreign secretary to his ambassador in Mexico.

The Zimmermann Telegram, as it came to be known, was critical to the Americans entering the first world war, which was crucial for the Allies to gain victory. More than this, in January 1917, the efforts of the young codebreaking genius Nigel de Grey, and his eccentric colleagues, shaped the thinking of President Woodrow Wilson on America’s future role as a supremely powerful interventionist force that lasted until… well, about now. So, geeks: think on and look sharp.

Nigel de Grey, then a 30-year-old Balloon Corps veteran transferred to the Admiralty intelligence department, would become one of the most senior figures at Bletchley Park during the second world war. He would also go on to have a vital role in constructing the modern post-war form of GCHQ. But the interception of the Zimmermann Telegram was a uniquely pivotal — and for many years classified — moment. And it is one that his grandchildren Michael and Anthony are still learning more about even now. ‘Obviously we are overwhelmed with pride,’ says Michael de Grey. ‘The more so for hearing so many people say just how vital Nigel de Grey’s work was.’

At the beginning of 1917, in the aftermath of the Somme and with the land war slogging bloodily on, the Germans planned a new and terrible submarine offensive in the Atlantic. The idea was to target all merchant shipping heading for Britain. No matter where they came from, cargoes and crews would be blasted into the dark icy depths. That even meant ships from America.

At this stage in the conflict, America was determinedly neutral. Such actions, the Germans knew, might change that. So Arthur Zimmermann, the German foreign secretary, got in touch with his ambassador in Mexico: in for a penny, in for a pound. Zimmermann wanted to encourage Mexico to attack the US. He would promise Mexico the return of Texas. Germany would help out with money and arms. That way the US would be fighting on multiple fronts and its power diffused. It sounds mad now. But it was a genuine proposition.

Here is where the hacking came in. German telegraph cables across some parts of Europe had been cut but they could still send messages via circuitous neutral routes. One of the connecting cables, used by Americans, ran under a Cornish village prior to crossing the Atlantic seabed. The British codebreakers were secretly tapping it. And so it was that they got hold of the encoded message from Herr Zimmermann.

Back in a rather dusty corner of the Admiralty, Nigel de Grey, together with a volcanic horror called Alfred ‘Dilly’ Knox, and William Montgomery, set to work. This department, Room 40, was the forerunner to Bletchley. Codebreakers then tended to be classicists rather than mathematicians. They were no less ungovernable. De Grey was rather brilliant on languages, but he also had the extra element of lateral-thinking genius. One section of the department had — randomly — a large bath at the end of a corridor. Dilly Knox monopolised it, often sitting naked and quite still in the hot water, miles away in abstruse thought.

The German codes they were tackling — even before the advent of the fiendish Enigma code-generating machine — were exquisitely complex, so much so that the Germans assumed they could never be cracked. This was some time before machinery could be involved to help break the codes; crypt-ology involved almost unimaginable mental gymnastics, plus blackboards and chalk.

Nonetheless, having got hold of the tele-gram, the team decoded it in a couple of days. They instantly understood the awesome nature of what they had: if the US president and people could see this proof of German treachery in black and white — Zimmermann encouraging others to attack — then that would change everything. At a moment in 1917 when the Allies were facing the prospect that the Germans might win, this was an astounding discovery.

De Grey himself described the Buchanesque scene when he took the find to his boss, Admiral William ‘Blinker’ Hall:

We had got a skeleton version, sweating with excitement because neither of us doubted the importance of what we had in our hands… As soon as I felt sufficiently secure in our version, even with all its gaps… I ran all the way to [Blinker’s] room… I burst out breathlessly, ‘Do you want America in the war, Sir?’ ‘Yes, why?’ said Blinker. ‘I’ve got a telegram that will bring them in if you give it to them.’

In Blinker’s version of the event, he referred to de Grey as ‘dear boy’.

What then followed was a complex dance of deceit and concealment, for it was vital that the Germans did not twig that their codes were being broken on an industrial scale. It was also vital that the Americans did not know that the British were tapping their cables, so it was made to look as though the cypher-snatch had happened in Mexico.

A few weeks later President Wilson, who had been so determined to keep the US out of the carnage, was presented with Zimmermann’s plot. There was initial scepticism, but the British codebreakers allayed it. The day before Zimmermann’s letter was made public to the press, President Wilson told colleagues: ‘If you knew what I know at this present moment, and what you will see reported in tomorrow morning’s newspapers, you would not ask me to attempt further peaceful dealings with the Germans.’

Publication brought conspiracy–theorist howls against the media. According to the historian Adam Tooze, an American–German activist called George Sylvester Viereck protested bitterly to newspaper proprietor William Randolph Hearst that ‘the alleged letter… is obviously a fake; it is impossible to believe that the German foreign secretary would place his name under such a preposterous document.’

Some weeks later, Arthur Zimmermann confessed that the message was real. America entered the war in April 1917.

Because of decades of official secrecy, the codebreaker who changed the future was never given a hint of public acknowledgement. It was only some years after his death that his brilliant work could be summoned from the shadows.

Michael de Grey was only eight when his grandfather died; but he remembered the funny and fond letters he was sent by Nigel on birthdays, handwritten in different coloured inks, some words replaced with drawings. ‘He did everything,’ says Mr de Grey. ‘He wrote music — his wife Florence was a singer — and he acted. He was with dramatics societies such as the Windsor Strollers and The Old Stagers in Canterbury.’ In between the wars, he ran a very upmarket art dealership affair called the Medici Society, and occasionally wore a cloak. He and Winston Churchill discussed art.

Curiously, in those interwar years, Nigel was quite forgotten about by the code-breakers of the Government Code and Cypher School, until the darkness of Nazism crept over. The Admiralty wrote to him in early 1939, says his grandson, asking if he had any sort of experience in the field of intelligence. Nigel’s sardonic reply brought a scramble of apologies and exhortations that he return to the cryptology fold. The business of codebreaking was so secret that even its own heroes could disappear.

Nigel de Grey was relatively small of stature — hence his nickname ‘the Dormouse’. ‘But there was a line of steel running through him,’ says Michael de Grey.

That line of steel was needed at Bletchley Park; incredible though the operation to smash the German Enigma codes was, the pressure of the work was extremely intense and there were huge interdepartmental disputes. De Grey, reunited with his fiery Room 40 colleague Dilly Knox, did his best to maintain order from his office in the Directorate.

As Michael de Grey wonders, when someone has that weight of responsibility in your hands, how do they manage the stress?

This is what makes Nigel’s hinterland so relevant. As well as his love of music — most of the codebreakers had an instinctive understanding of its structures — he was mad about gardening, about shooting, about woodwork. These, combined with the acting, were a vital pressure valve.

Today, Nigel de Grey is one of the names most revered by the cryptanalysts of GCHQ in Cheltenham, themselves the successors to the geniuses of Bletchley Park. His part in establishing codebreaking as one of the most vital means of defending the realm now spans a century — just as it looks like America may start pulling back from that global interventionist vision.

Sinclair McKay is the author of several bestselling books about Bletchley Park. ‘The Road to Bletchley Park’ exhibition is in Block C at Bletchley Park. For information go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk.

 

Special and General Courts-Martial for November 2016

Special and General Courts-Martial for November 2016


http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=98391

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Library of Congress

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We set the clock back 50 years and examine 1963, a seminal year in American history, with events in the civil rights movement, shifts in popular culture and the assassination of a president. Also: federal buying power and a book by another Obama.
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The "Gibson Girl" set the archetype for young women at the start of the last century and was the epitome of illustration style for two decades. Also, the struggles for women's suffrage, celebrating Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine and the high-tech cloning of a Stradivari violin.
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The mission of the Library is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties, and here’s exactly how we do it. Also, a profile of Mary Pickford, Hollywood’s first female mogul, rock and roll interviews, March madness, and a word from the Poet Laureate.
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The War of 1812 resulted in the burning of the U.S. Capitol and its contents. The Library of Congress arose from those ashes to become the largest library in the history of the world. Our premiere issue discusses our history and the services we offer to Congress and to researchers today.

Library of Congress Information Bulletin

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