Author Topic: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?  (Read 31666 times)

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Offline Pusser

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2016, 18:40:09 »
Ah yes, would that be "an uncaring officer corps harbouring aristocratic British attitudes inappropriate to Canadian democratic sensitivities"?  ;)

That got cleaned up in the Mainguy Report - sort of.  Some folks need to pull that out and read it again sometimes as history does have a way of repeating itself...
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline NavalMoose

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2016, 18:54:07 »
BZ to Pusser for his post.  Trafalgar is a significant event for Canada.  It enabled the British Empire (of which "Canada" was part) to grow in strength and prosperity.  Canada was able to grow in relative peace for over a century.  Even the War of 1812, in naval terms was mainly skirmishes on the Great Lakes and if it had carried on, the Royal Navy would have dealt with the US Navy. If the original poster doesn't like Trafalgar Night mess dinners, don't go, the Press Gangs of 1805 have long since gone.  You can't change the past and whether you like it or not, Canada was part of an Empire and when big things happened, they affected the whole organization.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 19:03:23 by NavalMoose »

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2016, 19:14:04 »
Well said.

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2016, 19:42:33 »
That got cleaned up in the Mainguy Report - sort of.  Some folks need to pull that out and read it again sometimes as history does have a way of repeating itself...

The Mainguy Report - Outstanding Points
http://regimentalrogue.tripod.com/blog/index.blog/2335704/the-mainguy-report-outstanding-points/

Offline Nuggs

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2016, 21:09:16 »
The Mainguy Report - Outstanding Points
http://regimentalrogue.tripod.com/blog/index.blog/2335704/the-mainguy-report-outstanding-points/
Slowly coming back full circle.

Part of the reason I switched to boats. Senior NCMs being ignored or derided by junior officers barely off NOPQ.

To top it all off senior NCOs (including) the COXN, don't seem to have a backbone anymore.

I haven't been in that long, but when I first got in it wouldn't have been uncommon to hear "it's my section and I'll run it my way", now it seems more like a downtrodden "yes sir"

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2016, 21:58:29 »
The Mainguy Report - Outstanding Points
http://regimentalrogue.tripod.com/blog/index.blog/2335704/the-mainguy-report-outstanding-points/

Then why the recent rush to re-emulate our colonial masters by way of pips etc?

At least it's still easy to tell us apart from the British by the quality of our teeth.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline NavalMoose

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2016, 05:39:53 »
"At least it's still easy to tell us apart from the British by the quality of our teeth."

Really? That "joke" is about as old as Trafalgar...do you get your info from The Simpsons?

Offline rmc_wannabe

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2016, 07:04:41 »
"At least it's still easy to tell us apart from the British by the quality of our teeth."

Really? That "joke" is about as old as Trafalgar...do you get your info from The Simpsons?

I think daftandbarmy has more than enough first hand knowledge on this matter. What with 25 years experience with the British Army and all....
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2016, 07:38:18 »
"At least it's still easy to tell us apart from the British by the quality of our teeth."

Really? That "joke" is about as old as Trafalgar...do you get your info from The Simpsons?

 :highjack:

OK, basic Economics 101 lesson ...

     Caveat lector: I do not have the references any more, but I did 40ish years ago when I wrote a paper on this subject so I'll ask you to take me at my word ...

The medical rejection rates in both the UK and Canadian armies were very, very high in 1939 and 40 (and, indeed, even after), much higher than in 1914-18 and much higher than officials and generals expected. It appeared that the overall health of both nations had declined but dental fitness was  a matter of special, noteworthy concern: far more young men (mostly men) than expected were rejected as being dentally unfit ... so "unfit" that remedial dental care was considered to be useless.

Why?

The Great Depression.

One of the first impacts of the Great Depression (1930-39) was to constrain household expenditures ~ there were few social services and no National Health or Medicare. One of the impacts was that good, healthy, nutritious food was less plentiful on the tables of the unemployed or, even, of the working class. The 18-25 year old cohort was less well nourished that its parents had been. One of the first "discretionary expenses" to be cut was dental care ~ and given the state of more health insurance plans today I suspect it might be again ~ because the perception is that it's either or both of a) a luxury or b) something that is unlikely to be a real, serious problem.

     (Even growing up in the 1940s and 1950s I can recall that regular dental checkups were "new' to many people. Regular, free, dental checkups for school children were introduced many (most?) Canadian provinces in the late 1940s,
      partly as a result, I think, of the wartime experience.)

The British were slower to catch on and I can, personally, recall that many of my UK colleagues and classmates were envious of our, Canadian, dental care, especially of our military dental care. There was, in the 1970s, still a Canadian Army dentist on staff at CDLS (London) to provide Canadian standard/quality care for CF members posted in the UK.

In my opinion poor dental care became a habit, especially in Britain, but the roots (pun intended  :nod: ) were, pretty clearly, I think, in the economic distress of the Great Depression.

-----

Sorry for the  :off topic:
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2016, 08:31:56 »
"At least it's still easy to tell us apart from the British by the quality of our teeth."

Really? That "joke" is about as old as Trafalgar...do you get your info from The Simpsons?

But even the Queen and the BBC get it:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNcFsXX9vVc

 ;D

Offline Underway

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2016, 08:47:31 »
BZ to Pusser for his post.  Trafalgar is a significant event for Canada.  It enabled the British Empire (of which "Canada" was part) to grow in strength and prosperity.  Canada was able to grow in relative peace for over a century.  Even the War of 1812, in naval terms was mainly skirmishes on the Great Lakes and if it had carried on, the Royal Navy would have dealt with the US Navy. If the original poster doesn't like Trafalgar Night mess dinners, don't go, the Press Gangs of 1805 have long since gone.  You can't change the past and whether you like it or not, Canada was part of an Empire and when big things happened, they affected the whole organization.

Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy the mess diners, I was just wondering if it was time to move off the Trafalgar theme for a more RCN focused one?  The NIOBE suggestion is an excellent one.  As for being part of an Empire do Australians celebrate Trafalgar?  India, Singpore, NZ?  I don't have the answers to these but I'm pretty sure any celebrations that they do have are more structured around their own national identity, not someone else's.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2016, 09:11:55 »
Agreed Underway.


And for those who wish to make a pilgrimage, remember that the second tallest "Nelson Column" in the world, celebrating the victory at Trafalgar, is located right beside City Hall in Montreal.  :nod:

Offline FSTO

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2016, 11:00:24 »
Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy the mess diners, I was just wondering if it was time to move off the Trafalgar theme for a more RCN focused one?  The NIOBE suggestion is an excellent one.  As for being part of an Empire do Australians celebrate Trafalgar?  India, Singpore, NZ?  I don't have the answers to these but I'm pretty sure any celebrations that they do have are more structured around their own national identity, not someone else's.

Put your mind at ease for the Battle of the Atlantic Mess dinner is being held soon. How much more Canadian can you get?

Offline FSTO

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #38 on: April 20, 2016, 11:01:43 »
Agreed Underway.


And for those who wish to make a pilgrimage, remember that the second tallest "Nelson Column" in the world, celebrating the victory at Trafalgar, is located right beside City Hall in Montreal.  :nod:

I had forgot about that! Wasn't it the target once of the FLQ bombers during the last century? (I love saying that!)

Offline Pusser

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2016, 07:41:35 »
Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy the mess diners, I was just wondering if it was time to move off the Trafalgar theme for a more RCN focused one?  The NIOBE suggestion is an excellent one.  As for being part of an Empire do Australians celebrate Trafalgar?  India, Singpore, NZ?  I don't have the answers to these but I'm pretty sure any celebrations that they do have are more structured around their own national identity, not someone else's.

I take issue with the idea that by commemorating Trafalgar, we are structuring ourselves around another nation's identity.  The history of Canada did not begin in 1867 and the history of the RCN did not begin in 1910.  The RCN can legitimately claim roots dating back centuries, even to the formation of the RN itself(and that date is open to debate).  Keep also in mind that the RN provided naval protection of British North America from the beginning and the establishment of the Naval Service of Canada was not so much a new creation, but rather (if you really delve into the Naval Service Act of 1910) the formation of a Canadian squadron of the RN.  That's not where we are now, but that's where we were and the transition to today's state has been continuous.  It's also arguable that if you only want to celebrate truly "Canadian" naval events, even the Battle of the Atlantic does not strictly fit that bill.  Although Canadians did a lot of the fighting and a Canadian led the allied forces involved, many of the key strategic decisions were still being made at the Admiralty.

As for what they do in other Commonwealth nations (and keep in mind that there is a difference between Commonwealth nations and Commonwealth Realms), why should we care?
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2016, 09:49:08 »
To recap your argument: Who cares about other Commonwealth nations. Except Britain.
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Offline Journeyman

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2016, 10:05:55 »
.... the Battle of the Atlantic ...a Canadian led the allied forces involved, many of the key strategic decisions were still being made at the Admiralty.
Two points (in trying to keep a rein on revisionist history):

1.  Britain and Canada shared responsibility for North Atlantic convoys, hunting the enemy, and rescue... with the USN assuming control over the central and southern Atlantic. Northwest Atlantic Command "spanned from north of New York City to 47 degrees west," and was placed under the command of RAdm Leonard W. Murray on 30 April 1943.  So Canada "led" in the NW half of the Atlantic.

2. This division was proposed by USN CNO Adm Ernest J. King at the Atlantic Convoy Conference (Washington DC: 1–12 March 1943).  Not part of "the Admiralty."


Trivia: Northwest Atlantic Command was the only Allied theatre of operations commanded by a Canadian during the war.


Again, carry on with Mess discussions...

Offline FSTO

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2016, 10:11:51 »
Two points (in trying to keep a rein on revisionist history):

1.  Britain and Canada shared responsibility for North Atlantic convoys, hunting the enemy, and rescue... with the USN assuming control over the central and southern Atlantic. Northwest Atlantic Command "spanned from north of New York City to 47 degrees west," and was placed under the command of RAdm Leonard W. Murray on 30 April 1943.  So Canada "led" in the NW half of the Atlantic.

2. This division was proposed by USN CNO Adm Ernest J. King at the Atlantic Convoy Conference (Washington DC: 1–12 March 1943).  Not part of "the Admiralty."


Trivia: Northwest Atlantic Command was the only Allied theatre of operations commanded by a Canadian during the war.


Again, carry on with Mess discussions...

I'm sure King was not happy to make that recommendation. He was not a fan of the British (and by extension the Canadians as well)

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2016, 10:15:27 »
     :nod:

But I suspect he felt the lesser evil was to keep the British and Canadians busy south of Greenland, without cluttering-up and pestering the Americans throughout the rest of the Atlantic.

Online Colin P

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #44 on: April 22, 2016, 10:40:20 »
Speaking of which I was reading elsewhere that the Defense of the West Coast of Canada against German Surface raiders in WWI was given to the Japanese Fleet. While I know we were somewhat still Allies at that point, I don't recall any Japanese ships stationed on this side and only occasional Port visits by Japanese warships.


Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #45 on: April 22, 2016, 11:25:34 »
But I suspect he felt the lesser evil was to keep the British and Canadians busy south of Greenland, without cluttering-up and pestering the Americans throughout the rest of the Atlantic.

Actually, King probably knew very well what he was doing for two reasons:

First, while you could not tell the RCN from the RN during WWII, King knew there was a difference because (and this must have influenced him in his decision) the Canadians had "saved his bacon" during the early going in the war. When he refused to listen to the Admiralty's suggestion that he institute convoys along the eastern seaboard, tankers -amongst others - started being sunk in such number that they almost needed to institute rationing in the US North-East. Canada said, screw this - he doesn't want to listen so we will create our own tanker convoys from the Caribbean to Canada and escort them ourselves. These Canadian convoys did not lose a single tanker. What do you think happened? The US bound tankers joined the Canadian convoys and were saved.

Second, since the US barely contributed to naval forces in the Atlantic, and even less to convoy protection but King was aware, like all senior US officers, of the understandings concerning defence of North America reached with the Bretton-Woods accord, he knew that pushing for Canadian command on this side of the Atlantic would give him a much greater access to information on what was going on and a greater say in the conduct of the Atlantic war than leaving such command in the hands of the British - who would have refused American command over the Atlantic failing a much much larger contribution to it than the one the Americans made.

Keep also in mind that the RN provided naval protection of British North America from the beginning and the establishment of the Naval Service of Canada was not so much a new creation, but rather (if you really delve into the Naval Service Act of 1910) the formation of a Canadian squadron of the RN.

Pusser: We see eye to eye on many things (I would say most) naval, but this above is, IMHO, a complete misreading of both facts and history.

After the war of 1812, the British were leery of another American invasion and started massive investments in defence of its remaining North American colonies: The current Citadel in Quebec and Fort Henry in Kingston, multiple forts along the Richelieu River (hence its being known here in Quebec as the "Valley of the Forts"), the Rideau canal, etc.

Then came the little scrap known as the US civil war. The British knew there and then that their efforts were futile: They could no longer possibly protect their colonies if the US decided to dispose of them. This led to England pushing its colonies into a union to provide for their own protection (it became the Canada we know) and to England being very careful from now on to avoid any action that could provoke the Americans.

This second aspect is what ultimately led to the creation of the Canadian Navy - not to be a squadron of the RN but to be independent of the RN so we could deal with the Americans. You see, at the turn of the 20th century, the biggest maritime problem for young Canada was the American fishermen flaunting our fishing rights and fishing in Canadian waters as if they were theirs - with England unwilling to start a scrap with the US standing by and ignoring the problem. Canada was not amused.

At the same time, England was involved in an arms race with Germany. This, as you know, involved Battleships and Battle-cruisers. These were very expensive and it was a serious drain on the British treasury. So they called on all of their colony at the 1902, 1907 and in particular the 1909 Imperial conference on defence, to agree to contribute funding directly to the "imperial" fleet - meaning the RN - so that more Battleship could be built. All agreed but Canada. Even from 1902 on, Canada being unhappy with England's way of protecting our coast started a "naval service in disguise", the Department of Marine and Fisheries, to protect Canadian fishermen. It came to a head when Canada flatly said no to an Imperial fleet and indicated it would pay for the defence of its own coasts. This led to the creation of the RCN. You can almost say that this was one of the first act of independence of the young Dominion - well before WWI and the ensuing Westminster Statute.

And the RCN was not, or ever meant to be a "squadron" or  "squadrons" of the RN. The RCN was to be independent and assume all responsibility for Canadian waters, with an understanding that if war came, it would coordinate its action with the Imperial fleet.

Thus, when WWI came, the existing large vessels (two cruisers) were incorporated into the Pacific Squadron and the Bermuda squadron respectively, while the new acquisition small vessels for port and coast defence built during the war remained under full Canadian control and command throughout.

A good place to read on this is in : RCN in Retrospect 1910-1968, Coll. edited by James A. Bouthillier, (UBC Press, 1982), Chapter 2: L.P. Brodeur and the Origins of the Royal Canadian Navy

But I suspect he felt the lesser evil was to keep the British and Canadians busy south of Greenland, without cluttering-up and pestering the Americans throughout the rest of the Atlantic.

Journeyman: Nobody, and especially the Americans, operated North of Greenland, except the British who escorted the Murmansk convoys. US operations in the Atlantic in WWII were limited to their own coast, the Caribbean's, one escort group for mid-ocean (E.G. 8 ) and the escorting of their own military convoys.

And Colin, I addressed the Japanese contribution in one of my posts above. 
     

 
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 11:47:57 by Oldgateboatdriver »

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2016, 11:50:03 »
Quote
But I suspect he felt the lesser evil was to keep the British and Canadians busy south of Greenland, without cluttering-up and pestering the Americans throughout the rest of the Atlantic.
Journeyman: Nobody, and especially the Americans, operated North of Greenland, except the British who escorted the Murmansk convoys.
Nowhere did I say that anyone was north of Greenland.

  But I'll try again with pictures....



[Convoys generally followed the red route; real estate to the north = Greenland/Iceland {therefore sailors to the south } ]


 [Note that the bit above Iceland/Greenland is not  Atlantic.]

Offline Pusser

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #47 on: April 23, 2016, 19:52:45 »
Oldgateboatdriver, we've read the same books, but come to different interpretations.  I don't think we disagree, but we certainly place different emphases on things.

In the late 19th Century, Britain came to the conclusion that it could no longer afford to provide worldwide military protection to the entire
Empire.  Thus it began to ask its members, particularly the self-governing Dominions, to start contributing.  The preference stated at the Imperial Conferences was for the Dominions to provide funding in order to build more ships for the RN.  Canada indeed refused, stating that if we were going to fund a navy, we would like to establish our own.  The Admiralty was deadset against this and the British government wasn't thrilled, but didn't have much choice.  It is also worth noting that only the governing Liberal Party was in favour of a Canadian navy, the Conservative Party was all for giving money to Britain to build ships.  The resultant Naval Service Act was a compromise.  It established a naval service (not yet the RCN), but one that was effectively absorbed into the RN in times of crisis (hence my conclusion that it was really just a de facto (if not de jure) Canadian squadron of the RN).  It is worth noting that the Governor General (Lord Grey) actually suggested a unique ensign for the fledgling service (a White Ensign with green maple leaf in the centre), but this was flatly refused by the Admiralty because they viewed all Imperial ships as being part of a greater RN and thus, wanted them all dressed the same.

The Liberals then lost the Drummond-Arthabaska by-election, largely due to the unpopularity of the Naval Service Act.  The good citizens of Drummond-Arthabaska were opposed to the creation of a Canadian Naval Service because they saw it as an imperialist tool for Britain.  The Liberals lost the seat to Henri Bourassa's Nationalists.

The Naval Service Act was also a contributor to the Liberals losing the 1911 General Election, after which the Conservatives tried to strangle the (now) RCN by cancelling its building program and passing legislation to provide funding to the RN to build dreadnoughts.  The dreadnought funding bill was then defeated in the Liberal dominated Senate, the net result being that the RCN remained small, yet the RN got no money.

The RCN remained dependant upon the RN for decades for trainers and in senior leadership positions.  This really did not change until after WWII.
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline Underway

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #48 on: April 24, 2016, 16:25:22 »

Journeyman: Nobody, and especially the Americans, operated North of Greenland, except the British who escorted the Murmansk convoys. US operations in the Atlantic in WWII were limited to their own coast, the Caribbean's, one escort group for mid-ocean (E.G. 8 ) and the escorting of their own military convoys.
 

HMCS HAIDA did the Murmansk run as well.  The Arctic is right there on her battle honours, 1943-1945.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Battle of Trafalgar... Time to move on?
« Reply #49 on: April 24, 2016, 17:41:37 »
Yes she did. She was part of the HMS INDOMITABLE escort: a British task force. Individual Canadian ships may have served, but only as assigned to a British group. No Canadian task force, escort group or flotilla was ever assigned to the Murmansk run.

None of the Tribal class destroyers of Canada served under Canadian command in WWII: They all served in Royal Navy groups or fleets. The British were too chintzy to affect high end destroyers like the Tribals to mere mid-ocean escort tasks, regardless of the fact they would have been damn useful, and the Canadian Regular force "British" bent meant that they also looked down at the escort fleet as lower  class to be left to the RCNVR. They wanted action with the real fleet, meaning with the Brits, and in fleet destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.