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Commander J. W. Reeves, Jr., U. S. Navy.—Damage control is an important Matter and one that has not heretofore revived its due share of interest and attention. Now that this condition is in a fair 'vay to be remedied it will be done, let us hope, in such a way that results will not he prejudiced by tying in with those Methods which have bedeviled the first heutenant problem for the last twenty
In March, 1911, a change in Navy Regulations created a new head of department aboard ship—the first lieutenant. He was to
take a certain part of the detailed work of caring for the ship from the shoulders of the executive officer, thus giving the latter more time to give t° his more important duties, and enabling him to be more effectively the second in command in all branches.
hie was, “if practicable,” to be the line officer on board next in rank to the executive officer. He was supposed to be the understudy of and the logical relief for the executive officer.
The proposal to make the first lieutenant next in rank to the executive was actually carried out for several years, but hardly long enough to give any serious effect. to the proposal that first lieutenants should be the reliefs of executives. In July, 1915, change number 5 to Navy Regulations, 1913, provided that the first heutenant should, “if practicable,” be junior to all other heads of department. The reason for this reversal was that there were enough unavoidable difficulties attached to detailing officers without adding the condition that first lieutenants must be the third line officer in rank aboard. Furthermore, many officers objected to the first lieutenant assignment, not because they considered the work menial or uninteresting, but because they considered the billet and its duties based on principles of organization which were fundamentally wrong. These conditions exist today and, in my opinion, will continue to exist until there is a change in human nature or until the first lieutenant problem is solved in accordance with principles of organization which are fundamentally sound.
During the past twenty years the first lieutenant idea has brought about on many ships a constant battle, sometimes smouldering but always a potential menace to harmonious and successful results. Such success as it has had may be laid very definitely to two causes. The first of these was the first lieutenant himself who as a result of his tact, willingness to “co-operate,” and devotion to duty attained success in spite of the system. The second cause was the commanding officer. On many ships, large as well as small, his changes and adjustments in ship’s regulations and orders remedied or counterbalanced the faults of the basic organization.
From the start the engineer officer exercised all the functions of a first lieutenant in regard to the engine-rooms and fire- rooms. It was a logical step, and permissible under the regulations, for the commanding officer to give him similar responsibilities in all spaces where his men worked or lived. This included engineer living spaces, washrooms, storerooms, shops, and fuel tanks. This step materially reduced the amount of space in which two heads of department had joint responsibility for results and exercised joint authority over the personnel.
Electric steering gears required the facilities and personnel of the engineer department for their care and upkeep. It soon became apparent that operation of the gear, not its control mechanism, might be advantageously taken over by the engineer department. Eliminating a divided responsibility resulted in better condition of the machinery and less repair work necessary to keep it so, an overall gain in time and effort. The trend has been toward the assignment of all the machinery on the ship to the engineer department. The chief exceptions are ordnance machinery where it is better to assign to the department concerned the personnel necessary for upkeep and operation, and foolproof machinery which requires no skill in operation and no care except servicing at routine intervals.
On small ships the engineer officer has always been the repair or maintenance officer for the whole ship. He had the facilities and the personnel for the job, no matter what it was. This procedure has been followed to some extent on large ships. It could be profitably followed to its logical conclusion.
Many systems, such as the fresh-water system, are ordinarily a divided responsibility. It has been found that they could be operated more satisfactorily and harmoniously by a single head of department and with no increase in labor over that previously necessary. And if there were an increase in labor only a minor adjustment is necessary, for the work is now being done and by the personnel now on the ship.
The result has been that the duties of the first lieutenant outside of the gun divisions or deck force have become less and less. Very little development of this trend would be necessary to eliminate them entirely. The first lieutenant has become in fact, if not in name, an assistant to the gunnery officer. He might well be so in name also. There could be no question of overloading any one for the same personnel would still be available to do the same work. On the contrary better organization should make for less work.
If the experience of the past twenty years is worth anything it should serve as a warning against reviving the early erroneous principles of the first lieutenant idea and extending them to damage control- It would seem definitely preferable to place the responsibilities of damage control on the engineer officer, somewhat as the Germans have done. The engineer officer already has under his control most of the personnel, machinery, and facilities which are necessary. He has an organization and the basis of the necessary system of communications. In particular he has, and should retain, control of the fuel tanks, pipes, and pumps which are necessary m maintaining stability and trim. An assistant for damage control would unquestionably be necessary in any case. It would seem desirable, and perfectly practicable, to exercise both damage control and machinery control from the same location so that they might be better co-ordinated-
It would seem neither necessary nor proper to specify what duties the engineer officer should perform personally or that he should remain in any one place.
(See Page 1583, November, 1932, Proceedings)
Commander H. H. Frost, U. S. NaW- This article gives a very interesting description of the sinking of the German vessels in Scapa Flow. I would like to correct an erroneous impression as to how
these vessels came to Scapa Flow. Most People speak of the surrender of the German ships. The correct term is internment. This might sound like hairsplitting. To show that such is not the case, it will be Necessary to tell how the naval terms of ]he Armistice were adopted, as described 111 Henry Newbolt’s excellent Vol. V, Naval Operations.
While Marshal Foch was deciding upon the military terms of the Armistice, the Allied Naval Council, after much discussion, had drawn up thirteen naval Causes. One of these provided for the surrender of the German submarines. As this ^as carried into effect substantially unhanged, further discussion of it is unnecessary. Another clause read:
The following ships and vessels of the German Heet, with their complete armament and equipment, are to be surrendered to the Allied and United States of America Governments, in ports m^ich will be specified by them,” . . . (then followed the names of the ships).
This draft was sent to the allied premiers. Marshal Foch informed them that he Germans, in all human probability, ^ould refuse to sign the Armistice if it contained these terms. He recommended hat the High Seas Fleet be merely confined to the Baltic. The premiers rejected his advice. “But they were unanimous,” Newbolt says, “that the conditions as they stood were too severe: the surrender of the battle fleet could not be insisted upon; lts internment was the most that could he demanded.”
The matter was referred back to the Allied Naval Council. The majority “felt hat it would be most dangerous to reduce the terms.” They reported to that effect. Admiral Benson, however, submitted a minority report, recommending internment. The premiers accepted Benson’s recommendation. Newbolt says:
kfr. Lloyd George urged that it was so important that there should be no breakdown in the armistice negotiations that he did not think it advisable to demand the surrender of the German fleet:
internment would be sufficient.
The armistice clause was then revised to read:
The following German surface warships, which shall be designated by the Allies and the United States of America, shall forthwith be disarmed and thereafter interned in neutral ports or, failing them, allied ports, to be designated by the Allies and the United States of America, and placed under the surveillance of the Allies and the United States of America, only caretakers being left on board.
It was under these provisions that the German ships came to Scapa Flow.
The German submarines which were surrendered were received by Rear Admiral Tyrwhitt with great courtesy. Newbolt writes:
In order that there should be no demonstration, savouring in the least degree of triumphing over a beaten enemy, Admiral Tyrwhitt ordered the ships of the Harwich Force to maintain a strict silence when passing or being passed by German submarines, and added that there was to be no manifestation whatever.
The German ships which were interned were received by Admiral Beatty without courtesy. He informed Rear Admiral von Reuter, who had shown such remarkable skill and courage in the cruiser fight of November, 1917, that he did not wish to receive him. He ordered that the German colors would no longer be flown by the German ships. As reported by von Ber- chem, the food of the officers and men was fit only for hogs and not even the officers were allowed to set foot ashore for six months.
As to the sinking of the German ships, it might not be proper to express an opinion. However, I don’t believe many of our officers condemned very strongly the German merchant skippers who damaged their ships in our ports just before we declared war. Nor can I believe that all Englishmen were so infuriated at the sinking of the German vessels as was Admiral Freemantle. With some forty-five capital
ships, what did they want with fifteen more—built on the metric system? But just suppose France had demanded those ships—or Italy—or even Japan. Just suppose !
Examinations for Promotion of Junior Officers
(See Page 1264, September, 1932, Proceedings)
Captain Leigh Noyes, U. S. Navy.— It is always interesting to get the point of view of junior officers in matters that concern them, and it is believed that Ensign Haile’s general ideas of the advantage of progressive education over the “cramming” method are sound. Examinations are constantly being improved to avoid this criticism.
There are, however, a few apparent errors of fact or conclusion in the article. First, the writer states that “the junior war college course is now issued to the officers of the Navy.” The War College issues correspondence courses in strategy and tactics, and in international law, but these do not take the place of either the junior war college course or the senior war college course, which are intended to be taken in person by all officers. To encourage additional study of strategy and tactics by younger officers a permissive exemption in regard to examinations is made in the case of the strategy and tactics correspondence course.
The writer suggests correspondence courses which would qualify officers as watch standers—deck or engineer. This idea is contrary to the best view in regard to education and training. “Theory” may be taught by correspondence courses, but practice” may not. In general, facilities are provided for the necessary teaching of theory on shore, but all such theory (as far as line officers are concerned) only forms the basis which must be consolidated by practical training at sea. This applies to the War College as well as to the
Naval Academy and General Line School-
The present system of theoretical education on shore contemplates that all l'ne officers should pass through the Naval Academy, General Line School, the junior War College, and the senior War College’ In addition to this basic instruction a number of specialists necessary to the needs of the service are given additional instruction on shore. The ideal would be that each line officer, in addition to thorough proficiency in the general requirements for all line officers, should be, either through organized instruction or through his own efforts, a specialist in some one line.
Aviation and submarines are, at present) our operating specialties. The general specialties open to line officers are marine engineering, ordnance and gunnery, communications, law and languages, each with appropriate subdivisions. Of a less general character are diving, chemical warfare, and gyrocompass, aerology, etc.
Correspondence courses are undoubtedly of value and their use may be extended in the future. They require personnel and funds which are not at present available. The writer speaks of these courses as an extension of the system noW in effect for enlisted men. He may not know that the present system of training courses for enlisted men costs the Navy $30,000 a year.
When personnel, material, and funds are available the Bureau of Navigation issues to all officers pamphlets in its case system- This is much less expensive than a correspondence course system, and appears to be the most that can be done at present along this line.
A change in the system of training ensigns on board ship has recently been inaugurated, but it is based on a practical consolidation of the theory learned at the Naval Academy rather than on the acquisition of more theory. One of its points is to bring to the attention of ensigns their joint responsibility with commanding ofB'
cers in making requests for such assignments to ships’ duty as will assure the Proper progress of their individual professional careers.
The new regulations for ensigns serving under revocable commissions prescribe at the end of two years from graduation an examination, practical in character, which will undoubtedly cover the training received during that period. The examining board may, in its discretion, accept a subject satisfactorily passed in this examination in lieu of the same subject in the examination for lieutenant (j.g.).
Articles such as this one of Ensign Haile would seem to indicate that younger officers are giving more thought and study to the planning of their own professional careers.
An Ancient Mystery of Naval Construction
(See page 1441, October, 1932, Proceedings)
Dr. Ing. Wladimir V. Mendl.—The Writer is particularly obliged to Professor W. B. Norris for having tackled the very interesting problem of Athenian galleys, as it would seem that up to this day scientists of many countries save the United States have tried to solve it. Some of them have devised something within, or at least very near to, the limits of possibility. Others have imagined solutions very far from technical probability.
It cannot be foreseen if ever we shall get beyond mere guesswork. But it may well be that one day some archaeologist will discover by chance the proof of our present suppositions, or that of an entirely new solution of the much discussed problem.
As science is today and notwithstanding the archaeological material at our disposal, we know very, very little about the vessels of ancient Greece and Rome, at least not Very much about many most interesting points in their construction and much less than about the Egyptian vessels. This because the ancient Egyptians were kind enough to leave behind numerous models of their vessels in various graves. The ancient Greeks did get beyond adorning vases with reproductions of their galleys, sometimes in the schematic style of the ancient artist.
It is not true that Rear Admiral Fincati was the first one to take up the problem in 1881. Moreover, he has written about what the Italians call triremi, that is to say, Venetian galleys of the late Middle Ages.
About the Greek galley, called triere, as against the Latin expression trireme for the equivalent vessel of ancient Rome, there are several writings and nearly just as many models have been constructed.
In 1895 a German naval architect, Professor Haack, published an article “Uber Attische Trieron”in the Zeitschriftes Ver- eines Deutscher Ingenieure and seems to be the first of all to get very near to what must have been reality.
Now as to “the idea that the rowers were arranged in banks each higher than the other,” which is said to be “a Byzantine explanation and does not come from the days of the trireme itself” it ought to be stated that as early a document as the relief from the Acropolis in Athens (see p. 1447 October, 1932, Proceedings) gives us without the possibility of any doubt the certainty that it is more than a late explanation. This relief was discovered by Le- normant in 1852 on the steps leading to the Erechtheum temple and was dated about 450 b.c. Unfortunately the reproduction in the Proceedings is not very good. However, better illustrations contained in some of the books mentioned above can raise no doubt as to the existence of three rows of oars protruding through the outer shell at three different levels. This leaves but one possibility, that of the oarsmen seated at three different levels too.
From this point of view the reproduction on page 1446, October, 1932, Pro-
ceedings, cannot be looked upon as being conclusive. As labeled they represent ves- • sels of the pre-Athenian period, that is to say, from the first half of the last millennium b.c. Incidentally the trieres did not become common before 500 b.c.
The only question left open is as to whether the thole pins for the upper row of oars were fixed on the uppermost or on the second beam below those shown in the relief. Koster (pp. 111-112) is of the opinion that the oars of the upper row of oarsmen are reproduced as passing in front of the top beam, the original relief having been complemented by patches of color.
Geheimrat Tenne (p. 34), on the other hand, believes the thole pins to have been on the second lower beam and the oars to have passed between both the upper and second beam.
It is interesting to read the opinion of another author, especially as he is himself a naval architect. Koster says that if the thole pins of the upper oars were on the second beam the fixed point for the oars would be lying under the level of the seat of the oarsmen, but the result will not be favorable so far as the action of rowing is concerned. But it must not be overlooked that in case the actual lengths of the oars of various rows are different, that is to say, if one would have in the same vessel oars of three different lengths—very naturally the ratio of inboard to outboard length of an oar must be the same for all of them—the difficulty of keeping time in rowing will be much increased. This granted, the other two solutions (Tenne and Busley) have in their favor the fact that there are only two different lengths of oar, those of both upper rows being identical. Besides this, the solution given by Geheimrat Tenne has the advantage of parallel oars, whereas, according to the other author, the tips of the oars would be nearly touching one another.
Finally the version of Geheimrat Tenne solves best the problem of the difference
between the thranos and the pasedres. The first designated the whole under structure or side galley, while the second one inch' cated only the planks forming the side walk. In the other solutions things are not made quite so simple.
The second row of oarsmen, the zygitas —not zugites, as written in the article; were seated on beams of the hull called zygon, not near them, and derived their name from these latter.
There can be no question of seating half of the 170 oarsmen of a galley in a single row along each board. We know from Vitruvius Pollio’s work Be Architecture (18 b.c.) that the distance between two oarsmen, called interscalmium, was about 36.5 inches, so that any arrangement other than superimposed rows is impossible, the galley having short decks (parexeiresiai) for the fighting crew (epibates) to stand upon. Thus the middle body (enkepen), in' tended for the oarsmen, could not have had a length of more than about 100 feet, and this would have allowed not more than 14 inches for each of the oarsmen seated in a single row.
Now as to the seating arrangement m the polyeres, that is to say, in vessels with more than three rows of oarsmen, the explanation given by Geheimrat Tenne Is certainly a clever one and within the limits of possibility. However, there must have existed certain differences in this seating arrangement. Thus the Romans captured in 242 b.c., near Lilybaeum a Carthaginian pentcre (a vessel with five rows of oarsmen) which subsequently was taken as a model for their own construction. On the other side it is proved that already in 260 b.c., a number of about 100 Roman penteres fought in the battle of Mylae (August Koster, Das Anlika Seewesen, p. 144).
As far as vessels with still more rows of oarsmen are concerned the description which Callixeus of Rhodes has left of Ptolemy Philopator’s ship of forty banks in' eludes the statement that with a length of
^20 feet, a height at bow and stern of 72 feet and 70 feet, respectively, and 4,000 °arsmen on board, she drew less than 6 feet of water. These and similar accounts Heed not be taken too seriously. (G. S. Laird Clowes, Sailing Ships, p. 28.)
The explanation that several men Worked on the same oar is within the limits of possibility, but it must not be forgotten that to seat 40 men side by side requires a bank of at least 80 feet, which figure would represent the dimension of the half-breadth of the body. Not only are We thus arriving at dimensions different from those recorded, but we know (Koster, p. 145) that the longest oar of this remarkable vessel had a length of about 62 feet. Taking into consideration that the ratio of inboard to outboard length of an oar must be around 1:3, it is difficult to see how things could really have been this way. The mystery about this point has not yet been unveiled and cannot be solved by simple suppositions.
Deck Officer Training for the Merchant Marine
(See page 745, May, 1932, Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander Thomas W. Sheridan, U. S. Naval Reserve.—This article was raked with a barrage of adverse criticism by Lieutenant (J. G.) R. R. McNulty, U. S. Naval Reserve, in the May, 1932, Proceedings.
Mr. McNulty deemed it wrong for the writer to accept the merchant service ‘ as it was handed down to him.” From Mr. McNulty’s disquisition it would be inferred that the obnoxious (to Mr. McNulty) condition of the service was due to the ignorance of “penny-wise but dollar- foolish shipowners.” But this writer considered the merchant service as it is, and probably will continue to be, and not as the idealistic men of vision would like to have it. Could Mr. McNulty and his men of vision
. . . with Him Conspire To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire, Would they not shatter it to bits—and then Remould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire!
Yes, indeed! But can they?
“Dollar-foolish!” Says Mr. McNulty. Here, obviously is a chance for the dollar- wise Mr. McNulty to step right in and show just how the merchant service should be run. The international shipping business is the toughest competitive game in the world-—the writer has invested in a few shipping propositions-—and if Mr. McNulty knows any way in which the American shipowner can be made less dollar- foolish it is his patriotic duty to give a practical demonstration of better methods. Ships are cheap now and Mr. McNulty should buy a few and start a line to show how it would be managed by the dollar- wise. Of course, it is expected that a dollar-wise man, such as he, will have a few dollars to spare for the proposition.
Mr. McNulty and the men whose“range of vision has distance” will change the merchant marine and the “present status of ships’ officers,” which “they do not accept,” by means of their shore academy- trained officers. But there was an excellent experiment in trying out the reaction of shore-educated men to the merchant service and of the merchant service to shore- educated men right after the recent conflict. It will be recalled that the navy took multitudes of the cream of the young college men of the nation and, after an intensive course, commissioned them in the Naval Reserve. Some thousands were assigned to the Naval Over-seas Transport Service where they had excellent experience, similar to merchant marine, and at the termination of the war were granted officers’ licenses in the merchant marine. There were fine chances in the merchant marine then and shipowners welcomed them. Yet the writer does not know one, out of the thousands, who has continued in the service! Devoid of the requisite “sea
and mostly under sail. One cruise was entirely under sail as the propeller was lost at the start and the ship circled the Atlantic, round the Azores and the Bermudas, through gales, calms, and snowstorms, “cracking on” to the utmost, with topmast and lower stun’sls set when they could be carried. The adventure and romance of sail seemed to have a very practical, pragmatic aspect in inspiring these men to high attainment, and to surmount the difficulties and sustain the hardships which will never be eliminated from the service.
Mr. McNulty devotes a large part of his discussion to laudatory comments concerning Pangbourne College and the Conway and Worcester which latter two, he states with satisfaction, “never leave their moorings.” In fact, it appears that Mr- McNulty has incorporated a generous share of the prospectus of one of these institutions in his discussion. But, after all, these schools have nothing to do with the case as, in fact, they are merely extensions of the British public school system with marine courses and a sort of sea-scout flavor, something like Culver. Very young boys are taken in and, if they do go into the merchant service after graduation, are required to serve a three-year apprenticeship before they are granted officers’ certificates.
The writer has been master of many ships of all types from cargo craft to liner on most of the trade routes of the world and, from the Occident to the Orient, has had excellent opportunities to compare the competency of all kinds of merchant officers of all kinds of antecedents and has found that the American state school ship graduate officer is not inferior to any. The depreciation in the British officer is noticeable since the abandonment of sail training.
“Consider the merchant marine of our chief competitor, Great Britain,” cries Mr- McNulty. Do! And we find that there have
zest” they could not emotionally adapt themselves to the rigors of the service which they found every bit as “drab” as Mr. McNulty says the writer “painted” it. It was not a question of intelligence or ability; it was just that they did not like the life. Nor, sad to say, did this infusion of the erudite effectuate the felicitous improvement that Mr. McNulty and the men of distant vision would, therefrom, expect. They did not bring about any better condition “than at present exists” so “that a more attractive career” could be “offered.” They just drifted ashore as will, I fear, the “excellent material for merchant service officers” that will be graduated from the “shore bases in combination with modern training vessels.”
Consider a comparison. For a period of some three years just prior to the war the writer was senior instructor and navigator of the school ship Newport. During that time some ninety cadets were graduated in the deck department. Today, from those ninety, the merchant marine has the finest possible group of young, competent captains, commanding ships on all the Seven Seas. Some of them were in command, and highly esteemed, before they reached the age of twenty-five. After attaining the rank of lieutenant commander in the reserve, before he was twenty-four, one kept right on rising and is now president of his own steamship company. Another was in command of one of our finest liners at the same age and is now the foreign manager of one of our great steamship companies. One was graduated a month ahead of time, in Bermuda, to take command of a ship in an emergency, rose to be operating manager of a vast fleet of ships in one of the best American companies, and then got out to organize and head his own exporting company. There are a number from that ninety who are now marine superintendents or port captains. It is worthy of note that the cruises of those three years were long, arduous,
been a number of drear occurrences during the last decade which have seriously tarnished the hitherto excellent professional reputation of the British merchant officer. Within the last six months Captain McNeil, commodore captain of the greatest British line, the Cunard, has made a demand, in no uncertain terms, for the revival of sail training so that the prestige, Seamanship, and ability of the British merchant officer could be maintained in Its quondam glory! He is joined by many other practical experienced men of the sea; which invites attention to the curious fact that few of the men of distant vision, around New York, who vociferously proclaim the advantages of shore academies, have ever had any experience as captains or deck officers in the merchant marine!
Pertinent to ponderers on pelagic pedagogical processes is the utterance of the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty delivered in the House of Commons on March 7:
In my opinion, there is no training in the world for a sailor like the training provided by masts and yards, making and shortening sail, reefing topsails in a gale, and all sail drill which necessitates the closest co-operation and trust between all hands. Nothing can surpass it for imparting smartness and discipline and for developing character and self-reliance.
The First Sea Lord stated that he had the hearty adherence of the senior officers of the service in his ideas on the subject and said further:
I think it is the height of folly for us to ignore it any longer. I believe that an early training in sail is the only way to develop that spark of seamanship which is latent in every inhabitant of these islands, seamanship which, in the past and in the face of tremendous odds, has always been the supreme factor.
t Mr. McNulty and his men, whose" range of vision has distance,” should turn their
1 “range of vision” on that. It is surprising that, in all his over-seas researches, Mr. McNulty did not discover and recognize the significance of this and the utterance of Captain McNeil.
Mr. McNulty intimates, by rhetorical questions and conjectures, that the reason that the navy does not undertake "the arduous task of training a now paper naval reserve to the efficient level of the British R.N.R.” is due to a lack of “brotherly regard” on account of the present low standing and intelligence of the American merchant officer. This writer has no way of evaluating, either qualitatively or quantitatively, Mr. McNulty’s knowledge of and experience in the navy or merchant marine but is sure that this intimation is not founded on a factual basis. In the last two years the writer has served in two battleships, a cruiser, a destroyer, three submarines, a submarine tender, and a naval air station—surely a good cross section of the navy. And, though merely a modest merchant master mariner, all from admirals down treated him with utmost courteous consideration and assistance in training and studies. There was every evidence that the whole navy is ready and willing to undertake “the arduous task of training a now paper naval reserve” as soon as Congress becomes alive to the urgent necessity and provides the funds.
Evidences of the sad effects of the activities of men of vision throughout the land in over-production and over-expansion may be seen even without being one whose “range of vision has distance” and the writer heartily hopes that the state school ships do not suffer the same as have all the other over-expanded organizations in the nation.
Lieutenant R. R. McNulty, U. S. Naval Reserve.—Before attempting to “rake” Captain Sheridan’s views on the above subject with another “barrage of adverse criticism,” the writer wishes to state that he is cognizant of the futility of further discussing this subject with any one in whom is so deeply ingrained the theory that as the ancient mariner was trained so must we train the merchant
officer of today. However, some statements made in the captain’s discussion necessitate comment. The temptation to continue is irresistible.
Possibly it is but natural that the views of the captain and the writer differ. Although both are graduates of state nautical schools which have utilized antiquated sail vessels to train for service in steam, Captain Sheridan has had a wealth of experience afloat since graduation. On the other hand, the writer is merely a former deck officer who, as a shore employee of a steamship company, has been occupied in the operation of ships for the last ten years. Apparently Captain Sheridan is of a school of thought that demands much physical but a limited amount of mental exertion from officers subordinate to the master. The writer, having a steamship office point of view, is unable to agree with such a theory. American shipping must have intelligent masters. On that score there can be no question. But, are not masters promoted from mates and should not those mates be intelligent and educated beyond the “dexterous with mar- linspike and chipping hammer” stage? Further, must we not seek suitable material from which to cull youngsters for training as merchant officers? Surely there can be no argument that to secure the desired material there must be incentives to offer those who would adopt a merchant- officer career. Were there no incentive, sea zesty but not stupid young men would pass up the merchant service to enter federal schools with shore bases at Annapolis and New London.
Captain Sheridan accepts the merchant service as is—more of that later—and would obtain bos’n mates by selecting only sea zesty young men for training on a sail vessel kept continuously at sea. Aboard the proposed vessel there would be no danger of contamination from textbooks— possibly a dictionary would be permitted —for the captain is convinced that “to be able to do rather than explain is the great desideratum.” The writer, on the other hand, is one of the many favoring a federal academy similar to the California Nautical School. The principal characteristics of this school are: (a) a shore base with modern marine equipment; (b) a modern merchant vessel for practical training at sea for six months of the year; (c) entrance requirements calling for more than “a strong back but a weak mind,” and (d) a three-year course. At this school not only “how” but as well “why” is taught. From it will graduate officers valuable to American shipping both afloat and ashore.
Now for comment on Captain Sheridan’s discussion. “Penny-wise but dollar- foolish shipowners.” In the writer’s May discussion appeared the statement “the aliens taught us the ‘dirty-mate’ route to some penny-wise but dollar-foolish shipowners’ hearts.” Apparently the captain overlooked the word “some” for with great glee he writes “if Mr. McNulty knows any way in which the American shipowners can be made less dollar-foolish it is his patriotic duty to give a practical demonstration of better methods.” As the captain is now informed of the writer’s vocation he will realize that the writer could not and would not label the American shipowners collectively as dollar-foolish.
Penny-wise but dollar-foolish shipowners are, fortunately, few in number. But, surely the captain with his extensive experience knows of some who are pleased with the existence of conditions which he has accurately judged as “obnoxious to Mr. McNulty” and thinks are impossible to change. He most certainly knows that the qualifications and examinations for officer’s licenses have been, and are, to a certain extent, such as to permit all, except imbeciles, with but two or three years’ sea service, to become mates. And, that because of such conditions there are probably three or more licenses for each berth available even during normal times-
If the captain is not aware of the fact that a great surplus of officers with easily acquired licenses means the lowering of professional standard, lowering of wages, and Poor working conditions, then let it be known that there exist some penny-wise but dollar-foolish who are.
“Could Mr. McNulty and his men of vision remold?” That, Captain, depends on the strength of some dollar-foolish owners and also yourself if you desire to maintain your laissez faire attitude. At the present time it is evident that the steamboat inspection service is not listening very attentively to dollar-foolish owners.
As for showing shipowners how to be less dollar-foolish, the writer can only state that he is as modest a shipowner’s employee as the captain is a master mariner. Were he one of the ninety to have graduated from the U.S.S. Newport during the captain’s regime as senior instructor and navigator he might be the president of a steamship company and in a position to show how. However, he was not that fortunate.
“Intensively trained” N.O.T.S. officers.
As the captain would brush aside the “like Culver” British nautical schools so would the writer eliminate the case of college educated naval reserve officers who graduated from the “intensive courses” given at Pelham Bay and other war-time naval schools. Those men had no three- year course as is being given at the California Nautical School; at college they pursued courses foreign to shipping and returned to complete those courses or to vocations for which they were originally trained. Some of them, however, might have remained in service had there been inducements for them to do so.
“Pertinent to ponderers on pelagic pedagogical processes—The writer regrets he missed the First Sea Lord’s speech and the demand of the author of In Great Waters. Not that he would have discovered the significance recognized by Captain Sheri
dan but merely just for more material to file away with the views of some sail- trained master mariners now residing at Snug Harbor and the opinions of the die- hards who have passed into oblivion firmly convinced that the U. S. Navy and_U. S. Coast Guard have made an awful mistake to train their midshipmen and cadets on types of vessels to which they would later be assigned as officers.
Feeling Between U. S. Naval and Merchant Officers.—The writer has not served on eight men-of-war during his entire lifetime, let alone two years. He is therefore compelled to study the observations of others and in so doing has, for variety, gone over to the navy’s side of the fence. The following is quoted from an article written for the Proceedings by Lieutenant Hansen W. Baldwin:
In the navy, particularly among the young officers like myself, I have noticed that whenever the merchant marine is thought of at all there goes with the thought an air of tolerant superiority. Because of the advantage of a Naval Academy education and the social position graduation insures, many officers seem to feel the officers and crews of merchantmen are inferior creatures. . . . Because they have the advantages of a good education and can handle the intricacies of the English tongue with more correctness many youthful officers and some mature ones look down upon the officers and men of the Merchant Service not only socially and mentally but professionally.
Both Captain Sheridan and the writer may thank Lieutenant Baldwin for adding: “Such an attitude does discredit to the officers who adopt it.”
Training the Merchant Marine Naval Reserve.-—The captain states in his discussion “the whole navy is ready and willing to undertake the ‘arduous task of training a now paper naval reserve’ as soon as Congress becomes alive to the urgent necessity and provides funds. ^
In an article the captain has written for the July issue of Marine Age he states; Lawyers, stockbrokers, actors, salesmen, interior decorators, and others can join the reserve and rightfully be paid for study and training to fit
themselves for war duty. This is fine; but imagine the emotions of the men of the Merchant Marine when they are informed that the only thing open to them is to take a cruise at their own expense. That’s the present paradoxical situation.
Does not the captain resent it that the navy can obtain funds from Congress for the fleet reserve but nothing for the merchantmen? Does he know how much the bureaus of the “whole” navy have requested of Congress to train merchantmen and if the amounts would be sufficient to carry out the act of ’25? Is he aware of the facts that the Steamboat Inspection Service’s rules have been recently supplemented in order to grant second and third mates’ licenses to graduates of Naval R.O.T.C. and the Naval Academy; and that the navy is encouraging its enlisted men to enter the merchant service as officers? Would he not agree that present indications are that, excepting for correspondence courses, the navy may delay merchant officer training for some time— until probably the professional standard of merchant officers ascends to a level desired by those whose “range of vision has distance.”
In conclusion: can it be regarded as strange that, in spite of “the depreciation in the British officer” which Captain Sheridan contends “is noticeable since the abandonment of sail training,” the British Admiralty spends huge sums on its Royal Naval Reserve whereas the United States Navy does not even enroll in its reserve the sail-trained cadets of state school ships?