MANUAL OF SEAMANSHIP FOR BOYS' TRAINING SHIPS OF THE ROYAL NAVY

IN THE 19TH CENTURY THIS ONE DATED 1898

[NOTE:  ITS PREDECESSOR IS MUCH TOO OLD TO TAKE COPIES FROM, TOO FRAGILE BUT THE CONTENTS ARE ROUGHLY THE SAME AS THIS EDITION

The contents and thus the learning to be achieved and understood are tremendous and very demanding upon young boys! Remember these were seamen boys [budding bluejackets], NOT signal boys [although some did choose that career path after leaving sea training]] and of course boy telegraphists had not been invented at this time.

This is the front cover of the hardback now itself a triffle worn with a broken spline.  By the way training ships mean just that and not training establishment.  Steam was introduced into the navy c. 1850 onwards, so these ships roaming the sea 60 years on from those times were steam vessels with screws but most still with sails and yards  to be studied and mastered as a skill for these boy's. My many Ganges stories point out that its famous mast erected in 1907 was a red herring because by this time gymnasium's  and the PTI branch had been introduced to keep the men fit and active, and sails and yards were off the training menu's for naval adults: it was retained simply as a keep fit medium for boys with not one jot of  practical use for their careers at sea.

Click on thumbnails that follow, twice if necessary.

The contents of this manual are of great interest but the chief attention-grabber's are how boy's learned their Morse Code and the multi-use of the Union Jack.

Most of us will remember the dot dashes, the dits and dars,  and other unforgettable symbols plus, if like me all these years on, you regularly hark back to those days and find yourself tapping out a Morse signal. But what about this way of remembering the Morse Code where a dot is a 'dotty' and a dash is a 'dashty' or 'dash-ty' ? 

On page 120 of the following pdf file  we are shown three letters A B and C followed by:-

A = dottydash-ty [for DI DAR]

B = dash-tydottydottydotty [for DAR DI DI DI]

C = dash-tydottydash-tydotty [for DAR DI DAR DI]

very strange I am sure you will agree. It reminds me of my time when a young parent of talking baby-talk to my young sons, something we all did back then so it was the norm.  By the 1980's it was considered that from day one almost, we talked to our children in adult terms, so for example dad da became daddy so children became early learners  etc.

Thinking about the erase sign of at least eight dots.  One could become 'potty' doing all those 'dotty's !

Of other great interest was the way they boxed their compass using  110 points whatever [I didn't count them as diligently as I should have done ?] whilst using just the compass card and by flags on a colourful compass card [of all things - see second  page of pdf file].

 

There are many histories which can be told/explored by looking at flags but one in particular are the flags of Germany through her many wars and vile destruction of millions of people, their cultures and possessions. Germany's many flags point to a VERY TROUBLED nation not to mention a carbuncle on the side of the Globe which will fester for many fair minded students of this period long into the future and history per se.

 Throughout MOST of the 1800's and remember Germany was allied to the Duke of Wellington  in his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815 and before, we had moderate dealings with Prussia a very well known military society!

PRUSSIA's [FLAG BELOW] was unsettled and in the second half of the century with King William 1 on the throne caused several minor wars but when Otto Von Bismarck arrived in power in the 1860's he played along with the King although all were aware as to who was the boss. Not only did he cause three much more serious wars against Austro-Hungary, Denmark and France and won all three, but he manipulated other European countries making it tough for them if they didn't toe his line, and history shows Bismarck as the true cause of both WW's in the first half of the 20th century - having set the scene in the 19th century!  By the time he felt the Prussian-German alliance to be powerful enough he delivered the biggest possible insult to France by moving into the sacred Palace of Versailes and there declared the Second Reich but vacated the premises after his declaration. The beginning of the proverbial story was set!

At the turn of the century and commensurate with the start of the 2nd Reich a new flag was designed which went on to be used throughout WW1. The strong man of the Alliance and the constant bully of European nations was Bismarck ruling Prussia with an iron hand, and because Prussia was a northern state bordering the Baltic it gave him licence to call his flag the 'North German Flag' [naval ensign and mercantile navy ensign'  which are shown here in The Flags of Principal Maritime Nations in the V/S section at the foot of this page.  This picture immediately below is the ensign of the German Navy, at that time a Monarchy [becoming a Republic at the WW1 defeat] so a Royal Navy, called the  The Imperial German Navy, or more precisely the " Kaiserliche Marine" meaning royal navy.

 Bismarck comes across as the quintessential field marshal equating with Wellington and Napoleon but he was anything but. He had no military experience only a short period in the reserve forces which he didn't like and chose to resign at the first opportunity.  Nevertheless he continuously wore a military-style uniform giving the impression of a seasoned military leader. The German King, William or Wilhelm the First

1 died in 1888 and was followed by his son Frederick III and then by the foulest man of WW1 King William [Wilhelm]  II known to us as The Kaiser meaning King, the end of the line for the German monarchy, and he was too strong for Bismarck and the Kaiser got rid of him. The flag above was used  by Germany until the defeat of the Second Reich in 1918 and the fleeing of the Kaiser into the hands of the Dutch who gave him first class luxury hospitality and much to the annoyance of most of the world, complete protection.  He died in Holland in 1941. It really does beggar belief that the Dutch continued his treatment as a very important VIP this despite the Nazis attack on the Netherlands in 1940!

At the end of the war and the Second Reich, a civilian government, the Weimar Republic administered the defeated country and chose to fly this flag and this civilian authority called the German navy the Reichsmarine.

As soon as WW1 finished the surrendered troops began a campaign against the Weimar and come the mid 1920 it was obvious that these rebels led by Adolf Hitler were well organised and meaning business. Hitler wangled his way into civil  administration with an ulterior motive to spread Nazism ultimately to bring down the Republic, and come 1935 the flag of Germany once again changed this time to the much feared flag of the Nazi Party itself.

 

This period followed on from WW1 and was called the Third Reich. Hitler called his Nazis navy the Kreigsmarine [translated as War Navy], but for the first two years of Nazi rule it continued to call its navy the Reichmarine [meaning Imperial navy]. It has changed its name many times since and today in the 21st century it is called simply the Deutsche Marine [German Navy], a bit-player in the NATO role!

The vast majority of senior personnel connected with D-Day 1944 [ergo the defeat of Nazi Germany] had all jointly trained for their roles at an almost imaginary establishment called HMS Odyssey, so aptly named. Few, even today, understand thnists of a nation who in two world wars were manifestly sub-human as these occurrence in the first half of the 20th century had never been know since God is said to have rested on the sabbath, it would be folly to accept that a unified Germany is at peace with itself, and that an under current of dissent and disappointment that two attempts to rule the world have failed, and that a third was inevitable - some day! Admiral James Rivett-Carnac, strived to make sure that each member of HMS Odyssey would be publicly rewarded for driving out the rats infesting 1940-1945 Germany. Those who recall the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a e subtlety of the naming of that Herculean effort to rid the world of the Nazi bestiality, copied piecemeal by every so-called

 non-Nazi German, all of whom embraced Lucifer as their God and guiding

 light:all were classed as being of rank moral turpitude. Despite the high

and mighty promises of the protagotown in southern Germany, will recall that the Piper was hired to rid the town of rats. Analogous with that myth, is the true story of Humanity hiring the Allied Forces to rid the whole world of German-Nazi-Rats, and just as the Pied Piper did in mythological terms many centuries earlier, Ike Eisenhower the C-in-C and as such the 'Piper' of modern "real" times returned to Germany, and just like the Pied Piper, achieved his mission !

 

An Odyssey today, especially for an non-scholar is simply a tough and arduous journey, of a Greek warrior after battling his way through the wars of TROY BC, and survives, takes ten long and worrisome years to get back home to his wife and his son. Some wise and learned person or persons used the word to signify a long struggle against a well organised Axis power, Germany [the Italians surrendered to the Allies in 1943] which would result in thousands upon thousands of deaths before the war is won [possibly analogous to the Wars of Troy which lasted a decade], and that when it is all over for the survivors, combatants and civilians most of the latter displaced persons, it would take eons to get back to normality if that were ever possible, or even attempted,  such was the utterly destroyed human fabric by the incomparable cruelty of the Hun:  a shameful and pitiful nation. There is of course the silver lining so often talked about, and that is the culpable-Germans are now few and far between and that is a blessing, but have you ever thought of the sheer amounts of must-be photographic evidence on German mantle-pieces of revered monsters, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, grandparents whose vile faces are on show on a daily basis, as often we see the faces of Nazi murders in public cemeteries in Germany and Austria. Such pictures personify Germany's disgusting and depraved past, and just as I remember my three dear great uncles who served at Passchendaele, and think only of their suffering and naivety exercised in the name of our beloved country, a German of my octogenarian years will have the same respect for what I would consider a sub-human person!

 

After the defeat of the Reich and the deaths of the German leaders many executed by the Allies but also many by suicides, sometimes including the whole family as in the case of the Joseph Goebbels. He ordered the execution of his many children first, then it was his wife's turn and finally his own.

After the Allies and Russian forces had annexed Berlin as a war prize, the sector which went to the Western Allies became known as West Germany and called itself  'The GERMAN FEDERAL REPUBLIC'  flew this flag below.

This is how British service personnel stationed in the British Army of the Rhine [BAOR], post WW2, travelled to their duty posts from West Germany to West Berlin [the British Sector] via East Germany  in a military train known as The Berliner. Note on page one the incorrect drawing of the Union Flag.

British Army of the Rhine Crossing from West Germany to East Germany and into West Berlin on military duties - Copy.pdf - file protected and copyright RN Comms Museum

and Russia's sector known as East Germany and calling itself 'The GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC' flew this flag.

After the Berlin Wall was torn down and Germany was reunified on 3rd October 1990, they took this, the existing West German flag, as their national flag.

 And now the V/S section from the Manual -  followed by the querky way of learning the Morse Code always spoken as quickly as possible!!