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...an Admiralty without Winston???

 
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bargami



Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Richmond, Virginia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: ...an Admiralty without Winston??? Reply with quote

This is a "just for fun," if you will, although the reality could have changed the course of the naval War, and the entire War as far as the Dardanelles and Gallipoli, substantially. Namely, if Winston Churchill had not been First Lord of the Admiralty in these critical years, who would you have, if there are opinions about it?

A couple of things here. I'm assuming in posing this that the political situation would be the same, i.e. you still have the Liberal government which in fact existed, and thus the same pool of likely alternatives, although take it any way you like.

Also, going to the heart of this site, if you don't have Churchill at the Admiralty you "probably" would also not have had Fisher's second term as First Sea Lord, so maybe there's this position to be considered also.
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Harley



Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 131
Location: Great Britain

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really is a horrific exercise trying to think of all the manifestations of Churchill's influence - there's so much whichever way you look at it.

If only, as I perhaps alluded to on another thread, the Unionists had won in 1910. I'm sure Balfour would have been disposed to making Lord Fisher First Lord of the Admiralty?

Harley
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bargami



Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Richmond, Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harley that is an interesting reply, such as I was hoping to get. Indeed, Fisher would have loved that; as First Lord, to paraphrase Churchill in a later
era, he would have command over the entire field; as a baron he would be in the Lords and not subject to direct inquiry in the House of Commons. And having a unique prestige as political head of the Admiralty Fisher would certainly insure that he had the professional partner he wanted, probably a continuance of Sir Arthur Wilson.
And very importantly, as First Lord, assuming that the Dardanelles idea was being proposed in January of 1915 by "anyone," Fisher would have had
a position to speak; a place at the table. Lord Fisher's explanation for allowing the Dardanelles scheme to go through the War Council in silence was that, as a service chief, he hadn't the right to speak, i.e. he was not the equal of Kitchener, the military icon but also Secretary of State for War and all-too-entitled to speak (and I dispute this from Fisher; I say that, as Fisher-of-Kilverstone, a truly unique First Sea Lord, Fisher should have stood up and stated his reservations regardless of convention. Let the chips fall where they may). The actual course of events; critical letters to Jellicoe, etc., after the decisions have been made, served no good purpose.

And regarding the Unionists returned as a hypothesis, the man who brought Fisher in originally, Lord Selborne...a calm, knowledgeable and confident First Lord; not trying to play-admiral (never would have thought of it) but confident, as a civilian, "this is my department; I'm in charge and I know how to run it." He understood the needs of the service as its political head but wouldn't have dreamed of sending out operational orders in wartime, a la Churchill.
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Leighbridge



Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Posts: 2
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting topic but just a smallpoint to note in regard to the premise of Lord Fisher being appointed as First Lord (as against First Sea Lord) in this hypothesis.

The post of First Lord of the Admiralty and those of Civil Lords must be held by civilians.

Fisher at this time was still a serving Fleet Admiral, for him to take on this post he would have been required to retire from the Royal Navy and given his devotion to the service its doubtful he would have while Great Birtian was at war.
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Harley



Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 131
Location: Great Britain

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 1910 Fisher was within months of being automatically retired on account of age anyway.

Simon
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tone
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 479
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It astonishes and pleases me that we have people who can understand (and therefore, argue) over these administrative wrinkles. It escapes my understanding every time!

tone
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