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Independent Reseachers

 
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andy303



Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 10
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:30 am    Post subject: Independent Reseachers Reply with quote

Can anyone recommend a reseacher familiar with the Admiralty records held at the National Archives in London? I am looking for information on Adm. Sir Herbert Richmond. Thanks!
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tone
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 478
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could ask some people where they'd look for data on him, but you should also check in with the MARHST-L mailing list.

What exactly do you want to know about him?

tone
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andy303



Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 10
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:39 pm    Post subject: Captain Herbert Richmond Reply with quote

Tone:
In Marder's "Portrait of an Admiral: The Papers of Adm. Sir Herbert Richmond" , and in the originals that I perused at the NMM, Richmond has a rather low opinion, indeed is scathing, in his criticisim of the C-in-C Home Fleet, Willie May, and his staff. Richmond has a reputation for being difficult with those who did not see things his way.
ADM 196/89 is supposed to contain the service reocrds of RN officers and confidential remarks. I wanted to see how May evaluated him.
Richmonds next command after Dreadnought was the cruiser Furious, not exactly a rise upwards.
Best Regards, Andy
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Adrian Dobb



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy

I can't answer your specific question, though I know a little about Richmond. You may however be well ahead of me on this so I apologise if I'm repeating what you already know.

As you say he didn't seem to get on with the naval establishment to well. After commanding Dreadnought he became something a critic of the dreadnought concept which wouldn't have made him welcome in the 'fish pond' (contemporary phrase, not mine alas!). Having said that somewhere along the line he did strike up a good relationship with the naval historian JS Corbett who had been brought in to write and lecture to young officers on naval strategy. Corbett was associated with Fisher at least initially and once Richmond gave up his naval career and concentrated on historical writing the two often collaborated. Corbett went on to write the first half of the Navys official history of WWI up till his death in circa 1922. Richmond completed his 3 volumes of The Navy in the War of 1739-1748 in 1920. Two others of his I have listed are Statesmen and Seapower (1946) and the Navy as an Instrument of Policy 1585-1727, by then he was Sir H.W. Ricmond. He wrote much more besides the above and was clearly interested in the navy and politics. I mentioned him in a post under the usefulness of pre-dreads thread.

I have a limited experience of the contents of ADM files at NA while I was researching a dissertation a few years ago. If I lived in London I'd probably offer to go and have a peek for you but I don't so sorry. Again this probably comes as no surprise to you, but its sometimes a bit hit and miss what the ADM files contain. I was disappointed to find a particular ROP from 1937 missing even though it was listed in the file itself as being in the contents.

Adrian
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Harley



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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went and had a perusal of "Sailor Scholar" by Barry D. Hunt. May is mentioned only four times, and not exactly glowingly.

From what I observed, Richmond must have at first had the extreme confidence of May as CinC Home Fleet. He had just been promoted Captain and attached to May's staff, and then without ever having commanded so much as a picket boat he was given command of Dreadnought which in 1908/1909 would still have been the top command in the RN. His trying to force a reappraisal of RN doctrine wouldn't have endeared him to CinC I think, hence his being sent to command in swift succession the second class cruisers Furious and Vindictive at the torpedo school.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into things here, but whilst Richmond's career may have slowed down due to his rambunctiousness in the Home Fleet, his later battleship commands and presidency of the War College along with his great amount of influence with Beatty at a time when Admiral of the Fleet May still carried a lot of clout suggests that whatever May may have written in his confidential remarks can't have been overly damning.

I am intending to visit The National Archives in the next month or so, and I'll put Adm 196/89 on the "To Look At" list.

Simon
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andy303



Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 10
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies Adrian and Simon.
Richmond did have the confidence of Fisher prior to his being promoted to Captain, which may explain his assignment to Dreadnought.
Here is a snippet of something I wrote about him:
Nowhere in Marder’s Portrait of an Admiral: the Life and Papers of Sir Herbert Richmond, is there any mention of the Hoax. Richmond probably never intended for his dairies to be published, but these writings give us valuable insights into Richmond’s thoughts concerning the state of the Royal Navy during the years leading to the Great War. What emerges from Marder is Richmond’s disdain for Jackie Fisher, whose legacy as First Sea Lord he describes as having left “…no thinking department, no plans for war, no knowledge of an enemy’s plans or movements; in all probability the way for German success will have been paved...”.13 He was no less dismissive of his immediate superior. Richmond expresses frustration that Admiral May was more concerned with the length of seamen’s trousers and the neatness of their hammock stowage, and other minutiae best left to a divisional officer or the commander, instead of the reading and understanding the detailed papers that Richmond had prepared for him on the principals of naval strategy; he was dubious that May had the intellectual capacity to fully grasp them anyway. He dismissed Gough-Calthorpe as an amicable but “...a very stupid little man.”14 He was disappointed that younger officers like Commander Fisher declined to spend much effort on strategic thinking, preferring instead to concentrate on their own technical specialties. Fisher had once told him that “…as far as he could see strategy didn’t matter.”
Richmond also thought that Winston Churchill was quite mad, which explains why he (Richmond) didnt last long at the Admiralty.
It also didn't help that Jellicoe had very little use for Richmond, and tried (and succeeded) to supress the publication of the Naval Review during the war years. WW Fisher, May's Flag Commander, was a strong Jellicoe supporter. I beleive that there was a deep antipathy between Fisher and Richmond, which is reflected into which camp they fell into the Jellicoe-Beatty in-fighting. From what I have read Richmond wasnt all that impressed with Beatty either, but was glad of his support whilst Beatty was in the ascendancy.
Simon I would be grateful for whatever help you could provide.
Best Regards,
Andy
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Adrian Dobb



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 41
Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice posts chaps, you are both ahead of me on Richmond. I hope Simon finds something in the ADM file

Adrian
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