Frank Brandt

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Captain Frank Brandt (2 October, 1871 – 1 November, 1914) was an officer of the Royal Navy during the First World War. He was killed at the Battle of Coronel whilst in command of the armoured cruiser Monmouth in 1914.

Life & Career

On 21 July, 1892, acting Sub-Lieutenant Brandt was appointed in command of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 55 for the annual summer manoeuvres.[1]

On 31 May, 1894, Brandt was selected to qualify in Torpedo duties. He was appointed to Vernon from 30 September, 1894, to 18 August, 1896, to qualify. He was lent to the second class protected cruiser Apollo for manœuvres from 24 July to 27 August, 1895, and to Victory for command of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 84 from 8 July to 18 August, 1896. He obtained a second class in his final examination for Torpedo Lieutenant.

He was appointed to the Junior Staff of Defiance at Devonport on 18 August, 1896, and on 5 December was appointed Torpedo Lieutenant of the second class protected cruiser Bonaventure and then the second class protected cruiser Eclipse on the East Indies Station on arrival there.

On 20 September, 1900, Brandt married Beryl Pennington at St. Peter's Church, South Kensington. She was the daughter of James Pennington, late of the Indian Civil Service.[2] He was appointed to Vernon on 6 November and then to the first class protected cruiser Diadem in the Channel Squadron on 14 November. He was appointed to battleship Ramillies in the Mediterranean as First and Torpedo Lieutenant on 11 February, 1902.

At some point in 1903 Brandt was appointed to Duke of Wellington, additional, for torpedo duties in the Portsmouth Fleet Reserve. That year it appears he made helpful suggestions for a Graduated Sight Bar to better help torpedo ranges be judged.[3]

Brandt was promoted to the rank of Commander on 31 December, 1903, and appointed to Fire Queen for duty in the Fleet Reserve at Portsmouth. He was appointed to Fire Queen in command of the first-class torpedo boat T.B. 116 on 3 January, 1905, and for command of a flotilla. On 18 April, 1906, he was appointed to the second class protected cruiser Mercury for duty with submarines and for command of the Portsmouth Submarine flotilla, and on 12 November he was appointed to the second class protected cruiser Thames for duty with submarines.[4]

On 2 April, 1907, he was appointed in command of Bonaventure for duty with submarines and for command of a submarine flotilla. An officer who served under him, Charles G. Brodie, later recalled that "Brandt was excitable, had a stentorian foretop voice and a famous flow of language." His "enthusiasm was unbounded," and after a misunderstanding which allegedly led to Brodie being placed under arrest, he admitted being "crushed at the Captain I had deified, believing I had defied him." Brodie ranked Brandt first among "the most human of the Navy's leaders of the period and among the best loved" he served with. "His explosions were violent but usually brief, and he expected others to forget them as completely as he did."[5]

On 17 November, 1909, he was appointed to Mercury as Assistant to the Inspecting Captain of Submarines and in command of the Dover Submarine Flotilla.

Captain

Brandt was promoted to the rank of Captain on 31 December, 1909, and reappointed to Mercury. He attempted to retire in 1910 but his application was refused, so that his experience in submarines might not be lost. On 14 November of that year he was appointed in command of Bonaventure and for command of the Portsmouth Submarine Flotilla. From June to July, 1912, he was lent to Victory for temporary command of the depot ship Maidstone for trials, and was appointed in command as Captain (S) of the Eighth Submarine Flotilla on 15 October, 1912. He was superseded in Maidstone on 1 September, 1913, and went on Half Pay at his own request.

Commodore, Second Class Roger J. B. Keyes, the Inspecting Captain then Commodore (S) since November, 1910, wrote of Brandt in August, 1913:

A most zealous officer, who has devoted the last 7 years to the Submarine Service. Always ready to share the risks & discomforts of the Submarine Service which owes much to him, particularly in regard to its development as an offensive arm. I consider that he lacks judgt & sense of proportion, but he has given me most loyal service, I have a very high opinion of his grit & determination.[6]

Brandt was appointed in command of the second class protected cruiser Eclipse on trooping duties on 24 February, 1914, and on 30 July, 1914 was appointed in command of the armoured cruiser Monmouth. He went down with his ship at the Battle of Coronel on 1 November.

A memorial service was held for Brandt on 21 January, 1915, in St. Dunstan's Chapel, St. Paul's Cathedral. His widow and four children were in attendance.[7]

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
George B. Hutton
Captain of H.M. T.B. 55
21 Jul, 1892[8][9] – 31 Aug, 1892[10]
Succeeded by
Walter Hose
Preceded by
Henry D. Wilkin
Captain of H.M. T.B. 84
8 Jul, 1896[11] – 18 Aug, 1896[12]
Succeeded by
George Johnstone
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M. T.B. 116
3 Jan, 1905[13][14] – 18 Apr, 1906[15]
Succeeded by
John S. Dumaresq
Preceded by
Robert W. Johnson
Captain of H.M.S. Thames
12 Nov, 1906[16][17] – 2 Apr, 1907[18]
Succeeded by
Oswald H. Davies
Preceded by
Henry H. Torlesse
Captain of H.M.S. Bonaventure
2 Apr, 1907[19] – 17 Nov, 1909[20]
Succeeded by
Albert P. Addison
Preceded by
Albert P. Addison
Captain of H.M.S. Bonaventure
14 Nov, 1910[21][22] – Jun, 1912[23]
Succeeded by
Stanley L. Willis
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M.S. Maidstone
15 Oct, 1912[24] – 1 Sep, 1913[25]
Succeeded by
Arthur K. Waistell
Preceded by
?
Captain (S), Eighth Submarine Flotilla
15 Oct, 1912[26][27] – 1 Sep, 1913[28]
Succeeded by
Arthur K. Waistell
Preceded by
Henry Luxmoore
Captain of H.M.S. Eclipse
24 Feb, 1914[29][30] – Jul, 1914[31]
Succeeded by
Francis H. Mitchell
Preceded by
Brian H. F. Barttelot
Captain of H.M.S. Monmouth
30 Jul, 1914[32] – 1 Nov, 1914[33]
Succeeded by
Vessel Lost

Footnotes

  1. "The Naval Manœuvres". The Times. Saturday, 16 July, 1892. Issue 33692, col A, p. 17.
  2. London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Peter, Cranley Gardens, Register of marriages, P84/PET1, Item 005.
  3. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1903. pp. 47-48.
  4. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  5. Sea Gee. "Some Early Submariners—III." The Naval Review. Vol. LI. No. 2. April, 1963. pp. 190-191.
  6. ADM 196/89. f. 75.
  7. "Captain Brandt, R.N." The Times. 22 January, 1915. p. 35.
  8. "The Naval Manœuvres". The Times. Saturday, 16 July, 1892. Issue 33692, col A, p. 17.
  9. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  10. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  11. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  12. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  13. The Monthly Navy List. (December, 1905). p. 400.
  14. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  15. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  16. The Navy List. (January, 1907). p. 385.
  17. Brandt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  18. Brandt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  19. Brandt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  20. Brandt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  21. Brandt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  22. The Navy List. (August, 1912). p. 286.
  23. Brandt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  24. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 342.
  25. Brandt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  26. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 342.
  27. Brandt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  28. Brandt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  29. The Navy List. (April, 1914). p. 307.
  30. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  31. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  32. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.
  33. Brandt Service Record. In our PDF for John Roderick Segrave. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 225.