John Knowles im Thurn

From The Dreadnought Project
Jump to: navigation, search

Rear-Admiral John Knowles im Thurn, C.B., C.M.G., C.B.E., (7 March, 1881 – ) was an officer in the Royal Navy of exceeding ability who was nonetheless employed largely in staff work during the Great War, usually centred on wireless.

Life & Career

Im Thurn entered the naval service on 15 January, 1895 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant seven years later, on 15 January, 1902.[1]

He was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1913.[2]

He was appointed to Vernon on 19 June, 1913 for experimental wireless telegraphy duties, specifically helping to shape naval policy toward its development. This role kept him busy after the outbreak of war. He was discharged only on 30 July, 1916 with an evaluation from Captain Skipwith that labelled him a "brilliant W/T Offr." and was appointed the next day to King George V for general staff and wireless duties.[3]

Despite his strong focus on signalling and wireless, Im Thurn also invented the Im Thurn Torpedo Tactical Instrument, probably in 1916 or 1917.[4]

Im Thurn was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1918.[5]

Post-War

On 31 July, 1919, Im Thurn was gazzetted for receiving the C.B.E. for "valuable service in charge of the W/T Experimental & Instructional Depart. in Vernon".[6]

In June 1921, he was appointed in command of the light cruiser Ceres. Upon leaving her on 15 March, 1923, Im Thurn received glowing praise from Rear-Admiral Tyrwhitt who had done very well in Ceres despite having entered the post with "very little sea experience."[7]

He was appointed in command of the battlecruiser Hood two months later, on 15 May, 1923.[8]

Im Thurn was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 7 October, 1929.[9]

As a Rear-Admiral, he was appointed Assistant Chief of Naval Staff on 27 March, 1931.[10]

On 22 June, 1933, he was appointed as Rear-Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron.[11] During this appointment, a 30 March, 1934 evaluation from Admiral William W. Fisher recommended that Im Thurn might be suitable for promotion to Vice-Admiral for administrative but not sea-going command work, as though "[h]e has done well in the First Cruiser Squadron but this should mark the limit of his command at sea, his personality being insufficient to impress or lead a larger command especially in times of difficulty or stress, He has struck me at times as a little too careful of his health and wanting in virility." These deficiencies were offset by his technical knowledge, high order thinking and exceptional tact.[12]

Im Thurn was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 16 January, 1935 and placed on the Retired List on 17 September of that year.[13]

World War II

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Harold O. Reinold
Captain of H.M.S. Ceres
21 Jun, 1921[14] – 15 Mar, 1923[15]
Succeeded by
Arthur L. Snagge
Preceded by
Geoffrey Mackworth
Captain of H.M.S. Hood
15 May, 1923[16][17] – 30 Apr, 1925[18]
Succeeded by
Harold O. Reinold
Preceded by
Claude Seymour
Captain of Portsmouth Signal School
30 Apr, 1925[19]
Succeeded by
James S. C. Salmond
Preceded by
Wilfred Tomkinson
Assistant Chief of Naval Staff
27 Mar, 1931[20][21] – 28 Feb, 1933[22]
Succeeded by
Sidney R. Bailey
Preceded by
George K. Chetwode
Rear-Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron
20 Jun, 1933[23] – 18 Jul, 1935[24]
Succeeded by
Max K. Horton

Footnotes

  1. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  2. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  3. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  4. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 200.
  5. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  6. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  7. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  8. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  9. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  10. "Naval, Military, and Air Force" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 24 April, 1931. Issue 45805, col G, p. 6.
  11. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  12. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. Copy inserted near f. 188.
  13. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  14. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  15. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  16. Taylor. The Battlecruiser Hood. p. 230.
  17. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  18. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  19. The Navy List. (July, 1927). p. 282.
  20. "Naval, Military, and Air Force" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 24 April, 1931. Issue 45805, col G, p. 6.
  21. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  22. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  23. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.
  24. Im Thurn Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90. f. 188.