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General Category => Off the Record => Topic started by: Threviel on February 08, 2019, 10:39:53 am

Title: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Threviel on February 08, 2019, 10:39:53 am
I got hold of an interesting article which, despite its hyperbolic name, is quite good.

https://features.propublica.org/navy-accidents/uss-fitzgerald-destroyer-crash-crystal/?fbclid=IwAR3YeD2m0HYw4MGr0rn_izk_7EwyHYXK4FgS-LQZ9vWn_c2NKVOveffeK24

TL:DR: USS Fitzgerald was hit by a freighter due to bad seamanship. This was the fault of the higher ups.

What do you think? Are there serious structural problems in the worlds second best navy?
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Berkut on February 08, 2019, 12:20:23 pm
Wow. You don't see much reporting like that anymore. Excellent.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Threviel on February 08, 2019, 02:41:03 pm
I'm reading part 2 right now https://features.propublica.org/navy-accidents/us-navy-crashes-japan-cause-mccain/ (https://features.propublica.org/navy-accidents/us-navy-crashes-japan-cause-mccain/)

I really wonder, as I am reading, what could cause such unreadiness and so run down ships and crew and if that attitude is in the entire Navy. Perhaps I should continue reading.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: mongers on February 08, 2019, 03:08:12 pm
Maybe they should 'drive' on the left-hand side instead.  :bowler:
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Berkut on February 08, 2019, 04:02:50 pm
Quote
Two three-star admirals told ProPublica they had explicitly notified superiors of the growing dangers. The two people who served successive terms as undersecretary of the Navy, the No. 2 position in the civilian command, said they had, too.


Errh, if the bunk doesn't stop at three star admiral rank, where does it stop?
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 08, 2019, 04:12:24 pm
That's a really well-written piece.  It got some things wrong (like the fact that it was Combs, not Coppock, who was in charge of the ship while on watch) but overall seems to be focused on informing, not judging.   Some thing that leapt out to me:

(1) Benson was himself the XO before he became CO.  That's a really bad idea.  The XO is the guy who actually runs the ship.  He is the only man, apart from the senior enlisted man aboard (who serves as a sort of sergeant-major of the ship) who reports directly to the CO.  Everybody else reports to him.  He knows where all of the bodies are buried, where the skeletons are in the various closets.  He's responsible for resolving problems like having one of the officers not eating in the wardroom.   

Having the XO take over as CO puts the new XO, Babbitt, in an impossible situation.  The CO knows more about the ship and crew than the XO, which is the opposite of the way that works.  The new XO cannot criticize things like the watch bill, because the new CO is the one who created it!  In fact, the fact that the Benson created the watch bill and "balanced the officers" is emblematic of the problem - that was NOT his job.  That's the Xo's job.

(2) The ship had a LOT of officers on duty (three of them just on the bridge), while at the same time the point is made that they are not getting enough rest.  Why didn't the ship lean more on the senior enlisted men?  Sure, the ship was short of complement, but only 10% down is better than any ship I ever served on.  Chief Petty Officer and First Class Petty Officers love to stand those officer watches, and are probably better at them than junior officers. 

(3) This story just reinforces how totally out of bounds the officer of the deck, Coppock, was.  She got no help from CIC, but didn't seem to do anything about it.  She passed no visual info to CIC, didn;t talk bridge-to-bridge with any of the ships she could see, and, worst of all, totally failed to properly handle the ship.  The rules of the road for ships is very clear; when a possible collision situation arises, a ship may either slow, or turn to starboard.  Turning to port is forbidden.  She increased speed and turned to port.  She also violated the unwritten rule that, when maneuvering to avoid collision, the OOD ALWAYS takes the conn: "attention on the bridge, I have the conn."  One never relays messages through a conning officer under those circumstances.  The conning officer is a trainee.

(4) The captain was asleep in his in-port cabin.  I've never known a CO who didn't use his at-sea cabin (which is right off the bridge) 100% of the time at night at sea.  That's what it is for.  There's a certain reassurance for OOD to know that the captain is about three steps away, and it's not that big a deal to call him to the bridge. Sure, you are going to wake him up, but he's not a watchstander and he can sleep when he wants to.  He was maybe still thinking like an XO (whose cabin is deliberately far from the bridge and the sea cabin and who is not on-call to the OOD except to maybe ask his advice on whether to wake the CO), for which I blame, again, the decision to make the XO the CO.  And so it come full circle.

This story is great for how it shows the different viewpoints of different people.  I hope the right people pay attention to it, and that they also see what it didn't (and couldn't, given the ongoing investigations) say.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 08, 2019, 04:14:28 pm
Quote
Two three-star admirals told ProPublica they had explicitly notified superiors of the growing dangers. The two people who served successive terms as undersecretary of the Navy, the No. 2 position in the civilian command, said they had, too.

Errh, if the bunk doesn't stop at three star admiral rank, where does it stop?

The bunk traditionally stops where the next bunk begins.  :P

But, seriously, the Navy has been over-deployed for two decades now, at least.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 08, 2019, 07:31:17 pm
I'm reading part 2 right now https://features.propublica.org/navy-accidents/us-navy-crashes-japan-cause-mccain/ (https://features.propublica.org/navy-accidents/us-navy-crashes-japan-cause-mccain/)

I really wonder, as I am reading, what could cause such unreadiness and so run down ships and crew and if that attitude is in the entire Navy. Perhaps I should continue reading.

That second part is far more damning than the first - and the first one was about abject incompetence.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Threviel on February 08, 2019, 11:49:51 pm
Thanks Grumbler, always interesting to hear from guys with experience.

The second article really lays the blame on the political leadership, the SecNav and Congress. I hope that things have been better in the years since.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: fromtia on February 09, 2019, 12:26:13 am
My interest in boating is limited but I thought that this was an absolutely fantastic piece of writing and journalism and sent links to several friends.

Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Berkut on February 09, 2019, 11:26:07 am
A couple things I would love to here grumblers take on:

1. The officer not eating in the wardroom. This is reported as kind of a minor problem, maybe even just an eccentricity. HOwever, as a commander....I think I would generically see this as a really serious issue. My officers don't have to like each other, but they do have to respect each other, and they most certainly MUST have a functioning social (military social but still social) relationship. So much of the non-tangible success factors in the military are based on the relationships working, and one officer not eating in the wardroom regularly seems like a giant fucking canary in the coal mine that *something* is wrong that needs to be adressed. Or am I reading too much into that, in regards how it works in the Navy versus other services (my uninformed gut actually tells me this is MORE important on a warship than other services, not less)?

2. One thing the article mentioned several times was how many missions the ship was put on, with no real chance for rest and refit. One of those missions mentioned was a "show the force" kind of thing where they went with a CVBG. Now, this strikes me as a mission that might be important overall, but have the Fitzgerald as part of it is almost completely irrelevant. Having one more DDG there or not seems to make no real difference. So given its rather poor readiness, why send it? That hardly seems critical.

I see two possibilities here:

1. Its readiness may look poor, but it is actually pretty typical, and not really as large a problem as the article makes out. And maybe none of the ships there were any better, so if you didn't send ships like the Fitzgerald, you wouldn't send any at all.
2. It isn't so much about the need for the ship to be there, but that nobody wanted to admit clearly that it should not go because of its poor readiness and need for more downtime. So its not that it needs to be there so much, but that someone says "Hey, we need some ships for this, lets send, uhhh who is available....X, Y, and Fitzgerald". And nobody wanted to actually say "Yeah, unless you REALLY need them, that is not such a great idea....".
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Berkut on February 09, 2019, 11:27:20 am
Quote
Two three-star admirals told ProPublica they had explicitly notified superiors of the growing dangers. The two people who served successive terms as undersecretary of the Navy, the No. 2 position in the civilian command, said they had, too.

Errh, if the bunk doesn't stop at three star admiral rank, where does it stop?

The bunk traditionally stops where the next bunk begins.  :P

But, seriously, the Navy has been over-deployed for two decades now, at least.

Right - but don't three start admirals have a lot of influence on that very problem? I mean, these are the guys calling the shots, right?
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: DGuller on February 09, 2019, 01:38:41 pm
I'm not a big believer in ProPublica painting an accurate picture.  I may be judging from a sample of one, but the first time I heard about them, it was when they did a study on how auto insurers racially discriminate.  It didn't matter that some actuaries consulted before publication pointed out how their analysis was littered with rookie mistakes that drove their conclusion, they weren't going to take some expert mansplaining things to them.  After the publication they still dug in their heels and went "of course the industry will not admit that they racially discriminate and will instead attack our conclusions".  It's good to be an investigative reporter, but only if you are passionate about truth rather than criticizing the powers to be.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Admiral Yi on February 09, 2019, 02:00:15 pm
I'm not a big believer in ProPublica painting an accurate picture.  I may be judging from a sample of one, but the first time I heard about them, it was when they did a study on how auto insurers racially discriminate.  It didn't matter that some actuaries consulted before publication pointed out how their analysis was littered with rookie mistakes that drove their conclusion, they weren't going to take some expert mansplaining things to them.  After the publication they still dug in their heels and went "of course the industry will not admit that they racially discriminate and will instead attack our conclusions".  It's good to be an investigative reporter, but only if you are passionate about truth rather than criticizing the powers to be.

I'd be interested to know more about the rookie mistakes.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Razgovory on February 09, 2019, 02:04:20 pm
I'm not a big believer in ProPublica painting an accurate picture.  I may be judging from a sample of one, but the first time I heard about them, it was when they did a study on how auto insurers racially discriminate.  It didn't matter that some actuaries consulted before publication pointed out how their analysis was littered with rookie mistakes that drove their conclusion, they weren't going to take some expert mansplaining things to them.  After the publication they still dug in their heels and went "of course the industry will not admit that they racially discriminate and will instead attack our conclusions".  It's good to be an investigative reporter, but only if you are passionate about truth rather than criticizing the powers to be.

I'd be interested to know more about the rookie mistakes.


There was only a few second left, they were on the five yard line, and they put a rookie in for quarterback.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: DGuller on February 09, 2019, 03:47:39 pm
I'm not a big believer in ProPublica painting an accurate picture.  I may be judging from a sample of one, but the first time I heard about them, it was when they did a study on how auto insurers racially discriminate.  It didn't matter that some actuaries consulted before publication pointed out how their analysis was littered with rookie mistakes that drove their conclusion, they weren't going to take some expert mansplaining things to them.  After the publication they still dug in their heels and went "of course the industry will not admit that they racially discriminate and will instead attack our conclusions".  It's good to be an investigative reporter, but only if you are passionate about truth rather than criticizing the powers to be.

I'd be interested to know more about the rookie mistakes.
Basically they were trying to do an "all else being equal, do people in minority ZIP codes pay more" kind of analysis, but their "all else being equal" was very selectively chosen so that it was really "some else being equal".  A charitable explanation for their failure to properly do "all else being equal" analysis is that they didn't have the skillset to do it properly.  A less charitable explanation is that they knew what story they were going to publish, and it was just a matter of finding the right apple to compare with just the right orange to get to the conclusion.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Admiral Yi on February 09, 2019, 03:55:11 pm
Basically they were trying to do an "all else being equal, do people in minority ZIP codes pay more" kind of analysis, but their "all else being equal" was very selectively chosen so that it was really "some else being equal".  A charitable explanation for their failure to properly do "all else being equal" analysis is that they didn't have the skillset to do it properly.  A less charitable explanation is that they knew what story they were going to publish, and it was just a matter of finding the right apple to compare with just the right orange to get to the conclusion.

So something like they controlled for driving record but not local crime rates?
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 09, 2019, 04:15:00 pm
A couple things I would love to here grumblers take on:

1. The officer not eating in the wardroom. This is reported as kind of a minor problem, maybe even just an eccentricity. HOwever, as a commander....I think I would generically see this as a really serious issue. My officers don't have to like each other, but they do have to respect each other, and they most certainly MUST have a functioning social (military social but still social) relationship. So much of the non-tangible success factors in the military are based on the relationships working, and one officer not eating in the wardroom regularly seems like a giant fucking canary in the coal mine that *something* is wrong that needs to be adressed. Or am I reading too much into that, in regards how it works in the Navy versus other services (my uninformed gut actually tells me this is MORE important on a warship than other services, not less)?

Yes, this would have been a big deal on any ship I served on.  The XO shuld have been on top of this - if the officer in question had a legitimate complaint of being attacked in the wardroom, the XO needs to put the attackers in their place.  If the complaints weren't deemed legitimate, the officer in question should be directed to dine with the others and given some advice on wardroom etiquette and expectations.  Watchstanding requirements and illness are the only reasons to miss eating with your fellow officers.

Quote
2. One thing the article mentioned several times was how many missions the ship was put on, with no real chance for rest and refit. One of those missions mentioned was a "show the force" kind of thing where they went with a CVBG. Now, this strikes me as a mission that might be important overall, but have the Fitzgerald as part of it is almost completely irrelevant. Having one more DDG there or not seems to make no real difference. So given its rather poor readiness, why send it? That hardly seems critical.

I see two possibilities here:

1. Its readiness may look poor, but it is actually pretty typical, and not really as large a problem as the article makes out. And maybe none of the ships there were any better, so if you didn't send ships like the Fitzgerald, you wouldn't send any at all.
2. It isn't so much about the need for the ship to be there, but that nobody wanted to admit clearly that it should not go because of its poor readiness and need for more downtime. So its not that it needs to be there so much, but that someone says "Hey, we need some ships for this, lets send, uhhh who is available....X, Y, and Fitzgerald". And nobody wanted to actually say "Yeah, unless you REALLY need them, that is not such a great idea....".

I suspect that it was a little from column A and a little from column B.  Fitzgerald probably wasn't notably worse off than her sister ships at Yokosuka, and no one wanted to be the guy who said "I know she looks ready, but we have failed to make her as ready as she looks."

Average days at sea for current USN Navy ships are higher now than they were in WW2.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: DGuller on February 09, 2019, 04:15:50 pm
Basically they were trying to do an "all else being equal, do people in minority ZIP codes pay more" kind of analysis, but their "all else being equal" was very selectively chosen so that it was really "some else being equal".  A charitable explanation for their failure to properly do "all else being equal" analysis is that they didn't have the skillset to do it properly.  A less charitable explanation is that they knew what story they were going to publish, and it was just a matter of finding the right apple to compare with just the right orange to get to the conclusion.

So something like they controlled for driving record but not local crime rates?
It was a lot more basic than that.  What they did was calculate average claim cost for each ZIP code, and compared it against a quoted premium for a single hypothetical driver with certain characteristics in each ZIP code.  These two quantities are not comparable, because among other things the average amount of coverage purchased by drivers differs a lot between ZIP codes.  You either have to compare hypothetical driver claim costs against their quoted premium, or you compare average premium collected in a ZIP code against average claim cost in a ZIP code.

I don't know whether I'm managing to convey how basic of an error that was, but that was a very basic error.  To go forward with the story based on such elementary innumeracy reflects badly on their reputation as journalists.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 09, 2019, 04:19:40 pm
Right - but don't three start admirals have a lot of influence on that very problem? I mean, these are the guys calling the shots, right?

No.  The Combatant Commanders (the joint guys, like CINCCENT and CINCPAC) have, via the JCS, control of how and where the forces are used.  The services are just the force providers.  CINCPAC orders five destroyers to the ea of Japan, and Seventh Fleet just sends them the ships. The 3-stars at the Pentagon have no control over optempo.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: mongers on February 09, 2019, 04:19:41 pm
....
I don't know whether I'm managing to convey how basic of an error that was, but that was a very basic error.  To go forward with the story based on such elementary innumeracy reflects badly on their reputation as journalists.

Did those journalists write the article in the OP that is being discussed by Grumbler et al?
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: DGuller on February 09, 2019, 04:27:30 pm
....
I don't know whether I'm managing to convey how basic of an error that was, but that was a very basic error.  To go forward with the story based on such elementary innumeracy reflects badly on their reputation as journalists.

Did those journalists write the article in the OP that is being discussed by Grumbler et al?
The organization ultimately sets the slider on sensationalism/objectivity.  This article describes the low level of maintenance and the state of disrepair of the radars.  Is that a big thing, or really a non-issue for people in the know, and par for the course on every ship that also doesn't crash into a freighter?  I don't know, but I definitely wouldn't trust ProPublica's assessment.  They have a story to push, and from past experience I know that facts and context wouldn't stand in their way.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: mongers on February 09, 2019, 04:36:25 pm
....
I don't know whether I'm managing to convey how basic of an error that was, but that was a very basic error.  To go forward with the story based on such elementary innumeracy reflects badly on their reputation as journalists.

Did those journalists write the article in the OP that is being discussed by Grumbler et al?
The organization ultimately sets the slider on sensationalism/objectivity.  This article describes the low level of maintenance and the state of disrepair of the radars.  Is that a big thing, or really a non-issue for people in the know, and par for the course on every ship that also doesn't crash into a freighter?  I don't know, but I definitely wouldn't trust ProPublica's assessment.  They have a story to push, and from past experience I know that facts and context wouldn't stand in their way.

That's not an answer to my question.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Admiral Yi on February 09, 2019, 04:38:21 pm
It's a rebuttal of your premise.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Admiral Yi on February 09, 2019, 04:38:55 pm
Or maybe not.  Maybe your question was innocent.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: DGuller on February 09, 2019, 04:41:42 pm
The answer is no.  None of the three authors of the Fitzgerald story were among the four authors of the hit piece I took issue with.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: dps on February 09, 2019, 05:25:08 pm

Average days at sea for current USN Navy ships are higher now than they were in WW2.

How much, if any, of that is due to nuclear-powered ships having almost unlimited range?
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: DGuller on February 09, 2019, 07:06:56 pm
I just realized that another investigative piece that at the time annoyed me greatly due to wanton disregard for math also came from ProPublica.  I saw an article in reference to the original work, and could spot the obvious math error while reading it, but I didn't realize that the original work came from the same innumerate crew from ProPublica.  It was about recidivism algorithm used by courts for parole decisions being biased against black people.  Their proof that the algorithm was biased was merely a mathematical certainty that resulted from black people having a higher risk score than white people.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 09, 2019, 07:37:25 pm
How much, if any, of that is due to nuclear-powered ships having almost unlimited range?

I would say zero.  The only nuclear-powered ships left besides submarines are carriers.  The problem is that CENTCOM needs 2 carrier battle groups in the IO, EUCOM needs one in the Med, and PACCOM needs one and sometimes two in the western Pacific. There are only eleven battle groups, and three or four are in overhaul at any given time.  That means that half of the rest are deployed at any given time, and the other half are working up for deployments (which workups are being cut short when a surge is needed to, say, the South China Sea).  The Navy is trying to support a 600-ship-navy deployment pattern with less than 300 ships.

Of course, this negatively impacts retention, which then negatively impacts readiness, which in turn negatively impacts retention...

That's why the Navy brass in the article were so focused on shipbuilding rather than readiness - because the only way out of the vicious cycle (besides reining in the joint commanders, which won't happen) is to build enough ships to meet the deployment needs.  Sounds like a plan... but then they squandered the construction budget on the DDG-1000 (Zumwalt) class program, which spent $22 billion to get three ships (which cannot deploy and have guns for which no ammo will ever be produced).  That's where the three-star types added to the problem.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: mongers on February 09, 2019, 07:41:50 pm
I found this a quite interesting listen:

https://play.acast.com/s/warcollege/gettingthenavybacktoreadywillcosttensofbillions (https://play.acast.com/s/warcollege/gettingthenavybacktoreadywillcosttensofbillions)

Quote
Getting the Navy Back to Ready Will Cost Tens of Billions
13 June 2018 17:48

With just over 270 ships doing the work intended to be done by more than 350, the U.S. Navy is stretched thin enough for the seams to show. In order to keep enough ships at sea, training is getting short shrift, and so is sleep. And that means accidents, some of which have been deadly.

What’s to be done about it? Dave Majumdar of National Interest shares a few suggestions, but none of them come cheap.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Eddie Teach on February 10, 2019, 06:24:06 am
What do you think? Are there serious structural problems in the worlds second best navy?

Who is #1?
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Threviel on February 10, 2019, 06:59:07 am
What do you think? Are there serious structural problems in the worlds second best navy?

Who is #1?

It's after an apocryphal story from right after WWII. An American ship greets a British ship with "Greetings to the second largest navy" and the brits respond with "Greetings to the second best navy". Or something like that.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 10, 2019, 09:13:28 am
It's after an apocryphal story from right after WWII. An American ship greets a British ship with "Greetings to the second largest navy" and the brits respond with "Greetings to the second best navy". Or something like that.

That's one of those apocryphal stories that combines the worst of both worlds; the basic idea is silly, and the execution is silly.  One doesn't greet someone by identifying them, one greets someone by identifying one's self.

But "greetings from the world's largest navy" with the response of "greetings from the world's best navy" sounds almost as bad.  Obviously, neither exchange ever happened.  Ships greet each other with flashing lights: "DE [my callsign] AA [what is your call sign?]"
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Threviel on February 10, 2019, 09:45:40 am
It's after an apocryphal story from right after WWII. An American ship greets a British ship with "Greetings to the second largest navy" and the brits respond with "Greetings to the second best navy". Or something like that.

That's one of those apocryphal stories that combines the worst of both worlds; the basic idea is silly, and the execution is silly.  One doesn't greet someone by identifying them, one greets someone by identifying one's self.

But "greetings from the world's largest navy" with the response of "greetings from the world's best navy" sounds almost as bad.  Obviously, neither exchange ever happened.  Ships greet each other with flashing lights: "DE [my callsign] AA [what is your call sign?]"

Yes. But I thought the allusion fitting in this case, since the subject was poor seamanship.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 10, 2019, 02:27:50 pm
Yes. But I thought the allusion fitting in this case, since the subject was poor seamanship.

Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon thinks your allusions about poor USN seamanship unseemly.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Threviel on February 11, 2019, 02:09:03 am
Yes. But I thought the allusion fitting in this case, since the subject was poor seamanship.

Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon thinks your allusions about poor USN seamanship unseemly.

 :lol:
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: The Minsky Moment on February 11, 2019, 10:24:19 am
I googled that reference and found something interesting: Jellicoe was the XO on the ship that Tryon sunk.  Apparently the disaster did not derail his career to the degree that it prevented him from rising to the heights of command.

Seems like a US officer of that seniority would not have his career survive in similar circumstances.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: dps on February 11, 2019, 10:38:29 am
Well, the 19th century was a different time, too.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Threviel on February 11, 2019, 11:10:18 am
I googled that reference and found something interesting: Jellicoe was the XO on the ship that Tryon sunk.  Apparently the disaster did not derail his career to the degree that it prevented him from rising to the heights of command.

Seems like a US officer of that seniority would not have his career survive in similar circumstances.

He was sick in his bunk when it happened, so no blame on him.

But if I have understood it correct the US Navy is especially hard on those that are involved in a fuckup.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 11, 2019, 11:18:45 am
I googled that reference and found something interesting: Jellicoe was the XO on the ship that Tryon sunk.  Apparently the disaster did not derail his career to the degree that it prevented him from rising to the heights of command.

Seems like a US officer of that seniority would not have his career survive in similar circumstances.

Tryon. OTOH, never again saw a promotion.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Threviel on February 11, 2019, 11:20:30 am
Well, he at least took responsibility in the classic manner.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Threviel on February 11, 2019, 11:33:50 am
By the way grumbler, how much sleep would you normally get when in the navy? To me it seems strange with all the sleep deprivation, is that some kind of naturalisation or something?
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 11, 2019, 04:09:18 pm
By the way grumbler, how much sleep would you normally get when in the navy? To me it seems strange with all the sleep deprivation, is that some kind of naturalisation or something?

That depends.  Even at sea, when in the normal training cycle, it would be possible to get seven or eight hours of sleep in a couple of shifts, because you are in three watches - you'd spend eight hours a day on watch, maybe four or five on maintenance or training, and then have eleven or twelve hours for sleep, eating, etc. When deployed, though, you'd just as often as not be on watch twelve hours as day (because you are manning weapons systems as well as seakeeping stations) and still have four hours a day for administrative and maintenance stuff.  That leaves eight hours to eat and sleep, etc.  You'd be lucky to get six hours a day.  After a few day's of that you'd catch a lot of colds, get seasick easily, and feel miserable all the time.  A good XO would make sure you scheduled "stand down" days every five or six days when there would be no maintenance and everyone could catch a few extra hours of Zs. Those were godsends.  Port visits even more so, because you'd need far fewer people on watch.

You get used to being tired all the time, but you never like it.  All in all, though, I really liked sea duty. 
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: crazy canuck on February 11, 2019, 06:15:59 pm
All in all, though, I really liked sea duty.

I suppose it's like being an athlete on a team with a demanding coach.  Hard, grinding work but remembered as the best of days.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: Tonitrus on February 11, 2019, 06:49:08 pm
It can't all be rum and sodomy.
Title: Re: Death and valor on an American warship doomed by its navy
Post by: grumbler on February 11, 2019, 07:41:30 pm
It can't all be rum and sodomy.

Correct.  There was also the lash.