which England terribly lost, reminds me of two things. First on a joke, which was famous in the days of the Soviet Union. It was about a car race which took place in Moscow between our western friends from across the Atlantic and a hero of the worker’s class. He lost, that hero, in a devastating way, which tells nothing about the qualities of his capitalistic counterpart. The Izvestia, the organ of the Soviet Government, published next morning the following statement: Yesterday, in an international car race the heroic driver of the working class obtained an excellent 2nd place in honor for the Soviet people. Meanwhile, the driver from the rogue capitalistic state only was able to secure the penultimate rank.
But enough of unworthy comparisons and let us go to the facts 100 years ago. Hundred and fifty ships of the UK fought 99 ships of Kaiser Bill. Jellicoe’s fleet lost from Admiral to abled bodied seaman 3543 more soldiers than the Germans. Eleven German ships were lost compared to 14 British ships. The difference is even more evident when tonnage lost is compared: 113.300 to 62.300 to.
And to all of this, I have two observations.
Admiral Lord West, reasserted last week on Radio 4, that it was the battle that won the war. My impression is that it was American supply, soldiers and money. Obviously Adm. West is not right, and he forgot to mention the more important fact: The loss of the Empire and also the leading role as World Power number one.
The second matter is about two ships and it seems these facts are more important as the question who was the winner of the greatest Navy battle of all times.
The dreadnought battle cruisers HMS Erin (Capt . Victor Albert Stanley) and HMS Agincourt (Capt. Henry Montagu Doughty) were part of Jellicoe’s Grant Fleet. And both ships participated in the battle. But if you consider the terms of international law, they were stolen. Or seized as the English like to say. In 1910 the Ottoman Government ordered and paid for the Reshadieh, HMS Erin’s original name. The Agincourt originally was ordered from Brazil, but sold in December 1913 to the Ottoman Empire and baptised Sultan Osman. Both ships were built by Armstrong Whitworth in Newcastle upon the Tyne.
All this information easily can be confirmed.
Ze German got aware of these ships when an Anglo-Saxon from America sent him 2004 a book which proofs the German responsibility for the outbreak of WWI. Barbara Tuchman’s “The Guns of August”. Citation from page 140:
“One, the Sultan Osman, had been completed in May and a first installment already paid*, but when the Turks wished to bring her home, the British, supplying sinister hints about a Greek plot to attack her by submarine, and persuaded them to leave her in Britain until her sister ship, the Reshadieh, was completed and the two could return together. When the Reshadieh was ready early July, further excuses for departure were offered. Speed and gunnery trails were unaccountably delayed. On learning on Churchill’s order, the Turkish captain, who was waiting with 500 Turkish sailors abroad a transport in the Tyne, threatened to board his ships and hoist the Turkish flag. Not without relish the voice at the Admiralty gave orders to resist such an attempt “by armed force if necessary”,
- here Tuchman could not be correct, since the ship was bought from Brazil. The first installment possibly refers to works of completion. Sources are not clear, but it is various times mentioned that Turkey paid US 30 000 000,- for the both ships.
and further she wrote:
“England took no pains to assuage it. Grey, when officially informing the Turks of this simple piece of piracy on the Tyne, felt sure that Turkey would understand why England found it necessary to take the ships for her “own need in this crisis”
The Tuchman’s comments let the poor ex-sailor ask immediately himself how Churchill knew in May that he needs the ships in August? Actually, so reported 1914 the 2nd generation Limy, Ambassador Goschen in Berlin to his Government in London that never since years the relations with Germany were so excellent as nowadays. Further digging brought to light that the English Fleet had a fleet parade in July 1914 at Spithead in front of King George, the first half cast on the throne in 200 years. All the other occupants have been full blooded breed Germans. Churchill announced this parade when he took over 1st Sea Lord in October 1912. Was it his Cherokee blood, which claimed his mother to have, to let him know? Or employed he a Cherokee sorcerer, who told him the future? Or was it possible the Oracle of Delphi, because the Greeks always have something to settle with the Turks? And other fact rose my doubts.
An ex-Navy Supply Officer can judge how long it would take to man a warship and to drill its crew. Even if you have two crews available of each around 1200 sailors from Master to cook, it will take month forming a battle tight crew. In this case, this possibility was not possible because the fleet was war-ready. Unless you knew the future a long time before and have carefully planned this incident. Both ships were commissioned, which means declared war-ready less than 6 weeks after England’s declaration of war. Therefore, the only explanation is that the ships had already an English crew in May when the Sultan Osman was ready for delivery. Another proof, beyond available possibilities, would be a list of ships which participated in the naval parade at Spithead.
Also, when you have been a sailor, who traveled various times through the Sues Canal to the Persian Gulf – my ship in these times was the “Caroline Oetker”- and when you take into account that America opened on 14th of August 1914 the Panama Canal which shifted world power to America, and, when you drilled for oil in the Gulf of Sues – all this information will lead you to Gallipoli.
Why Gallipoli? Because that adventure was instigated by Churchill and hundreds of thousands Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians lost their lives. For what this battle was fought was never clear! It was not for Russia, which was promised the possession of the Dardanelles and Constantinople. Churchill ended the “Great Game”, and assumed holding a royal flush in his hands. It was not difficult to conclude that Austria and Russia would suffer severe consequences from the war. And Russia was as an ally not anymore a competitor in the great game of oil and influence in the Middle East – an expression coined by Captain and Honorary Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan . But Turkey was close to the wells of Midas and also a declining state. Action must be taken to protect English interests in this area, as 3 years later the secret Sykes-Picot Pact confirmed. Lenin found these papers 1919 in one desk of the murdered Czar. All these details the quick-witted English-American took into account and decided to wage war.
But questions remain: Why Historians never combine these strong facts into something which was important in the history of the war. A source found was written by Admiral Jellicoe, who wrote in his book “The Grand Fleet”, preface page IX:
” ..it is matter of satisfaction that the Board of Admiralty from the beginning of the century were able to achieve so much, and that when at last war became inevitable the nation had in control of its destinies at Whitehall a First Lord and a First Sea Lord who, accepting their responsibility, mobilised the Fleet before war was actually declared, thus securing for us inestimable advantages”
followed on page 108:
“August 26th: The Agincourt, a new battleship which was bought from Turkey when still in an unfinished state, was met off Noss Head and entered with the Fleet:
Commissioned in a record time of 22 days. And on page 129:
” The Battle Fleet left Loch Ewe on the evening of September 17th, the Erin, a new battleship bought, incomplete, from Turkey, being in company for the first time in order to accustom her officers to working the ship with the fleet.”
Christopher Clarke mentions two times the ships in his book “The Sleepwalkers” but never details the events. Margret McMillan in “The war that ended Peace” does not refer and Adam Hochschild narrates about the Turkish problems but also not relates to the ships in “to end all wars”.
As history sometimes is pure story telling of interested parties it seems necessary that another auxiliary science, which is possibly more scientific and therefore possibly more impartial, helps out or takes over: the Sociology. And another observation is to make. The large account of not censored information published without control in the net necessarily will force to adjust truth to the right contex and rewrite history.