Page:EB1922 - Volume 30.djvu/38

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feet when the World War broke out. It laboured under a further handicap: practically all senior officers were opposed to it. They were wedded to centralization. Centralization had become engrained in their bones from boyhood, and their whole outlook was necessarily opposed to a staff. The deficiencies of the system could be seen in the conduct of the Dardanelles campaign. It is clear that there was no machinery for the intensive investiga- tion of a big strategical question. The First Lord was impressed with an exaggerated estimate of the Queen Elizabeth's guns, and the War Staff could neither supply a sufficiently trenchant criticism of the project nor could they grip the problem and transform it into a workable proposition by segregating a force and training it as the Zeebrugge force was afterwards trained.

Enough has been said to show that the war staff lacked the staff spirit, and a knowledge of the principles of staff organiza- tion and of the conduct of staff work. One bright spot, however, shone in it. While the operations side became more and more narrowly centralized, the intelligence side, under Sir William Hall, summoned a vast reserve of civilian talent to its aid. Very early in the war a system of special intelligence based on wireless directionals had begun to develop, and though cramped and restricted by the obsession of secrecy had proved of great value. In Dec. 1916, when Adml. Sir John Jellicoe came to the Admiralty, he instituted an anti-submarine division, which was no more than a belated plans division directed to a special purpose, but it was not till 1917 that the staff was thoroughly reorganized and really began to function as a staff. In Dec. 1916 it was organized as follows:

Chief of War Staff


Operations Division


Signal Section Mobilization Apr. 1916

Trade Division Anti-submarine Aug. 23 1914 Division Dec. 1916

Sir Eric Geddes gave an immense impetus to the system, which was forced upon the Government by the exigencies of war, and in its main outlines was merely the system of Moltke, Lord Haldane, and every modern army, adapted to naval needs. These can be briefly summarized as follows. The work of a staff follows three lines of practical cleavage: (a) operations (or direction), (6) administration, and (c) technical. Operations (or direction) enshrines the main purpose of a business; admin- istration is responsible for its maintenance and equipment in an efficient state; technical control deals with the scientific aspect of applied sciences associated with the business. Finance and the Secretariat interpenetrate the whole. Operations (or direction) is the premier function, and splits into two main divisions, operations (minor) and intelligence. It is the special task of operations to appreciate the situation continuously, to assist the Command in the consideration of requirements and with the preparation and conduct of operations, and to convert the intentions, policy and decisions of the Command into orders and instructions. It is its business to visualize the situation continuously on an operations chart and to furnish all branches and technical services with timely information of all require- ments. The function of intelligence is to collect, sift and dis- tribute information of the enemy, and by the cumulative in- telligence arising out of its work to help operations to appreciate

the situation. Administration and technical comprise all the great services of supply and technical work, including personnel, pay, victualling, stores, transport, and the crafts of hydrography and surveying, navigation, marine engineering, naval con- struction, gunnery, torpedoes, mine-laying, mine-sweeping and signals. Each service is responsible for its internal efficiency, and the Chief of the Staff is responsible for the coordination of all, while to assist him in this a training and staff division is required which acts as the trustee of staff principle and organiza- tion and is also responsible for staff training, principles of training, staff history and manuals of war. No one of the three great branches is more important than another. Like the brain, heart and lungs, all are complementary to each other. If there are no ships there can be no operations; if the operations are badly conducted, the best ships will be useless; a new technical invention may revolutionize operations, and the whole service must rest on a basis of good discipline and sound financial administration.

The first step towards these principles was really taken in May 1917, when the term " War Staff " was altered to " Naval Staff " and the office of Chief of the Naval Staff was merged in the First Sea Lord (Admiral Jellicoe), while a Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (Vice-Admiral Oliver) and an Assistant Chief (Rear-Admiral Duff) were appointed with seats on the Board. This gave the naval staff direct representation on the Board, and the presence of three members ensured the necessary authority to carry through any operation of war. The D.C.N.S. directed all operations and movements of the fleet, while the A.C.N.S. was responsible for mercantile movements and anti-submarine operations.

The office of Controller was revived, and Sir Eric Geddes appointed to fill it, with the rank of Honorary Vice'Admiral, all questions of supply being thus practically merged in his hands; but he had barely filled the office two months when he took Sir Edward Carson's place as First Lord July 20 1917. On Sept. 6 1917 a Deputy First Sea Lord, Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, was added to the Board to control operations abroad and questions of foreign policy. Sir Oswyn Murray too had suc- ceeded Sir Graham Greene as Permanent Secretary in Aug. 1917.

In Oct. 1917 the development of the staff was carried one step further by the formation on Oct. 19 of two Committees of the Board the Operations Committee and the Maintenance Committee. The First Lord was chairman of both, and the former consisted of the First Sea Lord and C.N.S., the Deputy ist S.L., D.C.N.S., A.C.N.S., and sth Sea Lord. The latter consisted of the Deputy ist S.L. (representing the operations committee), 2nd S.L. (personnel), 3rd S.L. (material), 4th S.L. (transport and stores), Civil Lord, Controller and Financial Secretary.

The direction of operations was finally handed over to the C.N.S. by an order in Council of Oct. 1917, under which he became responsible for the issue of orders affecting war opera- tions to the fleet. It empowered such orders to be issued in his own name as C.N.S., and not as previously by the secretary in the name of the Board.

These measures were accompanied by the institution of further divisions of the staff, including a plans division, and by Oct. 1917 the Board and naval staff had assumed the following form:

Board of Admiralty ist L.

Pi! I

istS.L. D.C.N.S. A.C.N.S. sth S.L. Deputy istS.L.

Operations Committee

(Deputy ist S.L.) 2nd S.L. 3rd S.L. 4th S.L. Civil L.

Controller Parl. and Finance Secretary

Maintenance Committee

Permanent Secretary