Teaching naval history

Seaweed

RIP
Book Reviewer
We are the heirs to these people and we owe it to them to understand them; long ago they forged the finest fighting force the planet ever saw. They are us, just years ago.

All teaching works best in an entertaining and relevant way, a good visit to Victory or Alliance etc is worth hours in a lecture room and will stimulate curiosity to find out more. As far as WW2 is concerned there are some vg (but b/w) films which are so close to the real thing that a dog-watch showing can teach much, like The Cruel Sea and In Which We Serve. The later was served up to us in our first week at Dartmouth on a basis of 'If you can't take a joke ...'

As for 'why did we beat the Fr' - because that's what they are for.
 

bunting69

Newbie
History was my favourite subject at school. Joining Ganges in 1989 i really enjoyed the naval history we were taught. My class visit to HMS Victory when I was a junior RO at Mercury in the early 60's I found to be really inspiring. I finally ended up as a further education lecturer, teaching history as one of my subjects. When I was in the Andrew I was able to take a history O level by pusser's correspondence course which was purely naval history. I don't know if you are still able to do this.
 

sgtpepperband

War Hero
Book Reviewer
I agree with Tiddly: I served on HMS Victory as a Tour Guide in 19*cough, cough* and I was daunted by the prospect of having to learn - and then present - a phenomenal amount of factual history to service personnel and the general public, from the UK and abroad.

I have to say that, apart from one or two individuals, I managed to send my guests away with a wealth of information, presented in a fun and enjoyable manner, and managed to dis-spell a few myths in the process.

The 'history' is out there, available to everybody. You just have to encourage them to take an interest in the first place. apart from a handful of museums in the country, most I visit are static and rather routine (pay your money, collect an MP3 player and walk around in the rain). There is little interaction involved.

Last year I visited the Rynek Museum, beneath the Cloth Hall in Kraków's Old Town. Not expecting much, I went inside... and came out about 4 hours later having learned a vast amount about the history of the place after thoroughly enjoying it. There was plenty of 'hands on' exhibits, all presented in a variety of (expertly-translated) languages. I now use this museum as the benchmark for others I visit - and I have yet to find one that beats it. It proved that no matter what the subject of the exhibition, providing it is presented in a professional but enjoyable way, people will visit and learn from their experience.
 

trelawney126

War Hero
The history of England is the History of the Navy, and a little bit of te Army. The RAF don't have a history, they have only habits, some of which are quite questionable
 

Rachelthree

War Hero
I agree with Tiddly: I served on HMS Victory as a Tour Guide in 19*cough, cough* and I was daunted by the prospect of having to learn - and then present - a phenomenal amount of factual history to service personnel and the general public, from the UK and abroad.

I have to say that, apart from one or two individuals, I managed to send my guests away with a wealth of information, presented in a fun and enjoyable manner, and managed to dis-spell a few myths in the process.

The 'history' is out there, available to everybody. You just have to encourage them to take an interest in the first place.

I agree as well, I worked in the dockyard and I found everything fascinating, and judging by people's comments as they left so did everyone who visited. It is exactly the getting people interested if it's not mandatory that is the conundrum (or however it is spelt...) I have friends who are based in the dockyard and have never been to the historical part to have a shuft round.
 

Rachelthree

War Hero
It makes sense, it just might not necessarily be true.... On the first point, that's exactly what this thread is about, training. It's got nothing to do with teaching. If it's teaching because it's a nice story then we shouldn't be doing it - if we think they might learn something from it, on the other hand...

On the second, all I can say is that's the sort of thing you can best judge when you've been there, but "baby sailors" I'm afraid, BRNC or Raleigh, need to suck it up and crack on. If they're getting themselves into that sort of state in training, then they shouldn't be there. If they're staff, in which case they're not "baby sailors," then it's up to the training design schoolies to develop a workable timetable, not the instructors at the coal face. And, trust me, done right instructing new entry is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do in the mob, but it can also be a holiday camp compared to life at sea. Bunging an extra half hour on the beginning and end of the training day will make no difference to those under training, and precious little to the staff - it's not exactly defence watches... And "staffing" is laid out to a minimum ratio post Deepcut, so in theory no one should have more responsibility than they can cope with unless they're one of those types allegedly sent to BRNC so that they can have an eye kept on them - people doing training reviews and design are, in my experience, different to the people doing the training. The former frequently end up burning the candle at both ends, the latter, not so much.

But that's the staff's problem.

By baby sailors I meant those newly serving in the fleet on their first drafts, I meant ideal in training as a seperate point but short sentences are not the one. I am not disagreeing, probably alot of what I wrote is incorrect.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Adapted from the post I made on the subject on ARRSE.

The RN Division at Joint Services Command and Staff College has as its motto "Respice, aspice, prospice" ( Reflect on the past, consider the present, provide for the future - ish). One doesn't need an academic's knowledge of naval and military history to inform current and future actions but a wise man or woman will know what to distil from it, what is useful. It isn't about learning dates.

When the RN rescued the army at Crete, in response to the concerns of others about the risk of losing ships, Admiral Cunningham said, "it takes three years to build a ship, it takes three centuries to build a tradition." By 'tradition' he wasn't talking about the rules of uckers and what time 'up spirits' was piped.

Tradition and the history that underpins it are important. History is millenia old, it is also yesterday. The Cornwall incident undermined that tradition - big time. It'll be a long time before General Fulton's report is seen by mere mortals.
 
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tiddlyoggy

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Rachel, I'm also enjoying the contrasting views on this thread. Isn't it possible to be inspired by more than one thing though? Yes, your oppos will always count on that score, but the feeling of "wooden ships, men of steel" is something that I've always been conscious of throughout my career. Slight thread drift, but I also believe this is another great factor as to why the loss of the Royal Tournament was such a big deal.
 
Rachel, I'm also enjoying the contrasting views on this thread. Isn't it possible to be inspired by more than one thing though? Yes, your oppos will always count on that score, but the feeling of "wooden ships, men of steel" is something that I've always been conscious of throughout my career. Slight thread drift, but I also believe this is another great factor as to why the loss of the Royal Tournament was such a big deal.

I think you nearly said "bring back field gun" there, but you might just have got away with it - *walks away whistling with visions of RumRation circa 2007 with 58 page screeds about "turning the gun over" on Southsea beach illuminated by car headlights.....
 
The Cornwall incident undermined that tradition - big time. It'll be a long time before General Fulton's report is seen by mere mortals.

If the buzzes about what's in that report are even half true, or, alternatively if it contains some of the home truths it probably should, it's the sort of thing that should be buried in a lead lined box and not for public/mere mortal consumption ever. You can see what are probably the effects filtering down though, which is nice....
 

Rachelthree

War Hero
Rachel, I'm also enjoying the contrasting views on this thread. Isn't it possible to be inspired by more than one thing though? Yes, your oppos will always count on that score, but the feeling of "wooden ships, men of steel" is something that I've always been conscious of throughout my career. Slight thread drift, but I also believe this is another great factor as to why the loss of the Royal Tournament was such a big deal.

Yeah definitely :) To be honest I didn't really read this thread before I replied haha, and imagined someone asking if it was feasible to add a ciriculum type agenda to the Navy which would be strain on a lot of already over stretched sailors, which looking back seems ridiculous I thought it was about that anyway :p Instilling pride is definitely a good thing.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
I think there's scope to amalgamate some history with the present Phase 1 training such as the reasons the rig has all it's various bits and bobs (collar, silk, lanyard etc) and the historical reason for Procedure Alpha and so on and so forth. Also Bunting69, as a history teacher, needs to check his post. He says he joined Ganges in 1989, he must have been lonely as it shut down in 1975!!
 
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