The History Girls: Jellicoe and the U Boats by Janie Hampton

There has been much in the news this year about the 1916 naval Battle of Jutland and the role of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. Admiral Sir John Jellicoe(1859-1953)But has anybody mentioned another Jellicoe who was also employed by the British Royal Navy and active during the First World War? I doubt it, because the other Jellicoe was a sea-lion. He belonged to…

Source: The History Girls: Jellicoe and the U Boats by Janie Hampton

Munitions 3: Fighting For Control Of Supplies

First World War Hidden History

Crowds of young men desperate to recruit in London, August 1914

Despite all the advantages which private British armaments companies enjoyed, the supply of guns, shells and ammunition was hindered by the infighting, lack of co-ordination and traditional red-tape that haunted the War Office when war broke out. Richard Haldane’s reforms from 1906 onwards had created the small, well-armed British Expeditionary Force, but leadership of the army was controlled absolutely through the ‘Roberts Academy’ [1] which remained wedded to the primacy of cavalry regiments and was rooted not in the coming war, but in the Boer War. Britain’s reserves of shells in 1914 were reckoned to be two and a half times greater than they had been in 1899. [2] The requirements had been based on guess-work and assumptions, covering a notional supply for four major battles of three days duration each over the first two months. [3] No-one suggested otherwise in August 1914. Lloyd George’s later condemnation of the War…

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Guest Blog. Mitch Peeke; The Lusitania Story – A Struggle For The Truth

First World War Hidden History

It is always an uphill fight to prise the truth from the establishment. Though we as a nation have rights and access to many files and historical documents, we do not have open access, nor are we to be given sight of documents still classified as secret after 100 years and more. [1] A group of genuine and dedicated history enthusiasts combined their efforts to unearth every ounce of source material on the sinking of the Lusitania, and the impressive result can be seen online at

Cover of new  edition of The Lusitania Story - a 'Must Read'

Their painstaking work has included trawling through original materials at the Cunard Archives, the National Maritime Museum, the Imperial War Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Royal Artillery Historical Trust, the Library of Congress, Museum of the City of New York, Kindle Museum, the BundesMilitararchiv, Cuxhaven U-Boat archive and most importantly, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Archive. They have been assisted by Gregg Bemis, owner…

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Gallipoli 6: Neutral Till It Suits

First World War Hidden History

The entry of Goeben and Breslau to the Dardanelles, barely a week into Britain’s war with Germany, was a significant achievement. It felt like a defeat; it was anything but.

The Royal Navy suffered a widely felt embarrassment at the incapacity of its Mediterranean fleet to destroy two relatively easy targets. In the eyes of fellow senior officers, the failure to engage the enemy was seen as a shameful episode, contrary to the finest traditions of the navy. The commanders of the British cruiser squadrons, Rear-Admiral Milne and Vice-Admiral Troubridge, were recalled to London in response to widespread public criticism. These senior officers had to be held to account to placate the Russians who might have asked even more awkward questions about the Goeben’s escape. They protested that they did no wrong. Milne insisted that he had given ‘unquestioning obedience’ to Admiralty orders and was able to demonstrate that in…

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Gallipoli 4: Fumbling Incompetence … And Too Few Stokers

First World War Hidden History

Goeben and Breslau entering the Dardanelles

The escape of the Goeben and Breslau in their mad-cap dash across the Mediterranean to the safety of the Dardanelles has become part of the folklore of the First World War. The escape was astonishing; the consequences staggering. Mainstream historians claim that from the German perspective it was a blessing that verged on a miracle; for the British it was a great embarrassment. Churchill ranted that it was a ‘curse.’ [1] The truth is somewhat different. Evidence now proves that the British Foreign Office and the Admiralty in London knew precisely where the German warships were in the Mediterranean and, crucially, where they were headed. Far from attempting to destroy the Goeben and Breslau, the Secret Elite in London took active steps to keep them from harm and ensure their safe passage to Constantinople. Had the sinking of the German cruisers been the real objective, neither the Goeben nor…

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Gallipoli 3: David and Goliath

First World War Hidden History

On 31 July, the day after Russia demanded seizure of the two Turkish dreadnoughts, the British Cabinet, with its attention drawn to the crisis in Serbia, accepted that they should be retained by the Royal Navy. Churchill later said he requisitioned the ships on 28 July. His memory, though suspect, always ensured that he took all the credit.

sultan osman 1914

British sailors boarded Sultan Osman 1 that same day and the Ottoman ambassador was informed that the warship was being detained for the time being. [1] Buoyed by the seizure of the Turkish dreadnoughts, and confirmation by telegram from France that the government there was in ‘hearty high spirits’ and ‘firmly decided on war,’ [2] Russia continued full speed with the general mobilisation of her armies on Germany’s eastern border. At 4 pm on 1 August, the French also ordered general mobilisation. There was no turning back. It meant war. [3] Over…

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