Author Topic: Nelsons Navy.  (Read 572 times)

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Offline stokerstan

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2020, 09:50:55 PM »
 
 Cochrane Ashore.

Offline stokerstan

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2020, 08:13:24 PM »
   Admiral Gambier, requested that a formal court martial be held to refute allegations being made against him by the popular press, and loudly expressed in Parliament by Captain Cochrane.
The court martial was never going to find in favour of a captain,when an Admirals reputation was on the line. the board hearing the case was comprised of seven Admirals. The issue was turned into an administration question. Gambier simply stated that he believed keeping the fleet safe was in the best interest of the navy, and no officer as junior as Cochran, regardless of his outstanding experience and succession should question orders. No person who was actually present at the battle was allowed to give evidence in support of Cochrans submission, that the whole French fleet could and should have been taken or sunk. and for him to raise the issue was deemed deeply disrespectful. Gambier, as Admiral of the home fleet had not been on a ship for over seventeen years, but his neither his fitness to serve or his obvious incompetence were questioned. Gambiers sword was returned to him, and soon after,parliament voted overwhelmingly to grant a vote of thanks to him with no mention Cochrane.
 The opinion of the general public and universally among serving men in the service was that Admiralty had conducted a white wash. However what Cochrane had done was to expose that a large and dangerous part of the establishment was irreparably corrupt,and he had signalled his intention to expose it further. He had made a lot of enemies in high places.
« Last Edit: Today at 04:55:38 PM by stokerstan »

Offline stokerstan

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2020, 04:23:22 PM »
 
  Cochrane, was captain of HMS  Imperieuse at the time of Aix Roads Battle, and had already performed remarkably well both at sea in her, and on two occasions when he had conducted extraordinary amphibious actions at Mongat and Port Vendres. He had further won international acclaim for a spectacular defence of Fort Trinidad, landing gunners and other members of his crew to set up defences that thwarted a French operation to take the Fort.
  It was obvious throughout the navy, and similarly acknowledged by senior officers of the army, that Cochrane with his highly trained crew, was an irreplaceable force for the allied cause.
 Britain, and the rest of Europe at this time was being beaten down at virtually every turn. The sole star being a young Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, who was struggling in the
Spanish peninsula, and was desperate for support that was seldom supplied. Senior officers in England had committed 40,000 men and most of the British fleet to the battle Walcheren, against
the advice of more experienced soldiers and sailors (Cochrane being one). Cochrane had offered plans for this battle which were ignored, and it proved to be the most expensive fiascos in British military history. 3000 soldiers died of disease in the swamps that they were expected to fight in. Leading the army was the Earl of Chatham( the prime ministers brother),reported to be an
appalling and inexperienced general. Wellesley was winning the bloody battle of Talavera, and getting very little praise at this time.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 09:25:20 AM by stokerstan »

Offline stokerstan

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2020, 12:41:10 PM »
 When Cochrane continued to express his view on Gambiers court marshal. He was summarily told to report to his ship, and take up a position in the long standing blockade of Toulon.
He would be under the tight control of an Admiral,and his days of chasing (and catching) enemy ships would be at an end.Admiralty thinking was that he would be quietly forgotten, and the systems
that made them rich would continue. Cochrane declined the instruction, and was immediately "brought ashore", but having retained his parliamentary seat in the Commons, he had a ready made base to start a his campaign against the "Establishment.
    Cochrans campaign was waged with same fury he had shown against the French ships.He toured navy dockyards, checking for obvious corruption, he found it in vast amounts.
 Cochrane was particularly loud about the vast sums of money that was filtering out of the system, and could be traced all too easily up to very senior establishment figures. The navy was and always had been a hard life on the lower deck. Even senior captains were paid very poorly in a world where injury and death were a normal part of the job .Cochrane exposed massive amounts of money that should have been paid to injured men being diverted to senior officials, like wise widows pensions for men killed in action that had never been paid. In a famous speech made in the Commons Cochrane produced detailed accounts of sailors having served twelve or fourteen year on ships without a break, or pay, even when prize money running into millions of pounds had been won, and divided up in such a manner that an admiral thousands of miles away became millionaires without ever seeing action.Corruption was endemic through lowly dockyard clerk up to Admirals of the Fleet.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 04:02:59 PM by stokerstan »

Offline stokerstan

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2020, 04:51:29 PM »
  Fraud.  For almost five years Cochrane chased the trails of corruption, he was without doubt obsessed. He likened the life of seaman to that of a slave, pointing out that the slave could hope to live
out a reasonable life time, in the navy it was unusual to live on the lower deck into advanced years.He had a small group of like minded M.Ps. and together they carried their protests round the country. Cochran often came close serious action when the group were threatened with force.On one occasion he got himself thrown into prison, and escaped with the help of sailors, and the warder turning a blind eye. On another occasion when one of the radicals was threatened with prison, Cochrane located a large barrel of gun powder in the adjacent house and nobody could say if he would have blown up the whole road, but the authorities decided not test the matter and withdrew, Cochrans friends persuaded him to move the barrel to a safer place. Cochrans campaigns were not limited to naval matters, he exposed the conditions prevalent in prisons, and the whole judicial system, its with hangings and floggings.Not everything Corchran campaigned on were popular, but he continued to be a major thorn in the side of the established order. Cochrane also upset his very wealth Uncle Basil. The uncle had decided to restore the wealth and fortune of the Dundonald dynasty
by leaving most of his lands and fortune to Thomas, providing Thomas married a rich lady.The bride to be was to be the daughter of an official at the Admiralty court who had become rich by the exact means that Thomas was fighting against. He eloped instead with a sixteen year old house maid called Katherine who had nothing they got married in Scotland.Thomas inherited nothing
Cochrane was a "Whistle Blower" and for almost five years he campaigned against establishment corruption, and financial inequality, he made many enemies, and he was without a command or a ship.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 08:30:15 PM by stokerstan »

Offline stokerstan

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #20 on: Yesterday at 09:17:09 PM »
Early in 1814 it seemed his naval career might be restored. England was at war with America, and Thomas was offered the chance to act as Captain aboard HMS Tonnant, one of the best ships in the fleet. Tonnant was an 80 gun vessel, and was to be the Flagship of Thomas's uncle Sir Alexander Cochrane who believed that his nephew deserved to be back in action.
 Thomas was to take command of the ship immediately, and see to the provisioning of her in preparation for an Atlantic crossing and her entering the fight.Thomas was over the moon, and whilst he was aware he had many enemies in high places,he felt he could make a new start in a new theatre of war.
 Cochrane, had not reckoned on the deep reserves of hatred that were still in place in parts of the establishment, particularly among the governing political diehards many who he had so offended.,
and subsequent events soon swept over Thomas Cochrane in a way no enemy ship had been able to do.
« Last Edit: Today at 11:48:18 AM by stokerstan »