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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

was there a big naval punch up in 1917?


welshdoc

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I was just researching the London Gazette for a Distinguished service medal and noticed that there was a whole raft of them (50+) and DSM bars CGM etc gazetted on the 2 Nov 1917. I was wondering did the navy gazette awards in bulk over a long period or was there any significant actions in the preceding couple of months. Ive had a look on the net and I could only find an action witch if I remember correctly the Davenport and Bristol cruisers were involved in the med.

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I was in a big un in Le harve 1977!! but I susspect it was to do with the war against submarines. I have one or two lists with that many to groups of men. The 1917 New years honours had that many to men from the Hull area.

Regards Charles

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I would have to agree with Charles, these would be awards from many single-ship or small scale actions all gazetted at the same time. There were no significant large-scale actions involving the RN in 1917. ASW actions would likely be a big chunk of the list; it wasn't unusual for the commanding officer of a vessel that sank an U-boat to get the DSM.

The Otranto Straits was a basically just a cruiser raid and chase, with a RN drifter patrol line rolled up by Austrian cruisers followed by an English/French/Italian force trying to interecept the Austrian cruisers before they got home. Only two RN ships were involved in the chase portion, the light cruisers Bristol and Dartmouth, with the latter seeing the bulk of the action (she was faster, and thus could better keep up). (Dartmouth also was nearly lost to a torpedo from a German submarine.)

Best wishes,

Michael

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Two possibilities were the RN armoured car units, or Max Horten's submarines. The timing was right for Russia.

Bruce

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The Q-ship actions saw large quantities of medal gazetted.

e.g. after the action by HMS Dunraven against UC71 on 8/8/17, there were awarded 2 VCs, 2 DSOs, 6 DSC (I'm including bars), 7 CGMs, 24 DSM, and 14 MiD to the ships company.

I have a list of names if you want to cross-reference.

Adrian

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Hi Adrian, thanks for the information I went back to the LG and read the first page (tues 30th Oct 1917/ 2 Nov) again and saw the awards were for actions with enemy subs. I presumed that this was for the following 2 VCs. After your point I presume that the DSM Im researching was for similar actions. The sailer Im looking at is Michael Murphy 3792C (D2583) RNR. Ive only just today sorted out the change in numbers but have no idea about his career ships etc. Im about to try to start on that one. Cheers GAreth

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Gareth

I'm not one of those people who has access to lots of source documents. My information was from "My Mystery Ships" by Gordon Campbell VC. In the list of names after the Dunraven action, a DSM was awarded to a Seaman P Murphy RNR. From another list, the P stands for Patrick (unsurprisingly!). Could your Michael Murphy have had another initial? But of course Murphy is a common name - e.g. an AB Dennis Murphy was awarded the CGM in the same action.

Adrian

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Hi Adrian, my Michael is a michael not a patrick, funnily enough though the CGM to Denis is gazetted on the same page as Michael, so while its possible they were on the same ship it will take a search of the service records to sort it out. cheers Gareth

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Nov 1917 was the victory month for the WWI battle of the Atlantic! Remember it was not only WWII .... April 900K tons sunk, by November down to less than 300K tons.

If you want to thank Uncle Sam for one thing in WWI it was the Atlantic Fleet ... talk about unsung heroes!

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