HMS Talent Court-Martial Convenes
Saturday, I blogged about the upcoming court-martial of a former CO of the Trafalgar-class sub HMS Talent. The proceedings started today, and it sounds like they're off to a rousing start! From Times OnLine:
"THE commander of a nuclear-powered submarine delivered red-faced tirades of abuse to his young officers, reducing one of them to tears, during a secret operational patrol, a court martial was told yesterday.
"The victims of Captain Robert Tarrant’s “aggressive and humiliating” style of leadership on board HMS Talent, a hunter-killer submarine, were said to have felt scared and intimidated. One officer, Lieutenant Ryan Ramsey, was so frightened that he used to vomit before going on watch...
"...Commander Towler said that Captain Tarrant’s behaviour changed completely when he was no longer “under scrutiny” while ashore. Lieutenant Ramsey was subjected at one point to a 20-minute shouting match, when Captain Tarrant’s face was “five to ten centimetres” from him. “His face would gorge with blood,” Commander Towler said.
"Lieutenant Ramsey would dissolve into tears at the end of each watch. The “tirades” in front of everyone in the control room became known as “reemings”, and the lieutenant was subjected to more than most of the captain’s “aggressive” rebukes."
"Reemings"? What the hell is that? I always thought "reaming" was an Anglo-Saxon word, but apparently the term's not familiar to the average Brit journalist. (To be fair, the Telegraph uses the right spelling.)
Anyway, it sounds like it'll be an interesting trial, and all the civilians involved will wring their hands about how horrible it is, and everyone with military experience will say, "Yeah, sounds like it musta sucked the big one. Now, what's the jerk charged with?"
Update 1909 10 Jan: Here's today's coverage of the trial; it looks bad for the defense:
"Lt Cmdr Ramsey, who joined the Navy in 1988, said his commanding officer would begin his tirades while still in his dressing gown.
"He said: "If he woke up in a bad mood he would come up and start shouting at me about things, small minor things that he might find exception with, and then he would carry on down the line before going to the head (bathroom) and back to his cabin..."
"...On one occasion, he described how he was told off for carrying out a manoeuvre to avoid a fishing vessel which caused the submarine to fall slightly behind schedule.
Lt Cmdr Ramsey said: "He started raising his voice to me, asked me what I was doing, telling me I should be doing a better job, in front of my team.
"This carried on for some considerable period of time, my perception at the time was that he was aggressive and unreasonable.
"He was angry at what I had done but at the time I couldn't see I had done anything outside what I'd been taught."
I'm pretty sure "dressing gown" is Brit for "pajamas"...