Who's Who - Sir George Callaghan

Sir George Callaghan Sir George Astley Callaghan (1852-1920) served as Britain's Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet as war approached in 1914.

He was however promptly replaced as C-in-C by Sir John Jellicoe on the same day that Britain entered the First World War, 4 August 1914.  The decision to appoint Jellicoe - who had served as Callaghan's deputy since November 1911 - was taken by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill.

However the abruptness of the termination of Callaghan's appointment - he had been due to retire in two month's time in any event - outraged many Admirals and embarrassed Jellicoe.

Nevertheless both Churchill and returning First Sea Lord, Admiral Fisher, believed Callaghan to be incapable of the forthcoming challenge.  Fisher had long regarded Jellicoe as the natural choice as Home Fleet commander during wartime (Jellicoe being a long-time protégé of Fisher's); and Churchill had been pondering Jellicoe's appointment for some time.

Shortly before his effective dismissal however, Callaghan (known as the 'teetotal admiral' on account of his views against alcohol) had begun to introduce anti-submarine measures, requesting that depth charge production begin.

He died in 1920.

A howitzer is any short cannon that delivers its shells in a high trajectory. The word is derived from an old German word for "catapult".

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