They ought to name it the Arbuthnot Gymnasium in memory of the lunatic Rear Admiral killed at Jutland, who was a qualified PTI and utterly obsessed fitness freak. His talents as a commander led to three out of his four ships being lost, two of them with all hands, but at least they all died fighting fit.
To clarify, is this good or bad? Asking for a friend.
Gordon likes those dashing Ratcatchers; admin is for Regulators!
Can't abide admin myself - which is why I've declined the opportunity to pursue being an OF3...
But it's not easy to make a case for more, rather than fewer, Arbuthnots in the service.
Jogging a memory, Arbuthnot's lunacy at Jutland may have been sparked by the battlecruiser raid on Scarborough, when Arbuthnot (commanding Orion, leading the 2nd Battle Squadron's second division) had German ships - the light cruiser Straslund and her escorts - in sight, but refused to open fire without having had permission from Admiral Warrender (which didn't come until after the Germans had disappeared into the murk). Having been sharply criticised, and barely escaping having the returning Fisher sack him, Arbuthnot seems to have decided that this time nobody's going to accuse him of indecision or faint-heartedness...
(Massie's "Castles of Steel" for that one. Have I got too many books?)
Sounds like a right cock.More seriously, Arbuthnot was one of those... interesting personalities, described as "a tyrant, bully and physical-training fanatic" who seems to have been soundly loathed. He kept his motorcycle, lovingly polished, in his cabin, and was fond of long-distance endurance races where he apparently developed the technique of falling off as an antidote to falling asleep. Obsessed with physical fitness and conditioning, he was infamous for offering boxing gloves to dinner guests for a bout of post-prandial fisticuffs.
When it was rumoured that two sailors under punishment were planning some form of revenge against him, he had them summoned to the quarterdeck where he and they donned gloves... and Arbuthnot then "battered them about without mercy". When he took his sailors ashore for a route march, one fell out with severely blistered feet; Arbuthnot sentenced him to death. (The Admiralty intervened to commute the sentence...)
He gave the same attention to matters of organisation: where most XOs contented themselves with a few paragraphs or pages of ship's standing orders with a catch-all injunction to behave in accordance with QRs and the traditions of the service, Arbuthnot as XO of Royal Sovereign produced a 303-page opus entitled "A Battleship Commander's Order Book"
His contribution to Jutland was to rush four elderly armoured cruisers out across the Grand Fleet's advance (causing some emergency helm orders aboard Lion to avoid collision) order to finish off the crippled Wiesbaden - which got his squadron very briskly shot to pieces when Hipper's battlecruisers emerged from the murk less than four miles from Arbuthnot's obsolescent flotilla. Defence blew up and Warrior was wrecked (she sank under tow on the way home); Black Prince was damaged but escaped, only to be lost later in uncertain circumstances (believed last seen by Spitfire, herself badly mauled by Nassau in a night encounter, with the memorable description of being "a mass of fire from foremast to mainmast, on deck and between decks. Flames were issuing out of her from every corner. She tore past us with a roar like a motor going up hill in low gear, and the very crackling and heat of the flames could be heard and felt.")
Things weren't necessarily better in the Good Old Days.
(All cribbed in haste from "The Rules of the Game" - Gordon evidently wasn't an Arbuthnot admirer)