Author Archives: Tom Sharpe
Warship vulnerability: lessons from the Moskva sinking
Deploying is easy. Now comes the hard part. On 9 December the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) returned home. Flags were waved, bands played, snogging photos were taken and many articles were written (a selection below). The deployment statistics are remarkable and unless you’re part of the group that thinks the whole thing should have takenContinue reading “Bleeding out”
The art, science and bluff of ship handling
Two recent incidents at sea have drawn unfavourable attention to the business of moving a large objects around on the water. The first was an error large enough to be visible from space and bunged up a canal that carries a significant percentage of global trade:
MV Ever Given – lessons from the Suez Canal
Now that the MV Ever Given is underway and making way there is time for a brief period of reflection as the silt settles but before the incident fades from the public eye.
Water, water, everywhere, and yet you wouldn’t think
Today’s Times Weekend published an article called Horrible Histories: The Woeful Second World War. What follows is 2800 really interesting words on the blitz, the home guard, the RAF, shelters, rationing and then a chronology of how the war unfolded. It was only when I got to the end that I realised there wasn’t aContinue reading “Water, water, everywhere, and yet you wouldn’t think”
The Chief of the Defence Staff
First published on 21 Feb 21 There has been a spate of coverage recently speculating that the current Chief of the Defence Staff’s (CDS) time-in-post is coming to an end. It has quietened down for now, and indeed the date may now have slipped until after the Integrated Review. Of one thing we can beContinue reading “The Chief of the Defence Staff”
When warships and warplanes go off to die – a comparison Author’s note. I wrote this well over a year ago when the Tornado fighter jet flew for the last time after 40 years of service. This week’s decommissioning of HMS Bristol and the dismembering of ex-HMS Berkeley, and associated outpourings of grief, reminded meContinue reading “Plane Sailing”
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words
But what if they’re the wrong words? Recently, HMS Queen Elizabeth posted the latest in a long line of epic photos from her recent exploits. The one in question was of her and her task group all steaming along in perfect formation or ‘the photex’ as it’s known.
Mind the gap
HMS Queen Elizabeth delayed sailing today due to strong easterly winds in what is a good example of risk-vs-operational imperative decision making. The following short read is a counter to the resulting ‘what if we had to go to war and it was windy’ commentary.