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 taken place in the channel, enough to make you very proud.Continue 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:Continue reading “The art, science and bluff of ship handling”
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.Continue reading “MV Ever Given – lessons from the Suez Canal”
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 a single mention of the Royal Navy. Or any navy. Or the maritime. Not one.Continue 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 be sure, when it looks to be imminent (again), speculation as to his successor will crescendo.Continue 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 me that I never published.
It occurred to me during the various celebrations and flybys to record the demise of the venerable Tornado that ships of the Royal Navy never depart for the breaker’s yard with such, if any, fanfare. ‘You can’t do a fly past in a ship’ seems like an obvious reason but I wondered if there was a more profound reason. Spoiler – there isn’t.Continue 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.Continue reading “A Picture Paints a Thousand Words”
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.Continue reading “Mind the gap”