Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-01-2007, 06:25   #31
bru
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: nr. Kettering, England
Posts: 73
The Royal Navy

This is drifting off the topic a bit but ...

First off Britain can't end. It's a geographic term not a nation. The United Kingdom on the other hand probably will cease to exist as a nation state in due course but not through devolution but rather through absorbtion into a European nation (an inevitable end run of the way the European Common Market has developed into the European Union and continues to gradually leach power from national governments to the European parliament and administration)

Secondly, the role of the Royal Navy has changed dramatically since it's heyday as the worlds largest and greatest. The UK no longer has an empire to administer, there is no longer a single significant potential enemy with large scale naval forces to defend against.

During the cold war period the primary role of the RN was anti-submarine and land forces support in the European theatre in the event of a Soviet invasion. By the 1980's the RN barely had the ability to prosecute an action at long range (the Falklands/Malvinas) something which at the end of WWII it was extremely well equipped to do. Today such an action would be virtually impossible.

The planning trend since the melt down of the Soviet threat has envisioned that the primary role of the UK military now and in the future is in so called "peace keeping" actions and anti-terrorist operations largely within the European theatre. There is a somewhat limited role for naval operations in these actions other than in supporting the ground forces.

With the decimation of manufacturing industries in the UK since the 1950's, the loss of all the economic benefits of empire (the rump that is left is just a minor burden) and the high financial cost of EU membership (the UK is a net financial contributor whatever the other arguable benfits of membership may be) the UK can no longer afford a substantial military and certainly cannot justify a substantial navy.

The UK military is now in crisis due to its involvement in US led actions in Iraq and Afganistan. The UK is only involved in these arenas because senior political leaders do not want to admit that the UK is no longer a world power. The nation, in truth, no longer has the industrial capacity, financial strength or will amongst the electorate to play with the big boys but how long we will have to wait for a Prime Minister willing to give up "special relationship" meetings with the US President, forgo the UN Security Council veto and other such vestigial relics of the great days when the UK was a genuine world power remains to be seen.

The plain truth of the matter is that the UK can no longer afford standing military forces (Army, Navy and Air) of significant size in world terms. The economy would benefit tremendously from an acceptance of the reality of the situation by our senior politicans. That reality is partially reflected in the reduction in size of our military but not in the role that the politicians expect it to perform.

One aspect of the stupidity of this disjointed thinking is that the RN would be far more useful if it had more smaller vessels. A handful of frigates, a couple of modest aircraft carriers, one decent assault ship and a hatful of less capable ones are of limited use in policing roles. If we start from the self evident facts that there is no longer a large naval power to face off against, that if such a power evolved in the future then only the US has the industrial and financial capacity to combat it and that the primary role of the UK military in the future is in neo-military policing actions then the RN needs to return, in effect, to the days of "gunboat diplomacy".

By this I mean that the RN in it's current and future role would be better served by having fewer large ships of the frigate/destroyer type and more smaller patrol vessels such as the River Class (although ideally a new design, slightly larger and a good deal faster carrying a bigger complement of Marines, a permanent helicopter and capable of worldwide deployment).

To expand on this further, instead of two new dedicated aircraft carriers the RN would have more use for several combined function land assualt / air support vessels similar to HMS Ocean but capable of deploying a half squadron of VTOL air defence/ground attack aircraft as well as support and attack helicopters and troops. In truth, the two new aircraft carriers, when they are finally delivered, are likely to be used in this role rather than a purely air support role although they will require additional assets in support due to the failure to think "out of the box" when they were designed.

Finally, it's highly questionable whether the UK actually needs a submarine force capable of delivering strategic nuclear weapons. Once again, economically the country cannot afford them. The desire amongst senior politicians to replace Trident once again stems from an unwillingness to accept that the country is no longer a world power. Having submarine based nukes means they can play hardball with the big boys but the fact is we're punching well above our weight. A small force of conventionally armed fleet submarines may be justified for their ability to conduct intelligence and covert operations.

The bottom line is that, as a country, we cannot afford to continue with the illusion that we are a world power. Any large scale military action is going to be primarily prosecuted by either the US military or a combined European force. The UK, since we are stuck with being in the EU, should of course contribute to the latter. Whether we should be so keen to get involved with US led military actions is a political debate I don't want to go into hereabouts!

To get back to the topical point, having set out the background, if the RN scrapped a couple more frigates the money saved would easily finance the construction and deployment of half a dozen or more extended capability patrol vessels equipped with a small helicopter, several RIBs and a useful force of Royal Marines. One or two such vessels stationed in the Gulf of Aden with suitable RoE would put an end to the yacht piracy problem for starters!
__________________

__________________
Regards
Bru
bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2007, 06:38   #32
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,573
Images: 240
The U.S. Navy currently deploys the world’s largest naval force, with a tonnage greater than that of the next 17 largest combined, and an effective capability far beyond that of the rest of the world combined.
As much as things change, they remain much the same. There’s always been a dominant power, sometimes offset by a rival parvenue.
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2007, 06:57   #33
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 192
By and large I agree with Bru, but....

UK CAN afford a larger navy - in my opinion the cost-benefit analyses does not justify it. What we need is an appropriate force, within or outside the EU.

(Probably the USA cannot 'afford' (again cost/benefit) - or need - the size of navy it has either)

The opposite opinion for UK is that world political situation changes, and you have to keep big ship navy experience in case you need it in the future. You also need something that looks impressive to be able to do gunboat diplomancy. The vulnerability of big surface ships to low cost, patrol-vessel launched missiles makes me wonder if their time is over, though.
__________________
Moby Dick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2008, 08:05   #34
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Boat: First learning :) but I'll buy one once im ready.
Posts: 35
I think that hes right , we hould give them what they want,
or end up dead .
__________________
New and learning !


LBCS
CptnLBS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2008, 23:14   #35
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2008
Boat: 1974 Catalina 22 - Riff Raft (still)
Posts: 7
I read this entire thread, and no one mentioned the possibility of using a non-lethal deterrent to a pirate attack, It seems that since these guys need high speed boats to ply thier trade, someone would have come up with a way to fowl thier props, such as streaming an array of plastic tape, or monofiliment. While it wouldn't stop a rifle attack, it could prevent a boarding. The stuff used to fowl the props could be made of something very hard to remove or cut, like kevlar. Just a thought.

While I am a gun-happy American cowboy, I can't see carrying anything more than a 12 ga. pump on board, for practical purposes. But I'm not trained for a fire-fight at sea.
__________________
Greenhorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2008, 23:20   #36
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
It would be tempting to have a hidden, fixed mount machine gun on the foredeck ready for use when approaced by pirates.

That is what Norwegian fishing trawlers had during World War II when they were smuggling under-cover agents and radio equipement and other contraband to and from the Shetland Islands under the watchful eye of the invading Nazi,s:

If attacked by German Fighter planes or E-boats that thought this would be an easy kill, they removed fishing nets and fenders from them covered the guns and gave the attackers a dose of their own medicine.

Since then most Norwegian commercial vessels to this day have re-inforcements in the fore-deck area so a machine gun can be bolted on fairly easy.

Perhaps not very practcal on a crusing sailboat, but the idea is good when transitioning the Gulf of Aden:

"Honey, there is the bad guys, take the tarps off and sink them bastards"...
Then settle down for a rum-punch in the sun-set as the gun cools off and the blood is disappearing from the surface.

Job well done, nobody got hurt except the pirates, and the sharks got their evening meal....
All is well.

Aye, one can only dream of making it an even playing field....
That reminds me of the Coasties running around in their little orange gunboats now....its a shame things have come to this. What happens if I get labeled as a terrorist? I fear all that would happen is my widowed wife gets an apology letter. The Coasties themselves are good people...its the policy makers that are the problem.


Stock Photo By: Jeff Greenberg
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2008, 00:14   #37
Registered User
 
swagman's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winter land based UK New Forest. Summer months away. Making the transition from sail to power this year - scary stuff.
Boat: Super Van Craft 1320 Power Yacht
Posts: 2,175
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to swagman
Interesting twist on the piracy / armed cruiser subject.

Only recently a cruiser who was intercepted, boarded and robbed as he approached Somalia told his tale on the UK radio. The pirates were people smugglers twix Africa and Arabia who apparently take the piracy opportunity when they bump into passing yachts.

He was on board with one crew plus wife when they came across several pirate boats and were held up by automatic weapons. He did not feel too protected in his GRP bot so let them board.

The pirates did them no harm but took close to $1,000 plus radios.

The incident happened a few years back and in his tale, he mentioned meetings other cruisers who had been similarly robbed in the same location. The interviewer asked him if he knew if the attacks still continued today and he answered 'Yes - but the M O has changed'.

Seems a year or so after his attack the same pirates came across a US steel yacht armed with shotguns who defended themselves and sunk one of the pirate boats.

Since then he said, the pirates M O has been too hose the cruisers with autmatic weapons and ensure all are dead before boarding.

I've no way of verifying his tale. But this was on a BBC Radio 4 chat programme so assume they would have checked authenticity before allowing it on air.

JOHN
__________________
Don't take life too seriously. No ones going to make it out alive......Go see our blog at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/yachtswagman/
swagman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2008, 01:36   #38
Sue
Registered User
 
Sue's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Boat: Peregrine Serendipity 43
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by swagman View Post
Interesting twist on the piracy / armed cruiser subject.

Only recently a cruiser who was intercepted, boarded and robbed as he approached Somalia told his tale on the UK radio. The pirates were people smugglers twix Africa and Arabia who apparently take the piracy opportunity when they bump into passing yachts.

He was on board with one crew plus wife when they came across several pirate boats and were held up by automatic weapons. He did not feel too protected in his GRP bot so let them board.

The pirates did them no harm but took close to $1,000 plus radios.

The incident happened a few years back and in his tale, he mentioned meetings other cruisers who had been similarly robbed in the same location. The interviewer asked him if he knew if the attacks still continued today and he answered 'Yes - but the M O has changed'.

Seems a year or so after his attack the same pirates came across a US steel yacht armed with shotguns who defended themselves and sunk one of the pirate boats.

Since then he said, the pirates M O has been too hose the cruisers with autmatic weapons and ensure all are dead before boarding.

I've no way of verifying his tale. But this was on a BBC Radio 4 chat programme so assume they would have checked authenticity before allowing it on air.

JOHN
I feel compelled to respond to this post. John, I believe the incident that you are referring to is the attack upon Mahdi and Gandalf; two steel sailing vessels traveling together off the coast of Yemen. They came into Aden a day after we arrived and I personally saw the bullet dings in their steel hulls. I was given the report by Rod (Mahdi's skipper) and posted it in one of my emails home (pre-blog days). However, that has been years and I would rather post a link to Lat. 38 where the same report was printed than post my copy without permission:

Edit: Seems the url won't copy. I'll try typing it in--still won't go. Just google: Pirate attack off Yemen Mahdi and Gandalf. Several sites will come up and you will be able to read the official report filed by Rod. It is interesting reading and should clear things up for those wondering. Sorry I couldn't make it easy to link to. The Lat 38 link comes up as March 18.

As you can see, these pirates were off Yemen, not Somalia. I don't know if Mahdi's and Gandalf's story is the one this nameless cruiser refers to, but it sounds like a take off of it. The MO is whatever these thugs want it to be; these people were attacked BEFORE firing back. I felt I had to write this because not long after this incident, we were in Egypt having dinner with a bunch of cruisers and one of them began a tale of how the pirates will now kill first and how he wasn't even sure Mahdi and Gandalf didn't start the shooting. I was really upset to hear this BS start up. We finished dinner and left abuptly.I told my husband that I wondered how long it would take before the story was turned around and made to look as if the people attacked were blamed rather than the pirates themselves--not long it appears. We do not carry arms, but I can see why people would. There is no 911 out here and I don't think people who have not had their lives threatened in such isolation should be making second guesses on what should have been done.
Sue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2008, 02:07   #39
Registered User
 
searcher's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Nelson New Zealand
Boat: Eric Cox offshore 40ft cutter rigged sloop. named "Searcher" built 1965
Posts: 39
Images: 10
Don't go there.."DON'T GO THERE" simple EH??
__________________
searcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2008, 02:12   #40
Sue
Registered User
 
Sue's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Boat: Peregrine Serendipity 43
Posts: 7
Some of us making circumnavigations need to get home. I wasn't big on Capes, so the Red Sea route got my vote. I'm sure others felt the same way.
Sue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2008, 02:47   #41
Senior Cruiser
 
44'cruisingcat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7,452
Images: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by searcher View Post
Don't go there.."DON'T GO THERE" simple EH??
If only it was that simple.
__________________
44'cruisingcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2008, 04:44   #42
Registered User
 
waterworldly's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New York City/Bimini
Boat: 52' Irwin Ketch
Posts: 441
It IS that simple. "I WASN'T BIG ON CAPES" just doesn't cut it. DON'T GO THERE is a real and realistic piece of advice. Jimmy Cornell recently made the trip to the med via the cape and had a near perfect cruise of it. While I see comments constantly on this board regarding boycotting this island or that island in the Caribbean, I seems near impossible to people to understand that if they stop taking the abuse that is associacated with the Red Sea route (including the awful treatment through the Suez Canel) and start using the beautiful and welcoming route via Cape Town, St. Helena, Canaries, then perhaps something will be done. As for Somalia, anyone that goes within 300 miles is just asking for it.
__________________
waterworldly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2008, 08:10   #43
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Scotland
Boat: Looking with intent
Posts: 75
Okay,

We are working on getting our boat and have kids. We would go around the Cape and SA than the Red Sea. Than again the problem of Piracy is not limited to there and what research I have been doing shows that it is heavily under reported by Yacht owners and/or those chartering a boat. There has been an increase in violence in this area against all types of boats and the industry is trying to get it dealt with but there is very little political will world wide to truly deal with it.

Even the UK allows for shotguns properly registered to be in a boats locker as long as you let them know and surrender it to the harbour Master when in port. Even UK registered Yachts can do (have looked in to this since we live in the UK) this.

Now whether you want to do this is up to each owner/captain and in the way the World is going might dictate where you can sail safely. These are things we need to look at bother on our own but also as a greater community of sailors.

By the way for anyone who remembers high school experiments. Pressurized air (compressor), PVC plastic pipe (Barrel), Tennis Ball (Projectile) can make a very wicked mortar very simply. Now change the tennis ball for a bottle filled with a flammable substance and a floating consumable material and you have something most people don't want to be near (let's hear it for the Greeks and My Sicilian Ancestors). I don't know of many pirates that want something like that landing on the deck of their boat at 120 to 160 metres from my boat. After all we did it with a fire extinguisher.

As I have said it is up to each of us on how we will react. Only, I suggest not blaming the increase in violence on those that choose to defend themselves as that logic does not hold any water what so ever at all when looking at the raw data.

Anyone with more info on attacks that they know of any where in the world please contact me as trying to collect a realistic picture and getting information that doesn't add up in some parts and in others there a massive gaps.

Anyone interested in discussing how to use what is found on a "normal" Yacht as defensive measures please contact me as well.

Well, that was a long 2 pence worth but it is there.
__________________
Chiroeurope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2008, 09:12   #44
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
gulf of Aden. well duh... Next let's cruise the African coast off Somalia!! Or maybe the Red Sea... The areas where 99 of piracy take place are well know. Stay the hell away is my answer...
__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2008, 09:14   #45
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
While leaving Mexico on the west coast. I was off of Ensenada at dusk. A fishing panga started to follow me, slowly closing the distance. I thought very little of it until they were close enough to see facial features.

I could see them talking to eachother, and watching me closely. We were out of sight of land, and no other vessels in sight. I asked them if they wanted fuel, or food? There was no reply at all, but they started coming closer.

After about 20 minutes I stepped down the companionway, and grabbed my flaregun. I gave them a little peak of the pistol, and set it alongside the companionway top. They started chattering excitedly, and abruptly veered off over the horizon. I am not sure of their intentions, but they gave me a BAD FEELING.
__________________

__________________
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pirate Attack Map for 2007 liberty16 Health, Safety & Related Gear 17 25-03-2008 08:41
Pirate attack Michaele Health, Safety & Related Gear 3 05-06-2006 23:54
Cruise liner fends off pirate attack exposure Health, Safety & Related Gear 6 04-12-2005 11:49
Pirate Attack - First hand account RPC General Sailing Forum 0 24-08-2004 09:46



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.