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Old 02-09-2011, 14:14   #271
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

If I hear Jimmy Buffett, it's like a bell on a buoy to me. I come about and sail until I can't hear it anymore...

...just not into Hawaiian shirts and straw hats, I guess.
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Old 02-09-2011, 14:19   #272
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

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The British submarine service traditionally use the jolly roger to signify a successful wartime patrol in much the same way as US subs fixed a broom to the periscope standard to signify a clean sweep (successful patrol). Curiously, when the Germans surrendered in 1945, German U-boats at sea were instructed to hoist a black flag, dump munitions overboard, and proceed to allied ports to surrender. The use of a black flag for this purpose (dark blue was also authorized should black not be available) was due to technicalities in the wording of the Hague convention. A combatant could surrender or conduct a truce under a white flag, but as German U-boats were no longer classified as enemy combatants after the surrender, an alternative colour had to be chosen. The choice of black as the first preference offended the German U-boat crews as they felt the British were reducing them from being honourable sailors fighting for their homeland to pirates.
An entirely appropriate selection of color. These guys were the uber pirates. Aside from submarine warfare, german commerce raiders in both wars used tactics that were remarkably similar to those of the pirates of a foregone era. The raider Atlantis sunk 22 ships totaling 144,384 tons in her epic cruise which covered 100,000 miles in 602 days, without ever making port. They disguised themselves as merchants to approach enemy merchant shipping and then suddenly shelled them or torpedoed them. Boarding actions were common, and secret documents of importance to the war were taken by them during the boarding of SS Automedon. German submariners and auxiliary cruisers make old fashioned pirates look pretty tame, but they recognized the connection and carried on the traditions, down to distributing loot from taken ships to the crew and sending a number of prize vessels back to Germany with valuable cargoes.
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Old 02-09-2011, 14:39   #273
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Didn't US subs in WWII sink a lot of cargo and passenger vessels too, mainly Japanese?
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Old 02-09-2011, 15:00   #274
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

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Didn't US subs in WWII sink a lot of cargo and passenger vessels too, mainly Japanese?
Yes, and Japanese subs, Italian, British, etc. Only the Germans used auxiliary cruisers on any scale though. The tactics involved contravene all the rules of the sea, and make them the closest thing to modern pirates/privateers, IMHO. False flags, false distress signals, etc. Every dirty trick they could come up with to get another vessel to allow them to approach. Last time I can think of that national vessels were boarded, pillaged, and sunk. Piracy. The Somali's are just gangsters with boats....
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Old 02-09-2011, 15:19   #275
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

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Yes, and Japanese subs, Italian, British, etc. ..
The Russians sunk the Cruise Ship WILHELM GUSTLOFF (January 30, 1945) with the loss of 8500 souls, largest loss of life for any single ship in history. In 10 days the same sub sank ships with the loss of over 10,000 souls, mostly civilians.
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Old 02-09-2011, 15:33   #276
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

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The Russians sunk the Cruise Ship WILHELM GUSTLOFF (January 30, 1945) with the loss of 8500 souls, largest loss of life for any single ship in history. In 10 days the same sub sank ships with the loss of over 10,000 souls, mostly civilians.
The figure of 8,500 people aboard has been contested by many of the survivors of the Gustloff. Most estimate there may have been as many as 10-12k aboard. No records were kept during the evacuation of Memel and the crew took aboard as many as they could fit into the holds and on deck. The situation was so desperate that people standing in line to board the Gustloff didn't leave their places in line even when bombed and strafed by Shturmoviks, because they'd rather die than be taken by the Russians. Many survivors say the decks were standing room only when the torpedoes struck. The allies came up with smaller estimate of loss of life to appease the Russians, who feared it made them look bad. She was marked with the Red Cross...
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Old 02-09-2011, 15:40   #277
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

If I remember correctly, the Russian skipper of the sub which sank the Gustloff was first given a medal, and then subsequently cashiered during the cover-up. The Russians didn't want to disclose that they had given orders to ignore Red Cross markings. To be fair, the Germans were using "hospital" ships with Red Cross markings to evacuate active troops as well as civilians....
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Old 02-09-2011, 15:50   #278
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

I believe the German Hilfskreuzer operated within the guidelines of the Hague conventions and the established cruiser rules. The were manned by regular naval officers and enlisted personnel, and generally hoisted the Reichskriegsflagge prior to opening fire.

I might add that in most cases, survivors from captured or sunken ships were accorded good treatment.
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Old 02-09-2011, 15:51   #279
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

Contrary to some sources, the Gustloff DID NOT have Red Cross markings when torpedoed by the S-13 submarine commanded by Alexander Ivanovich Marinesko. By late 1940, the Gustloff was repainted in typical navy grey, when commissioned as a barracks ship in Gotenhafen. Furthermore, anti-aircraft guns were affixed to the deck before sailing.

Marinesko was not awarded with the Hero of the Soviet Union title: his commanders refused to trust reports regarding the scale of his "victories"; in addition, he was deemed a controversial person, "not suitable to be a hero". Instead, after the hits were confirmed, he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. Marinesko felt personally insulted, and when staff officers came to present him the order on his submarine, he gave the order to submerge her.

Marinesko was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously, in May 1990, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the victory in Europe. The Submarine Museum in St. Petersburg was named after him, and monuments dedicated to him were erected in Kaliningrad, Kronstad and Odessa.
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Old 02-09-2011, 15:55   #280
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

Try reading "The German Raider Atlantis" by Bernhard Rogge, her Captain. While they did abide by the letter of the law, they did it in much the same way as previous privateers. Flying a false flag and then suddenly switching it for the correct one at the moment you open fire may abide by the cruiser rules, but it's pretty piratey. It's a difficult read, as he appears to be an unapolegetic Nazi and fairly unpleasant racist, but still interesting in a pulp history kind of way....
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Old 02-09-2011, 16:19   #281
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

It has been years since I read the book and will have to dig it out again. It would be hard to characterize Rogge as being an unapologetic Nazi; he went on to achieve the rank of rear admiral in the West German Navy and surprisingly was a quarter Jewish. As to racism, he was probably more or less typical of most people of the time in expressing a certain disdain of or amusement at peoples of African or Asian heritage.

Hitler's Jewish Soldiers

Having said that I think we should get back to topic before the moderators decide we need some disciplining.
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Old 02-09-2011, 16:28   #282
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

I believe we're coming to the end of the tunnel.

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Old 02-09-2011, 16:30   #283
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

This thread is so far out in left field I don't think even the moderators know where it started. But, O.K., Back to flying the Jolly Roger. I say to each his own.
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Old 02-09-2011, 16:48   #284
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

but it really didnt stray off the topic of piracy and politic-al correctness
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Old 02-09-2011, 17:02   #285
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Re: Jolly Roger, Pirates and Political Correctness

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Having said that I think we should get back to topic before the moderators decide we need some disciplining.
Ohhhhhhhhh... I love it when women talk dirty

(Thought I would beat Mark to that one!)
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