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Friday, 20 October 2017

FLEETS #18: Italian Navy, Japanese Navy, French Navy (v.II) and Turkish Navy in WWI

The following images illustrate the most important classes of warships that were in service with the navies of Italy, Japan, France (version 2) and Turkey (Ottoman Empire) during the World War I. More posts will follow for your collection of current naval fleets but also of fleets from the past.

Italian Navy (Regia Marina) in WWI

Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details - Italian Navy in WWI

Japanese Navy (Imperial Japanese Navy) in WWI

Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details - Japanese Navy in WWI

French Navy (Marine Nationale) in WWI (version 2)

Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details - French Navy in WWI

Turkish Navy (Ottoman Navy) in WWI

Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details - Ottoman Navy in WWI. It should be mentioned
here that the battlecruiser Yavuz was acquired by the Ottoman Empire in 1914 and not 1912.

Finally I discovered the original source of those WWII and WWI fleet graphs and it is the www.naval-encyclopedia.com. There you can read some excellent naval history articles, to download other graphs or you can purchase the same graphs in high resolution in their online shop!
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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Turkish Navy modernization and shipbuilding plans through 2030

Written by D-Mitch

Turkish Navy 2017 - 2021
Without doubt, Turkey today has the strongest and most numerous naval forces in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkish Navy has more frigates, submarines and fast attack missile boats (Egypt has more FACM but most of them are not serviceable) than any other navy with significant naval fleet in the region such as the Hellenic Navy, Egyptian Navy and Israeli Navy. Not only Turkey has more warships but also those vessels have been modernized or upgraded recently as it will be described thoroughly in the next paragraphs. But Turkey has even greater naval ambitions. This article will summarize the most important developments in the Turkish Navy force structure and its impressive shipbuilding plans from 2010 with a look toward 2030. It should be mentioned here that when I refer to "upgrade" I mean new electronics - sensors and weapons while "modernization" is either new weapons or new electronics and not both.

Naval power in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2017. High resolution image here.

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Saturday, 26 August 2017

India’s Maritime Aspirations: Zone Defence and a Bubble

Written by Periklis Stampoulis *

India’s maritime “destiny” was early cited by K.M. Panikkar, an Indian diplomat and influential scholar: “The vital feature which differentiates the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic or the Pacific is the sub-continent of India, which juts out far into the sea for a thousand miles. It is the geographical position of India that changes the character of the Indian Ocean...”[1].

Talwar class frigates of the Indian Navy in formation
By fulfilling its “destiny”, India bumps into Chinese regional interests. Attempting to expand its own interests, commercial activities and energy goods imports, the “String of Pearls” project, namely the construction of a web of naval infrastructure (ports and bases) throughout the IOR, has been issued. These activities along with the arms sales to IOR states cause fears of Chinese encirclement [2]. Moreover, China has already built and fully operates a military base in Djibouti and according to a U.S. Pentagon report “most likely will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests [3]”. Already, a naval base/logistics infrastructure has been built in Gwadar, Pakistan, and certain ports in the IOR, such as Hambantota in Sri Lanka [4] and Chittagong along with Sonadia [5] in Bangladesh provide amenities to Chinese Navy ships. Therefore, the best way of countering Chinese descent to the IOR is a strong Indian Navy.

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Saturday, 19 August 2017

Wonsan and Nampo minelayer classes of the Republic of Korea Navy

Written by D-Mitch

RoKS Nampo, world's most advanced minelayer today
Today, some of the most advanced and most capable modern minelayer classes belong to the Republic of Korea Navy (South Korean Navy). This is the Wonsan class and its evolution, the Nampo class, which will be analyzed thoroughly in this article. The first ship in the Nampo class, RoKS Nampo with the pennant number 570, was launched just recently by the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), on 27th of May of 2017. It is not known yet how many ships in the class will follow exactly but at least three more ships are expected. The designation name of the class is Mine Layer Ship (MLS)-II following the previous sole ship and predecessor of the type, MLS-I type, the Wonsan (560), which was delivered to the Republic of Korea Navy in 1998. Initially, South Korea was planning to build three MLS-I ships but due to budget constraints of that time only one vessel was completed. Big, modern, heavily armed, multi-purpose ships, these are definitely the most well equipped minelayers in the world today proving that the minelayer designs have still future.


The two Korean minelayer classes
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Wednesday, 9 August 2017

BOOK REVIEW #2: The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn - The Untold Story of the American Revolution

Welcome to my second book review, The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn - The Untold Story of the American Revolution, by Robert P. Watson.

The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn
The Jersey Prison Ship as moored at
the Wallabout near Long Island, in 1782
This is the shocking and tragic yet largely-unknown story of the notorious HMS Jersey, an old rotting British warship that was used as a floating prison during the American Revolution. A carefully-researched story by Robert P. Watson focusing on the struggles of American prisoners imprisoned aboard that ship, that everyone should read it! Moored off the coast of Brooklyn, in the shallows of Wallabout Bay, until the end of the war, HMS Jersey was a living hell for thousands of Americans. A dreaded prison for American soldiers and sailors who were captured in the battle, crews of captured American privateers, which constituted the main population aboard the ships, and civilians suspected of supporting the colonial cause or refusing to swear an oath to the Crown. These unfortunate souls were incarcerated in the diseased and deadly holds of this large floating coffin whose dark and filthy appearance fitly represented death and despair.
 
Dr. Robert P. Watson, author of the book
Robert P. Watson, is a professor of history at Lynn University and has published over three dozen nonfiction books, two encyclopedia sets, three novels, and hundreds of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and reference essays on topics in politics and history. His book The Presidents' Wives, Affairs of the State, and America's First Crisis, received the 2014 Gold Medal in History from the Independent Publishers' Association (IPPY). In his new book, which will be published on August 15th, the author explores one of the worst tragedies in American military history; a prison ship that the British believed would frighten patriots into submission. Revealing for the first time hundreds of accounts culled from old newspapers, long-lost diaries, and military reports, historian Robert P. Watson follows the lives and ordeals of the ship's few survivors, to tell the astonishing story of the ghost ship of the Revolutionary War that killed thousands of Americans and yet helped secure victory in the fight for independence. It is worth of mention that the ship's name had become notorious, an object for terror, bringing panic and nausea to those who knew that they were about to be incarcerated aboard that death ship. Others attempted suicide or tried to escape. Those who survived and later on released as well as the few fortunate ones who managed to escape wrote detailed narratives of the experience offering in that way a firsthand telling of the conditions aboard this floating dungeon. Their testimonies inspired the struggle for independence as newspapers everywhere described the horrors onboard the ship sparking a backlash of outrage throughout the colonies.
 
Prisoners aboard HMS Jersey. By Library of Congress
The author recalls and artfully describes the struggles that occurred on this ghost ship where roughly twice the total of American lives lost in combat during the entirety of the war, died in her holds! More than a thousand prisoners at a time were held aboard the HMS Jersey, the most infamous among the prisons ships, that earned the nickname “Hell Afloat” or simply “Hell”, for its inhumane conditions and the obscenely high death rate of its prisoners! Prisoners crammed below deck in a rat-infested ship designed once for 400 sailors, in complete darkness, breathing foul air and listening in the night the groans of the sick and dying while trying to rest with the fear of crazed men in the grip of disease or mental anguish due to the harsh conditions aboard this death ship. The deplorable conditions resulted in about to six to twelve men on average dying every day from diseases such as dysentery, smallpox, yellow fever and typhoid, of exposure to the cold or the suffocating heat, as well as from malnutrition, limited and polluted water and the brutal treatment by the cruel guards. One of the survivor said that no other ship in the British navy ever proved the means of the destruction of so many human beings! 

But this tragedy has largely forgotten. Americans who met martyr’s deaths in defense of their country. Forgotten patriots who did not bend the knee and chose the almost certain death instead of accepting the British offer to serve the Royal Navy after their capture. The vast majority of those brave men were never heard again. Lost without prayers, tears or stones. Wretched souls whose bodies just dumped unceremoniously into shallow, unmarked graves on the Brooklyn shoreline. Robert Watson, through his well-written book, one of the undeniably few books devoted to the subject of the British prison ships, ensures the memory of these American Patriots will never be forgotten.

I highly recommend this book not only to those who love history in general but to anyone who enjoy adventures and certainly to those who pursue to know more about interesting unheard stories and dark details from the United States War of Independence. It is an easy-to-read book as the author provides all the necessary background in order even somebody with limited knowledge about American Revolution, to be able to understand the background of the story. This is undoubtedly a book you won’t be able to put down! The Robert P. Watson’s The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution is available as a hardback and eBook here.
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Friday, 28 July 2017

Egyptian Navy upgraded - Seeking for security or an indication of strategic aspirations?

Written by Theodore Bazinis*

''A navy is a state’s main instrument of maritime force. What it should do, what doctrine it holds, what ships it deploys, and how it fights are determined by practical political and military choices in relation to national needs. Choices are made according to the state’s goals, perceived threat, maritime opportunity…'' [1] (Baer, 1994)

Some of the most modern additions to the Egyptian Navy, Type 209/1400
submarine, Ezzat class missile boat and Aquitaine class frigate
Are the recent Egyptian naval procurements in coherence with the above mentioned words? On March 17, the first Gowind Corvette of the Egyptian navy successfully completed the first phase of sea trials and will soon be fully operational. Furthermore on April 19, the second Submarine Type 209/1400 was acquired. During the last five years the Egyptian Navy has materialized procurements which have upgraded its capabilities. What’s the ultimate purpose? Just seeking for Security, reflect of extensive strategic aspirations or political oriented decisions?

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

FLEETS #17: Spanish Navy, Polish Navy and Irish Naval Service today

This is the sixth article about various countries' navies today; a new Fleets post after a long time. In these articles, I briefly describe a country's naval fleet by reporting the ships in each type/category of warships and by providing a nice image where all the types of warships are illustrated and the units of its class are reported. I include the vessels that will enter in service this year and I have excluded those that are about to be decommissioned. I deliberately excluded many classes of auxiliary ships; those that they have "0" defence capacity and those that have secondary roles such as hydrographic survey ships, tugs, depollution vessels and training ships.



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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Irish Naval Service fleet today

Written by D-Mitch

The Force is strong with the Irish Naval Service!
Samuel Beckett crest, a photo by Salvador de la Rubia
The Naval Service (Irish: an tSeirbhís Chabhlaigh) is the maritime component of the Defence Forces of Ireland and is one of the three branches of the Irish Defence Forces. The Naval Service provides the maritime component of the State's Defence capabilities and is the State's principal seagoing agency. The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps. Its base is in Haulbowline, County Cork. The Naval Service is tasked with a variety of roles including defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets, countering port blockades; people or arms smuggling, illegal drugs interdiction, and providing the primary diving team in the State. The Service supports Army operations in the littoral and by sea lift, has undertaken supply and reconnaissance missions to overseas peace support operations and participates in foreign visits all over the world in support of Irish Trade and Diplomacy.

The flagship of the Irish Naval Service, LÉ Eithne, in formation with Emer
class (retired) and Roisin class offshore patrol vessels.

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

FLEETS & INFOGRAPHICS: improvements and updates

During the last months, I finally managed to update and improve the majority of the articles and especially the Infographics that are included almost in every post and the Fleets. I received many comments suggesting me to create Fleet graphs similar to the Royal Navy and Hellenic Navy graphs where all the combat units are depicted one by one and not just the classes. So I finally did that for all the Fleets I have created until now! But I did not stop only there but I did the following (which was not an easy work at all...):
  • The font has been changed in almost every graph and infographic such as the Andrea Doria class, Vittorio Veneto, Horizon class, Aquitaine class, the Karel Doorman class, etc. I still though need to improve the font of the Elli class graphs and very few others
  • Crests/seals were added or improved on many Fleet graphs and Infographics
  • Ship figures were improved on Fleet graphs
  • The Fleets are now all depicted as of December 2017, thus ships that are about to be decommissioned have not been included while those that are about to enter service this year have been included
  • Many dead links in some articles have been replaced with new ones while new information and photos were added. The information in the articles is updated constantly accordingly to latest news
  • Emblems, flags and others have been changed or improved on graphs and infographics
  • New infographics were added of which some have replaced old ones, such as the Egyptian Navy Aquitaine class, the Italian Navy Bergamini class, the Republic of Singapore Navy improved Formidable class , the Turkish Navy Kilic I/II class and the Turkish Navy Yildz class
The Italian Navy Bergamini class FREMM, old (up) and new (bottom)
More analytically about the Fleets graphs, in the following images you can see the huge improvements were made. Now, it is finally time to proceed with new Analyses and the design of new Fleets such as Spanish Navy, Polish Navy, Irish Navy, Japanese Navy, Indonesian Navy and more. Stay tuned!

The RAN old (2015) and new graph (2017)
The RCN old (2015) and new graph (2017)

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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Malaysian 15 to 5 Armada Transformation Program - Meeting Mahan’s Perspectives while Adjusting to the Fiscal Environment

Written by Theodore Bazinis*

Alfred Thayer Mahan. Source
Royal Malaysian Navy vessels in formation
In his essay “Considerations Guiding the Dispositions of Navies’’, for the British journal National Review (1901), Mahan defined the ways that a nation should deploy and dispose its naval forces in times of peace. Τhe godfather of Sea Power, determined the constitution of the fleet, as a critical factor for naval power. Aiming to cope with a range of threats and challenges and fulfill its nation’s ambitions in maritime domain, a fleet should consist of adequate number of ships and of requisite types. Naval Strategists and Naval Policy Makers are charged to correspond in such a manner so that to achieve an ideal connection between naval procurements (which define the future constitution of the fleet) and ambitions, threats and challenges within a given fiscal context. Mahan determined four elements (abilities) which constitute a balanced fleet: (1) projection of sea power and overcoming a contingent or future enemy, (2) protection of vital sea lanes, (3) scouting and operating toward the coast and (4) exercise naval diplomacy.

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Monday, 17 April 2017

Sa'ar 4.5 (Hetz) class fast attack craft of the Israeli Navy

Written by D-Mitch
 
Sa'r 4.5 class fast attack missile craft (FACM), the powerful
naval protectors of Israel. Photo by Ofek Ron-Carmel
When we talk about Israeli vessels, aircraft or any kind of military platform, we expect a variety of sensors and antennas, of which the majority of them have usually an unknown to the general audience purpose. This is exactly the case for the naval class which is analyzed in this article where its sensors related to electronic countermeasures, are reported mainly based on my experience and also on my judgement according to the producers' product descriptions. I must admit this article was not easy at all; an article which I started writing about a year ago and reached over than 35 pages... It was worth it though as I believe I managed to write the most complete article about the class online. The Israeli naval class which is analyzed in this article is the Sa'ar 4.5 class or else Hetz class of fast attack missile craft (FACM); the backbone of the modern Israeli Navy (Hebrew: חיל הים הישראלי‎‎, Ḥeil HaYam HaYisraeli (English: Sea Corps of Israel); Arabic: البحرية الإسرائيلية‎‎) which is the naval warfare service arm of the Israel Defense Forces. Actually there are two different subclasses that are both named Sa'ar 4.5. The first subclass consists of two boats and was initially called Chochit (Hebrew: חוחית‎‎), but renamed to Aliya (Hebrew: עליה‎‎) and later on were sold to the Mexican Navy which renamed to Huracan class. Two Aliya subclass boats are in service with the Mexican Navy. This class will be analyzed in a future post. The second subclass was initially called Nirit (Hebrew: נירית‎‎) but renamed to Hetz (Hebrew: חץ‎‎). It should be mentioned here that this class was once the most heavily armed and most advanced in the world in the fast attack missile craft type. Today, Sa'ar 4.5 (Hertz), in its regular configuration, shares the first place together with the Egyptian Ezzat class (Ambassador Mk III) the latest addition to the Egyptian Navy, and certainly is one of the best FACM in the world today.

Israel Navy Saar 4.5 class missile boats. Photo: Nir Ben-Yosef (AKA xnir)

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Saturday, 1 April 2017

An (early) April Fool's Day joke, the Greek media and the journalistic professionalism

Very early in the morning of Friday the 31th, I read in the news that the shipowner Alexandros Goulandris is intended to make the armored cruiser Georgios Averof sailable, a legendary ship of the Hellenic Navy (Πολεμικο Ναυτικό) and now for many decades a memorial and museum ship. I found it really funny to be honest, someone to spend so much money to repair an old museum vessel and make it sailable again when the priorities of the Hellenic Navy are so many and when the country is broke. I am Greek as many of you know (or you can realize that from my posts that give an emphasis to the Navy of Greece), and as a navy enthusiast, researcher (operations research analyst)  and amateur blogger, I do care about the future of my country's Navy. Therefore I wanted to raise up an issue, to see the reactions of the people and moreover to test the Greek media. This was not an easy decision for me to make and took a lot of consideration before I posted the fake news. I hope that my followers will not have bad feelings and enjoyed the joke as much as I did. I must admit also that I was not expecting that huge domino effect and the reproduction of my "news" in so many blogs and websites and most important in so many variations! I was also seriously "bombed" from dozens of phone calls and private messages.

USS Stout (DDG-55), one of the ships that was "acquired" by the Hellenic Navy

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Monday, 20 March 2017

INFOGRAPHICS OF COAST GUARD VESSELS #4: Azerbaijan and Colombia

Written by D-Mitch


This is the fourth post, after a long time, of a new category of infographics of various coast guard vessels from around the world. These infographics aim to highlight the most important equipment of the vessels; I do not analyze the systems in depth as I do for the warships instead I provide some basic information mainly from Wikipedia (if else I provide the source) about the ships, their history and their capabilities.
1.  Sa'ar 62 class offshore patrol vessels of the Azerbaijani Coast Guard
President Ilham Aliyev inspecting the
new shipyards and the boats
Typhoon MLS-NLOS missile launcher
Azerbaijan is one of the very few countries in the world that has in her inventory missile-armed coast guard vessels. Jane's, reported in summer of 2014, that Azerbaijan had bought six Sa'ar 62 offshore patrol vessels (based on the Sa'ar 4.5 class) and six lighter Shaldag Mk V patrol boats. The purchase came to light flowing the release of images from the commissioning of a new naval shipyard in Azerbaijan, which showed the first vessels during handling and construction in new shipyards in Türkan (video here), which is also according to Jane's believed to have been built by Israel Shipyards. The construction hall has capacity for at least three vessels to be constructed simultaneously. It should be mentioned that  Azerbaijan became second country in the world, after Russia with her remaining Krivak III (Nerey) class cutters armed with SA-N-4 surface-to-air missiles, that introduced in the coast guard fleet, vessels armed with missile weapon systems. However, in the Azerbaijani service, the distinction between  a coast guard vessel and a naval vessel is blur, as none of the naval vessels is equipped with missiles in contrast to.. the coast guard vessels! A nice video about the Azerbaijan Coast Guard can be watched here. Recently, Turkmenistan and United Arab Emirates commissioned coast guard vessels with missile weapon systems. These vessels, will be analyzed in a future post.


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Monday, 27 February 2017

Naresuan class frigates of the Royal Thai Navy

Written by D-Mitch

The lead ship in the class, Naresuan (421), after the upgrade.
Via Fb Combat-Zones
The most advanced and heavily armed surface combatants of the Royal Thai Navy (Thai: กองทัพเรือไทย; rtgsKong Thap Ruea Thai) are two (2) Naresuan class frigates, cooperatively designed by the Royal Thai Navy and China but built by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation in Shanghai the period 1991-94. The two vessels in the class, Naresuan (421) and Taksin (422), were commissioned in December 1994 and October 1995 respectively. The Naresuan class is considered a modified version of the Chinese-made Type 053 frigate. When Thailand ordered four new 053 frigates in 1990, China built them to the (then) latest 053H2 (Jianghu III) standard. Two were modified with helicopter decks in the back. Although the price was excellent, the Thai Navy complained of quality issues. The interior wiring was exposed and had to be re-wired. The ship's battle damage control system was very limited, with poor fire-suppression system and water-tight locks. It's said that if the ship's hull was breached, rapid flooding would lead to loss of ship. The Thai Navy had to spend considerable time and effort to correct some of these issues. The harsh criticisms lead to many improvements in China's shipbuilding industry. By the mid-1990s, the Thai Navy was confident enough to order two enlarged 053 hulls (F25T), later named HTMS Naresuan and HTMS Taksin, to be fitted with western engines and weapon systems. The ships were purchased at "friendship prices" of 2 billion baht each, compared to the 8 billion baht price tag for Western-built frigates.
The two Naresuan class frigates, after their upgrade, in formation
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

INFOGRAPHICS #25: United States Navy Blue Angels, Grumman's Cats and United States fighter aircraft

The following images are created by Steve Freeman (sfreeman421 for deviantart) and depict all the all the types of fighters that were/are in service with the United States Navy as well as the eight different demonstration aircraft that the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron, the "Blue Angels", have flown from 1946 to present, and the Grumman's Navy Cats. Enjoy this great artwork!

US Navy fighter planes (1915 - present). In high resolution here
Grumman's Navy Cats. In high resolution here.
US Navy Blue Angels. In high resolution here.
Drawing showing the different aircraft flown by the U.S. Navy "Blue Angels" aerobatics team (top to bottom):
  • Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat: June–August 1946
  • Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat: August 1946 – 1949
  • Grumman F9F-2 Panther: 1949 – June 1950; F9F-5 Panther: 1951 - Winter 1954/55
  • Grumman F9F-8 Cougar: Winter 1954/55 - mid-season 1957
  • Grumman F11F-1 (F-11A) Tiger: mid-season 1957 – 1969
  • McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II: 1969 – December 1974
  • Douglas A-4F Skyhawk: December 1974 – November 1986
  • McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/C Hornet: November 1986 – present
Source: U.S. Navy All Hands magazine February 1996, p. 24.
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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

INFOGRAPHICS #24: HMS Warspite, Royal Navy's most distinguished battleship that should have been preserved!

HMS Warspite model by Julian Seddon
Τhis article is related to the POLL which was published yesterday. The "winner" of the poll, was HMS Warspite, thus I thought it would be appropriate to post its glorious story which I borrowed from Wikipedia and I added some extras (see sources). HMS Warspite was one of the five 33,000-ton Queen Elizabeth-class battleships built for the Royal Navy during the early 1910s. Her thirty-year career covered both world wars and took her across the Atlantic, Indian, Arctic and Pacific Oceans. She participated in the Battle of Jutland during the First World War as part of the Grand Fleet. Other than that battle, and the inconclusive Action of 19 August, her service during the war generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea. She was involved in several major engagements, including battles in the North Sea and Mediterranean, earning her the most battle honours ever awarded to an individual ship in the Royal Navy and the most awarded for actions during the Second World War. For this and other reasons Warspite gained the nickname the "Grand Old Lady" after a comment made by Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham in 1943 while she was his flagship. It should be mentioned that HMS Warspite holds the record for the longest hit on a moving target in naval warfare history, when during the Battle of Calabria in 1940, Warspite, hitting the Italian battleship Giulio Cesare at a range of approximately 24km (26,000 yards)!
HMS Warspite During The Spanish Civil War (1937)

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Monday, 30 January 2017

POLL: Which warship should Britain had preserved?

On January 24, I had the idea to create a poll and to ask my followers which warship they think Britain should had preserved as a museum ship. I got the idea, when I saw a photo by Fatih Takmakli (which I tweeted), showing the former Royal Navy HMS Illustrious (R06) at the ship-breaking yards in Aliaga, Turkey on January 13.They were many people who said Britain should have saved her as a museum ship, similarly to the United States' USS Intrepid. Someone can remeber the numerous warships the United States have preserved and the handful of ships Britain have kept as museum ships (of which the most important of them are HMS Belfast, HMS Warrior and HMS Victory). In contrast, the United States, preserves a large number of various types of vessels, including numerous cruisers and submarines, five aircraft carriers (!), but also eight (8) battleships! Britain, the once superpower, not a single one battleship, not a single one carrier! Then I asked my audience their opinion, through the following tweet.
The final results of the poll after three (3) days (from Jan 24, 2017)
Bow view of HMS Warspite
Polishing HMS Vanguard's gun caps
Notice, that I gave four options. The first one, HMS Warspite, is a famous battleship with long career and notable history, earning more battle honours than any other Royal Navy ship. The second, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is the lead vessel of the class that HMS Warspite belongs; also a quite famous battleship but without so much significant action. The third choice is Britain's ultimate battleship, HMS Vanguard, the biggest, fastest and last of the Royal Navy's battleships and the final battleship to be launched in the world. The ship though served less than 15 years and quickly she was towed to the breakers, as she was considered obsolete and too expensive to maintain. The fourth option is any British aircraft carrier or any kind of vessel they like which they should specify; it is like two options in one but gives a lot of freedom to the voters to choose anything they like.The poll run for three days, starting as I mentioned on January 24, 2017.

The photo that inspired for this poll: The former Royal Navy HMS Illustrious (R06)
at the ship-breaking yards in Aliaga, Turkey (Jan 13). Photo by Fatih Takmakli
From the beginning I believed that HMS Warspite will receive the most votes, however I was not expecting that HMS Vanguard, a ship with really zero history, will finish second and not the 2-in-1 option, the 4th one (finished 3rd), where the voter can name any kind of ship. Interestingly enough, five different vessels were named by only six (6) people from the total 43 who chose the fourth option. The five warships are the following:
  • HMS Inflexible, an ironclad battleship
  • HMS Plymouth, a Rothesay-class frigate
  • HMS Ark Royal, an aircraft carrier (the voter did not specify which ship)
  • HMS Hermes, the last Centaur class aircraft carrier
  • HMS Illustrious (by two people), the last Invincible class aircraft carrier 
If you ask my opinion, I would loved to see HMS Warspite moored opposite of the Tower of London, next to HMS Belfast... It is such a pity, Britain did not save that ship, a ship that never gave up, and won everything and everywhere, except its own creators who led her to the breakers. Even, that day, she fought well to avoid a sad end. I would really love to hear your opinion!

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