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November 24, 2009

Lost the bottle

Visualizing empires decline.

Directly related: A cowardly Navy, a cautious SAS and Britain's humiliation by a pirate rabble. A short quote from the piece, I am too sick at heart to discuss the rest.

On February 16, 1940, the destroyer Cossack, acting on Churchill's personal orders, steamed headlong into neutral Norwegian territorial waters in defiance of international law, boarded the German freighter Altmark and freed 299 captive British merchant seamen.

Legend held that the first the prisoners knew of their deliverance was a shout down a hatchway from a sailor on deck: 'The Navy's here!' The episode passed into folklore, exemplifying the Royal Navy's centuries-old tradition of triumphant boldness.

On October 28, 2009, the armed Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Wave Knight met Somali pirates transferring the British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler from their yacht Lynn Rival to a hijacked Singaporean container vessel. When warning shots from Wave Knight failed to deter the pirates, its 100-strong crew stood by and did . . . absolutely nothing.

Your fate is what you make. We richly deserve ours.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at November 24, 2009 07:17 AM