Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Time to change the lyrics to "Rule Britannia?"

{UPDATE and note: After further review, I have decided that my underlying premise in this post as originally written, was, in large part, incorrect. While there are issues with the size of the Roya Navy and its funding, overall it constitutes a stout fighting force which, if called upon, could uphold the finest traditions of its history. That the RN is not as it once was reflects on the changes in the world over a number of years and the changing role of Great Britain in the world over that time.As a result of more research, I have revised and extended my remarks.]

One man's opinion about the decrease in power of the Royal Navy HOSTAGE SAILORS -- BRITAIN'S IMPOTENCE By ARTHUR HERMAN.

Whatever happened to that part about ruling the waves?
The nations, not so blest as thee,
Must in their turn, to tyrants fall,
Must in, must in, must in their turn, to tyrants fall,
While thou shalt flourish, shalt flourish great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.

Rule Britannia!
Britannia rule the waves.
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.
Has the Royal Navy -home of some the greatest sailor-warriors of all time- faded to a memory?

Not quite. Ships of the Royal Navy listed here. I count 48 surface war ships (including Mine Warfare), but I could have missed some.

UPDATE: You know, the U.S. Navy says it has only 276: "Deployable Battle Force Ships."Which number, I gather includes 55 fast attack submarines and 18 ballistic missile subs, 22 cruisers, 48 destroyers, 30 frigates, 11 Amphibious assault ships, 11 aircraft carriers. Leaving about 90 various and sundry others. See also here.

Add the Royal Navy submarines (9 SSN, 4 SSBN) to their numbers and the Royal Navy jumps to 61 ships. Add in their assault ship and 2 Albion class LPDs and you get up to 64.

That's not a total fade...

UPDATE2: 3/29/07 RedState has much more.

UPDATE3: Latest info on the "con job"pulled by the Iranians here:
The sailors and marines from HMS Cornwall were in the Gulf, working under a United Nations mandate to protect Iraq from smuggling and threats to the oil industry, when an Indian-flagged vessel came under suspicion.

It was in shallow waters and the Cornwall was unable to go alongside without grounding. A boarding party jumped into two ribbed inflatable boats, or RIBs, and set out to investigate.

A helicopter hovered to observe the boarding but, after confirming that the Indian vessel was peaceful and friendly, returned to the ship. The Cornwall stayed in contact with the two launch boats via a communications link providing a GPS satellite position.

After the successful boarding of the innocent Indian vessel, the Britons began returning to their RIBs. At that moment one Iranian patrol vessel came alongside, adopting a friendly posture. As a second Iranian vessel arrived, the Revolutionary Guards turned aggressive.

HMS Cornwalllost communications with the launch boats and sent up the helicopter to investigate. The air crew watched as the small British inflatables were forced towards Iran. By now, up to four Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels were swarming round the Britons.

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