Thursday, April 05, 2007

Let me get this straight…

The Cornwall had too deep a draught – at just over 20 feet - to provide line of sight cover for the boarding party, which meant that Commodore Lambert sent in a boarding team in two rigid-hulled inflatable boats, without a warship escort.

Never mind, Lewis Page in a commentary piece in The Telegraph - of Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs fame - has the answer. He would send in "something with a lot of well-armed helicopters, boats and troops: for instance an amphibious assault ship."

"Such ships are useful for lots of missions which often crop up," chirps Lewis. "They can do disaster relief, evacuate non-combatants, or invade troublesome countries - all things which have needed doing in the last few years. If you need to fight submarines, they can also act as a base for anti-submarine helicopters."

Ships, one assumes, like HMS Ocean (pictured), which draw nearly 22 feet, displacing 22,500 tons - with a crew of 285 and embarked aircrew and marines bringing her complement to 1,275 – yet still only capable of 18 knots. And all that to inspect one small freighter parked in shallow water, guarding against a clutch of Iranian motorboats, when there were plenty of other warships available to do the job?

Is one allowed to use the word "prat" on a family blog?

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