Quite right too

HMS Queen Elizabeth returns to port after leak on board

Sailors should go over the side. That is what man overboard means, isn’t it?

The real point of this story being:

The UK’s most powerful warship, which cost £3.1bn, has been forced to cut its latest trials short.

Yes, that’s why they’re called trials. Big complicated things, ships. Almost all built to order, each different from the last. Therefore you try them out and fix the problems as they become visible.

In fact, you collect an experienced and special crew to do this.

An odd thing to think of but….

After childhood rheumatic fever spared him from a wartime call-up

The physically not too good don’t get conscripted. Yet – in certain wars at least – being conscripted is to have a very high chance of being killed. Wouldn’t it be better to conscript the less than physically good?

Yes, I do know that’s not how it works and also understand why. It’s just a thought.

Yes of course you know best a century later

British army officers wrongly believed alcohol made WW1 troops better fighters, claims addiction specialist


British army officers wrongly believed WW1 troops fought better if they were drunk in battle, an addiction specialist has claimed.

Senior commanders encouraged drinking among soldiers as they were following medical advice that claimed alcohol made them more effective fighters.

Go live in a trench, under battle conditions, then say booze isn’t a good idea.

Many colonels agreed that the recommended level was too low and would give nervous fighters extra helpings to improve their confidence before infiltrating enemy lines.

Lt Colonel J.S.Y. Rogers, a medical officer to the 4th Black Watch, said in the Report of Enquiry into Shell Shock in 1922: “Had it not been for the rum ration I do not think we should have won the war. Before the men went over the top they had a good meal and a double ration of rum and coffee.”

Quite so. Our modern man:

Speaking at the Chalke Valley History Festival near Salisbury, he said: “There are a lot of myths around. If you want people to charge into the enemy machine guns and you give them a bit of alcohol, it probably makes them a little more likely to do that but on the whole most of the research I have seen shows there is no real evidence that this really helped.

“It was the opinion of the Black watch medical officer that WW1 would not have been won if people had not been drinking. I think that on the whole the effect of these drugs on military effectiveness was negative.”

Dr Leighton added: “It is probable that it made them braver and more willing to take risks. Whether this always made for more effective operations is open to doubt.”

Which is to be an idiot. Well up into 1917, even into early ’18, the problem with the British Army was that it couldn’t conduct complex operations. The well trained Expeditionary Force was mostly gone and had been far too small for this sort of war anyway. The Pals Battalions Followed, then the conscription army from 1916 onwards. That last really only becoming capable of anything more than a “walk that way men!” after that year and a bit of both training and then experience of the real thing. This all being not so much about the private solder, that’s only a part of it, it’s about having the NCOs with experience.

The booze got them to move forward. The tactic required was to get them to move forward.

Well, Y’know?

Treating our brave soldiers the same as evil murderers turns my stomach

The problem is that brave soldiers and evil murderers are not mutually incompatible groups. If the allegation is that some are both then, well, we’d better try to find out, eh?

Dunno really

Rocket suits could be worn by Royal Navy sailors to ambush rival ships, the Defence Secretary has suggested.

Gavin Williamson enthused about the potential of jetpack-propelled marine units after seeing a flying demonstration at a base in Portsmouth, where he unveiled a £75 million fund for new technology.

Ship to ship encounters tend to take place over the horizon from each other what with missiles etc. Be a heck of a jet pack which manages that.

This isn’t new

Army rejects applicants with acne

My brother tried to join up for years. Continually rejected for acne. Did TA and all that, still couldn’t get into the regulars. Think he was a non com in the TA or reserves or some level of it all. As a qualified chef and doing the catering stuff that’s what they do I think – like Doctors always starting out as Captains.

Not acne as in the odd pimple, acne as in back stuff meaning that pack carrying was going to be difficult. Seems a decent enough reason to be turned down on medical grounds to be honest.

Squaddies are squaddies

Further east than grandpa got”

I’m told this is a real thing.

Could be wrong, but I was under the impression that the Hun (eventually) put a medical unit into Afghanistan, with a protection/security unit attached. Which caused enough internal political grief, what with the post-war constitution and all.

Which the Kraut squaddies promptly added to, getting photographed wearing t-shirts proudly emblazoned with the slogan “further east than grandpa got”.

But in German, obv.

I’m also told that this might be true:

Pcar – so you’re saying that the Battle of Britain Memorial flight has more functioning warplanes than the Luftwaffe!


Both delight for different reasons.

Wondrous logic isn’t it?

Drones caused havoc at Gatwick, so why are governments still spending billions on tanks and aircraft carriers?

Dunno really, perhaps the ability to deliver tonnes of ordinance is still valuable? Or that 100 tonnes of tank does more to take ground than 2 kg of drone?

The disruption caused by reports of drones flying over Gatwick airport in December 2018 was a magnificent illustration of the uselessness of the UK’s big-ticket defence spending.


What a change this is

The Army and Capita have introduced some “significant changes” in the last year, but none have resulted in enough soldiers being recruited, according to the NAO.

The report found that it took up to 321 days for new recruits to go from starting an application to beginning basic training, and that many drop out of the process while waiting

Used to be you drank the free beer, signed up and were marched away with the hangover. Grab ’em as soon as they say yes that is.

OK, we might want a bit more of a consistent desire rather than a transient one these days. But still, nearly a year?

Others around here know much more about this than I. So, what’s the basic problem here? Is it Crapita? Or is something deeper wrong?

Am I being fair here?

A “generation of innovators” has been appointed to run the military in a shake-up of the top ranks of the Army, Navy and RAF.

The Ministry of Defence has announced new heads for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and two major promotions in key roles across the Armed Forces.

Senior military sources said the incoming defence chiefs were “innovators” who could ensure Britain’s armed forces would be fit to embrace new technology and a “reformist agenda”.

Innovator” here meaning woke and into the SJW mindset?

Right on Manny

President Emmanuel Macron of France has called for a “real European army” to defend the continent against Russia, China, and even America.

Mr Macron, who has pushed for a joint EU military force since his election last year, issued the call while on a tour of northern France in the run-up to the centenary of the end of the First World War.

“We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army,” Mr Macron said in the interview at Verdun, the scene of France’s most bloody battle.

Dunno really, Nato did pretty well for decades…..

Would a civilian court have reached the same verdict?

An interesting question:

A court martial took less than an hour to clear a Royal Navy Commander of sexual assault after he begged them not to ruin his career over a “schoolboy prank”.

Commander Steven Heap allegedly left a female colleague’s bottom sore after shocking her with two “firm slaps” during a Christmas party, in what he said was an “amusing not sexual” act of “drunken buffoonery”.

The 48-year-old, who received an MBE from Prince Charles, told the hearing he was very drunk when he slapped her backside on the dance floor but insisted it was a “prank” and he was “showboating”.

The panel of five senior male officers cleared Cdr Heap of two counts of sexual assault after 57 minutes of deliberations.

Assistant Judge Advocate General Robert Hill said: “To convict him, you must be sure there was a sexual purpose to the slaps”.

Prosecutors had alleged the Commander, who joined the Navy as a submariner 30 years ago, had been sexually motivated when he slapped the woman’s backside.

Given the current hysteria perhaps not.

About time for this again, isn’t it?

The reason being:

MAY 2018 • 5:57PM
Only four of Germany’s 128 Eurofighter aircraft are operational and ready for combat in the event of a crisis, it was claimed yesterday (WED), in revelations that will deepen pressure on Germany to live up to its defence commitments.

The remaining aircraft have been grounded by technical problems and a shortage of combat missiles, according to a report in Spiegel magazine.

But that’s not the problem

How 1,000C car park inferno vaporised the FLOOR: Apocalyptic images show gutted multi-storey with no sprinklers where all 1,400 vehicles were reduced to ashes by heat that could melt aluminium

Melting aluminium isn’t really the problem. It’s when the aluminium catches fire that you really want to worry.

As we found out in the Falklands…..

I thought the Septics were good with guns?

A US Airforce base in Suffolk suffered a major security breach when a driver forced his way through the main security checkpoint.

American military guards opened fire as the car travelled a significant way inside RAF Mildenhall after passing through a hail of bullets – stopping just metres short of a military aircraft, The Telegraph understands.

Suffolk Police confirmed a 44-year-old British man forced his way onto the airfield at RAF Mildenhall on Monday afternoon, having initially entered into a dispute at the base’s entrance.

The incident triggered a security lockdown. Suffolk Police confirmed the incident was not terrorist-related and a 44-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass.

A spokesman said: “Shots were fired by American service personnel and a man has been detained with cuts and bruises and taken into custody.”

Allow us to introduce the media to the phrase “sea trials”

The UK’s new £3.1 billion aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is leaking as a result of an issue with a shaft seal less than a month after the warship was accepted into the Royal Navy fleet by The Queen.

At 280m long and with an estimated half-a-century working life, the behemoth is the biggest and most powerful ever built by the UK.

However, it is understood the vessel has been leaking for some time.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: “An issue with a shaft seal has been identified during HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sea trials; this is scheduled for repair while she is alongside at Portsmouth.

“It does not prevent her from sailing again and her sea trials programme will not be affected.”

Warships are one off builds. Somewhat at the edge of technology. They’re, therefore, prototypes rather than something coming off a production line. OK, not entirely, but…..

So, when we get one, we stick it the water and try to work out what is still wrong with it. These are called “sea trials.”