The slow but inevitable death of the Royal Navy

From the long gone days of Edward the Confessor, England has always had an interest in protecting her trade at sea. Onwards through the reigns of the first Richard, Edward the Third, Henry’s 5, 7 and 8, the importance of the Navee was ever increased. After the return of Charles the Second, the British Navy became the Royal Navy, and the long list of naval heroes was established. Anson, Drake, Nelson, Hawke, Frobisher, Fisher; the roll-call lasts as long as the evenings pass by. We always were a fighting nation, and our virtual DNA was best expressed in the Napoleonic Wars, where we fought, almost alone some of the time, against a tyrant who bestrode the continent of Europe, but where he was triumphant on land, at sea; the British were masters. It was the Navy who brought the armies, and yes, the Navy was there when retreat was forced, but whenever the Navy was called upon; as at Trafalgar, they prevailed. It was the Navy’s ships, manned by hard, disciplined seamen who fought the French and Spanish fleets whatever the cost. Without trade and treasure from overseas, Napoleon could only fulminate, and as long as the Royal Navy’s sails lifted above the horizon; he could not quash his only enemy.

The Royal Navy dominated the seas in World War One; but nearly went to defeat against the German submarines who were threatening to starve Great Britain in the last year of the War. It was only the introduction of convoys, together with better depth-charge systems and Royal Naval Air Service aircraft flying and spotting submarines, which defeated the U-boat threat.

In the years between the Wars, the Navy was again partly run-down, due to budget cuts and plain lack of interest from Isolationist Governments who believed that Hitler was simply a loud-mouthed ex-corporal who would soon shut up. They ignored the march into the Saar, the move to militarise the Rhineland was regarded as ‘normalising German Statehood; the annexation of Austria was reported as ‘proper’ because Hitler was Austrian, and the debacle with the Czechs, and of course the smartest (irony alert) politician in Westminster, complete with ‘piece of paper’ was looked upon as inevitable. The Royal Navy was partly modernised in the second half of the 1930’s, but the upgrade missed HMS Hood (sunk with a single shell from Bismarck), HMS Barham (torpedoed despite alleged anti-torpedo upgrade) and HMS Repulse (sunk by the Japs after sailing without any air cover whatsoever). We managed to win through, partly because the Krauts made more mistakes than we did; but mainly because the Japs attacked Pearl Harbour, and America came into the war, and saved the West for the second time in twenty years.

After the War was over, the inevitable rush to demobilise, to ‘save’ money by not building ships that worked and mattered, grew ever stronger. From one of the mightiest Navies this world has ever seen, the Royal Navy has slowly deteriorated into a pale shadow of the Service which, literally, saved our bacon. The bloody politicians, and the weaselling civil service of the Ministry of Defence who follow their masters’ call, have slowly but surely disembowelled the Service upon which Britain’s fate depends. When Putin sends a modern guided-missile cruiser into the seas around the north of Scotland, it took 24 hours before the ONLY Destroyer available could sail up from Devonport dockyard and ask the ‘effing Russians tokindly turn around and piss off! We don’t have any ‘effing ships to spare!

When you stand up in Parliament and praise your Navy, but forget that you have slashed billions off the budget for both ships and crew because you want to look ‘good’ by giving billions away in overseas aid; its time you faced reality.

The first purpose of Government is to be certain that they have made sure that their Nation can be defended. Politicians, of any colour or hue, hate the very idea of Defence; because Defence, in terms of modern equipment and manpower, costs shed-loads of cash, and must be planned for over many years. Politicians detest the idea of a valid Defence, because very little about an efficient Army, Navy or Air Force can be ‘spun’ to make them look good. There is nothing a leading politician, again of any hue, likes more than to be photographed surrounded by uniformed soldiers, sailors or airmen whilst celebrating a ‘Job Well Done’: but they hate paying the bills which come due. ( We have to acknowledge that not all politicians like being photographed adjacent to tanks or big guns, such as Emily Thornberry ‘Shadow Defence’). The pronouncements of certain politicians are famous for their double-dealing lies, saying ‘Whatever you want, you can have,’ to the generals, whilst stating exactly the opposite the their Ministry servants.

For a discussion case, let us examine the Type 45 destroyer, built by BAE systems, using British-built gear for power and weaponry. On paper, they look a formidable item, with their ‘world-class’ missiles, and ‘world-class radar systems’, they would seem to be capable of defending a fleet carrier, for example, which is their prime role. The Americans have ten active super-carriers, and each one never goes to see without a defensive screen of at least four Arleigh-Burke destroyers, two frigates, a guided-missile cruiser, and they usually throw in a nuclear-powered submarine just because they can. The new British carriers, which are supposed to carry 45 attack jets, need protection of a similar calibre, and with six Type 45 destroyers in the Fleet, one would presume that, once commissioned, the British carrier would be well served.Type-45-

Fact…It takes seven-ten years to design and build an American Arleigh-Burke class Destroyer; but they work! Fact…It takes ten-plus years to design and build a British Type 45 Destroyer, and they end up tied to the quayside, because they ‘effing break down half the ‘effing time; because when the seawater gets warm, the intercooler breaks down!

The plain, simple truth is that we are badly served by both the political body, as well as the so-called Ministry of Defence. The insane idea that everything major in terms of defence spending must be British-built has landed us directly in the greedy hands of BAE Systems, because of take-overs, and buy-outs, and share swaps; they are the only game in town when it comes to Defence capability, it is either BAE, or nowt. We are building two aircraft carriers; but they take time to build, and we scrapped our only remaining small carrier. Why? To save some more ‘effing money; thats why! We also built six naval air reconnaissance jets, at huge expense, and then tore them apart because we couldn’t afford to fix the design faults which placed super-heated air right alongside fuel lines, and no-one cared until one blew up over Afghanistan; killing fourteen valuable people. We withdrew our only large warship from the Falklands, because we didn’t have any ships to send elsewhere, so the defence of the Falklands is down to a squadron of Typhoons, and a thousand squaddies with rifles!

We have no ships, we have no sailors to man them, because George Osborne and his mate Hammond sliced the budget, sacked the sailors; and when the recruiters come looking, who is going to trust them again? We are nearly screwed, and yet we managed to give away £36 Billion in Foreign aid over a four year period.

6 comments for “The slow but inevitable death of the Royal Navy

  1. The Jannie
    August 25, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Could this also have been part of the great plan? We surprised the scum by voting to leave the EUSSR after they had run down the Andrew as described. Following our escape we will need all the navy we can muster to properly police our huge coastline to keep out the EU-backed immigrant tide..

  2. August 26, 2016 at 3:16 am

    The plain, simple truth is that we are badly served by both the political body, as well as the so-called Ministry of Defence. The insane idea that everything major in terms of defence spending must be British-built has landed us directly in the greedy hands of BAE Systems, because of take-overs, and buy-outs, and share swaps; they are the only game in town when it comes to Defence capability, it is either BAE, or nowt.

    We’re suspended between two lunacies – one being that the EU will ‘defend’ us now, when there is not the slightest evidence that that is so, especially given the EU politburo’s idea that we will pour billions into defending them as part of some superstate defence force.

    Plus the NATO connection … but that’s an issue in itself, given that the US has shown not the slightest inclination to do anything but co-opt us for its own wars, whilst failing to support us in ours, e.g. The Falklands.

    The other lunacy is that people of Osborne’s self-serving and incompetence are in positions of power. It goes for Hammond too. And it trickles down into every department, from departmental heads down.

    Which comes back to our own people allowing this state of affairs to continue at the ballot box. The alternative is not Labour but a different set of people who show at least some sense of service to the nation and some level of competence.

    And with the right priorities, e.g. we MUST buy the best available, irrespective of its source.

  3. Errol
    August 26, 2016 at 8:28 am

    It’s also mostly civil service jargon. What does ‘world class’ mean? What is it? Consider ‘World class trousers’. Are they any good? What length are they? It is a meaningless ‘non-word’ that is so beloved of the state.

    Simple truth is our armed forces are woefully underfunded. However, people think we need a large army and navy. We don’t, not really. For local patrol, yes. For remote battlefields we needsmall, battalion sized forces of about 1000 men but with acres of heavy equipment. Light rocket launchers, helicopter gunships, air support, helicopter evac, armoured vehicles, heavy machine guns, target finding smart missiles.

    This sort of unit is mobile, heavily armed and, more importantly is designed for assault, not siege. The day of the tank battle and grand naval battle is over. For the navy they need fast stealth ships with light cannon and missiles. What we’ve got is… some giant unarmed destroyers.

    Our army is fighting the next battle with last years kit. Our generals and ministers are trying to buy the next years kit for the last war.

    • Mudplugger
      August 26, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Our armed forces are not woefully underfunded, it’s just that they are wastefully funded. Consider the level of mayhem that ISIS manages to create when mobilised with only a simple fleet of cheap Toyota HI-Lux pick-ups, onto which they quickly weld a big gun. Compare and contrast with the £1m+ that we spend on a single vehicle to carry a few men – it’s not about volume of money, it’s about value for money.

      If our military procurement process operated on fully commercial lines, there would be plenty of money to deliver all the forces we need, wherever we need them, yet all governments have signally failed to make this vitally important function effective. But then many of those same politicos and civil servants go on to lucrative second careers in the arms manufacturing trade, funny that.

  4. August 26, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Oz has just invested 50 billion bucks in submarines. On account of the last ‘n’ billion’s worth of subs didn’t work. The French are going to build them. The same firm that was hacked and their sub plans stolen for on-sale to the Chinese, the Indians and the Pakistanis. I don’t think anyone in our defence mob has seen them yet. Perhaps they can email Pakistan and ask for a copy.

    • Hereward Unbowed.
      August 26, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Does, the paki navy run subs?

      The mind boggles, and drifts to a nightmare depiction of something only Hieronymus Bosch could inspire.

      ‘Our’ government………….. sold out on the Navy, EU’s finest; Major, Bliar, MacPrudence, political lovers clegg and dave – didn ‘t do joined up thinking nor, maritime defence, it transpires. Lack a day, and us being an island and all – how fucking stupid can it get?

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