Skip to main content

REPETITION


Stating the obvious this year is 2014. Stating the not so obvious it is the hundredth (100) anniversary of the start of World War 1 from 1914 to 1918.  Our family being Europeans were of course caught up in this with pride of nation being the war cry of the day volunteered to fight in the trenches of France and Belgium.

It all started with the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria who was the heir presumptive of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  He and his wife Sophie were shot dead on the Latin Bridge in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina by a group formed of Serbian military, various nationalists and anarchists.  By July 1914 the various European powers were aligned against each other sabre rattling which led to what became known in Europe as the "Great War" and the "War to end all Wars" - it was and did neither. 

When growing up this war was always referred too as "The Great War" in our family, there were photos, some with medals attached, of family members and family servants in uniform who had served, usually in the same Regiment, in the homes.


 
Now here we are one hundred years later again involved in dealing with the new Russian Federation Czar Vladimir Putin and Crimea.  During the Great War of 1914 to 1918 the Allied Entente Powers (AEP) of France, British Empire, Russia were joined later by the United States (from 1917 to 1918) fought the Central Powers of the German Empire, Austro-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire.

There are numerous accounts which one can read and good summations in Google®.  One of the most famous battles was the Battle of the Dardanelles fought in March 1915 to keep the only waterway into the Black Sea open for the Russian fleet at Sevastopol, Crimea.  The Gallipoli Campaign fought from from April 1915 to January 1916 was the continuation of this battle.  The brunt of which borne by the British Empire Colonial forces of Australia and New Zealand (ANZAC).  They fought the Ottoman Empire whose forces were led by the Turkish Commander Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the German Liman von Sanders who was a brilliant field commander and advisor to the Ottoman Empire.   The AEP forces were held on the beaches where they first landed with heavy loss of life and ANZAC Day is the biggest war memorial day in New Zealand. 

So then as now the Russian Fleet had only one warm water port that of Sevastopol, Crimea with the same problem as today, if the Dardanelles are closed then the Russian Fleet is trapped in the Black Sea or has to fight its way out through the Bosporus cross the Sea of Marmara transit the Dardanelles into the Aegean Sea and finally arrive in the Mediterranean Sea.

But this was not the first conflict involving the Black Sea Fleet.  In the 19th. century the Crimean War of 1853 to 1856 was fought between the French Empire, British Empire, Ottoman Empire against Russia.  As one can see the allegiances had changed by the Great War of 1914 to 1918.

So really nothing that has not happened before is happening now, history once again repeating itself.  The Russians fighting to control the Crimea and keeping a warm water port for the Russian Black Sea Fleet.  Rest assured whatever comes out of the current conflict Czar Putin will keep control of the Crimea and the warm water port of Sevastopol for the Russian Federation Black Sea Fleet.  Those who are playing politics and working diplomatically would do well to remember the regions history.  The position regarding the Black Sea Fleet, unchanged over centuries, of what is now the Russian Federation for most certainly Czar Putin has that history ingrained in every fibre.


Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PERIGEAN SPRING TIDES

It sometimes happens that one is going to write a Post on a subject when lo and behold there is already an excellent one.  Such is the case today; so rather than repeat everything let me refer you to the source of that Post

At present we are experiencing Perigean Spring Tides which occur when the Moon is at perigee on its oval path that is the closest point to Earth.  One of the principal results are higher than usual Spring Tides as against the Neap Tides.

Should you be interested in the full explanation of this phenomenon then you might like to reference "Old Salt Blog" which has an excellent explanation of this event and uses all the correct terms - quite unlike our Media here in South Florida.

Good Watch.

STANDING DOWN PROBLEMS CONTINUE

In addition to the recent "Standing Down" of training voyages for its Midshipersons the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has received warnings about the quality, or lack thereof, of its training programme.  The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) report stated that accreditation was in jeopardy for non-compliance in certain areas.

Coupled with the continuing problems requiring disciplinary actions including dismissal from the Navy the United States Navy (USN) has had in recent years this does not bode well for the professionalism of the seafaring community of the United States.

It is clear to this writer, an International Master Mariner with 50 years of experience, that the training sources for both Officers and Ratings need an immediate complete examination and review.  Currently the Officer commanding riverine craft based in Bahrain has been dismissed.  Another nine Officers and Ratings are under disciplinary action as a result of the capture by…

FINALLY AN ATTEMPT TO RECOVER

NAUTICAL LOG has on previous occasions discussed the SS El Faro VDR in a Post titled RELUCTANCE TO RECOVER and two other Posts about the VDR (Voyage Data Recorder) of the SS El Faro

The Ship sank in Hurricane Joaquin on October 01, 2015 off the Bahamas.  There has seemed to be a reluctance by all parties involved to continue the attempt to recover the VDR from some 15,000 feet - admittedly a considerable depth.  However because of the importance of possible data on the recorder such an attempt must be made.

Finally the NTSB has contracted with the USN Supervisor of Salvage to assist in the recovery of the VDR.  The USNS Apache will depart in early July 2016 together with USCG, Phoenix International and an underwater operating vehicle the CURV-21.

Once the VDR is recovered it will be brought ashore to the NTSB laboratory and thoroughly studied to download and analyze the information.  With these results in hand the USCG will conduct a two hearings to investigate the sinking and questio…