Monday, August 29, 2005

Nauti Stuff - The Sinking

The title says it all. Gazing at the dying day, as the trackless plains of Andhra Pradesh rolled past the windows of the Hyderabad-Chennai Express (or, the Hyderabad-Chennai Express rolled past the trackless plains of India, as the case may be, if you're a stickler for these things), it is hard to keep thoughts of sinking ships out of one's mind. Your is not to ask why, yours is but to do or die. Die, die, die...[extricates ice pick]

Since we have not done a list in aeons, we will do a list. Famous ships that stank. Sank. Or were otherwise tragically interrupted as they went about their maritime activities. And the nominees are
  • The Titanic - this ship unfortunately has to top the list. Hated the movie, will not say anything more about this disaster, everyone and their aunty Akhilandeswari knows everything about this. You only have to say "Tit..." and people's arms just go up and glazed look colonizes visage, as though they were Leo and Kate coochicooing on the prow.
  • The Lusitania - The world's first quadruple screw steamer, and also the first ship to exceed 30,000 tons.
    On 7 May 1915, while heading east off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland...Lusitania was torpedoed without warning by U-20 and sank within 18 minutes. ..

    ...Of those on board, 761 were rescued, while 1,198 perished. Lusitania's sinking, and the sinking of White Star's Arabic a few months later, vividly demonstrated that prior concepts of the rules of war no longer prevailed, and that unarmed merchant ships were no longer safe from attack.
    The Lusitania incident was later used by Woodrow Wilson (who was officially keeping the US out of the First World War), as a propaganda tool.
  • The Kursk disaster - The Russian Typhoon (?) class SSBN sank with all hands off the coasts of Norway and Russia in 2000. He (the Russians use the male pronoun for ships, apparently) was part of military exercises, when it is believed that leaking fuel from a torpedo ignited and caused an explosion in the forward sections. Some 23 sailors survived the explosion and flooding in the aftmost compartment, and slowly asphyxiated, as rescue attempts to reach them, first by the Russians and later by an international team, failed. RIP.
  • The Exxon Valdez incident - No loss of life this time, but a lot of fishies and birdies and other cuties paid the price for this balls up.
    Exxon Valdez was the original name of an oil tanker owned by the Exxon oil company. The ship was renamed to "Sea River Mediterranean" after the March 24, 1989 oil spill in which the tanker hit Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef and spilled between 11 million and 35 million U.S. gallons (42,000 and 132,000 m³) of crude oil that killed billions of animals: the Exxon Valdez oil spill, or the EVOS. As a result of the spill, 10% of the wildlife died and 50% of the season catch of fish were killed. The captain of the Exxon Valdez was then found guilty of negligence, and in 1991 a federal judge rejected a $1.1 billion settlement reached by Exxon, the federal government, and Alaska.
    Interestingly, the ship makes a cameo appearance in a movie.
  • The Cheat List - Here we will bunch a list of World War II sinkings and be done...
    • HMS Royal Oak - Battleship. Torpedoed in Scapa Flow by Obertleutnant Gunther Prien
    • HMS Hood - Battlecruiser. Sunk by gunfire from the German battleship Bismark, in the course of The Battle Of The Denmark Strait" on May 24, 1941. There were 1400+ crew. 3 survived.
    • The Bismarck - Followed up her brief and spectacular success (above), by proceeding to be battered by the British Home Fleet, and was finally torpedoed by the HMS Dorsetshire. About 2200 died.
    • HMS Prince Of Wales and HMS Repulse" - Sunk by Japanese aircraft within an hour of each other off the east coast of Malaya on 10 December, 1941. The question of the battleship versus the bomber was answered.
    • TODO: USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor, the whole Pacific theater shebang, IJNS Yamato and IJNS Musashi, and so on...
This post has already been too long in the making, so here it is, unfinished, unhonoured, unsung.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Definitely not unread and unappreciated…

I wish I can say more, but I am impaired by my own inability to express myself better; especially now. So, I rest my case - for now.

-- You know who!

That Man Keynes and His Homosexual Intrigues said...

>>You only have to say "Tit..." >>and people's arms just go up and >>glazed look colonizes visage

Ah so *Freudian*, Ludwig.
I recall that glazed looks were the sine qua non of one's existence whenever mention of "tit" was made.