History Really Does Repeat Itself

The German navy does this regularly, I guess. Commit suicide, I mean.

Suicide

So I suppose you could call the one going on presently a ritual suicide, albeit slower than those of the past (look what’s been going on with the Bundeswehr for the past thirty or forty years or so and you’ll get my drift).

One hundred years ago, the German High Seas Fleet committed suicide. On June 21, 1919, the crews of seventy-four German warships attempted to scuttle their vessels in order to prevent the Allies from taking them. Over the course of a few hours, fifty-two modern warships sank. In the modern history of naval combat, there has never been an event as devastating as the self-destruction of the German fleet at Scapa Flow. The scuttling immediately became legendary, closing one chapter of German naval history and opening another…

Indeed, the Germans had prepped the ships for scuttling over the previous several months, removing doors and taking other steps to reduce watertight integrity. They waited for motive and opportunity. As the Paris Peace Conference dragged on, both the French and the Italians had made claims upon the fleet. As the deadline for signing the treaty approached, both the Germans and the British made their preparations, the latter to seize the ships and the former to scuttle them.

On June 21, a comedy of errors ensued. The signing of the treaty was postponed two days, although it is unclear how aware the German sailors were made of this fact. The British commander decided that the fabulous early summer weather offered a great opportunity for practice, and the bulk of the Grand Fleet left Scapa Flow for maneuvers on the morning of June 21. Only a few patrol and utility ships remained.

Admiral Ludwig von Reuter gave the order for scuttling, and every German ship obeyed. The British didn’t notice until around noon, when the battleship Friederich der Grosse began to list noticeably. At this point, the rest of the fleet raised the Imperial German Naval ensign, which the British had officially forbidden. At that point, the scuttling became a race between the water and the Royal Navy. The Grand Fleet, notified by radio of the sinking, began to return immediately. The few Royal Navy ships in attendance picked up survivors, but were unable to save very many of the sinking ships.

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Why Did The German Warship Cross The Taiwan Straight?

To get to the other side? To get repaired?

Taiwan

No. To 1) show the world that it actually has a warship, 2) demonstrate that it can actually travel this far without sinking or being towed and 3) demonstrate Germany’s formidable military power. No, all three are true. You don’t have to pick just one. But remember folks, this is all a purely hypothetical construct.

Why a German Warship Would Head To the Taiwan Strait – A naval mission to the region would be a low-risk way for Germany to show that it’s committed to alliances – and that it still has a navy.

No low-risk, no fun.

This Guy Needs Immediate Medical Attention

After Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s ambassador in Berlin has called for – now get ready for this – the deployment of German warships to help clear up the situation.

Ukraine

Either he’s been drinking too much happy juice or he’s living in some parallel universe none of the rest of us have access to. Germany doesn’t have any worships to begin with (that are ready for deployment) and how can you expect a country that isn’t even willing to defend itself to defend somebody else’s country? Coo coo for Coco Puffs!

Kann Deutschland der Ukraine in der neuen Krimkrise militärisch beistehen? Zumindest wünscht sich das der ukrainische Botschafter in Berlin. Die Nato berät in Kürze über das weitere Vorgehen.

The Case Of The Missing Navy

OK, practically non-existent navy.

The German military commissioner is always the last to know, I guess.

Ship

He, too, has now determined that the German navy does not have enough ships (and we don’t even want to start thinking about their submarines). Not that the warships they do have will ever actually be used as warships or anything, just sayin’.

New ships are apparently too technologically complex to operate, it seems. And the older ships can’t seem to get the parts they need due to excessive bureaucracy and end up stranded indefinitely in dry dock.

He did have some good news, however. The German navy is really good at mothballing their older ships. Six of the 15 older frigates were taken out of service in exemplary fashion. Without being replaced by new ones, of course. Aber immerhin (but still).

“Es sollte keine neue maritime Mission für Nato, EU oder Uno mehr dazukommen. Der Marine gehen die einsatzfähigen Schiffe aus.”

Israel

Beautiful German weapon sale of the week.

Submarine

Because somebody has to admire them.

Meanwhile… All of Germany’s six submarines are currently out of action. The country’s only operational sub had an accident off the coast of Norway on the weekend and was moved into the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ shipyard in Kiel. In that incident, the U-35 had a rudder blade damaged during a diving maneuver.

No, it’s not like Germany merely has an alibi army, or in this case navy, just to justify its lucrative weapon sales. It just looks that way.

Border Patrol German-Style

German marines have rescued 200 (now over 400) refugees shortly after launching two ships to scour waters between Africa and Europe.

Border Patrol

The ship “Hessen” evacuated the boat in distress about 250 kilometers south of the Italian island Lampedusa. The refugees were brought to an Italian port, the German army said after discussions with Italian marine rescue officials.

The “Hessen,” along with the “Berlin,” also a Bundeswehr ship, were warned of a refugee distress situation on Monday morning. The ships had begun their search mission on Tuesday, when they sailed from Crete towards the sea area between Libya and Italy.

Now if they could only get the Bundeswehr to misbehave this badly with the Taliban whenever they come around

The German Navy has this quaint little training ship called the Gorch Fock with this quaint long tradition blah, blah, blah but now it’s coming out that these sailor/soldiers are acting quite scandalous these days (like sailor/soldiers in other countries are actually expected to act) and so Defense Minister zu Guttenberg has pulled the plug on the ship’s captain way down in Argentina and has ordered an investigation and holy shit let’s call the whole thing off.

The Gorch Fock (some are now calling it Germany’s biggest floating brothel) appears to have become the one place where modern German military types have lost all sense of inhibation and political correctness and where all kinds of bad misbehavior (of the non-German kind) is taking place big time. Scandalous, never-heard-of-things-happening-with-German-sailors-at-sea before have been hitting the fan. Here are just a few to name just a few:

The sailors on the Gorch Fock drink lots of alcohol on board.
The boy sailors are always hitting on the girl sailors really hard, sometimes on the other boy soldiers too.
The officers yell at the sealors a lot and often hurt their feelings, sometimes even “insulting” them.
Then there’s that bizarre ritual of eating raw pig’s liver and washing it down with even more alcohol.
And the drop-the-soap games in the shower.
And the freakin’ Aryan Brotherhood dudes on board.
Oh yeah, and mutiny and stuff like that too.
And, of course, the two women who have recently died on board under somewhat mysterious circumstances.

I think all of this is being caused by having to sail around the world in an old ass ship like that. But maybe that’s just me. Or maybe they’ve just got scurvy or something.

Today a 70-page annual report on the armed forces criticised the “inexperienced” officer class for not possessing “the knowledge and intuition to realise when the line has been crossed into criminality.”