HMS/M Opossum Cobwebs Day 1989.
Featuring Lt Cdr Tom Herman and OERA Nobby Clarke
Click on the picture of follow the link beneath
HMS/M Opossum Cobwebs Day 1989.
Featuring Lt Cdr Tom Herman and OERA Nobby Clarke
Click on the picture of follow the link beneath
No one would argue the Canadian Navy has had an easy time of it with its four Upholder-class diesel-electric submarines. Each one has been plagued with problems since they were acquired from the British Royal Navy a decade ago.
Here’s a nice video of one of them, HMCS CORNER BROOK (ex-HMS URSULA) underway in early June 2011. One of three submarines based on the west coast at Esquimalt, British Columbia, the CORNER BROOK had just transferred from the east coast when this video was shot.
Sadly, the cheerfulness shown in the video didn’t last long. The submarine struck bottom while operating submerged near Vancouver Island in Nootka Sound on June 4, 2011. Despite injuries to two sailors and damage to the submarine, CORNER BROOK was able to return to Esquimalt under her own power. There she remains, awaiting full repairs that are not expected to be completed until at least . . . 2016.
Of the four Upholder-class submarines, only one, HMCS VICTORIA, is operational, although she has yet to be elevated to the fully operational status.
Source – Defence News
CHILDREN had the chance to bake and learn about food that sailors on a submarine would have to eat.
The Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Haslar Road, Gosport, invited children of all ages to take part in a summer activity.
Sammy Sardine’s Summer School had children discovering the food that sailors ate on board a submarine during the Second World War.
On board HMS Alliance, children got to see a Frog in the Bog, also known as Toad in the Hole, illustrated by the museum’s Horrible Science of a Submarine exhibition.
Gareth Brettell, education manager at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, said: ‘Everyone had a great time cooking the different cakes inspired by the submarine.
‘They got to pick their favourite that others had made, then they had the chance to cook their own.
‘They enjoyed making their little cakes with different parts of the submarine in different flavours and ingredients.
‘We had a tropical fruit cake and a coconut and chocolate cake which the kids loved.’
As well as the cooking classes, families who visit the museum can also learn old ways to communicate.
Kids will have the opportunity to learn Morse code, semaphore and how to write using invisible ink.
Once they have mastered this, they can write secret messages and send a signal across the museum.
The communications day is on August 13.
Gareth added: ‘There is something for everyone this summer
Source – The News
Actor Sean Connery played a Russian submarine commander in The Hunt For Red October.
Starting with a movie about early attempts to change how war at sea was conducted, and that was by designing the first submarine, the ‘Hunley’. The story concerns events from the American Civil War, and are recounted in the made-for-television movie The Hunley of 1999, starring Armand Assante and Donald Sutherland. The submarine killed 13 of its own Confederate soldiers during trials (including Horace Hunley, the sub designer) and eight more in combat, but it succeeded in sinking a Union warship, the first victim of underwater combat! Worth viewing.
A fine movie about submarines is 1981’s Das Boot starring Jurgen Prochnow in the role that made him a superstar. The movie details the combat patrols of the World War II German U-boat U-96 with some successes and a lot of danger. The movie was based on a 1973 German novel by Lothar-Gunther Buchheim. The film is an example of German film-making having a huge international success. Very definitely worth watching!
The Enemy Below is a 1957 production detailing a duel between an American destroyer escort commanded by Robert Mitchum and a U-boat commanded by Curt Jurgens, who in real life was imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II. The film won an Academy Award for Special Effects. It is an engaging but unreal story. Very definitely worth viewing for entertainment.
The Hunt For Red October is a 1990 major movie release starring Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, and James Earl Jones: Fabulous cast! The Red October is a new type of Soviet submarine. Her commander plans to defect to the United States with all of the advanced technologies. Intrigue follows as plans go astray, making for some drama and action. Based on the novel by Tom Clancy and directed by John McTiernan, this movie is lots of fun. I recommend it.
Gray Lady Down, 1978, concerns the USS Neptune, commanded by Charlton Heston. This submarine is hit by a freighter in heavy fog. The sub sinks to a great depth, where it lodges on an undersea ledge. The attempts at rescue follow. The cast also includes Stacy Keach, David Carradine , Ned Beatty, and first-time movie appearance by Christopher Reeve! This isn’t a classic, but it is entertaining.
K-19: The Widowmaker is a 2002 thriller featuring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson. K-19 is the first Soviet ballistic missile nuclear submarine commissioned, and, of course, trouble results. The sub has a minor malfunction, but problems just won’t stop. The ship’s officers even debate turning to NATO forces for help. This was a $100 million dollar independent production that succeeded in bringing in only some $75 million! So that was the real disaster!! It is worth seeing.
We Dive At Dawn was a 1943 British production about an English submarine in World War II which penetrates the Baltic Sea and sinks a major German battleship, The Brandenburg. The sub’s interior layout is silly; the mission ridiculous; the success most unlikely. But it is a great film for the acting (with John Mills) and the exploration of English ‘pluck’. I enjoyed it, even though I hesitate to endorse it.
Finally, what I consider the best submarine film of all: 1958’s Run Silent Run Deep. The setting of this film is the Pacific not too long after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The movie stars Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster at their very best. There is a great supporting cast, including Don Rickles in his film debut!
A Japanese destroyer has sunk four American subs in the Bungo Straits, including Gable’s previous command. Gable takes command of Lancaster’s sub and goes on patrol. This is a tremendous film – see it!
Actor Sean Connery portrays Quatermain in a scene from the new action adventure film “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” in this undated publicity photograph. The film is set in an alternate Victorian Age world where a group of famous contemporary fantasy and adventure characters team up on a secret mission.
We continue our look at submarine movies, as there are quite a number of them!
Crimson Tide, 1995, stars Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington, along with a list of fine supporting actors. The plot concerns an American nuclear submarine and the conflict between the Captain (Hackman) and his Executive Officer (Washington) about launching missiles at a Soviet missile base. I thought the plot was contrived, but the movie is enjoyable for the acting and action.
1951’s Submarine Command has submarines in it, but this fiction is really about the impact of World War II combat. It has a fine cast with William Holden, Nancy Olson, William Bendix and Darryl Hickman. The plot concerns a terrible incident near the end of the War, and the trauma this incident has left behind – sort of an early post-traumatic stress syndrome film before that malady was even diagnosed! I hesitate to recommend this film even though I enjoyed it. Not to everyone’s taste.
A truly fabulous sub movie is On The Beach, 1959, with Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, and Fred Astaire, directed by Stanley Kramer, based on a Nevil Shute novel. This is a story about the end of the world after an atomic war. I loved both the book and the movie. The movie is fascinating, dramatic and thought-provoking. It was a huge hit. It is still fun to watch, even though much of it is quite passé. I strongly recommend it.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) is a mythic tale of superheroes fighting evil. It stars Sean Connery. His band of super heroes travels the world in a fantastic submarine, and they fight to end a horrible plot by Professor Moriarty of Sherlock Holmes’ fame. I liked the movie for its action, for Connery, for the Victorian era setting, and for the film’s originality. Worth watching if you are the kind who likes comic books, as I often do!
Yet another fine submarine movie is The Bedford Incident, 1965, with Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, and James MacArthur. This is the story of a fictional Cold War incident involving an American destroyer and a Soviet submarine. The two vessels are caught up in a standoff, and tension is high. This is a fine movie with a riveting plot, excellent acting, and superb setting. Dated, but still well worth watching!
In 1961, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was released, starring Walter Pidgeon, Barbara Eden, and Joan Fontaine, directed by Irwin Allen, who seemed to specialize in disaster films. The movie tells of the saving of the world by a state-of-the-art underwater vessel. It is sheer entertainment. I never did care for it, but it did well at the box office.
1966’s Fantastic Voyage was a similar science fiction film. It starred Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, and Donald Pleasance. This time, the submarine is a miniaturized version, which is injected in a human body to perform lifesaving surgery on a Cold War scientist. This film is as bad as Voyage, but somehow seems to work better. Try it; I think you will enjoy it.
Ice Station Zebra is a 1968 Cold War era movie about an American nuclear submarine tasked with travelling under the Arctic ice to retrieve a satellite capsule. The movie has stars such as Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan, and Ernest Borgnine, and is based on an Alistair MacLean novel. The movie has the requisite confrontation with Soviet forces. It is quite entertaining and was well made. It also seemed to strongly convey the sense of the Cold War. Still fun to watch, but drags a bit.
Finally, the submarine movie to end all sub movies! 1968’s Yellow Submarine is an animated, fantasy movie based on the Beatles and their music. The blue meanies attack a music-loving paradise under the sea, and they must be resisted by cartoon heroes with the voices of the Beatles at the height of their careers!
Source – Daily Herald Tribune
Warning – This clip, whilst highly amusing, contains extremely bad language and has the propensity to offend delicate ears!!
Source – Youtube
By Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge Director, Undersea Warfare, OPNAV N97
There have been recent claims that today’s ballistic missile submarine force is operating with excess capacity and, therefore, force reductions to save resources may be in order. As I have noted in response to a recent op-ed, this supposition is untrue – in fact, our lean SSBN force is providing the cornerstone of our national security at a pace that has remained essentially constant since the late 1990s. Even so, questions about the size and capability of our future at-sea deterrence are appropriate to consider as we recapitalize this national asset. Given past force structure reductions from the “41 for Freedom” SSBN force of the 1960s and 1970s, to the 18 Ohio-class SSBNs of the 1980s and 1990s, to our current force of 14 SSBNs, one might wonder, “What is the minimum number needed for strategic deterrence?” Given advances in technology and the changing scope and complexity of post-Cold War deterrence, is there a way to “do more with less” as we field the next class of SSBNs?
The purpose of the SSBN force is to deter nuclear attack against the United States and against our friends and allies. Our “boomers” do this as part of a nuclear triad. The SSBN role is to provide an assured response capability that is survivable, reliable and robust enough to act as compelling deterrent against a nuclear strike from a foreign power. To make sure our SSBNs are survivable, they are operated from bases giving them access to the broad ocean areas in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. They are stealthy – both in transit and on station. They are operated in a manner that makes their locations unpredictable, while still ensuring that our adversaries know that we have the ability to hold them at risk. This enduring, certain deterrent force acts as an important stabilizer; it is always there and always at the ready.
The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) returns to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay after three months at sea, March 20, 2013.
Our Current and Future SSBN Force: A case study in system optimization
An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class fleet ballistic-missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733) off the coast of Southern California, March 1, 2011. The test launch was part of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs demonstration and shakedown operation certification process. The successful launch certified the readiness of an SSBN crew and the operational performance of the submarine’s strategic weapons system before returning to operational availability. The launch was the 135th consecutive successful test flight.
Our SSBN force has been “optimized for leanness” based on more than 50 years and 4,000 patrols of proven performance. The deterrent value we provided with 41 SSBNs we now provide with 14 Ohio-class SSBNs. This 65 percent force reduction is a result of two impressive technological developments – the extended range of the D5 missile and quieting technologies that make our SSBNs that much harder to find, even by a persistent and determined adversary. Our boomers are able to exploit the vast reaches of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to patrol silently while within range of key targets to hold an aggressor at risk.
As we return to our question of the leanest force capable of providing this credible and persuasive deterrent, our answer simply comes down to world geography 101 principles. Because the Pacific Ocean is larger, we operate two additional SSBNs in the Pacific to accommodate range and survivability considerations. Six SSBNs in the Pacific and four in the Atlantic is the bare minimum required to provide uninterrupted alert coverage for the combatant commander.
So if 10 SSBNs is our absolute minimum, why do we need 14 today? The reason hinges on the three-year refueling overhaul at the mid-life of each SSBN removing them from strategic service. Today, of our 14 SSBNs, we operate on average 11 to provide vital nuclear deterrence. Based upon other electronic system modernizations, this minimum force level occasionally dips to 10 operational SSBNs. One important historical note is relevant to the refueling overhaul discussion. The Ohio-class core life exceeded the design estimates of 15 years and the Navy was able to postpone mid-life refueling by six years. Naval Sea Systems Command engineers then conducted detailed technical analysis of all other shipboard systems and extended the service life of our Ohio class from 30 to 42 years – a mind-staggering 40 percent life extension. This technological feat saved the country substantial budgetary resources, reaping a greater return from the initial investment in this SSBN class; essentially four less SSBNs will be procured during this century as a result of this achievement.
The good news is that this legacy of lean success is being imprinted in the DNA of the new Ohio replacement SSBN. The engineers at NAVSEA and our partners in industry are designing a new boomer with a 42-year service life and a reactor core that will not require refueling throughout the life of the ship. This will reduce the class mid-life overhaul by one-third and we will be able to deploy our 10 operational SSBNs with a force of just 12 total SSBNs.
If you want to see a “lean, mean fighting machine,” look no further than our current and future ballistic missile submarine force.
Source – Navy Life
THE Armed Forces are sometimes dubbed ‘the biggest family in the world’ and today proved exactly that.
Scores of mourners turned out at Fareham Cemetery, Wickham Road, to see off Rodney ‘Vic’ Silvester, a veteran who served on nuclear submarines for many years.
Vic, 67, died last week at QA Hospital after losing his fight with cancer.
Prior to his death, he had spent a short time at Woodland Court residential care home in Portchester.
Not much had been known about Vic before his death as he had become withdrawn after his friends and family had all died.
His one remaining cousin came forward to organise the funeral, but when Supporting Veterans in Care Facebook group heard that Vic faced a lonely funeral, it put out a plea for mourners.
The British Legion and the Submariners’ Association heard about the funeral and followed suit.
Today, representatives from the groups and people who had read the plea in The News turned out in Fareham.
A service was held where mourners heard about Vic’s career at HMS Dolphin, on HMS Odin and on HMS Dreadnought, before he was laid to rest.
A bugler played the Last Post as his coffin was committed to the ground.
John Harper, from Bognor Regis, is Vic’s second cousin. He said: ‘I think what these guys do is fabulous, absolutely superb. I didn’t expect such a large turn out, it’s brilliant. I would like to say thank you very much for everybody for turning out. Rod would have been chuffed to bits, so would his dad. He would have loved every bit of it.’
Roy Dixon, from Gosport, is part of the Submariners’ Association. He said: ‘We heard that Vic had passed and the information was very scant but one significant factor was that we had heard only one member of family had been in contact. So we decided that we would not let the side down, and do what we would always do and attend the funeral of a fellow submariner. I’m so pleased that the turn out is as good as this, from all walks of navy life, surface ships, bombers, diesel boats, there’s even a green beret here which is really something.’
Lisa Smith and Tamie Pye, staff from Vic’s care home, were at the funeral.
Tamie said: ‘He came out of his shell once he came to us. He was like a new man.’
Lisa said: ‘He kept himself to himself but he did like to have a good chat, especially about his navy days.’
Father Paul Miles-Knight led the service . He said: ‘It is amazing to see. At the start there was only going to be me and three others here but thanks to the wonders of the internet, the veterans got together. He would have been proud.’
Source – The News
The beautiful moment when the two mammals swam into the 8000-tonne Virginia class boat’s forward wake was captured on camera and has been shared widely online by gobsmacked viewers.
The video shows the dolphins leaping high into the air as the huge nuclear attack sub, launched late last year, barrels across the surface at up to 46km/h.
Two Navy personnel can be seen watching from the conning tower as the mammals ride the wave, apparently enjoying being propelled forward so quickly.
“That is a beautiful sight! That must be like a surfer’s dream to the dolphins,” one online viewer commented.
Dr Hugh Finn, a researcher at WA’s Murdoch University, said he’s seen dolphins riding the bow waves of Australia’s Collins class subs in Cockburn Sound, off Fremantle’s coast.
“Essentially the dolphins get a free ride from the pressure wave that a ship creates in front of it,” he told AAP.
“The ship is moving the water for them and they are quite adept at riding the wave.
“The same sort of phenomenon – including the leaping – occurs when dolphins ‘surf’ waves along the coast.”
Source – News Com. AU
Click on picture for Video clip
It is no secret that one of the major attractions at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry is a World War II German submarine.
What you may not know is that Chicago also has a World War I German submarine but it happens to be resting in a place where very few people can see it.
We are turning the clock back to 1919 which was an incredible year in Chicago’s history.
There were race riots that took lives and others died when a hydrogen blimp crashed in the loop. There was a transit strike, political scandal, the Black Sox lost the series and the City of Chicago became host to a German submarine that has disappeared, but never left.
It was something of a trophy from the Great War. The German mine-laying sub U-C 97 was brought to the states in the summer of 1919. It toured some of the Great Lakes making stops in Racine, Milwaukee and its final destination Chicago. Along the way people could see, board, touch, perhaps curse this modern machine of war.
“The U-Boat was on tour. It was kind of a post-war, ‘we won’ tour, and so people got to go on to it and see it, and then as a condition of the armistice, it had to be sunk,” Pritzker Military Library CEO Ken Clarke said.
Indeed, the order was to sink the UC-97 in deep water. In June of 1921, the sub was towed 20 to 30 miles off of Highland Park. The USS Wilmette was brought within rang, and fired her four inch guns.
“My understanding is they fired about 15 shots and they hit her about the water line and she went down pretty quick. She nose down and down she went,” well-known maritime searcher Taras Lyssenko said.
And out there she rests – on the bottom of Lake Michigan.
“You know where the submarine is. I can take you right to the submarine and put you in the hatch if you want to go,” Lyssenko said.
How about the aft hatch? It’s there In 300 feet of water. Sleeping with the fishes. Here’s a hole from one of the Willmette’s shells.
Cold, fresh water has kept the sub in pretty good shape as the years have passed. Lyssenko and colleagues spent four years searching for it, and found it back in the 1990s.
In the years since, he’s recovered numerous World War II fighter planes from the Lake – now restored and displayed, but Lyssenko’s continuing dream is to do the same with the sub. But raising, restoring, and finding a home for it would cost, he says, upwards of 50 million dollars.
“That’s huge, but the value to this city and state and country is far, multiplier. It’s an exponential multiplier of the value,” Lyssenko said.
“If I was a betting person, it’s going to take somebody with a very particular specific interest and desire to see this piece of history come alive again,” Clarke said.
And here’s one more piece of history. The ship that sunk the UC-97, The USS Wilmette, had different name and purpose a few years earlier. It was the Steamship Eastland that in 1915 turned onto its side while docked in the Chicago River. Over 800 lives were lost in one of the worst maritime disasters ever.
The Eastland, later the Wilmette, was cut up for scrap after World War II. The UC-97 sits at the bottom, this appetizing, unseen pearl of history.
Pearls are expensive, and raising this one, while doable, will most definitely require “digging deep” in many respects.
Source – ABC Local
Huntington Ingalls Industries announced the newest Virginia-class submarine, Minnesota (SSN 783), successfully completed alpha sea trials Monday.
Alpha trials are the boat’s first round of at-sea tests and evaluations. Minnesota is being built at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, the Globe Newswire reported.
All systems, components and compartments were tested during the trials. The submarine submerged for the first time and operated at high speeds on the surface and under water. The Minnesota will undergo two more rounds of sea trials, including one with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey, before delivery later this month. Minnesota is anticipated to deliver approximately 11 months ahead of its contracted delivery date.
“This submarine is the result of a lot of hard work by the shipbuilders here at Newport News, our teammates at Electric Boat, and the overall Navy organizational structure, including NAVSEA, SUPSHIP and ship’s force personnel,” said Jim Hughes, NNS’ vice president of submarines and fleet support, in a news release. “It is incredibly gratifying for all of us to see this magnificent vessel operate so well during her first at-sea period.
Minnesota clearly carries on the Virginia-class tradition of continuous cost and schedule improvement while also raising the bar on operational readiness and capability.”
Minnesota, named to honor the state’s residents and their continued support of the U.S. military, is the last of the block II Virginia-class submarines and is in the final stages of construction and testing at Newport News Shipbuilding division. Construction began in February 2008, and the keel was authenticated in May 2011. The boat was christened Oct. 27, 2012.
Minnesota is the 10th ship of the Virginia class of nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines. It’s the third ship to bear the state name, the Associated Press reported. The first USS Minnesota was a sailing steam frigate commissioned in 1857 that served during the Civil War. The second Minnesota was commissioned in 1907. The 7,800-ton Minnesota will have a crew of about 134 officers and enlisted personnel.
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder at its Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding divisions employing about 37,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California.
Source – Dispatch