• Philip Hammond: Does this man know his Ps and Qs?

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    Above is the unfortunate Mr Hammond, the politician supposedly answerable for the actions of the UK’s armed forces. Of course, this character will seek to avoid ANY personal responsibility for the actions of our armed forces.

    Evidence for the veracity of the British Gazette’s statement above is borne out by the announcement that a fleet of privateers is to be commissioned by a business trading under the name Typhon.

    The man behind it is Mr Simon Murray, who joined the French Foreign Legion as a teenager. The 55-year-old millionaire is also chairman of Glencore, one of the world’s largest commodities traders.

    Somali pirates will come up against fast (40 knot) attack boats kitted out with weapons such as the M4 carbine and sniper rifles with a range of about one nautical mile. They will have armour able to withstand Kalashnikov fire. There will be a 10,000 ton headquarters/depot ship. An ex-Royal Navy commodore is in charge of recruiting 240 former marines and sailors.

    Starting later this year, Typhon will escort oil tankers, bulk carriers and yachts around the east coast of Africa.

    It appears however that this is already been done by others. Cargo ships sailing under Chinese, Indian and Russian flags hire private armed escorts. During 2010, 53 ships were hijacked with eight crewmen murdered. This was less than half the number of ships attacked the previous year. However this is not just down to Chinese, Indian and Russian privateers. The European Union has a naval force in the area – that the Royal Navy is part of.

    However, due to the financial crisis in the Eurozone the EU is under pressure to recall this force: hence the reason for Mr Murray stepping into the breach so to speak.

    The British Gazette has some friendly well intentioned advice for Mr Murray and his colleagues: be very careful when dealing with a slippery customer such as Mr Hammond. Remember that this is a man who is complicit in the handing the government of the UK to a foreign power in breach of his Privy Council Oath.

    Mr Murray needs to make sure he has done “due diligence” before treating with a known perjurer. He must understand that if there are any “regrettable consequences” characters such as Hammond will not only seek to distance themselves from Mr Murray but will more than likely assist those demanding “action” against any alleged wrong-doings that Mr Murray’s colleagues might be accused of committing.

    Any Royal Marine considering signing up for Mr Murray’s venture should realise that every UK Citizen can be prosecuted in the UK by the CPS for the offence of murder committed anywhere in the world. The nationality of the alleged victim is irrelevant. The fact is this: there are many well funded left wing “civil rights” organisations ready and willing to take up the cause of relatives of any Somali person killed or injured.

    The fact of the matter is this: defence of merchant shipping is properly the job of the properly constituted navies of sovereign states. Sovereign states that have their militaries governed by ministers answerable to their parliaments who in turn are answerable to their electorates.

    The British Gazette’s answer is to send a properly constituted force of naval ships from allied navies to escort and patrol these dangerous waters. Of course, military vessels are few and far between. As a result, the British Gazette suggests that the Royal Navy should return to the practise of adapting merchant vessels as “Q ships” as done in the First and Second World Wars.

    Q ships were of course merchant ships with concealed armament that were manned by RN crews. They would sail under a mercantile ensign and when attacked would strike that and hoist the White Ensign and open fire on the attacker. The gamble – and it was a gamble – was that the U Boat would attack on the surface with the deck gun and not torpedo from submerged. Submerged surprise attacks are beyond the ability of Somali pirates.

    So far as arming these ships are concerned, there are weapons such as the 20 mm/85 (0.79″) GAM-BO1. This is the Oerlikon KAA cannon used in a manually-controlled mounting built by BMARC (British Manufacture and Research Company) under the designation A41/820. It was installed on many British warships after the Falklands War stimulated renewed interest in light machine guns. Effective range is 2,200 yards. The British Gazette however would suggest a heavier calibre weapon: The Laurence Scott LS-30B uses a single 30 mm KCB cannon on a simpler stabilized mounting. This weapon replaced the 40 mm Bofors Mark 7 and Mark 9 mountings on various frigates and minehunters. This weapon is currently being produced by MSI-Defence Systems LTD as the DS30.Effective range – anti-surface – is 10,900 yards. This will enable the Q ship to attack the pirate craft from a more comfortable distance and also its heavier shell will more completely destroy the attaching craft.

    Acquiring suitable ships need not be costly. For instance a general cargo ship (seller’s ID PUT10) is up for sale for U.S. $ 1,300,000.00 (£800,000) She is lying in Indonesia and her particulars are:

    Length: 326 feet 7 inches
    Beam: 55 feet
    Draft: 18 feet
    Speed: 9.5 Knots
    Consumption: 5.5 Tons/day
    Year Built: 1994
    Last Dry-docked: December 2010
    Class: BKI +A100 P & +SM
    GRT: 3250
    DWT: 3,650
    Hatch Covers: Mc Gregor
    Cargo Gear: Yes
    Cargo Capacity: Grain 23,3359 5⁄16ft³ 115 TEU’s 3 Cargo Holds
    Main Engine: Man – B&W Mitsui 5S 26MC
    Propeller: Single
    Bow Thruster: No
    Generator: Taiyo 6 KHL 5 STN 260 HP – 200 KW
    Bunker Capacity: 4,237 49⁄64ft³Such a ship kitted out with four Laurence Scott LS-30B and four 0.5 inch heavy machine guns will be more than adequate we think. The Royal Marines will have their own infantry weapons – which include anti tank missiles with anti-personal warheads.

    • Quick thought
      The reason for the existence of Somali pirates lies in the EU having bought up the fishing rights of Somalia and other countries along that coast. Thus local fisherman cannot fish their own waters. With no means of making an honest living they have turned to piracy.
      Well done the EU!! First create a problem then fail to deal with it!

    • Excellent article as always. An item in the Daily Mail (7.1.13) has Cameron saying he will ‘defend the Falklands at all costs’; My only question is, WITH WHAT? As all arms of our services have been decimated I hope he never has to stand by this statement.
      We are told the Argentinian President is using this sabre rattling to divert attention from the parlous state of her own country. However, she too must know that this government has done nothing to retain a reasonable level of serving/trained members, and may be banking on us NOT having the wherewithall to respond with any real conviction,

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