Britannia Rules the Waves – Or do we?

September 20, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Hazel Speed

Not long since we have watched The Last Night of The Proms with all our UK Patriotic Anthems still ringing in our ears (though always in our hearts), we hear yet of a further warning by top military brass that there are gaps in our capability to meet any serious military attacks here/within NATO Facility.

First off, one has to respect that those ‘behind the scenes’ in Government Circles are not listening through normal diplomatic channels thus giving these brave high Commanders no other option but to go public. Indeed, not only are they risking isolation for doing so (politically) but it takes their level of Officer to be listened to.

It is sad that the rest of the world has to hear it all – more shame on the Government.

Ironically, I heard this latest news whilst watching the TV series of Sharpe, culminating as it did in the battle of Waterloo.

It is a comment attributed to The Duke of Wellington after reviewing the fallen on the battlefield (and I put here in modern language, but see link for exact quote) – that there is only one thing worse than defeat, that of Victory!

In those days it astounds us in the 21st Century to see how soldiers on both sides wore bright coloured uniforms, ours in particular being red in the main, but not exclusively so, as Sharpe‘s own uniform portrays, and bearing in mind that Infantry, and Officers alike if the latter were not mounted on horseback, walked towards opposing sides in straight lines until inevitably most were killed. Children were drummer boys.

The famous formation of ‘squares’ was modern then (as opposed to straight line), a most effective defence against any charging Cavalry. I had known that in military terms ‘a frog’ was a fixture which held the sheath of a sword but today, watching this TV episode, following a close-up whilst an Officer attached a ‘frog’ to his uniform, I realised why it was so called – as it reflected the secure feet of a frog, presumably, yet other explanations exist.

If soldiers in those times were told of military hardware, camouflage that existed today (guns that could shoot around corners and straight ahead, etc), plus a host of other military machinery, or hardware, small and large, then they would be amazed. That is just in respect of the things we do know about of course.

They used to have a set agreed time for battles to commence either unilaterally or multilaterally. It beggars belief. Though some did breach the starting time of a battle to their advantage by five or ten minutes.

Today, we live in a mix of the nuclear age and conventional weaponry/warfare. The West always seems to metaphorically ‘use the old clock system’ by seeking approval of the rest of the world before retaliation in any given situation or location. Even then moderation is urged yet those inflicting war on others just go ahead and do what they want.

If we all cherish our freedoms and way of life, our hard won heritage, then the paramount requirement is that the rest of the world know we as a Nation that is the UK and NATO Member, are both ready and more than able to repel and/or attack and if necessary be pro-active to dispel any threats seen or hidden.

War is a paradox in that it is dreadful but is also, sadly, more often than not necessary regardless of scale or nature within which it manifests.. If the West dealt with some situations immediately fully and completely then it would preclude far worse outcomes in the long game. Caveat being, of course, and thankfully, only a select few are permitted to know the various facts, ‘who says/who requires’ what, enroute to the decisions our military leaders and Government have to make – and that, as can be seen herein, is not always a tautology!

Let us hope that the pleas for more spending on Defence is expedited and the ranks in all Services taken back to the numbers prior the Governmental cuts and then are embellished to 2016 requirements and beyond.

Peace time equivalents of Churchill’s Civilian Secret Army, often still unknown by many to this day, (and am not referring to ‘Dad’s Army‘), which was created as our infrastructure protection against real possibility that the UK might be invaded during World War II) that too must always be in place – even in so-called peace time, and I hope it still is.

It beggars belief that on the one hand Mrs May quickly confirmed the Trident update, more as (hopefully) a deterrent, yet one day it may be required albeit selectively and reluctantly, then conversely, given that fact despite conventional weaponry and Service Personnel being even more urgently required as our front line method of choice – across all Services, we are so inadequately equipped.

Whoever heard of air craft carriers without, as yet, aircraft?

Our potential enemies must be confounded (ref. a hymn from National Anthem) as it not only confounds the rest of us, but paradoxically may be in complementary terms to Trident a further psychological deterrent as surely any unfriendly forces will think it a trick – no doubt it must mean that our military hardware is being hidden somewhere – perhaps behind the trees!









Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing states of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short:

Art sites:


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