Interesting Somali pirate factoid

aeronautic1

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Well, here is an interesting fact about the pirate action this week that I just researched.

The US Naval vessel that was shadowing and inter-acted with the S/V Quest was the USS Sterett (DDG-104). The USS Sterett is named in honor of Andrew Sterett. Andrew Sterett, in June 1801 was commander of the schooner USS Enterprise during the First Barbary War (against the Barbary Pirates) off the north coast of Africa.
On 1 August 1801, Enterprise under Sterett's command handily defeated the 14-gun Tripoli, a Tripolian corsair. After twice faking surrender, Tripoli suffered 30 dead and 30 wounded, including the Captain, Rais Mahomet Rous, and the first officer. Enterprise suffered no casualties.

Since there was no formal declaration of war, Enterprise was under orders not to take prizes. After her crew was ordered to dump its guns overboard, Tripoli was allowed to sail home, where her captain was humiliated and punished.

Enterprise was sent back to Baltimore with dispatches after this engagement. While there, on the recommendation of Congress, Sterett was presented by President Thomas Jefferson with a sword in gratitude of the victory over the Tripoli. Enterprise's crew was also rewarded with an extra month's pay.

One more interesting fact is that one of the four other US Naval ships shadowing the S/V Quest was the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.

yachtaide
 

tcm

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I salute your noble efforts in bringing this to our attention.

Incidentally, I always wonder where/how ships got got "orders" to do this or that in the Olden Days? No phones, no telegraph, just bits of paper. So, the governments of the day must've sent out a battleship - and then sent out lots of other ships after them to say "go to the med" or "go back to Baltimore" etc. And how did the order-delivering boats find the bigger ships to givem the orders? Hm.
 

Twister_Ken

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One suspects the orders given when sailing were rather more loosely framed than they would be nowadays.

"Head in the vague direction of the Caribbean and, unless you receive further orders, shoot up any pirate ships or Spanish galleons you see. Come back when the food runs out, the crew are insufficient to work the ship, or the masts fall out."
 

tcm

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hm well ok, but even so, Aubrey etc are often receiving plot-centric "new orders" so the woolly oh-whatever twister-ken style of navy tactics must have been supplemented by a lot of other smaller taxi/messenger boats sailing around saying "scuse me have you seen HMS Wassisname, big wooden ship with guns and sails?..."
 

Woodlouse

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You knew where you sent your ships, and so you knew the likely ports they would put into on their voyage for supplies, so you sent any additional orders to there. If, once the orders arrived the ship in question had already been and gone then they could be sent on again if it was more likely the orders would be received quicker from another port.

I think in all though there was less need for sending regular orders. Ships on patrol would have their original standing orders and unless they knew they were at war would not attack unless attacked first. Also Captains were allowed to use their own discretion far more and any particular missions that needed carrying out in short order would have been tasked with a fresh ship, rather than trying to find a ship that's already at sea.
 
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Also Captains were allowed to use their own discretion far more and any particular missions that needed carrying out in short order would have been tasked with a fresh ship, rather than trying to find a ship that's already at sea.

And as we read 'n rite, HMS Cumberland appears to be stopped in the water, 'under way but not making way', somewhere in the vicinity of the entrance to Benghazi harbour.

It would certainly help if we had more than a small British handful of ships, but that's NuLabor's deficit for you...

There's one horrific consideration that hasn't AFAIK been mentioned, and that's the awareness that Bubonic and Pneumonic Plague outbreaks have been reported in/around Benghazi/Eastern Libya in recent years. Among the 'Four Riders of the Apocalypse', Disease is arguably the most devastating. There may be a more widespread disaster in the offing.

It's not only Gaddaffi that is lethal in Libya....

:eek:
 

Searush

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Hence the phrase "Master under God".

The master was empowered to make his own decisions. Of course he might have to justify them later to a court of enquiry, if he survived any errors of judgement!

But AFAIK, single ships on a "mission" tended to be relatively unusual compared to squadrons (or other configurations) working as a unit when signalling would be relatively easy as long as they managed to stay in sight of each other.

Lady C
Bubonic Plague has been around the N African coast for a few thousand years, but I accept that a breakdown of such order as there has ever been in the area could cause a plague of rats & the potential consequence could be a significant population reducing factor.
 
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Stemar

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There may be a more widespread disaster in the offing

Possibly, but only in areas with poor health care. If it got loose in the UK, the first few victims may be in for an unpleasant death, because I wouldn't back many GPs to recognise the symptoms until it's too late, but plague is relatively easy to treat with antibiotics.
 

fisherman

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They used to send a pinnace with fresh orders, if not the relieving vessel.
When a lot of sea had to be covered vessels would remain apart at the maximum distance a signal hoist could be read, I suppose 6-8 nm,maybe more, so a signal could cover a long distance in fairly short order, we had plenty of ships then.
Plenty of men too, don't let anyone tell you that shanties were sung in the navy, they didn't need a rousing tune to work, they had 200 men and a bosun with a cane.
 

VO5

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Correct. The deployment of a pinnace was the practice around that time.
The Barbary Coast was notorious for piracy. It was plagued by a pirate called Barbarossa, who was nicknamed so as he had a huge red beard. He had a brother and a nephew also engaged in piracy. The last pirates to be publicly hanged were hanged here in Gibraltar, at Casemates Square. The Barbary Coast is 13 miles away on the other side of the Strait. I can clearly see it right here from my window. Fortunately nowadays it is perfectly safe, but in the 1960's I remember sailing parallel 1 mile off and seeing a reenactment, involving Berber Tribesmen on horseback along the clifftop firing their muskets into the air, for what reason is not known.
 

NPMR

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But AFAIK, single ships on a "mission" tended to be relatively unusual compared to squadrons (or other configurations)

Was it not the case that when sent 'exploring' many ships would leave together, with full crews and stores, and then as events overtook them, the lead ship would be re-stocked with men and supplies from the 'rest' who were gradually abandoned etc?

So the fame went to the returning lead ship and the danger/death/starvation was the lot of the 'other' ships?
 

Woodlouse

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Was it not the case that when sent 'exploring' many ships would leave together, with full crews and stores, and then as events overtook them, the lead ship would be re-stocked with men and supplies from the 'rest' who were gradually abandoned etc?

So the fame went to the returning lead ship and the danger/death/starvation was the lot of the 'other' ships?

That's very early day exploring and adventuring. Once a means of finding longitude was discovered, and a means of suppressing scurvy then ships were happily sent off alone, such as Captain Cook on the Endeavour. Although two ships would be sent if the voyage was seen to be particularly hazardous as in the Franklin expedition.
 

mcframe

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One suspects the orders given when sailing were rather more loosely framed than they would be nowadays.

"Head in the vague direction of the Caribbean and, unless you receive further orders, shoot up any pirate ships or Spanish galleons you see. Come back when the food runs out, the crew are insufficient to work the ship, or the masts fall out."


“Your Lordship, being already in possession of our several orders for the government of your conduct as commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, you are, in addition thereto, hereby required and directed to proceed with the VICTORY and the ships named....whose captains have orders to place themselves under your orders, to the Bay of Cadiz, where you may expect to find Vice-Admiral Collingwood and Vice-Admiral Sir Robert Calder, and the squadron of HM ships under his command. You will take such measures for the effectual blockade of the ports of Cadiz and San Lucar, as to your judgement shall seem best.
After leaving such number of ships under the command of Vice- Admiral Collingwood for the blockade of Cadiz, as that service may require, you will proceed to Gibraltar, and take the most effectual measures for putting that garrison and the port thereof, so far as relates to the naval department, into the best possible state of defence, by allotting such a force thereto as may secure the trade of HM subjects in passing and repassing the Gut.
And whereas, from the opinion we entertain of your conduct and abilities, we have thought fit to extend your command to Cape St. Vincent, you will proceed to form the best system for the management of so extensive a command that circumstances may admit of at the time.”

http://www.da.mod.uk/colleges/jscsc/courses/RND/bmd/traf.pdf
 

Bilgediver

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.

It would certainly help if we had more than a small British handful of ships, but that's NuLabor's deficit for you...

There may be a more widespread disaster in the offing.

It's not only Gaddaffi that is lethal in Libya....

:eek:

Maybe we should club together and buy Daves 5 C-130 in the current disposal lists and charter them back to the home office. With so few servicable c-130 and the Tristar fleet paying parking fees in various parts of the world we seem to have to rely on others to get our folk out of Libya.

Seems there are expats holed up all over Libya at various oilfield sites hunkering down on rations and hoping for help to arrive at a nearby airfield..
 

Topcat47

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It's just as well The toerags and Lying Democracts have only just got in, three months down the line and the Frigate would be up the trots in Portsmouth Harbour, waiting to be made into Razorblades or sold off, no doubt to the Lybians.

The Hercs had to go in without close air support 'cos Liam Fox has scrapped the Harriers, not that he's labour either, of course.
 

Topcat47

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And where's he going to find the soldiers to run the prisons after he's made them all redundant?

Even Tony Blurr didn't do that..........mind you Maggie did, after the Falklands, so maybe it's a Tory thing, after all.
 
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