Maritime Monday for May 22nd, 2017: Suffren Succotash

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May 21, 2017

Popular Mechanics, 1927

The liner RMS Queen Elizabeth bringing American troops into NY Harbor at the end of WWII, 1945 (The Vintage News)

At the start of World War II, it was decided that Queen Elizabeth was so vital to the war effort that she must not have her movements tracked by German spies. Therefore, an elaborate ruse was fabricated involving her sailing to Southampton to complete her fitting out. There were only two spring tides that year that would see the water level high enough for Queen Elizabeth to leave the Clydebank shipyard. Parts were shipped to Southampton, and preparations were made to drydock the new liner when she arrived.

Queen Elizabeth in wartime grey

Her Cunard colours were painted over with battleship grey, and on the morning of 3 March, she quietly left her moorings in the Clyde. She proceeded out of the river and sailed further down the coast, where she was met by the King’s Messenger, who presented sealed orders directly to the captain, who soon discovered discovered that he was to take the untested vessel directly to New York without stopping, and without dropping off the Southampton harbour pilot who had departed with them from Clydebank. Scrict radio silence was to be observed at all times.

The liner zigzagged her way across the Atlantic at an average speed of 26 knots, avoiding Germany’s U-boats; she arrived safely at New York after 6 days and found herself moored alongside both Queen Mary and the French Line’s Normandie; the only time all three of the world’s largest liners would be berthed together. Queen Elizabeth left the port of New York on 13 November 1940 for Singapore to receive her troopship conversion. After two stops to refuel and replenish her stores in Trinidad and Cape Town, she arrived in Singapore’s Naval Docks where she was fitted with anti-aircraft guns, and her hull repainted black. In 1942, the two Queens were relocated to the North Atlantic for the transportation of American troops to Europe. more

Postcard of the Queen Mary with her funnels freshly repainted in the Cunard colours, meeting her new Atlantic running mate – more photos and history

During her war service as a troopship Queen Elizabeth, carried more than 750,000 troops, and sailed some 500,000 miles (800,000 km).  more

U.S. Coast Guard Northeast – The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter OAK – WLB 211 hard at work cleaning a buoy

USCGC Oak (WLB-211) –  is a United States Coast Guard Juniper-class seagoing buoy tenderh ome-ported in Newport, Rhode Island. Built by the Marinette Marine Corporation in Wisconsin, launched on 26 January 2002 and commissioned in March 2003. She is 225 ft long (69 m), beam 46 ft (14 m), draft 13 ft (4.0 m) is propelled by two Caterpillar diesel engines rated at 3,100 horsepower with a a top speed of 16 knots. Oak has an icebreaking capability of 14 in (0.36 m) at 3 knots and 3 ft (0.91 m) backing and ramming. more

shipsandseasworldwide – sent to us by @ah_hamido
Regia Marina recruitment propaganda posted by admiral-condell-official
Seven ships of the French Navy have borne the name of Suffren, in honour of the 18th-century French admiral Pierre André de Suffren.

Admiral comte Pierre André de Suffren de Saint Tropez, bailli de Suffren (17 July 1729 – 8 December 1788) most famous for his campaign in the Indian Ocean, in which he fought a series of intense and evenly matched battles for supremacy against the British, who’s arrogance he found offensive.

French military policy made naval operations subordinate to land operations, yet Suffren realized that in wars fought overseas from the mother country, the nation which controlled the sea first had a great advantage in supporting the land war. Suffren’s achievements may seem modest but even this record stands in stark contrast to the failures of most contemporary French naval commanders.

He revived French fortunes in India when Paris had conceived his tasks as essentially ones of armed transportation and privateering. That his achievement went beyond these duties despite a lack of support from his uncomprehending superiors and battle shy captains adds greatly to his credit. more

Battle of Trafalgar, on 21 October 1805: Redoutable (Built as Suffren) during the late stages of the battle, dismasted and attacked by two larger ships

The first Suffren (1791–1794) was a 74-gun ship of the line renamed Redoutable in 1794, took part in the battles of the French Revolutionary Wars, served in the Caribbean in 1803, and most famously; duelled with HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar, killing Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson during the action. She sank in the storm that followed the battle.


In September of 1793 the crews of the French fleet revolted in the Quibéron mutinies; a series of events that occurred in the Brest squadron of the French Navy during the height of the Reign of Terror. The Jacobins purged the Navy of most of its officers who were of noble extraction, a number of officers were relieved of duty and arrested, including two admirals.

The collapse of the French monarchy had an important impact on the French Navy, enormously dependant on funds and supplies to maintain ships and crews. The fleet was weakened by supply difficulties, such as a chronic lack of clothes which made the crews suffer greatly at sea.  At Quibéron, the crews were isolated from the shore and started to run low on food.

Things went precipitously downhill from there. keep reading

Suffren was renamed Redoutable on 20 May 1794. That same day, she received and later hoisted the new naval flag of the Republic. On to Trafalgar

The Redoutable at Trafalgar – Auguste Etienne Francois Mayer (available as a wall mural here)
The Fall of Nelson, Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, by Denis Dighton
Scale model of Achille, sister ship of French ship Suffren (1801), on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris

A second Suffren, built 1801, was of the same class and took part in Allemand’s expedition of 1805. Allemand’s expedition, often referred to as the Escadre invisible (invisible squadron) in French sources, was an important French naval expedition during the Napoleonic Wars, which formed a major diversion to the ongoing Trafalgar Campaign in the Atlantic Ocean. She was razeed in 1816, and used as a prison hulk on Toulon harbour; broken up in 1823.

Model of Océan (a sister ship) on display at the Musée de la Marine, Paris

The fourth Suffren; a wooden-hulled, armored frigate of the Océan class, built for the French Navy in the mid to late 1860s. Laid down in 1866, not launched until 1870, commissioned in 1876.  read about her here

French battleship Suffren (1899–1916) off the Dardanelles in 1915; Wilkinson, Norman (1915). The Dardanelles: Colour Sketches from Gallipoli

The fifth Suffren was a pre-dreadnought battleship of the French Navy, launched in July 1899. Suffren had an eventful career as she twice collided with French ships and twice had propeller shafts break. She was quickly sent to the Dardanelles after the beginning of World War I to reinforce British forces already in position. The ship provided covering fire as the Allies withdrew from the peninsula and accidentally sank one of the evacuation ships. While en route to Lorient for a refit, Suffren was torpedoed off Lisbon on 26 November 1916 and sunk with all hands. more

more about the Suffren

A nuclear attack submarine of the Barracuda class, planned to enter service in 2017, is scheduled to bear the name Suffren. +

River Thames Steamboat Company: Looking upstream from the Greenwich Pier; magic lantern slide probably dating from the late 1880s. More
Quirk Museum
17 Kick-Ass Vintage Photos Of Women With Tattoos
A Sure Sign of Summer

Wienermobile caught riding the Hatteras Ferry

The North Carolina Ferry System posted a picture on Facebook (from Jason Wells of Jason’s Restaurant) showing the Wienermobile going for a ferry ride!

Not only is the vehicle traveling the country, Oscar Mayer is also hiring ‘hotdoggers’ (aka drivers).

Wienermobile pilots are expected to be skilled at delivering unlimited joy to thousands of people every day, according to Oscar Mayer.

Oscar Mayer said “If you have what it takes (a love of people, a winning smile, driving skill, and a desire to crisscross the country), apply here for the coolest job of your life.”

Click here to follow the Wienermobile’s journey.

Brewery Tanks Set Off On Canal Journey; Jon Campbell, Gannett Albany, NY, WGRZ

WATERFORD – Three 60-foot-tall Genesee beer tanks began their 225-mile journey on the Erie Canal on Friday, marking the opening of the historic canal’s bicentennial season.
The massive fermentation tanks, part of a $49.1 million expansion at the Genesee Brewery in Rochester, entered Lock E2 in the Saratoga County town of Waterford around noon as a few dozen camera-wielding onlookers watched.  keep reading

Engine Room, steamer State of Maine – a coastal side-wheel steamship built by the New England Shipbuilding Co. of Bath, Maine in 1882 for the International Line in 1882. She was a highly successful steamer that was built for hard service with frames close LOA 241ft. Beam 37. Displ. 1409tons. Vertical beam engine indicating 1200hp.

See also: State of Maine, OfficersAft Saloonforward saloonexterior

The Boston Globe reported in April that in Gloucester, Mass., an estimated six fishermen have overdosed at the docks in the last three years. Creative Commons photo of Gloucester harbor by Flickr user Doug Kerr.

National Fisherman: Drugs on deck in New England

To their credit, in New England, advocates for fishermen are casting about desperately to deal with addiction in their industry. The Boston Globe recently reported that some vessels have taken to stocking naloxone (aka Narcan), which can reverse an opioid overdose, and Fishing Partnership Support Services, of Massachusetts, is training fishermen to administer the drug.  Read

The development of ever-larger container ships, major LNG terminals, expanding bulk carrier ports such as Port Hedland in Australia, and of course, the rapid evolution of tanker escort technology created a whole new generation of high-performance specialized tugboats. Since 2000, Robert Allan Ltd. has had more than 720 tugs built to our designs worldwide. When added to the historical database the total number of tugs delivered stands, at time of writing, at 1005…

The Place That Launched a Thousand Tugs on MarEx

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