If there’s one thing to be gleaned from the current deteriorating situation in Iraq, its that this has forced Iran’s hand into acting overtly instead of working through proxies and expanding their influence via their Fifth Column, Hezbollah. 20 more words
Offshore where sea and skyline blend
In rain, the daylight dies;
The sullen, shouldering swells attend
Night and our sacrifice
— The Destroyers, by Rudyard Kipling
In 1988 I was invited to give a lecture on AIDS and surgery in the city of Örebro, Sweden. I knew that my grandfather, Chief Petty Officer 1st Class George Palmer Saunders, had been buried in the Norwegian city of Egersund soon after his body washed ashore following the Battle of Jutland that raged between May 31 and June 1, 1916.
After the meeting, I took a few days off and flew to Norway to find his grave. I eventually landed in Stavenger on the southwest coast, rented a car and drove for about three hours through beautiful countryside to Egersund.
It was a Sunday morning. I made inquiries and was directed to a church. Fortunately, the deacon was working in the graveyard and spoke excellent English. When I explained the situation, he asked my grandfather’s name.
When I replied, “Saunders,” he lit up and said, “G.P.”
He took me straight to the grave. Standing with a skullcap, I found myself in the curious position of reciting Kaddish over a grave bearing a cross 72 years after his death in the frigid waters of the North Sea.
Who was he? No member of my generation seems to know much about him. He was born on Oct. 20, 1876 and lived in Wandsworth in southwest London. Information obtained by my cousin Peggy Adam indicates that he held the rank of “boy 2nd class” in the Royal Navy in 1892, at the age of 16.
My mother said he had been a hard-hat diver in the Royal Navy during the Boer War from 1899 to 1902. In fact, he held the rating of “diver” in 1897 and remained in the Royal Navy until 1906, when he was discharged as medically unfit.
He married my grandmother Jane Elizabeth Welsh in 1904 at the St. Thomas a Becket Catholic Church in Wandsworth.
My grandfather re-enlisted after the 1914 assassination of Franz Ferdinand by the Bosnian nationalist Gavrilo Principe in Sarajavo — the spark that ignited World War I.
Russia is set to start construction of its new Kalina-class diesel-electric submarine after the last two Lada-class vessels are completed. The Project 677 Lada-class—which Moscow is terminating after three units are completed—has proven to be a disappointment.
“The two Lada-class Project 677 submarines will be delivered as scheduled — in 2018 and 2019,” a spokesman for United Shipbuilding Corporationtold RIA Novosti. “Then the construction of the new non-nuclear Kalina-class submarines will be launched.”
Separately, deputy Russian Navy commander Vice Adm. Alexander Fedotenkov told Rossiya 24 that construction of the new submarines would start shortly. “These are new-generation submarines. They are currently being developed,” Fedotenkov said. “The construction of these submarines will start in the imminent future.”
Not much is known about the Kalina-class except that Moscow intends to equip the new vessels with an air independent propulsion (AIP) system. Russia’s current Kilo and sole Lada-class vessels do not currently incorporate an AIP—which has already become standard on Western diesel boats.
Moscow had planned to equip the Lada-class with an AIP, but those plans seem to have been dropped. TheTASS new agency notes that while Russia has been working on an AIP for years, plans to equip the Lada with the new system have come to naught.