Maggie was right, Ctd

Evidence has been released the shows that Margaret Thatcher was right in ordering the sinking of the General Belgrano. At the end of hostilities the HMS Conqueror returned to base flying the Jolly Roger.

When the HMS Conqueror sunk the General Belgrano the ship earned a rite of passage. The ship could return to it’s home port flying the Jolly Roger and a Broom (signifying a clean sweep).

The tradition comes from an interesting historical incident:

Following the introduction of submarines in several navies, Admiral Sir Arthur Wilson, the First Sea Lord of the British Royal Navy, stated that submarines were “underhand, unfair, and damned un-English”, and that he would convince the British Admiralty to have the crews of enemy submarines captured during wartime behanged as pirates.

In September 1914, the British submarine HMS E9 successfully torpedoed the German criuser SMS Hela. Remembering Wilson’s statements, commanding officer Max Horton instructed his sailors to manufacture a Jolly Roger, which was flown from the submarine as she entered port. Each successful patrol saw Horton’s submarine fly an additional Jolly Roger until there was no more room for flags, at which point Horton then had a large Jolly Roger manufactured, onto which symbols indicating E9‘s achievements were sewn. A small number of other submarines adopted the practice: HMS E12 flew a red flag with the skull and crossbones on return from a foray into the Dardanelles in June 1915, and the first known photograph of the practice was taken in July 1916 aboard HMS H5.

The tradition was restarted in World War 2:

During the war, British submarines were entitled to fly the Jolly Roger on the day of their return from a successful patrol: it would be hoisted as the boat passed the boom net, and remain raised until sunset.

The Captain did just that upon the return of HMS Conqueror to Faslane Naval Base. Various pinkos got upset at the time, of course. The Captain though provided a typically British response to questions about the jolly roger:

When asked about the incident later, Commander Wreford-Brown responded, “The Royal Navy spent thirteen years preparing me for such an occasion. It would have been regarded as extremely dreary if I had fouled it up”.


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  • Anonymous

    Good on the Conqueror for following this tradition! 
    For some obscure reason, I’m quite proud that the New Zealand Navy was the last one in the world to abolish the tradition of having a tot of rum. A bit of a pity that they don’t still have that, but anyway…..

  • ConwayCaptain

    Admirral Sir Max Horton was C in C Western Approaches during WW 11 and won the Battle of the Atlantic. 

     His predecessor in that post was Sir Martin Dunbar Naismith who won a VC in subs in the Dardanelles.  He eventually was the man in charge of PLUTO (Pipeline Under The Ocean) to get fuel to the D Day beaches.

    Whether the General Belgrano was heading towards or away from the Falklands she should have been sunk anyway.  Britain was at war with Argentina.  Shows how amateurish the Argentine Navy was they were steaming in a war zone, with known RN subs in the area and she had w/t doors open.

  • ConwayCaptain

    Conqueror is the ONLY nuke to have sunk a vessel in war.