Tuesday, June 29, 2010

To the Caribbean, the long way 'round...

So, I looked at Prince Harry's Wikipedia entry, because I couldn't remember how old he was. This led me to the entry for his batty father, and on to the entry for his highly eccentric granddad.

What I didn't know was that his granddad, as a Lt. Cdr., had commanded the sloop HMS Magpie in 1950.

Sloop? In 1950? Ah, the Black Swan class were little corvette-like convoy escorts, which the Brits termed 'sloops', as they weren't fast enough to keep up with fleet operations. Apparently small warships designed for operating independently of the fleet were all termed "sloops" at that time: gunboats, merchant-hulled escorts, and the like.

But that wasn't the oddest use of the term "sloop": The Royal Navy even has one that won't move at all, on account of being rather firmly attached to the Earth's crust.

Huh. I did not know that.

14 comments:

Wolfwood said...

The Brits aren't the only ones to do that.

Tam said...

Yes, but at least its designation is "BLDG" and not "Sloop".

Anonymous said...

Not much bigger than a Type 9 U-boat. It must have been nasty in the North Atlantic in winter.

Gerry

nbc said...

The Royal Navy likes it's "stone frigates" as well.

Fodder4Thought said...

Unfortunately, at some point while this was going on, for an unknown reason Sophie blew up, killing all but one man of her crew.[7]

This part jumped out at me as indicative of both foul play and uninspired writing.

I mean, it was a mysterious-suspicious-tide-turning-shipsplosion that happened on the boat of a foreign privateer who was pressed into the service of his captors, and no one thinks it's that noteworthy?

Weird.

Michael said...

They called the island a sloop, and the sailing ship that tended it? They called that a fort. (HMS Fort Diamond)

Of course we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway, so glass houses and all that.

mopar said...

We also have the USS Rancocas

Darrell said...

I've been reading Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels (from which the movie Master and Commander: Far Side of the World was made), and had been meaning to look up the carronade, which is mentioned in the novels and in the wikipedia article Tam posted. Interesting naval gun:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carronade

Dave said...

Shouldn't that be "had" one?

Don Meaker said...

Don't forget Dicky (Lord Louis) Montbatten, one of whose many achievements was to shoot US Amiral King in the leg while demonstrating the toughness of sawdust mixed with ice (Pycrete). The bullet bounced off the Pycrete, and hit Admiral King.

Justthisguy said...

That got me to HMS Amethyst and Simon, Able Seacat, killer of many commy rats, though wounded in action.

Justthisguy said...

The Carron Company still exists. They make stainless steel sinks and other kitchen fixtures these days.

Charles Pergiel said...

Thought I had found one near you.
http://www.hnsa.org/ships/lst325.htm
Turns out it's in the water.

staghounds said...

Don't forget the 1904 novel:

http://books.google.com/books?id=MawPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA342&dq=sloop+diamond+rock&hl=en&ei=kjArTOrSOMO78gb2xuDSCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false