For the Defence of the Realm

For the Defence of the Realm


Viewed with much ambivalence
By politicians and public alike
These metal-crated behemoths
The subject of much controversy
Oft dividing governments and their citizens

Lofty sea admirals swift to defend
The lethal fire power and potency
Ensuring peace prevails long after
The Cold War threats evaporate
And new strategic challenges loom

The shipyard workers and technicians
Whose alchemy of science and craft
Ensured the growth of each vessel
From embryonic drawings to the catharsis
Of the launch midst pomp and ceremony

But few can be unimpressed when viewing
The construction and assembly
Of these mighty creations
Encapsulating the acme of
Technological ingenuity and invention

And so the building of warships
Melds together in one cauldron
The fruits of human capability
The skills of organisation
And the mastery of the material world

But in its ultimate potential application
This great endeavour never fails
To raise contentious issues
In the realms of politics, economics and philosophy
Can we ever afford to use or not to use its capabilities?

Ken Fisher
[Thoughts prompted during a visit to the Glasgow yard of BAE Systems]

And by the following fact: see this link

The 27th May 2016 is the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the German warship BISMARCK. This mighty battleship was scuttled following incapacitating battle damage on 27 May 1941 in the North Atlantic


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