Skip to comments.U.S. Ship In N. Korea (USS Pueblo) Get Her Back
Posted on 10/29/2005 7:35:16 PM PDT by takbodan
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Sink the Pueblo over there or ignore her. Getting her back would only encumber us with an old heap loaded down with North Korean listening devices or WMD's.
In my last visit to NSA in the 90s, I had the privilege of long interesting conversations with current Air Force members of the 91 Rec SQ, including the SQ commander, a lady.
Perhaps I missed something but there was never mentioned any change of unwritten expectations.
Aye! Nail the colors to the mast and go down fighting. Death before dishonor.
LibKill, USMC, coldwar.
I'd put her at the Naval Academy to have the middies remember this event.
Only in the movies. Not everyone goes down fighting to the death. As Patton said, "The object of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for his."
I suppose that I may value my life a little less than others value theirs.
If you remember, in real life and in the movies, Patton told one General, I forget his name, do it or don't come back. That one happened in Sicily.
Surivival is a very strong instinct. I don't think I could ever be a suicide bomber.
I was in Air Force boot camp in San Antonio when this happened.
And the guy who was giving the orders would have to go with me. :)
Suicide?? That is your assessment not mine.
I went through in 1967, just before going to Vietnam.
Only in the movies. Not everyone goes down fighting to the death.
Even in the case of Trafalgar, British crews surrendered.
"What!?!? I never read that!!!"
The drama of Trafalgar did not end with the last gun. After the battle, a catastrophic storm came in and endangered not only the British fleet but also their numerous captured prizes.
During the storm, the captured and crippled French flagship Bucentaure broke adrift from her British tow and was drifting towards the lee shore. The British prize crew aboard her was not numerous enough to prevent disaster and the wounded French Captain Prigny, still aboard, called together the British prize crew officers and requested that they voluntarily surrender and allow the remaining French crew to man the ship in order to avoid further loss of life.
The British prize crew officers agreed and surrendered the Bucentaure back to the French. The Bucentaure was then jury-rigged by the French crew, avoided disaster and was to able to make it's way back to Cadiz where it ran aground at the harbor entrance. Before the Bucentaure broke up, all hand were able to abandon ship without loss of life.
Afterwards, the British prize crew was released and there was no dishonor associated with the surrender that was necessary to prevent needless loss of life.
The Royal Navy, however, made a clear distinction in regards to surrendering to avoid needless loss of life and surrender when it involved allowing the enemy to gain possession of Royal Navy secrets that would put the rest of the Fleet in jeopardy.
At the time, the Royal Navy had a set of "private signals", which were changed periodically, that was their version of an IFF (Indetification: Friend or Foe) system. If an unknown man-of-war was spottted, the "private signal"....a nonesense string of numbers and letters.... was run up and, if it was a British man-of-war, the unknown ship would then reply with the appropriate private signal listed in the book in order to identify itself as British. (Sailing under false colors before battle was an accepted ruse de guerre at the time.)
A Royal Navy Captain could surrender, without dishonor, to overwhelming force, after fighting to the best of his ability, to avoid unnecessary loss of life. However, there were very severe penalties for any Captain that allowed the The Signal Book for Ships of War to fall into the hands of the enemy. It was therefore the responsibility of the Captain not surrender until he has personally ensured that The Signal Book for Ships of War was completely destroyed.
The German U-Boat commander that allowed an Enigma machine to be captured did immeasurable damage to the German war effort.
A ship or aircraft with, say, nuclear weapons aboard must never be allowed to fall into North Korean hands regardless of the loss of life.
So, sometimes, a surrender is not merely a surrender and a ship, aircraft or boat is not merely a ship, aircraft or boat.
Where the USS Pueblo and the P-3 fall into this spectrum, none of us know as we have no need to know. I trust that each commander had been instructed and knew exactly what his duty required and that the U.S. Navy held each of them to those requirements.
Me, I'm just an ex-sergeant of USMC extraction.
My training, instinct, and yes, upbringing, tell me to fight to the death.
I could be wrong. I have been wrong many-many times.
Well, that is why I always felt perfectly safe during the year I spent in Guantanamo as a medical officer, surrounded by the Cuban Army, during the height of the Cold War. Before they got to me, they had to get through you and I knew that was not going to happen.