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 A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 13:49

Warships these days are often given the names of famous people, counties or cities, but there is still quite a trend towards maintaining the butch, aggressive names of yore: Furious, Revenge, Indomitable, Dreadnought, Victory. And so I was quite intrigued by Anglo-Norman's 'naval bombardment' post giving Blake's 17th century flagship as the charmingly named 'Happy Entrance', and this made me try to think of any other, non-aggressive, perhaps even wussy names. There were of course the flower class corvettes with names such as HMS Pansy, Hyacinth, Buttercup, Candytuft and Cowslip. Similarly classes of warships taking their name from greek heros and heroines sometimes included the amorously-named HMS Venus and HMS Valentine. And it's not just restricted to RN warships: the US navy once had a USS Temptress, and from the depths of my memory, and contemporary with Blake's Happy Entrance, I seem to recall the Dutch had an armed East Indiaman called the 'Indefatigable Cheesemaker', or something like that.

So, any other charmingly inoffensive warship names that come to mind?


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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 14:51

Not sure how friendly they are but the newly commissioned Irish Navy patrol vessel LÉ Samuel Beckett is about to be joined by the (god help us) LÉ James Joyce.

Up to then we've had a very feminine navy in Ireland - women from mythology being the theme. The entire strength of the navy at present is seven vessels, the Aisling, the Eithne, the Orla, The Ciara, the Niamh and the Róisín (along with ould Samuel).
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 15:35

Going back to the 1490s, Sir Andrew Wood had two ships named the Yellow Carvel and the Flower
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 15:35

@Nordmann wrote:
Up to then we've had a very feminine navy in Ireland - women from mythology being the theme.

Well a feminine navy is certainly apt when, at least in English, ships are invariably addressed as "she" even when sporting a name like HMS King George V.


Just read that one of Charles II's ships was named, The Royal Escape ... which while understandably celebrating his majesty's escape from the clutches of the evil Cromwell, does, against the background of the Anglo-Dutch war, sound a bit cowardly and all too prone to run away from any naval encounter. So a bit like the Yellow Carvel.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 15:54

The RN ship which brought news of the Battle of Trafalgar/Nelson's death was the Pickle.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 16:01

Only this morning I was reading about HMS Duncan, the final D class, type 42 destroyer, setting off on its maiden voyage.
"Duncan's on the horizon" - it's not really intimidating, is it?

                                                                             

The next batch (if there is a next batch), should be E class, so might we get an HMS Everard?
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 16:10

There are any number of female ( especially historical/mythological ) names in the RN.  Cleopatra,Ariadne,Penelope,Minerva are just some of them.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 16:18

@ferval wrote:

"Duncan's on the horizon" - it's not really intimidating, is it?


Well quite, and if Thames Valley Police can't have a police horse called Brian, just because it's not thought to be a butch enough name, I fail to see how one of her majesty's principal warships can be called Duncan.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-31446635


Trike wrote:

There are any number of female ( especially historical/mythological ) names in the RN. Cleopatra,Ariadne,Penelope,Minerva are just some of them.

Ah but some of those illustrious ladies you wouldn't actually have wanted to mess with. So rather than being 'a bit wussy' their names could be rather frighteningly apt.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 16:36

HMS Duncan is presumably named after Admiral Duncan, the victor of the Battle of Camperdown in 1797.

TVP changed their minds over Brian, but in the end he didn't pass anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 18:39

IIRC "Pansy" was renamed "Heartsease" before being laid down. Can't remember which Flower became USS Saucy when reverse lend-leased. WWI "24 class" sloops named after racehorses included "HMS Merry Hampton" - worthy of Spike Milligna, the well-known typographical error.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 19:21

LOL ..... Well done Gil, I knew you'd come up with some.

USS Saucy was originally ordered for the French Navy but became HMS Arabis before US service as USS Saucy, and was finally recommisioned back into the RN as HMS Snapdragon.

And of course if Admiral Duncan hadn't covered himself in glory at the Battle of Camperdown we might have had a ship named after one of his more competent subordinate captains ... as HMS Trollope ... perhaps to waylay those Atlantic U-boats alongside USS Temptress and USS Saucy.

PS: HMS Merry Hampton had an interesting career. Launched in 1918 as a minesweeping sloop she was renamed in 1923 as HMS Herald after conversion to a survey ship. She served with the RN until scuttled at Singapore in 1942 ... but was then raised by the Japanese, with whom she served renamed Heiyo, until finally sunk by a mine in 1944.


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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 19:41

There's been more than one HMS Fancy.  Actually, whatever the symbolism behind it, Mary Rose is hardly a name to strike terror into the enemy!
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 19:56

Well yes, the Tudor navy wasn't all that butch really: the Anthony Roll listing Henry VIII's warships of the 1540s, alongside the Mary Rose and the Henri Grace à Dieu, also lists the Pansy, the Peter Pomegranate, and the Galley Subtle ..... 

The Pansy:


... the Peter Pomegranate:


and the 'Galley Subtle':
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 20:19

There was a Tudor warship named after that much vilified lady, Mary Boleyn. This has been disputed - some say Philippa Gregory made it all up - but I think, on this occasion at least, PG is right. I hope she is  - I like to think that Mary had some recognition.


Declaration of Sir Ant. Poyntz, Vice-admiral, of expenses from 8 April 14 Hen. VIII. to 23 Sept. 15 Hen. VIII.
Received from John Jenyns, 1 Mar. 14 Hen. VIII., 2,741l. 3s. 4d.; from Sir Rys ap Thomas, 17 Sept. 15 Hen. VIII., 66l. 13s. 4d.; from Sir John Daunce, 100l. Total, 2,807l. 16s. 8d.
Paid for the Mynyon: Wages of Sir Anthony Poyntz, 6s. 8d. a day; one master, one pilot, 50 soldiers, 60 mariners, and 10 gunners, at 5s. a month; 19 dedshares, at 5s. a month; one surgeon, at 10s. a month. Rewards to gunners, 6l. 5s. Victualling, 16d. a week each man for the first four months, 18d. for the remainder. Total, 481l. 15s.—The George of Fowey, 120 tons, Geo. Whitwayne, capt., 89 men, tonnage 6l. a month. Total, 357l. 7s.—The Christopher Arundell, 90 tons, Geo. Audeley, capt., 59 men, 250l. 7s.—The Mathew of Bristowe, 160 tons, Robt. Appleyard, capt., 99 men, 404l. 0s. 4d.The Mary Boleyn, 100 tons, Wm. Symonds, capt., 79 men, 352l. 8s. 6½d.—The Berk of Truluff, 80 tons, Peter Grisley, capt., 59 men, 271l. 13s. 11¾d. The Mawdelen and Michell of Bristowe, and the Mary Galeye, 180 tons, Wm. Throgmorton and Hewe Clerk, capts., 118 men, 494l. 18s. 2d.—The Mawdeleyn of Pole, 120 tons, Robt. Kirk, capt., 79 men, 264l. 9s. 0½d.




Wasn't there a warship called HMS  Rodney? That's a rather sweet name.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 20:25

Rodney was another distinguished 18th century admiral.

A few selected 17th century names (from Angus Konstam's Warships of the Anglo-Dutch Wars 1652-74):

Mary (formerly Speaker)
George
Edgar
White Elephant (Dutch)
Garland
Peace (Dutch)
Love (Dutch)
Assistance
Rainbow
Nonsuch
Reserve
Advice
Pelican
Sapphire
Ruby
Diamond
Kingfisher
Faith (Dutch)
Mirror (Dutch)
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 20:27

Indeed there was Rodney (a WW2 battleship, sister to HMS Nelson) and named after Admiral George Rodney who made his mark during the Seven Years War.



HMS Rodney was involved in pursuit of the Bismark, escorting convoys to Malta and to Russia, and bombardment in support of allied landings both in Italy and Normandy ... so quite a distinguished career.

PS: I like the Dutch warship names: Peace, Love and Faith .... and White Elephant is quite intriguing too. I wonder if it had the same connotation then as it does now.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 21:43

There was a WWI destroyer called "Mary Rose", and others called "Bat","Fairy","Flirt","Velox","Sabrina","Rob Roy". Take a look at the "Dance" class minesweepers, too. At one point there were "Roger de Coverley","Pirouette","Gavotte" etc.

Not to mention the two typos - "Whiteley" (should have been "Whitby") which was allowed to go forward, a rare case of a warship named after a living commoner (Whiteley being the then Speaker of the House), and "Sterling" (motto- "Good as gold") in error for "Stirling".

Of course, if you want some really unwarlike names, take a look at some of the requisitioned trawlers, whalers and drifters, in WWI and WWII (even the "Ellas" sent to the Falklands)- "Young Mun" and "Fisher Lass" come to mind.

And how about the star of one of J B Priestley's wartime broadcasts - HMS Gracie Fields? Well known signal from her "Gracie Fields is making water in Dunkirk harbour and requires assistance".
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 22:36

Japanese warships tend to take the names of provinces or famous mountains in Japan. Another tradition is for them to be quotes from Japanese poetry. The Shiratsuyu-class and Hatsuharu-class destroyers active in the Pacific in the 1940s were such and referred to descriptions of weather and the seasons. For example the Shiratsuyu itself meant 'White Dew'. Other ships in those classes included the Harusame 'Spring Shower', the Wakaba 'Young Leaves', the Suzukaze 'Cool Breeze', the Yugure 'Twilight' and the Shigure 'Shimmering Autumn Rain'.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 22:49

Ryujo - prancing dragon
Hosho - phoenix in flight
Hiryu - flying dragon

Are those poetic references as well, Vizzer? Seems to have been a reasonably common theme for Japanese carriers.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Tue 03 Mar 2015, 23:51

The carrier classes may well have their origins in waka poetry although they probably don't fit with Meles' request for unaggressive names. Nagumo's flagship carrier Akagi translates as 'Red Castle' and is also the name of a volcano.

Other examples Gil would be from the turn of the 20th century and the British-built Shikishima-class battleships which took part in the Russo-Japanese War. Shikishima means 'Scattered Isles' and is a lyrical reference to Japan itself. Its sister ship was the Hatsuse 'Swift Currents'.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Wed 04 Mar 2015, 09:36

In the late 18th century there was a ship called HMS Sandwich, though whether it was tuna or a blt, I couldn't say.

And during the Interregnum there was a two-decker named Speaker. Not HMS, obviously
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Wed 04 Mar 2015, 09:41

@Vizzer wrote:
The carrier classes may well have their origins in waka poetry although they probably don't fit with Meles' request for unaggressive names. Nagumo's flagship carrier Akagi translates as 'Red Castle' and is also the name of a volcano.



Akagi was originally to be built as a battle cruiser, but was switched to a carrier by the Washington Treaty. The Japanese named their cruisers (light. heavy and battle) after rivers and mountains, hence the volcano name
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Wed 04 Mar 2015, 18:23

I discovered today that there is an HMS Quorn.

The Speaker was named after the Speaker of the House of Commons.  She was built in 1650 and in 1660 renamed the Mary.  She may not have been an HMS during the Interregnum, but from 1653-60 she was an HHS - His Highness[the Lord Protector]'s Ship
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Wed 04 Mar 2015, 19:09

Great to see you here, AN!  Ships in NZ are generally given Maori names.  The most famous one is probably the Wahine, which went down with the loss of 51 lives in 1968, and which simply means 'woman/women'. When my husband's parents were deciding where to live in the late 1950s they went backwards and forwards from Britain to NZ on ships called the Oriana (meaning something like 'moving wave') and the Rangitata ('low sky').
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Thu 05 Mar 2015, 08:46

@Anglo-Norman wrote:
I discovered today that there is an HMS Quorn.

A-N, good to see you back.

Yes, I saw it on Pointless, and thought it was perfect for this thread
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Thu 05 Mar 2015, 09:35

Quorn as a product is of much later date than HMS Quorn - those Hunt-class names (another Pointless one was Cattistock) were used for minesweeping sloops in WWI, escort destroyers in WWII, and now for the minehunters.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Fri 06 Mar 2015, 22:17

@Caro wrote:
Ships in NZ are generally given Maori names.  The most famous one is probably the Wahine, which went down with the loss of 51 lives in 1968, and which simply means 'woman/women'. When my husband's parents were deciding where to live in the late 1950s they went backwards and forwards from Britain to NZ on ships called the Oriana (meaning something like 'moving wave') and the Rangitata ('low sky').

But are those the names of warships? The reason I ask is that the Royal New Zealand Navy does indeed have (or had) ships with names which fit the criterion. There are (and have been) plenty of NZ navy ships with august names such as the current frigates HMNZS Te Kaha 'Strength' and HMNZS Te Mana 'Prestige' or HMNZS Achilles of River Plate fame. Equally, however, there have been others such as the 1940s minesweepers HMNZS Breeze and HMNZS Aroha. The latter being the Maori equivalent of the Hawaiian word Aloha!* - i.e. a term of endearment and greeting. And also the HMNZS Kiwi and the HMNZS Moa which needless to say were named after flightless birds one of them being extinct. It doesn't get much more unaggressive than that. 

*As a bizarre footnote, during the First World War, there was a USS Aloha which (despite its name) spent its entire life in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean but never sailed the Pacific let alone ever seeing Hawaii.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Fri 06 Mar 2015, 22:41

Quote :
HMNZS Achilles of River Plate fame

HMS Achilles at the River Plate, actually - no NZ Navy at that date, not until 1941.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Fri 06 Mar 2015, 23:39

Aroha really means 'love' in a generalised, not sexual, way.  It is used sometimes as a farewell in letters more in the form 'arohanui' ('great love').

No, ferries are not warships.  While the Rangitata was a cruise ship, she also operated as a troopship in WWII, and took off from Liverpool with 113 children bound for NZ, arriving with 113 children.  (I presume the same ones.) The other ship my parents-in-law and husband sailed the seas in was the Castel Felice (Happy Castle, quite a non-aggressive name in present-day thinking), which was a troop ship in WWII before bringing 100,000 immigrants to NZ later.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Sun 08 Mar 2015, 14:42

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Quote :
HMNZS Achilles of River Plate fame

HMS Achilles at the River Plate, actually - no NZ Navy at that date, not until 1941.

That's right Gil. I had considered which prefix to give Achilles in the context of this thread and settled on HMNZS because, although there was no de jure Royal New Zealand Navy until 1941, she was still a de facto New Zealand ship even during the battle. This is why when she was officially inaugurated as a Royal New Zealand Navy vessel, and the GB&NI white ensign was replaced with the NZ white ensign, she did not change her name. This was unlike later on, for example, when she did indeed change her name after joining the Indian navy. So - yes - HMS Achilles at the River Plate and HMNZS Achilles of River Plate fame.

While we're on the topic of New Zealand warships - the HMNZS Moa is only a hairsbreadth away from, say, an HMS Dodo. That's could be the name of a fictional research vessel featuring, perhaps, in a Jules Verne novel or some such. A sort of sister ship of the actual HMS Beagle if you like. The Beagle itself sounds relatively inoffensive unless, that is, one is a fox. Shades of HMS Quorn and the Quorn Hunt perhaps? It also calls to mind the later 'Dog Class' armed trawlers of the 1930s and 40s. One such was HMS Basset.

A fighting vessel named after a soppy hound that can barely swim? That's wussy...



...or maybe not.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Sun 08 Mar 2015, 14:58

Not actually commissioned warships, but try this lot :-
http://www.rfanostalgia.org/gallery3/index.php/RMAS/Tugs/Girls


Still, after all these years, struggling with the concept of an "Improved Girl"
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Fri 22 May 2015, 19:58

Yesterday I visited the Chatham Historic Dockyards and visited their retired warships. HMS Cavalier (a WWII destroyer) is a fairly respectable name for a warship. However, you can also visit the Victorian screw-sloop HMS Gannet (hardly warlike, although at least named after a seabird). My favourite, though, is the curiously if endearingly named Cold War-era submarine, HMS Ocelot!
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Fri 22 May 2015, 20:19

But an ocelot is just a small cat, like a smaller type of leopard or cheetah, and you certainly wouldn't want to mess with one in the wild. Equally no-one would laugh at the names of HMS Tiger or HMS Lion. Though I grant the navy did baulk at other feline names such as HMS Tibbles, Tabby or Tufty ... though I think there was a once a Tybalt.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Fri 22 May 2015, 22:06

BTW - who says "ferries aren't warships"?
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Sat 23 May 2015, 11:52

Good picture Gil.

There were also Townsend Thoresen's Europic Ferry, Nordic Ferry and Baltic Ferry which were ships taken up from trade (STUFT) by the British Ministry of Defence in 1982 and sailed for the South Atlantic. With their familiar bright orange livery they seemed singularly ill-suited to 20th century warfare:



The Europic Ferry took part in the landings at San Carlos Water in Falkland Sound with the crew frantically trying to re-paint it grey between (and even during!) air-raids.
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PostSubject: Re: A friendly navy - unaggressive or even wussy warship names   Mon 25 May 2015, 15:49

The rather unfortunately named USS Ponce;



Named after Juan Ponce de Leon, the bod who discovered Florida.
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