Monday, June 27, 2011

Submarines III.

This is coolbert:

Robert Surcouf.

From the previous blog entry:

"This class of vessel brought to the greatest degree of development with the British "M"  and X1 class of submarine-cruiser and the French Surcouf class."

The French Surcouf class. A ponderous submarine cruiser of the era immediately after the Great War [WW1]. A submarine the main weaponry of which was a pair of eight inch [8"] big-bore naval guns. Torpedo attack possible but ONLY as a secondary measure. The Surcouf seen [?] by the French admirals as a means for waging irregular warfare at sea, an unconventional weapon the target of which was primarily the merchant shipping of the adversary.

The name Surcouf chosen NOT without reason! Robert Surcouf, a most famous French naval commander from the Napoleonic era.

Robert, best described as a privateer, a corsair, an unconventional warrior of the high seas, a hit and run guerrilla fighter waging war in the manner of the irregular.


"Robert Surcouf. . . was a famous French corsair. During his legendary career, he captured 47 ships and was renowned for his gallantry and chivalry, earning the nickname of Roi des Corsaires ('King of Corsairs')."

"pri·va·teer  - - noun armed ship that is privately  owned and manned, commissioned by a government to fight or harass enemy ships."

"corsair  - - Meaning evolved in M.L. from 'course' to 'journey' to 'expedition' to an expedition specifically for plunder."

"He became a living legend in France and, in England, a public enemy whose capture was valued at 5 million francs, although he was noted for the discipline of his crew and his humane treatment of prisoners"

"After the war, he returned to Saint-Malo, rich and with the title of baron, and became a merchant ship-owner, establishing business with Terre-Neuve, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Indian Ocean."

Robert - - adept at warfare on the high seas, a master at using measured audacity to confront and defeat the enemy, even willing to "take on" and defeat British warships of much greater size and possessing far superior firepower, Robert employing that correct mix of tactics, methods, means, measures as befits the unconventional naval fighter!

The very name Surcouf suggest and is evocative of irregular warfare, unconventional combat, guerrilla tactics?    As was Surcouf of the Napoleonic era, so was hoped for the submarine cruiser Surcouf of the modern era? This was the intent!

Robert by his privateering became a very rich man! Indeed, those captains of privateers and even the lowliest sailor could enjoy an "income" and achieve wealth that was otherwise unobtainable. Without great risk there can be no great gain!


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