Sunday, June 23, 2024

WAR SHIPS IN LONDON. THEIR HISTORY AND CURRENT STATE

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is world-famous for its powerful military potential. The country has an interesting geographical location, as it is fully surrounded by water. So, its navy is one of the best in the world, which was demonstrated in previous hostilities and recorded in various historical books and military publications. Some of the Royal Navy’s fascinating and powerful ships can be seen in London. Learn more at london-future.

The importance of naval forces for London and Great Britain in general

The country’s government has always paid great attention to the maritime industry and its development. The use of ships has been and remains a necessity for Great Britain, as most of the goods are delivered by this type of transport. A large number of businesses, organizations and government institutions use ships as a main means of transportation since jet fuel is more expensive. However, warships have always remained the most important military weapons for this country due to its geographical location. In general, Great Britain is an island with various rivers and small canals crossing its territory. That’s why the development of ground military machinery was not relevant, instead, air and marine defense was under focus. Thus, military specialists began to work on the development of modern and powerful ships. Huge goals and tasks were set before them because the military fleet of Great Britain has always performed the main defensive function.

The history of the powerful fleet began hundreds of years ago. Henry VIII was the first to establish his own fleet in 1546. After that, the modernization process took years and made significant changes in the construction, organization, improvement and reconstruction of Great Britain’s naval forces. As of 2022, the country’s modern naval forces consist of 73 operational commissioned ships and 11 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. In London, there are several hubs of military reserve formations.

The most famous hubs of the Royal Navy in London

Some part of the Royal Navy personnel and vessels are based in London. One of these is the volunteer reserve of the Royal Marines, officially known as RMR London. One of its divisions is located next to its headquarters in London. In general, the reserve has four divisions, which are located in different parts of Great Britain. It was officially formed on November 5, 1948. Also, there is HMS President, which is located in central London. The local wharf provides access to the river and serves as a hub for several reserve naval vessels. An interesting fact is that location appeared in the movie The Long Good Friday. This unit is the largest naval division in the UK and offers reservists a wide range of career opportunities as well as exciting sporting and social programmes.

London’s majestic and unique ships 

Even from the first glance at the various, majestic and intimidating warships in London, you can learn a lot about their Motherland. Their power is really impressive and assures everyone that they are the real defenders of the country. Thanks to them, Great Britain is the leader in the military ranking and is known all over the world. The history of military achievements, heroic figures and important events is hidden in these huge metal pieces. Most of the expired ships have been sent to scrap metal, but some of them have been preserved and are now even available for visitors. Some military vessels were reconstructed, and replaced with more modern and powerful ones.

British cruiser Belfast

This ship is an example of a powerful military vessel with a unique history. It was founded in 1936 and in 1939, it became part of the Royal Naval Forces. It experiences many military operations, achievements and damages. The cruiser took part in the Second World War (a naval blockade, in particular), but later ran into a magnetic mine and was under repair until 1942. After that, it participated in numerous battles again. One of the most famous was the Battle of North Cape. Belfast played a key role in the sinking of the German battleship too.

This is one of the most popular ships located in the central part of London on the River Thames. Nowadays, everyone can see its size, structure and grandeur because it serves as a museum with a recreated combat atmosphere. Inside, there are mannequins cooking soup and baking bread as well as performing surgeries and extracting teeth. Also, there are a lot of ladders and stairs, so the ship tour takes an hour and a half, which is especially exciting for children. The museum is visited by a large number of visitors every day and is operated by the outstanding Imperial War Museum.

Wellington, a ship with an amazing history

Although this ship is less-known than others, it has a fascinating and rich history. It was built in 1934 and served on New Zealand and China military bases until World War II. The ship participated in numerous naval operations. It featured depth bombs, which destroyed an enemy submarine in the Pacific Ocean. Nowadays, the ship is honourably located on the Thames in London.

The liner Lancastria

Unfortunately, some ships don’t exist anymore, though the memories of them remain eternal. The liner Lancastria was created as a passenger ship, but later, turned into a warship. His history is fascinating and tragic at the same time. At the beginning of the Second World War, the passenger liner, which operated between Liverpool and New York, was requisitioned by the government to serve for military purposes. During a rescue operation in 1940, a ship boarded with French soldiers and civilians was sunk off near the French coast, being hit by several bombs launched by German planes. According to Guide London, the divers managed to find the ship’s bell in 1970, which was later placed in one of the London churches. Therefore, the memory of the ship still lives in the hearts of the British. 

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