Cock-Up

Cock-up is Brit for SNAFU, and if you believe news reports the capture of their marines and sailors was a perfect example of the genre.

The decision to offer no resistance to Iran, although the Britons were said to have been operating in Iraqi waters, was down to the commander of the two boats. There was no air cover at the time because a helicopter had just returned to HMS Cornwall after watching the successful boarding of a merchant vessel.

Here’s a map of the engagement from the Brit Ministry of Defense, published by the Daily Telegraph.

Daily Telegraph Map

The helicopter is a Lynx, which should have carried 4 Sea Skua missiles, this is quite capable of taking on the Iranians before they got too close to grab hostages.

HMS Cornwall was too far from the boarding parties to come to their rescue.

A court martial will no doubt address why the Cornwall stood off so far (about 7 nautical miles) given the Marines were intercepting a vessel just 1.7 nautical miles outside Iranian territorial waters; why the helo left them unprotected; and why the marines didn’t have the means and/or orders to fight.

But first we have to bust Iran and get the hostages back.

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2 Responses to Cock-Up

  1. Bill K. says:

    It seems now like the captain of the HMS Cornwall may have got a bit of a bum rap. Apparently he tried to get permission from his superiors to attack the Iranians assaulting his boarding party but was refused. Though, why the Cornwall was seven miles from the boarding party is another question.

    In this context, where Iran has initiated the aggression, diplomacy is completely out of the question. It is the first, last and only resort of dyed-in-the-wool appeasers. The UK needs to renew its credibility as a world military power by immediately destroying every Iranian naval vessel it can find. This is the perfect time to launch this attack since there are two U.S. Navy carriers in the Gulf. Any attempt by Iran to block the Strait of Hormuz would bring the United States into the conflict.

    Only when the U.K. has re-established it bona fides as a force to be reckoned with can it start issuing ultimatums to Tehran.

  2. Bill K

    I hadn’t seen that report – it’s plausible though.

    On the 7 miles, some reports say the Cornwall couldn’t get close because the water was too shallow.

    I agree the UK must now inflict serious harm on Iran, or the Brit military will become the preferred target of every nutty kidnapper in the world. The US sank the Mullahs’ navy in the late 80s and their behavior improved, for a while at least.

    The Brits may not have the capability in theater yet, so I’d start by shutting their embassies & arresting or deporting all their diplomats.

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