Kiel Week 2011

Kieler Hafen

Image via Wikipedia

I know I’ve written on this subject before, but take a look at the line-up for Germany’s Kiel Week this year.

Kiel week is the equivalent of Cowes and Navy Days combined, and funnily enough was established by the Kaiser in an attempt to instil an English-style affinity with the sea into German society. But looking at the line up, it has far exceeded the scale of Navy Days in the UK. The last few have been pretty woeful, even for British vessels. At the last Navy Days in Portsmouth we had two Destroyers and two Frigates, and no Foreign visitors at all. You have to wonder whether we bothered to make an effort, or we had offended too many navies? But whatever the reson, the woeful inactivity of the Royal Navy PR Department is pretty embarassing, especially in a country with acute sea-blindness.

German Navy

Schleswig-Holstein (Brandenburg class Frigate)

Ammersee (Coastal Tanker)

Spessart (Replenishment Tanker)

Spiekeroog (Ocean-going Tug)

Fehmarn (Ocean-going Tug)

Lutje Horn (Harbour Tug)

Russian Navy

Minsk (Landing Ship)

Dutch Navy

Zuiderkruis (Replenishment Ship)

De Ruyter (De Zeven Provincien class Frigate)

French Navy

Commandant L’Herminier (D’Estienne d’Ovres class Patrol vessel)

Irish Navy

Eithne (Fishery Patrol Vessel)

Estonian Navy

ENS Ugandi (Sandown Class Minesweeper, formerly HMS Bridport)

Lithuanian Navy

Suduvis (Lindau Class Minesweeper)

Jotvingis (Vidar Class Minelayer)

Polish Navy

Naklo (Gardno Class Minesweeper)

Druzno (“)

Gardno (“)

Kondor (Kobben class Submarine)

Danish Navy

Absalon (Absalon Class Frigate)

Havkatten (Flyvefisken Class Patrol Vessel)

Svanen (Sail training ship)

Thyra (Sail training ship)

Kureren (Patrol boat)

Budstikken (“)

Speditoren(“)

Royal Navy

Express (P200 Class Patrol boat)

Puncher (“)

US Navy

Mount Whitney (Command Ship)

Phillipine Sea (Ticonderoga Class Cruiser)

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34 Comments

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34 responses to “Kiel Week 2011

  1. John Erickson

    I’d love to see the sail training ships close up. And, bizarre as I am, the replenishment ships. I’ve always had a soft spot for the support crews. I’d rather meet one chief engineer than a dozen ship captains. Then again, my second favourite person on Star Trek was Scotty. (But my heart will ALWAYS belong to Yeoman Rand! ;) )

  2. James Daly

    I always find the auxiliaries interesting at Navy Days – Largs Bay was fascinating in 2008, as was Argus in 2010. You find that the more ‘interesting’ ships have more to tell – after all, theres only so much you can do with a Frigate or Destroyer, and after one display about small arms or firefighting you’ve seen them all. But looking at the medical outfit on Argus, or the layout of a landing ship is a lot more interesting. Survey vessels are nice to look round too, all that wizardry!

    I’m not sure how much you could see on them, but I would like to have a look onboard an AO or a Replenishment ship.

  3. x

    At ND2010 when we visited Argus my dad had his heart tested.

    I remember one pre-9/11 visit to Argus and just going nearly where I wanted. The mug I bought from her onboard shop sits on the shelf behind me now.

    Access to ships must a problem. Before here I have recounted how at one London Boatshow I didn’t visit the Westminster because I had been onboard most of the T23s before and didn’t really need to look at another T23 bridge or hanger. It was only a week or so later somebody at the sailing club told me how there had been virtual open access. How the RN allowed this I don’t know; it was an open show in the middle of a major metropolitan centre. At NDs these days you have to have your bag scanned before entering the dockyard and still you can’t go anywhere! I could say something about profiling but I won’t.

    I suppose there are health and safety issues. Every ND I have been to some member of the general public seems to come a cropper on a ladder. At Festival of the Sea in 2005 some navy ships made the public go down facing the ladder. After the time I have spent on ships I find doing that very awkward. We visited the ANZAC class. I reached the first ladder and dutifully turned round to face the rungs and climbed down feeling and looking like a real prune. Only to watch the person (an elderly gent) following me come down the right way. The pretty AB at the bottom piped up and said to him, “I see sir has spent sometime onboard ships….” He hadn’t. He just thought the stairs on ships were steep. From then I went down ladders the right way……..

    For me it was the entry fee for ND2010 that spoilt for me. Was it £20 or £25? Yes we got entry to everything including the wonderful Warrior, but £25? I haven’t looked to see if there is to be a ND2012. If there is I may go down to Pompey for a long weekend so I can visit the other museums as well. And perhaps have a trip on the hovercraft too.

    Talking of sail training there is a nice picture of Royalist on the back cover of the current Ships Monthly. And also inside a picture of the newly refurbished HMS Bristol minus mast making her look a bit odd. But at least she survived the defence cuts. I wonder if I will ever visit her again? Who knows? Who cares? I also note Shieldhall’s drydocking appeal is going well which is good news.

  4. James Daly

    I can remember Navy Days 1994, it was the same on Illustrious, including the ski-ramp. One kid went too far over the edge and ended up having to be fished out of the safety nets! I can also recall being shown round cabins on a French Minesweeper.

    Nowadays all you get is the flight deck, hangar, a few gangways, the ops room and maybe the bridge.

    I keep going on about it, but the only way to cure seablindness is to open peoples eyes, and then put something in front of them that leaves a lasting impression.

    • John Erickson

      I haven’t been on too many active ships, but I did hit a number of Army and Air Force bases, and have noticed quite a clampdown since 9/11. I remember being out at the Air Guard reserve base at O’Hare airport back in the early 90s. My dad and I were at an Armed Forces Day show, I went off to hit the head, took a wrong turn, and walked into a stores room with a very startled young private doing inventory. I explained my honest error, he laughed, we chatted for a but, then he guided me out with a “well, you really SHOULDN’T be in here”. These days, the greeting would probably be me meeting the business end of a Beretta 92! I’ve never decided which worked better – the wide-eyed look of wonder when I was a teen (back in the 70s), or wandering around in a WW2 Army Air Corps uniform. I know I saw things in both cases I certainly never should have! :D

      • x

        Easy mistake. I imagine your military’s buildings are just as anonymous as ours. And you have a lot, lot, lot more of them.

        If you had been shot you could have taken some comfort from it only being a 9mm. :)

        • John Erickson

          Well, my friend, I’ll put it this way. Despite going through some rather shady areas of Chicago, NYC, LA, and others in my past, I’ve never been shot. (Note: I said “shot”, not “shot at”. ;) ) And it is my goal to finish my life in the same condition! :D

    • x

      You can then imagine the “stress” of being legally responsible for others’ children in that sort of environment. When that cadet got killed in Royalist a few years back it turned my stomach for a day or two. Luckily at my old unit we had never ever had any real idiots.

      I do remember one camp having to take a marine cadet from another unit up to the Queen Alexandra’s AE for a nasty case of hatch rash. I had been up since 0500, got the kids packed up, drove down to Portsmouth, and was just about to turn in when the accident happen. They had no transport so off I went to the QA with one of their CPOs and didn’t get back on board until 0200. The air conditioning wasn’t working in AE and the drinks machine wasn’t functioning either. Back in the day we would have taken the cadet around to Nelson’s sick bay and would have been guaranteed a wet thanks to the duty Doris. All good clean fun.

  5. We’re a tady busy right now…

  6. James Daly

    The jungle drums tell me that there’s no Navy Days planned in either Guz or Pompey this year, due to budgetary constraints, operational tempo and lack of ships. Next year is out too, apparently due to the London Olympics.

  7. x

    I wouldn’t travel to Guz for ND these days unless I was going to spend a day at the FAA museum. Never ever occurred to me to look. Though we have had some good days down there in the past.

    Don’t really feel like ranting about the Olympics today. :)

    • James Daly

      By all accounts Yeovilton is a great experience. They’ve got a strong collection of aircraft, and I believe they have some of the paraphenalia from the old Ark Royal set up in a display. Not that I’ve been there, nor Middle Wallop, which by all accounts is also an excellent day.

      • x

        Very good day. Highlights for me are the Phantom, the Gannet, the aircraft carrier models, Sea Fury, and Humphrey. Been a couple of times both with cadets and “privately.”

        Yes they do have some stuff from the Ark. Including some working internal ship telephones. You know the ones you have to wind up to charge before using. We found they are plumbed in. And we only just avoided getting busted for playing with them….. :)

        I have never been to Middle Wallop, but it looks worth a visit.

  8. John Erickson

    Ahem. Thank you for the kindness you showed to Bud, X. I will now stuff him back in the little drawer where I keep all my other personalities, and this time I will LOCK the drawer so he can’t get out! (Shorthand: Bud=Me. Cause? Brain fade. :D )

  9. John

    I do the same – I have different name for use on a different blog for privacy reasons. Or were you talking bout your choice of refreshment?

    • John Erickson

      Nope, Bud is a person. A starship captain and a commander of a space fleet, actually. He’s from my very own little universe. Think “Star Trek”, with the Federation vs. the Klingons (or Romulans, or Cardassians, or whoever) stuck in a centuries-long civil war. Keeps my creative writing tools sharp – I’ve been working on it since high school (late 1970s). Can you say, “obsession”? :D
      And you mean your name ISN’T really X? (Garsp!) Say it ain’t so, Joe! ;)

  10. x

    For this year’s air tattoo at Fairford the one day adult ticket costs £39.00.

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