WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five boats believed to belong to Iranian Revolutionary Guards approached a British oil tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday and asked it to stop in Iranian waters close by, but withdrew after a British warship warned them, U.S. officials said.
Britain's Ministry of Defense had no immediate comment.
Just before he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger, the German officer penned a final note.
"For a captain with a sense of honor, it goes without saying that his personal fate cannot be separated from that of his ship," wrote Hans Langsdorff on December 19, 1939, in a hotel room in Buenos Aires. Langsdorff finished his letter to the Nazi ambassador to Argentina, lay down on a German battle flag, and shot himself.
Langsdorff had been the commander of the Admiral Graf Spee, which had been prowling the South Atlantic the week before, and now was resting on the bottom of the harbor at Montevideo, Uruguay. Many a captain has chosen to atone for the loss of his ship by going down with it. Langsdorff had suicide with a pistol two days after he had ordered his ship to be scuttled.
"I can now only prove by my death that the fighting services of the Third Reich are ready to die for the honor of the flag," he wrote.
But what had led Langsdorff to kill himself? Why meet death in a hotel room instead of at sea? Therein lays one of the most remarkable sea battles of all time: how the Royal Navy bluffed a German battleship into sinking itself.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85), the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), and the Royal Navy Type 23 'Duke' Class guided-missile frigate HMS Argyll (F231) transit during a replenishment-at-sea. (U.S. Navy photo)
U.S. and British warships have sailed together in the disputed South China Sea for the first time, in exercises likely to stoke anger in Beijing.
Dressed in a suit adorned with military medals and awards, Ken Sturdy, a 97-year-old World War II veteran, sat in a crowded movie theater in Calgary, Alberta, on July 21 and watched Dunkirk — a war drama about a real-life battle he survived.
At the height of the British empire in the 19th century, the Royal Navy was renowned for its military might, a global force that imbued its sailors with a special form of geopolitical pride. A British tar was “a soaring soul, as free as a mountain bird,” according to Victorian rap duo Gilbert and Sullivan. “His energetic fist should be ready to resist a dictatorial word.”