New Russian Chronicles
Surviving monotaxocausofilia

Something that has only happened once. Ever.

The HMS Glowworm used to be a destroyer of the British navy.

This destroyer was used as proof-of-concept for several things.

First, it was used as proof of concept of the fact that Latin is cool. Cool for the British Navy and cool for a movie starring  Bruce Willis. I mention that because the motto of this ship was Ex Tenebris Lux. From darkness, light. Shit, anyone shoot me if things in latin don’t sound all kinds of cool.

The second proof of concept had to do with the name. The name HMS Glowworm proves that the British navy will never run out of names… but that those names can get pretty weird. So, maybe stick to having less ships, so that all of them have cool names like the Indomitable and the Charles the III and cool sounding things like that? Just a tip, bros.
And the third and most important proof of concept was this: The HMS Glowworm proved that size doesn’t matter, the mettle of your balls does.

You see, in 1940 the Glowworm was patrolling Norwegian waters, see if it could do something to disrupt the German invasion of Norway. It did found a German troop transport convoy. The convoy started to flee because they knew the destroyer could do unpleasant things to them, and crap, the water was cold. In the meantime, as they were running away scared, they called their older cousin, the heavy cruiser KMS Admiral Hipper.

You might not realize, but a destroyer facing up a heavy cruiser is like a boxing match between a flyweight and a super middleweight.
For those of you who don’t like boxing: it’s going to be like a 15 years old getting his ass beaten by a black belt karate fighter.

Did that faze the captain of the HMS Glowworm? No. No it didn’t.

Just imagine the scene: The destroyer has already taken some serious hits from the heavy cruiser. It then turns around, throwns up some smoke shells to cover the retreat and starts high-tailing out of the battle. The German heavy cruiser then starts charging through the smoke, thinking: “Sweet, easy pickings!”.

And as soon as he’s crossing the smoke she finds that the Glowworm has decided to turn back, flank speed and is aiming for the cruiser, in what is one prime example of “I’m going down, but I certainly am taking someone with me”.

The impact must have been momentous. The collision was so brutal that the entire bow of the destroyer broke (causing quite some damage for the heavy cruiser) and sinking the British vessel.

This would be just a meaningless war story if not for what happened next.

The German captain of the Admiral Hipper, Captain Heye, actually wrote to Brithsh Naval authorities through the Red Cross, and spoke of the bravery of the British crew and captain. That letter went to the commendation report of the British captain. In case you don’t know, to get a medal you need to get several positive reports (saying that you did something noteworthy)  from people who were there. In the end Captain Gerard Broadmead Roope received, posthumously, the first Victoria Cross of WWII and the DSO.

And for the first, and so far only time in history, a medal was awarded to someone thanks to the recomendation of an enemy.

May this serve as introduction to something else I’ll tackle soon in this blog.

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