Remembering the Kursk

juantoo3

....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb
Messages
9,508
Reaction score
1,795
Points
108
Location
up to my arse in alligators
Kindest Regards!

I don't know why but the Kursk tragedy has been on my mind lately. I don't even remember the date it happened, and so much has happened in the world since then I can't help but believe it has been mostly forgotten.

I guess there are a lot of things that remove that incident from our minds, not least politics and ongoing warfare, genocide and starvation, global economics and natural disasters. So little was reported of the incident because of its nature. It was, after all, a weapon of war manned by men of war, and its very nature required silence and cover, particularly from rivals in the West (read that: US). I can kind of understand the reticence on the part of the Russian government to accept outside assistance.

Yet, there were men still alive trapped inside. When time was a critical factor, I remember hoping Russia would be big enough to set aside its political imperitive long enough to rescue those men, even if that required outside assistance. At about the same time, there was a collapse in a coal mine in the states, and there was an equal sense of dread and urgent prayer sent out for those men as well. Fortunately for the coal miners, no doubt in large part because of the nature of their situation, they were rescued. Not so for the men of the Kursk.

In fairness, men of war go into service with the knowledge that theirs is a very dangerous occupation. One doesn't really know when or if one's "number will come up." It takes a very special kind of person to accept such terms. Submariners especially, more so than any other type of sailor, I think are more acutely aware of this. All it takes is one little mishap, one little mistake, and you and all of your comrades, all of your compatriots, are consigned to Davy Jones' Locker. This is frightening to most, yet there are a special breed of men who accept this challenge with courage and resolve.

I am reminded of honor and respect for worthy opponents. I remember hearing stories of a Christmas in WWI when both sides laid down their arms and sang "Silent Night" together. I remember hearing of WWI pilots of both sides meeting in the taverns at night and toasting each other, the next day fighting as fiercely as any other warriors on the ground or sea.

The sailors of the Kursk may well have been my ideological "enemies," but I never held a grievance with any one of them personally. And I still mourn their loss. I cannot forget the men of the Kursk, even though I never knew any of them.
 
Good points - I've started a small collection of books on submarines, including a few autobios from personel - I have a funny feeling that the Kursk will take on a new meaning after I've read them...
 
Yeah. I still wonder what they were thinking/feeling during their last hours/minutes of life. Did any of them think about when they were little, wanting their matushkas to come and make things better for them? Were any of them thinking of their papas? What about other loved ones as they slowly suffocated?

I guess I'm a bit morbid or a tad "off-kilter" in my thought processes here. *le sigh*

Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
 
Kindest Regards, Brian and Phyllis!

Thank you.

I can relate to what you say here, Phyllis. I remember hearing that one of the men wrote a love letter, a goodbye, to his wife. I can't help but wonder what went through the man's mind as he wrote it...
 
juantoo3 said:
Kindest Regards!

I don't know why but the Kursk tragedy has been on my mind lately. I don't even remember the date it happened, and so much has happened in the world since then I can't help but believe it has been mostly forgotten.

I guess there are a lot of things that remove that incident from our minds, not least politics and ongoing warfare, genocide and starvation, global economics and natural disasters. So little was reported of the incident because of its nature. It was, after all, a weapon of war manned by men of war, and its very nature required silence and cover, particularly from rivals in the West (read that: US). I can kind of understand the reticence on the part of the Russian government to accept outside assistance.

Yet, there were men still alive trapped inside. When time was a critical factor, I remember hoping Russia would be big enough to set aside its political imperitive long enough to rescue those men, even if that required outside assistance. At about the same time, there was a collapse in a coal mine in the states, and there was an equal sense of dread and urgent prayer sent out for those men as well. Fortunately for the coal miners, no doubt in large part because of the nature of their situation, they were rescued. Not so for the men of the Kursk.

In fairness, men of war go into service with the knowledge that theirs is a very dangerous occupation. One doesn't really know when or if one's "number will come up." It takes a very special kind of person to accept such terms. Submariners especially, more so than any other type of sailor, I think are more acutely aware of this. All it takes is one little mishap, one little mistake, and you and all of your comrades, all of your compatriots, are consigned to Davy Jones' Locker. This is frightening to most, yet there are a special breed of men who accept this challenge with courage and resolve.

I am reminded of honor and respect for worthy opponents. I remember hearing stories of a Christmas in WWI when both sides laid down their arms and sang "Silent Night" together. I remember hearing of WWI pilots of both sides meeting in the taverns at night and toasting each other, the next day fighting as fiercely as any other warriors on the ground or sea.

The sailors of the Kursk may well have been my ideological "enemies," but I never held a grievance with any one of them personally. And I still mourn their loss. I cannot forget the men of the Kursk, even though I never knew any of them.

Hasn't been forgotten in the Naval forces of the US. Adversaries aside, a sailor understands a sailor and a sailor's plight (whether above or below the surface).

We have (had then as well), the means to extract them rapidly, but our offer was rebuffed. By the time the government of Russia acquiesed to a "neutral" government's assistance, it was too late.

For the defense of Russia, I would say, they did not know what to do, and were not used to accepting help from anyone. I pray it is a lesson that will not be repeated.

What made the Russian's plight personal (to me) was the letter written by one to his new bride...despite his fate, he wrote words of encouragement and tenderness.

That is one hell of a sailor...

v/r

Q
 
I looked it up, and the information I got dated the tragedy on August 12, 2000. I might light a memorial candle on that night in memory of the men who suffered and died needlessly. (Interesting sidenote: some of the families of the sailors boycotted the memorial service that Vladimir Putin was at because they didn't like/agree with how he and the rest of their government had dealt with the situation.)

Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
 
Thank you Awaiting.

I find it ironic, however that that little bit of good news never made it to the front pages of American News Papers or the forefront of other American media.

Not sensational enough I suppose...people lived.

v/r

Q
 
It was a good story though - read that elsewhere. :)
 
Kindest Regards, all!

I am so very relieved and thankful these men survived. My hat is off to all of the people who came together to make this happen.

Quahom1 said:
I find it ironic, however that that little bit of good news never made it to the front pages of American News Papers or the forefront of other American media.

Not sensational enough I suppose...people lived.
I cannot speak as to other sources, but I was impressed that ABC news did lead with this story, and offered extended coverage after the late news. I agree with the tenor of the comment though, it does seem all too often that "happy endings" are not deemed newsworthy. I am elated this story did indeed have a happy ending.
 
juantoo3 said:
Kindest Regards, all!

I am so very relieved and thankful these men survived. My hat is off to all of the people who came together to make this happen.

I am elated this story did indeed have a happy ending.

So am I...;) it could have been me in that tin can...

To the submariner there are two kinds of boats...see?

subs and targets. But when a submariner is in trouble, those sailing on "targets" are often their only hope.

ABC, posted it after late night news you say? I rest my case (unfortunately).

v/r

Q
 
Kindest Regards, Q!

ABC, posted it after late night news you say? I rest my case (unfortunately).
Not to quibble, but that is not what I meant. On the evening news ABC lead with the story of the rescue, and then on their late night program (Nightline) they offered extended coverage. They interviewed two of the sailors and some of their families. It was very touching.
 
juantoo3 said:
Kindest Regards, Q!


Not to quibble, but that is not what I meant. On the evening news ABC lead with the story of the rescue, and then on their late night program (Nightline) they offered extended coverage. They interviewed two of the sailors and some of their families. It was very touching.

Oh, then I stand corrected.

v/r

Q
 
Back
Top