Home / Robert Farley / Five English Weapons of War the Scots Should Fear

Five English Weapons of War the Scots Should Fear

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HMS Nelson during gunnery trials.jpg
“HMS Nelson during gunnery trials” by Priest, L C (Lt), Royal Navy official photographer. –
This is photograph A 9284 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 4700-01)
. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

If the Scots vote “yes” on today’s independence referendum, they will begin a process that will result, in eighteen months or so, in the creation of a new state and the separation of a union that has persisted for over four hundred years. Although we have some examples of peaceful national dissolution, many, and perhaps most, secessionist efforts result in horrific violence along the lines of demarcation.  If the rUK government determines to undertake what some have called the “Longshanks Solution,” what sort of terror might the English inflict upon their former compatriots?  This article examines five English weapons that could decide the outcome of a British civil war.

Astute class nuclear attack submarine: Displacing 7400 ton submerged, the Astute class nuclear attack boats are among the most advanced subs in the world.  They can make up to 30 knots, are reputed to be remarkably quiet, and can carry a large load of torpedoes and land attack missiles.  Astutes carrying Tomahawk missiles can strike any part of Scotland.  Scotland’s limited anti-submarine capability cannot effectively protect either Scottish commerce, or Scottish access to offshore natural resources.  In effect, the Astutes give the Crown the ability to strike anywhere, at anytime, without concern over effective defense or reprisal. Also, all seven of the boats have been or will be constructed in England.

English Electric Lightning: This high speed interceptor can make the skies over Scotland dangerous. The most advanced Lightnings, employing their unique stacked engine system, can reach in excess of Mach 2.  The restricted range of the Lightning will not prove a major handicap over Scotland, which is well within range of most English airfields.  Scotland flies no aircraft competitive with the Lightning, and appears to lack much of an effective, integrated air defense system.  The English Electric Lightning has only limited ground attack capabilities, but its ability to create deafening sonic booms over much of the country should prove deeply annoying to many Scots.

Nelson class battleship: Displacing 35000 tons and carrying 9 16” guns in three triple turrets, the Nelson class battleships Nelson and Rodney overmatch any warship operated by the non-existent Royal Scottish Navy.  The BL 16” Mark 1 can strike targets at up to 35000 yards, delivering up to 9 2000# shells per broadside. These guns can substantially outrange Scottish coastal artillery.  The mobility provided by the two battleships should give the English Crown the capacity to bombard Scottish coastal cities at will, without concern over retribution.  Most importantly, both Nelson and Rodney were constructed in English shipyards, and named after proper English admirals.

English longbow: Constructed mostly from yew, these 6’ long bows require years of training to master.  In the hands of an effective archer, however, an English longbow can penetrate the armor of most Scottish knights and clansmen at considerable range.  English efforts to maintain an experienced, well-trained cadre of archers remain uncertain, but then again rumor has it that the art of armoring has fallen by the wayside among the Scots. Recent evidence has emerged indicating the House Windsor’s renewed interest in maintaining an effective archery branch.

The Welsh:  Those motherfuckers are crazy.

Everyone hopes that the war between Scotland and England will be long, destructive, exhaustive, and entertaining.  If Scotland hopes to resist English power, it is best advised to seek assistance from the Northmen or the Gauls, or to try to raise an army among the Irish.

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  • jim, some guy in iowa

    this is making me wonder if the scots have really thought things through… they are probably quite fortunate margaret thatcher isn’t in charge

    (and actually i have no idea why they want to do this, anyway. did hear a breathless news story about how all the young people are hot for independence)

    • Lamont Cranston

      Some hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can’t even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We’re ruled by effete arseholes. It’s a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won’t make any fucking difference!

  • Mike in DC

    Well, they do have The Black Watch, and really cool two handed swords.

    • Bring back the Cameron Highlanders, says I (for entirely parochial fambly reasons).

      • rea

        The name “Cameron Highlanders” carries a perhaps unfortunate connotation in the present circumstances.

        • AlanInSF

          While England’s longbowmen may not have maintained the degree of force readiness one might hope for, their light dartsmen are in themselves a formidable threat to the renegade Scots.

  • Manny Kant

    The Union has only lasted for 300 years, since 1707. The Union of Crowns, which has been around since 1603, might very well continue, as I understand it – Salmond is saying he wants to keep the monarchy.

    • lcindc

      Well yeah, because if there is one thing you want to keep if you separate from England, it’s the freakin’ royal family. Seems to me that finally getting rid of those grotesque parasites would be the strongest argument in favor of independence, but hey, it’s their tax money.

      • Manny Kant

        The British government gets much more money from the income of the Crown Estate than they pay out to the royal family. They’re parasites, I suppose, in the sense that any rentier is a parasite, but they really don’t cost the taxpayer any money.

        • lcindc

          The crown estate is the property of the British government. They get this income with or without a royal family in residence.

          • Manny Kant

            Well, sort of. It was more or less the monarch’s private property before 1760, and as I understand it, each new reign the monarch has to explicitly agree to the deal to allow the government to control the Crown Estate. Charles has made noises about revoking the deal when he becomes king, I believe.

            A republic might seize the Crown Estates outright (or it might come to some other arrangement – who knows? I imagine courts might rule that the erstwhile royal family is entitled to some portion of them, at least). But as matters stand today, I think it doesn’t make much sense to see a royal family whose income comes entirely out of the income of land that they sort of quasi-own as being paid for by the taxpayer.

            • AlanInSF

              So they’ll be Great Britain because Wales, and the United Kingdom because Ulster…can they still be the British Empire because The Falklands? Also will they have to take the St. Andrew’s Cross off the Union Jack?

              • The Falklands, and Pitcairn.

                • AlanInSF

                  Thanks for reminding me about the Phabulous Pitcairns. I’ve seen Captain Bligh’s grave! And there’s this..

                  …the capital Adamstown located above Bounty Bay and accessed by the aptly named road, “The Hill of Difficulty”.

                • Warren Terra

                  Gibraltar.

                  Heck, Gibraltar, the Falklands, and (Protestant) Ulster will probably loudly remain in the UK long after England, Wales, and Cornwall have left the UK.

  • ericblair

    The Gauls might help a lot. Especially the big fat one with the menhir and the little guy. That’s usually all it takes.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      *1

      • Lee Rudolph

        (Performance-enhancing potions may be involved.)

    • lcindc

      Clearly, the Auld Alliance must be revived. That may be France’s chance to finally avenge Napoleon.

      • AlanInSF

        Has anyone even taken a moment to consider the defensive efficacy of the Scots painting themselves blue? Let’s see an Astute class nuclear attack submarine deal with that!

  • rea

    Nelson class battleship

    Ominously, both battleships were long ago deployed to Inverkeithing on the Firth of Forth, and destroyed.

    • guthrie

      Does that count as a win for the Scots?

      (Except of course the pollution from the scrapyards at Grangemouth, Inverkeithing etc wasn’t very good for the Forth)

  • What? No Lee-Enfield?

  • Ann Outhouse

    The Welsh fight for the English? Good lord, the English are even bigger assholes towards the Welsh than towards the Scots.

    • rea

      Edward I managed to enlist a bunch of Welshmen in his army that invaded Scotland, despite being the Englishman with the worst record of assholery toward Wales.

      • nhradar

        Yeah, but that was before all this revisionist “English Longbow” nonsense. I mean, poke your finger in the eye of their greatest technological (military) achievement, and we’ll see what happens.

      • Ann Outhouse

        Maybe they were showing their gratitude for all the tourist revenue brought in by all the castles E1 built in Wales.

    • njorl

      The Welsh won’t be fighting for England. Wales declared independence a while ago. It just went unnoticed.

      http://undergroundmgzn.com/2014/09/12/wales-reveal-theyve-already-left-uk/

  • Richard Hershberger

    I am looking forward to the border reiving. This could even be a double source of income: There is the cattle they will take from the Sassanach, of course. They can supplement this by marketing reiving tourism, taking rich foreigners along on raids for a fee.

    • BubbaDave

      Omigawd I know at least one more-Scots-than-any-Scotsman American who would spend his life savings to join on one of those border raids….

      • Richard Hershberger

        Two, if we count Groundskeeper Willie. Though I doubt that his life savings amount to much.

  • Well, my new woad wholesaleing business is about to take right the heck off. so, there’s that.

    • rea

      Well, woad is you! Despite the ahistorical nonsense promulgated by a certain Australian actor, the actual Scots weren’t much into woad. The Picts may have used it some in the time of Julius Caesar, but the Picts are the people the Scots conquered and displaced.

      • joe from Lowell

        So…Picts or it didn’t happen?

        • Marek

          Harrumph, harrumph!

      • guthrie

        Not really displaced; just married into and put their own king in charge instead.

  • Ronan

    No US involvement ? Come on, when’s the last time the US had a good old barney in the Atlantic. You’d have to be all over this shit

    • rea

      Do you really think the likes of John McCain and Lindsay Graham will demand an attack on Scotland?

      • Ronan

        i think a one time chance of war on the british mainland would be too good an opportunity to pass up. Im thinking less that theyd side with the english, but act as a third party. A homecoming where the scot diaspora finally return to assume control of the country

      • Warren Terra

        I dunno. It’s not MacCain. Maybe he’d like to pay back Scotland for the heavily Scots protestant invasion a few centuries ago.

  • joe from Lowell

    Everyone hopes that the war between Scotland and England will be long, destructive, exhaustive, and entertaining.

    Hell, yeah! Who doesn’t love a good Prod fight?

  • Ahuitzotl

    What, the Earl of Montrose didnt make the cut? (speaking of enlisting Irish armies…)

    • rea

      Well, and in fact, the Marquess of Argyll had the head and limbs of Montrose prominently displayed in various locations.

      • Ahuitzotl

        hence the choice of phrase…

      • Manny Kant

        Their descendants are still about! The Duke of Argyll is captain of Scotland’s national elephant polo team, notably. (I did not make this up. Elephant polo is apparently a thing, and the Duke of Argyll is actually the Scottish captain)

        • rea

          The Campbells of Argyll, though, fought on the wrong side at Culloden . . .

          • Manny Kant

            They were always on that side, more or less. The Marquess of Argyll fought against the Stuarts during the Civil War, and his descendants fought against the Stuarts during the ’45.

            • rea

              And they had a long, proud history of massacring Scotsmen.

        • I’m going to spend the rest of the day picturing Barbar wearing argyll socks and riding a polo pony.

          • Warren Terra

            Are you sure it isn’t based on water polo? Maybe the elephants are used as a playing field …

          • The less I know of N__B’s sexual fantasies, the happier I am.

  • Monty

    Bring it, limey pukes!

  • Joseph Slater

    Excellent post, but you neglected to mention the most fearsome weapon of war the Scots have: bagpipes.*

    *I say this as someone who actually knows how to play the bagpipes.

    • ericblair

      As far as I understand it, the “player” squeezes the heavy assault octopus repeatedly until it’s in a murderous rage, and then launches it at the enemy. The unpleasant loud noise is disruptive but unfortunately a necessary side effect. The Scots have been trained since birth to find this noise, if not pleasant, at least their duty to appreciate.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        Octopus? Slander!

        It’s more like the noise made by squeezing a large cat in your armpit, while biting its tail.

        BTW, you know that the Irish invented the bagpipes? They gave them to the Scots, who didn’t get the joke

        • wjts

          “Play it? As soon as I figure out how to get the pajamas off, I’m gonna fuck it.”

          • AlanInSF

            For decades now, the wily Scots have been secretly deploying Free Scottish Whiskey Tasting Stations at motorway lay-bys. The hope is that this will slow John Bull’s advance sufficiently to give the Scots time to mount their fearsome war octopi.

      • Lee Rudolph

        There’s a reason bagpipers carry knives in their boots, you know.

    • Warren Terra

      I say this as someone who actually knows how to play the bagpipes.

      I’ll believe in the Loch Ness Monster before I’ll believe anyone actually knows how to make music from the bagpipes.

      • Ahuitzotl

        Well he didnt say anything about music

      • Joseph Slater

        Hey, bagpipes are the ORIGINAL heavy metal instrument!

        More seriously, while I don’t play anymore, I still quite enjoy hearing bagpipes played well by good pipers, especially the great bagpipe bands of the world (mostly Canadian and Scottish). Bagpipes being played badly, I grant you, are not fun to listen to.

  • Malaclypse

    the non-existent Royal Scottish Navy

    Is there any reason to assume the Scots will settle on a monarchy, instead of choosing to feud internally over the question of republicanism?

    • Ahuitzotl

      Oh I dont think that’s an either/or … for that matter there are probably still Stewart and Balliol claimants knocking around, much as in the reign of Pepin IV

      • rea

        Elizabeth IS the Stewart claimant. Or, at least, if you don’t count that Wittelsbach guy. But a United Kingdom of Scotland and Bavaria is scarcely an improvement, and it’s sexist not to trace inheritance through the oldest child, even if she’s female.

        • rea

          But, I suppose, the Scots could always go with Taben Amin . . .

          • Malaclypse

            This is why LGM needs to resume Deposed Monarch Blogging.

        • Manny Kant

          But the Electress Sophia was not Elizabeth of Bohemia’s oldest child, and Edward VII was not Victoria’s oldest child, so that way of tracing it doesn’t lead to Elizabeth II either.

          • rea

            Sophia’s oldest brother died at age 15 without issue, and her second brother’s family (the Palatinate-Simmerns) went extinct in 1685. Of course, Edward VII’s older sister has surviving heirs, but it’s still too soon after WWI to think about giving the throne to the Kaiser’s descendants.

            • Manny Kant

              Nope. Sophia’s second brother’s only son died without issue in 1685, but Sophia’s second brother’s daughter Elizabeth Charlotte was the second wife of Monsieur, younger brother of Louis XIV. Their son was the Regent Orleans who ruled France from 1715 to 1723, and he has numerous descendants still alive today.

              • Manny Kant

                There’s also Regent’s sister, who married the Duke of Lorraine and is ancestress to all the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, among others. Plus Sophia’s fifth brother, Edward, had three daughters, all of whom, I believe, have living descendants.

                Sophie was way down the list whether you go by absolute or male-preference agnatic primogeniture.

                • AlanInSF

                  Jumping the gun a bit, aren’t you? It’s not like the First War of Scottish Succession was ever settled in some satisfactory way.

                • Manny Kant

                  Are you suggesting a Balliol candidature? Those Sassenach-loving traitors?

                  Edward Balliol left no descendants, so the Balliol line went to John Balliol’s sister’s descendants. There was a French marriage fairly early on, and the claim, such as it was, would have eventually passed to the House of Bourbon. The current heir would be Princess Alicia of Bourbon-Parma, Dowager Duchess of Calabria, a distant relation to the Spanish royal family.

                  Interestingly, this same Princess Alicia is also the heir-general to Edward the Confessor, and apparently is arguably the Jacobite pretender because the Bavarian line depends on an uncle/niece marriage that might not have been legal.

                  Of course, this ignores the claims of the descendants of Malcolm Canmore’s first marriage.

                • guthrie

                  Actually, there’s descendants of Bonnie prince charlie through his daughter, still alive. The Pininski’s in Poland, with a pretty good case for being so descended. Certainly a lot better than anyone elses, except of course the current queen.

                • Manny Kant

                  Not only was Bonnie Prince Charlie’s daughter illegitimate, but her children were also illegitimate. If we’re going to allow illegitimate descendants, there’s a ton of descendants of Charles II in the direct male line. The Duke of Buccleuch surely has a better claim than some obscure Polish aristocrats.

        • Elizabeth IS the Stewart claimant.

          Bah. Only if you acknowledge the legitimacy of the “Glorious” Revolution that replaced James II with the memorable Dutch King Williamandmary.

          (I’m kind of disturbed that Jacobitism is still a real thing.)

          • rea

            Or alternatively, if you follow the modern rule that the oldest child rather than the oldest boy inherits (and if, as pointed out above, you disqualify the Hohenzollerns). Elizabeth the Winter Queen of Bohemia was the oldest child of James VI/I; Charles I was her younger brother.

          • rea

            I’ll add, it always bothered me that the Jacobites weren’t Jacobins, and vice versa.

            • Snarki, child of Loki

              are you also bothered by stalactites and and stalagmites? and meteorites and meteoroids?

              • rea

                Why, yes!

          • Manny Kant

            It’s not a real thing. It’s just one eccentric Canadian guy with a website.

          • (I’m kind of disturbed that Jacobitism is still a real thing.)

            You got something against matrices of partial derivatives?

            • weirdnoise

              Let them be the determinant of that.

          • the memorable Dutch King Williamandmary
            +1066.

        • Richard Hershberger

          Tracing inheritance through the oldest child is agist.

          • AlanInSF

            Just the luck of the Jacobite pretenders that when they finally get an opening, the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas …excuse me, Windsors — are pumping out cute babies again.

          • AlanInSF

            Just the luck of the Jacobite pretenders that when they finally get an opening, the Saxe Coburg-Gothas — excuse me, Windsors — are pumping out cute babies again.

    • If the Scots really wanted to fuck with the English, they’d make Charles their king.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        …and call him “Bonny”

      • rea

        Bonnie Prince Charlie II

      • Hogan

        Such a shame that the Duke of Windsor didn’t leave any heirs of his body.

    • Warren Terra

      As referenced above, Salmond and the SNP have announced independence will not involve deposing the Queen as head of state. Given the history of Scottish Independence rhetoric this announcement is not wholly plausible – but it is a politically necessary statement, in hopes of not scaring away some fence sitters who feel some loyalty to the crown.

      Also: the Queen is considered to be more fond of Balmoral than of Buckingham.

      • lcindc

        I’d guess it’s because Balmoral is hers whereas Buckingham is just free public housing that’s convenient but probably not where the heart is.

      • rea

        Mrs. Brown . . . er . . . Queen Victoria was famously fond of Balmoral, too.

  • Ronan

    has anyone coined the phrase the ‘spartan tartans’ yet ? if not ..

  • allium

    Meanwhile, as the rose and thistle strangle each other, Godred Magnusson sleeps beneath Snaefell, waiting for the right moment to rise and reclaim his own.

  • Halloween Jack

    Those Muggles had better watch their fucking step.

    • Hogan

      Good point. Mrs. McGonagall don’t play.

  • Hogan

    The Welsh contribution to piracy has also long been recognised.

    I just had to pull that out from the Amazon description of Brittania’s Dragon.

    • Can you really trust people who think “w” is a vowel?

    • Warren Terra

      I just want to point out that the Cornish are being appallingly overlooked in this thread. Those mad folk eat a pastry with meat at one end and fruit at the other! And they’ve got at least the reputation for piracy and wrecking the Welsh have!

      • rea

        Penzance, of course is in Cornwall, although apparently the Pirates of Penzance are a Rugby team . . .

        • Ahuitzotl

          or so they’d have you believe … it explains away all those eyepatches nicely

      • tomsk

        That’s not quite right. The Cornish pasty is filled with meat, potatoes and other veg (swede, onions etc); no jam is involved. You’re thinking of the splendidly-named Bedfordshire Clanger. I ate one for the first time last year; it was amazing. (There is also the Buckinghamshire Bacon Badger, which sadly contains no badger.)

        • Lee Rudolph

          They don’t need no stinkin’ badgers.

  • paulgottlieb

    Without Scottish engineers to explain to the English how to use these weapons, and scottish technicians to keep them in working order, this mighty arsenal will soon become a useless heap of rusting and corroded metal, more dangerous to the English than the Scots

    • rea

      Explaining why, hundreds of years later, there are still Scots officers in charge of starship engineering sections, but an Englishman has to pretend to be French to command one.

      • Hogan

        Or if not an actual Scot, at least a Geordie.

        • I decided that James Doohan was my hero when I read that in his RAF training he would fly slalom between telephone poles.

        • Manny Kant

          Puns!

  • The Lightning was pretty awesome in its day, but probably didn’t have the range even to reach Scotland.

    It could out fly most anything in its day, but the dogfight had better take place directly over the Lightning’s airfield.

    You know you’ve got a range problem when you’re trying to cram a few extra gallons of fuel into the flaps.

  • JustRuss

    So who’s going to rebuild Hadrian’s Wall? The Scots to keep out the Brits, or the Brits to keep out the Scots?

    • guthrie

      THe British were from Strathclyde anyway:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/history/articles/kingdom_of_the_britons/

      So they should be known as the South Britons, to prevent confusion.

      (revenge for all the North britain crap in the 19th century)

    • Warren Terra

      Hadrian’s Wall is famously not actually along the current English/Scots border. They could build a tribute to Hadrian’s Wall, but rebuilding the actual wall would make little sense.

      • Ahuitzotl

        … and therefore is the more likely option

        • AlanInSF

          Spinal Tap’s stage designers could help.

      • JustRuss

        rebuilding the actual wall would make little sense.

        As opposed to longbows, battleships, and English Electric Lightnings.

        • AlanInSF

          Apparently the modern-day Scots have discovered ladder technology.

  • Keaaukane

    I think it is well established that the Scots have the capability of weaponizing haggis. There are mobile haggis labs located east, north, south and west of Glasgow.

    • Hogan

      Is there some other kind of haggis?

      • Warren Terra

        Famously you can (if you are so inclined) buy a tinned haggis. I’ve never actually seen one; I imagine the instructions for use start “pull pin, count to three” …

        • DrS

          I have one!

          It notes on the can that you should not eat the case, as it’s synthetic not a real bladder

      • There is German Haggis.

        • Warren Terra

          It doesn’t contain lungs, it’s not haggis.

        • Origami Isopod

          That’s more like scrapple IMO.

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