The sinking of The Moskva
Ukrainian forces – equipped with the newest anti-ship weaponry – sank The Moskva (Moscow), the flagship of the Russian Navy. It was such a spectacular event that I was instantly reminded of the sinking of The Bismarck in the early days of World War II. Not at the time, however – but from the movie.
The sinking of the Bismarck was such a spectacular event that it was memorialized in a Johnny Horton song, books, and movies.
There are a lot of similarities between the sinking of The Bismarck and the sinking of The Moscow. Both were flagships of their respective navies. That means that they were not only impressive in their own right – in their advanced technology – but they were the command center for the rest of the fleet. They were ships personally commanded by the top admirals.
They were arguably the most modern and most dangerous warships on the high seas – equipped with the most impressive weapons of their day. They were meant to attack – not be attacked. They were considered as virtually indestructible – unsinkable.
The Moscow has been described as having the most advanced anti-aircraft and anti-torpedo defense systems in the world. Why they failed is a mystery. Its loss was a serious blow to Russia.
In addition to the military implications, the loss of The Bismarck and The Moscow were psychological and morale blows. It was a humiliating event. Both ships carried the most prestigious names in their respective fleets. Given Vladimir Putin’s puffed-up ego and hyper nationalism, one can only image his reaction when he learned that the Moscow was at the bottom of the Black Sea.
And as was the case with Hitler and The Bismarck, Putin suffered this humiliating loss at the hands of a military that he expected to crush in a few days. It must have been inconceivable that the Ukrainian forces could actually put Putin’s pride into Neptune’s locker so easily. It took only two missiles.
Of course, Putin responded in classic propaganda bullstuff. It was an accidental fire that sunk The Moscow, not the Ukrainians. But like all of Putin’s lies, it just does not hold water (pardon the pun).
Kicking Russia’s butt in battle is one thing. But humiliating Putin in the process is quite another. I am not sure which bothers Putin more. War is serious business and rarely produces a good laugh. But sinking The Moscow has produced one hardy mocking laugh at Putin’s expense.
So, there ‘tis.