Thread: Mercenaries
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:20 PM   #20
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Arrow Exocet

The Exocet ( Exocoetidae for Flying fish) is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Hundreds were fired in combat during the 1980s.

The missile's name was given by M. Guillot, then the technical director at Nord Aviation. It is the French word for flying fish from the Latin name exocoetus, a transliteration of the Greek name for flying fish ἐξώκοιτος, which literally means "lying down outside (ἒξω, κεῖμαι), sleeping outside" because it sometimes stranded itself in boats...

HMS Sheffield Hit by Exocet Missile

In 1982, during the Falklands War, the Exocet became noted worldwide when Argentine Navy Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard warplanes carrying the AM39 Air Launched version of Exocet caused irreparable damage and disabled the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Sheffield on 4 May 1982; and when the 15,000 ton merchant ship Atlantic Conveyor was struck by two Exocet anti-ship missiles on 25 May. Two MM38 ship-to-ship Exocet missiles were removed from the old destroyer ARA Seguí, a retired US Sumner class, and transferred to an improvised launcher for land use. One of these was fired at, and caused damage to, the destroyer HMS Glamorgan on 12 June.

The Exocet that struck Sheffield impacted on the second deck, 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) above the waterline and penetrated deeply into Sheffield's control room, near the forward engine room, creating a hole in the hull roughly 1.2 by 3 metres (3.9 by 9.8 ft). It appears that the warhead did not explode. Accounts suggest that the initial impact of the missile destroyed the ship's electrical generation systems and fractured the water main, preventing the fire suppression mechanisms from operating and dooming the ship to be consumed by the fire. The loss of Sheffield was a shock to the British....Some of the crew of Sheffield were of the opinion that the missile exploded, others held the view that it had not. The official Royal Navy Board of Enquiry Report, however, stated that evidence indicates that the warhead did not detonate. During the four and a half days that the ship remained afloat, five salvage inspections were made and a number of photographs were taken. Members of the crew were interviewed, and testimony was given by Exocet specialists (note that the Royal Navy had 15 surface combat ships that were Exocet-armed in the Falklands War). There was no evidence of explosion although burning propellant from the rocket motor had caused a number of fires, which continued unchecked as a result of a punctured fire main.
Iraq fired an estimated 200 air-launched Exocet missiles against Iranian shipping during the Iran–Iraq War with varying levels of success. Tankers and other civilian shipping were often hit.

On 17 May 1987, the pilot of an Iraqi Mirage F-1 attacked the U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate USS Stark with two Exocets for unknown reasons. The first missile penetrated the port-side hull of the Stark. The second entered at almost the same point, and left a 3-by-4-metre (9.8 by 13 ft) gash, exploding in crew quarters. Thirty-seven sailors were killed and 21 were injured. Stark was heavily damaged, but saved by the crew and sent back for repairs. At first, it was reported that the errant pilot had been executed for his error, and his explanations for the attack are not available. Later, Iraqi officials denied that the pilot had been executed and stated that he was still alive.

Le Super Etendard...

Between 1977 and 1987, Paris contracted to sell a total of 133 Mirage F-1 fighters to Iraq. The first transfer occurred in 1978, when France supplied eighteen Mirage F-1 interceptors and thirty helicopters, and even agreed to an Iraqi share in the production of the Mirage 2000 in a US$2 billion arms deal. In 1983 another twenty-nine Mirage F-1s were exported to Baghdad. And in an unprecedented move, France "loaned" Iraq five SuperEtendard attack aircraft, equipped with Exocet AM39 air-to- surface missiles, from its own naval inventory. The SuperEtendards were used extensively in the 1984 tanker war before being replaced by several F-1s. The final batch of twenty-nine F1s was ordered in September 1985 at a cost of more than US$500 million, a part of which was paid in crude oil.

In another document entitled The Falklands: Lessons from a Fiasco, senior French official Bernard Dorin accused Britain of "superpower arrogance" and claimed the country had shown "profound contempt for Latinos".

Behind the scenes, actions were speaking louder than words. In what would appear to be a clear breach of President Mitterrand's embargo, a French technical team - mainly working for a company 51% owned by the French government - stayed in Argentina throughout the war.

In an interview carried out in 1982 by Sunday Times journalist Isabel Hilton, the team's leader, Herve Colin, admitted carrying out one particular test that proved invaluable to Argentinian forces...But it is now clear that, thanks to tests they carried out, the Argentinians were able to fire Exocets at British forces from three previously faulty missile launchers.

But not all in the French government were in the dark about the technical team's presence in Argentina during the conflict. Pierre Lethier, former chief of staff of the DGSE - the French equivalent of Britain's foreign intelligence agency MI6 and signal intelligence headquarters GCHQ - admits that his department did know about them...."This is what intelligence is for. You need sources. We had difficulties to penetrate the Argentinian army at that time during the Falklands conflict. So, the more helpers you have the better you are," he says.

But, does he, nonetheless, now feel a little let down by a nation that he had previously described as Britain's greatest ally? This was his response:

"We asked Mitterrand not to give assistance to the Argentinians. If you're asking me: 'Are the French duplicitous people?' the answer is: 'Of course they are, and they always have been.'" ...Sir John Nott Former UK defence secretary.

Obtain safe passage to conquer the State of Guo (假道伐虢, Jiǎ dào fá Guó)

Borrow the resources of an ally to attack a common enemy. Once the enemy is defeated, use those resources to turn on the ally that lent you them in the first place. See Duke Xian of Jin.
Eustace the Monk (c. 1170 – 24 August 1217) was a mercenary and pirate, in the tradition of medieval outlaws...Eustace was born a younger son of Baudoin Busket, a lord of the county of Boulogne. According to his biography, he went to Toledo, Spain, studied black magic there, returned home to become a Benedictine monk at St Samer Abbey near Calais, and then left the monastery to avenge his murdered father...He then became a pirate in the English Channel and the Strait of Dover, both for his own purposes and as a mercenary of France and England. John of England employed him intermittently from 1205 to 1212, against Philip II of France...He took the Sark island in 1205. When he raided English coastal villages, King John briefly outlawed him, but soon afterwards issued a pardon because he needed his services...

Last edited by lightgiver; 09-04-2012 at 11:49 PM.
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