GOP Sen. Ben Sasse says he “regularly” considers leaving the Republican Party

H/T CBS News.com.

Senator Ben Sasse(R-NE) Please take our sorry RINO ass and leave the Republican Party will be better off without you.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, said on Twitter Saturday that he “regularly” considers leaving the Republican Party. He made the remark in response to a tweet by a user who said she switched from being a member of the Democratic Party to having no affiliation.

“I switched my party from Democrat [to] no-party this week as I see that to be part of the solution. Have you considered following suit?” the user asked Sasse.

He responded, “yep — regularly consider it.”

Ben Sasse

@BenSasse

yep — regularly consider it
(except the “from Dem” part)

stephanie pickens@guard_ad_litem
Replying to @BenSasse

I switched my party from Democrat Ro no-party this week as I see that to be part of the solution. Have you considered following suit?

Sasse is a frequent critic of President Trump. After Mr. Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in July, Sasse told “CBS This Morning” the president “isn’t leading.” In a press conference after the meeting with Putin, Mr. Trump publicly disagreed with the conclusions of American intelligence leaders that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

“Right now the president isn’t leading. We negotiated from a position of weakness yesterday and Vladimir Putin walked away from Helsinki with a win. It’s a disaster,” Sasse said.

Sasse told “Morning Joe” on MSNBC on Wednesday that party was less important to him than his ideals.

“I’m not really sure why a lot of people around here make a lot of their decisions, but I think most people in both parties right now, their main long-term interest in Washington is their own incumbency. And, that’s not really what I’m that interested in,” Sasse said. “Most of the stuff I care about isn’t right vs. left. It’s past vs. future.”

Sasse has previously tweeted that he identifies more as an independent than a Republican. “I’m sorta an independent conservative who caucuses with republicans,” he tweeted in March.

He is considered to be a possible presidential candidate in 2020 or beyond.

However, Sasse is a conservative Republican and often votes in line with the president’s priorities, according to FiveThirtyEight. He is expected to vote to confirm Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

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Pregnant Military Wife Uses Lethal Force to Stop Intruder; Now She’s Facing a Felony Charge

H/T Right Wing Folks.

This woman has a felony for a bullshit felon for an everyone gets charged with the dope possession charge and is facing prison time for a clear case of self-defense.

She deserves a pardon and a medal for killing a scumbag

An unusual case out of Arkansas is capturing national attention after a pregnant military wife killed a man who reportedly attacked her in her home. She now faces a felony charge.

According to a police report, 21-year-old Krissy Noble answered the door of her Fort Smith apartment to find a man looking for her new husband Brendon Tran. She told the man he could come back later when her husband got home, ABC News reported.

Nervous about the whole encounter, Noble called her husband to ask him if he new “Cameron White,” which was actually a fake name the stranger had given her. When he said no, the pregnant woman retrieved her husband’s .40 caliber handgun.

When the stranger — later identified as Dylan Stancoff — returned, Noble let him inside for an unknown reason. That’s when Stancoff reportedly attacked her, shoving, punching, and tackling her. Noble broke free, grabbed the gun, and shot him three times, killing him.

Stancoff had apparently given a false name because his girlfriend, Krishna Bragg, used to date Noble’s husband Tran before they were married. Bragg, who was waiting in the car during the attack, claims she did not known Tran had a wife and was simply coming to collect some personal effects of hers that she said Tran still had.

Initially, police ruled Noble’s shooting of Stancoff as justifiable. But then things changed.

Noble, apparently, wasn’t supposed to be in possession of a firearm.

Last year, police found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in a car that she was in when it was pulled over. Because no one claimed the drugs, everyone in the car received a felony drug possession charge.

Noble was able to get off on a suspended five-year sentence with one of her probation requirements being that she couldn’t have or use a gun. Now, because of the shooting, she faces a possible six years in prison for violating her probation in that way. Since the shooting nine months ago, she has given birth to a baby boy.

“He’s not gonna know what happened to his mom,” Noble commented recently as she awaits her trial.

The whole incident has sparked a debate over whether a then-pregnant mom should be jailed because she wasn’t supposed to use the lethal force she used to prevent the potential death of herself and her unborn child.

Social media commenters have weighed in, largely in support of Noble’s right to defend her life by whatever means necessary for survival. Some hope that a jury will be quick to side with her.

ABC News

@ABC

Pregnant woman who killed intruder in justified shooting now faces felony gun charge due to previous marijuana conviction. https://abcn.ws/2wzMr1p  pic.twitter.com/xzwt2nBX5n

View image on Twitter

Roland Jenkins@Roland_Jenkins

I think she’ll do a lot better with the jury than she would’ve with the intruder.

ABC News

@ABC

Pregnant woman who killed intruder in justified shooting now faces felony gun charge due to previous marijuana conviction. https://abcn.ws/2wzMr1p  pic.twitter.com/xzwt2nBX5n

View image on Twitter

Hohenhiem✌🏾Of💀 Light☀️#RESIST@HohenhiemLight

Its amazing how you can put a manmade title (felon) in front of someones name & it magically supersedes & person right to self preservation that ALL PLANTS & animals have…… Born with it….

ABC News

@ABC

Pregnant woman who killed intruder in justified shooting now faces felony gun charge due to previous marijuana conviction. https://abcn.ws/2wzMr1p  pic.twitter.com/xzwt2nBX5n

View image on Twitter

Mark Craig@sledog110

This is so wrong .

ABC News

@ABC

Pregnant woman who killed intruder in justified shooting now faces felony gun charge due to previous marijuana conviction. https://abcn.ws/2wzMr1p  pic.twitter.com/xzwt2nBX5n

View image on Twitter

Jason Boue ︽✵︽@boogame08

Can someone please fix this law. I mean some of us is not bad guys all of our life. Yea we might have screwed up when we was young. But u have to grow up one day. @realDonaldTrump

ABC News

@ABC

Pregnant woman who killed intruder in justified shooting now faces felony gun charge due to previous marijuana conviction. https://abcn.ws/2wzMr1p  pic.twitter.com/xzwt2nBX5n

View image on Twitter

Silence Dogood@Silence4Good

MaMa Bear has Claws! Beware! Give her a 420 pardon, leave her alone and let her raise her beautiful baby!

ABC News

@ABC

Pregnant woman who killed intruder in justified shooting now faces felony gun charge due to previous marijuana conviction. https://abcn.ws/2wzMr1p  pic.twitter.com/xzwt2nBX5n

View image on Twitter

Katy Oldenburg@KatyOldenburg

If she goes to trial nobody will convict her-somebody needs to set up a gofund page to defend her rights to defend herself even with a marijuana conviction-just because you’ve been convicted of something does not mean that you or anyone should be a victim!

ABC News

@ABC

Pregnant woman who killed intruder in justified shooting now faces felony gun charge due to previous marijuana conviction. https://abcn.ws/2wzMr1p  pic.twitter.com/xzwt2nBX5n

View image on Twitter

IssyK@ik238

One can’t win today

ABC News

@ABC

Pregnant woman who killed intruder in justified shooting now faces felony gun charge due to previous marijuana conviction. https://abcn.ws/2wzMr1p  pic.twitter.com/xzwt2nBX5n

View image on Twitter

What do you think about this?

Another War Memorial Trashed in Australia

H/T War History OnLine.

I say if you are guilty of trashing or desecrating a War Memorial you should be publically whipped.

But sadly this will never happen.

Australian War Memorial in Canberra. By Capital photographer CC BY-SA 3.0

It is difficult to say what motivates someone, or a group of people, to trash an object meant to remind us of the horrors and cost of war. When it happens, it is deeply shocking, almost incomprehensible to the average person, but it can leave scars long after the tribute – in stone, bronze, or perhaps granite – has been repaired. It has happened again in Australia.

At some point during the last few weeks, a beautiful memorial to the Australian soldiers who died in the Vietnam War was virtually ruined by vandals. Why? No one is precisely sure.

It is yet another example of some kind of mute rage that is at work almost everywhere today, perhaps by those feeling powerless and disenfranchised who need to vent their fury somehow.

Australian soldiers from 7 RAR waiting to be picked up by US Army helicopters following a cordon and search operation near Phước Hải on 26 August 1967.

The memorial, in Melbourne, bore tiles with the names of more than 500 Australian soldiers who perished in the conflict. Government officials and members of the committee who initiated the project were mystified – and outraged – by its destruction. Virtually all the names on the tiles have been badly damaged.

The Sunshine SRL Memorial was conceived last year. Gary Collins is president of the committee that helped bring the project to fruition. “I’ve been involved in the committee from the start, to get this where it is today,” he told ABC News. “I could see all the hard work that’s been put in by people, everyone’s quite proud of the outcome. For something like this to happen…” his voice trailed off, clearly in bewilderment. “I’m quite shocked. I think it’s so sad.”

The Shrine of Remembrance Melbourne, Australia. By Jorge Láscar CC BY 2.0

The Sunshine RSL had been readying to commemorate the Battle of Long Tan. The memorial was first unveiled in December 2017 in the Keven Wheelahan Gardens. In addition to the tiles, the granite wall, which is a significant part of the memorial, has also been badly defaced.

An Australian soldier on the Long Tan battlefield on 19 August 1966

A representative of Brimbank Council called the act of vandalism “shocking and disrespectful.”

The damage was inflicted by someone who took a hammer to the wall and tiles. Mayor Margaret Giudice said: “This senseless vandalism is disrespectful to [the soldiers’] memory, and to our community who rallied to support the creation of this memorial. Public spaces such as this play a significant role in reflecting and telling stories that are important in our history and culture. So to see this kind of vandalism is an insult to our community.”

World War I cenotaph in Australia. By Mattinbgn CC BY 3.0

Unfortunately, video footage of the area has not proven useful in helping police identify the culprits. But they are working to solve the crime, and the RSL and the Vietnamese community are now tasked with repairing the memorial.

This is not the first time a memorial in Australia has been targeted by vandals; nor, in fact, is it the first in Melbourne. Last year, one in Melbourne’s north, at Warrandyte, was ruined by graffiti only 24 hours prior to Anzac Day, an important day on the Australian calendar. Paint was smeared across the plaques commemorating the men who served in both world wars.

Gates to the War Memorial Park in the town of Goondiwindi, Queensland. By Craig Franklin CC BY-SA 3.0

Anzac Day, on April 25th each year, is when services are held across Australia and New Zealand to remember those who “served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations,” and to remember the “contributions and suffering of all those who served.”

It is difficult to know why anyone would target a statue that, in essence, thanks those who served for laying their lives on the line and dying for their country. Perhaps, when Melbourne police have the offenders in custody, we will learn their reason. Likely, however, we will never understand it.

Anti-gun Senator Distorts the Law and the Facts in Unsuccessful Attack on Supreme Court Nominee

H/T NRA/ILA.

Di Fi distorting the law and facts trying to stop Brett Kavanaugh from becoming a Supreme Court Justice just color me shocked. Not really.

This week the nation was subjected to an embarrassing and undignified spectacle of obstructionist partisan politics surrounding the confirmation hearings of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. The Democrat caucus, understanding that Judge Kavanaugh is an eminently qualified jurist with an upstanding reputation and that the votes likely exist to confirm him, abandoned the norms of the Senate and of civility and resorted to childish and temperamental theatrics. This included talking out of order and over their colleagues, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley; encouraging disruptive and illegal protests in the gallery; and holding up large posters to distract the Judge as he answered committee members’ questions.

But while such demonstrations are merely obnoxious and juvenile, the more serious affront arose from committee members who were either too ignorant or too dishonest to accurately articulate the law and the facts in their exchanges with Judge Kavanaugh. Case in point: arch anti-gun Senator Dianne Feinstein, who grossly exaggerated the criminal use of semi-automatic rifles and mischaracterized the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment precedent to attack the nominee for failing to embrace her political position on gun control.

The exchange came on day two of the proceedings, with Democrats becoming increasingly frustrated at their inability to ruffle Judge Kavanaugh or mount any effective resistance to his confirmation.

Senator Feinstein began by reminding the audience that her office wrote the federal “assault weapon” ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004. It’s notable that her first misstatement of law concerned her own legislation. According to her, the law “essentially prohibited the transfer, sale, and manufacture of assault weapons. It did not at the time affect possession.”

That is plainly untrue. The law did, in fact, ban possession of the controlled firearms (see page 201 of this link). The law did not apply to firearms that had been lawfully obtained before the law’s effective date, but that clause operated as an “affirmative defense” that put the burden on the accused of raising the issue at trial. Simply put, anyone found in possession of a firearm described in the Act was presumptively in violation of the law and susceptible to federal felony penalties.

To her credit. Senator Feinstein at least hedged her next false statement by couching it as a “belief,” rather than outright assertion of fact. “I happen to believe that [the federal “assault weapon” ban] did work and that it was important,” she said.

Unfortunately for her, there is no credible evidence to this effect. Two government funded studies of the law’s effects in fact found it had no measurable impact on violent crime. More recently, a survey of gun control laws by the Rand Corporation found that the only perceptible effect of assault weapons bans generally is perhaps a short-term increase in the price of assault weapons; that in itself does not establish any beneficial crime reduction effect, however.

Feinstein next took issue with a dissent that Judge Kavanaugh had written in a case that upheld a D.C. “assault weapon” ban similar to the expired federal law. Specifically, she chided him for finding the firearms were “in common use” and therefore protected under the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment precedent. “Assault weapons are not in common use,” Feinstein said.

Not only is that assertion not true, it’s the opposite of the truth. The types of firearms covered by both Feinstein’s now expired legislation and the current D.C. ban include the most popular rifles in modern America, including the iconic AR-15. According to figures compiled by the National Shooting Sports Foundation for litigation launched in 2013, nearly 4.8 million AR platform rifles were manufactured in the U.S. between 1990 and 2012, and more than 3.4 million AR and AK platform rifles were imported during that timeframe. The number of AR-15s manufactured in 2012 was double the number of Ford F-150 pick-up trucks sold– the most commonly sold vehicle in the U.S. Approximately 5 million people in the U.S. own at least one modern semiautomatic rifle that would be covered by the Feinstein/D.C. bans and such rifles make up 20.3% of all retail firearms sales and are sold by 92.5% of retail firearm dealers. Even media outlets that support “assault weapon” bans acknowledge that the firearm those bans most specifically target – the AR-15 – is “America’s rifle.” And the popularity of the AR-15 actually increased after NSSF compiled these figures, likely to the tune of millions of new owners.

Meanwhile, rifles of any type – whether or not they would be included in the Feinstein/D.C. “assault weapon” bans – are used far less often in murders than handguns, which overwhelmingly remain the gun of choice for violent criminals. In fact, they are used far less often, according to FBI statistics, than “personal weapons” like “hands, fists, and feet.”

Yet even though AR-15s and the like are by all accounts America’s most popular rifle, Dianne Feinstein insisted during the hearing that numbers alone do not determine “common use.” “Common use is an activity,” she said. “It’s not common storage or possession, it’s use. So what you said is these weapons are commonly used. They’re not.”

This ridiculous hairsplitting is, of course, contrary to both common sense and English usage. Common items are routinely said to be “in use” for a purpose whether or not that involves active manipulation of the item at any given time. Police “use” firearms to keep the peace, even when they’re not pointing or firing them at criminal suspects. Schools “use” fire extinguishers as part of a general safety plan, whether or not someone is actively putting out a fire with them. Drivers “use” seatbelts to safeguard against injuries, even when they’re not actually colliding with other vehicles or objects. And AR-15s and similar firearms are “used” by Americans to protect their homes and loved ones, even when they are providing a deterrent and not actually being actively employed.

As Judge Kavanaugh very patiently explained, the prevalence of so-called “assault weapons” in millions of American homes establishes they are in “common use.” He went on to detail how that phrase was used by the Supreme Court to distinguish Second Amendment protected arms from the sorts of “dangerous and unusual weapons” that are beyond the Amendment’s scope (see p. 55 of this link). A firearm owned by many millions of Americans may be potentially “dangerous,” he noted, but it is in no way “unusual” and therefore cannot be said, under the letter of the Supreme Court’s prior Second Amendment cases, to be unprotected by that provision.

Responding to Judge Kavanaugh’s own profession of concern about firearm-related crime, Feinstein then asked him, “How do you reconcile what you just said with the hundreds of school shootings using assault weapons that have taken place in recent history? How do you reconcile that?”

Feinstein’s question (which was actually more of an accusation that Judge Kavanaugh is oblivious to the toll of firearm-related crime) was again based on a false premise. There have not been “hundreds and hundreds of school shootings” in recent history, much less hundreds using “assault weapons.” Even National Public Radio has acknowledged that the number of school shootings has been vastly overstated, including in figures published by the U.S. government. And not only are AR-15 and other supposed “assault weapons” rarely used by common criminals, they are not even the first choice of mass shooters, having been used far less often than handguns.

Judge Kavanaugh has repeatedly said during this week’s hearings that he considers himself bound by Supreme Court precedent as an appellate judge, whether he likes it or not. So it’s perfectly consistent that he could be horrified by firearm-related crime but still recognize that lawmakers have to find ways to address it other than trampling on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Justice Scalia said as much when he wrote the Heller opinion, acknowledging the problem of handgun-related crime but asserting the Constitution takes certain policy choices – like banning the firearms Americans overwhelmingly choose for their own defense – “off the table.” That doesn’t show a lack of empathy but a commitment to the rule of law.

Fortunately, the Democrats’ unseemly theatrics and shaky claims have merely provided an even sharper contrast for Judge Kavanaugh’s own dedication to and mastery of the law, as well as his intellect and composure. There has been very little in the proceedings that will burnish the reputation of the Senate’s minority party. But Americans can at least take heart that President Trump is working diligently to preserve the competence, effectiveness, and integrity of the federal judiciary and of the U.S. Supreme Court in particular.

Watch: Kamala Harris Calls Kavanaugh’s Pocket Constitution ‘That Book You Carry’

 

H/T Breitbart’s Big Government.

Like Judge Brett Kavanaugh I proudly carry as Kamala calls it the book he carries a pocket copy of the Constitution.

I carry it to challenge any leftist that babbles on about the separation of how the church and state separation is in the Constitution I show them my copy and challenge them to show me where the separation of church and state is listed.

No one is able to find it as it does not exist in the Constitution. 

HarrisKavanaugh-AP-Photos-640x480

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) described a pocket-sized version of the U.S. Constitution belonging to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as “that book you carry,” on day four of the judge’s confirmation hearing.

Asking Judge Kavanaugh which unenumerated rights he would do away with, Harris said:

I’m going to ask you about unenumerated rights. You gave a speech praising former Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in Rhodes, there’s been much discussion about that, and you wrote, quote, celebrating his success, that ‘success in stemming the general tide of free-wheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights,’ that is what you said in celebration of Justice Rehnquist. So ‘unenumerated rights.’ is a phrase that lawyers use, but I want to make clear what we’re talking about. It means rights that are protected by the Constitution even if they’re not specifically mentioned in the Constitution. They are not in that book that you carry.

Harris continued:

What we are talking about is the right to vote, that’s an unenumerated right, the right to have children. The right to have control over the upbringing of your children. The right to refuse medical care. The right to love the partner of your choice, the right to marry, and the right to have an abortion. Now, putting those unenumerated rights in the context of the statement that you made, which was to praise the stemming of the general tide of free-wheeling creation of unenumerated rights, which means you were, the interpretation there is you were praising the quest to end those unenumerated rights. My question to you is which of the rights that I just mentioned do you want to an end to or rollback?

Kavanaugh replied, “Three points I believe, senator, first the constitution, it is in the book that I carry. The constitution protects unenumerated rights. That’s what the Supreme Court has said.”

 

Woman Who Was Called White Supremacist Sitting Behind Kavanaugh Gets Revenge in Best Possible Way

H/T Right Wing Folks.

This is hilarious payback.

1-12

Liberal leaders often get accused of seeing racism everywhere, even where it doesn’t exist.

There’s a reason they’re accused of that.

Liberal leaders often get accused of seeing racism everywhere, even where it doesn’t exist.

There’s a reason they’re accused of that.

One of the most explosive stories to come out of the first day of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing was a hand gesture a Republican woman sitting behind Kavanaugh covertly made as a signal to white supremacists that they have nothing to fear if the judge gets confirmed, the Washington Post reported. At least, that’s the story that spread across social media like wildfire.

As Zina Bash rested her hand on her arm, her thumb and index finger connected, creating what appeared to be the OK sign.

Eugene Gu, MD

@eugenegu

Kavanaugh’s former law clerk Zina Bash is flashing a white power sign behind him during his Senate confirmation hearing. They literally want to bring white supremacy to the Supreme Court. What a national outrage and a disgrace to the rule of law. https://twitter.com/rubin_kd/status/1037033721235263488/video/1 

Is the OK symbol actual a white power symbol? No. The Anti-Defamation League wrote about it last year, pointing out someone made a joke about it being a white power symbol. The joke went viral, and, apparently, some people believed it.

Even the Post mocked the hysteria that surrounded the viral theory that Bash was using a hate symbol. Christian satire site The Babylon Bee got into the fun as well, pointing out that President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, and Colin Kaepernick have also flashed the same symbol.

Bash herself rebuke the conspiracy theorists, telling them they “should be ashamed of themselves.”

Her husband also released a statement, pointing out that, “Zina is Mexican on her mother’s side and Jewish on her father’s side. She was born in Mexico. Her grandparents were Holocaust survivors. We of course have nothing to do with hate groups, which aim to terrorize and demean other people — never have and never would.”

But then Bash on Thursday to trolled everyone that viciously accused her of being in league with racists.

And it was perfect.

With a smug look on her face, Bash flashed the symbol again — much more clearly this time — during the third day of the hearing. Now watch it on video (and in slow-mo):

https://rumble.com/embed/v3qjy9/

Watch the final day of the hearing below:

 

 

Ship or island?

H/T Beyond The Band Of Brothers.

Looking back through the sands of time at camouflage during a war.

Warships in disguise.

Though camouflaging a ship at sea is not an easy feet, many have tried. A well-known result of such attempts was the Dazzle camouflage of the two world wars, but more traditional approaches also exist.

Before the First World War, there were several doomed attempts at disguising ships as whales, clouds or islands with mirrors and painted canvases. Even the famous inventor Edison tried to turn a cargo ship into a fake island but with no more success than others.

unnamed
The ship Edison tried to disguise, before (top) and after (bottom) the application of canvas

It was only in World War II that a ship was successfully disguised as an island. The HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen was a Dutch minesweeper operating in the Dutch East Indies (roughly Sumatra, Jawa, Borneo, Sulawesi, the Moluccas and Western New Guinea) when World War II broke out. In February 1942, after the Japanese wrecked a combined Dutch-American-British-Australian fleet in the Battle of the Jawa Sea, the Abraham Crijnssen and the three other Dutch ships remaining were given the order to escape to Australia.

unnamed (1)
The Abraham Crijnssen, designated the HMAS Abraham Crijnssen, in Australian service

The minesweeper was slow and inadequately armed against aircraft, so a run for safe waters seemed hopeless. Taking a longshot, the crew disguised the 180ft long vessel as an island. The ship was heavily covered in foliage cut off from local island vegetation and exposed surfaces were given a grey paintjob reminiscent of natural rock.

unnamed
The Abraham Crijnssen from up close

The Abraham Crijnssen had a maximum speed of only 15 knots but even that would have been too suspicious for an island, so the ship also had to act like one. Rather than trying to get out of danger quickly, it only moved hugging the shore at night, spending the days anchored just off the shores of larger islands. The region is full of small islands and the craftiness of the ship paid off: out of the three Dutch vessels, she was the only one who successfully made the 1,000 mile trip to Australia, crossing the seas in 8 days.

unnamed (1)
The disguised Abraham Crijnssen situated in front of a genuine island

Once there, she was commissioned by the Australian navy, but the new captain immediately faced a dilemma. Commonwealth tradition prescribed that a picture of the British monarch should be displayed in the wardroom (the officers’ mess), which was already decorated by a portrait of Dutch Queen Wilhelmina. As a compromise, the picture of King George VI was placed in the lieutenant’s room and the one depicting the Dutch Queen stayed, now in the company of a picture of Rita Hayworth.

unnamed
The Abraham Crijnssen disguised as an island

Another similar disguised attempt. In early July 1942, during the disastrous battle of Convoy PQ 17 the British converted trawler HMS Ayrshire defied orders to abandon the cargo ships under German attack and led three other vessels into the Arctic ice to hide and wait out the massacre. The captain, Lieutenant Leo Gradwell, decided to disguise the ships as icebergs. The vessels were painted white and their decks were covered in white linen to blend in with the surroundings. The ruse worked: at least one German plane flew overhead but the ships were left unmolested. Once things calmed down, Gradwell led the four ships to the Soviet port of Arkhangelsk, navigating with nothing more than a sextant (since compasses are unreliable that close to the North Pole) and a copy of the Time World Geographic Pocket Book, since the ship was never supposed to operate away from the convoy and didn’t have proper charts.

unnamed (1)
The anti-submarine vessel HMS Ayrshire, converted from a trawler, photographed off Iceland. There are no known photos of it during its brief disguise as an iceberg

On a few occasions, a ship was disguised not as a whole island but a small part of one, a notable example being the cruiser HSwMS Göta Lejon (Gothic Lion) of the Royal Swedish Navy. Launched in 1944 and late 1945, the Göta Lejon and her sister ship the Tre Kronor(Three Crowns) were the largest warships ever to serve in the Swedish Navy. Allegedly following the example of early medieval Viking raiders, the expensive ship was disguised with a net and added foliage as a bunch or large rocks along the rugged coastline.

unnamed
The Göta Lejon camouflaged as part of the shoreline. Can you make out the ship?

A reverse example of a ship disguised as an island is Fort Drum, an island (sort-of) disguised as a ship. El Fraile Island used to stand in the mouth of Manila Bay in the Philippines, due south of Corregidor Island, a land acquired by the U.S. after the Spanish-American War of 1898. In order to improve defenses in the area, the island was leveled into a shape roughly reminiscent of a warship and renamed Fort Drum. Its main armament consisted of four 14-inch cannons mounted in two twin turrets, which made it unique among U.S. land-based fortifications at the time. Due to its resemblance to a ship, various parts of the fort were named using naval terminology, such as upper deck, top deck and stern.

unnamed (1)
El Fraile Island before it was demolished

When Japan attacked the United States in December 1941, Fort Drum’s guns became the war’s first American land-based artillery to fire at the enemy. Holding out all the way until May 6, 1942, the fort eventually had to surrender. It was recaptured in 1945 in an operation that involved pouring thousands of gallons of diesel oil and gasoline into the fort and igniting it with white phosphorous to flush out or burn the Japanese troops inside.

unnamed (2)
Fort Drum, with an actual battleship, the USS New Jersey, in the background

As a final note, the deliberate mixing up of ships and islands goes back to the age of sail – at least administratively. The British Royal Navy often placed artillery and other assets on islands to contribute to nearby sea battles. Since the Navy was legally not allowed to rule over land, these emplacements, nicknamed “stone frigates,” were called boats and given names in line with ship naming conventions to circumvent the restriction.

unnamed
HMS Diamond Rock off Martinique was the first recorded “stone frigate.” It saw action against the French in 1805. The Royal Navy still regards it as an officially commissioned ship.

You can learn more about disguise and deception in the wars that shaped American history on our American Civil WarFirst World War and World War II tours.