Monday, July 15, 2013

Submarines--Here to Stay

There is hardly a week goes by that a letter to the editor or an op-ed column doesn't slam Canada's commitment to its navy and its submarines, and in particular the much-maligned Victorias.

They get more and more sophisticated, like all military hardware, but submarines are still basically steel hulls that can't be seen from the surface and carry a huge wallop. As a trading nation, we can ignore them at our peril.

From our own HMCS Victoria, top, to Iran's eye-catching and singular Sina 7, below, to the latest nuclear-driven hunter-killer in the hands of a superpower, no nation with seaborne commerce can not at least consider getting into the submarine business. Canada is in the submarine business, and we should be figuring out what our next step will be, not arguing in favour of tying up our now-serviceable undersea fleet.

Canadians have served in submarines since 1914, in our own boats and those of our allies. Next year will mark the centenary of the service. Watch for my next historical novel. More details to come!

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