Warships Pod

11: Ukraine Naval Blockade, War by Hunger & Top Gun: Maverick

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Episode notes

We have as our guest this time David Larter, a noted commentator on US Navy matters and also global naval developments.

First up for discussion will be the naval side of Ukraine War, with David giving his perspective on the Russian blockade, plus growing realisation of the global impact of Ukrainian grain shipments being blocked.

Podcast host Iain Ballantyne asks what can be done. Can it be broken by force? If so, who would do it? Iain and David discuss the ‘War by Hunger’ that is potentially about to inflict starvation on some of the world’s poorest countries.

Their chat also touches on echoes of what happened when the British imposed a sea blockade on Germany in WW1 and were themselves victims of U-boat attacks against maritime trade. 

The overall Russian strategy today - and how it is driven by President Vladimir Putin’s urge to ensure Russia is not cut off from the sea - along with his desire to emulate Tsar Peter the Great in establishing his nation as a great imperial power, is also a topic of discussion.

Turning to other aspects of the Ukraine War at sea, and indeed the entire conflict, Iain suggests that the most important battle on land and sea is in fact for possession of Odessa… Iain asks if David agrees that, if the Ukrainians get cut off from the sea and lose Odessa, it is ‘game over’?

The USA of course is deeply involved in leading the West’s effort on Ukraine, but it also has a world of troubles to look out for, not least the rise of an aggressive China. And so in the vanguard of all that is the US Navy, with Iain asking David: How mighty is the USN these days? Is it being pushed to its limits and beyond by the world of troubles?

WARSHIPS POD likes to also touch on history and culture in addition to current naval topics and geopolitics, which sees the discussion segue to an ancient movie history artifact - namely ‘Top Gun’ and its sequel ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’

Spoiler alert for this section of the podcast!

Iain and David reveal they have both seen it and so discuss their reactions to ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. Does it fly or crash and burn? 

• In addition to being a well-established Navy reporter David Larter is a US Navy veteran, - now working in the aerospace industry in Los Angeles, but who still engages on naval issues. His comment on the podcast are in a personal capacity as a navalist and not reflective of any organisation’s opinions. David can be found on Twitter @DavidLarter 

• Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine. For more details on the magazine http://bit.ly/wifrmag Follow it on Twitter @WarshipsIFR and on Facebook @WarshipsIFR Iain Ballantyne can be found on Twitter @IBallantyn