Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ship Repels Pirates With Boiling Water, Oil

Shades of the defeat of the Vikings at Chester.*
From Newsweek (yes, they seem to still be alive) Feb. 18:

Pirates Repelled By Crew Pouring Boiling Water and Oil on Attackers
Sailors in the Philippines sea have fought off a pirate attack using medieval siege defence methods, hurling boiling water mixed with oil at the assailants until reinforcements arrived, Australia’s ABC network reported.

The crew of the Philippine ship MV Kudos came under attack by around 12 pirates while sailing near Sibago Island in Basilan region this week. The attackers tried to board the vessel, armed with guns. The 22 sailors on board the ship repelled the attack by splashing the incoming gunmen with a concoction of hot water and oil. The pirates then opened fire, according to the Philippines Coast Guard.
"We were pleased that the crew did not lose their presence of mind," he said in a statement. "Their raw courage enabled them to pour hot water to the pirates who were already attempting to climb the vessel."
The attackers used three motorboats to flank the ship in a bid to abduct crew members for ransom, Filipino broadcaster ABS-CBN reported....MORE
*Today in obscure historic references, via Dutch Anglo-Saxonist:

How beer and bees beat the Viking siege of Chester in c. 907
...The original text is in Middle Irish, but I will quote from the Modern English translation by Radner (1978)....
...Burn them in beer and send in the bees!
Defeating the Norwegian part of the Viking army would take a bit more effort, since these savages had come up with a new game plan: “The Norwegians did not abandon the city, for they were hard and savage; but they all said that they would make many hurdles, and place props under them, and that they would make a hole in the wall underneath them” (trans. Randler, p. 171). The inhabitants of Chester had to turn to extreme measures to ward ff these attacks:
However, the other army, the Norwegians, was under the hurdles, making a hole in the wall. What the Saxons and the Irish who were among them did was to hurl down huge boulders, so that they crushed the hurdles on their heads. What they did to prevent that was to put great columns under the hurdles. What the Saxons did was to put the ale and water they found in the town into the towns cauldrons, and to boil it and throw it over the people who were under the hurdles, so that their skin peeled off them. The Norwegians response to that was to spread hides on top of the hurdles. The Saxons then scattered all the beehives there were in the town on top of the besiegers, which prevented them from moving their feet and hands because of the number of bees stinging them. After that they gave up the city, and left it. (trans. Randler, p. 173)
And that’s how you defeat a Viking siege: when all else fails,  burn them in beer and send in the bees!
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