Q-ships known as Q-boats, decoy vessels, special service ships, or mystery ships, were armed merchant ships with concealed weaponry, designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks. This gave Q-ships the chance to sink them; the use of Q-ships contributed to the abandonment of cruiser rules restricting attacks on unarmed merchant ships and to the shift to unrestricted submarine warfare in the 20th century. They were used by the British Royal Navy and the German Kaiserliche Marine during the First World War and by the RN, the Kriegsmarine and the United States Navy during the Second World War. In the 1670s, HMS Kingfisher was specially designed to counter the attacks of Algerian corsairs or pirates in the Mediterranean by masquerading as a merchantman, hiding her armament behind false bulkheads, she was provided with various means of changing her appearance. During the French Revolutionary Wars, a French brig disguised as a merchantman, with hidden guns and most of her crew below decks, was beaten off by the privateer lugger Vulture out of Jersey.
In 1915, during the First Battle of the Atlantic, Britain was in desperate need of a countermeasure against the U-boats that were strangling her sea-lanes. Convoys, which had proved effective in earlier times, were rejected by the resource-strapped Admiralty and the independent captains. Depth charges of the time were primitive, the only chance of sinking a submarine was by gunfire or by ramming while on the surface; the problem was. A solution to this was the creation of the Q-ship, one of the most guarded secrets of the war, their codename referred to Queenstown, in Ireland. These became known by the Germans as a U-Boot-Falle. A Q-ship in fact carried hidden armaments. A typical Q-ship might resemble a tramp steamer sailing alone in an area where a U-boat was reported to be operating. By seeming to be a suitable target for the U-boat's deck gun, a Q-ship might encourage the U-boat captain to make a surface attack rather than use one of his limited number of torpedoes; the Q-ships' cargoes were light wood or wooden casks, so that if torpedoed they would remain afloat, encouraging the U-boat to surface to sink them with a deck gun.
There might be pretence of "abandoning ship" with some crew dressed as civilian mariners taking to a boat. Once the U-boat was vulnerable, the Q-ship's panels would drop to reveal the deck guns, which would open fire. At the same time, the White Ensign would be raised. With the element of surprise, a U-boat could be overwhelmed; the first Q-ship victory was on 23 June 1915, when the submarine HMS C24, cooperating with the decoy vessel Taranaki, commanded by Lieutenant Frederick Henry Taylor CBE DSC RN, sank U-40 off Eyemouth. The first victory by an unassisted Q-ship came on 24 July 1915 when Prince Charles, commanded by Lieutenant Mark-Wardlaw, DSO, sank U-36; the civilian crew of Prince Charles received a cash award. The following month an smaller converted fishing trawler renamed HM Armed Smack Inverlyon destroyed UB-4 near Great Yarmouth. Inverlyon was an unpowered sailing ship fitted with a small 3 pounder gun; the British crew fired nine rounds from their 3-pounder into UB-4 at close range, sinking her with the loss of all hands despite the attempt of Inverlyon's skipper to rescue one surviving German submariner.
On 19 August 1915, Lieutenant Godfrey Herbert of HMS Baralong sank U-27, preparing to attack a nearby merchant ship, the Nicosian. About a dozen of the U-boat sailors swam towards the merchant ship. Herbert fearing that they might scuttle her, ordered the survivors to be shot in the water and sent a boarding party to kill all who had made it aboard; this became known as the "Baralong Incident". HMS Farnborough sank SM U-68 on 22 March 1916, her commander, Gordon Campbell, was awarded the Victoria Cross. New Zealanders Lieutenant Andrew Dougall Blair and Sub-Lieutenant William Edward Sanders VC, DSO faced three U-boats in the Helgoland while becalmed and without engines or wireless. Forced to return fire early, they managed to avoid two torpedo attacks. Sanders was promoted to lieutenant-commander commanding HMS Prize, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for an action on 30 April 1917 with U-93, damaged. Remembering the early action aboard Q.17, Sanders waited, while his ship sustained heavy shellfire, until the submarine was within 80 yards, whereupon he hoisted the White Ensign and the Prize opened fire.
The submarine appeared to sink and he claimed a victory. However, the badly damaged submarine managed to struggle back to port. With his ship described by the survivors of U-93, Sanders and his crewmen were all killed in action when they attempted a surprise attack on U-43 on 14 August 1917. There may have been as many as 366 Q-ships. After the war, it was concluded that Q-ships were overrated, diverting skilled seamen from other duties without sinking enough U-boats to justify the strategy. In a total of 150 engagements, British Q-ships destroyed 14 U-boats and damaged 60, at a cost of 27 Q-ships lost out of 200. Q-ships were responsible for about 10% of all U-boats sunk, ranking them well below the use of ordinary minefields in effectiveness; the Imperial German Navy commissioned six Q-boats during the Great War for the Baltic Sea into the Handelsschutzflottille. None were successful in destroying enemy submarines; the German Q-ship Schiff K damaged the Russian submarine Gepar
"The Right Stuff" is a song recorded by American singer Vanessa Williams from her 1988 debut album of the same name. The crossover single was successful and became a top-five hit on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, as well as making the US Hot 100. "The Right Stuff" went to number one on the US Dance Club Songs chart for one week. It peaked at number 71 on the UK Singles Chart and re-entered the charts in 1989, this time peaking at number 62 with a remixed version. At the 31st Grammy Awards in 1989, the song received a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, but lost to Anita Baker’s “Giving You The Best That I Got”; the video for "The Right Stuff" was filmed in New Orleans. CD single"The Right Stuff" – 5:37 "The Right Stuff" – 4:15 "The Right Stuff" – 5:4312" Vinyl MaxiA1 "The Right Stuff" – 4:15 A2 "The Right Stuff" – 5:37 B1 "The Right Stuff" – 3:51 B2 "The Right Stuff" – 5:43
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