True Steel

Engsiong Tan
3 min readApr 25, 2022

Naval gazing at a sunken warship

A modern metal warship was sunk recently. Modern being a relative term since the ship was launched in the late 70s. The interesting fact was that the Russian ship was allegedly carrying a two thousand year old relic. Let that fact sink in (Pun intended). A modern metal warship relied on an ancient wooden relic to protect it. Now I know sailors are a superstitious bunch of people but even this is a bridge too far.

Photo by Peter Pryharski on Unsplash

I know that there are symbolic gestures. The American President’s Resolute desk is one of them. It is made from a ship called Resolute but no President depends on it except for photo opportunities. It is a desk and it can be replaced by another desk. It is like the flag on a ship. The ship needs one but all the flags are replaceable.

The World Wonders

The term above is famous for two reasons. It was used in a poem about the charge of the light brigade. The phrase was also used in a code as padding in a message to an admiral in WWII. Instead of fooling the enemy, it humiliated the admiral.

The quote is more apt when applied to the charge of the light brigade. Both commanders that gave the suicidal order were clearly looking at the “wrong guns”.


The Russian warship’s name was Moskva. Which translate to Moscow. Which is also the capital of Russia. Given such a name, the warship naturally was the flagship of its fleet¹. From what I understand, it was supposed to provide aerial security for the rest of the fleet. Given the steel warship’s mission, it is ironic (Pun intended) that it was sunk by an aerial threat.

I am not sure if it is supposed to forebode anything. That is also why I never want anything to be named after me. It will only give my enemies a target.


There is a cartoon on YouTube that was blocked by the Russian recently. The cartoon was then unblocked by the Russian government. What is funny is that the cartoon was made in the 70s by the Soviet government.

If you are not interested in reading the translation, the cartoon was about a group of (Read Soviet) kids using a submarine called Neptune. Neptune is also the name of the missile or missiles allegedly sunk the Moskva. The icing on the cake is when the submarine revealed a Z on the ship and a kid comments that the Z signifies that the ship belongs to the fascist.

The interesting point is that the letter Z is how the Russian civilians are displaying their support for their country. In the b̶a̶t̶t̶l̶e special military operation against a “fascist” government.

¹It is the same reason why USS Washington is never going to be the name of a tugboat. The current ship to have that name is an attack submarine. There was a coal barge called Washington that served in the US navy but the ship got her name a few decades before the US Navy laid their hands on her.