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    Re: Off-topic: Recommendation for "Captain Phillips"
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2014 Jan 18, 18:21 -0500

    Hahaha Frank - where's the image of the Morgan? 

    On Jan 18, 2014 6:17 PM, "Frank Reed" <FrankReed{at}historicalatlas.com> wrote:

    Lu, you wrote:
    "I thought this interesting, until the obvious question popped into my mind: How did pirates know if a vessel had guards on it? If I were a pirate and knew some ships might have guards on them, then I would logically be reluctant to attack any ship for fear it was guarded (I assume the ships don't fly "warning, this ship is protected by armed guards" banners)."

    And why not do just that? We probably all know people who have put signs on their cars or homes saying "Protected by XYZ". You could even mount fake "big freaking guns" at prominent points on a vessel. These could be large, ugly, scary, and completely harmless. One could still carry a small reserve of real weapons, too.

    Back in the 19th century, American whaling ships were commonly painted with faux gunports on their sides. This was eventually a matter of fashion (that's how you paint a whaleship) rather than an actual attempt to fool a potential adversary, but deterrence was the supposed origin of the paint scheme. I'm including an image of the Charles W. Morgan just before it arrived in Mystic, Connecticut back in 1941. At its previous home, Colonel Green's "Whaling Enshrined" exhibition, it had been painted with gunports. These fake gunports were a prominent and popular feature of the vessel's appearance until about 1973 when the restoration team and museum management at Mystic Seaport chose a more "Quaker" paint scheme to reflect the probable appearance for the vessel c. 1885 (many whaleships in the 19th century were owned by Quakers). Note that the Morgan will be leaving Mystic for the first time in 73 years in late Spring of 2014 (sans faux gunports).

    Lu, you concluded:
    "I also wonder what the Military Channel would have to say about the Italian Marines."

    They would very likely say something that would satisfy the pre-conceived notions and biases of their viewers, anything that would make them more likely to return at a later date to view more advertising. That's entertainment --not journalism.

    -FER

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