Dan got this one up early for a Wednesday comic.
Dan talks about the cockles of his heart in his commentary, which brought to my mind this quote:
"...in a dark, cold winter, it warmed the cockles of the British heart "
That's from a speech Winston Churchill made on March 30, 1940 praising the crews of HMS Exeter and HMS Ajax for their part in the destruction of the German warship Admiral Graf Spee in an encounter known as the Battle of the River Platte. That battle had taken place the previous December off the coasts of Argentina and Uruguay. It was pretty much a gentleman's battle, more appropriate for the War of 1812 than 1939. Exeter, Ajax, and the New Zealand cruiser Achilles fought the much larger and more heavily armed German ship, got badly shot up, but managed to score a critical hit that meant the Spee would run out of usable fuel long before it could get back home to Germany or meet up with one of its disguised support ships. So Captain Langsdorff took his ship to Montevideo in Uruguay, hoping to make repairs there before the British brought in a heavier force. He should have gone to Buenos Aires instead; the Argentine government was much more friendly to Germany at that time. Forced out of the harbor after a few days, Langsdorff decided to scuttle his ship rather than lose more of his crew in what he thought would be a hopeless battle. Then he shot himself. His crew got to sit out the rest of the war in Argentina.
Ajax and Achilles both survived the war, and Achilles would serve in the Indian navy as the Delhi until 1978. Exeter was sunk by the Japanese in March, 1942, and about one-quarter of the survivors died in Japanese captivity. The Pacific was not a gentleman's war.