View Full Version : Naval combatants question.

The Backward OX
10-17-2010, 07:27 AM
'Smee again.

I’m fairly sure there’s a word or a phrase used to describe the act, by the crew of one ship, of halting and boarding another ship, but I can’t think of it.

In context, I have a large Royal Navy vessel apprehending a small German gunboat during WW2, and taking the crew captive. One of the seamen involved in this operation is telling the story to an audience 35 years later. All I can think of, for words to put in his mouth, is “We grabbed them” which, while it might be vernacular, isn’t exactly naval terminology.

The thesaurus doesn’t help. Do you have any ideas? Thanks in advance.

10-17-2010, 07:48 AM
seized, (capture by force)
commandeered (seizing for military purposes)
hijacked (seizing for illegal purposes)

10-17-2010, 09:18 AM
I'd say they "captured" or "seized" the vessel.

I think "commandeering" more specifically refers to taking a vessel for the boarding party's own use, like when the government took over the Queen Mary as a troop transport during WWII.

Drachen Jager
10-17-2010, 10:49 AM
Commandeering is when you use material or equipment possessed by a friendly or neutral party, from the enemy it's captured.

If he were being specific he'd probably say, "Boarded and captured".

10-17-2010, 08:33 PM
They call the combatants who board the enemy ship, the "Boarding and Prize Crew or Party." In modern warfare, these men board enemy vessels in hopes of obtaining the enemy's secret documents, cipher machines, and other classified electronic equipment.

10-18-2010, 01:09 AM
I believe in this case "Seized" would be the correct term. When I was in the Navy, I was a member of the Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) crew.

During my time in, we boarded a merchant vessel and "seized" her because she was carrying cocaine.