Welcome to Sunday Matinee, where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos I find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.
Consider Denmark. Now that you've done some considering that you've possibly never done before, consider how the descendants of some of the most fearsome seafarers, the Vikings, never seem to get mentioned anymore in most of the world. Well today let's change all that, with a look at the HMDS Absalon and the Danish Navy.
Though it may be a bit weird to say this, I've always been a bit fascinated by the military operations of smaller countries. Growing up as an American puts you into a bit of a bubble, where the military is virtually inseparable from what it actually means to be "American" in the eyes of many. The military is our government's single biggest non-entitlement expenditure. More than a million people serve in our armed forces. We have flyovers of fighter jets before football games. And we're always on the verge of being attacked, I'm told.
So when you think about a country like Denmark, which is actually quite lovely if you ever get a chance to go, you don't really think about their military. You think about smørrebrød and kamelåså, not a fearsome fighting force. In reality, the military of Denmark is a valued contributor to NATO, not least of which because of the Absalon.
This documentary series gives a fascinating look into life aboard a fighting ship with a uniquely Danish perspective. Not only do you hear about them itching to get at some pirates, but also the way they miss their families back home, boarding parties being given a back seat to the Frogmen (the Danish equivalent of the US Navy SEALs), their pain at sometimes being mocked in the Danish media, and how much of patrolling for pirates actually entails just helping people out.
I've posted just the first part here, but you should really check out all six parts. The series really is wonderfully done.