In the news today, a collision between nuclear submarines from the nations of England and France. I can easily imagine how this could happen.
Witness the following radio conversation from about fifteen years ago:
Station 1: American warship to signal bearing (numbers given), please alter your course to bearing (given).
Station 2: Unable to comply, American warship.
Station 1: American warship to signal bearing (given), this is a military imperative, alter your course to bearing (given).
Station 2: American warship, I say again, unable to comply.
Station 1: This is the U.S.S. Forrest Gump*, the largest warship afloat anywhere in the world, escorted by one cruiser, two destroyers and two support ships, and you are ordered, at risk of hostile action, to alter course immediately.
Station 2: I wish I could help you sir, but this is a lighthouse.
Ah! The subtlety of the military mind! Or, the lack of it.
*It wasn’t really called the Forrest Gump. I made that part up.