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Subject: Flash/Naval clothing for action
Iano    1/11/2005 3:28:57 PM
What exactly is the "flash" that sailors wear hoods and mitts to protect themselves from? Is it actual flame, or is it just a surge of heat, as I imagine that heat travels well down enclosed compartments and tight corridors after a weapon hits a ship! Why is it that when you see photos of RN sailors at action stations they all have their anti-flash on, whereas when you see photos of USN sailors they seem to be lacking this kit? Also photos of submariners and aviators never seem to include them wearing the same white hoods and mitts. I know they work and fight in different surroundings but surely whatever this flash effect is, it could affect them as badly as any surface sailor! Why is it that when you see photos of RN sailors (not just engineers) at action stations they are all wearing coveralls over their Action working dress? If the AWD shirt, trousers and jersey is flame retardent, and it is marked so, then how come the coveralls are needed? And why do you see some in white coveralls but most in blue? Are the ones in white coveralls the officers and the ones in blue the ratings? Why do sailors appear to seldom wear their helmets and never wear body armour? With the possible exception of boarding parties? Thanks guys Ian
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Iano    RE:Flash/Naval clothing for action   1/11/2005 3:32:39 PM
Why do they wear boots as do the army? Surely they arent that needed, and shoes would be much easier to kick off if you ended up in the water.
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HorribleSailor    RE:Flash/Naval clothing for action   1/11/2005 4:42:40 PM
Some(!) answers, Ian: The RN boots are very different from army boots and are commonly known as 'steaming boots' or 'steaming bats'. They have steel toe caps, which prevent nasty foot injuries from equipment landing on them, and excellent grips, to prevent slipping - both of which are common and dangerous hazards on warships. It means your toes get bloody cold though, plenty of socks required! You're right about the RN overalls, white are for officers and blue for rates, generally speaking. Armour and hats? I think that's more to do with the difficulty in moving around in the confined spaces of a warship quickly enough v the odds of that bodyarmour / hard hat protecting you against something. As for the flame retardant properties of RN working rig, well, it's only flame retardant once!.
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Iano    RE:Flash/Naval clothing for action   1/11/2005 5:44:41 PM
Yeh I suppose youve hit the nail on the head there - hows the CBA supposed to protect you from an anti shipping missile when it will not stop rifle rounds and I've heard its "hit and miss" - literally - whether it will stop 9mm and shotgun impacts! When you put to sea, are the sailors supplied with flares, in the event they end up in the sea I suppose there is kit for staying afloat and keeping warm, but you might end up not being noticed! Why is the RN beginning to wear a blue norwegian shirt instead of the traditioanl smarter one? Why is it that only submariners wear the white high-neck jumper, but if you watch old movies like The Cruel Sea, everyone wears them? Sorry a lot of unusual, maybe daft, questions perhaps! The Cruel Sea, damn thats a good film. Ian
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HorribleSailor    RE:Flash/Naval clothing for action   1/11/2005 6:19:29 PM
Hehe, well don't watch the Cruel Sea before a rough passage at night, it'll put you a little on edge! The norgie (sp?) was being introduced because it was more convenient - warmer than a shirt so not requiring a jumper too, didn't need ironing etc. Its introduction has now been abandoned, as in use it wasn't found to be as good (although the trousers with extra pockets that came with are being kept!) White wooly-pully's are submariner only, one of the little features that distinguishes people in (what they consider) an elite. Give me a moment and I'll enclose a funny story about it. I suppose in WWII certain uniform standards were relaxed, special circumstances and all!.
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HorribleSailor    White Jumpers   1/11/2005 6:21:58 PM
In the Beginning In the beginning was the word, and the word was God and all else was darkness and void without form. So God created the heavens and the earth. He created the sun and the moon and the stars, so that the light might pierce the darkness. And the earth, God divided between the land and the sea, and these he filled with many assorted creatures. And the dark, salty, slimy creatures that inhabited the seashore, God called ROYAL MARINES, and dressed them accordingly, and the flighty creatures of the air, he called AIRY FAIRIES, and these He clothed in uniforms which were ruffled and foul. And the lower creatures of the sea, God called SKIMMERS, and with a twinkle in His eye and a sense of humour that only He could have, God gave them big grey targets to go to sea on. He gave them many splendid uniforms to wear. He gave them many wonderful and exotic places to visit. He gave them pen and paper so they could write home every week, and He gave them make-and-mends at sea, and He gave them a laundry to keep their splendid uniforms clean. When you're God you tend to get carried away. And on the 7th day, as you know, God rested, and on the 8th day at 0700, God looked down upon the earth and God was not a happy man. So He thought about His labours, and in His infinite wisdom, God created a divine creature and this He called a SUBMARINER. And these SUBMARINERS, whom God created in his own image, were to be of the deep, and to them He gave a white woolly jumper, He gave them black steel messengers of death to roam the depths of the sea, waging war against the forces of Satan and evil. He gave them hotels to live in when they were weary from doing God's will. He gave them subsistence so they might entertain the ladies on Saturday nights and impress the hell out of the creatures called SKIMMERS. And at the end of the 8th day, God looked down upon the earth and saw all was good, but God was not happy because, in the course of His labours he had forgotten one thing. He did not have a submariner's white woolly jumper. But he thought about it and thought about it and finally satisfied Himself knowing that NOT JUST ANYBODY CAN BE A SUBMARINER.
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Iano    RE:White Jumpers   1/12/2005 1:21:56 PM
Hehheh those submariners must have a pretty high opinion of their work! You know when you go to sea, you must have your working uniform, but do you have to take your smart whites and blues, and camouflage uniform also, as well as your civvies? I was just thinking, it must come to quite a pile on a warship where I'll bet space is tight! Do you think the Cruel Sea is a good film or not? I heard a lot of people put it down but I reckon its a great story. Really must read the book sometime. Ian
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tiff    RE:Flash/Naval clothing for action   1/12/2005 3:39:17 PM
I believe steaming boots also have electrically conductive soles to stop the build up of static on your body.
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tiff    RE:Flash/Naval clothing for action   1/12/2005 3:44:53 PM
In the event that you have to abandon ship you need to don a 'once only suit' also known to jolly jack as a 'big orange johnny.' The RN standard issue lifejacket is actually quite basic. In fact if you are a bit of a yachty you will be shocked how basic. But it also packs away into very small pack which is beneficial when trying to fit through kidney hatches. The lifejacket is oral inflation only, it has a spray hood to prevent secondary drowning, has a lamp and a whistle. no personal flares though.
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Yimmy    RE:Flash/Naval clothing for action   1/12/2005 4:45:43 PM
Though liferafts etc will be packed full of flares, etc..
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HorribleSailor    RE:Flash/Naval clothing for action   1/12/2005 4:51:29 PM
Sorry! Done it again - that was me..
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