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Old 10-07-2008, 21:03   #16
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Cool Re: Joining the army not to fight?

When I joined the Royal Navy in 1954, during the first 6 weeks of basic training it was all about fighting and being shot at. Square bashing to instil discipline, rifle firing with live rounds so that if needed we could defend the ship from mass boarding, fire fighting to put out ship fires, damage control to try and save the ship from sinking, boarding parties for attacking other small craft and going ashore fully armed to bolster the authority of the government against insurgents.

Sadly we were not issued with cutlasses although the officers wore a sword. How quaint!

We were under no illusions that there could come a time when we might have to go to war, but not until we were 18.

However going to war in a warship is far removed from going to war on foot and back in the fifties a warship was a pretty safe place to be until you met an enemy warship with bigger guns than us. Then it would get hairy. Not that I ever experienced that pleasure except in exercises.

However surely everyone who joins the ARMED FORCES must realise that fighting might be involved at some time. Surely the various battle exercises would give them a clue.

The only full time none combatant in the armed forces is the padre mani. And even then some padres during WWII were known to pick up a gun and use it. Medical personnel were sort of none combatants and in general were recognised as such by both sides but if push came to shove they had to pick up arms.
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Old 10-07-2008, 21:10   #17
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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Originally Posted by jambutty View Post
When I joined the Royal Navy in 1954, during the first 6 weeks of basic training it was all about fighting and being shot at. Square bashing to instil discipline, rifle firing with live rounds so that if needed we could defend the ship from mass boarding, fire fighting to put out ship fires, damage control to try and save the ship from sinking, boarding parties for attacking other small craft and going ashore fully armed to bolster the authority of the government against insurgents.

Sadly we were not issued with cutlasses although the officers wore a sword. How quaint!

We were under no illusions that there could come a time when we might have to go to war, but not until we were 18.

However going to war in a warship is far removed from going to war on foot and back in the fifties a warship was a pretty safe place to be until you met an enemy warship with bigger guns than us. Then it would get hairy. Not that I ever experienced that pleasure except in exercises.

However surely everyone who joins the ARMED FORCES must realise that fighting might be involved at some time. Surely the various battle exercises would give them a clue.

The only full time none combatant in the armed forces is the padre mani. And even then some padres during WWII were known to pick up a gun and use it. Medical personnel were sort of none combatants and in general were recognised as such by both sides but if push came to shove they had to pick up arms.

Jim...Where in the fifties did you meet an enemy warship with bigger guns than the Royal Navy?
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Old 11-07-2008, 15:41   #18
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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Jim...Where in the fifties did you meet an enemy warship with bigger guns than the Royal Navy?
The yanks, who else?

We never fired live shells nor had live ones fired at us during exercises. We used starshell that exploded in mid air well above the ship (in theory, although we had a starshell whistle through or rigging now and again) and a flare on a small parachute drifted down or Ďbreak-upí shot for targeting a drogue pulled by an aircraft.

If it was above the ship it was classed as a hit. Our little old 4.5 inch main armament could only fire about 8 miles but they could reach us from a longer range.

With our armament we could take on anyone, if we could get close enough. The STAAGís and Bofors for aircraft (the old slow variety but then there were few jets) the big guns for pounding ships or shore and ten torpedoes to dispatch other ships. With assorted small arms, but no cutlasses. Ratings had a .303 Lee Enfield rifle, POís and CPOís had a Lanchester sub machine gun and officers had a Webley revolver and sword. OK! They didnít really have a sword except for ceremonial occasions.

You will notice from the picture that there is only one lifeboat, a 32 feet cutter that would hold maybe 30 people. There was a 28 feet whaler on the port side, which held 28 men. In the event of a Ďproblemí it was a case of ďStand back you cowardly ratings, officers first.Ē
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Old 23-07-2008, 14:13   #19
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

Working for the Army and being married to it - i do see a hell of a lot of young new recruits ( here in Germany) - a couple of weeks out of basic training - being thrown to the lions so to speak by being deployed - a lot will jack before they have to go - a lot will do one tour and when they realize they will have to go back in a year's time because the army is so undermanned - they will do anything to get out.. having said that there is a large percentage of lads/lassses (no lasses in the infantry) that do volunteer to go right back and fight ( especially if their last tour was relatively easy and low casualty rates) ..unfortunately you will get the odd one or two who didn't think they will have to go and get sand on their boots - then it is a shock to the system!
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Old 23-07-2008, 14:18   #20
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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..unfortunately you will get the odd one or two who didn't think they will have to go and get sand on their boots - then it is a shock to the system!
that really surprises me gingerninja. was under the impression the forces are more "selective" these days, how come people with IQs like those get through?
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Old 23-07-2008, 16:30   #21
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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that really surprises me gingerninja. was under the impression the forces are more "selective" these days, how come people with IQs like those get through?
Maybe the selection proses has been eased cashy, seeing we're short of troops these days
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Old 23-07-2008, 17:15   #22
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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Working for the Army and being married to it - i do see a hell of a lot of young new recruits ( here in Germany) - a couple of weeks out of basic training - being thrown to the lions so to speak by being deployed - a lot will jack before they have to go - a lot will do one tour and when they realize they will have to go back in a year's time because the army is so undermanned - they will do anything to get out.. having said that there is a large percentage of lads/lassses (no lasses in the infantry) that do volunteer to go right back and fight ( especially if their last tour was relatively easy and low casualty rates) ..unfortunately you will get the odd one or two who didn't think they will have to go and get sand on their boots - then it is a shock to the system!
A little question to clear up some confusion: you say that there are no women in the infantry; does this mean that the British don't employ women in combat roles? The Canadian forces do employ women in combat tho' not to the same extent as they do men, of course. In fact, one of the 88 Canadian KIAs in Afghanistan was a woman: Captain Niccola Goddard, forward artillery observer in the RCHA was killed in action near Kandahar last year.
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Old 23-07-2008, 20:16   #23
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Cool Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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A little question to clear up some confusion: you say that there are no women in the infantry; does this mean that the British don't employ women in combat roles? The Canadian forces do employ women in combat tho' not to the same extent as they do men, of course. In fact, one of the 88 Canadian KIAs in Afghanistan was a woman: Captain Niccola Goddard, forward artillery observer in the RCHA was killed in action near Kandahar last year.
It depends on how you define combat roles.

Women serving on warships are in potential combat roles even if they donít actually man the guns and missile launchers as is every person on board. Incoming missiles and shells do not discriminate as they shred a ship to ribbons. Neither does an exploding shell in the field.

I understand that no woman will be knowingly be placed in a position where hand to hand combat might occur - in other words the infantry.
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Old 23-07-2008, 20:23   #24
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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It depends on how you define combat roles.
I understand that no woman will be knowingly be placed in a position where hand to hand combat might occur - in other words the infantry.
I think better described as 'Front Line' in all services.
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Old 23-07-2008, 20:31   #25
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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It depends on how you define combat roles.

Women serving on warships are in potential combat roles even if they donít actually man the guns and missile launchers as is every person on board. Incoming missiles and shells do not discriminate as they shred a ship to ribbons. Neither does an exploding shell in the field.

I understand that no woman will be knowingly be placed in a position where hand to hand combat might occur - in other words the infantry.

Thanx .... that clears things up some .... so, that means that in the British forces, a woman could act as a forward artillery observer, as did the late Captain Goddard.
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Old 23-07-2008, 20:43   #26
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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Thanx .... that clears things up some .... so, that means that in the British forces, a woman could act as a forward artillery observer, as did the late Captain Goddard.
Yes...........Forward Observer to report target activity means in front of the guns, not on the Battlefield. A forward observation post is created to direct the fire of the guns. If an OP is spotted by the enemy and their guns fire to destroy the OP that is war.
An OP is not considered as 'Front Line'
Been there done that.
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Old 23-07-2008, 21:46   #27
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Cool Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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I think better described as 'Front Line' in all services.
Everyone is in the front line on a warship. In the event of a forthcoming engagement the ship doesnít head hell for leather to the nearest port to dump the girls.

What might happen is if a situation like the Falklands ever occurred again. Any female personnel might get off loaded before the ship sets sail like they would do with any junior seamen Ė that is under 18. But once at sea they take their chances same as everyone else.
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Old 23-07-2008, 22:00   #28
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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Everyone is in the front line on a warship. In the event of a forthcoming engagement the ship doesnít head hell for leather to the nearest port to dump the girls.

What might happen is if a situation like the Falklands ever occurred again. Any female personnel might get off loaded before the ship sets sail like they would do with any junior seamen Ė that is under 18. But once at sea they take their chances same as everyone else.
Jim...........That's bullshine and you know it.
If a warship is sent into a war situation, young seamen and female staff would be evacuated by chopper.
I know that a female member of staff was 'captured' in the gulf, but we were not at war with Iran.
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Old 23-07-2008, 22:30   #29
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Cool Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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Jim...........That's bullshine and you know it.
If a warship is sent into a war situation, young seamen and female staff would be evacuated by chopper.
I know that a female member of staff was 'captured' in the gulf, but we were not at war with Iran.
Pray tell me how do you evacuate when the nearest ship or land is hundreds if not thousands of miles away?

Then there is the operational point. Women on warships have various duties not confined to a non combative roll. (cooks, writers, sick berth attendants etc) They act as radar plotters and are central to the fighting efficiency of the ship. Female officers do bridge duties. Evacuate them and who takes their place?

When a ship commissions they do work up and shake down exercises where every man and woman is put through their paces so that everyone knows exactly what they should be doing in times of combat. You canít just dump a rookie behind a radar screen and expect them to perform.

Larger warships have a civilian laundry crew and also a civilian NAAFI manager and assistant. They go to war with the rest and their action station duty is to aid the stretcher-bearers.

That is not bullshine. Itís the reality of life on a warship.
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Last edited by jambutty; 23-07-2008 at 22:32.
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Old 23-07-2008, 22:45   #30
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Re: Joining the army not to fight?

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Pray tell me how do you evacuate when the nearest ship or land is hundreds if not thousands of miles away?

Then there is the operational point. Women on warships have various duties not confined to a non combative roll. (cooks, writers, sick berth attendants etc) They act as radar plotters and are central to the fighting efficiency of the ship. Female officers do bridge duties. Evacuate them and who takes their place?

When a ship commissions they do work up and shake down exercises where every man and woman is put through their paces so that everyone knows exactly what they should be doing in times of combat. You canít just dump a rookie behind a radar screen and expect them to perform

That is not bullshine. Itís the reality of life on a warship.
Only in exercise operations as you have experienced to your own admission....Do you really know what happens on a war footing?
Do you consider rules of engagement?
Do you really know what goes on on a warship in a theatre of war?
Point me in the direction of your arguements and I will read it with interest.
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