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So you want to live in Issan

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21 hours ago, Garzan said:

Ah, now that's one of the reasons I so enjoy submarine movies. With very few exceptions, they all come across as very comedic. Their depiction of life on a submarine generally gets a belly laugh. :-) 555

Before I moved over here I had a room in my house that was just a book library. I felt so bad getting rid of it when I was preparing to move over here that I've almost totally converted over to electronic books. I never again want to have to get rid of decades of collecting and treasuring just because of size and weight considerations. 

So, no C. S. Forester? If you ever get a hankering for Horatio Hornblower in space, give David Weber's Honor Harrington epic space opera a try. :-) 

1977-80 I worked for Vickers Oceanics on their submersible support vessels.  These people built the Royal Navy hunter Killer and missile boats at Barrow on Furness.  Now during the winter period we would be laid up in Leith Harbour, Edinburgh.  Owing to an open RN day at Rosyth Naval base, two West German (Pre unification) and one Dutch submarines came into the wharf we were tied up to.  Since we were on winter lay up with a full complement of engineers (Doing plant maintenance) other departments only skeleton a Royal Navy liaison officer came onboard asking if the subs crew could use our ship "MV Vickers Voyager" (Ex fish factory ship) toilets and showers.  No probs.

Strangely enough we got on better with the Germans than the Dutch who were a bit cold/offish, so it were the Germans we asked if we could see inside their 'boot'.

This were a coastal sub, no watertight doors, only person who had their own bunk were the skipper which doubled as his office and for privacy had a curtain, the 6 officers shared 3 bunks in their mess room just larger than a telephone box.  One toilet, one wash hand basin, in port cold seawater, at sea warm seawater.  Two V12 BMW engines, and there had to be 1mm clearance if pulling an outboard piston and rod from the pressure hull.

Their task were to lay on the bottom of sealanes and wait for enemy ships to pass. Lettuce, hams, sausage all hung from nets everywhere an enlightening visit of a 1960' coastal sub. 


BOOKS, I had so many, had a book I picked up at a car boot sail, it were the "History of the Royal Navy"  been awarded as an English prize in 1912 to a pupil at the local school, this and 1960 newspapers found under lino while renovating the house, I put away.  Intention were to give the book back to the family of the little boy, the newspaper had a couple on the front page who had been broken up by WWII and just got back together after many years.  The paper would go to any children or family, alas, all these disappeared during a clean up.  My ex has no idea the contempt I have for her now.

Walls of books from charity sales and clear outs.  Had Winston Churchill "World War II" volumes 1 -3, all gone, I could never say I like this book.  One book called the 'Kaiserschlacht' were about one day in the German offensive in WWI, it gave the reasons why South Africa never sent "Officially" soldiers to fight outside Africa in WWII, it were a first day cover also, gone......

Books keep history alive and your mind young

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very interesting what you have written TD


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Another submarine anecdote (sorry for the hijack TD :)).  A good friend of mine who joined the Navy (while I went to the Army) ended up on subs.

  In those days (1994) Australia had British Oberon Class submarines.   One day while in dock for a public open day an elderly gentleman boarded for a tour.  A few minutes after boarding he tells my mate where all the key pieces of mechanical equipment and engineering would be located.

 My mate looking flabbergasted asked “how do you know all this?”

Reply “This boat is very similar and almost the same design as the last U Boats I was on during the war.”   

Irrespective of what you think of Germans,  they do know how to design stuff.

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