Warship watches

Warship design and construction, terminology, navigation, hydrodynamics, stability, armor schemes, damage control, etc.

Warship watches

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Mon Oct 23, 2006 5:23 pm

I´m intrigued by the watches in the warships: as far as I know they had one every four hours: the Morning Watch from 4 hours thru 8; the Forenoon watch from 8 thru 12; the Afternoon one until 16; and the two dog watches from 16 thru 20 and 20 thry 24 and the Midnight Watch from 0 thru 4 hours. But how does this apply to the Port and Starboard watches?
And this means that only a sixth part of each division was on watch at any certain time?

Best regards...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill
User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
 
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Postby RF » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:15 pm

Is it not two watches per day per seaman? Would that make it one-third of a division at a given moment?
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.
User avatar
RF
Senior Member
 
Posts: 6896
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:01 pm

The Bluejacke's Manual 1943: http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b138/ ... et1943.jpg

Image

This is a great handbook of the USN in its 100th year of printing and revisions. It even tells you how to cut your toenails.

The German Navy had a similar watch system:
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b138/ ... /Wache.jpg

Watch: aboard warships, the crew is divided into a starboard and port watch. Then, the time one stands watch, e.g., the dog watch (from 12-4 at night) or the middle watch. By contrast to the watch, there is a “free watch”, i.e., the time during which one has no watch. Das Buch von der Kriegsmarine, Fritz Otto Busch, (1938-1940?)

I have been on some weirder watches of 12 hours on 12 hours off (ship's laundry detail); or if you wish to drive a crew insane: 4 hrs. on 4 off, 2 on 2 off, 4 on 4 off etc. for 5 days! (Sailboat racing with a former USN minesweeper captain)
Ulrich
User avatar
Ulrich Rudofsky
Contributor & Translator
 
Posts: 844
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 9:16 pm
Location: State of New York

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:42 pm

Thanks Ulrich :D
Very kind of you.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill
User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
 
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Postby RF » Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:44 pm

Ulrich Rudofsky wrote:I have been on some weirder watches of 12 hours on 12 hours off (ship's laundry detail); or if you wish to drive a crew insane: 4 hrs. on 4 off, 2 on 2 off, 4 on 4 off etc. for 5 days! (Sailboat racing with a former USN minesweeper captain)


I believe some German U-boats had watch systems something like that.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.
User avatar
RF
Senior Member
 
Posts: 6896
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:42 pm

Didn´t the U-Boats used the color pattern watch: blue, red and green?
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill
User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
 
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Postby RF » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:16 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Didn´t the U-Boats used the color pattern watch: blue, red and green?


I haven't come across use of a colour code, though obviously it could have been in widespread use.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.
User avatar
RF
Senior Member
 
Posts: 6896
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:07 pm

RF:

I haven't come across use of a colour code, though obviously it could have been in widespread use.


Sorry, what I mean was is that U-Boats use a three watch system, 8 hour each?
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill
User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
 
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Postby RF » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:50 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:RF:

I haven't come across use of a colour code, though obviously it could have been in widespread use.


Sorry, what I mean was is that U-Boats use a three watch system, 8 hour each?


On U-110, according to Heinz Wilde who served on her, it was four hours on, four hours off, whilst at sea.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.
User avatar
RF
Senior Member
 
Posts: 6896
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:54 am

It is of interest that the schedules for watchstanding vary and cause the navies concern. The 4 on 4 off, 2 on 2 off or 12 on 12 off cycles of some WWII warships is obviously absurd. But even 6 on 12 off causes problems with the mind and body. And then there are the captains who are practically on constant watch from anchor up to anchor down. http://www.nhrc.navy.mil/nsmrl/Watchst1.htm
Ulrich
User avatar
Ulrich Rudofsky
Contributor & Translator
 
Posts: 844
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 9:16 pm
Location: State of New York

Postby RF » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:04 pm

Ulrich Rudofsky wrote:It is of interest that the schedules for watchstanding vary and cause the navies concern. The 4 on 4 off, 2 on 2 off or 12 on 12 off cycles of some WWII warships is obviously absurd. But even 6 on 12 off causes problems with the mind and body. And then there are the captains who are practically on constant watch from anchor up to anchor down. http://www.nhrc.navy.mil/nsmrl/Watchst1.htm


Watch-keeping obviously presents different problems on a sub than on a surface ship, and it is easier to manipulate the body clock due to the lack of surface natural light.

On ships the problem is more obvious.

Bismarck's watch-keeping routine of the crew constantly on watch evidently degraded the crews efficiency when it was needed the most.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.
User avatar
RF
Senior Member
 
Posts: 6896
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:15 pm

It is hard to believe that well-trained, young and healthy crews could become degraded so rapidly.

Aboard the PRINZ EUGEN, according to the medical officer's diary, they were issued Schokakola (chocolate spiked with caffeine and, perhaps, a little Pervitin-methamphetamine); however, a 100 gm disc contains only 200 mg of caffeine, ~2 cups of coffee. I had the Kriegsmarine issue as a child and it was good plain chocolate as far as I remember! So the "chocolate effects" noted by the doctor below seem strange; also the fact the doctor had control of it as if it were a potent drug.

From PG medical diary: A stimulatory agent [Pervitin – metamphetamine, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methamphetamine. UR] was administered only once [Note: very addictive and hallucinatory. UR] to the almost exhausted radio personnel which was constantly on battle station watch; the radio personnel was particularly affected because of the extreme heat generated in the radio rooms and despite of that had to maintain a clear head. For this reason Pervitin was issued, which had the predicted invigorating effect. After the heavy battle in the Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland each crew member was issued one pack of Schokakola [see below. UR] for the strengthening of physical performance and for the elevation of mental concentrating power; its effect will be discussed further below. Right after the start of the mission, a health inspection was performed, and its purpose to “fish” for fresh venereal diseases and cases of crabs and lice. This measure was also blessed with success. One case of gonorrhea [literally, a dripper. UR] and 16 cases of lice, several genital eczemas, and one case of severe protracted crab infestation were found as well as a case of very severe foreskin stricture, which required an operation [emergency circumcision? UR]. The health inspection of the individual divisions was preceded by a medical lecture about the importance of body care and body hygiene.
Ulrich
User avatar
Ulrich Rudofsky
Contributor & Translator
 
Posts: 844
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 9:16 pm
Location: State of New York

Postby tommy303 » Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:28 pm


Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.
User avatar
tommy303
Senior Member
 
Posts: 1402
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:19 pm
Location: Arizona

Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:28 pm

That is it. The actual caffeine in about 3 oz. is only about the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee (200 mg). However, there was a military issue in 1941 (Wehrmacht Packung) which must have had some "meth" or "Speed" in it. The PRINZ EUGEN doctor tested some Schokakola on himself and could not sleep for hours! It was used in large amounts in U-Boots per my KzS Uncle Albert. We kids used to call it "U-Boot-Schokolade", but it was probably not the military stuff that we kids ate by the tin full. :angel:
Image
Oh, I just remember, there were also the Wehrmacht issue "Traubenzucker" (grape sugar) dextrose cubes to give you extra pep.
Ulrich
User avatar
Ulrich Rudofsky
Contributor & Translator
 
Posts: 844
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 9:16 pm
Location: State of New York

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:04 pm

A four hour on, four hour off routine seemed absurd anyway. A body and a mind cannot rest enough in less than four hours. That must produce serious problems to the alert state of the sailors and diminished that person´s perfomance.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill
User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
 
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Next

Return to Naval Technology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests