Russian

The Russians have a very long history of operating submarines, having started in 1905. They have also long had problems operating submarines. The US has lost two nuclear subs, both back in the 1960s. I’ve lost count of how many the Russians have lost. The most recent loss was the Kursk, which took 118 sailors with it.

Now comes news that the Russians have had another accident on board a sub. They didn’t lose the boat, but they did lose 20 people. Apparently the fire suppression system discharged unintentionally. When this happens, the freon displaces the oxygen in a compartment. Without oxygen, the fire can’t burn. But people in the compartment can’t breath, either.  On US subs, this hazard is mitigated by having air masks and hookups to breathable air. I don’t know how the Russian navy approaches the problem, but they have historically been far more willing to suffer the loss of sailors to accident then our own.

2 thoughts on “Russian”

  1. It suggests to me they don’t need to bother as much keeping them alive. For some reason expendability must work for them. Controlled media might be part of the reason.

  2. There’s a very old Russian saying (that I cannot remember the original Russian for) that says, “The defense of the Motherland is the breast of her young men.” Russia has always had a manpower surplus, and a willingness to expend that surplus to win wars. The tales from WWII of Soviet soldiers going into battle with only half of them being armed was no exaggeration. Men are cheap, equipment is expensive. Going back even before Napoleon to the days of the Mongol invasions (and even before I am sure), the Russians were perfectly willing to trade mens lives for time and space.

    I do not say this to make the Russians seem evil or callous. Ok, perhaps callous, but that’s kind of unfair itself, since they just have a difference of value for life as a cultural value. It’s like the foolish modern movies about the Wild West. Unforgiven was a fantastic movie, it’s true. But it was TERRIBLE history. “It’s hard to kill a man.” Bullshite. Folks in the 1800’s took their KIDS to hangings on Sunday as a form of entertainment. Life had a different value back then. It’s not fair to judge folks based on our standards. Sure, I don’t APPROVE of a callous disregard for life, but I wasn’t there.

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