The author and publisher are to be commended for providing a study of the much neglected subject of sailors’ fitness. The Royal Navy has long recognized the importance of its sailors maintaining the highest levels of health and morale even if historians have generally neglected this critical area of the ability to wage war – Very Highly Recommended
NAME: Fittest Of The Fit, Health and Morale in the Royal Navy, 1939-1945 FILE: R2984 AUTHOR: Kevin Brown PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword, Seaforth Publishing BINDING: hard back PAGES: 276 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: World War Two, World War 2, World War II, WWII, Second World War, Home Front, mobilization, civilians in uniform, hostilities only sailors, war at sea, storms, enemy action, fitness, rations, training
IMAGE: B2984.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y5jy9yqs LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The author and publisher are to be commended for providing a study of the much neglected subject of sailors' fitness. The Royal Navy has long recognized the importance of its sailors maintaining the highest levels of health and morale even if historians have generally neglected this critical area of the ability to wage war – Very Highly Recommended The British became known as Limeys because of Royal Navy policy to issue foods that would keep its sailors healthy. The Hornpipe dance developed from the exercises carried out to maintain physical fitness and health in the confined spaces of wooden warships in the days of sail and muzzle-loading cannon. When WWII broke out, the Royal Navy already had developed a suite of health and fitness measures that had been proven over centuries across the World's oceans and seas. In 1939, the British naval strength was rapidly expanded. Before the outbreak of war, exercises were carried out, mobilizing naval reserves and bringing mothballed warships back into service. At the end of the exercises, the Admiralty did not demobilize, but prepared for global war, building up supplies of fuel, food and other stores at key locations around the World. Warships began to move to their war stations. At the same time an unprecedented building program and a greatly expanded recruitment effort saw the Royal Navy grow considerably in size and have warships and shore personnel serving across the climatic conditions of the globe. The reserves included sailors of pension age and many reserves that had been demobilized for decades. They had to all be brought up to a common minimum level of fitness and their morale had to be maintained. To those returning from reserve were added large numbers of civilians recruited or drafted into RN service. For them, they had to learn about technologies and working conditions that were new to them and to experience the vast extremes of conditions in global naval service. The author has followed the measures introduced from the induction of new sailors through to seasoned naval personnel working under testing and extreme conditions. It is a fascinating story and immensely important to understanding the requirements on naval personnel. The the RN knew the care of their personnel was vital in maintaining capabilities, particularly at sea when sailors removed from service due to illness or unfitness could not be replaced until the ship returned to port. That degraded ship performance and placed even greater pressure of the remaining crew members. The author has also made this book understandable by placing everything in context with other British services and with US Navy practice, painting a rounded picture.