THE MOST FORMIDABLE WEAPON PLATFORM EVER

HERE IS A WEB PAGE FOR SUBMARINERS.  IT IS FULL OF JARGON AND ABBREVIATIONS WHICH WILL MAKE LITTLE SENSE TO NON SUBMARINERS, AND IT HELPS IF YOU WERE A MEMBER OF A BOMBER CREW  TO UNDERSTAND IT FULLY. IT RELATES TO POLARIS AND NOT TO TRIDENT.

RECENTLY, THE SUBMARINE MUSEUM PUBLISHED A COUPLE OF PDF FILES ABOUT THE POLARIS NUCLEAR SUBMARINE FORCE. UPON OPENING ONE OF THEM [POLARIS AND RN HANDBOOK] YOU WILL SEE THAT AT ONE TIME IT BELONGED TO THE COXSWAIN OF HMS RESOLUTION AND HIS STAMP READS 3.1.1967. 

I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION THE CONTROL ROOM LOG FOR THAT BOAT COVERING THE PERIOD 31ST DECEMBER 1979 TO 30TH JANUARY 1980, SO I THOUGHT IT FITTING TO PUBLISH IT IN VIEW OF THE NEW MATERIAL ON THE MUSEUM SITE. RESOLUTION HAD BEEN ON DETERRENT PATROL SINCE APPROXIMATELY THE 10TH NOVEMBER 1979 SO HAD SPENT CHRISTMAS AT SEA.

HOWEVER, DON'T GET TOO EXCITED - WHAT FOLLOWS IS A BORING OLD HISTORY LESSON AND NOT AN INTERESTING ROMANTIC ADVENTURE STORY. YOU ARE GOING TO SEE RAW DATA AS IT WAS RECORDED, SO WHILST NOT SOMETHING TO READ [JUST TO QUICKLY GLANCE AT]  IT IS NEVERTHELESS UNIQUE. THERE IS HOWEVER, ROOM FOR COMMENT, AND THAT UPON THE ABILITY OF THE RECORDER[S] TO SPELL CORRECTLY: IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THEY HADN'T BE TAUGHT THE RULE <DROP THE 'E' AND ADD 'ING'>.

THE POLARIS PROGRAMME STARTED IN 1963 AND BY FEBRUARY 1964 RESOLUTION [THE FIRST OF FOUR BOATS] HAD BEEN LAID DOWN. SHE WAS LAUNCHED IN SEPTEMBER 1966, COMMISSIONED IN FEBRUARY 1967 AND COMMENCED HER FIRST DETERRENT PATROL IN JUNE 1968. HER PENNANT NUMBER WAS S22 ALTHOUGH IT WAS NOT PAINTED ON EACH SIDE OF HER SAILFIN.  THE INTERNATIONAL RADIO CALLSIGN WAS GMWE [GOLF MIKE WHISKEY ECHO]. THE LAST OF THE POLARIS SSBN'S WAS THE REVENGE.  THERE WAS SIBLING RIVALRY BETWEEN THE ELDEST AND THE YOUNGEST WHICH CULMINATED WITH A SMALLY COLLISION IN 1969 IN FASLANE.

THE FIRST FILE DEALS WITH RESOLUTION COMING BACK FROM PATROL AND BERTHING AT COULPORT, AND THEN AFTER HER BUSINESS THERE, A COLD MOVE [BY TUGS] ACROSS THE WAY TO HER BERTH ALONGSIDE IN FASLANE PROPER.

 

this picture was taken when she was brand new in 1968.

EACH POLARIS BOAT HAD TWO CREWS [PORT AND STARBOARD] WITH A FULL SPARE CREW BACK IN BASE AT FASLANE:  THUS THERE WERE NINE FULL CREWS IN ALL, EACH OF 137 [13 OFFICERS AND 124 RATINGS] A FORCE OF 1233 MEN.

OUR STORY STARTS WHEN THE RESOLUTION [AFFECTIONATELY CALLED THE "RESO"] IS AT SEA ON A PATROL WITH HER PORT CREW EMBARKED.  SHE IS HEADING BACK TO BASE IN THE CLYDE WHERE THE STARBOARD CREW WILL TAKE OVER. HAVE A LOOK AT THE MUSEUMS PDF FILES TO GET A GOOD FEEL FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE POLARIS FLEET AND WHAT WAS LIKELY TO HAPPEN TO BOTH CREWS. SSBN'S USUALLY STAYED IN HARBOUR FOR ONE MONTH FOR MAINTENANCE AND CREW CHANGE-OVER.  SINCE SHE ARRIVED BACK ON THE 10TH JANUARY AND OUR STORY STOPS ON THE 30TH JANUARY 1980, SHE HAS APPROXIMATELY A FURTHER TEN DAYS IN BASE BEFORE SHE STARTS THE NEXT DETERRENT PATROL. THE POLARIS PROGRAMME LASTED FOR 28 YEARS SEEING-OUT NO LESS THAN 229 PATROLS.  DURING THIS PERIOD NO BOAT ENJOYED A 'JOLLY' AND THE ONLY PORTS VISITED WERE FASLANE AND USN TEST/FIRING RANGES. WHAT A BORING LIFE IT MUST HAVE BEEN WHICH THE TRIDENT CREWS ADOPTED. 

TO A CONVENTIONAL SUBMARINER, THE TERMS 'BATTERY GASSING' - 'SNORTING' -  'TORPEDO WATER SHOTS' - 'NO SMOKING/ONE ALL ROUND' - 'DIESEL GENERATORS' etc etc ARE ROUTINE UTTERANCES,  NOT EXPECTED IN A NUCLEAR HULL.  IN THIS REPORT, THEY ARE MENTIONED.

USE THE ABODE ZOOMER FOR CLOSE-IN DETAIL.

HMS RESOLUTION Port Crew to 11th Jan 1980.pdf - PORT CREW AT SEA

HMS RESOLUTION TO THE 22ND JANUARY 1980.pdf - STARBOARD CREW IN HARBOUR

HMS RESOLUTION TO 30TH JANUARY 1980.pdf - STARBOARD CREW IN HARBOUR

 P.S. This article was recently sent to me by a friend in the r.n., reserve forces based with the london flotilla.

ON THE CLYDE.pdf