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Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/16/2019 9:11:20 AM   
Yaab


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How did the Jap and Allied tank crews cope with heat and humidity in the Pacific? Were the tanks systems modified like Hurricane and Spitfire Trop versions?
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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/16/2019 12:42:04 PM   
Korvar


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That's a good question. I searched through what digital books I have on WW2 tanks (using keyword searches), and there is no mention of it. The Pacific theater modifications mentioned had more to do with waterproofing the tank (the engine compartment in particular). From a brief online search, all I've been able to find is this paragraph:

quote:

The climate of the various campaign locations in the Pacific was pretty diverse. Early on, in the SWPAO, places like New Guinea, Bougainville and Tarawa are pretty close to the equator and hot and humid, the Philippines are also in the tropics. Fighting inside a tank in these areas was not pleasant, and it wasn’t unheard of for crewmembers to pass out from the heat and smoke inside the tank. The environment offered almost as much danger to the Pacific tanker as combat since there were several diseases the caused mass casualties, the main being malaria. The US was very aggressive at controlling the malaria problem, issuing preventive medication and spraying massive amounts of DDT to kill mosquitoes. Later in the war, the battles had left the tropics, and were much like the battles in Europe climate wise and the malaria risk fell off.

Source: http://www.theshermantank.com/tag/tank-interior/


I've also found discussion about how even modern tanks have minimal climate control (except the latest models, some of which have air conditioning), with crews sometimes hauling along ice boxes to help combat the heat... and ice wasn't something WW2 crews would have access to normally.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/16/2019 3:59:05 PM   
geofflambert


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I think some had small electric fans at the various stations.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/16/2019 4:32:04 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

I think some had small electric fans at the various stations.

The IJA issued them special tank crew uniforms ...





Attachment (1)

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/16/2019 5:18:37 PM   
rsallen64


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Yaab

How did the Jap and Allied tank crews cope with heat and humidity in the Pacific? Were the tanks systems modified like Hurricane and Spitfire Trop versions?



I can't speak to the particular conditions those crews dealt with, but as a former US Army tanker who operated a tank without "climate control" devices installed, I can tell you they would have to have been miserable. The only thing most tanks would have inside that would help with heat to any degree would be a fan that be in place to draw out cordite fumes from firing the main gun, to prevent too much cordite buildup when the vehicle is "buttoned up." This helps to draw out some heat and keep some air circulating. But in high heat, with the sun beating down, on a buttoned up vehicle, it is not unusual for the interior to reach 120 or more degrees. That's from personal experience.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/16/2019 5:35:09 PM   
Nowi Ribak

 

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Yeah they just took it, I remember reading in Slim's Burma-Bio that the tropical climate was absolutely cruel for the tank crews.
He even writes about crazy high amount of casualties in the young officer cadres (think 2nd to 1st Lts), because they had to command the tank platoons with the hatch open in the jungle. An easy target for Japanese riflemen...

I think the tank crews were Prio 1 for proper housing (if possible at all) from all troop categories; similar to the situation in Normandy.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/17/2019 1:35:48 AM   
spence

 

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Never having been inside a tank I can't speak directly to the question BUT I served on two different ships that were built in 1937 and those ships were terribly uncomfortable when the atmospheric temperature rose above about 65. We used to do Ocean Stations and as I passed by the engineroom door on the main deck on the way to the bridge I would recoil from the heat felt even when the atmospheric temperature was 20F. In the tropics the temp below decks was unbearable reaching somewhere around 95F in general and 135F in the engineroom/fireroom. There is little reason to question why the throttlemen stood immediately in front of a blower from the main deck that blew in 90 odd degree air at 25 mph. The physical comfort of the men who served in WW2 was the least important attribute of the machines of the time. Probably the only servicemen who fought at reasonably comfortable temperatures in the tropics were the aviators and only even then only if they transited to target between about 5000 - 10000 ft (the bomber crews in Europe certainly contended with low temps at the altitudes they operated at above 10000 ft).

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/17/2019 1:56:44 AM   
Korvar


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rsallen64 and spence,

Thank you for sharing your experiences - nothing beats hearing first-hand knowledge of the situation (or similar). Even if you served later on, it still helps to get an idea of what it was probably like back in WW2. The more I think about it, it's amazing that it's not discussed more in books and whatnot - conditions like that MUST have an effect on endurance, fatigue, and overall combat performance.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/17/2019 3:33:47 AM   
sanch

 

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The USS North Carolina has one air-conditioned compartment - the one containing the gunnery control "computers", which were vacuum tubes and synchros/servo motors and such. Not a surprise that sailors commonly slept on some quiet corner top-side.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/19/2019 8:42:19 PM   
WingCmdr

 

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Chieftain Sheman Pt.2

14:54

This guy’s really good. But he might have missed something. On the M48’s ‘60s there was a blower behind the breech, in the back of the crew compartment. It pulled air in from the engine to force it out, or pulled it in, I forget. But you turned it on before you fired any ammo. There was a cold weather plate on it, so you didn’t suck in a lot of cold air, but I wasn’t even a TC, just a 12A by training.

I don’t know if they had that on the Sherman, or any other WW2 tanks? The loader has to load rounds, directly into an open breech spilling out smoke in a closed compartment. 4,700 rounds of .50 is a lot of smoke.

If you keep your head wet it really helps with the heat. You can take the wet T shirt you are wearing and wrap it around your head, and it also protects you from bumps in the road. First wet your arms so that you get some cooling from that and maybe save some of your own moisture. I think the Israeli’s before the 6 day war figured it out first and then into professional sports. That’s one of many reasons they made big moves to recruit and retain women.

I doubt fans were available because they take away fuel that you may need. The problem with the early M-1s was that you could not operate all the equipment for long periods because you would degrade the batteries too quickly.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/19/2019 11:43:27 PM   
BBfanboy


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You do not want to "suck in air" via the cannon to dispel the cordite fumes. You bring in fresh air and pressurize the tank (even if only slightly) and the pressure differential will push the cordite fumes out the barrel before they even get into the tank, with the exception of what cordite comes out in the brass when extracted.
Just look at video of a naval gun being fired from a turret or enclosed gun mount - flash and smoke followed by a jet of fumes flushed out by air pressure.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 5:31:41 AM   
RangerJoe


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I did not serve on the M60A3 nor the M1 but they did have a NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) system with fresh air coming in that was filtered. In the winter, even with a diesel heater going, the crewmen would stick the hose from the NBC system down their coveralls to keep nice and warm. I am pretty sure that during the summer it would provide a cooling effect.

As far as cordite smoke coming in, if the loader knew what type of round was next, he would have one in his hands ready to load when the main gun was fired. When the gun fired and the breech opened, he would immediately load he gun with the round being sucked in. So the cordite smoke would not come into the turret.

The M2HB would be mounted on the outside of the turret for the Track Commander (TC) to fire. The M2HB was not co-axially mounted with the main gun, that would have been the M240. That could have brought gun smoke into the tank. The loader also had a M240 mounted on the turret for him to fire. The M240 fired the same NATO 7.62 X 51 mm (.308 caliber) round as the M60 machine gun. Now, there is a modification to have an M2 HB fixed on the main gun.

< Message edited by RangerJoe -- 6/20/2019 5:48:54 AM >


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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 5:37:45 AM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

I did not serve on the M60A3 nor the M1 but they did have a NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) system with fresh air coming in that was filtered. In the winter, even with a diesel heater going, the crewmen would stick the hold from the NBC system down their coveralls to keep nice and warm. I am pretty sure that during the summer it would provide a cooling effect.

As far as cordite smoke coming in, if he loader knew what type of round was next, he would have one in his hands ready to load when the main gun was fired. When the gun fired and the breech opened, he would immediately load he gun with the round being sucked in. So the cordite smoke would not come into the turret.

The M2HB would be mounted on the outside of the turret for the Track Commander (TC) to fire. The M2HB was not co-axially mounted with the main gun, that would have been the M240. That could have brought gun smoke into the tank. I believe that the loader also had a M240 mounted on the turret for him to fire. The M240 fired the same NATO 7.62 X 51 mm (.308 caliber) round as the M60 machine gun. Now, there is a modification to have an M2 HB fixed on the main gun.

But the propellant used in MG bullets is not the same stuff as the cordite used to fire the big shells, is it? My understanding is that cordite is very corrosive and toxic while gunpowders are much less so?

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 6:38:51 AM   
RangerJoe


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I don't know the difference in propellants but I do believe that they are differrant. The propellant in the main gun ammo is pellets rather than a powder. But not being a tank crew member I was not trained on the main gun or anything like that so I had no warning about the main guns ammo fumes. The closest I got to a tank firing its main gun was about 50 feet. That was between two of them . . .

I do know that a substitute for ivory pool balls was gun cotton and sometimes they would explode when they hit each other. Not a good thing in a room full of drunken cowboys with pistols . . .

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 11:41:12 AM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sanch

The USS North Carolina has one air-conditioned compartment - the one containing the gunnery control "computers", which were vacuum tubes and synchros/servo motors and such. Not a surprise that sailors commonly slept on some quiet corner top-side.



A guy in my church served on two different Liberty ships in WWII and told me he used to take his cot on deck to sleep.

He related a story that he would place the cot against the deck house and woke up one night to find the cot and himself on it against the wire rope railing where the cot had slid while he was sleeping. After that harrowing experience he always lashed the cot to the deck house.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 1:23:53 PM   
WingCmdr

 

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The thread is about Tanks. vehicles with doors. Ships have hatches. I was hoping a navy guy that actually was inside a turret would chime in.
The whole ventilation system is different for multiple gun turrets. Procedures (SOPs) are different.

The biggest difference to me is that in combat tankers have their doors open, and turrets have their hatches closed.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 1:26:48 PM   
WingCmdr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

I did not serve on the M60A3 nor the M1 but they did have a NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) system with fresh air coming in that was filtered. In the winter, even with a diesel heater going, the crewmen would stick the hose from the NBC system down their coveralls to keep nice and warm. I am pretty sure that during the summer it would provide a cooling effect.

As far as cordite smoke coming in, if the loader knew what type of round was next, he would have one in his hands ready to load when the main gun was fired. When the gun fired and the breech opened, he would immediately load he gun with the round being sucked in. So the cordite smoke would not come into the turret.

The M2HB would be mounted on the outside of the turret for the Track Commander (TC) to fire. The M2HB was not co-axially mounted with the main gun, that would have been the M240. That could have brought gun smoke into the tank. The loader also had a M240 mounted on the turret for him to fire. The M240 fired the same NATO 7.62 X 51 mm (.308 caliber) round as the M60 machine gun. Now, there is a modification to have an M2 HB fixed on the main gun.


M60A3 or A5?

NBC is whole nother issue, and I do not believe there is any turret pressurization on any American vehicle in the '80s and possibly to this day. Look at the preparations for Desert Storm.
(I actually feel the Soviets installed it to show readiness, but in reality I would not trust over-pressurization to work on vehicles in a combat environment with armor no thicker than your average SUV door.)

< Message edited by WingCmdr -- 6/20/2019 1:29:55 PM >

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 1:34:29 PM   
WingCmdr

 

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What do propellants have to do with anything?
We are not talking about the 120mm rounds the Germans were looking into. Like a 16' gun and Artillery pieces you have separate
powder bags, etc., to place in sequence.

Not practical when you are pumping rounds down range every 6 seconds. Remember First shot First Kill.
(Everyone in the turret gets to inhale victory, even with a blower)

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 1:51:25 PM   
WingCmdr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter


quote:

ORIGINAL: sanch

The USS North Carolina has one air-conditioned compartment - the one containing the gunnery control "computers", which were vacuum tubes and synchros/servo motors and such. Not a surprise that sailors commonly slept on some quiet corner top-side.



A guy in my church served on two different Liberty ships in WWII and told me he used to take his cot on deck to sleep.

He related a story that he would place the cot against the deck house and woke up one night to find the cot and himself on it against the wire rope railing where the cot had slid while he was sleeping. After that harrowing experience he always lashed the cot to the deck house.


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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 1:51:34 PM   
WingCmdr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: HansBolter


quote:

ORIGINAL: sanch

The USS North Carolina has one air-conditioned compartment - the one containing the gunnery control "computers", which were vacuum tubes and synchros/servo motors and such. Not a surprise that sailors commonly slept on some quiet corner top-side.



A guy in my church served on two different Liberty ships in WWII and told me he used to take his cot on deck to sleep.

He related a story that he would place the cot against the deck house and woke up one night to find the cot and himself on it against the wire rope railing where the cot had slid while he was sleeping. After that harrowing experience he always lashed the cot to the deck house.


Whenever I sleep on a rolling surface the first thing I always did was "tie in".

Do you have any original stories?


< Message edited by WingCmdr -- 6/20/2019 1:52:51 PM >

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 8:19:33 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

WingCmdr

M60A3 or A5?

NBC is whole nother issue, and I do not believe there is any turret pressurization on any American vehicle in the '80s and possibly to this day. Look at the preparations for Desert Storm.
(I actually feel the Soviets installed it to show readiness, but in reality I would not trust over-pressurization to work on vehicles in a combat environment with armor no thicker than your average SUV door.)


My unit in Germany went from M60A3s to M1s. The NBC system was a filtration system that would filter the air and you would hook your M25 gas mask to it before the gas mask filter. No A5, A3 AS I STATED.

quote:

M25 Tank Gas Mask

The M25 / M25A1 chemical-biological masks are special masks for crews of armored vehicles. These masks protect against chemical and biological attack in the form of vapor or aerosol agents when hooked to the vehicle filtered air system or when used alone.


https://olive-drab.com/od_soldiers_gear_gasmask_m25.php

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 10:39:44 PM   
MakeeLearn


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http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/212241-us-army-tanks-in-the-jungle-part-1/

"The physical misery experienced by these tankers in conditions of high heat and humidity were to prove common in the Pacific theater. A post-war study of ten armored battalions by the Pacific Warfare Board concluded that carbon-monoxide buildup from gun fumes played a major role in making crewmen sick, which was a particular problem when the turret was buttoned up. Malaise, nausea, and vomiting were common, and almost every unit reported cases of men passing out in combat. The most common firing pattern contributed by rapidly building up fumes: Gunners typically fired five to ten bursts as quickly as possible—one minute or less—as targets were spotted, and firing forty rounds in ten to fifteen minutes was common."

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 11:21:46 PM   
rsallen64


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The M60A3 did have a "supposed" pressurized NBC system with integrated gas mask hoses as RangerJoe states. Not as good as on the later M1. You hooked the mask you carried, which was different from the standard infantry mask, to the hose linked to the system. There was a nob that controlled the air flow, both amount of flow and temperature. In winter, you could blow warm air, and in summer, supposedly cool air. I say supposedly because it was never very cool and didn't make much of a difference when the inside of the tank was 120 degrees or more, but if you weren't in NBC training or full-on MOPP gear, you did indeed stick the hose down your shirt for some cooling effect.

BTW, tanks typically do not go into combat with their "doors" open. Hatches would be closed in combat. Open hatches invite shells, shrapnel, chemicals, gas, you name it. Blowers on to suck out cordite, buttoned up for combat, unbuttoned for traveling, that's SOP. The bottom line is that it can be warm and somewhat comfy in the winter because you do have heat in a tank, but the summer is pure hell.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 11:27:23 PM   
RangerJoe


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One advantage that the M60 did have over the M1 was a bottom hatch pee hole . . .


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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 11:29:43 PM   
Korvar


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Ok then, who was on the committee that chose Ft. Irwin as the NTC? We want names.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 11:33:23 PM   
RangerJoe


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I don't know but it is apparently a very good training facility.

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 11:38:33 PM   
Korvar


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In all seriousness, it is probably a good spot - train, where feasible, so the simulations are worse than real. It also makes the future deployment brochure more sellable: "look guys, you're going where the highs are only in the high 80s to low 90s!"

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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 11:51:52 PM   
RangerJoe


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Train hard fight harder. The units sent there have needed the training since, I believe, that few units even tie the OPFOR and the rest of them lose. But they get better during the cycle and that is the important thing. Of course, they are training against the best unit.

Edit: They are also close to Vegas so the OPFOR can let off some steam . . .

< Message edited by RangerJoe -- 6/20/2019 11:53:53 PM >


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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/20/2019 11:58:54 PM   
Korvar


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Like the Fighter Weapons School, Top Gun, SERE.... you're not supposed to win. At least not at first. The deck is deliberately stacked against the 'visiting team' to shake them out of the comfort zone, in more ways than one.


Edit:

quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

Edit: They are also close to Vegas so the OPFOR can let off some steam . . .



Haha.... so is Nellis...

< Message edited by Korvar -- 6/20/2019 11:59:53 PM >


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RE: Tank warfare - interior conditions - 6/21/2019 3:21:59 AM   
spence

 

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On board the USCGC Humboldt (which is one of those seaplane tender reinforcements in WitP) in 1969 I got to choose between sleeping on my back or sleeping on my stomach as I climbed into bed. Either one was hot but fortunately we were on a Northern Europe Cruise so the temps in the North Atlantic/North Sea weren't especially uncomfortable. A couple of years later I got to sail on another cruise in the Mediterranean on USCGC Chincoteague (same class of ship which got hit by a 250kg bomb in the Solomons). Pulling my mattress off my bunk and finding a spot on the 01 deck was a typical routine for me and numerous other sailors because the below deck temps were usually unbearable.

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