The World: The Sailor's Life

THE life of the average Soviet sailor—at least by comparison with that of his counterpart in the U.S. Navy —is austere, uncomfortable, constrained and boring. Some U.S. experts feel that if American sailors had to live under the same conditions, they would all mutiny.

Despite the sleek, functional modernity of their lines, Soviet ships are not designed for living. Armaments and electronic equipment take up all available space, and 20 Russians must hang their hammocks in quarters that would house ten U.S. sailors. Few Russian ships have air conditioning. Thus vessels on duty in tropical waters are frequently rotated not so much...

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