I Visited a Russian Sub and All I Got Was…

Vlad the Inhaler had a conference call with the crew of the Yury Dolgoruky nuclear submarine, which houses 16 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles. He also received this stylish shirt in an on-board MWR, white-elephant gift exchange:

President Vladimir Putin, center, receives a navy t-shirt as a gift, on board a navy ship in Severomorsk, Russia, on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Russian Navy's commander-in-chief Viktor Chirkov is at left, and Vladislav Malakhovsky, captain of the Peter the Great nuclear powered cruiser is at right.
President Vladimir Putin receives a navy t-shirt as a gift, on board a navy ship in Severomorsk, Russia, on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Russian Navy’s commander-in-chief Viktor Chirkov is at left, and Vladislav Malakhovsky, captain of the Peter the Great nuclear powered cruiser is at right.

3 thoughts on “I Visited a Russian Sub and All I Got Was…”

  1. This is no ordinary blue & white ‘T shirt’ that Comrade Putin received, it is virtually the essence of the Russian Navy.

    I once visited a Russian bar on a Foreign deployment and after copious drinks I received an original ‘Telnyashka’ from a very drunk Soviet *Naval Infantryman, worn warm as received. (though the stripes are black and white, not blue)!
    (Russki *Marines were formed on November 1705 following a decree by Peter I; aka, Peter the Great, Emperor & Autocrat of All the Russias).

    The word “Telnyashka” in Russian is formed from the word “Telo” (the body), the sense and meaning of the word is that this sweatshirt is designed especially to be worn on the “telo” (on the body). Thus, initially, the snug fit was supposed to be in complete harmony with the movement of the human body as possible. It was made from a fibrous mix of wool, cotton, and horsehair, making it water repellent, yet allowing it to wick moisture away from the body.

    (The Telnyashka is a striped vest with alternating white and navy blue horizontal stripes that first appeared as a part of the Russian sailors’ uniform in the days of a fleet under sail).

    As a mandatory part of the Russian Navy uniform the Telnyashka was officially implemented at the initiative of the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, the General Admiral of the Russian Fleet, who on Aug. 19, 1874 signed a Decree on the Introduction of a Striped Vest (Telnyashka) to be one of the key attributes of the naval uniform. Issued and worn by all ranks.

    At sea in a fleet under sail, (as with all Naval ships of the time); Russian sailors would have possessed special skills attributed to their part of ship duties. The precise and speedy work of a rigger sailor at their station on the sailyards of the masts, proved that the Telnyashka was the perfect garment for such arduous work, it retained warmth when wet, and its snug fit was wind tight offering stability whilst working at height.

    It also allowed the On Watch Officer to bellow precise orders to sailors aloft, as he was able to maintain a watchful eye on each rigger sailor due to the contrast of the blue & white striped Telnyashka against the grubby white sails. From aloft the riggers were able to view their shipmates on deck. Consequently a ‘man over board’ allowed the sailor to be spotted in a sea swell as they stood out against the background of grey-green.

    To this day it perfectly meets all of the requirements of Naval work. Telnyashka has a great advantage over other under shirts, namely, it retains heat well, and though clinging to the body snugly, it does not contstrain free movement, it is also easy to wash and dry.

    In the eyes of the Soviet/Russian Federation Naval Forces, the design of the Telnyashka accurately underlines the advantages of the masculine body and makes it look even more courageous when worn.
    (Here’s the non-PC bit; ‘Fatties’ are never seen wearing it as they rarely exist whilst in service).

    This light tight jersey shirt with its white and navy blue stripes has become a great favourite of the Navy and its sailors and marines. It remains a symbol of sea valour and brotherhood. In a large measure the viability of this jersey stems from the combination of the stripes on it symbolising the blue sky and the white crests of the waves. Repeating the colour of the Navy’s St. Andrew’s flag, Telnyashka reminds Naval personnel of the sea and of the life on board her ships.

    It has since become a symbol of courage, bravery, heroism, strength and power of endurance, tenacity, male bonding and love of life.

    Telnyashka is not just pleasurable to the eye, it is comfortable and practical.

    Telnyashka is symbolic.

    As worn by these Russian Beauties

    Yours Aye.

    1. I came all the way back here just to read your informative little piece only to find these lovelies at the end….and lovely would only be pejorative quite honestly….I don’t believe they would ever pass a physical in the Russian Navy….although I’m not exactly sure they would want to be in that great institution….be that as it may…thanks for your story…you have an amazing number of memorable quotes and stories; I would most certainly visit if you ever did decide to initiate a blog….k

  2. EB: Ah yes! I did see this, but I forgot to comment on it! I have never tricked you guys into going to a link, so I find this sort of underhanded. But as Kris says above, they are indeed lovelies. Thanks also for the background information on the Telnyashka. I won’t wear one, but still. . .
    Kris: We both were had. We have to face it. EB has the last harr-dee-harr-harr on this one.

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