Submarine commander recounts how disaster was narrowly avoided

HMS Turbulent crewmembers collapsed at control panels as the vessel’s air conditioning failed, causing temperatures to soar

A nuclear submarine commander has told how he narrowly avoided disaster when the vessel’s air-conditioning system became clogged with shellfish, causing searing temperatures on board.

HMS Turbulent was on patrol in the Indian Ocean during a gruelling 268-day tour when the temperature on board soared to 60C (140F) and crew members began to collapse at their control panels and in their cabins.

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First world war recruitment in Trafalgar Square and now interactive

In the latest of our weekly series of interactive photographs to mark the centenary of the first world war, boys dressed as soldiers stand to attention before a first world war recruitment poster in November 1914. Altogether, 2,466,719 volunteers joined the British army between the outbreak of war and December 1915. However, as the conflict proceeded, fewer and fewer men enlisted, and conscription began at the beginning of 1916 when the Military Service Act was passed.

Photography then and now lets you move through time by tapping or clicking on a historic image to reveal the modern view.

D-day landings scenes in 1944 and now interactive

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Why military muscle doesn’t make better humanitarian security

An ex-army man explains how, despite assumptions that one informs the other, a military background and NGO security clash

When I say I work in humanitarian security the response is often, “Oh, how interesting. Were you in the military then?” At this point I bristle slightly. I have to say that yes, I was, a very long time ago, in the military. And I always go on to add that contrary to easy-to-make assumptions, my military background does not have much of a bearing on what I do now. Sure, it is useful to have some of that knowledge and experience, but it can easily become an “overdone strength” if you don’t “get it” about humanitarian security.

Humanitarians are often in the same contextual space as the military, and are often uncomfortable with them. We are values-led, we believe in fairness, opportunity, honesty, respect for life and protecting the vulnerable. But which “we” am I using here? Am I speaking as an ex-military person, or as a humanitarian? The thing is that both groups are likely to identify with many of the same values.

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