Difference between revisions of "The Royal Air Force"
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[[Category:British Commonwealth Armed Forces]]
[[Category:British Commonwealth Armed Forces]]
Revision as of 22:33, 21 November 2007
The Royal Air Force, AKA RAF, The Crabs, Crab Air, Rural Hair Farce , RAuxAF (Auggies)
General History, Mythology and Abuse
Strange organisation with delusions of militarism. Very good at getting money out of government until recently when they got stung for 7000 redundancies. As a service the RAF closely matches banks since they are never available after 1630hrs or at weekends. In fact working on a Wednesday is generally accepted as a no-no because it buggers up both weekends.
Despite all that they seem to be quite good at the flying thing - well, better than a lot of Johnny Foreigner's Air Forces anyway.
Their most impressive recent feat has been to persuade HMG to stump up the cash for about 10,000 Eurofighter Typhoons. An aircraft allegedly designed as the ultimate weapon against Hitler's mighty Luftwaffe, and thus completely bankrupting the MOD to the extent that the rest of us will only be allowed to shout 'Bang' once a year in case we get sore throats.
It was thought, that since it no longer has an independent strategic mission, the continuing separate existence of the RAF cannot be justified and that it should stand down, its assets being handed over to the Army and RN. However, this is no longer the case since the Navy had had all their pointy aeroplanes taken away ande it was found that Teeny Weeny Airways, AKA the Army Air Corps was incapable of even servicing correctly, the one grown up airframe (Apache) that they were allowed to play with.
The RAF may be onto something though. In the Army it is generally the commissioned officers who send the chaps to do most of the dirty work. In the Navy the officers and the chaps have to do it together on a large floating Exocet target. The RAF is unique in that the chaps stay safe and dry in a nice, cosy bomb proof hangar while the commissioned officers are shot down and given a ferocious beasting on Al Jazeera TV. Consequently, in order to maintain morale, many RAF officers' messes are equipped with miniature pool tables and Fruit Machines. Classy eh?
This seems only right and proper since the ground crew and engineers by necessity need to be educated and intelligent people whilst the prime qualifications for aircrew ( apart from lightning reflexes and a good memory ) are the ability to talk self-opinionated, noisy bollocks while nursing a half pint of piss-weak lager at the mess bar.
Fair's fair though. If you're going to pay a guy to drive a machine with more brake horsepower than a 100 Ferraris and the destructive capabilities of an armoured battalion while looking down the gun-sight at a Mounted Camel Squadron of the Taliban's finest you don't really need a vegetarian Buddhist who'll immediately carry out a risk assessment survey, probe his conscience and do a cost/benefit analysis. (Unfortunately, recent experience in AFG suggests that this is exactly what a certain female Harrier pilot did. Fuckwit. Safety distances my arse.)
Some unkind souls consider the RAF a barely military bunch of chav mincers, who labour under the illusion that they are a fine group of men, who work really hard to ensure that the British Army's enemies are bombed back to the Stone Age so that when the Squaddies ride in to battle on the nice comfortable Merlin helicopter there's nothing much for them to do. They may also have a good point.
To be on the safe side just make sure that you don't ask them to help out at weekends or after 1630hrs on weekdays. That, of course, assumes you can find them in the first place. They will invariably be in the nearest watering hole getting merrily bladdered and copping off with all the decent fanny.
- Harrier GR7
- Harrier GR9
- Triumph Stag
- Farah Slacks
- White Socks
- Flying Suits
Origins of the nickname "Crab"
While some of the explanations below are derived from or purported to be the "official" version the RAF have been named "crabs" due to the fact that they have no limit to the number of sideways paces they can do as a drill movement. While Army and Navy have a fixed limit of sideways paces the RAF can actually march the entire width of a parade ground sideways.
Once upon a time, the RAF flew Spitfires with tail wheels near the tail and huge Merlin Engines at the front. This meant that during taxiing, all they could see to the front was an enormous engine. In order to see what was in front of them, they had to look over the side and zigzag, thus they'd be moving sideways. On landing, they would sideslip to lose height.
Because of airfield security, the only time land-locked mortals got to see the RAF anywhere near close up was during landing, take-off and taxiing, when they were moving sideways. Since only crabs walk sideways, clearly the RAF was staffed by crabs.
Coupled with the fact that the Fleet Air Arm attracted all the best pilots and the Army always won Inter-service regattas, a once popular forces T-shirt logo read:
Fly Navy Sail Army Walk Sideways
Another more plausible explanation as to why the RN refer to the RAF as "crabs" goes back to the days of rum, sodomy and the lash. ( about last week in fact ) One of the more unsavoury aspects of the average matelot was his unfortunate habit of contracting pubic lice or "crabs" during his shore leave. The treatment for this condition was to get a chum or shipmate to apply a liberal application of a greasy blue /grey ointment ( known affectionately as "crab fat" ) to the affected area.
With the RN's usual powers of wit and sophistication the RAF were thereafter referred to as "crab fats" ( or crabs for short ) as their blue/grey uniform was exactly the same colour as the stuff that the filthy little ratings rubbed on their swollen and lice ravaged goolies. The RAF by contrast affectionately refer to the Royal Navy as Bum Boys or Fish Heads. The Army are Pongos or Grunts.
The most contentious part of the reserve forces. Fitness is an absolute no-no is some units, and going anywhere near anything green, military or vaguely resembling hard work is avoided, again, in some units.
600 (City of London) Squadron - Originally the Gentlemen's flying club in London, having the late Queen Mother as Honourary Air Commodore. Very steeped in history as the only unit with 2 badges, and having somehow 'acquired' a standard even before the real RAF did.