Here’s How A Warship Crew Eats In The Middle Of A Fight

(Screengrab: Smithsonian/YouTube)
(Screengrab: Smithsonian/YouTube)

The Danish navy’s 455-foot frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes carries heavy artillery guns, missiles and machine guns to protect convoys and patrol dangerous waters. It also has 160 souls aboard, with a very efficient cafeteria to keep them fed even while the vessel is taking fire.

In this segment of the Smithsonian Channel’s Mighty Ships, we get a glimpse at what a military mealtime looks like in the midst of a critical situation. I’m sure you wouldn’t catch these sailors bailing out in the middle of doing something like extinguishing a fire to grab a snack, but at a certain point, people are going to lose effectiveness without sustenance.

When people have to eat, the Willemoes has Logistics Officer “Klaus” and his team of cooks (who get 74 minutes to prepare food) feed the entire crew, clean the kitchen and return to their own battle stations.

Klaus breaks the sailors into three groups to get them all through a buffet. Each sailor gets six minutes to eat dinner before being cleared out for the next wave.


While what we’re seeing in this video appears to be an exercise rather than actual combat, it’s a pretty impressive display of efficiency. And here I was thinking I had skills lapping up cereal straight from the bowl so my hands could stay free to type.

(Screengrab: Smithsonian/YouTube)
(Screengrab: Smithsonian/YouTube)

Smithsonian explains that the Willemoes has been dispatched to confront pirates off the coast of East Africa and deal with chemical weapons coming out of Syria.

The vessel is one of three Iver Huitfeldt class ships in the Danish navy and was commissioned at the beginning of 2013, according to Defense News, though Naval-Technology adds it was first launched in 2010. The vessels seem to be largely lauded for versatility and efficiency.


For a closer look at these ships and what they carry, check out the photo gallery on Defense News and a breakdown of its specifications on SeaForces.

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles

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6 Minutes to eat.

If there’s one thing you learn in the military it’s how to shove food in your face as quickly as possible. Basic training in the canadian forces wasn’t much different.