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Funny / Red Storm Rising

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For a very serious work about World War III, Red Storm Rising has a few darkly humorous moments.

  • The surreal, almost Monty Python-esque moment when the downed American flier aboard his life raft is "taken prisoner" by a downed Russian flier - who quickly rescinds his claim when he learns that the American is the one with the akula repellent.
    Chapayev: (while awaiting rescue with Commander Davis) Aren't we two sorry sons of bitches.
    • Even better is that all of that is going on while both are nursing injuries from their earlier ejections.
  • The wonderful description of Alekseyev commandeering the troop train in Moscow. He arrives abruptly, wakes up and screams at the sleeping divisional commander, who goes off to scream at his regimental commanders, who go off to scream at their battalion commanders, and all the way down the line for ten minutes until the screaming was done at the squad level. Only then does the division finally get moving. Armies, huh...
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  • The "attitude check" for the control tower crew at Keflavik Air Force Base, Iceland:
    First Lieutenant Michael Edwards: Let's have an attitude check!
    Tower crew: I hate this fucking place!
    Edawrds: Let's have a positive attitude check!
    Tower crew: I positively hate this fucking place!
    Edwards: Let's have a negative attitude check!
    Tower crew: I don't like this fucking place!
    Edwards: Let's have a short attitude check!
    Tower crew: Fuckit!
  • Going into the 'backwoods' of Iceland, the Marines following Edwards decide to push this 'wimpy weather man' to the limits of his endurance, then they found out what he did as a hobby.
    Sgt Smith: You mean I've been trying to walk a damned runner into the ground?
    Edwards: You have walked a marathoner into the friggn' ground.
  • General Alekseyev's hilarious "The Reason You Suck" Speech to a regimental commander after observing a training exercise.
    Alekseyev: A Guards regiment, eh, Comrade Colonel? Elite soldiers of the Red Army? These tit-sucking children couldn’t guard a Turkish whorehouse, much less do anything worthwhile inside of it! And what have you been doing for the past four years commanding this rolling circus, Comrade Colonel? You have learned to kill your whole command three times! Your artillery observers are not located properly. Your tanks and infantry carriers still can’t coordinate their movements, and your tank gunners can’t find targets three meters high! If that had been a NATO force holding that ridge, you and your command would be dead! The loss of these people is no great penalty for the State, but that is valuable equipment, burning valuable fuel, shooting valuable ordnance, and taking up my valuable time! Comrade Colonel, I must leave you now. First I will throw up. Then I will fly to my command post. I will be back. When I come back, we will run this exercise again. Your men will perform properly, Comrade Colonel, or you will spend the rest of your miserable life counting trees!
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  • During Captain McCafferty's attack on Kirov, a Norwegian submarine attacks the Soviet battle group and screws up his approach. Chicago is then forced to make an impromptu Harpoon missile attack on the battle group and quickly withdraw before seeing if their Harpoons hit anything. He later meets the Norwegian captain amusingly drunk in a bar and confronts him over it, only for the Norwegian to wrap him in a bear hug and offer to buy McCafferty and his crew a drink since the Harpoons took out a Soviet destroyer that had them dead to rights and would've sank the Norwegian sub otherwise. McCafferty's resentment vanishes almost instantly.
  • After spending the night watching Russian movies via satellite intercept, a somewhat delirious Bob Toland realizes he'd been singing in Russian while giving his money to a toll booth worker. He wonders what the toll worker must have been thinking, seeing a uniformed US Navy officer singing in Russian in the midst of growing tensions between NATO and the Soviet Union.
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  • The exchange between HMS Battleaxe and USS Reuben James on the subject of names:
    Battleaxe: What the devil is a Reuben James?
    Reuben James: At least we don't name warships for our mother-in-law.
  • An American tank commander and a Soviet colonel on opposite sides of the same battlefield both complain that the weather gives their opponent an unfair advantage.
    "Ivan must love this weather," Mackall observed. There was an overcast at about thirteen hundred feet. Whatever air support he could expect would have a bare five seconds to acquire and engage their targets before having to break clear of the battlefield.
    "The Americans must love this." The colonel gestured at the low clouds. "Their damned airplanes come swooping in too low for our radar, and this way we have practically no chance to see them before they fire.

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