Wednesday, 21 October 2009

N is for...


Nissen hut

Whenever I read books that have their story take place during WW2, they often talk about Nissen huts. And I never knew exactly what it was. Until I went to the Imperial War Museum Duxford (England) earlier this year and as well as all the old aeroplanes, there was this hut. And it turned out to be a Nissen hut.

So, what is a Nissen hut exactly? Well, it is a hut invented and built for housing troops during WW1. Due to its semicircular shape, the hut deflected shrapnel and bomb blast, making it a perfect bomb shelter. It is the first pre-fab building and it would fit on the back of a three-ton truck. It's built up of a metal frame, covered with corrugated iron. The door is made of wood and the windows are not glass, but oiled cloth. Six men could have it standing within two hours!

They were used for housing troops, kitchens, Mess rooms, storage rooms, bathrooms, small hospitals, stables and of course bomb shelters.

The hut was invented in 1916 by Peter Nissen, a Norwegian American who joined the Royal Engineers during WW1.

For more N words, please check out ABC Wednesday and join in the fun!

Update: the Quonset (USA) and the Romney (UK) hut are both derived from the Nissen hut.

20 comments:

Your EG Tour Guide said...

So interesting! I wonder what the difference is between a Nissen hut and a Quonset hut. Now I have to check that out with Google. ;-)

Sylvia K said...

That is so interesting! And like EG I'm going to have to check out the difference in the Quonset and the Nissen! Amazing how much there's still to learn about so many things!
Great post!

Enjoy your week!

Sylvia

Just Breathe said...

Interesting information. They look similar to a building that we called quonset huts when we were younger.

Joy said...

I think they would get very hot in the summer, still if it was an english summer it would keep the rain off. An inventive N post.

photowannabe said...

Very interesting. I never knew the actual name or how important they were to servicemen. Thanks for all the information.

Carol said...

Interesting info...I have seen the Quonset hut in my Dad's military photos, and when your blog opened up I thought that is what your photo was; but there were no colors in his, just silver metal.

Tumblewords: said...

Fascinating - I, too, wonder about the difference between your Nissen hut and a Quonset. Great N...

Ineke said...

Zo leer je nog eens wat! Bedankt voor je bezoek aan Rotterdam daily photo en graag tot een volgende keer :)

Spiderdama said...

This I had never heard of. Thank you for sharing it:-)
Have a great week!

Nukke said...

Well, THAT was interesting !!!

SparkleFarkle said...

In the little town that I grew up in, we had a few, but they were referred to as "quonsets." (Oop! I see you've added that info in an edit.) Ahhh! Quonset-- such a lovely sounding word! Helped to make these tiny buildings seem a smitch brighter, don't you think? Nissen has a nice ring to it, too. Great "N"! Thanks!

CRY said...

ONCE AGAIN I LEARNED SOMETHING NEW!
VERY NEAT TO READ ABOUT
ILOOK FORWARD TO YOUR BLOGS EVERYDAY

Carolina said...

Very informative post. Thanks for educating me/us all ;-) Great find for the letter N.

Mar said...

How interesting! I didn't know this, it's always fun to learn something through blogging!!
;)

Reader Wil said...

Something I didn't know! Very interesting! Thanks for your visit! The first Nursery Rhyme is: "Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat
where have you been?
I've been to London
to see the Queen!"

moongipsies said...

very cool. Great info and picture.

Leslie: said...

Very interesting post. I'm always wanting to learn more about WW2 and this was certainly new to me!

Roger Owen Green said...

I have a friend whose last name is Nissen; i wonder if he's familiar with Nissen huts

Jama said...

I've seen them at the army barrack as a child but never knew it's name. I think nowadays the bunks here are no longer this shape, since we lacked land, it's gone upwards as in a few storeys building.

James Tansey said...

I lived in Nissen hut while stationed at RAF Bentwaters, England 1961-63. Lived there for about 2 years. Four airmen to half a hut. Heated by a tent stove using Kerosene. Only 4 beds, no water or plumbing, meaning no bathroom! Communal Latrine was a bit of a walk from the hut.