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Wednesday, July 12, 2017


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  1. 2 points
    Worth remembering that the Brits neither invaded nor conquered India (and that back then, "India" didn't actually exist. Instead - much like Italy and Germany, the geographical space was occupied by a bunch of small princedoms. Some of them traded with British merchants, first for goods, then for services, The Honourable East India Company was the "Haliburton" of its day, providing off-the shelf civil service facilities, tax collection... you name it, they could provide it. Both sides made fortunes from the trading. Basically because the British merchants were far less corrupt, AND rather more efficient. Efficiency is a double edged sword. Leaving valuable assets unexploited is... inefficient. The HEIC sold off surplus stocks of foo, increasing profits thereby... but destroying the Punjab's ability to survive bad weather, and famine. Short term profits can just be TOO tempting.The British government took over from "John Company", which was already a military power in its own right - as providers of Jannisary style mercenary armies to the local princes. The creation of ad hoc "mutual defence" alliances by the bought-in diplomats increased the combined potency of those troops. Not all princedoms approved of the foreigners - the French particularly were very happy to support any who disapproved of British influence. One of Wellington's greatest battles (Assaye) effectively destroyed French influence in India. The Indian "Mutiny" arose because of claims that the paper cartridges with which the Indian soldiers were issued had been sealed with either Pork fat, or Beef fat, rather than the mutton fat with which they were really treated. During that conflict both sides behaved dreadfully. But it might be fair to claim that by the end of the war the British had REconquered India - which was now a country.
  2. 1 point
    The Americans made an 8 part world war 2 documentary whilst the war was still going on. (propaganda documentaries) In one of them, it describes how Russia had a population of, I think it was 160 to 180 million at the time Hitlers invasion started. (havent watched it for ages) Im wondering if these population figures were known to Hitler before he invaded Russia ?? It was said that Germanys population, at the time, was around 80 million, about half or less than half of the Russians. If Hitler was aware of this, then I wonder how he could have so badly underestimated the size & scale of their numbers ?? Twice he thought they'd run out of man power, at Moscow, then at Stalingrad. At Moscow, he had accounted for about 3 million of them, plus many millions of civilians along the way. But if he knew he was up against 160 million or so, then surely (you would think) he should have known there was still multitudes more to come, even with 3 million out of the way. Im guessing he mustn"t have known the true population of Russia, at the time ???? Does anyone know ????
  3. 1 point
    Retired after a career starting as apprentice fitter and turner in HM Dockyard Chatham, UK, then BP Tankers as lowly engineer officer followed by short sea trading! Met wife to be and swallowed the anchor. Trained as a Secondary Teacher, subject History, always a great interest of mine. Fairly rapid rise to Head Teacher but had to retire early on medical grounds. Now aged 69yrs and handicapped. I can remember seeing many of our forces coming home after the cessation of hostilities in Korea. I am interested in any Military topic. Early hominid to today! (Easy to please) Thanks for signing me up. Please note that our internet is in my wife’s name. She who must be obeyed!
  4. 1 point
    My father was a member of the 27th Armoured Regiment, also known as the Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment. Fortunately he survived.
  5. 1 point
    Slightly more complicated than that.... The manufacturer declined to provide either some crucial spares or the information required to get them made elsewhere, claiming that the information was "commercially sensitive". FFS, this aircraft not merely is "old enough to be put in a museum", it already LIVES in a bloody museum! After the debacle of getting one of the last Vulcans in squadron service across the Atlantic to bomb Port Stanley, surely lessons had been learned? The V Bombers were so far ahead of their time that when the rest caught up, they'd done so by a different route. Refuelling the Vulcan on the way to Port Stanley was a nightmare, due to incompatible... pretty much everything. Reminds me of an old friend (now, sadly, departed) who made a good living as a highly skilled draughtsman, specialising in detailing VERY large concrete structures.(Like offshore oil terminals) He saw the rise of computers, and the age of the "Killer App" and ignored them. In his view, Computers were "womens' work" - they had a keyboard, like a typewriter. HIS skill on the other hand was masculine, expressed on a draughting table, using abilities born of long experience. AutoCAD came as something of a shock. Kiddies right out of technical college were suddenly able to do the things that my friend was highly skilled at, without his level of experience (making them a LOT cheaper to hire) He was an analog craftsman in a digital age. I'm astounded that not only the Vulcan, but also Concorde, were both designed effectively without the use of computers. And then FLOWN without the use of computers either. OK, the Lancaster and the B17 were also "designed and flown without the use of computers" - but they flew using MUCH older technology, and at a MUCH slower speed, As that same friend remarked to me: "When Henry Ford first sold the "Model T" there was almost no part of it that you local village blacksmith couldn't (1) understand or (2) replicate or repair at his forge.A modern vehicle, on the other hand, has essential components which monitor performance hundreds of times per second, and which he'd neither understand nor be able to repair nor replicate without the assistance of a multi-billion dollar factory. Things - the world - changed. And what makes the Vulcan stand out for me is that it ought to be a product of one side of that change, but in fact comes from the other side. When this plane was first built... it ought not to have been possible. Yet it was.
  6. 1 point
    Retired. From Australia. Always been interested in Military History plus am a long-time Wargamer (WW2, Ancients, Napoleonic and Science Fiction - Battletech and Star Fleet Battles/Star Trek). Couldn't work out how to actually put a post in the Introduction Section.
  7. 1 point
    When controlling an occupied country, Hitler always admired how the British managed India. That vast country with 318 million people was ruled by a very small group of British. Hitler thought he could do the same with Russia.
  8. 1 point
    In my late teens I took a holiday job working in a family-owned hotel in Germany Tucked away in the bowels of the hotel was a mamber of the family that they preferred to keep under wraps: she was in charge of the laundry. A good looking but not particularly intelligent woman, she'd lived her whole childhood under the Nazis, and appeared to have soaked up their teachings. I was introduced to her as "Our English employee", to which she responded "Ach Ja: Die Englander waren auch einmal ein Herrenvolk" (Oh yes, the English were also once a master race".) My blood ran cold.
  9. 1 point
    Having studied MacArthur's performance in the Philippines at the start of the war, along with his views on the defense of the Philippines prior to the war, then his performance in the initial stages of his command in Australia, and finally his performance following the Chinese Intervention in Korea in 1950, I view him as the most over-rated commander in U.S. history. There was never any explanation of why his air force was caught ON THE GROUND eight hours after being informed of the Pearl Harbor attack. When in Australia, in an attempt to get virtually every U.S. carrier in the Pacific assigned to his command in Australia, he bypassed the chain of command through Marshall and went to Churchill to ask Roosevelt for the carriers. He had already been told no by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As for Korea, he was fully ready to totally abandon the Korean Peninsula to the Chinese in total and complete panic. When things went the way Dug-Out Doug expected, he was very good, when he was surprised, Dug-Out Doug was very, very bad.
  10. 1 point
    My favorite was the F4-D and F4-E. These were my loads at Danang.
  11. 1 point
    I have looked at several personal account of World War 2 bomber crews, and basically there was not a set schedule. The timing was mission-dependent. The longer the mission, the earlier everyone was up and moving. The one account gives a breakfast before a mission against Bremen of flapjacks (made with powdered eggs), toast, jam, and coffee. The Quartermaster Corps did come up with a special menu for flight crews of non-gas causing foods to deal with extended times of high-altitude flight without pressurization. The following quote comes from a U.S. Navy handbook on in-flight feeding from 1945.
  12. 1 point
    This is SO inaccurate as to be almost funny. English, Irish, AND Scottish nationals? Wow! Except there's a word for that: they're called "British".In legal terms, bac then, there was no such thing as an "Irish National", OR an "English National".Predictably "Welsh National" is overlooked.
  13. 1 point
    My own Grandfather served in the Merchant Navy during WW2, as a cook. He was aboard one of the merchant vessels tasked with tempting the German commerce raider Graf Spee to reveal its location, and wound up in Montevideo in time to witness the "Battle" of the River Plate. The relevance may not seem obvious. In Montevideo, with both British AND German sailors went ashore, both navies established a list of bars that sailors from each navy could visit... or were out of bounds.("off limits") My grandfather commented that he'd been a sailor for a long time, and had his favourite bars in many ports. He wasn't going to be told which ones he could now use and which he couldn't. And besides... Just as during WW1. German commerce with countries other than those in mainland Europe was strangled. Germany's merchant navy was history. But the now redundant sailors were conscripted into the "Kreigsmarine": they were now "regular navy" sailors. The might officially be "THE ENEMY", but in reality, they were likely to be old mates from before the war. Nothing personal about them trying to sink you! Note that barely two decades before WW2, the mainstay of the Communist forces during Germany's brief (but vicious) civil war had been former members of the Navy. So, bottom line, in 1939 was the German Navy 100% loyal to Hitler? Answer... probably not. Under Admiral Raeder's direction the U-Boot service seems to have become progressively Nazified, but in 1939?
  14. 1 point
  15. 1 point
    While this does not give you the schedules, this WW2 training film does show the nuts and bolts of getting a mission off of the ground. It can be downloaded for free at achive.org. It covers a US B-25 and B-17 mission over North Africa. https://archive.org/details/TF1-3337 I will check some of my books to see if they have the info that you are looking for. However, it will vary based on the distance to the target and the number of planes taking part. For US heavy bomber formations, the greater the number of planes on the mission, the longer ti took to get into final formation.
  16. 1 point
    Here's Jill's website http://home.earthlink.net/~schaefer234
  17. 1 point
    With reference to Veterans' Day and the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps, a book was recently published containing a personal account of the early days of the Cactus Air Force on Guadalcanal. Based on a true story, Eugene Trowbridge, a double-ace and recipient of the Navy Cross was the first pilot of the first squadron (VMF-223) to put wheels down on Guadalcanal August 20, 1942. The book, An American Hero: Eugene Trowbridge, contains excerpts from his wartime diary. It is available at on-line book sellers. The Kindle version is also available.
  18. 1 point
    Paternal grandfather served in 59th pioneer infantry, 1917,1918. 3 engagement bars on his WWI victory medal, wounded by gas in 1918, spent most of the rest of his life in VA hospitals, with what would be considered PTSD, died in late 58. My fathers brother drafted into USA and served in Europe, Sicily through V-E day. My father served in USN aboard USS Washington (BB-56) from North Atlantic (Murmansk) duty through operation magic carpet after VJ Day. 13 battle stars including sinking of IJN Kirashima at 3rd Savo Island. Died in 94. My little brother served USN- 83–87, M61 cannon tech- various VF/VA squadrons. Me- USN- 74-85, electronics, radio, radar, crypto, data link maintenance on DDG, CV, and various shore stations including Persian Gulf convoy duty in 79-80. We are a military family I suppose.
  19. 1 point
    The Romans generally tolerated other religions, allowing and even welcoming Egyptian gods into their pantheon. Though they viewed the monotheistic Jews as being odd, they left more or less free to practice their own religion. The great Jewish revolt was not a religious war, but a war against Roman imperialism and unfair taxation. In the 60’s CE a financial crisis forced Rome to raise the taxes throughout the empire. The Jews in Jerusalem resisted the extra taxes heavily and fighting broke out after Roman forces looted a temple and killed as many as 6,000 citizens. This massacre prompted a region-wide revolt and the roman garrison of 30,000 was ambushed as they tried to retreat from the area. Several thousand Romans were killed and their weapons and armor were used by the Jewish militia forces. With the garrison defeated the Emperor Nero sent in accomplished general Vespasian to handle the rebellion. Vespasian had a great deal of success as he focused out securing many of the smaller cities and forts in the region before focusing on Jerusalem. Vespasian had to return to Rome to ultimately be proclaimed the next Emperor and left his son, Titus, to finish the war. Titus began the siege of Jerusalem in 66 CE. Titus surrounded the city and even with it surrounded he allowed travelers to enter the city. This was to strain the supplies of the city in the event of a lengthy siege. Jerusalem was a heavily fortified city with several sets of walls built in harmony with the many hills and steep valleys of the area. The source for the war, Josephus, describes the three walls of Jerusalem as being as magnificently constructed as the temples they protected. Broad walls were protected by towers 40 feet and higher and the natural valleys made many approaches uphill. Model reconstruction of a section of Jerusalem’s walls. Picture taken by deror avi Despite the fortifications of the city, Titus decided to attack the city in February of 66 CE, his decision affirmed after one of the negotiators was wounded by a missile. Several siege engines worked to launch stones at the fortifications and rams approached to breach the walls. The defenders sent forth many assault parties to dismantle the siege weapons and had enough success that the breach was postponed for several months. Same model, with a view of the fortress and the connected temple wall. Picture taken by deror avi When the Romans finally breached the first wall of the city, they gained access to the most recent expansion of the city and were faced with the two other walls and the Antonia fortress which stood at the end of the second wall and protected the great temple of Herod. The Romans were again stalled by the stout walls, they had breached the second wall within days, but that only led to an inner neighborhood confined by the third wall and the fortress. Bitter street fighting pushed the Romans back through their breach of the second wall and though the Jews fought desperately at the breach, Roman siege engines were able to widen the breach and take the inner neighborhood. Though the Romans had the first two walls breached and portions of the city captured they remaining city was well defended and supplied. To solve the problem of new supplies getting into the city Titus built a siege wall that looped around the valley outside the unbreached third wall and through the Roman held sections of the city, thereby fully containing the city. Titus personally did rounds of the wall during the construction to ensure its completeness and raise the men’s morale. This did put a strain on the defenders, but they had able rainwater cisterns to hold out their defense. Titus then sent forces on the outside facing sections of the first wall and against the inner Antonia fortress. The Romans concentrated a huge assault against the fortress with stones thrown from siege weapons and battering rams, but the defenders caused a great deal of damage on the Romans by throwing rocks and missiles down from the tower. A few sections were damaged in the fortress but very little was accomplished. The assault on the old outer wall also failed. Seeing that it may not be taken by force, Titus sent men to take it in a nighttime sneak attack. It was initially successful but once the alarm was sounded the fortress defenders put up a fight that lasted through the night and well into the next day. The Romans had gotten a piece of the fortress and they steadily pressed forward to take the whole thing. The fortress fell in late July. Herods temple in Jerusalem, model based on texts of Josephus The fortress was attached to the walls around the great temple and a fierce fight raged at this junction. Titus had expressed a desire to preserve the temple, likely with thoughts of turning it into a Roman pantheon of sorts as it was a magnificent building. Unfortunately for Titus’ plans a soldier threw a torch onto the temple and started a frenzied fire that quickly consumed the temple. The Jews were forced to withdraw due to the fire but they were able to bait the Romans into over-pursuing them and spread the fire quickly into the advancing Romans. Many perished in the rapidly spreading fire and the remaining Roman advanced force was cut off from reinforcements and, with their backs to the fire, were slaughtered by the Jews. Map of the siege of Jerusalem with movements of Roman army. By Barosaurus Lentus CC BY-SA 3.0 When lines of attack were reformed the Romans powered through the temple district and into the lower areas of the city. Resistance was fierce only in the higher upper city containing Herod’s palace. Many days of urban combat followed and the Romans assaulted from many sides as they were finally able to breach the inner walls in multiple areas. Eventually, by September, the city was taken completely. Underground tunnels helped many escape, but the city had been harboring a great many rebels and refugees from the rebellion and many could not escape in time. As many as a million people, civilians and soldiers, both Roman and Jewish perished in the lengthy siege. After taking Jerusalem, Titus left a small force to defeat any remaining strongholds including the mountain fortress of Masada. The brutal force utilized in the siege of Jerusalem and the ruthless nature of the campaign was a definite show of force for the Roman Empire. Though the Levant was farther from Rome than many of their other territories, they were adamant about keeping the area as a well behaved and profitable territory of their empire. By William McLaughlin for War History Online View the full article
  20. 1 point
    Monty understood the British General, they were impulsive and largely incompetent. They demonstrated that whenever they were not under a tight rein. He also understood that time was not as critical a factor as preparedness. In the early North African campaigns units and formations winning battles threw away the victory by idiotic unplaned and doomed chases after withdrawing troops. They ran out of fuel, ran too far from support and died in ambushes by rear guards. British tank and cav units were sacrificed by incompetent leaders. Monty was careful, controlling, and won.
  21. 1 point
    How would the war in the Pacific have evolved if the U.S. had lost Guadalcanal, with the capture of ten thousands U.S. marines, making it another Batan? What if The U.S. navy lost all of its aircraft carriers trying to defend against the loss of Guadalcanal? Would the Japanese have occupied Australia and enslaved the Australian industry? Would Yamamoto's defensive ring of Australia, Guadalcanal, the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Wake Island, the Aleutian Islands with the linebackers being Truk, and the Mariana Islands, been impenetrable to the allied Navies? Keep in mind the difficulties encountered even in the taking of the tiny atoll of Tarawa.
  22. 1 point
    I sat transfixed yesterday evening, watching a re-run on TV of a show called "Secrets of War". The voiceover was provided by Charlton Heston, and the show covered the battle of Britain AND the development of Radar. It explained that RADAR was "discovered" and developed - in secret - by just about everybody during the 1930's, and crucially none of them had much idea of how it was being developed elsewhere.The Germans had taken a look at the UK's system (curiously enough, using the Graff Zepplin airship!) and concluded that it wasn't any good compared to their own... so stopped investigating. The RAF gave strict instructions that RADAR was under NO CIRCUMSTANCES to be mentioned in wireless communications. And (this hadn't occured to me before) the Spitfire and Hurricane pilots receiving instructions from Bentley Priory to go to a specific location where they'd find the enemy at X thousand feet, had no idea where the information was coming from. The Luftwaffe was also unaware of the integrated defence system, where interceptors were directed towards the enemy by a control centre which, in turn was getting information from the Chain Home Radar network. The Luftwaffe just thought the RAF was really good at patrolling. I've always thought it devious that when the Luftwaffe bombed several Radar stations, putting them out of action, radio gear mounted on lorries continued to broadcast exactly the same signal as the Chain home network had. It did absolutely nothing to detect enemy attacks, but it convinced German signal Intelligence across the channel that the Radar station was still operational, and needed to be bombed again. A plane that's rebombing an already destroyed target isn't somewhere else and doing real damage! Something else that came as a surprise was that between the fall of France and the Battle of Britain, the USA had begun shipping aviation fuel with a 100 Octane rating, up from the 80 Octane fuel that they'd previously been shipping. The increase resulted in a significant performance increase for RAF fighters - a big enough increase to confound the Luftwaffe until they examined a Spitfire that had been forced down on the French coast,
  23. 1 point
    Anthony Cave-Brown entered the Public Records Office in Kew (SW London) like a thoroughbred at Epsom, when - under the 25 year rule - a massive stack of documents were released (including loads covering what had been known as "Ultra" - the Bletchley Park decrypts) He emerged with enough stuff to produce a thick book which he titled "Bodyguard of lies". I own a first edition. I was pretty much the first book to cover a wide range of topics, some of which (like "Ultra") were briefly widely reported on, whereas others (like the "Martians") were definitely not! My "specialist subject" would probably be "Disinformation". I'd happily quote a page reference for you, but the (fascinating!) book is currently being borrowed by a friend. I Googled "Churchill, Martians, Disinformation" and the search engine provided me with a LOT of links to Churchill's opinions about extraterrestrials (On reflection, having been prime minister at a time when the earth's skies were being studied as they never had been before, he was BOUND to have an opinion on what were then termed "Foo Fighters", and later "UFOs".) It DID however come up with a SINGLE reference to what I'd been looking for: The "London Controlling Section" http://obscurantist.com/oma/london-controlling-section/ Further Googling on "Dusko Popov FBI Pearl Harbour tizzard" produced some interesting references.... including a couple of complete online books! The chapter "Tora! Tora! Tora!" in this one is very illustrative, and actually quotes the three pages Tricycle was given by the Abwehr, one of them asking specifically about Pearl Harbour. [http://lander.odessa.ua/doc/Fighting_to_Lose_The_German_Intelligence_Service_i.pdf] Bottom line, you don't need a first edition of what was arguably the best book on military disinformation to gather convincing evidence that the USA was well aware that the Japanese were about to attack Pearl Harbour, and already knowing where, decrypting the warning sent by Tokyo to their embassy in Washington provides a pretty good indication of WHEN. If I' ve tempted you to get your OWN copy of this (900 page!) tome then Amazon has second hand copies for pennies (and first editions for hundreds...!) I read it the first time totally fascinated. The "Blurb" claims that it's a book about D-Day; it isn't. It covers a wide range of topics, all linked by the themes of WW2 and Disinformation. I read the couple of pages about cow dung in Normandy while I was laughing out loud. The allies provided the French resistance with realistic plaster of paris "cow pats" containing a pressure switch and an explosive charge. Mines disguised as cow pats. The Germans got wise to this, and started driving around cow pats that hadn't already been driven over. We provided the resistance with a Mk2 cow pat mine, which featured tyre marks....
  24. 1 point
    There was, apparently some confusion ("Two countries separated by a single language") When asked how things were going, an officer from the Glosters responded "Things are a bit sticky". Which to another Brit, used to habitual understatement, means "Things are going to hell in a handcart" But to the American who had asked the question, was assumed to mean "We're doing fine, thanks".
  25. 1 point
    And due to the confined spaces, the pistol had to be reasonably short, but also reasonably quiet. (in a tunnel you rely heavily on hearing) So, how do you silence a pistol, but without increasing the length by adding a silencer? Simple. you don't! Instead, you use silent ammunition! The pistol used was a seriously modified S&W heavy frame revolver with a very short barrel, and designed to fire custom made ammunition. The Ammunition used heavy lead balls, followed by a steel disk - rather like the cardboard one found in a shotgun shell. The front end of the cartridge was flanged inward, to allow the shot to escape, but to trap the steel disk, and trap the gasses produced by the explosion of the cordite, Not entirely - it could still leak out around the edges, but more as a trickle. The gun produced a "pop" rather than a "BANG!" And ir was called the QSPR - "Quiet, Special Purposes Revolver" (pronounced "Kwisper") Only a handfull of them were made, and these days they're worth an absolute fortune! Clever idea though!
  26. 1 point
    I'm a BIG fan of Science Fiction...Two of the three "best loved" Sci Fi writers according to polls, described in ridiculous detail gadgets (including a description of how they'd work) which (like many described by Leonardo, there wasn't the technoogy at the time of writing to actually create. Arthur C Clarke described in absolute detail how a communications satellite would work, in a long article he wrote for "Popular Mechanics" magazine.He opted never to patent the idea (which would have made him a multi-billionaire!) Robert Heinlein (aside from inventing the water bed!) wrote a book called "The Door Into Summer", about an inventor, who produces a series of gadgets which are described in detail. They included the "Roomba" vacuum cleaner, and the word processor, and Computer-Assisted Design. The book pre-dates the computer chip AND means of storing data: they rely on the totally fabricated "government surplus Thorsen Tubes" which seem to have been an ingeniously imagined development of the vacuum tube. In another book, intended to entertain teenaged readers, Heinlein describes in great detail how a spacesuit would need to be constructed.He wrote it in 1958 (two and a half years before Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space., i.e. BEFORE Space Suits existed) In Heinlein's story "Waldo", he describes remote-handling devices commonly used for (for example) handling Nuclear materials. .. and universally known as "Waldoes" The third member of the triumviate was Isaac Asimov, a prolific author both of SciFi and non fiction is not well-known for inventing things... but his "Three Laws of Robotics" are amazingly well known.
  27. 1 point
    American, Australian and New Zealand tunnel rats in Vietnam. Had to clear NVA and Veit Cong spider holes alone with a flashlight and a pistol.
  28. 1 point
    KRIEGSMARIE UBOOT'S SAILOR..80% casualties, most missing in action with all that this mean to parents, miserable life, living ( if was life) in a sardin tin, hours waiting the last deep charge ( mostly the FINAL one) with almost anyone chance to sink anithing before dead..
  29. 1 point
    With those two examples, I'd respond with a request for a more accurate definition of "Machine Gun" and "Computer" How one defines either changes the answer: Gatling or Maxim, Babbage or Tommy Flowers / AlanTuring. It also depends on how you define "Invention" - Samuel Colt attempted to patent the revolver in the UK BEFORE repeating the attempt in the USA. In London they threw out Colt's application (on the rather valid grounds that he HADN'T "invented the revolver" - revolvers had been around for quite a while (like the Puckle revolving cannon) He was granted a patent for a particular variety of open-framed revolver, with an improved method for mechanically locking the cylinder during the firing sequence. Colt returned to the USA, filed a patent application there, and it was accepted that he HAD "invented the revolver". Someone on this forum will be able to remind me which firearms inventor formed a partnership where he alone was responsible for defending the partnership's rights in the courts,,, meaning that his partners made fortunes, whereas the costs of continual court actions pretty much bankrupted him. Edison is unjustly more famous as an inventor than as a litigator with deep pockets (quite capable of stealing someone ELSE'S idea,, and then fighting them in the court until they go broke). There have been cases where two inventors have both applied for a patent- minutes apart - and one is granted moments before the other. I infer that Philip is from Birmingham in the UK. Some years ago, I was part of a team which launched what's generally accepted as having been "the world's first smartphone", produced jointly by Orange (the phone company) HTC in Taiwan, and Microsoft. Except... it wasn't. It was REALLY invented by a team of Birmingham based former Phillips engineers who had (since Phillips withdrew from the phone market) run a business called "Sendo" as freelancers who speculatively developed handsets for manufacture by their Taiwanese backers to be marketed as "own brand" phones by European carriers, Microsoft approached them to update the "Windows Phone" that they'd been hawking around without sucess for years. Microsoft would handle the software, Sendo would handle the hardware, and provide established links to existing Mobile service providers. They agreed terms, under which if either of the co-developers should happen to go bankrupt, 100% of the Intellectual Property would revert to the survivor. Microsoft pumped money into Sendo, to fund development, assigned one of their own people (Marc Brown) onto Sendo's board... and then tried to drive Sendo into bankruptcy.The software side of the operation continuously failed to pass information to Sendo, and Microsoft demanded an extraordinarily large number of prototypes. And there were problems with the funding of the project by Microsoft. Sendo was teetering on the edge of insolvency... and their greedy partner decided to jump the gun, and behave as if Sendo had already gone bust. They took prototypes to HTC in Taiwan, and asked if they could mass-produce them. (HTC was then known mainly for producing the iPaq PDA for Compaq. They had zero experience with phones) Microsoft then entered an arrangement with Orange to market the handset that HTC was providing. Magazine reviews suggested that the Sendo handset was marginally superior, but the Orange handset offered a more attractive overall package (including "All you can eat" data for a fixed low price) At the 11th hour Sendo joined the dots, and withdrew from the deal with Microsoft. Then took their former partner to court, charged with a wide array of dishonest practices and double dealing. Sendo won the case - or at least, after much wriggling, Microsoft settled out of court, in Texarcana for a reputedly astronomical settlement, and a gagging order.(Which is why you've probably never heard the story before!) Sendo is no longer in business - I assume because the few members of the company became so rich from the punitive damages included in the settlement that they had no further use for the company) Me? I was one of the "top level techies" tasked with supporting The Orange/Microsoft "SPV" phone (Which would have been a LOT easier if Microsoft had provided finished drivers and software in time for its launch!) Sendo owned the patent for the proprietary power supply central to the design of the phone(s) (Both the SPV and the Sendo) but Sendo withdrew from the market before they went on sale.So... who DID invent the smartphone?
  30. 1 point
    Well...T34-85 was just up-gunned T34-76 with all its faults ;). Poor quality, visibility, inter-tank communication, crew conditions..etc. Again, I am not saying that specifically Firefly was superior to T34...All I am saying is that T34 legend was born mainly from mass production/use and the fact that soviets won the war. Technical solution used (sloped armor and diesel) were indeed very good...in 1941. Percentage of T34 losses (operational and not!) shows that this tank was far from perfect...very far... So I think comparing 1 on 1 tank vs tank is something different than comparing their actual tactics and usage. If we are saying that T34 was perfect war machine since it was suited for mass production in low-quality factories and soviet 'sophisticated' all-out-assault tactics...we can easily say that Sherman was perfect as well since it was ideal match to allied air and artillery superiority...that makes different comparison though...
  31. 1 point
    They had high losses due to their tactics (the Russians were on the offensive from 1943 , higher losses are expected) and due to the power of the Nazi AT guns, self propelled tank destroyers, the German tanks with powerful main guns and panzerfausts. The Sherman lost lots also again in attack. The Germans were on the defensive from 1943 on. Fighting from prepared defenses. The T34 was a good tank for the Russians. Especially when fitted with the 85mm gun.
  32. 1 point
    The declaration of war sent by Tokyo to their Washington Embassy took the embassy so long to decrypt that the Pearl Harbour attack had taken place before they were ready.But, no matter, both the Brits AND the US had independently decoded and read the communique before the Ambassador had seen it. But the important thing was to be able to ACT surprised and outraged. When Japan unilaterally attacked the Russians in Port Arthur (without a declaration of war) the US government had pretty much applauded the attack, as "daring". But when the target was the USA it became a "Day of Infamy". FDR wanted to go to war, the American public, for the most part, didn't.Tokyo was about to hand him a total game changer. The day AFTER the attack, the anti-war US public would be howling for revenge and queuing around the block at recruiting offices. But ONLY if he got the theatre right. He NEEDED that "Day of Infamy"..
  33. 1 point
    I knew a former REME sergeant, who had served with the VIII army (the "Desert Rats") As the fortunes of war flowed back and forth, both side made wide use of captured equipment from the area they'd just advanced through. His job was scraping bits of dead soldiers off of the inside of tanks and cannibalising them for spare parts. Not a very pleasant job, but in the baking heat and flies of the North African desert... it must have been stomach churning.
  34. 1 point
    My stepfather was in an air-raid shelter in Filton, right by the Bristol Aeroplane factory, when the first bomb to be dropped on Bristol landed - and killed everyone in the adjacent shelter. He had to be dug out (The two shelters were connected) but survived,albeit with badly impaired hearing, which never really recovered. It does beg the question "what IS a civilian?" The factory being bombed manufactured night fighters and the engines for bombers. It's kind of hard to say "the people who made these weapons aren't a perfectly legitimate target".
  35. 1 point
    My favorite aircraft is the North American B-25 Mitchel twin engine bomber as my father built them at the Fairfax Plant in Kansas City Kansas. I learned the sound of them when i was 5 years old
  36. 1 point
    I've just got around to re-watching the film of Alan White's book "The Long Day's Dying". I first read the book decades ago, and was surprised to find that they'd filmed it, and that the film was a cult classic. The film was released in 1968, and starred David Hemmings, Tom Bell and Tony Beckley, with Alan Dobie as their German prisoner. Alan White (who'd served in the SAS during WW2) wrote the book as a protest against the heroic image of warfare presented by the likes of John Wayne on TV.His novel pieces together things that either happened to him, or to people that he knew well, back in the day. (Curiously, I suspect that may know the son of one of those men.) John, Cliff and Tom Cooper are three soldiers behind enemy lines in Normandy. They're very highly trained craftsmen in the arts of war; not you average cannon fodder. Their task is to watch a hill for enemy activity, and report anything suspicious to their sergeant when he returns for them... except that he doesn't return. And then they spot the German reconnaissance party coming over the hill, and start laying boobytraps in its path. As with the book, there is almost no dialogue, except that one can hear the character's thoughts. It's almost balletic. At one point, to the surprise of the three Brits, they find that they've been taken by surprise by a German officer (played by Alan Dobie) Who is standing behind them with an automatic weapon in his hand (FWIW a Mauser C36 "Schnellfeur Pistole") One armed man against three disarmed? Poor bastard - he doesn't stand a CHANCE! And sure enough a few minutes later., the German is unconscious with a Sykes Fairbairn "Commando" knife sticking out of his face. Hitler's command that "these men are DANGEROUS" and should not be taken prisoner was in fact an accurate assessment of the situation. If you've not read the book, or seen the film, I commend both very highly. Not "a heroic tale of derring do" but a glimpse inside the mind of a highly skilled special forces soldier. Sorry if I seem to have given away (some of) the plot.. but this is not a story about "What Happened", it's about "how the people involved dealt with what happened." (Or to be boringly technical, "It stresses the Ideographic, rather than hermeneutic content".) Interesting that the three Special Forces guys are equipped with the truly dreadful Mk3 Sten gun. But at least (unlike in so many films) they don't hold it by the magazine like total amateurs.Left hand goes underneath the receiver, and wraps around the pierced area just ahead of the ejection slot.(Keep your fingers AWAY from the slot - too many men over the years lost fingertips because they didn't keep 'em out of the hole!) One of the urgently needed upgrades incorporated into the Sterling SMG was the addition of a small strip of metal just ahead of the ejection slot to keep your fingers out, Hold a sten by the magazine, and there's a danger that you'll be left with the mag in your left hand and the gun in you right hand, with a six inch gap between them.... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063237/?ref_=nv_sr_5
  37. 1 point
    I am posting a photo of my grandmother (seated 2nd left) as a forewoman with the WAAC, at Hare Hall, Romford, where she was stationed with the 2nd Artists Rifles. This would have been early in 1917 when the WAAC was formed. I don't know the identity of any of the other women. The soldier was my late aunt's father and on the back she had written that he was the eldest son of an old English Catholic family, and that he died of wounds in 1918. As my grandmother was Scots Presbyterian this could be why they didn't marry although I have no information on this. My aunt was born in 1918 and her younger brother in 1916. Neither birth certificate shows the father's name. I have been trying for several years to try and identify the soldier. I know he has a Military Medal ribbon on his chest and at one time wondered that his surname might have been Cameron but suspect this was a red herring! Any help gratefully received. Thankyou. I
  38. 1 point
    Stunning place. I return there every year at least 2 times.
  39. 1 point
    My pictures from a visit to the massive Thiepval Memorial on the Somme, a couple of years ago. It was a beautiful autumn day, the landscape is beautiful and it is so peaceful there that it was very difficult to imagine the horrors that took place there.
  40. 0 points
    That is correct now and than you have to put it away because you can't imagion that somebody can survive that kind of horrot for five years but I can recomend it to everybody . It is well written and a story that show the darkest side of human kind that have to be tol.
  41. 0 points
    You know that infamous clip of the bulldozer pushing bodies into pits at Belsen? My Dad worked with the man who drove that...He could close his eyes and still smell the camp 50 years later. He wouldn't eat anything with currents or sultanas in because they reminded him of flies. Got the George Cross in Korea