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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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About Me

Found 15 results

  1. Looking back at World War II in Europe, what was the moment the war was lost for Germany? If you want to tell us about your choice, so much the better!
  2. Mr. Andrew Knighton, the He 219 was anything, but slow. With a powerplant of two Daimler-Benz DB 603E liquid-cooled inverted V12 engines, developing 1,800 PS (1,324 kW) each, they gave the "Owl" a top speed of 385 mph (616 Km/h). So actually was one of the fastest nightfighters of WWII. Best regards. Brian.
  3. Hello all! My name is Devon and I am a Digital Media and Animation BS senior at SUNY Alfred State. Ever since my senior year of high school, I had an idea for an application that would allow users to explore the history of WWII. This would include features such as viewing vehicles, weapons, clothing, listening to music, and watching simulated battles from the era. At first the project started as a mobile phone application that would use the user's phone camera to display the items in an augmented space. During my junior year at Alfred I learned we would be getting virtual reality headsets and thought to myself, "What better way to view something in incredible detail than in virtual reality?!" Soon after I found myself deleting unneeded files from the mobile application and sparing the ones I could recycle for the VR version Two years later and I finally have a release version with enough features to introduce the application to the public. These features include a theater room in which the user can watch movies projected on a screen that have to do with various battles, documentaries, and plenty more to come. Users can also listen to music of the WWII era from various countries on a 1:1 scale record player; much like how people listened to music in that time period. The final feature included (again, with plenty more to come) is the ability to view various vehicles in 1:1 scale. Watch a Spitfire aircraft soar through the sky from an observer tower over 40ft in the air! Witness the massive size of various tanks! All of this can be done from within one application from the comfort of your own home The application does require a virtual reality system such HTC Vive, Oculous or Windows Mixed Reality. The application is free so if you know someone who has access to such technology, you can download the application on your machine and run it using their system. The application is free and will continue to be so but donations to support the project and developers work are accepted. Feel free to leave a comment, question or suggestion for the application on this thread or the project page. If you do not feel comfortable posting your question feel free to direct message me and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Project page: https://splitboxstudios.itch.io/wwii-vr
  4. I'm not sure who Hanks will showcase in this upcoming movie, but it should be Lieutenant Commander Ernest E. Evans who commanded the USS Johnston.
  5. A step by step walkthrough at the location where Easy Company fought the battle at the Crossroads, made famous in Band of Brothers Episode 6. We are going "boots on the ground" and walk through the entire battle, from the moment the first patrol spotted the Germans to the evacuation of the wounded late on October 5th, 1944. Please subscribe today! https://www.youtube.com/c/TheBattlefieldExplorer?sub_confirmation=1
  6. In the Dutch coastal town of IJmuiden, the Germans built two gargantuan bunkers for their Schnellboots. Only one of them survived the war. That bunker is 247 meters long, 74 meters wide, 18 meters tall, they do not get much bigger than this! If you enjoy my videos, please subscribe today! https://www.youtube.com/c/TheBattlefieldExplorer?sub_confirmation=1
  7. Last Saturday I visited the Remember '39-'45 museum in Thimister-Clermont in Belgium. Very nice museum, many stuff there to see.
  8. Last summer I did a road trip throug Germany and Czech Republic again. One of many WWII-related places I visited was the destroyed village of Lezakt in Czech Republic. Here you can read about the massacre that took place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ležáky These are some of my pictures:
  9. Last Saturday I visited the fort of Battice in Belgium, 16 km from the German border. This only was held from May 10 1940 until May 22 1940. This one still works, and they actually show it to you, very cool! This one still works too, and yes, they turn it on for a minute :-)
  10. Well, I see that some of the folks apparently get their history from fairy tale books, and are "commenting" like crazy on the P-51 posts in this forum. Back when I was a young man, there was a real chick-flick, called "Love Story." The theme song to it was sung by Andy Williams, and aside from being on the Top 100 Songs list for a number of weeks, it may have won some awards, too. The title and first line of the song was "Where Do I Begin?". That's fitting for what follows. Before I get cookin', please know that about 90% of the stuff that I grew up learning about the P-51 Mustang and its siblings, the A-36A and the F-6, was W-R-O-N-G! I've had to be educated - many times from folks who knew a lot more about the subject than I even thought I knew, and other times by reading many books and articles. This has all helped me immensely. I have also read a number of official USAAF books, as well as USAAF and North American Aviation documents. Furthermore, I have done some checking with archivists, etc. I'm working on my Doctorate in Mustangology, you might say! ...so here's where I begin: The Mustang (which it wasn't called until the RAF accepted it - and it was a British name at that - and, neither North American Aviation nor the USAAF/USAAC gave it an official name at that point in history, because it was not developed for any branch of the US military) was designed 100% by Americans, and engineering drawings, etc were all done by Americans as well. I'm talking about the gang at NAA. It *WAS* designed based on British specifications but the Brits did not develop, design nor draft any of the drawings that resulted in getting the protype aircraft built. True, they made “suggestions” and “contributions” throughout its development and operational history, many of which were incorporated into the production Mustangs as the War went on and on. NAA called the prototype "NA-73x" and the first samples provided to the RAF (the USAAF latched onto a couple of the samples, too) were called "NA-73." The first 380 production aircraft that the Brits called "Mustang Mk I" were also NA-73s. The next batch, 300 aircraft, was designated NA-83 by North American. Because there were no real differences between the NA-73 and NA-83, the 300 later aircraft too, were called “Mustang Mk I.” The only difference I’ve ever seen is that the -73s had rounded cross-section exhaust stacks, and the -83s had fish-tail ejector exhaust tips. After those 680 were built and supplied, the Brits wanted the aircraft to be armed with four 20 mm cannons, replacing the four .50 Cal Browning Machine Guns and the four.30 Cal BMGs. NAA came up with NA-91 which the RAF called "Mustang Mk IA." The USAAF naturally got a couple of those, liked them and this resulted in the P-51 (no suffix), which by the way, is mislabeled "P-51A" in the article that I just read on this website. There were about 150 P-51s, and about 50 were fitted with 2 cameras and were called the "P-51-1-NA." They kept their 20 mm cannons, by the way. They were renamed "F-6A" to reflect their photo-recon roles. Some sources even go so far as clarifying that the F-6As were later called “P-51-2-NA.” Note that the two NA-91 aircraft that had their Allisons replaced with Merlins, along with less major changes, became the XP-51B, and at first they still had the monster 20 mm cannons in the wings. Photos of them in their early stages of testing had the cannons still installed (they were WAAAY too long-barreled to miss!), and later ones had the cannons removed and the leading edge of the wings were smoothly faired over where the guns long fairings had been before. Not discussed in previous comments, though, was the fact that THIS aircraft came along at a point in history where the official NAA and USAAF name of “Apache” was given to this “family” of aircraft. The Brits naturally continued to call it “Mustang.” In mid-1942, though, both the USAAF and NAA, in a nearly unique situation, officially renamed it “Mustang,” following the RAF name. As a aside, the A-36A (NAA gave it the production name of “NA-97”). FYI , NAA gave these “NA-number” designations to all aircraft in chronological order by this simple numbering system, according to the debut of the projects, regardless of whether the aircraft was a B-25 Mitchell or an AT-6/SNJ. The first B-25 was NA-50, and the first AT-6 was NA-26, for what it’s worth. Each version of an existing NAA aircraft was given whatever was the “next number in the sequence.” So, from the NA-73x prototype, the sequence of production aircraft in the Mustang family were: NA-73, -83, -91, -97, -99, -102, -103, -104, -106, -109, -110, -111, -122, -124, -126 and -129 (for the P-51L-NT, equivalent to the P-51H [which was the NA-126, BTW] which was canceled). I posted this arcane info only to underscore the fact that the Mustang family was not composed of a series of consecutive “NA-numbers.” Interspersed in the above number sequence were I mention this because the A-36A (no prototype and the only version built – 500 total) has been misnamed “Apache” in probably 90% of all sources, be they books or websites by “experts.” The official NAA and USAAF name was always – ALWAYS – “Mustang.” Pilots in the USAAF’s 12th Air Force called it by a name that they themselves came up with: “Invader.” The pilots went so far as to petition (not sure if it was to both the USAAF and NAA or only one of them) to rename the A-36A to “Invader.” This was in vain, because Douglas Aircraft had already been given this official name and EVERY aircraft in what I call the “Mustang family” (including the F-6 line – the P-51A photo recon version was the F-6B; the P-51B/C, F-6C; the P-51D, F-6D; the P-51K, F-6K) was “Mustang” … period (or exclamation mark!), end of sentence. I’ve got a 1944 USAAF book with this info and a scan of an official 1944 US government document on naming of aircraft. Not enough “proof,” some folks say – well, the two major Mustang books clearly state this fact. Those books, “Mustang: The Story of the P-51 Fighter” by Robert Gruenhagen and “Mustang Designer: Edgar Schmued and the P-51,” by Ray Wagner. Gruenhagen was an NAA historian and Wagner was an author of a number of books on aircraft. Gruenhagen is still alive, although advanced in age and physically ill – a friend, an author in his own right, had been in contact with Bob, as he calls him, and said that his mind was still sharp as the proverbial tack. Ray Wagner has been dead for a while, AFAIK. Oh, and an online expert, Joe Baugher clearly states the fact that the A-36A, was called “Mustang.” Furthermore, having used the Boeing Archives for reference before (Boeing acquired NAA’s surviving documents that came into possession of them when North American Rockwell acquired NAA. Boeing, in turn, acquired NAR and Boeing now has the documents, photos, etc in their historical archives), I contacted Boeing’s historical archivist via email, asking if he could find references to “Apache” being given to the A-36 in anything from NAA. (BTW, I also have scans of two different pages from “Skywriter,” NAA’s employee newsletter and they both state “A-36 Mustang). The archivist replied with a clear statement when I told him that I couldn’t find ANYTHING official, that called the A-36A “Apache” and here’s his reply, copied and pasted from the email to me: "I agree, Apache was a tentative name given to the XP-51 and P-51 prior to the USAAF giving official names around the end of 1942. The name never applied to the A-36." I can see it coming – someone will say, “I’ve got proof that will trump all of your authors and sources.” The “proof”? The National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, OH has a beautiful A-36A named “Margie H,” on display. This museum is on my “must visit” list, BTW. The placard clearly has “North American A-36A APACHE” on it…so, there you go – it’s “Apache.” I’m going to attempt to attach it to this comment. I’ve never been a quitter, so I contacted the Curator at the NMUSAF in September, 2017. Here’s the main paragraph from the first reply from him: "Thank you for contacting the National Museum of the United States Air Force. We are circulating an update to the sign text with the correct associated nickname, "Mustang". At present, we have been unable to locate any contemporary source which designates the aircraft A-36A "Apache". Should we locate any such resource we will let certainly let you know. The nickname "Apache" will now be mentioned in the body of the text, described instead as a popular nickname. The main signage will read North American A-36A Mustang." I guess that the only thing that I need to spread more love on is that nonsense statement (I’ll be paraphrasing here) that said, “the Mustang wasn’t any kind of fighter until they put a British engine into it.” TRUE, Allison V12 as it existed in the Allison-engined Mustangs was at best, a “medium altitude” engine, and its power, and therefore airspeed and rate of climb fell off around 12-13,000 ft. What made the production Merlin Mustangs “greater,” was that the Merlin, as used in the XP-51Bs and the P-51B up through the P-51B-5-NA had two-stage, two-speed superchargers (with a liquid-cooled aftercooler) – that was a Packard Merlin Dash 3 engine. What made the Merlin Mustangs eventually even GREATER, though, was upgrading the engine to a Dash 7 which happened in the P-51B-10-NA and later Mustangs. Had the production P-51Bs and later had Dash 1 engines, they’d have had similar restrictions to the power output at higher altitudes. I say all this because there was proof that “Merlinizing” an aircraft did nothing magical to it (and NO, the Merlin got its name from a small bird of prey, not Merlin the great magician!) – the case in point was the P-40F. It had a V-1650-1 in it, and while it had a higher rate of climb for a while, it, too was NOT a high-altitude engine. Furthermore, had any of the newer Allisons be fitted into any pre-B-model P-51s – like the basic Allison in the P-63 (but obviously with a different prop reduction gearbox setup!) – they would’ve theoretically been good performers at high altitudes, too. I'm looking forward to Comments from the folks who read this. I'm "full of it" when it comes to info about Mustangs.
  11. Good day all Concerning one of my adoption soldiers, I am looking for the 264th Infantry Regiment patch.Someone told me it's this one attached to this message. Can anyone confirm me this is correct?
  12. 3-inch mortar team at the Oosterbeek Perimeter near Arnhem during Operation Market Garden. Corporal Jim McDowell (foreground), Private Norman 'Jock' Knight and (facing the camera) Private Ron 'Ginger' Tierney of No. 23 Mortar Platoon, Support Company 1st Border Regiment of the 1st Airborne Division.
  13. The road bridge at Arnhem, it has been named after Lt-Colonel John Frost, the commander of the 2nd Parachute Battalion. His forces, which included men from other units, captured and held the north end of the bridge during Operation Market Garden in September 1944.
  14. Some may not know this TRUE story and if that's the case I want to point you to www.americanstnick.com where there's plenty of information on the story. Worth noting is that the main figure in the story, Mr. Richard Brookins, is still with us at 95 years young. A true hero.
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