By A Web Design
- Created on Saturday, 20 October 2012 15:49
Nick Stone has incredible photos on Flickr. In his set called 'Blitz Ghosts', the photo images are mixed with present day images and the scene in World War 2 Norwich. Norwich was bombed in retaliation for the Lubeck raids in 1942, which destroyed the historic city in a firestorm. Lubeck was not much of a military target, and this led the Germans to retaliate in what was known as the 'Baedecker Raids', named for a guide that listed British towns for their historical importance.
Four other cities were blasted as part of the raids besides Norwich, which include Exeter, Bath, York and Canterbury. The German propagandist Braun von Stumm was reported to say.'We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide!'. I can't say as I sympathize with him, once you start bombing people they tend to want retribution.
Picture from Wikimedia contributor Ww2censor
- Created on Friday, 19 October 2012 00:42
Cincinnati Motor Car, an independent car repair facility in Madisonville, Ohio, got the nod to get another British armored vehicle running. Earlier this year they brought a Ferret scout car back to life, and this time it's a Scorpion tank that needed a helping hand.
This tank belongs to the famous (or infamous) John Coyne, a notable Cincinnati figure that made a big splash back in the 60's and 70's with his armored vehicles, which he used to indicate his displeasure with Clermont County's legal and political bosses. You can read more about him here, if you can get past Cincinnati.com's paywall. One of his tanks made an appearance in the movie "Blues Brothers". I used to hang out in his junkyard when I was 16 scavenging parts for cars, and he would roar up and down the hill of the yard in an old army halftrack.
The Scorpion was an armored tracked reconnaissance vehicle for the British Army. It was powered by a 4.2 liter Jaguar car engine, had a 100 gallon petrol tank, inboard disc brakes, 76mm gun, aluminum armor and a commode under the driver's seat. The tank served well in the Falklands War, and towards the 90's was fitted with a Perkins diesel engine, just before being drummed out of service with the British. Diesel engines are the ticket for war fighting machines, as they aren't as hard to set alight as gasoline ones are.
A new engine has just been installed this week in this particular Scorpion, and when I was there it was just getting sorted out. This vehicle has it all, British armor, Jaguar engine and street legal, just the thing for an anglophile car guy.
- Created on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 20:20
While rummaging around Flikr today ran across this pic of a junkyard in Guadalcanal in 1945. What aircraft restoration guys today wouldn't give for this pile of parts. Most likely all went to the smelters, but there are at least 5 P-38 airframes in there. If only time travel were possible, there wouldn't be a shortage of warplanes for museums and enthusiasts worldwide. Not to many years ago, if a guy wanted a P-38, he had to dig down 260 feet into Greenland's ice to get one. Out of 10,000 built, fewer than 25 are around today, and only about 9 of those can still fly.
From Adelaide Archivist on Flikr
The P-38 was the primary long range fighter for the US in the Pacific, but was used extensively elsewhere. These were the planes that killed Yamamoto in retaliation for the Pearl Harbor attack, and were called "Fork Tailed Devils" by German adversaries, or "Two planes, one pilot" by the Japanese. Not a forgiving aircraft, most of the survivors have been rebuilt from crashes more than once. It has been said the P-38's in the picture were all written off from crashes. But the math was right for the ones that didn't crash. 2 Allison V-12's, divided by 4 Browning 50 caliber machine guns plus one 20mm Hispano cannon.
This video from HucksterFoot's channel is the news story for the recovery of Glacier Girl
- Created on Monday, 15 October 2012 14:56
Governments are a crap shoot, meaning the quality of the people occupying important positions. If you are lucky, the people that make decisions in the government that you are stuck with are thoughtful people that want to do the right thing for the country. Or if you are unlucky, you are facing the kind of government bureaucrats that Hugh Dowding, Chief of Fighter Command, faced in 1938.
The conversation, as told in Peter Townsend's memoir about a Battle of Britain RAF pilot, Duel of Eagles, went something like this:
Sir Hugh Dowding: "Oh, and by the way, I would like bullet proof windscreens for my pilots..."
Air Ministry spokesman: "In all respects, Sir Hugh, are you mad?"
Sir Hugh Dowding: "My pilots are much more effective without bullet holes in their heads!"
Air Ministry spokesman: "Do you have any idea how much that would cost!"
Another Air Ministry spokesman: "That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard off. We should just shutter the RAF and get more battleships!"
Sir Hugh Dowding: "Battleships!? Luftwaffe bombers are shooting off the assembly lines in Germany, and you think battleships are going to keep them out of the skies over England? Are you mad?"
Air Ministry spokesman: "Now now, don't get your auntie's skirts in a ruffle. We don't have the money in the budget for such foolishness. Your pilots will just have to be a bit more nimble, won't they."
Sir Hugh Dowding: "Well the way I see it, if Chicago gangsters can have bullet proof glass in their cars, my pilots will have bullet proof glass in their fighters! The only thing standing between your houses and loved ones will be the willingness of my fighter pilots to close with German bombers, something they will be more than glad enough to do if they just had a fighting chance to stay alive!"
Sir Hugh Dowding got his bullet proof windscreens.
- Created on Sunday, 14 October 2012 17:04
The British SAS was a thorn in the side of Axis forces in North Africa. A hardy bunch, their favorite tactic was long range raids in jeeps and trucks to airfield sites deep in enemy territory. Using a mix of armor piercing and incendiary rounds in the Vickers K guns, they tore up parked German and Italian aircraft in lightning raids.
The Vickers K gun (also knows as the VGO or Vickers Gas Operated Gun) was a development of another country's design, much like the Bren, and also operated in a similiar fashion. Like the Bren, the K gun used a tilted locking breechblock, but unlike the Bren, it delayed locking till the last moment and with lighter moving parts could operated between 950 and 1,200 rounds per minute. The magazine used a drum, with the largest holding 300 rounds of British .303. The gun was originally developed for use in aircraft, but the drum caused problems with wing installations, and was usually used in dorsal or ventral gunners positions.
Commandos really took to this gun, being able throw huge reams of lead at the bad guys was their stock in trade. Also mounts were developed for trucks and jeeps that were readily available, a favorite being the twin gun mount. The magazines for these land guns were a more modest 100 rounds, but like any magazine (even today) a few less rounds were loaded in the interests of reliability. The British Air Service (SAS) and the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) acquired all of these guns that they could get. The only other choices in machine guns that were available to them were the water cooled Vickers (which means heavy, and bulky) and the Bren (small magazines). The Vickers K guns were recalled from service at the end of WW2, but it has been said that SAS units since then have dusted off a few K's for modern missions.
You can buy reproduction Vickers K guns from WW2 Fabrications, including mounts and accessories for your WW2 Jeep! Just the thing for your WW2 Re-enactment team! The guns are non-firing, of course.