Quotulatiousness

August 16, 2017

World of Warships – The Queen, God Bless her!

Filed under: Britain, Gaming, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 15 Aug 2017

Join me in the traditional Royal Navy toast to the Monarch, as I raise a glass to the long awaited British Battleships in World of Warships. Thank God they don’t suck!

Mostly.

Canadian War Museum highlights the six Canadian VCs won at the Battle of Hill 70

Filed under: Cancon, France, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

On August 15th, 1917, the Canadian Corps began a planned attack on German positions near Lens in northern France, to relieve pressure on the larger British and Imperial operations at Passchendaele. During the vicious fighting around the feature designated as “Hill 70”, the valour of six Canadians was deemed deserving of the highest military honour the British Empire could bestow, the Victoria Cross. From the institution of the medal in 1856, only 96 Canadians have been awarded a VC. David Pugliese reports for the Ottawa Citizen:

IWM caption : Hill 70 (Lens) 15-25 August: A group of Canadians, standing with mugs at a soup kitchen set up on boards “100 yards from Boche lines” during the push on Hill 70 (via Wikimedia)

The Canadian War Museum is marking the centenary of the Battle of Hill 70 with a special display highlighting the six Canadian soldiers who received Victoria Cross decorations as a result of their courageous actions. The Battle of Hill 70, which includes portraits of the recipients and some of their medals, will be on view from August 15 until Remembrance Day, according to the Canadian War Museum.

“Sir Arthur Currie described the Battle of Hill 70 in August 1917 as ‘altogether the hardest battle in which the Corps has participated,’” Stephen Quick, Director General of the Canadian War Museum, said in a news release. “It’s remarkable that this 11-day battle, fought four months after Vimy Ridge, resulted in six Canadian soldiers of varying backgrounds and ranks being awarded the highest honour for military valour in the British Empire.”

Here the Canadian War Museum also provides details about the battle and the Victoria Cross winners:

The Canadian Corps, under the command of Sir Arthur Currie, launched an attack on the German-held city of Lens in northern France on August 15, 1917. His strategy was to capture the high ground overlooking the town, forcing the enemy to counterattack. This prevented German units from reinforcing formations facing Allied troops struggling to gain ground at Passchendaele in Flanders. By August 25, the Canadians had withstood 21 failed counterattacks and suffered 9,000 casualties at Hill 70, but they had killed, wounded or taken as prisoner about 12,000 Germans. It was a significant and costly tactical victory for the Allies.

The Battle of Hill 70 introduces visitors to Sergeant Frederick Hobson, Corporal Filip Konowal, Private Harry Brown, Private Michael James O’Rourke, Acting Major Okill Massey Learmonth and Sergeant-Major Robert Hill Hanna. They are among only 96 Canadian recipients of the Victoria Cross since its introduction during the Crimean War in 1856.

Thompson SMG in 30 Carbine

Filed under: History, Military, Technology, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 17 Oct 2016

When the US military released a request for what would become the M1 Carbine in 1940, the Auto-Ordnance Corporation offered up a Thompson submachine gun simply rechambered for the new .30 Carbine cartridge. This entailed a new magazine, a receiver modified for the longer magazine, and a new barrel and bolt face – but the other Thompson parts could remain unchanged from the standard .45 ACP models. This made the submission a pretty cheap and easy effort for Auto-Ordnance … which is a good thing, considering that it was almost assured to be rejected.

The stipulations for the new carbine included a weigh requirement of 5 pounds, and the Thompson weighed more than double that (in both .45ACP and .30 Carbine forms). Only a few were made, and the one submitted for military testing was rejected outright on the basis of weight. This example is serial number 1, and resides at the Cody Firearms Museum.

QotD: Management

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Business, Quotations — Tags: — Nicholas @ 01:00

I am no great admirer of management as a science or of managers as people. The latter tend to speak a strange language, a jargon neither elegant nor poetic; they buy very dull books at airports, they are often shifty and ruthless, and they seem to me to live in a constant condition of bad faith. They are bureaucrats pretending to be entrepreneurs even when they work for the state, an organization that secures its solvency by the simple expediency of printing more money — in fact, not even by printing it anymore, simply by adding a few naughts on computer screens. We live in a regime of paper money without the paper.

Presumably most managers want to be managers; it is their ambition to become such, though some, I think, are sucked into management from other activities without a full realization of what is happening to them. At any rate, they soon come to have a sense of importance and entitlement by comparison with everyone else in society, even the nominal owners of the enterprise in which they work, for they believe themselves to be doing the world’s real work, as it were. James Burnham, in his book The Managerial Revolution, pointed this out as long ago as 1941:

    The managers’ training as administrators of modern production naturally makes them think in terms of co-ordination, integration, efficiency, planning; and to extend such terms from the realm of production under their immediate direction to the economic process as a whole. When the managers think about it, the old-line capitalists, sunning themselves in Miami and Hawaii or dabbling in finance, appear to them as parasites, having no justifiable function in society….

They therefore appropriate shareholders’ funds (or public money) with a good conscience, reasoning that without them there would be no such funds in the first place.

Theodore Dalrymple, “Flying Off the Handle”, Taki’s Magazine, 2015-10-10.

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