Quotulatiousness

September 17, 2017

But is it full of eels? If not, feel free to visit the British Hovercraft Museum

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

In their continuing series of “Geeks’ Guide to Britain”, The Register takes a trip to the former HMS Daedalus, a Fleet Air Arm seaplane training base that is now home to the Hovercraft Museum:

Did you know that the word “hovercraft” was once patented? And did you know that Great Britain is a world leader in the design and manufacture of the floaty transporters, and has been for half a century?

These and other surprising facts – including that some of the largest commercial hovercraft ever to be used in revenue service spent their lives shuttling booze cruisers back and forth across the English Channel – can be found at the Hovercraft Museum, at Lee-on-Solent in the south of England.

A century ago, what is now the site of the museum was known as HMS Daedalus and used as a Fleet Air Arm seaplane base. Back in the early days of aviation, and especially naval aviation, the station was at the forefront of naval and aviation technology alike. Seaplanes and skilled pilots were in great demand by the Royal Navy for anti-submarine patrols, and a new training base had to be set up to fill the service’s demand.

Thus came about the “temporary” Naval Seaplane Training School at Lee-on-Solent, with the new training school being based around a large local property, Westcliffe House. Slipways and hangars were duly erected, with the former leading down into the waters of the Solent itself; of the latter, one of the original J-class hangars, capable of being erected by just 15 men, survives to this day.

[…]

To truly appreciate the hovercraft, one should actually ride one of the things. This is easily done by a short journey along the coast from Lee-on-Solent to Britain’s only scheduled hovercraft service, which operates between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

Operated by Hovertravel, whose sister company Griffon Hoverwork also builds the craft operated by the company, the service runs about every half an hour during the day, with more frequent services during the morning rush hour and a gradual winding-down into the evening.

September 7, 2017

Argentina expresses interest in laser death-beam-equipped USS Ponce

Filed under: Americas, Military, Technology, USA — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Those sneaky Argentines, trying to grab some surplus seagoing laser switchblade technology:

The U.S. Navy Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS) while deployed to the Arabian Gulf.
Date. 16 November 2014 (via Wikimedia)

Argentina reportedly wants to buy the US Navy’s laser death ray testbed warship, the fearsomely named USS Ponce.

According to the Mail on Sunday, the Argentinians are interested in buying the 46-year-old former landing platform (dock) from the American Navy when she is decommissioned next year.

“Senior Pentagon sources have confirmed talks are ongoing with the Argentinians over a Landing Platform Dock vessel capable of launching 800 troops, six helicopters and 2,000 tons of equipment into a war zone,” reported the paper, contrasting this with the Royal Navy’s HMS Ocean, which is very similar to the Ponce’s original configuration.

As regular readers know, the mighty Ponce has spent the last few years blasting various targets into bits using a shiny new $40m laser cannon and the US Navy even deployed her to the Gulf a few years ago.

To North American readers: if you’re wondering why this reads a bit oddly even by ordinary Register standards, it’s because the word “ponce” in British usage is a bit, um, odd. It’s taken as read that the primary purpose of an Argentine-flagged Ponce would sooner or later be intended for use in “liberating” the Falkland Islands:

The Ponce would be far from the first former US warship acquired by Argentina. In 1951 the Second World War cruiser USS Phoenix, a veteran of the Pearl Harbour attack by Japan, was bought by Argentina. She was renamed ARA General Belgrano – and sunk by British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror during the 1982 Falklands War. Doubtless the same fate would befall the Ponce if Argentina tried the same trick again.

August 22, 2017

How to Pronounce German Ship Names – World of Warships & Historical Background

Filed under: Gaming, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 8 Aug 2017

Pronunciation of German ship names from World of Warships with some background information on the person and location.

Military History Visualized provides a series of short narrative and visual presentations like documentaries based on academic literature or sometimes primary sources. Videos are intended as introduction to military history, but also contain a lot of details for history buffs. Since the aim is to keep the episodes short and comprehensive some details are often cut.

August 20, 2017

World of Warships – The Queen, God Bless Her! (Part 3)

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

Published on 18 Aug 2017

Took us long enough, but we finally arrived at tier 8, and here’s where the real fun begins.

Music in Conqueror segment – “In A World of Derp” by D1 of Aquavibe.

August 17, 2017

HMS Queen Elizabeth enters Portsmouth harbour

Filed under: Britain, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 05:00

At The Register, Gareth Corfield reports from Portsmouth as the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth visits her new home port for the first time:

Royal Navy aircraft fly over HMS Queen Elizabeth as she enters Portsmouth harbour. Click to see full-sized photo.

Britain’s newest warship, its biggest warship of all time, HMS Queen Elizabeth, entered Portsmouth Harbour for the first time this morning.

The 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier entered the port at 0710 this morning under the watchful eye of half a dozen tugboats, a small flotilla of police vessels – and crowds of thousands lining the sea front along Portsmouth and Southsea.

In addition, scores of smaller civil vessels accompanied the carrier at a respectful distance. A flypast of Royal Navy helicopters and fast jets – Hawk training aircraft – also took place as the carrier made her stately way towards the naval base.

Admiral Lord West, the former head of the navy and now a Labour Party peer, told The Register as the ship came in: “This is a very joyous day. She looks splendid. We had lost sight of our maritime capability. This is something very special for Portsmouth and the Navy.”

When asked if the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers were necessary, the admiral said: “The one thing you can’t guarantee is what will happen tomorrow. When they’ve got their fixed wing assets, they’ll be one of the only capabilities [the UK has that will have] a strategic impact. It’s 4.5 acres of British sovereign territory.”

World of Warships – The Queen, God Bless Her! (Part Two)

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

Published on 16 Aug 2017

In which I attempt to cover the British tier 7 – 10 Battleships, but can’t stop running my mouth off about the King George V and Nelson so it looks like we’ll be back later this week to finish.

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.

August 8, 2017

Mingles with Jingles Episode 209 – British Battleships in World of Warships

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

Published on 7 Aug 2017

In which I get all excited about incoming British battleships in World of Warships, and then I see the provisional stats of the higher tier ones and read what it is that makes them “special” and start to get a little worried. I’ve stockpiled hundreds of thousands of free xp for these thing, please don’t let them be shit!

Actually you may be able to help me with that. And then I speculate on what happens when a game starts running out of things it can do to make new units different…

July 23, 2017

Fake Paris – Female Soldiers – Naval Warfare I OUT OF THE TRENCHES

Filed under: Europe, France, History, Military — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 22 Jul 2017

It’s time for the Chair of Wisdom again and this week Indy talks about fake Paris, female soldiers and the rules of naval warfare.

July 22, 2017

Dunkirk Myth vs. Reality – Operation Dynamo

Filed under: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 7 Jul 2017

The evacuation of British, Belgian, and French troops at Dunkirk – Operation Dynamo – was a crucial event in the early stages of the Second World War. Although the Allies were ultimately severely beaten in the Battle of France, the events at Dunkirk were mostly portrayed and perceived as a victory for the British. Quite naturally various myths surround this event.

» SOURCES «

Palmer, Alice: Dunkirk: The Defeat That Inspired a Nation
http://repository.wellesley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1014&context=library_awards

Alexander, Martin S.: French grand strategy and defence preparations. In: Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume I
Frieser, Karl-Heinz: The war in the West, 1939-1940: an unplanned Blitzkrieg. In: Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume I
Amazon.com link (affiliate): http://amzn.to/2tuFtuM

Gardner, W.J.R. Gardner: The Evacuation from Dunkirk: ‘Operation Dynamo’, 26 May-June 1940 (Naval Staff Histories)
Amazon.com link (affiliate): http://amzn.to/2uoqMFV

History of The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships
http://www.adls.org.uk/t1/content/history-association-dunkirk-little-ships

Mrs. Miniver
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs._Miniver

July 21, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Naval Legends – HMCS Haida

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

Published on 19 Jul 2017

Curious about how the Naval Legends episodes are made? Want to know how the beauty shots are made? Then let me take you behind the scenes of Naval Legends HMCS Haida.

Filmed with the permission of Parks Canada, at HMCS Haida National Historic Site.

Special thanks to Nicholas Moran, WarGaming America.

HMS Frigatey McFrigateface gets a new name

Filed under: Britain, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

At The Register, Gareth Corfield reports that the first Type 26 frigate has been given the name HMS Glasgow:

Type 26 Global Combat Ship – DSEi 2013 2
BAE Systems has unveiled the latest imagery of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, which shows the maturity of the design and provides an insight into how it will look.
(BAE Systems, via Flickr)

The first of the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 frigates has been named HMS Glasgow, recycling the name for the fourth time in the last 100 years.

“The name Glasgow brings with it a string of battle honours. As one of the world’s most capable anti-submarine frigates, the Type 26 will carry the Royal Navy’s tradition of victory far into the future,” said the First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord Philip Jones, naming the as-yet-unbuilt warship this morning.

All future Type 26s will be named after cities, making them the City class – a step up from when the names were previously used as part of the Town class of yore. Numerous wags on Twitter suggested that the ship would be named HMS Frigatey McFrigateface, in a nod to the Natural Environment Research Council’s epic public naming contest blunder.

“This is great news for the workers on the Clyde: first-in-class builds are always special, but I know from visiting BAE Systems earlier this year that they are raring to go on a world-class project that will showcase their skills and the ‘Clyde built’ brand for a new generation,” Martin Docherty-Hughes, the Scottish Nationalist Party MP for West Dumbartonshire, told The Register.

The Type 26s are the future of British sea power, being intended to replace the venerable old Type 23 frigates that make up the backbone of the Navy’s warfighting fleet. In British service, frigates are broadly equipped to fight other surface warships and as anti-submarine vessels, a particular British speciality.

[…]

Naming warships is an inherently political process. The Royal Navy has, particularly in the latter part of the 20th century, tried to pick names that guarantee it support from the important parts of society – see the Hunt-class mine countermeasure vessels, named after the packs of well-off Hooray Henrys who spend their free time galloping around Blighty’s fields in search of foxes. More recently, a Cold War-era frigate was named HMS London, which worked well until she was flogged off to Romania in 2002, complete with a few crates of unwanted L85A1 rifles. Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster continues flying the flag for the RN near the corridors of power, courtesy of a feature wall in Westminster Tube station.

The name Glasgow was officially bestowed to recognise the shipbuilding heritage of the Clyde area. In reality, it’s more of a sop to try and damp down the fires of Scottish nationalism; apparently, patriotic names are all that now stands between the United Kingdom and its breakup.

July 12, 2017

World of Warships – Dunkirk

Filed under: Britain, Gaming, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 06:00

Published on 11 Jul 2017

It’s all well and good for Churchill to promise to “Fight them on the beaches…”, but first he had to get them off the beaches of France to ensure he had anyone to fight them on the beaches of England with…

July 8, 2017

Four Fun Facts about the Oerlikon 20mm Antiaircraft Cannon!

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

Published on 13 Apr 2017

The 20mm Oerlikon automatic cannon was a mainstay of United States naval air defense during World War 2, and today we will look at a few of the characteristics and questions that apply to this sort of automatic cannon but not to typical small arms. Like, for instance, how do you cock a gun that has a 400 pound recoil spring? Or, what happens if you fire a high explosive shell into your muzzle cover?

http://www.patreon.com/ForgottenWeapons

July 6, 2017

Hunting the Bismarck – IV: Sink the Bismarck – Extra History

Filed under: Britain, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on Jun 1, 2017

Sponsored by Wargaming! New players: Download World of Warships and use the code EXTRA1 for free goodies! http://bit.ly/2rpKsch

European Players: Check out the “Hunt for Bismarck” Extra History bundle in the premium shop: http://bit.ly/2qLifdR

Sink the Bismarck. Churchill’s orders were simple, but executing them had proved tricky. Admiral Tovey and his hastily summoned handful of ships and planes had one more opportunity to sink the German juggernaut, and they were determined not to waste this chance.

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