On the way home from work one day last week, I passed a GMC Eleganza II on the highway that appeared to be in very good shape.
Even Hot Wheels thought they were cool
Who would have guessed it could also be used as an urban assault vehicle? Well it was and that’s a fact Jack!
This is the first of a 2 part post by Chuck Hill’s CG Blog. Part 1 uses The Battle of the River Plate to help explain the difficulties of just stopping a large ship, never mind actually sinking one.
Part 2 shows the potential weapons systems, tactics and difficulties today’s USCG could use to stop a large ship being used for nefarious purposes, either as a weapons carrier or as the actual weapon.
As a naval history buff Part 1 is the most interesting to me but both parts are well worth the time to read.
Photo: Heavy cruiser HMS Exeter seen after the battle, looking aft from the bow. Both forward twin 8″ gun turrets and the firecontrol system were disabled and the bridge destroyed by “splinters.”
Admiral Graf Spee in the English Channel in April 1939. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 89566.
Photo: After superstructure of Admiral Graf Spee showing 15 cm/55 and 10.5 cm/65 guns. Note the burned-out Arado Ar 196A-1 floatplane on the catapult and the after main-director rangefinder. Photograph taken at Montevideo, Uruguay in mid-December 1939, following the Battle of the River Plate. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph # NH 80976.
Note, this has been edited from the original, based on feedback particularly with regard to the ammunition remaining on Graf Spee after the engagement. I don’t believe the thrust of the post has been changed.
This is the first of two parts. Part one will tell a story. Part two will talk about the implications of lessons learned, applied to how the Coast Guard might deal with the threat of terrorists using a medium to large merchant ship to make an attack.
These are themes that will be discussed in part 2 before looking at specific tactics to make the best use of what we have. Hopefully you will see these illustrated in the following story.
- In comparing guns, at any given range, the longer ranged weapon generally enjoys an advantage in accuracy.
- It is very difficult to sink a ship by gunfire alone.
- Ships’ structure provide a degree of protection that makes it difficult to comprehensively target the crew of a ship without sinking the ship.
- It is difficult to forcibly stop a ship with gunfire alone.
- You can run out of ammunition before you accomplish your mission. The depth of your magazine may be important.
But first the story: The Mk38 Gun Mount and Ballistics and Weapons Effectiveness Lessons from Pursuit of the Graf Spee, Part 1
What happens to the detritus left of the fields of battle after a war is rarely touched on in print or on film. Whether the remains are human or mechanical, something has to be done with them. wwiiafterwwii has put together an excellent look at how the mechanical remains were disposed of or reused.
Since starting wwiiafterwwii, I receive from time to time suggestions for topics. These are wide-ranging but two in particular seem very popular: WWII weapons in the Vietnam War, which has been touched on several times; and a general question of how the world “cleaned up” WWII battlefields after the war. For the latter, I was surprised at how very little is written about it so perhaps this will be of interest.
One of the reasons WWII battlefields did not remain littered with vehicles for long was that, with the lone exception of the USA, all of the major warring powers made some official level of combat usage of captured enemy arms during WWII. The most formal was Germany’s Beutewaffe (literally, ‘booty’ or ‘loot’ weapon) effort, which encompassed everything from handguns to fighter aircraft with an official code in the Waffenamt system; for example FK-288(r) (the Soviet ZiS-3 anti-tank gun), SIGew-251(a) (the American M1 Garand rifle), and Sd.Kfz 735(i) (the Italian Fiat M13/40 tank). Captured gear was assembled at points called Sammelstelle and then shipped back from the front lines for disposition.
Read the rest of this great article here: Cleaning up after WWII
The 70 was the ultimate expression of René Couzinet’s incredibly beautiful Arc-en-Ciel (Rainbow) family. Powered by a trio of Hispano-Suiza 12 Nb engines, the third Arc-en-Ciel made its first flight on February 1932.
More here: Couzinet 70 “Arc en Ciel III”: Way Up High.
38th Bomb group, 71st Bomb Squadron
Ground crew member posing next to a B-25 strafer (J model?) and it’s 14 .50 cals.
When there is lead in the air, there is hope in the heart
Note the scoped Enfield. IWM image colorized by Doug Ralston
A sniper from “C” Company, 5th Battalion, The Black Watch, 51st (Highland) Division, in position in the loft space of a ruined building in Gennep, Holland, 14th February 1945
Source: Happy Valentine’s Day from the Black Watch