Saturday, June 30, 2007

Junkers Ju 88

The Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile aircraft of the Second World War, serving as a bomber, night fighter and reconnaissance aircraft as well as in a minor role as a ground attack aircraft and anti tank weapon. It had just entered service at the outbreak of war in 1939 and remained in service until the end of the war.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ju 188, Ju 288, Ju 388 and Ju 488

The Junkers Ju 188 was an improved version of the Ju 88, one of the mainstays of the Luftwaffe during the Second World War
The Junkers Ju 288 was one entry in the “Bomber B” competition of 1939, designed to provide the Luftwaffe with a long range high performance medium bomber
The Junkers Ju 388 was developed as a high speed altitude bomber based on similar aircraft in the Ju 188 series.
The Junkers Ju 488 was a four engined heavy bomber based on earlier Junkers designs. It reached the prototype stage but no further

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nine new aircraft

The Shenyang JJ-5 is a Chinese produced advanced fighter trainer produced from parts of the MiG-15 and MiG-17
The Avro Manchester was one of the least successful British aircraft of the Second World War. However, it was also the parent of probably the best British bomber of the war, the Avro Lancaster.
The Brewster F2A Buffalo was the first monoplane fighter used by the US Navy, and has the rare distinction of being an aircraft that got worse as it was developed
The Brewster Buffalo had an undistinguished career in British (and American) service.
The Stormovik was one of the most important aircraft of World War Two, its appearance over the battlefield struck fear into German troops and helped turn the tide of the war for the Soviets.
The Shin Meiwa SS-2 (PS-1/ US-1) is one of the few flying boats to see extensive use in the 1960s and beyond.
The F & W C 3605 Schlepp target-tug began life as a fighter bomber during the Second World War and ended it as a target tug in 1987
The Morane Saulnier M.S. 406 was the most numerous fighter aircraft in French service in 1940, but was not equal to the role.
The Morane Saulnier M.S. 405 was the development version of the most numerous French fighter of the Second World War.
The Morane Saulnier M.S. 410 was an attempt to improve the firepower of the M.S. 406

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bristol (Fairchild) Bolingbroke

The Bristol (Fairchild) Bolingbroke was the Canadian version of the Blenheim

Bristol Blenheim

The Bristol Blenheim was a light bomber, that when first designed was one of the fastest military aircraft in the world. Sadly, by the time war broke out in 1939 it had been leapfrogged by more modern aircraft, and the Blenheim would turn out to be slow and vulnerable to modern fighters.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dornier Do 317

The Dornier Do 317 was a failed attempt to produce a long range medium bomber based on the Do 217.

Dornier Do 217

The Dornier Do 217 was a German bomber that saw most of its service in western Europe during the middle years of the Second World War

Dornier Do 215

The Dornier Do 215 was a version of the Do 17 originally intended for the export market, but taken over by the Luftwaffe at the start of the Second World War

Dornier Do 17

The Dornier Do 17 was one of the main German bombers in the first year of the Second World War, but was soon replaced by more modern aircraft

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Heinkel He 277

The Heinkel He 277 was a four engined version of the He 177 that was developed too late to enter service.

Heinkel He 274

The Heinkel He 274 was a four engined high-altitude version of the He 177 that did not fly until after the end of the war.

Heinkel He 177 Greif (Griffon)

The Heinkel He 177 Greif (Griffon) was the only long range heavy bomber to enter Luftwaffe service during the Second World War. It arrived too late, in too small numbers and was too unreliable to have any impact on the war.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Arado Ar 80 and Focke-Wulf Fw 159

Two less well known German aircraft are the Arado Ar 80 and the Focke-Wulf Fw 159, two fighters designed to the same specification as the Messerschmitt Bf 109.

Heinkel He 111

Today we look at the Heinkel He 111 , one of the most important German bombers during the first half of the Second World War and a familiar sight in the skies over Britain during 1940.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Settlement of Babylon of 323 BC

Returning to the Wars of the Diadochi, we look at the Settlement of Babylon of 323 BC, a short lived attempt to divide up power within the empire of Alexander the Great.

Battle of Raphia, 22 June 217 BC

The Battle of Raphia, 22 June 217, was the decisive battle of the Fourth Syrian War, and an Egyptian victory over Antiochus III

Battle of the Plane Tree Pass, 218 BC

The Battle of the Plane Tree Pass, 218 BC was a Seleucid victory during the Fourth Syrian War

Battle near Apollonia in Media (220 BC)

We look at the career of the Seleucid emperor Antiochus III the Great, beginning with his defeat of a rebellion under the satrap Molon in a battle near Apollonia in Media (220 BC)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was the main US Navy dive bomber during the last two years of the Second World War despite a poor reputation and prolonged development process.

Curtiss A-25 Shrike

Our 100th aircraft is the Curtiss A-25 Shrike, a USAAF diver bomber based on the Navy's SB2C Helldiver

Douglas SBD Dauntless

The Douglas SBD Dauntless was the most important American naval dive bomber of the Second World War, responsible for the sinking of four Japanese fleet carriers at the battle of Midway.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Northrop BT-1

The Northrop BT-1 was an early version of the Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber

Douglas A-24 Banshee

The Douglas A-24 Banshee was a US dive bomber based on the Navy SBD Dauntless with a short front line career

Battle of New Madrid, 13 March 1862

The Battle of New Madrid, 13 March 1862, was part of the Union advance down the Mississippi that slowly split the Confederacy in half

Capture of New Orleans, 18-29 April 1862

The Capture of New Orleans, 18-29 April 1862, saw a Union fleet capture the largest city in the Confederacy

Battle of Newtonia, 30 September 1862

The Battle of Newtonia, 30 September 1862, was a minor battle in southern Missouri during the American Civil War

Handley Page Harrow

The Handley Page Harrow was a short lived bomber aircraft that saw service as a transport aircraft during the Second World War

Handley Page Heyford

The Handley Page Heyford was the last biplane heavy bomber used by the RAF.
The Douglas TBD Devastator was the main American torpedo bomber in 1941, but it had to be withdrawn after suffering from heavy loses at the battle of Midway

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk/ Tomahawk/ Kittyhawk

We finish our look at the major American fighter aircraft of the Second World War with a series of articles on the P-40 Warhawk. This was the main Army fighter when America entered the war, and although it was never in the front rank of fighters, the P-40 was never entirely outclassed. In British service, as the Tomahawk and later Kittyhawk it played an important role in North Africa. We also look at the P-40's precursor, the XP-37, and three attempts to improve the aircraft - the XP-46, XP-53 and XP-60. Despite their best efforts, Curtiss were never able to produce an replacement worth disrupting production to bring into service.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

North American P-51 Mustang

Today we add a series of twenty one articles on the North American P-51 Mustang, one of the best fighter aircraft to see service during the Second World War.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

More Hellenistic Wars

We continue our look at the Hellenistic world with articles on the The Diadochi, the successors to Alexander the Great, giving a brief summary of their lives.

The first conflict to break out after the death of Alexander the Great was the Lamian or Hellenic War, 323-321 BC, a Greek revolt against Macedonian control. The siege of Lamia (322 B.C.) saw the Greek rebels trap Antipater in the town of Lamia. The Battle of Abydos, 322 B.C., was the first of two naval defeats during the Lamian War than ended Athenian naval power. The battle of Amorgos, July 322 B.C. was a naval defeat during the Lamian War than ended Athenian naval power. The Battle of Crannon, August 322 B.C., was a Macedonia victory that ended serious Greek resistance during the Lamian War. We also add a biography of Cleitus, d.318, a Macedonian Admiral important in the early years of the War of the Diadochi

The Second Syrian War, 260-255 BC, was a badly documented war that saw Egypt loose much of the lands gained in the First Syrian War. The Battle of Cos, 258 BC was the main battle of that war, and saw the Egyptian fleet defeated by Macedonia.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wars of the Hellenistic Kingdoms

We return to the ancient world with a look at the wars of the Hellenistic kingdoms that appeared after the death of Alexander the Great, starting with Eumenes’ War, 263-261 BC, a conflict that established the independence of Pergamum, the First Syrian War, 276-272 BC in which Ptolemy II of Egypt defeated Antiochus, ruler of the Seleucid Empire and a biography of Ptolemy Keraunos, son of Ptolemy I of Egypt and briefly king of Macedonia. We also add a list of the members of the Seleucid Dynasty

Friday, June 01, 2007

Vickers Wellington

We start June with twelve articles on the Vickers Wellington, the most important British bomber during the first half of the Second World War. Included in these articles is an account of the battle of Heligoland Bight (18 December 1939), a disaster that helped to end daylight bombing for nearly five years, and four items of equipment used on the Wellington - Browning 0.303in Mark II Machine Gun (R.A.F.), Frazer-Nash (Parnall) FN5 Bomber Gun Turret, Frazer-Nash (Parnall) FN25 Bomber Gun Turret and the Leigh Light