Sunday, January 31, 2010

Supermarine Seafire

The Supermarine Seafire was the naval version of the Spitfire, but never shared that aircraft's impressive reputation, instead becoming known as a fragile aircraft not well suited to carrier operations
The Supermarine Seafire Mk.Ib was a version of the Spitfire Mk.V converted to serve as an interim naval fighter before the arrival of a purpose-built Seafire.
The Supermarine Seafire Mk.IIc was the first version of the aircraft to be built from new as a naval fighter, and was developed alongside the Mk.Ib.
The Supermarine Seafire Mk.III was the first version of the aircraft to be produced with folding wings, and was produced in larger numbers than any other version of the Seafire.
The Supermarine Seafire Mk.XV was the first Griffon powered version of the Seafire to be produced, entering service just too late to reach the front line during the Second World War.
The Supermarine Seafire Mk.XVII was an improved version of the Griffon-powered Seafire XV, with the bubble canopy and cut-down rear fuselage adopted for late Seafire XVs combined with a better undercarriage and stronger wings
The Supermarine Seafire F.45 was the first of a series of Seafire variants to be powered by Griffon 60 series engines, and was very much an interim model, lacking folding wings and with an older fuselage design than the Seafire XVII
The Supermarine Seafire F.Mk.46 was the first version of the Griffon-powered Seafire to be truly suitable for service on aircraft carriers, featuring contra-rotating propellers that solved the handling problems caused by the torque problems introduced with the Griffon
The Supermarine Seafire Mk.47 was the final, and best, version of the Seafire, and combined the contra-rotating propellers of the Seafire F.46 with folding wings that made it fully suited for carrier operations.

Fairey Firefly

The Fairey Firefly was developed as a two-man naval fighter-reconnaissance aircraft, and saw service as a long range escort and strike aircraft during the Second World War and as a strike aircraft during the Korean War.
The Fairey Firefly F.1 was a two-seat day fighter that entered Fleet Air Arm service early in 1944, and served as a long range fighter, reconnaissance and strike aircraft
The Fairey Firefly NF.I was the second attempt to develop a night-fighter version of the Firefly, and took advantage of the availability of American radar to improve on the earlier NF.II.
The Fairey Firefly FR.I was the third version of the aircraft to enter service, and saw radar introduced as a standard feature
The Fairey Firefly T.1 was an advanced dual-control trainer produced as a private venture by Fairey, and accepted by the Fleet Air Arm
The Fairey Firefly T.2 was a tactical weapons trainer based on the unarmed Firefly T.1
The Fairey Firefly NF.II was the first attempt to produce a night-fighter version of the aircraft, preceding the more successful NF.I
The Fairey Firefly T.3 was produced to train observers in anti-submarine warfare
The Fairey Firefly F.3 was the first attempt to fit a two-stage supercharged Griffon 61 to the Firefly, but was abandoned after problems with the new engine installation.
The Fairey Firefly FR.4 saw a major redesign of the basic Firefly design, with leading-edge radiators installed to provide cooling for a more powerful Griffon 61 engine
The Fairey Firefly FR.5 was the fighter-reconnaissance version of the multi-purpose Firefly Mk.5, and saw extensive service during the Korean War
The Fairey Firefly NF.5 was the night-fighter version of the multi-purpose Firefly Mk.5.
The Fairey Firefly AS.5 was the anti-submarine version of the multi-purpose Firefly Mk.5, and was equipped with submarine detection gear carried under the wings.
The Fairey Firefly AS.6 was a dedicated anti-submarine version of the aircraft, sacrificing defensive armament for an improved anti-submarine capability.
The Fairey Firefly AS.7 was developed to provide the Fleet Air Arm with a three-seat anti-submarine aircraft while work continued on the Fairey Gannet, but was never used in that role and instead entered service as the Firefly T.7
The Fairey Firefly U.8 was a pilotless target drone based on the Firefly T.7 and used to test a number of early anti-aircraft missiles
The Fairey Firefly U.9 was the designation given to forty Firefly Mk.5s converted to serve as pilotless target drones starting in 1956
After the Second World War a number of Fairey Fireflies were converted into target tugs, serving with the Fleet Air Arm, as well as with Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Australia.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Review: Cameos of the Western Front: Salient Points Five, Ypres and Picardy 1914-18, Tony Spagnoly and Ted Smith

Cameos of the Western Front: Salient Points Five, Ypres and Picardy 1914-18, Tony Spagnoly and Ted Smith. A collection of ten short accounts of incidents in the fighting around the Ypres salient from the earliest battles of 1914 into 1917. A useful volume for anyone planning to visit the battlefields that can be used to guide them to the sites of some of the less well known moments of the fighting. [read full review]

Review: Lost Souls of the River Kwai, Bill Reed with Mitch Peeke

Lost Souls of the River Kwai, Bill Reed with Mitch Peeke. An often harrowing account of the suffering inflicted on British Prisoners of War who were forced to build the Burma Railway for the Japanese. Reed's vivid memories of these events tell a tale that needs to be remembered [read full review]

Review: Assault on Germany: The Battle of Geilenkirchen, Ken Ford

Assault on Germany: The Battle of Geilenkirchen, Ken Ford. This is a very detailed account of the Allied assault on the German border town of Geilenkirchen at the end of 1944. This was the first battle fought by British troops on German soil during the Second World War, and also a good example of Anglo-American co-operation, with troops from both countries playing a major part in the assault. [read full review]

Review: The History of 30 Assault Unit: Ian Fleming's Red Indians, Craig Cabell

The History of 30 Assault Unit: Ian Fleming's Red Indians, Craig Cabell. An account of the history of a British Special Forces unit formed to capture intelligence from just behind enemy lines, and that served in North Africa, Italy and Northern Europe, carrying out some very daring missions under difficult conditions and seizing a great deal of valuable intelligence material [read full review]

Review: British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War, Norman Friedman

British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War, Norman Friedman. A very detailed look at the design of British destroyers from their earliest roots as torpedo boat destroyers, though the First World War and up to the start of the Second World War, supported by vast numbers of plans and well chosen photographs [read full review]

Review: A Conscript in Korea, Neville Williams

A Conscript in Korea, Neville Williams. An autobiographic account of the life of a National Serviceman during the Korean War, from training, through the journey to Korea and onto the front line, where Williams served in signals, responsible for fixing broken phone lines, often under heavy fire. An unusual perspective on an often forgotten war [read full review]

The battle and campaign of Marengo

The Marengo campaign (May-14 June 1800) was a crucial moment in Napoleon's career, helping to secure his position as First Consul, and to restore his earlier conquests in Italy

The battle of Marengo (14 June 1800) was a major French victory that helped to secure Napoleon's power as First Consul as well as expelling the Austrians from most of Italy

The combat of Ch√Ętillon (18 May 1800) was a French victory early in the campaign that ended at Marengo

The siege of Fort Bard (21 May-2 June 1800) saw a small Austrian garrison hold up the passage of Napoleon's artillery during the French advance into Italy at the start of the campaign that ended at Marengo.

The combat of Ivrea (24 May 1800) was a French victory during Napoleon's advance into Italy early in the campaign that ended at Marengo.

The battle of Romano-Chiusella (26 May 1800) was a French victory that saw their advance guard under Lannes force the Austrians to retreat from the Chiusella River back towards Turin, and that helped convince the Austrian commanders that Napoleon was heading south towards Genoa

The combat of Turbigo (31 May 1800) was a French victory that cleared the way for Napoleon to enter Milan and split the Austrian armies in northern Italy in two

The battle of Casteggio-Montebello (9 June 1800) was a hard fought French victory that came as the main French and Austrian armies in Piedmont were closing in on each other in the build-up to the battle of Marengo

The combat of Marengo (13 June 1800) was a minor French victory on the evening before the battle of Marengo that badly disrupted the Austrian plans for the following day by giving the French command of a crucial bridge in the village of Marengo.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Review: Operation Dragoon: The Liberation of Southern France

Operation Dragoon: The Liberation of Southern France, Anthony Tucker-Jones. A useful book that places this controversial campaign in its wider context, looking at the debates between the Allied leaders and its role in the revival of French power, as well as following the troops that landed in southern France up to Belfort and Lorraine. [read full review]

Review: British Military Medals, Peter Duckers.

British Military Medals, Peter Duckers. A very useful guide to British campaign and gallantry medals, starting with a look at the early history of medals, before moving on to a chronological examination of campaign medals, and finishing with a look at gallantry medals. Each section is supported by a valuable guide to the sources available to anyone researching these medals, especially those in the National Archive at Kew. [read full review]

Review: The Six Day War 1967: Jordan and Syria, Simon Dunstan

The Six Day War 1967: Jordan and Syria, Simon Dunstan. A well balanced account of the fighting on the Syrian and Jordanian fronts of the Six Day War, two short but critically important campaigns that saw the Israelis capture all of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, with an interesting post-script on the war's political impact in Israel and the Arab world. [read full review]

Review: The Fourth Force: The Untold Story of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary since 1945

The Fourth Force: The Untold Story of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary since 1945, Geoff Puddefoot. A look at the development and deployment of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, which provides support services (including transporting fuel, ammunition and supplies) to the Royal Navy, from 1950 to the present day, a period in which the RFA was involved in the retreat from Empire, the Korean, Falklands and Iraq wars and a series of less well known operations, playing a vital role on each occasion. [read full review]

Review: Foreign Planes in the Service of the Luftwaffe

Foreign Planes in the Service of the Luftwaffe, Jean-Louis Roba. A lavishly illustrated look at the fate of the thousands of foreign military aircraft captured by the Germans during the Second World War (including particularly large numbers of Czech, French and Italian types), many of which went on to play important roles within the Luftwaffe. [read full review]

Combats of the Var, Breglio and Forcoin

The combats on the Var of 13-28 May 1800 marked the high point of Austrian success during the fighting in Italy in 1800, and saw an Austrian force under Melas and Elsnitz attempt to destroy Suchet's left wing of the French Army of Italy.
The combat of Breglio (1-2 June 1800) was a minor French victory (Suchet) that forced the Austrians (Elsnitz) to retreat from the Col de Tende, his best line of retreat from France into Italy.
The combat of Forcoin (3 June 1800) was a minor French victory during the fighting in the maritime Alps in 1800 that saw the Austrians forced out of a position in the mountains east of the Roya River.

Combats of Bormida, Borhetto, Oneglia and Col de Tende

The combat of Bormida (20 April 1800) saw the failure of an attempt by General Suchet to regain contact with the main body of the French Army of Italy around Genoa.
The combat of Borghetto (2 May 1800) was an Austrian victory that saw them force Suchet and the left wing of the Army of Italy to retreat further away from contact with the rest of the army at Genoa.
The combat of Oneglia (7 May 1800) was one of a series of minor Austrian victories that forced the left wing of the French Army of Italy under General Suchet to abandon their last positions on the Italian Riviera and retreat behind the Var River
The combat of the Col de Tende (6 or 7 May 1800) was an Austrian victory that forced the French to abandon a defensive position in the pass that marks the border between the Maritime and Ligurian Alps and retreat back towards Nice.

Battle of Genola, combat of Novi, seige of Cuneo

The battle of Genola (4 November 1799) was a final major French defeat in Italy in 1799 which forced them to pull back into the Alps and Apennines, and left the Austrians in command of the northern Italian plains
The combat of Novi (6 November 1799) was a minor French victory that saw them defeat an Austrian attempt to push them out of a position at Novi, on the northern edge of the Apennines.
The siege of Cuneo (18 November-4 December 1799) saw the Austrians capture the last French stronghold on the northern Italian plains at the end of a year that has seen the French position in Italy collapse

Combats of Mondovi, Bracco, Beinette & Bosco

The combat of Mondovi (28 September 1799) was a French defeat during General Championnet's attempts to protect Cuneo, the last important French possession in Italy after the disastrous campaign of 1799
The combat of Bracco (13 October 1799) was a French attempt to push the Austrians further away from Genoa that achieved some short-term success.
The combat of Beinette (14 October 1799) was one of a minor actions fought around Cuneo as the French under Championnet attempted to stop the Austrians attacking the city, which was their last stronghold on the northern Italian plains.
The combat of Bosco (24 October 1799) was a rare French success during the fighting in Italy in 1799, and saw the French push the Austrians back towards Alessandria from their original positions around Novi

Battle of Novi, combats of Pignerolo, Rivoli, Fossano, Savigliano

The battle of Novi (15 August 1799) was a major French defeat in Italy that saw an Austro-Russian army under Marshal Suvorov defeat the combined French armies in Italy
The combat of Pignerolo (15 September 1799) was one of a series of minor actions fought as the French Armies of the Alps and of Italy attempted to unite in the aftermath of the French defeat at Novi on 15 August.
The combat of Rivoli (15 September 1799) was one of a series of minor actions fought as the French Armies of the Alps and of Italy attempted to unite in the aftermath of the French defeat at Novi on 15 August
The combats of Fossano and Savigliano (17 September 1799) were two Austrian victories that stopped an attempt by General Championnet to combine his newly united Armies of the Alps and of Italy

Battle of Alessandria, combats San Giorgio and Sassuolo

The battle of Alessandria or Cassina-Grossa (20 June 1799) was a rare French victory in Italy during the campaign of 1799, but one that came too late to prevent the Austro-Russian army of Marshal Suvarov from defeating a second French army at the battle of the Trebbia (17-19 June 1799)
The combat of San Giorgio (20 June 1799) was a rear-guard action during the French retreat after their defeat at the battle of the Trebbia (17-19 June 1799).
The combat of Sassuolo (23 June 1799) was a second French rearguard action (after the combat of San-Giorgio of 20 June) fought after the French defeat on the Trebbia on 17-19 June.