Thursday, February 28, 2019

Martin T4M

The Martin T4M was a version of the earlier T3M torpedo bomber, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

HMS Express (1897)

HMS Express (1897) was ordered as a 33-knot ‘special’, but never achieved her target speed and became a ‘B class destroyer’, serving with the Eighth Flotilla on the Firth of Forth in 1914-1917, the East Coast Convoys in 1917 and the North Channel Patrol at the top of the Irish Sea in 1918.

Monday, February 25, 2019

12in 50 calibre gun on railway mount

The 12in 50 calibre gun on railway mount combined American guns originally built for export with French sliding railway gun mounts. Three had been completed by the end of the war in 1918, but none reached France and the type was soon scrapped after the war.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Clan Fabius Defenders of Rome - A History of the Republic’s Most Illustrious Family, Jeremiah McCall

Traces the history of one of the most important families in the early and middle Republic, from their legendary origins, through the Samnite Wars and peaking with the career of the famous ‘delayer’, a key figure in the Second Punic War who played a major part in saving the city from Hannibal. Finishes with the slow decline of the family, which began before the collapse of the Republic, and ended as the family disappeared from the records in the early Empire.
(Read Full Review)

Agent Michael Trotobas and SOE in Northern France, Steward Kent & Nick Nicholas

A compelling account of the creation of one of the more successful SOE circuits in northern France, the death of its charismatic leader and creator, and its activities after his death. Includes a satisfying large amount of information about the ‘Farmer’ circuit’s operations, as well as the events that led to Trotobas’s death. Also provides an insight into the problems that can be caused by placing unsuitable agents into the field, where everyone had to trust each other, often under intense pressure
(Read Full Review)

America's Commandos: U.S. Special Operations Forces of World War II and Korea, Leroy Thompson

Starts with a brief overview of the creation and use of American special force units during the Second World War and in Korea, before moving onto a good but not well organised selection of photographs. Does its job of illustrating the uniforms and equipment of these units, but needs chapter headings!
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

HMS Lively (1900)

HMS Lively (1900) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1904-6, but spend the rest of her career in home waters. At the start of the First World War she was part of the Seventh Flotilla on the East Coast, but late in 1914 she was moved to Scapa, where she was based until 1918, when she joined the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Dunlap Class destroyers

The two Dunlap Class destroyers were similar to the earlier Mahan class destroyers, but with experimental enclosed mounts for two of their 5in guns.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

HMS Sprightly (1900)

HMS Sprightly (1900) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1905-6, but spend the rest of her career in home waters. At the start of the First World War she was part of the Seventh Flotilla on the East Coast, but late in 1914 she was moved to Scapa, where she was based until 1918, when she joined the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Operation Cold Comfort/ Zombie (17 February-March 1945)

Operation Cold Comfort/ Zombie (17 February-March 1945) was an unsuccessful SAS attempt to block the railway through the Brenner Pass, to prevent German troops moving in or out of Italy during the upcoming Allied spring offensive.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Operation Agreement - Jewish Commandos and the Raid on Tobruk, John Sadler

Looks at a disastrous raid on Tobruk carried out just before the battle of El Alamein in an attempt to disrupt Rommel’s supply lines, but that ended as a total failure, with the loss of most of the troops that got into combat, as well as two destroyers and a cruiser. Provides a good case study of how not to mount a Special Forces operation, starting with not basing your plans on wishful thinking and not over-complicating things!
(Read Full Review)

Sailors behind the Medals - Waging War at Sea 1939-1945, Chris Bilham

Gives brief overviews of the careers of twenty three medal winning members of the Royal Navy during the Second World War, illustrating just how varied the experiences of different sailors could be. Covers the entire naval career of each man, rather than just their medal winning exploits, and focuses on the general experiences of their ships more than their individual life stories.
(Read Full Review)

Time Stood Still in a Muddy Hole - Captain John Hannaford, one of the last Bomb Disposal Officers of WWII, Pat Strickson

A biography of one of the longest surviving Bomb Disposal Officers, inspired by the discovery of one of his post-war paints on sale in a local shop soon after his death, tracing his route into bomb disposal, his experiences in the field, as well as focusing on the author’s motivation for writing the book, and the progress of their research efforts. A compelling and often poignant story of a very brave man, thrust into one of the most dangerous jobs of the entire war
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Martin P6M SeaMaster

The Martin P6M SeaMaster was an advanced jet powered flying boat that was ordered into production, but only appeared in small numbers before the project was cancelled.

Martin RM-1/ C-3

The Martin RM-1/ C-3 was the designation given to two Martin 4-0-4 airliners that served with the US Coast Guard and then the US Navy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

HMS Kangaroo (1900)

HMS Kangaroo (1900) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean early in her career, then in home waters. She spent the entire First World War serving with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla, part of the very active Dover Command.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Canon de 75 mle 1897

The Canon de 75 mle 1897, or the ‘French 75’, was the most famous artillery weapon of the First World War, and when it first appeared was a revolutionary design that made most existing artillery obsolete.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Mahan Class Destroyers

The Mahan Class Destroyers were similar to the Farragut class, but with high speed turbines and high pressure boilers, a more advanced power plant that was later used on the the Dunlap and Bagley classes

Sunday, February 03, 2019

March by Moonlight - A Bomber Command Story of Ops and Evasion, Captivity and Friendship, Jack Love & Barry Love

A fascinating autobiography focusing on the co-author’s initial evasion attempts after his aircraft crash landed in France, and then his time in a series of POW camps, including the famous Stalag Luft III. Includes a compelling tale of an almost successful attempt to evade capture after the crash, followed by Jack’s time in the camps, and his observations on the life of the average POW, not involved in the constant efforts to escape
(Read Full Review)

Bradley vs BMP Desert Storm 1991, Mike Guardia

Looks at the first clash between the main Soviet and American infantry fighting vehicles, when US troops clashed with the Iraqis in Operation Desert Storm. Includes a good technical history of the two vehicles as well as an account of their role in Desert Storm, where the Bradley was by far the more effective of the two vehicles, despite the BMP having some technical advantages
(Read Full Review)

Setting France Ablaze - the SOE in France during WWII, Peter Jacobs

Looks at the activities of SOE in the organisation’s main theatre of operations, tracing the slow and often costly expansion of SOE’s activities, which finally paid off in 1944, when the organisation’s networks helped to delay and distract the Germans at key moments, slowing down the arrival of reinforcements in Normandy and forcing the Germans to leave troops in less important areas. Perhaps has a little too much focus on the failures and the loss of so many agents, but otherwise a good account of the organisation’s activities
(Read Full Review)