Πέμπτη, 7 Απριλίου 2016

Obi Wan Kenobi actor was a real life WWII hero




Some 35 years before he counseled Luke Skywalker to “use the Force” as Obi Wan Kenobi, Sir Alec Guinness was piloting infantry landing craft in the Mediterranean. A trained thespian, Guinness put his theater career on hold in 1939 to join the Royal Navy. He landed some 200 British soldiers on the beaches of Sicily during the July 1943 invasion of Italy, and went on to ferry arms to partisan fighters in Yugoslavia.
During one such voyage in 1944, Guinness’s boat was caught in a violent hurricane off the coast of Italy, and he only narrowly managed to guide the ship into a harbor before it was thrown onto a rocky shoreline and damaged beyond repair. Guinness would later put his wartime experience to use portraying military officers in such films as “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and “Tunes of Glory,” and even played Adolf Hitler in 1973’s “Hitler: The Last Ten Days.”

Nazi General Anton Dostler is tied to a stake before his execution for killing 15 OSS men




On March 22, 1944, fifteen soldiers of the U.S. Army, including two officers, landed on the Italian coast about 15 kilometres north of La Spezia, 400 km (250 miles) behind the then established front, as part of Operation Ginny II. They were all properly dressed in the field uniform of the U.S. Army and carried no civilian clothes. Their objective was to demolish a tunnel at Framura on the important railroad line between La Spezia and Genoa. Two days later, the group was captured by a party of Italian Fascist soldiers and members of the German Heer. They were taken to La Spezia, where they were confined near the headquarters of the 135th Fortress Brigade, which was under the command of German Colonel Almers. The immediate, superior command was that of the 75th Army Corps, commanded by Dostler.

That time the Soviets bugged the U.S Ambassador’s office & they noticed only after 7 years



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The Thing, also known as the Great Seal bug, was one of the first covert listening devices (or “bugs”) to use passive techniques to transmit an audio signal. It was concealed inside a gift given by the Soviets to the US Ambassador to Moscow on August 4, 1945.

Today in Military History: April 1-2? 279 BCBattle of Asculum: Pyrrhus of Epirus Defeats Romans for "Pyrrhic Victory"


 
Battle of Asculum: Pyrrhus of Epirus Defeats Romans for "Pyrrhic Victory"
Pyrrhus of Epirus (319/318-272 BC), artist unknown
Bust in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, Italy
(Unless otherwise indicated, all illustrations are courtesy of Wikipedia)


For today's history lesson, I present for your enjoyment a battle between Roman legion and the phalanx of the Successors of Alexander the Great set in the southern Italian peninsula.
Background to the Battle
In the fifty years after the death of the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great, his far-flung empire broke up and was divided amongst his generals. One of the Successor states to his empire was the Kingdom of Epirus, which had once been allied to the Macedonians (in fact, Alexander's mother Olympias was an Epirote princess prior to marrying Phillip of Macedon). The kingdom was located in what is today northwestern Greece and southern Albania. The royal family claimed it could trace its bloodline back to the hero Achilles. In 297 BC Prince Pyrrhus came to the throne of Epirus. He had spent the previous decade learning his military craft. For the next 25 years, he would be a pain in the neck to Rome, Carthage, Macedonia and Sparta.

Invading Okinawa, The Biggest Amphibious Invasion In The Pacific




Codenamed Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa was the largest amphibious landing in the Pacific theatre of the Second World War which started on April 1st, 1945.
In Spring 1945, Allied forces were advancing on Japan and Allied planes were able to bombard her cities. Okinawa, a 70-mile long island 350 miles from Japan, was seen as the final step before a full-scale invasion of the Japanese Homeland.

Want to go for a spin in the Paul Moller’s Skycar?




The Skycar is the long-term project of Canadian aeronautical engineer Dr Paul Moller, a man who when he starts something doesn’t give up on it easily. He first began looking at the VTOL (vertical take-off & landing or as he calls it Volantor) concept back in 1962 and ever since has been evolving and improving his designs and concepts.

Dr-Moller-skycar

Moller has had various companies over the years all with the stated aim of manufacturing a flying car; in the early 1970s it was the fantastically named Discojet Corporation and more lately Moller International. Regardless of the name the projects always seem to come up against the same stumbling blocks time and again – namely that building a flying car is pretty damn difficult and getting permission from the authorities to have it flying about in the sky is nigh-on impossible. Add to that the fact that Dr Moller seems to be good at talking the talk but not so good at walking the walk (or should that be flying the fly) and you have fifty years of promises being made but not much reality being delivered.

German Luftwaffe Aircraft Shot Down In 1943 Recovered In Leros


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A Stuka dive bomber, shot down in 1943, salvaged from the sea between Leros and Rodos Islands


A Stuka dive bomber, shot down in 1943, salvaged from the sea between Leros and Rodos Islands
Back in the autumn of 1943, a fierce battle was fought in and around Leros Island, between the British and the Germans, for the control of the Dodecanese Islands, after the capitulation of the fascist Italian regime in September 1943, which occupied the islands since 1912

20 Interesting V1 Rocket Facts


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C10/V-1



1) The V1 stands for Vergeltungswaffe-1, German for retaliatory weapons. They were developed to strike back at Britain in retaliation of the bombing of German cities.
2) Eventually there were three V-weapons developed, the V2 was the first ballistic missile, the V3 was a super gun which was never finished.
3) The first V-1 was launched at London on 13 June 1944, one week after the invasion of France. It’s first flight, launched from a bomber, took place on December 10th 1942.

Convair B-36 Peacemaker – The Billion Dollar Blunder?




B-36aarrivalcarswell1948
The Convair B-36 “Peacemaker” was a strategic bomber operated solely by the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1949 to 1959. The B-36 was the largest mass-produced piston engine aircraft ever made.
It had the longest wingspan of any combat aircraft ever built at 230 ft. The B-36 was the first bomber capable of delivering any of the nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal from inside its four bomb bays without aircraft modifications. With a range of 10,000 miles and a maximum payload of 87,200 lb, the B-36 was the world’s first manned bomber with an unrefueled intercontinental range.

The Worst Nightmare of the US Navy, Russian Navy Kirov Class Battlecruisers


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The pride of the Russian navy is the Kirov Class battle cruiser warship. Some may say its the worst nightmare of the US Navy. The Kirov-class battlecruiser is a class of nuclear-powered warship of the Russian Navy, the largest and heaviest surface combatant warships (i.e. not an aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship) currently in active operation in the world. Among modern warships, they are second in size only to large aircraft carriers, and of similar size to a World War I-era battleship. The official designation of the ship-type is “heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser”, but because of their size and general appearance, the ships are often referred to as battlecruisers by western defense commentators.

The Worst Nightmare of the US Navy, Russian Navy Kirov Class Battlecruisers


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fijpL
The pride of the Russian navy is the Kirov Class battle cruiser warship. Some may say its the worst nightmare of the US Navy. The Kirov-class battlecruiser is a class of nuclear-powered warship of the Russian Navy, the largest and heaviest surface combatant warships (i.e. not an aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship) currently in active operation in the world. Among modern warships, they are second in size only to large aircraft carriers, and of similar size to a World War I-era battleship. The official designation of the ship-type is “heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser”, but because of their size and general appearance, the ships are often referred to as battlecruisers by western defense commentators.

The experimental “barrel-shaped“ Italian airplane called Stipa-Caproni designed in the 1930s …




The Stipa-Caproni, also called the Caproni Stipa, was an experimental Italian aircraft designed in 1932 by Luigi Stipa (1900–1992) and built by Caproni. It featured a hollow, barrel-shaped fuselage with the engine and propeller completely enclosed by the fuselage—in essence, the whole fuselage was a single ducted fan. Although the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) was not interested in pursuing the development of the Stipa-Caproni, its design was an important step in the development of jet propulsion.

A front quarter view of the Stipa-Caproni with wheel spats removed. source

The design was very similar to that of modern jet engines; in fact, after having patented his design in Italy, Germany, and the United States in 1938, Stipa became convinced that German rocket and jet technology (especially the V-1 flying bomb) was using his patented invention without giving proper credit. Stipa’s basic idea—which he called the “intubed propeller”—was to mount the engine and propeller inside a fuselage that itself formed a tapered duct or venturi tube, and compressed the propeller’s airflow and the engine exhaust before it exited the duct at the trailing edge of the aircraft, essentially applying Bernoulli’s principle of fluid movements to make the aircraft’s engine more efficient.

BYZANTIUM Arms and Emblems




In the Roman Empire the emblem of the armed forces was a thunderbolt, the arms of Zeus/Jupiter and heaven. In the christian Empire of Constantine the emblem of the armed forces became the cypher of Christ consisting of the letters chi and rho of the greek alphabet, XP (χρ). This cypher was placed on the labarum or imperial banner but also on the shields of the christian army. The emblem of the army staff itself consisted of this cypher on a clipeus, supported by two angels, symbolizing the heavenly mandate. In the achievements of the lower divisions of the army the cypher was supported by heraldic beasts like peacocks or griffins.
As far as we know the emblems of rank within the armed forces did not change and consisted of a gorgoneion, an eagle, a griffin and a lion for the four highest ranks.
This system was not abandoned when the Roman Empire was divided into a Western and an Eastern part. In both parts it continued to exist even after the fall of the Western Empire. In the West it was adopted by the successor states like, for example the empires of the Franks and the Visigoths (and probably the Vandals). In the East a major reform took place when the defense of the empire was organised in themes. In this system the rank of caesar became obsolete and the commanders of a theme apparently had the rank of consul of which the eagle was the emblem. Such eagles were placed on seals, accompanied by a personal cypher or other relevant emblems like a crescent or a crux quadrata. [1]

ΕΝΑ "ΠΡΟΧΕΙΡΟ" ΟΠΛΟ



ΤΕΧΝΟΛΟΓΙΑ


Μερικές φορές οι «εραστές» των όπλων θέλουν απλά να κουβαλούν το «εργαλείο» τους – χωρίς διάθεση ακραίων συμπεριφορών – δημόσια, αλλά χωρίς να τραβούν τα βλέμματα. Αυτό μάλλον σκέφτηκε και ο Kirk Kjellberg, ο δημιουργός του Ideal Conceal, ένα όπλο που διπλώνει και μοιάζει με smartphone.

Πώς καταλήξαμε εδώ ;


(
Charlie Hebdo – 30/03/2016)

Εδώ και μια εβδομάδα, εμπειρογνώμονες όλων των ειδών προσπαθούν να κατανοήσουν τις αιτίες για τις επιθέσεις στις Βρυξέλλες. Μια ανίκανη αστυνομία; Αχαλίνωτη πολυπολιτισμικότητα; Η ανεργία των νέων; Ασυγκράτητος ισλαμισμός; Οι αιτίες είναι πολλές, πέρα ​​από την καταμέτρηση, και ο καθένας θα επιλέξει φυσικά αυτό που ταιριάζει καλύτερα στις δικές του πεποιθήσεις. Οι οπαδοί του «Νόμος και Τάξη» θα καταγγείλουν την ανικανότητα της αστυνομίας. Οι ξενοφοβικοί θα κατηγορήσουν τη μετανάστευση. Οι κοινωνιολόγοι θα αναμασήσουν τα δεινά της αποικιοκρατίας. Οι σχεδιαστές των πόλεων θα επισημάνουν τα δεινά της γκετοποίησης. Διάλεξε.
Στην πραγματικότητα, οι επιθέσεις είναι απλώς το ορατό μέρος ενός πολύ μεγάλου πράγματι παγόβουνου. Πρόκειται για το τελευταίο στάδιο μιας διαδικασίας εκφοβισμού και φίμωσης που βρίσκεται καιρό εν κινήση και σε όσο το δυνατόν ευρύτερη κλίμακα. Επανερχόμαστε διαρκώς στα χαλάσματα του αεροδρομίου των Βρυξελλών και στα τρεμάμενα κεριά που βρίσκονται ανάμεσα σε μπουκέτα από λουλούδια στα πεζοδρόμια. Όλο αυτό το διάστημα, κανείς δεν παρατηρεί τι συμβαίνει στο Saint-German-en-Laye. Την περασμένη εβδομάδα, το Sciences-Po * καλωσόρισε τον Tariq Ramadan. Είναι δάσκαλος, επομένως δεν είναι κάτι ανάρμοστο. Ήρθε για να μιλήσει για το ειδικό αντικείμενό του, το Ισλάμ, που είναι επίσης η θρησκεία του. Μάλλον, κάτι σαν διάλεξη από έναν Καθηγητή Τυρόπιτας, ο οποίος φτιάχνει και ο ίδιος τυροπίτες.  Έτσι,  είναι και κριτής και διαγωνιζόμενος.