Σάββατο, 9 Απριλίου 2016

HMS Audacious: The Only Super-Dreadnought Sunk in WWI – By A German Naval Mine

The biggest, most advanced, most expensive, and most daunting war machinery of World War I was the super-dreadnaught battleship. These great sea beasts were near unsinkable and, in fact, only one was sent to the bottom during the entire war. And it was practically sunk by mistake, at that.
This ship, the British HMS Audacious, was a King George V-class battleship, the peak of naval size, power, and capability and it barely made it off the shores of Britain. Imagine the Kaiser’s delight.
The naval power of Britain and Germany was a very contentious area during and leading up to WWI. Before air power was seen as crucial, ruling the waves was the key to controlling an empire out of Europe. Bismark had actually warned the Kaiser not to build up the German Imperial Navy to such a great strength for fear that the British, by far the naval powerhouse of the age, would notice and act accordingly.

To The German Commander: Nuts – The Siege of Bastogne

The Ardennes Offensive was a last ditch attempt by the German army to halt the Allied advance across western Europe.  The plan called for a surprise attack and a swiftly moving advance encompassing mechanized forces that would brush aside enemy resistance and which had, as its end goal, the harbor city of Antwerp in Belgium.

Η άλλη όψη του διαλόγου: Ποιος ο στόχος του Λιάκου και του Φίλη για την Παιδεία

9/4/16 | 1 σχόλια | 0 απαντήσεις | 97 εμφανίσεις
Πίσω από τις πιο σαγηνευτικές λέξεις κρύβονται αντιδραστικές μεταρρυθμίσεις. Στον κατ’ ευφημισμόν εθνικό διάλογο για την παιδεία κυριαρχεί η ιδέα της αυτονομίας των σχολείων. Σε αυτήν την κατεύθυνση ο πρόεδρος της Επιτροπής Εθνικού Διαλόγου για την Παιδεία, Αντώνης Λιάκος, αναφέρθηκε και σε αλλαγές στο αναλυτικό πρόγραμμα: «Το αναλυτικό πρόγραμμα δεν είναι ανάγκη να είναι τόσο πολύ αναλυτικό. Και να βάλουμε μια ζώνη που θα είναι τουλάχιστον το 1/3 του χρόνου των παιδιών, στην οποία θα υπάρχει μια ζώνη αυτονομίας, μια ζώνη συνεργασίας, διαθεματική ζώνη ή ζώνη έρευνας». Αυτές οι ιδέες ούτε νέες είναι ούτε ριζοσπαστικές. Από τη δεκαετία του 1990 η κυρίαρχη πολιτική επιδιώκει την ευθυγράμμιση της εκπαίδευσης στα δεδομένα της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενωσης. Στόχος η διαμόρφωση του ευέλικτου, «αποκεντρωμένου» σχολείου της αγοράς, που οικοδομείται πάνω στα ερείπια του σημερινού δημόσιου σχολείου.

‘Your vote means NOTHING’ Brussels insists land grab plot WILL go ahead despite Dutch ‘no’

9/4/16 | 0 σχόλια | 0 απαντήσεις | 13 εμφανίσεις

EUROPEAN UNION leaders were tonight plotting to override the democratic wishes of the Dutch people and plough ahead with a rejected plan to tighten their grip on Ukraine.

Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and Angela Merkel, rightGETTY/AFP
EU leaders have tonight poured cold water on the historic Dutch referendum result
Arrogant Brussels politicians insisted the plot to bring Kiev further into their sphere of influence will go ahead, even though it was last night overwhelmingly rejected by the Dutch people.Germany’s Angela Merkel told journalists the Dutch ‘no’ vote will be “managed as we have managed other difficult issues before”, whilst French president Francois Hollande said the EU will “implement and apply” the rejected treaty. And EU President Jean-Claude Juncker today expressly REFUSED to rule out steamrollering the Dutch people’s democratic rights and enforcing the deal on them anyway.

Sappers and Siege engines – Ivan the Terrible Conquers The city of Kazan

'The Siege of Kazan' by V Bodrov

‘The Siege of Kazan’ by V Bodrov
The army had been in place under the city walls for weeks. Ivan the Fourth, Tsar of all the Russians, accompanied his force in the field with the intention of seeing the sack of the city with his own eyes. The city was Kazan, the capital of a Khanate with an uneasy relationship with the Russian throne. There had been war and peace at intervals for decades, but Ivan had at last decided to crush the rebellious city-state of Kazan, and destroy its Tartar inhabitants.
The city was defended by 10,000 horsemen from the Mongol Nogai Hoard, who controlled a huge sprawling region of territory to the south of Kazan. Bound by ties of blood and of tradition, the Nogai horsemen had allied with the Kazan Khanate against the encroaching power of the expanding Russian state.
Ivan’s army had set out from Moscow in June of 1552. The army was huge, well equipped with artillery and light cavalry, though its main force was made up of the newly created Streltsy. These were heavily armed footsoldiers armed with muskets, sabres and the terrifying Bardiche, a massive pole-axe with a blade that could cleave a man in two with its sheer weight. There were many tens of thousands of these men, dressed, drilled and armed identically, a sea of bright colours, blue, red, or green jackets and bright orange boots. They routed an advance force of Tartars from Kazan in August. By September the second, the siege was in place, and the gates of Kazan were shut.

Roman arcade found in England, oldest building in the country

Although arcades are not around much anymore, they were once a major part of a child’s weekend. Arcades allowed friends to hang out and play endless games for hours on end.
Arcades have been around since the ancient Romans. Just recently, British archaeologists discovered a Roman arcade under an apartment block in Colchester, Essex. Experts believe that the ancient walkway included more than 28 archways that were topped by a grand gateway. They also believe that it was once at the heart of the busy Roman town.
The ruins of the grand 393-foot structure have been used to create a computer model of what the arcade could have looked like over 1,800 years ago. It is believed that it is on the same scale as the grand arcades of Rome. Some of the sections measure 26 feet tall.

Scotland’s National Museum of Flight to Open after Redevelopment

After a £3.6 million redevelopment of two World War II hangars, the National Museum of Flight will display more than 30 aircraft, including a Spitfire. This airplane is sure to attract many visitors to the new hangars.
One of the two hangars will display military aircraft and the other will show commercial and leisure planes. The doors of the East Lothian, Scotland, site will open on Friday. The hangers will show some of the most important aircraft in history. These iconic planes are well known to air enthusiasts and the ordinary person alike. This means that the hangers will be able to attract a big and varied audience.
The hangars were built in 1940-41 and expected to last only a few years. They were used for a variety of purposes during WWI. They also saw service during the early phases of the Cold War. They were restored, insulated and heated for the first time as part of the East Fortune Airfield Scheduled Ancient Monument. This will ensure that any visitors are able to enjoy the exhibits in comfort.

Otto Skorzeny's Operations: Succes and Failutes ( Μικρή συλλογή άρθρων)

Α)5 Successful Missions of a Waffen SS Mastermind, Otto Skorzeny

Otto Skorzeny was one of Germany’s finest commandos. An engineer by profession, he tried to volunteer for the Luftwaffe (German Air Force), in the year 1939, but was declined entry due to his age (31 at the time) and unusual height (6.4 feet, or 1.92 metres). He had a scar on his cheek, inflicted during a fencing duel. Due to this wound, he would become known as ‘scarface’. He was an Austrian Nazi Party member since 1931 and was a noted figure in the lower and mid-level party structures prior to the war.

The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum

Most boys were content with plastic model kits and watching TV shows like Combat! and The Rat Patrol, but not Rob Lowden.
Lowden’s collection is not the ‘junk yard’ assortment seen at other so-called museums either. Each exhibit is either restored to full working condition or preserved carefully as a static display item.
The Cairns businessman has been vigorously searching for new additions to his collection and has sourced items from closed museums, private collectors looking to downsize and even through agents, like one in Bulgaria who has located several former Soviet items.

The “White Lily ” Lydia Litvyak, The Jewish Soviet Fighter Ace

Lydia Litvyak was a Soviet flight instructor who had trained 45 pilots by the time the Germans invaded the Soviet Union. She began flying when she was 14 and performed her first solo flight at 15. Of course when Barbarossa broke out and the massive Wehrmacht was making its way into the interior of the country, she tried to fly for the Soviet Air Force.
After being turned down several times she eventually was allowed into the 586th Fighter Regiment, the famed Soviet all-female regiment formed by Marina Raskova. She began training on the Yak-1, the Soviet’s scrappy but reliable small single seat fighter.

What?!!! Yes a Nuclear Powered Tank – Chrysler TV-8


The Chrysler TV-8 was an experimental concept tank designed by Chrysler in the 1950s. The tank was intended to be a nuclear-powered medium tank capable of land and amphibious warfare. The design was never mass-produced.
The 50’s were a time of ferment in the tank design business, what with all those nukes to contend with, concerns about the need to disperse formations, reduce the number of troops, make the vehicles lighter and more strategically deployable.
There have been many theoretical approaches for doing things differently than the classic 3 in the turret, one in the hull that is pretty standard (with some variations). Two of the more common variations are “all in the turret” and “all in the hull except the gun” approaches.
The TV-8 is an example of putting everything – including the engine – in the turret. Some of that was to enhance vehicle survivability against nuclear blast.
This design located the entire crew, armament, and power plant in that pod-shaped turret mounted above a very lightweight chassis. The total weight was estimated to be 25 tons with about 15 tons in the turret and 10 tons in the chassis.
The TV-8 was to be armed with the 90mm gun T208 that would be rigidly mounted in the turret and have an auto-rammer. Presaging the ammo storage designs of most modern tanks like the M1 and later model Leopards, the ammunition stowage was in the rear of the turret separated from the crew by a steel bulkhead.
Secondary armament consisted of two coaxial .30 caliber machine guns firing through the turret and one .50 caliber machine gun on top of the turret remotely operated by the tank commander. The crew would use closed circuit television to protect the crew from the flash of tactical nuclear weapons.
The phase I design of the Chrysler TV-8 featured a Chrysler V-8 engine with 300 gross horsepower which was coupled to an electric generator located within the rear turret; the generator powered two electric motors in the front hull, each motor driving either of the two 28-inch wide tracks.
Other methods of powering the tank that were later considered include a gas turbine engine drive, a vapour-cycle power plant fueled by hydrocarbons, and a nuclear fission-powered vapour-cycle power plant.

Interior layout of the Chrysler TV-8

Note there’s essentially a turret within the turret. Although the tank could be operated by only the gunner and driver, the tank was to have a crew of four – because a crew of four can be self-sufficient for numerous maintenance tasks like breaking track, while a crew of two is generally going to have no choice but to sit around and wait for help – a concern with some FCS platforms, like the NLOS-Cannon today.
The gunner and driver flanked the gun. The driver could operate fully protected inside the turret or with his head and shoulders exposed above the roof, though I’m still thinking this is a tank that would have taken out a lot of fences, cars, and building corners maneuvering through the villages that dot the german countryside.
The tank commander was at the right rear with the loader to his left. The heavily armored inner turret was surrounded by a light outer shell that gave the turret its pod-like appearance, and provided some protection against the blast front of a small nuke.
The Chrysler TV-8 concept tank showing off it’s swimming ability. At least in an artist’s fantasy…
She was to be propelled like a personal watercraft is today – a jet pump operating from the turret. In a nod to not-yet-popular RPGs (but very popular HEAT rounds fired by cannon) the shell did double-duty, acting like the slat-armor on Strykers to pre-detonate shaped-charge warheads thus reducing their penetrative power.
The turret was supported by an articulated assembly which rotated in a ring in the hull roof and it was moved in elevation by two large hydraulic cylinders. I’m just guessing that the cynical engineers on the team called that the Achilles Assembly.
Further studies determined that this design offered no real advantages over the current (and still current) form of tank design, so nothing ever went beyond mock-up stage.

TANK: 100 Years of the World’s Most Important Armored Military Vehicle

From the Greek phalanx to Roman siege engines, plans by Leonardo da Vinci, and the wondrous imagination of H. G. Wells, the idea of the armored fighting vehicle– the tank–has crossed centuries and given rise to the technologically advanced land warfare systems that populate the armies of countries large and small today.
First appearing during World War I as unwieldy boxes mounted on tractor chassis and prone to mechanical failure, tank designs evolved into sleek weapons with the now-classic characteristics of speed, mobility, and firepower.
During the 1920s, American Maj. Gen. Adna Chaffee Jr., correctly predicted that mechanized armies would win the land battles of the future. Young US Army officers such as Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton risked their careers to champion the development of armored divisions.

Hitler's commando Lt-Col Otto Skorzeny 'worked as an assassin for Israeli intelligence'

Lt-Col Otto Skorzeny
Lt-Col Otto Skorzeny Credit: Express/Getty

A notorious former SS officer known as “Hitler’s commando” reportedly worked as an assassin for Israeli intelligence.
Lt-Col Otto Skorzeny, once described by British and American intelligence as “the most dangerous man in Europe”, was secretly recruited by Mossad after the Second World War, according to Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper.

Uncovered! Air attacks against hospital ships: The forgotten war crimes of Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica in Greece, 1941

Photo shot right after the Luftwaffe air attack in Antikyra bay
Photos and Research by George Karelas / Text adapted by Pierre Kosmidis
A series of deadly air attacks by the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica against Greek hospital ships in 1941 have remained largely forgotten for decades.
Thanks to the efforts of researcher George Karelas, these war crimes are now uncovered and demonstrate that both the Italian fascist regime and the Nazi Germans did not respect the Hague Convention of 1907, attacking unarmed ships that were clearly marked as hospital ships.