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Argus

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  • Birthday 01/23/1972

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  1. To paraphrase a lot of discussion on other boards about the latest Australian proposals. This is actually a very nicely worded cut over the prior/existing plans. It amounts the distant promise of large buy of 'low' ships, to offset cutting back the 'high' ships already on order, leaving a smaller and weaker fleet overall.
  2. Not really odd at all IMHO. A mate of mine did his PhD on wartime trade, and Cape shrinkage is a 'thing' right enough. You can see it now with the Evergiven in '21 or the Houthi today. Block that passage, and diverting around the Cape consumes ton miles and effectively shrinks the world shipping supply by the same amount (In the present case much to the quiet delight of the ship owners, who would otherwise have something of a capacity glut on their hands). Seven convoys in about 4 months? If we call it one every two weeks, that's about half frequency of the Liverpool-Halifax route so not exactly shabby. Plus all those intermediate stops in the Med are part and parcel of a stopping all stations through trade. With the best will in the world it can take 3-6 months to realign a shipping route efficiently and by late '43 all the measures they'd taken to off-set the Cape diversion were well bedded in. I mean London killed whole trades to keep the ships moving in 41-43, they had to find the ton miles somewhere, and a lot of that traffic wasn't coming back in a hurry. As just one example the Australia/NZ run pretty much evaporated, hell most of the ships built for the trade were the ones doing the Malta convoys or the fast runs around the Cape - reefers being the preferred tank transports, and their cargoes were going to feed the US services in the Pacific. The Cape just about doubled the UK-India run (36 vs 60 days Liverpool to Calcutta @10 knots) , so there's at least 2 months there waiting for all the existing services to work their way down the chain, likely closer to 3 or 4 months given I'm only looking at sea times and really the scheduling needed to factor in port time as well.
  3. I'd suggest there are far wider ramifications to losing Malta than just what happens in North Africa. With Malta in Axis hands the Med is CLOSED, and that has major impacts on global strategy. With all trade and naval traffic on the Cape Route and no hope of exceptions, I takes something like %15 of the available global ton miles off the board and thats going to hit things like the US buildup in the UK and so set back the timing on D-Day etc. Taken to an extreme it might even see a different outcome from the allied conferences and perhaps a Japan First strategy. There's a lot of fallout from losing control of Malta.
  4. We haven't done a round of Garage Update for a while, what are we all driving/riding/flying/sailing/rowing? Sophie, the silver Alfa Romeo 159 wagon Tina, the red Triumph Street Triple 660 Stella, 'the Yella Fella' Ducati ST2 Ginne, the black Honda GB400 (sold in theory) 3x recumbent trikes 1x Advance Alpha 7 paraglider that hasn't yet been paid for or delivered
  5. The British R&D types tried the 'fire appliance ladder on an LCA' idea too, with Point du Hoc in mind (IIRC) and found it worked quite well, they had Merriweather the fire engine maker do it. And the ladder was one of the options presented to the Rangers along with the rocket propelled grapnels they ended up taking.
  6. I friend of mine has one on I think a Chasspot/Gras or if not some other first generation single shot bolt action, just a cheap farm gun from the 20's or 30's.
  7. The Italians were also the best axis ASW force by miles
  8. Drach is... Drach I suppose, nothing against the guy but he's a personality not an authority. Just because Fisher was willing to entertain odd balls doesn't mean he'd jump on any concept that came along and flashed a bit of stocking his way. Every bizzaro idea he pushed though to completion had and filled a very clear concrete purpose when it was crossed the Go-NoGo line - even if subsequent events rendered them moot and left them floundering as a folly. Some of the weirdest never even get attributed to him - guess who was behind all the monitors and river gunboats? The cost to fill an Arsenal Ship is a factor sure, but is what is, if you want to service the targets you buy the ordnance. Arsenal Ship's suck because they can't defend themselves, so having put all these eggs in a basket either: a/ you have to add all the systems to allow the ship to actually 'fight' in which case it becomes some sort of new age guided weapons dreadnought. Or... b/ more conventionally you provide it with an escort In both cases any 'cheap' has vanished out of the concept, taking with it the raison det and leaving behind more questions than the concept ever sought to answer. Eggshells armed with hammers is not fair on Curious, Spurious and Dubious, not in the least, they were not even egg shells. The observation I'd offer here, is at the same time, Refit and Repair, honest to god battle cruisers with 6 gun broadsides were considered only barely acceptable from a gunnery perspective - not for their weight of fire but size of their salvos. Folk had a pretty fair idea of what shooting at ships at sea involved and 4 gun salvos had become the standard for fire control. 2 gun salvos need not apply and single guns.... whatever else they came to be called, no one designed Courageous, Glorious or far less Furious to shoot at other ships in any sort of naval action, they were fast monitors, and their speed was not a general attribute but one a specific one, they were supposed to run the Danish straits into the Baltic.
  9. Just saying Arsenal Ships are a really dumb idea, the shade of Jackie Fisher wouldn't buy into them for a second. Likewise I'd not expect him to be too enraptured in the Zumwalt's - being named after an Admiral other than himself isn't going to help for a start. Fisher expected supporting classes to support and capital ships to capital. IMHO in that situation he'd have kept open the Burk tap, gone for a new FFG to play leap ahead games with, and used the rest of the DDG1000 funds to fill out the air groups on his CV's. The USN might have the worlds largest collection of bird farms, but its collection of birds is a little thin, with precious few chicks and fewer eggs coming on to fill them.
  10. 9.2" guns were well calculated for their job, which was not sinking battleships. As coast defense guns they were there to make the enemy ships go somewhere else, and being peppered by a steady hail of 9.2" and 6" shell fire was pretty damned good at that. Please note the raids of the UK east coast in WWI. A point about the period after Compass, one thing to keep in mind is great shortage of 'other kit' across the Cw forces in the middle east; signals gear, pioneer and engineers tools/supplies, transport, tents, vehicles. Just because a Division was on the OOB did not mean it was complete in ever respect, far from it. It wasn't just Compass that scavenged the Italian dumps and discards to keep going. Then all the good stuff got concentrated for the forces going to Greece leaving those in the WD scratching for pretty much everything. The 9th Aust Div stripped the field telephone system out of Tobruk on the way west, then refitted it as they came back east for the siege. Middle East Command had a very high-low mix of units in this period, those few Divs who were good were top notch, the rest were good materiel and willing, but green, ill-equipped and generally weak. There were more than just the hungry mouths in ME command snacking on the Italian materiel, they were shipping stuff east to Asia trying to back fill the even deeper equipment holes there.
  11. If you are not clueless why are you looking for large victories as a single standard to measure the Italians by? Just because they didn't win, doesn't mean they did not or could not fight well.
  12. Don't tell that to anyone who faced them in action, same goes for the Italian Army. For someone who so likes to have a go at the British, you certainly seem to love their wartime propaganda.
  13. Poor bastard, he waits all these years to sit on the throne and it gives him arse cancer
  14. I can't remember where I saw it, but IIRC actual US Ordnance testing of captured Japanese small arms ammo found it was actually 'flashier' than US propellant, and there being nothing otherwise remarkable about it. However it was being fired from the 'full length' (circa 1200mm) rifle barrel it had been designed for, so its all burned point was inside the bore. This in contrast to all the 'short rifles' with tubes in the 6-700mm range that were firing cartridges originally intended for full length barrels near twice as long, that were the WWII norm. I'd never thought about it before, but .30-03/06 were intended for a short rifle from the start, so I dare say there might have been some other limitations in getting a military powder too all burnt in 600mm. Anyway the Arisaka's were no less flashy than a full length 8mm Mauser, Long Lee-Enfield or Monsin Nagant, its just the US troops involved had never been on the wrong end of those.
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