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Argus

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  • Birthday 01/23/1972

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  1. PING! Exactly why I posted it Plus: a/ The Dover Barrage was laid 'across' the channel as you'd expect of a barrier trying to control a choke point - but they didn't change it as the role shifted from ASW/Sea Control to anti-invasion. The could have gone out and infilled blocks between the existing lines. But nope, no need, they knew anyone trying to cross the channel at invasion speeds had to go up and down channel with the tide, crossing those mine lays anyway. b/ Back to the OP, why did Germany need air superiority? To sweep the mines. I don't know if anyone else mentioned it in the last 55 pages, but it is a bit of a show stopper. Being able to cross the mine barriers does seem a sine qua non, and there 'aint no one sweeping those at night in 1940. Oropesa Sweeping as they would have been using in this context, is like doing close order drill across a minefield with a team of tractors towing 20 bottom plows - it takes a bit of practice. Doing it at night under blackout conditions is a whole new level of difficulty. Then throw in a scatter of underwater obstructions and sand bars while compensating for the channel's tides.... in the words of my people, yeah-nah. Sweep a swathe sure, but one that presents a useable breech other ships could find, follow and trust?
  2. Pardon the thread necrophilia, but I came across this stuff the other day and it seemed like a fine way to get a little light at the end of so much heat and friction. From pages 314-315 Naval Mine Warfare, Politics to Practicalities by Cpt RN(rtd) C O'Flaherty
  3. I'm a bit patchy on the Russian war of 1853-56, only have two books specifically on this conflict and very much a UK slant. The War Correspondents; The Crimean War by Lambert and Badsey I only bought it on spec, Andrew Lambert is generally worth reading, and while its not supposed to be general military history, between the reports and the author's contextualising them, it amounts to one anyway. The second book is Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea, mine is the 1899 student's edition. Very much a work of its time, this doesn't stop it from being useful, especially when paired with the first book to better ground the facts. Send a Gunboat by Preston & Major is a useful companion and I have Lambert's Crimean War British Grand Strategy on order, but that's getting into the naval weeds. I have heard good things about Hugh Small's The Crimean War, Europe's War with Russia, but I've not read it myself. One thing to keep very much in mind though, the Crimea might have got all the publicity, but the Baltic was as interesting and I feel rather more important. Whatever the Tsar mighty have felt about losing control of the Black Sea in 1956. 1857 would have likely seen an Anglo-French force knocking on his front door in Kronstadt, with a decent chance of kicking it in. He certainly had the bulk of his army up there to keep them form dropping into St. Petersburg for tea.
  4. a B class; Balaklava, Blenheim, Beaurevior, Bushire, Buxar, Ballarat, Banda, Brexit, Batoche, Bladensburg, Bedda Fomm, Bugahof and Buthidaung makes a nice mix
  5. Primary, Secondary or just damned good... https://www.gallipoli-association.org/free-online-gallipoli-books/ The first two volumes of Bean are baseline. While obviously limited, hardly unbiased and if anything over focused, there is no more detailed picture of any other element of the campaign. The maps are simply superb and it is well written by a man who was actually on the ground, you can taste the flies. Defence of the Dardanelles by Forrest https://www.amazon.com.au/Defence-Dardanelles-Bombards-Battleships-ebook/dp/B00HESTCAU The Skies of Gallipoli by Cenk Avci ISBN 97594008-1-2 About the only book I've seen on the subject There are so many others the problem is sorting the wheat form the chaff
  6. The RN has bigger worries than hull numbers. From what I hear they have a manpower crunch bubbling up that's going to be a serious crimp on force generation. I don't have any specific details as such, it was just a passing point mentioned by a mate. IIRC apparently retention has been woeful for some time now, and hollowing out gone just about as far as it can. Filling the CV's out has absorbed all spare manpower and more, so the hull short fall comes as a positive allowing the training pipeline to do a bit of catchup.
  7. I can't speak to the 45's specifically, but its pretty common to arrange things such that the gas turbines can come in and out though their exhaust ducts if required, but using a hull patch like they have here generally the fastest and most efficient way. If the size of the job justifies it and there is a dry berth available, then going in through a hull patch which gives direct access for personnel, equipment and big lumps of engine etc, saves a bucket load of time, is safer and causes less interference with the ship. Cutting and re welding a slab of hull is pretty quick and easy in a proper dockyard. Its actually how they've been doing heavy maintenance on submarines since the start.
  8. I'm not sure direct rule of territory from London is a good metric for measuring British victory conditions. India was already on the road to independence before WWI, actually IIRC Ceylon was to get Dominion status first, in any case events shaped the time line and the tone but not the reality. So even without a war the Empire was going to be seeing radical change by 1960. A Britain coming out of a long war in the mode of 1815 rather than 1945, is probably going to be even deeper in debt but also higher in stature. Likewise alternative influences AKA the US and Russia either won't have been on the ground to anything like the historical degree, or have other things to do than spread global revolution. So I would image the 'retreat from empire' would be a far more measured and graduated affair. The other major point here is 'which Empire' are we talking about. As an instruction the British Empire changed form a number of times and as mentioned was undergoing a plastic stage in this period regardless of the war. The prevailing drift was towards an empire of economics and consent, essentially extending the Dominion model down as far and as fast as it was viable. This British Economic Empire already covered more ground than was ever printed in pink on a map, and the sphere of consensus and cooperation already amounted to a worldwide free trade zone, think of all the Indian's still spready across Africa, South America and the Pacific today. So on the whole I'd say 'its complicated'
  9. Not at all. Churchill once summed up WWI as something like "The Germans lost the battle of Charleroi and it took the next 4 years for them to realise it." I'd submit WWII is more like "The Germans lost the Battle of Dunkirk and it took 5 years for them accept it." Not eliminating Britain was Hitler's fatal mistake, there can be no greater argument for Sealion than the historical one. We've never need a stronger argument, the problem is means for doing it and motive hasn't much to say about that. If anything the 'long war' scenario is not only less of a motive for Sealion, its the option Berlin chose over Sealion. The day they started packing up the boats and moving the troops east we entered 'long war' mode. It was only the US coming into the war that changed the dynamic back into 'short war' mode.
  10. Crazy hay? You'd almost think Hitler wasn't a rational actor. In fairness I wasn't saying Germany would be defeated, more that Britain wouldn't lose, and there's a heap of possible scenarios that could square that circle. But so far as Sealion goes, it still comes back to their chance of pulling it off doesn't it? If there is/was a realistic prospect of success then its worth doing, if there's a realistic prospect of generating enough pressure to bring the UK into peace negotiations its worth doing. But otherwise a waste of resources is a waste of resources.
  11. Sorry, I wasn't clear. I don't mean 'never is a long time - the US might enter the war,' rather that over the longer time line 'never' allows, Britain could win a war against Germany without America's direct participation. This is just standard maritime vs continental power stuff. If we take land war off the table, it becomes a matter of economic warfare, blockade, counter blockade and peripheral operations. The British blockade of Germany is likely going to be more effective than the German counter blockade of the UK, as it was historically - the British could and did stop the vast bulk of German trade with a flick of a pen in both world wars. Having occupied so much of Europe it actually makes a continental blockade easier for London to implement - so many fewer neutrals. Sure Russia is a open gateway for as long as Hitler can contain his ambition, but in the long run the Tran Siberian is not enough to feed Russia's economy over let alone all of Europe's. The UK will suffer from the German counter blockade, but the German economy will suffer more and as Berlin's resource base contracts so does their overall position. Without a continental ally there's not much Britain can do to Germany directly apart from strategic bombing, and a proper long war strategy is probably going to limit that to conserve resources. On the other hand the UK is free to draw on the world's resources, trade globally and operate where it will. So if the UK survived the first 2 years, and that is an 'if' I'm not saying they would, then Britain has every chance of outlasting Germany in a long war, after all historically its their preferred method. It is all a mad proposition I grant, but if neither the US nor Japan step in, the UK has to get at least even odds for coming out on top.
  12. Condoms on D-Day - Saving Ryans Privates? IIRC they did have issues on der tag that something like that wading suit might, I say might have addressed. The flotation is up high, so likely most folks would be floating the right way up, and getting stuff up above the wet-sand line dry can only have helped
  13. In truth I've seen worse. I'm pretty sure its a concept that had a bit of traction around European armys of the time, I think I've seen photos of Soviets prepping for a river crossing, and maybe some German engineers? Anyway that looks like a pretty good execution, the others had something more like a rigid life ring around the top of the waders. Those Italian ones looks to have both more buoyancy and provision for keeping kit drier too
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