World War 2

European Union = Fourth Reich?

At least, that’s what you’re supposed to conclude from this article. The war profiteering of German industry should have been more harshly punished, and there are a lot of wrongs committed in the Second World War that will never be righted. But using them for some specious argument against the EU is a bit much.

USS Intrepid returns to Manhattan a year and a bit too late

The floating museum that is the World War 2 aircraft carrier USS Intrepid has returned to its berth in the Hudson river off Manhattan. After Harry told me about it I really wanted to go and check it out when I was over there last year, so Skippy and I headed off in search of it and were disappointed to find it wasn’t there. We did get a few interesting pictures and drink some nice beers though, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

For Harry- the Flying Duck

I promised Harry I’d dig out the old post about a DUKW fitted with hydrofoils, and here it is.

A DUKW amphibian fitted with hydrofoils to boost its speed on water from 5 knots to 30.

Larger picture. A page detailing other hydrofoil developments of the same period.


One man’s memories of the shipbuilders who made the Flying DUKW and other hydrofoils. The International Hydrofoil Society. The White Hawk Jet Hydrofoil.

Roald Dahl- super spy and “one of the biggest cocksmen in America”

The children’s author was sent to Washington in 1943 to work undercover gathering intelligence and influencing support for Britain. In the finest Bond manner, there was a lot of leeway, indeed “A certain amount of hank-panky was condoned, especially when it was for a good cause.”

Unearthing Maisy battery

A millionaire book salesman from Stockport has found the true location of the gun battery that caused so much carnage on Omaha Beach on D-Day. After finding a map in a pair of army trousers he bought at a militaria fair he went to Normandy and purchased land marked as an Area of High Resistance. Excavation of the land uncovered the gun emplacement and research tracked down the Rangers who took it, who had their own Kelly’s Heroes story of millions of dollars of booty in Francs which they purloined.

Sea Hunters discover pykrete

I’m watching Sea Hunters, Clive Cussler’s marine archaeology TV series, and they’re looking for the Habbakuk prototype built in a Canadian lake from an ice/wood pulp mix called pykrete. I’ve been fascinated by this project for a while, stealing the concept for the eponymous carrier in Heavensent.

Sea Hunters has a blog with behind the scenes pieces about the Habbakuk episode.

Habbakuk links via Beamjockey.

More Habbakuk information, and Wikipedia on Habbakuk. Habbakuk of Ice, a radio play about the project.

A tank from a lake

Tanks from the Second World War are still being pulled out of the lakes around St. Petersburg. If I remember my history correctly, the city was resupplied across the frozen lakes during the winter phases of the siege and at times the ice broke. The site refers to it as a “BT” tank. You can get BT5 or BT7 tanks in 1:35th scale from Zvezda, or BT5, BT7 or BT2 from Unimodel in 1:72nd. A salvage operation like this would make for an interesting diorama.

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