Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Kniaz Suvarov's bizzare escapade

The Kniaz Suvarov ( Suvarov for short) was a Russian battleship of the Borodino class, a disasterous class of modern pre-dreadnoughts that, through bad handling and Japanese gunnery,saw all four of its units present captured or sunk at the Tsushima Strait. The Suvarov, flagship of the Russian fleet, came under fire first, quickly turning into a blazing mess along with another battleship, the Oslyabya,which was the first modern battleship sunk by gunfire alone. Her commander mortally wounded and her admiral, Rozhestvensky, lying dead on her deck, the Suvarov, with blown off steering gear, twirled through the battle. At points when ships were being annihilated the strange sight of a burning battleship blindly floated past. At last, the Japanese turned their attentions back to the Suvarov, sending torpedo boats after her and sending her to the bottom so fast that to my knoledge, no one escaped.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Taranto

In 1941, Britain stood alone. There were no allies, only a little island in the north Atlantic. Then came Greece. Greece had been attacked by the Italians, who had been driven off. Then, desperate for a toehold in the continent, the Brits pulled many vital troops and tanks out of Africa. But this could not have been done without the HMS Illustrious. She was the starting point of operation "Judgment". This operation meant to knock out the Italian fleet, so that Mediterranean convoys could be all the safer. So it was that the Illustrious was sent out to attack Taranto. Soon the swordfish torpedo planes had spotted the Italians and went into the attack. In the battle that followed, three battleships, including the modern Littorio, were sunk and the Italian fleet was thrown into confusion. This attack was closely watched by several nations, but one nation in particular found the aftermath very favorable for an attack of their own. Indeed, when the target's fleet was visited by the British battleship Warspite, a Fleet Air Arm veteran of Taranto noted "Blimey, you can't miss!". This target was, of course, the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and the aggressors were the Empire of Japan. The Battleship was about to meet its nemesis. But that's another story.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Lord of the Rings

The name of these books are The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, and they are the ultimate fantasy titles. First, a little background. The world of middle earth was thought up by a shell-shocked J.R.R.Tolkien in 1917, his first ideas eventually condensing into the Silmarillion (an unfinished work). After the War, Tolkien was appointed professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford. In his spare time, he made a story to tell his kids about a small creature called a Hobbit, namely Bilbo Baggins. While the story was full of adventure, Tolkien never got around to finishing the story until his publisher found out about it. After that, Tolkien  finally wrote an ending to the tale. The Hobbit was very popular, and people practically demanded a sequel. And so the Lord of the Rings was born. The Fellowship of the ring is the first book and naturally this is where the plot begins. Or is it? (WARNING! to actually understand this series, you must read The Hobbit.) The initial setting is at Bilbo's birthday party, where Bilbo has planned a surprise. He plans to leave Hobbiton forever, giving his estate to Frodo, his nephew. Even his magic ring. Ever since his encounter with Gollum, Bilbo has treasured the ring, and somehow finds it hard to part with the curious thing. But finally, when the day comes, Bilbo overcomes himself and puts his ring in an envelope for Frodo. the party comes and goes, and Gandalf's spectacular fireworks wow the crowd. Bilbo disappears as planned and Frodo takes up possession of the Ring.
    This is the beginning of the Fellowship of the Ring.

Frodo Baggins is the protagonist of the story, although the Ring is almost as much a protagonist as he is. Frodo  is Bilbo's nephew, whose education was taken up by Bilbo. The Ring is a little gold object with Elvish written on it in fire. The Fellowship's main theme is the defeat of evil, like in many good fantasy stories. The mood is dark, but with a light at the end of the tunnel. Most of this evil is brought on by Sauron and the Ring. These books are so good that I cannot think of any weaknesses! Overall, this series is very good and is highly recommended. Overall, the Lord of the Rings is the ultimate in fantasy, and it is chock-full of action. That is all.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Warsaw the Second

I am building a new Lego sub. It uses pieces recycled from the old Warsaw, and shares the name and the nameplates. But the similarities end there. At this point it looks more like an actual size 6 inch( yes, it does have a diameter of approx. 6 in) torpedo! It will be a submarine that has nuclear power, ICBMs, and a teardrop shaped hull, a so-called Boomer. It may or may not be armed with torpedoes. And yes, it is in Minifig scale.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunk!

The Warsaw has been sunk. Its pieces will be used as scrap metal.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jane's Battleships of the 20th Century

This book is an illustrated guide to battleships. It has very nice pictures, the bulk of which are in color. It also includes many black and white photos. There are many specifications on battleship classes. The main downside of this book is the exclusion of many classes, the WW1 KGVs for example. The pre-dreadnought sections are extremely lacking, seeing as over half of the German ships are not included! The same goes for the UK, the USA, and France. This book is organized by country.
  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Kentucky

I have a new ship! The Kentucky is its name. I have built it in pre-dreadnought fashion but it comes out looking a bit like the Graf Spee. I do not have much time for a post, but I will try to finish this one. It is supposed to represent a coast defense ship, even though it is fictional.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cerberus

The HMVS Cerberus is an Australian Monitor built in 1870. She is the last ship of the pre-modern Australian Navy. She is also the last remaining breastwork Monitor. She sailed from England in 1870, but after encountering a storm she was sent back. She sailed again for Australia and this time succeeded in reaching her goal. For additional info and pics of and about the Cerberus, go to http:// www. cerberus.com/au or Friends of the Cerberus. Save the Cerberus!

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Original Naval annals

I mentioned them in the last post, but did not actually tell anything about them(The Finnish Archipelago Fleet may be exiting, but I decided not to write about it today). They are patterned around a constant state of war between two countries, The Dreetan State( capital: Fort Augsburg) and the Great and Powerful Empire of the Cronans ( Capital: Cronansburg). The two fleets ( the fleet for D. S. and the Tagus Marinus for the G.P.E.C.), constantly clash in little and big trafalgars, the last of which being the Battle of the Gulf, all happening in support of the armies. The fleets have many battleships. Strangely, instead of making sand castles in my sandbox like normal people, I make sand ships and sand fleets! And that is all.