Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Flying tank

And now for something completely different. Over the past day(Feb. 23,2011), I have fixed plastic target bags to some small Lego tanks and have dropped them from a ledge. At first, the tests were unsuccessful. But test 3 was (almost) successful, and I have high hopes for tests 4 and 5. The tank I am using is a Renault FT 17, the first tank ever built with a revolving turret( actually, the first tank to be used in action with a revolving turret, as the No. 1 Lincoln had a dummy turret fitted, but as the first tank ever built it never went into action). all modern tanks stem from this French design and from the T-34.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Game!

Most of you will probably believe that I am insane after reading this post. The reason will probably be the fact that I like to set up little green army men and knock them down. Usually, this is done with friends who make little fortresses of their own, each one trying to destroy the other's army, but this has its problems. One of these is the lack of formalized rules. Another is that it is up to the player to decide what their fortress looks like and to choose the troops in their army. But, I thought to myself, what would happen if the scenarios and troop formations were taken from a historical context? So, I have envisioned something of the sort involving 12 battles, including two test battles( this would involve formalized rules, of course). They would be: Test campaigns: Lexington and Concord. Regular campaigns: Boyne, Blenheim, Saratoga, Jena, Auerstedt, Quatre-Bras( a lead-up battle to waterloo between the French and the Anglo-Dutch), Shiloh, Antietam,Chicamauga, and the seige of Port Arthur. Note that none of these battles involve tanks or air units. I am exited about trying out the test scenarios, and have high hopes for it working. Signing out, Christopher.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

RANDOM SUBMARINE TIME!

It's random submarine time! Today, our sub is a United States O- class boat named O-12. She was one of the later o-boats, made by the Lake Torpedo boat co. in Bridgeport CT. She was commissioned in October of 1918, less than a month before the end of the First World War, and saw no action. Her military career was largely uneventful, although she did win a medal for accurate gunnery. In 1931, she was sold to a research company for an arctic expedition. The specially modified sub tried to reach its destination but was caught in a storm. But, after another failed attempt she finally reached her destination, filing the Woods Hole Oceanographic society's first report.After the expedition, she was scuttled in a Norwegian fjord outside Bergen, where her wreck lies today.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Versailles and the end of the beginning

In the late summer of 1919, the peoples of Europe (with the exception of the Russians, whose country was undergoing civil war) rejoiced. Although for some the joy was only temporary, like the Germans and former Austro-Hungarians who also suffered various insurgencies, the First World War was over. Europe was devastated, but survived, and people expected to go  on with their lives as they had before the war. And only twenty years after peace was attained, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. What had gone wrong? What follows is my point of view. In 1918, Europe had suffered through 4 years of horrible war. People were desperate for peace, as were their governments. Although to their citizens it did not look like it, the central powers had been beaten into the dust. But, after the treaty was signed, the German army marched through their country's streets like a victorious force. The German people did not think that the war was really over. To them, they had been tortured by the Allies and betrayed by anti German forces at home, but not beaten. So, I would like to argue that the terms were not to hard on the Germans, rather they were too weak. The Germans were convinced they weren't beaten, but that minorities inside Germany had betrayed their country! This obviously left a spot for anti-minority groups like the Nazis to gain power, and thus in my opinion led to the Second World War. As Marshal Foch said, his was not peace, this was only an armistice of twenty years.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Airplane

 I have made a new airplane! She is a fighter, and appears in photos 2 and 3. The entryway is a trap door like mechanism, as can (sort of ) be seen in the third picture. The first photo is of my bomber, Old Faithful. It can carry twelve small bombs and various defensive guns. The new aircraft has one missile and four heavy machine guns. It is based on a canceled 1950s design, the XF 103. This bizarre craft looked like a rocket right out of a '50s serial, and unfortunately only got to the metal-wood dummy phase. Signing out, Christopher. (PS, if you want to see the trap door arrangement, I believe you can zoom in on the picture.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Number thirteen class and The Hoods that never were

In this the third episode of my series, I will talk about the Number thirteen class, the first Japanese warship with a planned 18 inch armament, and the Admiral class of British battlecruisers. First, the Japanese ships. The #13s were to have a planned armament of eight 18-inch guns in four twin turrets, the first Japanese battleships to be so powerfully armed. They were the counter to the planned British N3 class battleships. They would have been heavily armored, but they probably would have been quite fast as well. The Admiral class of British battlecruisers were planned before Jutland, and thus were not armored heavily enough. There were to have been four ships of the class, each armed with eight 15-inch guns in the same layout as the #13s. Their names were to be Anson, Howe, Rodney and the famous(and infamous) Hood, the only one of the lot to be completed. The Hood was fast but very lightly armored, a fact that would have disastrous consequences. But I'll save that for next time...