Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sundays (when I feel like working), I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, photographers and the like that produced them.
Combat Gallery Sunday: The Martial Art of Jakub Rozalski
Jakub Rozalski is a Polish concept artist who works in modern (digital) mediums and his military themed art ranges from his very popular 1920s alternate universe Poland where steam/diesel mechs range the countryside populated by dire wolves, tame bears and Siberian tigers, to more modern visages.
“In my works I try to combine classical painting style & motifs with modern design & interesting concepts. For me, always the most important in my work is create unique atmosphere and tell some kind of story, show everyday situations in unusual environment. The biggest inspiration for me is the classic paintings of the late XIX and early XX century, history, everyday life, movies, games and books,” says the Krakow-based artist.
Besides his 1920 mecha universe, he also makes trips to the past, other periods of history, and the future, to bring his unique vision to play.
Thank you for your work, sir.
Here we see a beautifully restored Ferret Scout Car of the Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum in their typical UN livery.
Some 4,409 Ferrets of all kinds were made between 1952 and 1971 by the UK company, Daimler, and widely used not only by the British Army but also that of the Commonwealth. This included some 124 by the Canadian Forces, first acquired in 1954 to replace the Otter and Staghound armored cars of the WWII era.
The first armored unit used in UN peacekeeping was made of Canadian Ferrets.
Assembled from components of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps the unit was dubbed the light-armored 56th Reconnaissance Squadron (56 RECCE), named for the year they were founded. They were outfitted with 23 Ferrets (seen below in a National Defence photo from the Canadian War Museum) as part of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF).
The 105 officers and men drawn from the Royal Canadian Dragoons and Lord Strathcona’s Horse arrived in Egypt in March 1957 and set up their base in Rafah, from where they patrolled the northern section of the 130-mile long demarcation line between Egypt and Israel. They were armed for self-defense (mounted .303 Bren guns; Sterling SMGs and Browning-Inglis Hi Powers for dismounts) but patrolled in the middle of an uneasy truce, with undisciplined soldiers on each side of the boundary, and unmarked minefields.
While firefights were slim, the ever present danger of mines– often moved by local Bedouins directly in the path along the line in the hopes of knockin out vehicles they could salvage for scrap– was not. In the first year, Lieut. Charles Van Straubenzee was killed when his Ferret rolled over, and Trooper George McDavid when his Ferret struck a buried mine. 56 RECCE was disbanded in 1959 but the use of the Ferret by Canadians in peacekeeping did not.
By 1964, they were in Cyprus.
Their final disposition included 23 used as targets, 14 donated to museums or converted to monuments, and 84 sold (unarmed) as surplus.
As for the Ferret in general, they are still used in Pakistan, Nepal and a few other countries friendly to the UK in the 1960s including the former colony of Saint Kitts and Nevis, where three vintage Ferrets form the entire armored corps of the Carribean islands’ defense force.
Lt. Louis Curdes, USAAF in his P-51D “Bad Angel.” The markings are from the 3rd Air Commando Group, 4th Fighter Squadron, from Laoag Airfield, Luzon, Philippines, 1945. Proudly displayed on the fuselage of “Bad Angel” were the markings of the pilot’s kills: seven Nazis; one Italian; one Japanese…and one U.S.
The US plane was not a mistake, or friendly fire, he intentionally took it down.
Curdes arrived in the ETO with 82nd Fighter Group, 95th Fighter Squadron in April 1943 and was assigned a P-38 Lightning. Ten days later he shot down three German Messerschmidt Bf-109s. A few weeks later, he downed two more German Bf -109’s– making him an ace in a month. Over the next three months, Curdes shot down an Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore fighter and two more Messerschmidts before his luck ran out, being splashed by a German fighter on August 27, 1943 over Salerno, Italy.
Escaping, he made it back to Allied lines and after training on P-51s, was sent to the Pacific where he dusted a Mitsubishi reconnaissance plane near Formosa.
Then came the American.
It was an unarmed C47 cargo plane that was attempting to land at Batan air field which had recently been taken over by the Japanese, it would have been certain death or worse for the 12 passengers and crew. Not being able to raise the plane by radio and attempts at waving the C47 off ignored, the C47 still continued with it’s landing plan. At that point Lt. Curdes choose to shoot the C47’s engines out and force them to do a water landing where they were picked up by a Navy ship in the area.
It’s an odd story for sure, but left Curdes as the only American WWII pilot to down at least one of each major enemy’s planes– and one of his own.
U.S. Army Soldiers with 1st Brigade, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division conducting defensive operations during Swift Response 16 training exercise at the Hohenfels Training Area, a part of the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, in Hohenfels, Germany, Jun. 20, 2016.
Note there seems to be a good old fashioned CBRN drill going on, hence the paratrooper with his tripod mounted M2HB-QCB Browning heavy machine gun in 12.7mm (.50BMG) and his new-fangled M50 joint service general purpose mask, which replaced the older M40 a few years back.
The beercan-sized cage on the muzzle of ma deuce, held by a three-legged bracket is the blank firing adaptor. The adaptor reduces the muzzle size, slowing the escaping gasses and thus causing a recoil “kick” large enough to cycle the weapon. So if you ever see a M2 so equipped, the picture was taken during an exercise.
And, as this short-sleeved paratrooper above shows, Germany does get hot in June. Of course we can’t fault him for not being in a chem suit, but good luck getting a cheek-weld on that M4 (note yellow BFA) while wearing a mask. Still, it’s nice to see mono-pod grips being used more. They are hella useful.
Destroyers in the Navy started off as coal-firing steamships, then from the 1920s through the 1970s were oil-fired steam turbines (although there were a series of nuclear-reactor steam turbined tin cans labeled as guided missile destroyer leaders in the 1960s which were later redesignated as cruisers)
Starting with the Spruance-class in the 1970s, the Navy went to (dual fuel capable) gas turbines, the current go-to for the fleet.
Now, the Navy will begin installing a hybrid electric drive (HED) system on 34 Flight IIA Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers in a bid to lower the fuel costs of the ships.
This will see a HED motor installed is capable of turning the drive shaft and propelling the ship at speeds less than 13 kts. That speed range would work well with missions like ballistic missile defense or maritime security operations. For high speed, its back to the quartet of GE LM-2500 gas turbines.
Having a hybrid electric drive will mean more time on station in far off West Pac and South West Asia tours and less dependence on oilers. Afterall, it’s easier to load up a pallet of food by chopper to extend time at sea rather than 700 barrels of fuel.
Following the news that the terrorist in the Orlando attack was able to legally purchase his firearms from a local store after he was turned down by one licensed dealer just days before, I spoke a couple weeks ago with software developer and long-time gun owner Seth Banks who came up with an idea that gun shops could help network to keep this from happening in the future.
The idea is simple. A private network for verified Federal Firearms Licensees to share and report incidents they have with suspicious buyers, and communicate with each other. When one shop in the network posts an alert, other dealers within driving distance are alerted via email, in-app notification, and/or text message.
“FFLs deny gun purchases for all sorts of reasons; including mental health, straw sales, intoxication, violent comments in the store, etc. … FFLs are on the front line protecting our community from bad actors already. Why not make their jobs easier?” Banks argued.
And with that Gun Shop Watchlist was formed.
Scott A. Duff over at American Rifleman has in interesting piece up about the M1 Garands transferred via Lend Lease in the early days of WWII.
FDR sent them over largely before Pearl Harbor, after which U.S. Garand stocks were so low that millions of M1903A3 Springfields and M1 Carbines were cranked out to equip the enormously growing American war effort.
Large quantities of M1 Garand rifles were to be transferred to England. The first appropriation was made on March 27, 1941, and authorized transfer from current production and existing stocks by random requisition. After a second appropriation on October 28, 1941, a percentage allotment of current production was authorized. These transfers continued even after the declaration of war against Japan until a decision in March 1942 that all .30-cal. arms be allotted to the U.S. Army. Transfers were officially terminated at the end of June 1942. In all, a total of 38,001 M1 Garand rifles were shipped to England under Lend-Lease. These were the “British Garands,” which in recent years have become highly sought after by collectors.
And also, as a bonus, here is a great video that shows you how to partially load an M1, a trick not known by many for sure.