Tag Archives: War

Kimber Sending Makos to Ukraine

Alabama-based Kimber is donating 9mm pistols and .308 Winchester-caliber rifles to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

The company announced on Wednesday it is inspired by the courage of the Ukrainian people in their struggle against an ongoing military invasion from neighboring Russia and is ready to help.

“The people of Ukraine are enduring tremendous hardships and are in need of support from around the world,” said Leslie Edelman, Kimber owner and CEO.

In terms of support, Edelman says Kimber is sending 200 R7 Mako 9mm subcompact pistols (my current EDC for the past several months), 10 Advanced Tactical rifles in .308 Win., and 10 bolt-action rifles in .308 Win. Each rifle will include two magazines and a replacement firing pin assembly while the Makos will ship with 800 extra 13-round magazines.

While shipping such pistols to a modern European combat zone seems curious at first, handguns are in common use as sidearms for officers, specialists, pilots, and heavy weapons operators.

Of note, the Mako is roughly comparable in size to the PM Makarov, long a standard pistol in Eastern European service, while offering a higher magazine capacity and a more effective cartridge.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

SUB2000s in Ukraine?

Florida-based firearms maker KelTec made the most of a sudden surplus of 9mm carbines and donated them to Ukraine. 

Adrian Kellgren, director of industrial production at KelTec– and son of the company’s legendary founder, George Kellgren– told local media the company was recently left with a $200,000 order for SUB2000 carbines. The original order, to a longtime vendor in the Black Sea Ukrainian port city of Odesa, was unpaid for, and the vendor was unable to be contacted.

The 400 9mm carbines had been ordered last year, but by the time the red tape cleared the client was unable to accept them and Ukraine is now fighting off a Russian invasion– with enemy troops closing in on Odesa. The solution hit on by Kellgren was to donate the guns to the Ukrainian government to aid in the resistance to the invasion. 

Introduced in 2001, the KelTec SUB2000 9mm pistol-caliber carbine is now in its second generation. Lightweight at just 4-pounds while still retaining a 16.1-inch barrel, it folds in half for easy storage and transport, able to be carried in a pack.

The SUB2000, while not a frontline weapon by any means, can for example fill a role with static defense/home guard-style units posted at local infrastructure to keep an eye out for sabotage, or in guarding POWs, of which there seems to be an increasing amount.

Remember, today is not about saving upto 20% on select merchandise

Division Cemetery, Okinawa, 1945, Photo via Marine Corps Archives

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words

To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…

Warship Wednesday July 2 Helen’s daughter

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all of their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.

– Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday July 2 Helen’s daughter

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Here we see the British Dido-class light cruiser HMS Hermione (Pennant 74) of the Royal Navy slicing through the Italian coastal submarine Tembien like butter on 2 August 1941, west of Malta. The (gouache on board) artwork is entitled, “A British cruiser ramming an Italian submarine” by Marc Stone. It is in the collection of the UK National Archives.

The 16 ships of the Dido-class, built to a prewar design, were some of the most modern fleet escorts in the Royal Navy and found themselves at the sharp end of the spear throughout World War Two. Originally designed to be a svelte 5700 tons, with a 1:10 length to beam ration (512-feet oal, 50-foot abeam), they were fast (33-knots) but lightly armored ships capable of swatting away aircraft, light combatants, and submarines from the fleet proper. Armed with ten rapid-fire 5.25-inch (133mm) guns in five dual-mounted turrets, as well as two sets of triple torpedo tubes, they were basically just really big destroyers– with a little bit of armor.

Where they had an advantage was in a 4000-nm cruising range of 16-knots, which enabled them to cross the Atlantic at a fair clip. This made them perfect for escorting convoys to places like Malta, Cyprus, or across the big pond.

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The Dido‘s were all named after classical history and legend (e.g Black Prince, Bonaventure, Charybdis, Naiad, Spartan, et al) which made cruiser number 74’s name after Hermione, the daughter of Menelaus and Helen in Greek mythology, logical. As such, she was the Royal Navy’s third ship to carry that moniker, the first a Napoleonic war 32-gun frigate, and the second being a WWI-era Astraea-class protected cruiser, both with somewhat unlucky histories. The frigate’s crew had mutinied and surrendered to the Spanish while the old cruiser had grounded herself at least twice and was too obsolete to take an active part in the Great War.

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The third would be the unluckiest of all.

Laid down at Alexander Stephen and Sons in Glasgow, Scotland in 1937, the war started before Hermione was commissioned on 25 March 1941. With just a few weeks in service, she was part of the Bismarck hunt, and served on the Northern Patrol in the Atlantic for two months. Rushed to the Med where the Royal Navy was fighting for its very life alone against the Italian, Vichy French and German forces there, she joined 1st Cruiser Squadron Force H, protecting the lifeline convoys running from Gibraltar to Malta and back, then convoys from Malta to Alexandria.

Dido-class sisters, The cruisers HMS Edinburgh, HMS Hermione (center), and HMS Euryalus, steaming in line abreast whilst they escort a convoy as part of Operation Halberd, at the time the largest resupply effort to Malta, to which the entire Italian navy sortied to attempt to stop.

The (Town class) cruisers HMS Edinburgh, along with the Dido-class sisters HMS Hermione (center), and HMS Euryalus, steaming in line abreast whilst they escort a convoy as part of Operation Halberd, at the time the largest resupply effort to Malta, to which the entire Italian navy sortied to attempt to stop.

These runs carried fighters to Malta, oil and supplies to Montgomery’s troops fighting Rommel in North Africa, and other valuable commodities. As such, Hermione shot down attacking dive bombers, endured endless hours on alert for U-boats and fast attack craft, and had her ‘turn in the barrel’ everyday for over a year running this gauntlet.

The ship's good luck charm "Convoy", Hermione's ship's cat, sleeps in his own hammock whilst members of the crew look on

The ship’s good luck charm “Convoy“, Hermione‘s ship’s cat, sleeps in his own hammock whilst members of the crew look on

On the night of Aug 2, 1941 Hermione encountered the Italian Adua-class submarine Tembien on the surface preparing to send a brace of torpedoes into the precious carrier HMS Ark Royal. Had the Ark been sunk, British naval power in the Med would have changed for the worse. It was on that evening the daughter of Menelaus sliced the Roman shark in two, sending her to the bottom.

*Sidebar on the unlucky Adua-class boats of the Regia Marina: These plucky 800-ton, 200-foot long vessels were well-designed but their crews were unprepared for war against the Royal Navy, which had a long tradition of killing submarines operating close to their ships. Of the 17 Adula’s operational during World War II, 16 were lost, almost all to the RN. The class did not chalk up many kills for all of their reckless bravado.*

H.M.S. Hermione

For her role in sinking the Italian submarine, the cruiser Hermione was immortalized in wartime martial art, which was soon turned into war propaganda posters. Tragically, the cruiser had already met her own fate before the ink was dry on these posters.

Assigned to the 15th Cruiser squadron in the eastern Med, she came face to face with a boat who had already tried to sink her once the previous winter. On 16 June 1942, she was sunk after being torpedoed just off Alexandria by the German U-boat U-205 with a loss of some 85 of her crew.

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Commanded by Kptlt. Franz-Georg Reschke, U-205 herself the subject of a blood vendetta by the Royal Navy, who sent her to the bottom near the coast of Libya 17 Feb, 1943, with the destroyer HMS Paladin finishing her off.

The Hermione‘s name was issued to a Leander-class frigate (F58) in 1967, a ship that by all accounts had a lucky and safe thirty-year life and whose crew share a reunion and remembrance association with that of the lost WWII cruiser.
Specs:

hmsdido

Displacement: 5,600 tons standard
6,850 tons full load, wartime overload, 7700-tons.
Length: 485 ft (148 m) pp
512 ft (156 m) oa
Beam: 50.5 ft (15.4 m)
Draught: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Propulsion: Parsons geared turbines
Four shafts
Four Admiralty 3-drum boilers
62,000 shp (46 MW)
Speed: 32.25 knots (60 km/h)
Range: 1,500 nautical miles (2,780 km) at 30 knots
4,240 nautical miles (7,850 km) at 16 knots
1,100 tons fuel oil
Complement: 480 (more added in 1941 to man additional AAA guns)
Armament:
Original configuration:

10 x 5.25 in (133 mm) guns,
2 x 0.5 in MG quadruple guns,
3 x 2 pdr (37 mm/40 mm) pom-pom quad guns,
6 x 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes (2×3).

1941 – 1943 configuration:

10 x 5.25 in (133 mm) dual-purpose guns (5×2),
5 x 20 mm (0.8 in) single guns,
8 x 2 pdr (37 mm/40 mm) pom-pom guns (2×4),
6 x 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes (2×3).

Armour:
Belt: 3 inch,
Deck: 1 inch,
Magazines: 2 inch,
Bulkheads: 1 inch.

 

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International

They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find http://www.warship.org/

The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

Nearing their 50th Anniversary, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

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Men Of Iron

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Men of Iron by Don Troiani : Doughboys assault German positions in the Bois de Mort Mare during the Battle of St. Mihiel.

Battle of St. Mihiel, the Bois de Frière, Sept. 12, 1918

The 3/358th Infantry, 90th Division, was designated the assault unit for the American attack on the morning of September 12. As they were moving forward toward their jump-off positions before dawn, the unit was caught by German counter-battery fire. Major Allen, battalion commander, was wounded and evacuated while unconscious to an aid station in the rear. Regaining his senses, Allen removed his medical tag and sought to rejoin his unit, which had already advanced through the Bois de Frière. Allen gathered a group of men separated from their units and led them forward. They discovered a group of Germans bypassed by the first wave of American troops emerging from their dugout. Allen led his men in desperate hand-to-hand combat with the Germans. After emptying his pistol and despite his wounds, Allen fought with his fists, losing several teeth and suffering another serious wound.

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Allen and his men are shown engaging the Germans in the trench. On the morning of September 12, American troops wore raincoats to protect against the rain. Allen is using his .45-caliber pistol which was standard issue for American officers. American tactical doctrine required the assault battalions to advance as quickly as possible toward their first objective line. Follow-on battalions were given the task of mopping up German strongpoints bypassed by the leading troops. The American early morning artillery barrage drove many German units into the protection of their dugoutsand many were passed over by the first wave of American troops. During the St. Mihiel offensive several American support units engaged in desperate battles to clean out small groups of Germans scattered throughout the woods.

Allen would rise to command the American 1st Infantry Division in North Africa and Sicily in World War II. Criticized for lax discipline, Allen was relieved of his command by General Dwight Eisenhower. Allen was then assigned to command the 104th Infantry Division and he led them through the Battle of the Bulge and Germany’s surrender in May 1945.

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An American attack in the Seicheprey region, in a watercolor by the artist-correspondent Harvey Dunn.

“Monty Python Couldn’t have done it better”

http://www.liveleak.com/e/9b0_1332196120

The Vulcans were only three months away from being scrapped and they hadnt done an air-to-air refuleing in over 20-years.

The Falklands Most Daring Raid

This gripping film tells the humorous yet heroic story of how a crumbling, Cold War-era Vulcan flew the then-longest-range bombing mission in history and how a Second World War vintage bomb changed the outcome of the Falklands War. Yet astonishingly, this story of one of the RAF’s greatest modern feats has been downplayed into near obscurity by history. On 30 April 1982, the RAF launched a secret mission: to bomb Port Stanley’s runway, putting it out of action for Argentine fighter jets. The safety of the British Task Force depended on its success. However, the RAF could only get a single Vulcan 8000 miles south to the Falklands, because just one bomber needed an aerial fleet of 13 Victor tanker planes to refuel it throughout the 16-hour round-trip. From start to finish, the seemingly impossible mission was a comedy of errors, held together by pluck and ingenuity.