August 04, 2012

Picking At My Posting

You know how you have a lot of food on your plate, but none of it looks extra-special tasty?  You wind up just sort of lackadaisically nibbling at this, chewing a bit on that, not really doing anything with it?  That's pretty much where I am right now with The Pond.  I've started work on two major posts, the Ben-To Ep01 writeup and the Late War Best Fighter thing (finally!), but haven't really felt like devoting the hours required to make them any good.  So instead, I'm doing them in 10-15 minute nibbles.  It's weird, and I'm not sure I like the result, but there you are.  At least they're being worked on, right? 

Best darn photo of a Vindicator I've ever seen.  It's a pre-war shot of an Enterprise "Bombing 6" plane, stolen from the archives of LIFE.  No, there's no point to it being here, other than I wanted to put it up. 

So there's stuff in the pipeline to look forward to!  Just hope I have the time to work on them... Duck U classes start on the 22nd, the new fledgelings move in on the 18th.  Yep, it's busytime at the Bookstore, and I'm scheduled for 48 hours next week.  Who in the world writes the darn schedule anyway?

Oh right... me.  Darn it.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:08 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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August 02, 2012

Stay To Port!!!

Like many monitors, the HMS Lord Clive and her sister ship HMS General Wolfe were armed in a ridiculous manner.  Of course, that's pretty much the very definition of a monitor: heavy weaponry on a smallish hull.  In the case of these ships, they weighed in at just under 6000 tons... bigger than a destroyer, smaller than a light cruiser.  They were just over 330 feet long, had "meh" armor, and like most monitors, they were slower than molasses.  Indeed, they could make a whopping seven knots at full power.  A lot of that came down to her beam: 87 feet from side to side if you count the torpedo bulges.  You could drop the engines from an Iowa-class into one of these ships and they still wouldn't be fast with a length:beam ratio of 4:1.  Of course, speed isn't what a monitor is for... big ol' guns, that's what monitors are for.

The Lord Clive and General Wolfe looked like they were pretty heavily armed, what with that big honkin' turret up front, carrying two 12" rifles.  That's pretty impressive on a 6000 ton hull, but that's not why they always said to stay to the port side of these ships, no no.  No, there was a very good reason for that!

That, my friends, is an 18" gun.  Let me say that again: an EIGHTEEN INCH GUN.  The gun on the General Wolfe came from the HMS Furious when she was converted to a seaplane carrier/aircraft carrier.  The 18" gun on the Lord Clive was a spare built for the Furious in case of malfunction.  On both monitors, the big'un was fixed to fire to starboard, and one can only imagine what it felt like onboard when it fired.  In fact, when the General Wolfe fired her behemoth, the ship moved sideways, like people always claim the Iowas do when they fire a broadside. This was because she had a shallow draft of eight feet at the bow, 13 feet at the stern.  They two monitors would roll like the dickens as well, lowering their rate of fire from one round/minute to one round every four minutes or so.

What appears to be a turret on the stern is really just a big blast shield with an open back.  It couldn't rotate at all, though the gun could swivel within a 20° arc.  It really wasn't intended for use against enemy shipping, but for shore bombardment.  To be fair, the two ships weren't particularly good at their job, as their guns could outrange any sighting equipment on hand, save aircraft of course... which didn't carry any radio to speak of at the time.  Still, there must be an incredible horror when you realize that someone is throwing 3000+ pound shells at you from well over the horizon.

After WWI ground to a halt, the General Wolfe was paid off and broken up in 1921, while the Lord Clive lasted until 1927 as a gunnery trials ship.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:13 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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