Video? Of the Wolverine? Baby! Turns out it was from a Pathé newsreel, which you can see here. "Yankee ingenuity" indeed. But that got me wondering... is there any more video of the Wolverine or the Sable out there that I didn't find the first time?
Turns out, the answer would be "yes!"
Avengers and Hellcats in that clip, a wave-off and a barrier crash, too. The wave-off gives you a sense of just how small the two IX carriers really were; the Avenger looks like it won't fit on the deck, let alone land safely.
From that clip, I wandered around a bit, and found a link on another video to a blog devoted entirely to the paddlewheel carriers, aptly titled The Paddle Wheel Aircraft Carriers. It hasn't been updated in about a year, but boy, do I wish I had found it when I was doing my earlier post. Particularly because of this post which has a link to another video.
A Bad Day In Duckford, One Year LaterOne year ago today, a series of severe thunderstorms rolled through the Duckford area, knocking down trees and electrical power all over the city. The third storm of the day dumped four inches of rain the space of about an hour, a deluge that caused flooding in low-lying areas (and some high-lying areas, too, come to think of it).
It also caused this:
In case you can't tell what's going on in that video, that's taken from a police cruiser's dashboard camera, and it's filming water flowing unimpeded underneath a set of railroad tracks that had had its roadbed washed away. Twenty minutes after that video was shot, a Canadian National train pulling 110 cars, including 70 tanker cars full of ethanol, rolled over that crossing. Eyewitnesses reported that the train was actually bouncing up and down as the track deflected under its weight. 12 cars derailed and exploded.
This accident, which occurred about a half-mile from Pond Central claimed the life of one motorist, injured a few others, and forced the evacuation of around 600 homes. If Pond Central had been much closer to the accident site, I would have been evac'd, too.
One year later, the site of the accident is much improved. The roadbed for the crossing has been strengthened, the pavement for the street replaced and relaid, and much of the terrain was replanted with grass. The local fire department now trains with a few of the derailed cars, practicing for the next big fire and hoping it never comes.
But many of the trees near the derailment site still show signs of having being burned by the blaze. And just off the tracks is a small cross, in memory of the woman who was killed in the incident, Zolia Tellez. I drive by the site once or twice a day, and imagine what it must have been like... and count myself lucky that I wasn't there when it happened. I could have been, and on a normal Friday I would have missed the incident by only an hour or so.
The NTSB is still investigating the accident, and their report isn't expected for another six months or so. A rash of train crashes, including one bad one in Washington DC a few days after the one here in Duckford, has 10 NTSB train specialists working 16 cases. The EPA has found traces of ethanol byproducts in the local drinking water, but far below any amounts that they declare to be dangerous. The massive fish die-off that occurred a month or so after the accident in a nearby river is still completely unexplained. And every now and again, a train comes through on the new rails.
That One GameCiv 5 is scheduled to come out in the Fall, and any self-respecting strategy gamer has already written off any productivity they may have had. The release of new screenshots for the game has done nothing to alleviate that.
Any of us who have spent too much time playing for "just one more turn", no matter if it was Civ, MOO, SimCity, whatever, have That One Game. That One Game is the one where everything that happened led to an amazing climax... maybe it was a tense struggle against overwhelming odds, or an incredible occurrence. Maybe it was just a well-played blowout, who knows? But oh, it was memorable... it became That One Game.
Mine was in Civ 3, a huge map and continents. I was playing the English, started on what I wound up calling Australia: big island, green at the coasts but arid desert in the center... and practically no resources to speak of. After a while I learned sailing and found, just off to the west, a very big continent filled with all the luxuries and resources a civ could need. I also found the remains of another civ... three razed cities in the worst starting locations I've ever seen (after the game ended, I discovered it was the French. Ces't la Guerre.). Other than the home of the French, though, what I saw looked ripe for the picking... until I found what killed Napoleon. The Zulus... and they weren't happy I was there, declaring war on me and quickly overwhelming the exploring archer I had sent over. I put them out of my mind, as I had a tech lead on them, and vowed to revisit Africa soon.
Some long while later, I packed up two musketmen, a settler and a worker and sent them off to found a home base on Africa. Once I got there, though, I found that the Zulus had expanded, taking most of the good territory. So instead of colonization, I decided to make life hell for Shaka. I dumped the musketmen and worker off on what appeared to be the only road between northern and southern Africa, fortified one of them, and had the worker build a fortress. The other musketman began tearing up the any roads I could find around the fortress. Within a few turns, Shaka had had enough... and the Impi began to move. I brought the raider back to the fortress and waited. And waited. Eventually, I got a cannon over to the fortress as well.
Just in time, as it turned out. Not one, but two Stacks of Doom converged on my little fortress, one from the north, one from the west... each of them composed of nothing but Impi. Wincing, I immediately gave the fortress the name "Rorke's Drift" and crossed my fingers. By the end of the first SOD's defeat, one of my musketmen had been promoted from "regular" to "veteran," and the other was about to. Both were damaged, however, and the second stack was even larger than the first.
They held the line. One of them died, and the other had one hit point left, but they held the line. From there, the conquest of Africa was easy... almost everything Shaka had, he had thrown at Rorke's Drift, and most of them had died (some retreated).
I left that one musketman and the cannon stationed at Rorke's Drift for the rest of the game, even after I could have promoted them to other, better things. They remained untouched, even through the later nuclear war against the Germans. At the end of the little fracas that they started, the three cities closest to Rorke's Drift had been turned to radioactive rubbish, along with a few others on my side, but any German city over the size of 5 took an missile. But there they stayed.
And when the spaceship to Alpha Centauri finally arrived at its destination, I knew I had just finished playing That One Game. From then on, I have never neglected building fortifications, and I have always had a lone outpost somewhere far away from the main action... in honor of the musketmen of Rorke's Drift.
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 19, 2010 05:56 PM (iJfPN)
Hmm. Trying to think. There are some games I've only run through once, like X-Com, so that automatically qualifies as "That One Game" for that game. The final mission on Mars was made of pure awesome and sheer terror, like when one of my two guys carrying the heavy rocket launchers got mind-wiped and took out his entire squad.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 20, 2010 09:28 AM (2yngH)
I don't really remember specific game sessions that way. I do vaguely remember the first time I tried to assault an enemy base (on Earth) in X-Com and how utterly terrified I was, but I don't remember anything else about that particular session.
The 'one game' that comes to mind for me was a session of Warlord (II, I think). I had gotten a pretty good start, had one of my borders well fortified and was busy pounding on the AI on two other fronts. I'd scouted far enough ahead of my "stacks of doom" that I was fairly confident of carrying through to wipe out the two AI players I was actually engaged against. Unfortunately I hadn't scouted far enough forward to notice that Lord Bane was punching through one of them from the other direction. When our offensive forces met in the lands of our unfortunate mutual foe, I lost two major hero stacks, and shortly after that I lost most of the newly captured cities.
I quickly realized that I had nothing in the immediate rear of that campaign that was going to stop the marauding Lord Bane stacks, and at the same time I was reaching the last heavily fortified cities on the other front, where that AI was rallying for a last stand. It was pretty obvious that if I pulled those forces back, I'd end up losing a ton of ground on that front, but it was equally obvious that if I didn't come up with something really nasty to throw in front of Lord Bane quick I was going to lose a lot of key unit building territory.
What turned the looming disaster into an epic game is that I still had some scouts out on the third side of the map, just keeping an eye on the two AI players over there, and I discovered that they had never expanded onto one island, which I quickly claimed, grabbing a couple good cities, and more importantly exploring some ruins that yielded up an excellent weapon for my reserve hero, as well as a stack of dragons. I pulled together a stack of supporting units from various places that could all move quickly and rushed that hero/dragon stack down to finish off the lesser threat while I moved everything else I could free up toward a choke point facing Lord Bane. I lost maybe six or seven more cities to Lord Bane while I was finishing off the other opponent, but then I was able to pull everything back from that side of the map and send them off to the front, at which point I smashed two of Lord Bane's stacks o' doom and stopped his offense.
From that point it was just a bit of back and forth as we fought over the border cities and assembled our armies. Eventually I had three hero-led stacks o' doom ready, as well as a few support stacks to follow along and fortify cities as I took them, so I started pushing forward. Lord Bane had built up enough that I lost on stack, and the other got whittled down so far that it had to retreat, but the last stack with that one hero and his dragons took everything he could throw at it and just kept getting stronger, eventually carrying through to conquer pretty much the whole map.
And now I will go see if GoG has Warlords II in their product line...
Posted by: David at June 21, 2010 11:02 AM (oyblT)
Tech Assistance Needed, Save Squishy!
Okay, here's the story. As you may remember, my boss went on maternity leave about a year-and-a-half ago after giving birth to a ridiculously cute baby girl, whom I call "Squishy." Squishy's mom is an inveterate record-keeper, and has diligently chronicled Squishy's life via the art of digital photography, amassing a huge amount of pictures in the process.
Last night, their main computer coughed up a hairball and died. The husband of my boss has some skill with computers, so he ran some BIOS checks on the system and everything reported that the hard drive and grabbed its chest and died. Of course, this hard drive is the one that has the gazillions of Squishy photos on it, photos that they cannot replace (they have some saved in other places, but just a mere fraction of the total). Here's the thing: the HD gave no indication there was a problem, no weird sounds, nothing. It just stopped functioning. A two-hour call to tech support caused nothing but frustration, of course... frustration and a deep, deep desire to cause an immense amount of physical harm to the techie on the other end of the telephone.
When my boss came in to the Duck U Bookstore today, she told me of the situation. A quick phone call to her husband convinced me that the HD wasn't actually dead (merely pining for the fjords). I suggested that they take it out of the computer, put it into an external enclosure, hook it up to one of their other computers and see what happens. If it doesn't show up, then they know that the offending drive is dead enough that they'd need to take it somewhere to recover the pictures. If it did show up, then they know that the problem may not be the drive, but the computer itself... and they'd be able to copy the drive to the laptop.
I just got a call from them. They did put it into an enclosure, and sure enough, it appeared... well, actually, two drives appeared, at which point I slapped my forehead: of course two drives appeared, it was the boot drive from the dead system! What they were seeing was the C drive and the drive partition where the recovery stuff was kept... which is where the unexpected problem has reared its ugly head.
Y'see, when they look at what was the C drive, there's only a few folders visible, and they don't have anything in them... at least, that's what the laptop is reporting. What I think is happening, and please correct me if you think I'm wrong, is that the drive isn't showing anything because the copy of Windows that's on it obviously isn't booting, and thus the file system on the drive isn't functional (I may have the technical details wrong, but that's the net result). Further, the laptop is XP and the version of Windows on the drive is Vista, which probably causes problems too.
They're copying the drive to the laptop, and I've suggested that they go to their other desktop system (which they retired), rip out that hard drive, and plug the problem drive into it. If everything goes well, the stars align, and a choir of angelic ducks quack out paeans to the heavens, it'll boot up. At worst, they'll be in the same boat they're in now.
The tech question I have for you, the myriad readers of The Pond, is there some way to access the data from the problem drive if dropping it into a different computer system doesn't work? If the data was replaceable, I'd just suggest they find Windows on it, delete it, and see if that turns it into a normally-read drive, but I'm just WAGging there, and the chance that it'll turn the drive into a brick seems not insignificant. Can they pull the data off without the "boot Windows" running?
Another related question: is there some way to boot a laptop from an external hard drive that has Windows on it, sort of a half-arsed version of dual-booting? If they can do that, then they can save the pics to a different external drive, or burn them to DVD, or something.
Let's brainstorm, my friends. Hopefully they'll be monitoring this thread, if not tonight then tomorrow, so they'll be able to provide specific details (what folders are showing up, for example) that I don't have, but in the meantime, let me hear your best suggestions.
You wouldn't want to disappoint Squishy, would you? How could you disappoint that face?
There are companies which are in the business of recovering data off of drives that have died. In the most extreme case they take the drive apart and move the spindle into an equivalent drive which is not dead.
But it ain't cheap. You're talking at least a thousand bucks.
One last point: given that they tried and failed to access the drive using Windows, they should probably not try again. The possibility exists that Windows may damage the data that's on the drive by trying to fix the file structure, making recovery impossible.
They know about the data recovery places; there's one in the Rockford area. For easy "eh, it's just mostly dead" stuff, they might be able to recover data for about $200. If it's more complex, then it shoots up to $1500+.
The Linux option is one that I thought about, but I have no clue beyond just thinking about it. I know so little about what it can do that I can't help them past the point of bringing it up.
Hopefully, they'll be able to copy the drive so we don't have to worry about Windows breaking the data. I'm hopeful that a drive-swap into a different computer will work...
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 16, 2010 10:10 PM (iJfPN)
When my laptop drive began to fail a year or two back, I used ddrescue
to image it first. You can find it as part of a bootable CD here:
http://ubuntu-rescue-remix.org/ (warning, I've never actually used
that). Of course I was dealing with hardware failure, and not just
corruption. The advantage of running ddrescue, though, is that it makes a
complete image of the drive. You can then do whatever you need to on
the drive image (or better yet, a copy of the drive image). If you mess
that image up, use another copy (this requires a lot of spare disk
space, mind you...).
After that, I used a file catalog rebuilding
and file searching program. I'm on a Mac, so I used Data Rescue II, but
there should be some equivalent for Windows. The Ubuntu Rescue Remix CD
seems to include some open source tools as well, but I've never tried
them. Some basic instructions are here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DataRecovery
Posted by: benzeen at June 16, 2010 10:32 PM (WE8c2)
If the drive is functioning but the filesystem is scrambled, a recovery utility might do the trick. The only one I've used is Stellar Phoenix, and that was years ago, but it worked flawlessly. Very slowly, but flawlessly.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 16, 2010 10:49 PM (PiXy!)
1. Make an image of the drive, just in case. I have a sector-to-sector
USB tool to do it that also works as an external drive reader, from
Aleratec (aleratec.com). Using something like Ghost to image the drive
can also work, but I like a hardware drive to drive transfer the best.
Run SpinRite, from Gibson Research (grc.com) which will do a complete
low level scan of the drive, restoring data from damaged sectors. Very
good program, inexpensive, saved my a$$ on multiple occasions.
R-Studio, from R-Studio.com -- i have used it many times in the past,
and it does good work recovering broken file structures.
that none of these options are free, and there are other programs that
do the same things, but if I had your problem in my office these are
the steps I'd take regardless of the program being used.
Posted by: denebola at June 16, 2010 11:24 PM (LDyD6)
image that drive asap, then run spinrite on it, if its recoverable this will work.
another options is if you can find another drive with the same exact firmwear/revision number you could swap out the green logic boards, i have done this in the past, but if they are not identical fw/rv # it may not work.
Posted by: dagamore at June 17, 2010 01:11 AM (vdcdn)
All the tools mentioned earlier work wonderfully in the hands of someone who is fully aware of what they're doing. But you can do unrecoverable damage if you do not fully grasp what you're doing. I get the impression that the latter is currently the case. So take the drive to a recovery place.
Posted by: Quentin at June 17, 2010 01:32 AM (KSyKn)
Everybody seems to be concentrating on the wrong problem, I think... they have evidence that the drive is fine, but the information isn't immediately accessible, possibly because it's no longer the "boot disc", if you get what I mean.
Is that thinking incorrect? Is there some way to circumvent the version of Windows that's on the drive? Is there some way to boot a laptop from the drive? Or "dual-boot" from an external?
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 17, 2010 06:26 AM (iJfPN)
I'm going to preface this with "I know just enough to be dangerous"
But no, the fact that it's the "boot drive" from another computer shouldn't matter when it's placed in an external enclosure. (Make sure that the master/slave settings are correct) If everything was kosher, you'd just see another drive with a "Windows" directory in it. The boot drive just means it has a master boot record in the drive's sector zero that starts the booting process. When a computer starts, it looks at the drive it's been told to boot from and does what the MBR says, which here is "start Windows". The laptop has it's own boot drive, and it's starting from that one. Any other drive attached to the system, whether or not it has an MBR is just a secondary drive.
The fact that nothing appears says to me that the drive is screwed up somehow. If you didn't care overmuch about the data on the drive, like "It'd be nice to have, but I wouldn't cry over losing it," then play with all of the tools people have listed above. However, Quentin is almost certainly right...take it to someone who knows what the hell they're doing.
Posted by: CatCube at June 17, 2010 07:19 AM (Te0W1)
CatCube is right: the fact that it's a boot partition is irrelevant. I have access to two of those right now attached to the computer I'm using: one is in an external USB enclosure, and the other is a second internal drive attached to the IDE controller. In either case the drive appears fine. If you can't see the files, there's filesystem damage. An undelete utility of some kind might fix the problem, as might a filesystem repair tool...but it might also hose the system beyond repair. Your safest bet is as others have suggested: optionally image it and then take it to a recovery service. They're far cheaper than they used to be: as you already know, it's not exactly expensive any more.
Then tell the boss to start making regular backups.
Posted by: rickc at June 17, 2010 07:49 AM (85Ro5)
If the drive is actually visible on another computer, and I'm not entirely sure from your description that's the case, a partition scanning utility may help. I've used find and mount in the past with success, and it's fairly straightforward to use.
Posted by: jml at June 17, 2010 12:22 PM (Lti64)
Everybody, they've decided to take your collective advice: "Take it to someone who knows what the hell they're doing." Fortunately, my boss's husband works in the IT field (though he's on the networking side, not hardware), and there's someone at his place of employ with the tools and the know-how to make it happen.
Assuming, of course, that it can be saved without the drive without being handed to people in bunny suits and taken into a clean room. We'll know soon enough. Advice is still being taken, however! Collectively, you all know more than one person...
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 17, 2010 04:30 PM (iJfPN)
Further, the laptop is XP and the version of Windows on the drive is Vista, which probably causes problems too.
Try plugging the now external hard drive into a machine running Vista. I think that MS tweaked NTFS in Vista because I've formatted drives on my Vista machine that I couldn't properly read on an XP machine.
Posted by: Kae Arby at June 17, 2010 09:33 PM (jzP7W)
For the past few weeks, I've been realizing that I don't have much need to write. The F1 Update!s are becoming a chore. Nothing in this season of anime has grabbed me and said "hey, mention me, will ya?" I couldn't even have a topic for this year's Battle of Midway Day, despite trying for days to come up with something.
Part of it is, I'm sure, just "one of those phases" all bloggers seem to go through (or at least "thinkers" go through; I'm not sure "linkers" even need to use their brains for their blogs). Part of it is a nascent fear that I'm on the wrong side of Sturgeon's Law.
And part of it is frustration, a particular type of frustration that again every blogger goes through at one time or another. It's the frustration of seeing a post (or a series of posts) that you've put relatively large amounts of time and effort into... is being ignored completely. I'm thinking of my episodic series review of Ga-Rei Zero here, but it could apply to just about anything on The Pond (with a couple of exceptions). Nearly 26000 words and lord knows how many screencaps over 12 posts, at four hours minimum per post, and there's only 30 comments between them... and at least 10 of those are my own.
Wonderduck's Pond isn't one of the big hitters like Steven or Shamus, never will be, and I'm fine with that. I didn't start writing here because I cared if people read it, but because I wanted to write. But everybody with a comments section wants a little recognition for their efforts; me, you, the blogger who writes about plastic daffodils, everybody. Maybe the stuff here isn't worth commenting on... again, the fear of being on the wrong side of Sturgeon's Law... or maybe nobody sees it, or maybe nobody gives a rat's asterisk about commenting anymore. And The Pond's five-year anniversary is coming up...
I enjoyed your posts on Gai-Rei... A problem though: some of those posts refused to completely load in my browser. This is actually a general problem with your blog--some of your posts simply don't load completely. It doesn't seem to happen to any other mu.nu blogs. I think it happens more often on some of the longer image-heavy posts, but not really sure. It also happens for some of the F1 Updates.
Anyway, unless someone is paying you to blog, don't feel compelled to post if its a drag, though I'd be sad if you dropped out...
Posted by: Kayle at June 05, 2010 03:08 PM (dmU/A)
Just refresh the post in question, that usually loads everything in.
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 05, 2010 03:43 PM (iJfPN)
I really enjoyed your Gai-Rei posts, and started checking your site daily at that point. I also enjoy your history posts. However, I usually don't having anything intelligent to say in response (not that I always let that stop me). I'd be disappointed if you stopped posting, but I won't be selfish enough to request that you keep posting if you no longer enjoy it.
Posted by: Siergen at June 05, 2010 05:30 PM (jMQcx)
I think that concerns about traffic are also one of those phases people go through.
In the end, the writing itself is the reward. I don't write because I expect huge numbers of people to read (although my current traffic levels are quite comfortable, so this sounds a bit like Misaka Mikoto's "power doesn't matter" comments: that's easy for you to say, Railgun!). I write because I'm compelled to write. Or because the act of writing is fun.
In the end, the question is this: what's in this for you? What do you want? Why are you doing it?
If you want traffic, post porn. If you want to write, well, write!
And if there's nothing in it for you, then quit. (I'd be very sorry if you did, though.)
I do read (or at least skim) most of what you post here, and it's generally good stuff, but I can't comment if I've got nothing to say, and that's almost always the case with your WWII and F1 posts. I don't know nearly enough about either subject to believe I can add to the discussion. Anime is different, of course, but even then there's a lot that I'm just not interested in, or that I am interested in but haven't seen yet and don't want to get spoiled on (Ga-Rei Zero being an example of the latter). Plus I'm currently in a bit of an anime slump myself.
As for what you should do... if you aren't getting anything out of anime and WWII history, and F1 is becoming a chore, why not write about something else? If you want more comments, actively soliciting them (like you did in this post) might help... I don't have any meaningful blogging experience, but I'm always more inclined to comment when a blogger expresses interest in what I think.
Posted by: Andrew F. at June 05, 2010 06:03 PM (f9X3G)
Refreshing helps only on most of the posts, not all of them. Also, I usually have to strip out the hash part of the URL (the behavior of linking to a landmark is weird on your blog, but I haven't been motivated enough to look into the code to find out why...)
Posted by: Kayle at June 05, 2010 09:49 PM (dmU/A)
I read your blog regularly, although I don't comment - exactly like all the other blogs I read.
I really appreciate the F1 posts - it's nice learning about a subject I'd be abjectly ignorant on.
I came for the anime (followed a link from Steven's blog I don't know how long ago) but stayed for the eclectic well-written posts.
Posted by: Andy at June 06, 2010 12:51 AM (MXy5A)
Kayle, that happens with his posts which extend past the length of his side bar. And it only happens with IE. Firefox handles the long ones fine.
Not everyone who loves and reads is able to write... I read Chizumatic and Pond everyday, but I won't comment.
Posted by: ari at June 06, 2010 12:31 PM (1wHyJ)
I don't check a whole lot of blogs every day, but this one's on that list. Everything I know about F1, I learned from the Pond! ;p
Personally I have a bad habit of not posting. Sometimes I genuinely don't have anything to report. Sometimes I -do- but I don't write anyway. I mean, I could go make a rant-post about Minoru Shiraishi (who is, curse his hide, back in my life again)... but I probably won't, because it'd just depress me when I ought to be timing.
I would remove my comments section, if I was feeling self conscious about it enough that It might make me quit doing something I enjoy.
Posted by: Felblood at June 06, 2010 06:36 PM (Q6asm)
I'm a long time reader, but only an infrequent commenter; often I hold back from commenting because I think my comment might be frivolous and asinine. Perhaps I should comment more often, if it would make you feel better about blogging.
Along with the other commenters here, I do enjoy your blog and appreciate your commentary, particularly on the topics of Formula One and WWII history. I enjoy your anime posts, too, even though I pretty much gave up on Japanese animation quite a while ago; some of your anime posts tempt me into getting back into it, at least in a small way.
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at June 06, 2010 08:10 PM (c62wM)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 07, 2010 11:21 AM (PiXy!)
I'll echo Andy and avatar... I cared nothing about racing until you started posting F1 updates. Now I look forward to your mooooooove of the day. I even watched a few minutes of F1 a while back, just out of interest.
So... stop posting if it is too much of a chore for you, of course. You don't owe me (or us) anything. Nevertheless, I kind of think you would miss doing it after a while. And I enjoy your various slice-of-life posts, and mourned with you on your recent loss.
There is a loose coalition of friends here, and it is made possible primarily by the blog, which is after all, a collection of posts which you felt it worthwhile, to create.
Your choice, in the end, but there are a lot of us out here who read; more than you think, I suspect.
Posted by: dkAllen at June 07, 2010 12:58 PM (1PFDl)
I'm just a mere long-time lurker, but I have to throw in here. I enjoy the F1 Updates - because they're fun to read!
And your Pacific War posts are great. Most of those have ended up bookmarked in my "WWII" folder to re-read later.
What Steven said up above is the key - if you don't enjoy it, don't do it.
But we enjoy what you're doing!
Posted by: UtahMan at June 07, 2010 02:45 PM (p1tb6)
June 3, 1942: The Battle Begins
Conventional wisdom says that the Battle of Midway began on June 4th, 1942. Just as the conventional wisdom that says that the Japanese carriers were five minutes from launching a devastating attack on the US carriers is incorrect, this too is wrong. The Battle of Midway actually began on June 3rd. To be sure, all the dramatic parts of the fight occurred the following day, but the two opponents started throwing armament at each other on the third day of June.
Nine B-17s took off from the runways of Midway's Eastern Island around 1230pm on June 3rd. After a flight of about three hours, they found the transports of the Imperial Japanese Navy's Midway Occupation Force, tasked to effect the actual invasion of the atoll, approximately 500 miles to the west. The B-17s claimed multiple hits on the lumbering transports, though managed none whatsoever, despite a total absence of CAP and effective antiaircraft fire.
Meanwhile, a thousand miles or more to the northeast of Midway, two light carriers of the IJN (the Ryujo and the Junyo) launched an attack on Dutch Harbor, Alaska. 12 Zero fighters, 10 Val dive bombers and 10 Kate torpedo bombers (operating in horizontal bombing mode) lifted off from the tiny flight decks in miserable weather. This attack caused minor damage to oil storage tanks and the local radio station, while some bombs hit the barracks of Ft Mears, killing 25 soldiers.
The attack on the Aleutian Islands has often been called a diversionary assault, intended to draw out the American fleet from Pearl Harbor. It turns out that that is not the case. Both the attack on Midway and the attack on the Aleutians were supposed to begin on June 3rd, but the carrier fleet tasked for the Midway part of the attack were delayed by a day by refueling problems.
Late in the night of June 3rd, four PBY flying boats of Patrol Squadron 44 took off from the seaplane base at Midway, headed for the Occupation Force. Early the next morning, one of them put a torpedo into the bows of the fleet oiler Akebono Maru. Damage was relatively light, and the ship continued underway with little delay. This was the only successful torpedo attack by the Americans for the entire battle.
The opening volleys of the most decisive naval victory in history had been fired; the next day would belong to the carriers.
During WWII most American fighter planes were armed with M2 Browning HMG. Because the Japanese planes were firetraps, the American planes were armed with 50% armor piercing rounds and 50% incendiary, alternating on the feed belts.
Against the Japanese that made a lot of sense. You needed the AP in order to do damage to engines if you hit them. But the incendiary rounds were just the ticket if you were hitting fuel tanks on wings.
Did the US use the same 50/50 belts in Europe against the Germans? Or did they use 100% AP?
Good question, Steven. I'll have to research that one. Fortunately, I've got just the books I'll need to get an answer, but it'll take some digging.
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 04, 2010 10:07 PM (iJfPN)
What kind of altitude would B-17s bomb a fleet from in the Pacific? Getting as high as possible makes sense in the ETO, but I would suspect that even a slow lumbering transport could dodge a stick of bomb dropped from 20,000 feet by a B-17 leaving contrails across the horizon for all to see.
Will, the B-17s attacked the transports at altitudes ranging from 8000 to 12000 feet, which was considered "medium" altitude. The transports didn't even notice the Bs until after they had dropped their bombs, and jinked very late... and there were still no hits.
When the Flying Fortresses attacked Kido Butai the next day, they came in at 20000+ feet. They were spotted early, and they again scored no hits, though Hiryu was bracketed by near misses that landed within her own length away.
Posted by: Wonderduck at June 06, 2010 11:16 PM (iJfPN)