Thursday, 22 June 2017

Great British Cars #BritainisGreat



British cars. Britain was a leader in car manufacture, a shame it is no longer. There are plenty of car factories still in  Britain, but mostly making foreign cars.

Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Sunbeam, Austin, Rover, MG are just a few that spring to mind, the only car manufacturer still owned by the original family are Morgan.
New Morgan Car leaving factory

Everything goes round in cycles, or so they say. Maybe one day we will see a resurgence in British cars, lets hope so, I'm sick of seeing big fat Chelsea tractors being driven round our small British roads.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Great Britain's Stately Homes #BritainisGreat

Buckingham Palace & Statue of Eros


Britain is full of lovely stately homes, many of which are open to the public. Even the Queen's main residence, Buckingham Palace is open to visitors https://www.royal.uk/royal-residences-buckingham-palace



Not only London, but there's Blenheim Palace, home to Winston Churchill, http://www.blenheimpalace.com/
Blenheim palace

Most stately homes are full of antiques and have beautiful gardens to walk around, a great way to spend a day.


  Related image

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Kiplin Hall, North Yorkshire
My personal has to be Kiplin Hall in North Yorkshire, usually only open 2 days a week is well worth a visit, link here http://www.kiplinhall.co.uk/
 A great family day out, gardens including a renovated Victorian walled garden, a play area for children and a nice tearoom usually equals a good visitor experience.
Kiplin Hall library


It was originally built by George Calvert who went on to be Governor of Maryland, USA. Full of art and period furniture Kiplin Hall certainly has an atmosphere and it really feels like you go back to another time when you step through the doors.
 I can't think of anywhere else in that world that has as many stately homes as Great Britain, can you?

Monday, 12 June 2017

Great British Inventions New BBC Series Starts This Week #BritainisGreat

Britain has borne many inventors over the years, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, John Logi Baird invented television, Frank Whittle invented the jet engine, Thomas Newcomen invented the first true steam engine with a piston that was used to pump water out of mines. I could go on for ages, but the BBC is starting a new series, Britain's Great Inventions, starts this Thursday on BBC2 at 2030 hrs. It features personalities including Angela Rippon & Len Goodman fighting their respective corners for their favourite inventions.





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Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone.






Britain's Greatest Inventions, broadcast live from the Science Museum.






Wednesday, 7 June 2017

#Great British Food - Fish & Chips, Roast Beef & Yorkshire Puddings, Spotted Dick & Custard Britain Is Great

We British love our food. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for your Sunday dinner followed by a lovely Spotted Dick Pudding. Or if you're going out, Friday night fish & chips with mushy peas is unbeatable. #GreatBritishFood


Fish & Chips


Ingredients

For the crushed garden peas


Britain In WW2 -D-Day James Holland States British Not Given Enough Credit on D-Day

James Holland: British troops not given enough credit for role in D-Day landings
Author, James Holland, found at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/10855305/James-Holland-British-troops-not-given-enough-credit-for-role-in-D-Day-landings.html

British troops have not been given enough credit for their role in the D-Day landings, the historian James Holland has argued, as he claims American films portray them as "mincing around with bad teeth, stopping for tea".
Holland, the television historian, said the world has been doing a "massive disservice" to British veterans, who were overshadowed by the more glamorous US troops.
Saying myths about the Second World War had become "very, very entrenched", he added home-grown soldiers were often seen as "mincing around and constantly stopping for cups of tea".
In reality, he said, British forces were far more technologically advanced than usually imagined, providing the manpower and innovation to win the war.
Speaking at Hay Festival, Holland argued it was time to rehabilitate the role of the British in the world narrative of D-Day.
"I feel particularly strongly about Normandy and the D-Day campaign because there are a lot of myths that are very, very entrenched," he told an audience.
"It's a largely American show still, and Omaha still defines it.
"There is this impression I think – because of Band of Brothers, because of Saving Private Ryan and so on, because Americans had considerably more cameramen and photographers on D-Day – that we still believe that D-Day is a predominantly an American show.
"Yes, the British had a part but somehow they had a junior part of the United States at that time."
"The Americans were tall, six foot two, with amazing teeth. There was a sort of shabbiness about them that's still quite cool; they looked good.
"Americans always, always show this in conjunction with their tall, square-jawed, good-teeth people: Brits mincing through the water like a Carry On film.
"This annoys me."
Holland, who has written books and presented a recent BBC documentary about the Second World War, added it was time for the role of the British to be redefined.
Not only were the bulk of the invasion force, they suffered heavier casualties, embraced new technology quicker and developed critical inventions including the Mulberry harbour, he said.
"There is still this incredible impression, 70 years on, that somehow the only reason the Germans lost was because they took on the scale of the United States," he said. "That they simply couldn't keep up with the economic might of the Americans.
"That it wasn't anything to do with the British necessarily, and actually tactically there was no one to touch them.
"What I realised is that we've been doing this massive disservice to our boys and to Britain; our effort was way more impressive than we think of it today.
"What's impressive is having the nerve to do think 'I could do that'.
"The idea we stood around in the mud singing God Save the King is just not right, it's a myth and we need to move away from it."
"They were not rubbish, mincing around and constantly stopping for cups of tea. They should have huge respect."

Great Britain- Britain Is Great!

Britannia & people from the Empire, found at: https://polyglottrottercom.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/aaeaaqaaaaaaaajxaaaajdayztlkngi4ltq5yjutndhmmi1intbllwyynwq3mje3yzdmyw.jpg

I am guilty of not blogging enough. It is a big commitment of time and takes some dedication. Thanks to everyone who reads my posts, I hope you find them interesting.
I have decided to write about Great Britain, anything British that is Great. After recent events in London & Manchester, one gets the impression that there are people who originate from foreign climes who hate our country. So if there's anyone out there reading this, get this message: If you don't like Great Britain we are not forcing you to stay so PLEASE LEAVE.

That's the rant over. I think the first post of this new theme should be about Roy Larner, hero of Saturday night's terrorist attack in London. When three terrorists stormed into a Steakhouse Restaurant shouting 'Allah' etc, he replies 'F*** You I'm Millwall!' and took on three knife wielding maniacs with his bare fists allowing dozens to escape. There is a petition online recommending him for the George Cross for bravery. https://www.change.org/p/simon-hughes-mp-to-nominate-award-roy-larner-the-george-cross Please sign it, he is a brave man.
Roy Larner, Millwall fan & hero of Saturday night's London I.S attack.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Panzerfaust Bazooka & The PIAT

Hand held anti tank weapons were widely used in the Second World  War, cheaper to produce than an anti-tank gun they could be moved around a battlefield without the need for mechanised transport. It was a matter of hide, wait until your target was in range and fire. Then hope you've knocked out your tank and it can't fire back. This scene from Band of Brothers from about 4.56 shows how they 101st knocked out a Panzer with a nice shot to the soft underbelly.




The PIAT (Projectile Infantry Anti Tank)had an advantage over the bazooka in that it left no smoke trail. It was basically a tube with a steel spring inside and it was used widely by the British army until 1951. Not the best of weapons according to the video below.





The German panzerfaust was based on the U.S bazooka. I can't seem to find a reliable source online, but according to good old wikipedia, Nazi Germany made over 6 million of them, and they were used by all Axis powers.


Monday, 13 March 2017

Churchill Tank #WW2

Churchill Mk I tank found at: http://someinterestingfacts.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Churchill-ARV-MK-I-300x218.jpg


The Churchill tank was rushed into production in 1940 when Britain only had 100 tanks to defend its shores, predicatebly there were many teething problems. Armed with first a 2 pounder then 6 pounder guns, they were superseded by 75mm guns from salvaged Sherman tanks, others proving ineffective.

There were many marks of Churchills produced, even one with a 95mm gun, but what stands out are the special adaptations of the Churchill tank which were used on D-Day.They were fitted with flame throwers towing a fuel tank behind, the AVTR carried a bundle of wood to drop into trenches enabling tanks to cross over, they laid bridges and were fitted with a large mortar used to destroy bunkers. Please have a look at my previous posts here: http://oldecuriosity.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/d-day-6th-june-1944-hobarts-funnies.html &; http://oldecuriosity.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/d-day-6th-june-1944-more-of-hobarts.html

It had a good turning circle and low silhouette, by the time the MK IV was produced it had a max speed of 17mph and a range of 90 miles. According to www.tanks there were 1600 built. http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/gb/A22_Churchill_Tank.php


Friday, 10 February 2017

#Fury A Film Directed By David Ayer Starring Brad Pitt - One Of The Worst #WW2 Films EVER


I ordered the Fury DVD from Amazon & couldn't wait to see it. Wow what a disappointment. The Sherman tank is portrayed as being some sort of supertank. Invincible to panzerfausts, 200-300 heavily armed & motivated SS troops and capable of firing on the move and successfully hitting the target. Jeez, I wish the United States film industry could come up with a bit more realism.
The scene where the U troops attack anti tank and field guns is so laughable. The tanks have infantry using them as forts and are progressing in straight lines at around 2mph in a head on attack towards anti-tank guns. In real life the Americans would all die, the Sherman's armour was like paper, powered by a petrol engine.  In North Africa they were nicknamed Tommy cookers by the Germans for their habit of catching fire when hit anywhere.


Even when ambushed by a Tiger the Shermans still fire on the move, schoolboy tactics.

Anyway tell me what you thought of it? It's the worst tank film since Battle of The Bulge with it's all star cast. For some primary sources of information, watch the next video, a veteran who was a Captain in #WW2 tells of over 500% casualty rate in his regiment alone.





16.2.17

On other socila media platforms, I have received more than a fair share of criticism, I do not object to this, none of us are perfect. Unfortunately the Sherman tank was not prefect either. It was a good medium tank but - to quote Lt S.Hills:

          The Sherman had its faults, and the most serious of these was a tendency to catch fire too easily, which explains why it came to be christened the 'Ronson Lighter'. At thirty two tons to the Tiger's fifty six, it was also deficient in weight of armour, and the M4's 75-millimetre gun easily penetrated the Sherman. Both the Tiger and the two types of Panther were daunting and fearsome opponents. The Panther's armour was intimidating The Panther Mark V carried a 75mm gun and two 7.92mm machine guns, and the Jagdpanther an 88mm gun and one 7.92 mm machine gun. The frontal armour of the German tanks was also much thicker, 80mm in the Panther and a massive 155mm in the Tiger., compared to the Sherman's 50mm.In Normandy the German tanks prospered because of the nature of the ground: they could be dug in as immovable defensive obstacles and so their lack of maneuverability counted for less. Once the pursuit began, however, the Sherman's greater speed and endurance came into its own and our tanks overwhelmed the German defences in a mobile battle.

p.p 96-97, Lt S.Hills, By Tank Into Normandy, London, (2003)

Frank must have missed the turn to the left and gone straight down the road to Berjou. On that road his tank took a direct hit from a Panzerfaust and the whole crew was killed.

p.p 135-136, Lt S.Hills, By Tank Into Normandy, London, (2003)



Illinois University also published this: https://archives.library.illinois.edu/blog/poor-defense-sherman-tanks-ww2/

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

French Char B1 Heavy Tank

French Char B-1 heavy tank with crew, date unknown, found at:http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ddF80msnsLs/UxOMCUHfiBI/AAAAAAAAXNY/EYe2PE7OStU/s1600/Char-B1-47.jpg
In 1940 the French actually outnumbered the Germans with it's tanks (over 3,000 compared to Germans over 2,000), but the Germans were more adept at using them than other armies. The Blitzkrieg tactics were very successful, Germany occupying most of Europe by June 1940.
The French Char B1 served with armored divisions of the French infantry, during the Battle Of France most Char B1's were put out of action by aerial bombing or anti-tank guns. Against the German panzers the Char B1 was superior, having a 75mm cannon and thick armour. At Sonne, a Captain Pierre Billotte attacked and destroyed 13 Panzer MK III & MK IV's. His Char B1 was hit 140 times, but not knocked out. This is an incredible story, how I haven't heard about it before now must only be because war historians dismiss the French army in the early part of the war due to their swift capitulation? After the fall of France, Pierre Billotte was imprisoned by the Germans, then escaped to join the French Resistance.  For more information on this event please go here:http://tank-photographs.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/char-b1-renault-french-ww2-tank-stonne-1940.html

Pierre Billotte
   

Char B1 bis specifications

Dimensions (l-w-h)6.37 x 2.46 x 2.79 m (20.8 x 8.07 x 9.15 ft)
Total weight, battle ready28 tons (56,000 lbs)
Crew4 (driver, main gunner, sec. gunner, commander)
PropulsionRenault 6-cyl inline, 16.5 l, 272 bhp
Speed (road/off road)28/21 km/h (17/13 mph)
Range (road/off road)-fuel200 km (120 mi)-400 l
ArmamentMain: 75 mm (2.95 in) ABS SA35 Howitzer (hull)
Secondary: 47 mm (1.85 in) SA 35 AT gun (turret)
Secondary: Reibel 7.5 mm (0.295 in) howitzer
Maximum armour60 mm (2.36 in)
Total production781
http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/france/char_B1_bis.php