Sunday, 19 November 2017

#WW1 Tanks - A British Invention

Just watching Guy Martin on Channel 4, that man is so enthusiastic about anything, in this programme he is busy making a replica tank. The tank as we know it today is a British invention.
British MkIV tank found at:https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3223/2327945386_3ee6200089_b.jpg

Tanks were first used by the British & Canadian army in September 1916 at the Battle of Flers Courcelette where most of them broke down, but later versions proved more successful. http://www.canadianmilitaryhistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2-McEwen-Tanks-at-Courcelette.pdf

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Britain's National Anthem - Or is it the English National Anthem?

I read in one of the papers last week that Britain's national anthem had a line about crushing rebellious Scots. I thought it would not be included nowadays but it appears it still is. There is no wonder the Scottish sing 'Flower of Scotland' and not the national anthem at big events. A national anthem should not be insulting to a country's inhabitants.

first publicly performed in London, 1745
1. God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us;
God save the Queen!

2. O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all!

3. Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign;
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen!
 4. Not in this land alone,
But be God's mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world over.

5. From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the Queen!
O'er her thine arm extend,
For Britain's sake defend,
Our mother, prince, and friend,
God save the Queen!

6. Lord grant that Marshal Wade
May by thy mighty aid
Victory bring.
May he sedition hush,
And like a torrent rush,
Rebellious Scots to crush.
God save the King!

Found at http://ingeb.org/songs/godsaveo.html

Personally I think we should have Rule Britannia as a national anthem. It is grander, very patriotic and actually contains the words Great Britain. It is about our country, not a person. 

Rule, Britannia!
Lyrics

Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

When Britain first, at heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter of the land,
And Guardian Angels sang this strain:

(Chorus)

The nations not so blest as thee
Must, in their turn, to tyrants fall,
While thou shalt flourish great and free:
The dread and envy of them all.

(Chorus)

Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke,
As the loud blast that tears the skies
Serves but to root thy native oak.

(Chorus)

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame;
All their attempts to bend thee down
Will but arouse thy generous flame,
But work their woe and thy renown.

(Chorus)

To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine;
All thine shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles, thine.

(Chorus)

The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coasts repair.
Blest isle! with matchless beauty crowned,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.

(Chorus)
Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.




Sunday, 12 November 2017

Lest We Forget - Remembrance Sunday 2017

99 Years ago on 11th November at 1100hrs the guns stopped. Four long years of bloodshed had ceased. The poppy remains a symbol of hope, respect and a reminder of those who gave their lives that we might live in freedom today. The poppies grew in the churned up soil of No-man's land, reminding soldiers in the trenches that amidst death and destruction, new life could still begin. #Lestweforget

Flanders Poppies, found at: http://www.flandersfieldsmiracle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/poppy2.jpg

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Britain's Great Ships #Britainisgreat

Launch of the cargo ship 'Empire Clough' from South Shields found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/twm_news/23085004346


Great Britain has always had a proud maritime history, Shipbuilding on the Clyde, the Wear and the Tyne produced many ships that were essential to the economy and security of the country. Captain Cook and John  Hudson relied on good ships for exploration just as the Royal Navy need them today for our country's defence.


Wear shipyards at Sunderland, please see link below

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wear/content/articles/2008/01/16/shipbuilding_has_been_20_years_feature.shtml

HMS Hood, found at: https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/-/media/royal-navy-responsive/images/news/heritage/150810-hms-hood-bell-recovered/150810-hood-bell-1.jpg?mh=447&mw=980&thn=0&hash=F8FECEE5226E273FB069AB104F9588670DDC0FF9

Unfortunately most of the shipyards are now gone, along with thousands of jobs.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Some Famous British Explorers Who Made Britain Great #BritainisGreat

Captain Robert Falcon Scott found at:
 http://www.scottslastexpedition.org/content/images/447/1890x800crop/header.jpg


Britain has a long history of explorers, some more successful than others. The first one that springs to mind is Captain Scott who perished so tragically in the race to the South Pole. Without these brave people, the British Empire would not have existed.

Mary Kingsley
Mary Kingsley, niece of the famous author Charles Kingsley, travelled extensively in Africa. She explored Angola and Sierra Leone. Kingsley also had views about Africa and its inhabitants which upset the Church of England, she said Polygamy was a necessity, and also stated that African colonies should be be indirectly ruled by White men, insisting that there was some work that could only be completed by White Men. Mary Kingsley in 1900 after contracting malaria whilst working as a nurse in the Boer War. What makes her stand out from the rest of the exploring elite is that she is a woman, who dd not toe the line, overcame discrimination and proved she was as good an explorer as anyone else. Kingsley discovered previously unknown species of fish and at least three types were named after her.

Henry Hudson (1565-1611), had the Hudson River and Hudson Bay named after him. His exploration in North America provided more detailed knowledge of the east coast of America.
Henry Hudson

There are many more explorers, Captain Cook, Francis Drake, Stanley Livingston and Ralph Fiennes, just to name a few. Have a look here:http://britainexplorer.com/british-explorers-the-top-ten/





Monday, 6 November 2017

WW2 Fallen 100: WW2 Fallen - MIA B-24 navigator Irwin "Zipper" Zae...

Another tragic story of sacrifice and bravery...

WW2 Fallen 100: WW2 Fallen - MIA B-24 navigator Irwin "Zipper" Zae...: Lt. Irwin Zaetz volunteered to fill in for a sick navigator on the B-24 Hot As Hell for his final, fatal mission. https://www.findagrave...




Carrying Fire: September 3, 1917-2017This date, September 3, 201...

Carrying Fire: September 3, 1917-2017
This date, September 3, 201...
: September 3, 1917-2017 This date, September 3, 2017,  marks the 100th birthday of my father, B-17 pilot Lt. Donald R. Christensen.  ...

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

Image result for kiplin hall
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.





Image result for Alexander Graham Bell
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/