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John Kettler

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This will delight all of you with an interest in the Medieval period, looking at it from the not at all exclusively military perspective of knights. Got into this via a gaming colleague who put up one from the series dealing with what a knight ate. Guarantee it'll reframe your perspectives on the food of the period, especially if you watch the others covering the food from higher and lower than that. Am now starting through the series from the top.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMjlDOf0UO9wSijFqPE9wBw

Regards,

John Kettler

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Judging from various replies here, things I've read and the trailer, "White Tiger" absolutely sucked, but I just got through watching the 2 1/3 hour long Russian version (called "The Tank) with English subtitles and was both impressed and swept into the story. Got creepy at times. The Tiger 1 VISMOD was hugely impressive frontally, but suffered from the limits of the chassis otherwise in terms of shape. The film showed tank warfare in ways "Fury" couldn't touch and was the embodiment of Russian fatalism and mysticism, somehow coexisting with Communism. The atmosphere, terrain, the sets, uniforms and so much more felt and looked spot on, the camera work was great, and it was a real treat to be able to read the English subtitles, hear the Russians speaking Russia, the Germans speaking German and know enough of both to be able to broadly confirm that the foreign language dialogue was correct. Also correct was the Russian Designation of German tanks using "T" followed by a number. Can confirm this is correct because I read the exact same format in translated Russian documents discussing combating the German tanks in terms of lessons learned to be applied in the 1970s.

Practically lost my mind over the simply astounding range and number of AFVs, alive and dead, which beggar description. That's before adding in artillery! Can't think of any war movie I've ever seen with so many AFVs of such sprawling diversity as to type, country of origin and when built. Those with weak stomachs or PTSD should stay away from this film, for the depiction of the horrors resulting from a tank being hit is unflinching, whether shown or talked about. There was one great tableau after another in the film, enough to make a bunch of award winning dioramas. This is a portrayal of war without romanticism, and it faithfully portrays all kinds of things in the Red Army that I know to be true. Especially like the highly mixed ethnicities of the crew. The tank duels were ridiculous (as crewed the Russian tank would've been a sitting duck in terms of ability to find targets), but watching the protagonist horse that tank around was fascinating, and I note that some ordnance issues were correctly depicted. There was a tank misidentification, and ammo used in the duel was wrong, too, but we're talking an error rate of low percentage relative to the outrageous and numerous ones typically seen in US war movies for decades. The ending was great and oh so Russian. Highly recommned hitting the link and watching the movie in its proper form.

Regards,

John Kettler

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The story of Panfilov's 28 men was apparently a Party fabrication to keep morale up when Moscow was in grave jeopardy, but this 2016 crowd-funded depiction is nevertheless a well done war movie. The weaponry depicted is period correct, with the exception of never seeing infantry MG-34s in action. No idea why. That said, MP-38/40s seemed to correspond to the correct one per squad. Found this movie engrossing and gripping.
 


Regards,

John Kettler

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Posted (edited)

Am no Monty fan (nor MacArthur, either), but I liked this a lot.
 

On a more serious note, remember that gigantic Waterloo game? Be sure to read the audit notes in the first comment.
 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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In reading comments on YT ref videos of today's Independence Day event in DC, I noticed both bafflement and disappointment in comments that the parade was not the parade they'd been expecting, especially with all the uproar ref tanks. I expected Abrams and Bradleys rolling down the street myself, but it occurred to me that a military parade not necessarily be of that sort. Troops parade for inspection, for example, but that's not the same as the familiar pass in review before the CO and distinguished visitors. Believe it would've been cool to take a slice of American military history and have representative units, properly equipped, from the beginnings of the US military to today, march, ride, roll or drive past. That would've provided useful education and attracted crowd interest and excitement. That said, it was a real treat to see several band units wearing AWI kit perform. There was, though, a lot of American military history (and the Coast Guard's) in the president's speech, full of info most Americans have, I'm sure, never been exposed to. Also got to see Philadelphia's program, and that city has a military band continuously operating since--wait for it--1758, along with others not much more recent, all in period uniforms. Unlike in Washington, DC, Philly had the kind of parade people think of.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Posted (edited)

Erwin,

If you mean Independence Day activities in DC or elsewhere, YT has them.

In other news, was shocked to see a news report about the Magnitude 6.4 in California. Took them forever to say where it was located:  out past Ridgecrest, which itself is quite a distance northeast of Los Angeles. Be that as it may, I wanted to provide a tool for translating magnitudes into someting we can relate KTs of yield. The The 6.4 alone was the equivalent of a 4 MT nuclear detonation in terms of energy released, although vastly longer in duration than the instantaneous release from a nuke. Here is the KKI (Kelly Kiloton Index).

https://english.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Kiloton.pdf

Regards,

John Kettler
 

Edited by John Kettler

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3 hours ago, Erwin said:

Hmm...  Earthquake looks like in center of China Lake Warfare Center.  Wonder what they were up to?  Something to research?

That whole area is seismically active. BTW, NPR reports, 

Quote

Southern California was hit by another big earthquake at 8:19 p.m. local time Friday. The U.S. Geological Survey reported the magnitude as 7.1 with a shallow depth of about 10.5 miles.

It was centered near the same Mojave Desert site as the 6.4 quake on Thursday and near the small city of Ridgecrest.

"We haven't had an earthquake this size in 20 years," seismologist Lucy Jones told reporters at Cal Tech Friday, speaking of earthquakes in Southern California. 

Aftershocks followed and more and expected over the coming days. A USGS official said people should expect at least one more of magnitude 6.1 or higher. Jones wrotethere is a 10% chance California's Searles Valley will experience another earthquake of at least magnitude 7.

Michael

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Lived in LA for many years so have enjoyed many of the big quakes there.  :)    So long as one is situated on hard rock rather than soft soil they can be quite fun - and little or no damage to property.

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Brother George, who did 20 years in Scouts, with the first chunk in Germany as a Gunner and later, Platoon Sergeant on a Bradley M3 CFV, found this marvelous promo film FMC (which built the Bradley) produced showcasing the Bradley and how it fit into the Army's warfare concept. There are some mistakes in it, such as saying the Bradley was the first US armored vehicle to be fitted with TOW (remember the TOW mounted on the M113 and the later TOW ITV?) and completely forgot to mention its defensive "smoke" capability (much more sophisticated than that--visual and thermal screening, with near instantaneous deployment) and its incredible  onboard fire detection and suppression system which could stop an RPG hit to the fighting compartment from killing the crew from blast and thermal effects. This was built by Hughes, as was the ISU (Integrated Sight Unit, which combined daylight and thermal capabilities). Hughes built the TOW as well. The Bradley then was fast and agile, but I wonder how big the hits have been to both from all the added armor?
 

Regards,

John Kettler

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If you like obscure WW II armor, this is a great article (replete with B/W and color images, as well as a diorama with one) of the UE combined with the PaK 36. It is so groggy that there are discourses on the various observed configurations of the mount and stowage basket!

Regards,

John Kettler

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank goodness there was no passenger! Regardless, the driver missed disaster by inches. Wonder if he has the car insurance from the outfit that makes commercials about all sorts of odd claim events?

Erwin,

A close friend of mine was in the Northridge quake. It swallowed half of his apartment, including his library, and he found himself walking uphill, in the dark, barefoot, over his glass strewn floor and was barely able to get out of the partially collapsed passageway, only to emerge to find outside flooded from the upheaved pool, which had a live power line in it! There was apparently some surgery done on the reported magnitude, too, because it was originally reported as something like a 7.3, which soon disappeared (replaced by a high M 6), according to a longtime colleague. Was told later that certain things go into effect following a Magnitude 7 or higher quake, one of which is that they are required to cease collecting taxes. Time and again I've seen high magnitude quakes derated, while some have simply vanished. Have seen this myself and in numerous reports over the years from lay people who monitor quakes. 

This guy does phenomenal work on analyzing and predicting quakes.
 

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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On 7/11/2019 at 3:15 PM, John Kettler said:

Brother George, who did 20 years in Scouts, with the first chunk in Germany as a Gunner and later, Platoon Sergeant on a Bradley M3 CFV, found this marvelous promo film FMC (which built the Bradley) produced showcasing the Bradley and how it fit into the Army's warfare concept.

Nice video.  It was interesting to see the gun ports on the Bradley so weapons (M16s ?) could be fired from inside the vehicle.  :D     

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Originally it was the M231 FPW:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M231_Firing_Port_Weapon

Not sure if they were ever changed to accept standard small arms TBH.  :unsure:

Interesting.  From the linked article. 

by 1979 the finalized weapon was adopted as the M231.

Although most of the Bradley AFV's ports have since been removed, these weapons are maintained, and are used by crews for self-defense, close-quarters situations, and for firing from the rear door firing ports as intended.

Now to see if infantry can fire out the back of a Bradley in game .................. 

EDIT to add:  Nope.  Checked both CMBS and CMSF2.  The UI will allow you to assign a Target or Target Light order to infantry inside the vehicle but they will not fire until dismounted.  In game the back doors of the Bradley have the firing ports (nice detail).  The crew and passengers don't have the M231 so can't use the ports I suppose.  And even if the crew had the M231 if they were given a Target order they would, of course, fire the Brad's weapons.   

I was just curious.  The game is so detailed, you never know.  I remember how surprised I was to learn that the rear facing machine gun on the back of the Soviet IS-2 tank actually fired.  :)    

Edited by MOS:96B2P

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Found a great article called "American Gunners at Yorktown" while trying to get info on a book about famous artillery actions and gunners. The article is superbly sourced. As it happens, their handiwork is there for all to see in the pylon supporting the spiral walkway to the viewing platform. Cannon portions on the American side of the embrasure are chewed up, with some having muzzle gouges and even scars well down the barrel.Imagine how many guns were smashed by direct hits on the muzzle, trunnions, gun carriage, as well as the crew casualties, despite earthworks and gabions. 

https://allthingsliberty.com/2017/05/american-gunners-yorktown/

Regards,

John Kettler

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Made a great find today while looking at the sidebar on Tank Archives. There's an IPMS Special Interest Group site called War on Wheels which specifically focuses on armored cars and other wheeled fighting vehicles. It is the premier site on the topic and is searchable by country and vehicle and also has a model section. This looks to be great from both an informational standpoint or for things like skins.

http://www.warwheels.net/index.html

Regards,

John Kettler

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From the press you have been finding it seems like detailed modeling is taking off as a leisure activity.  Can wargaming and the big bucks that brings in be far behind?

 

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Posted (edited)

Erwin,

Don't know what the current plastic model annual sales are, still less with everything also needed thrown in, but to me, from highly limited exposure, the hobby seems robust in terms of the vast array of kits, many from outfits which didn't exist until recently. Also, may kits now ship with etched brass parts and such once reserved for specialty add-ons from various small manufacturers, but the prices have soared, too. That said, there is almost certainly a dearth of youngsters. If by wargaming you mean board games, minis and all the other items needed to pursue those hobbies, that is a substantial market, and Games Workshop is an impressive business by any standard and apparently one of the hottest UK stocks to boot. 

As for the captured guns, it's proving difficult to find pictures at all, let alone what I need. The few I've managed to turn up show how the gun barrels are displayed as you ascend to the observation platform overlooking the Surrender Field, but not the right guns.

https://www.sharesmagazine.co.uk/news/shares/games-workshop-upgrades-again-why-engaging-its-customers-has-been-its-secret-weapon

Andy,

That is a pretty cool site, but it's not the current one and has unfortunately, it's been "improved" by switching to a slick design and veritable microtype, making readability a real issue for many. I HATE site changes of this sort, calling them "the triumph of design over functionality." To give you some idea, only about half of the page width is now used.  

Regards,

John Kettler

The section Models at War on Wheels is wonderful, but the thumbnails to get to the pics are tiny. Even so, you'll see things there I guarantee you've never encountered before. Absolutely worth the trip!

Edited by John Kettler

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5 hours ago, John Kettler said:

there is almost certainly a dearth of youngsters.

Wargaming miniatures has gone the way of RR modeling.  That used to be for kids when I wuz one.  Now it's an expensive hobby which has become the preserve of relatively well-off oldsters who have the money (and time). 

Young folks these days are just trying to keep their heads above the mountains of debt they have been saddled with (largely from going to those ridiculous new 3rd rate "universities/colleges" that have proliferated to make money and churn out poorly educated folks with useless degrees).

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