Incredibly, it’s 75 years since Pearl Harbor and war in the Pacific

It’s 75 years since Japanese aircraft attacked the US Navy at Pearl Harbor – triggering the Pacific war that finally ended in August 1945 after the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Where does the time go? For all the infamy of the moment, it wasn’t quite a total surprise. Relations between Japan and the … More Incredibly, it’s 75 years since Pearl Harbor and war in the Pacific

Why ships are more than just steel and lists of statistics

There’s a vigorous naval enthusiast community out there. And it’s always intrigued me how often their discussions devolve to bitterly personalised argument, often infused with a kind of nationalist machismo in which paper statistics become weapons for invalidating the personal worth of the other party. Setting aside the point that this is basically dick-waving, using … More Why ships are more than just steel and lists of statistics

Stranger battleships than British ones, and other odd stuff

I posted a year or two back about some of the oddest British battleships ever built – engineering weirdness that always had a rational explanation but ended up creating some very strange and quirky vessels indeed. I was careful to specify ‘British’ because their oddities were actually quite sane by comparison with designs concocted by … More Stranger battleships than British ones, and other odd stuff

What if Germany had won the First World War in autumn 1914?

I pointed out in an earlier post that a German victory in 1918 would have always been marginal because by then all combatants had been run down by the strains of war. Revolution simmered in Germany and the chances of Ludendorff’s military junta continuing to rule without compromise or change afterwards seem slim. What of … More What if Germany had won the First World War in autumn 1914?

It’s a century since Britain’s advance on the Somme

A century ago – 1 July 1916 – British soldiers climbed out of their trenches on the Somme front and began advancing towards trenches held by the German Fourth Army. So opened the huge Somme offensive, a combined British-French effort to break the German lines and push through into open country beyond. The plan seemed … More It’s a century since Britain’s advance on the Somme