David Knights' Weblog

February 19, 2012

Book review: Naval Battles of the First World War

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:51 pm
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Naval Battles of the First World War
By Geoffrey Bennett
ISBN 1 84415 300 2
320 pgs
Review by D. M. Knights, IPMS/USA 17656, IPMS/Canada C6091
One of the reasons I model is that I have an avid interest in military history.  Modeling serves as an outlet for bringing that history to life is some small way.  My interest in military history is pretty wide ranging.  However, there are many areas of military history that I have little information on, yet I find interesting.  Lately, I’ve been trying to expand my knowledge by reading books on some of these areas that I haven’t learned much about previously.
One area I’ve always wanted to know more about is WWI naval battles.  Who doesn’t love the big Dreadnought-style battleships?  I was in Half Price Books and came across this book which for $4.99 seemed to fill the bill to expand my knowledge in this area.
The book was originally published in 1968, and was reissued by its current publisher, Pen & Sword, in 2005.  The author, who served in the Royal Navy, has written several books on naval subjects.  Quite naturally the author starts with a brief overview of the navies of Germany and Great Britain prior to the outbreak of WWI.  After this, the book dives right into the outbreak of the war and the initial naval battles that occurred.  Neither side was prepared for the outbreak of war and many of the ships of each navy were out of position, in far flung places all over the globe.
The initial chapters of the book cover the British attempts to locate and bring to battle the German cruisers that were cruising in the Mediterranean, Pacific and South Atlantic.  Conversely, the Germans were attempting to shake their British pursuers and wreak havoc on British and allied shipping.
Of course, the meat of the book is devoted to the British attempts to bring on a general engagement with the German High Seas Fleet in the North Sea.  The battle that everyone expected to happen at the beginning of the war didn’t end up happening for over two years.  Despite frequent German raiding on the British coast, the British were unable to bring on a general engagement until the Battle of Jutland in 1916.  While the battle was essentially a draw, the German High Seas fleet did not emerge again to risk a general engagement until just before the end of the war in 1918.  No other general engagement did end up occurring before the war ended and the Germans ended up surrendering and then scuttling the major units of the fleet in British waters in 1919.
The one area only briefly mentioned by the book is the German U-boat war and the attempts to cut Britain off and starve the country into submission.  Of course, that subject would require a book all unto itself.
This was a quick and compelling read.  I enjoyed it and learned a lot about a subject that I hadn’t known much about.  I highly recommend the book, especially for the price.  By the way, numerous models have come out recently in 350th scale of these WW I battleships.  Trumpeter has even recently released a WW I Queen Elizabeth class battleship in 700th scale.  To my knowledge, this is the first time a WW I battleship has been released in injection molded plastic.  This book will serve as inspiration for building any of these kits.

February 18, 2012

1000th Post

Filed under: General — dknights @ 12:36 pm

Yep, this is it.  The one thousandth post.  I started this version of the blog about 4 years ago and have had about 25K views in that time.  Last year I had  8K view, or about 22 views a day.  Hopefully 2012 will bring more folks by.  Sometime soon I will go back and read all 1000 posts, since I am sure I have forgotten many of them.

February 17, 2012

What has become of Great Britain

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 12:32 pm
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Further proof that things are getting a little crazy across the pond.   I read some of these stories out of Great Britain and wonder what has become of our mother country.

February 16, 2012

Beer review: 312 Urban Wheat Ale

Filed under: Beer — dknights @ 12:53 pm
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Recently I was able to have a bottle of this beer from Goose Island Brewery.  I think I’ve had a beer fro Goose Island before, but I don’t remember which one.

In any event, the Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale, is, as the name implies, a wheat beer.  Wheat beers and hard ciders are my favorite types of “beers”.  This one is a pleasant light golden color with a mild aroma.  It has a very mild taste with very little hoppiness.  It went well with guacamole and chips.  My only complaint was that there seemed to be a very slight metallic aftertaste.  All in all, I liked this and would drink it again.


February 15, 2012

Space news

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 12:11 pm
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Here is an interview with SpaceX CEO on their reusable rocket.  Interesting.

February 14, 2012

Even more A380 trouble

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 12:07 pm
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More wing cracks have been discovered and now the entire A380 fleet is undergoing inspection.  I suspect that the Boeing 747 sales team is about to have an order bonanza.

February 13, 2012

Criminals are idiots

Filed under: Legal — dknights @ 12:13 pm
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Most people outside the legal system don’t realize just how dumb criminals are.  If you want an example, here is one for you.  Thank god this guy is off the streets.

February 12, 2012

Photos on the net (Su-35)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:25 pm
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Here is a photo of the Su-35, the newest iteration of Su-27 Flanker.  The photo is from a while ago, but I’m just getting around to posting it.  I love the blues used in the camo scheme.



February 11, 2012

Jim Bates blogs again

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:50 pm
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After a quiet January, our favorite Ohio attorney/modeler is blogging up a storm.  Lots of great posts going on over at Jim’s place.  Click on over and check them out.

February 10, 2012

Magazine review: Small Air Forces Observer Vol. 35 #3 (139)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:39 pm
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I’ve reviewed a lot of the previous issues of SAFO over the years, so generally those same comments apply to the latest issue.  Great organization.  Good magazine with info on subjects you aren’t likely to find elsewhere.

In this issue we have the third part of the article on the North Korean People’s Air Force in the Korean war.  This is a lightly covered subject generally so it is nice to have the information supplied in this three part article.

There is a short article on the Buffaloes of ML-KNIL, which is a subject that SAFO returns to time and again.  I suspect that I have more info on that subject in my collection of SAFOs than in all my other references combined.

There is a nice article on the air fleet stationed in Spitsbergen, which are islands that are part of Norway and are above the arctic circle.  No where else but SAFO would you find info like this.

For WWI fans there is an article on all the multi-engine bombers that came down in the Netherlands in WWI.  A surprising number of these giants landed or crashed on Dutch soil during the war.

Oh, and a final note.  SAFO, which is traditionally a black and white publication, will be making a color electronic version available to subscribers for a small fee.  All the more reason to join SAFCH.

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