David Knights' Weblog

May 10, 2017

Chinese people in Roman Britain

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:26 pm
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This is interesting.  If correct, it would indicate that ethnic Chinese were in Britain at the time of the Romans.  It is known that the Romans and Chinese traded, mostly thru intermediaries, but this would indicate more than that.  Very interesting.

January 24, 2017

Luftwaffe blog

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:45 am
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Thanks to friend of the blog, Jeff Groves, I found this website.  I’d never seen it before, but if you are a Luftwaffe modeler, this site is a must visit.

January 22, 2017


Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:47 pm
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If you like Japanese WWII aircraft, like I do, this is a website you should visit regularly.

December 5, 2016

Book review: Operation Archery, Commandos and the Vaagso Raid 1941

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:49 pm
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archery-coverBook review: Operation Archery, Commandos and the Vaagso Raid 1941
By Ken Ford
80 Pages

Review by D.M. Knights

After the British were driven from continental Europe in 1940, Winston Churchill realized that the British Army would not be strong enough to return for years, yet he saw the need for attacks on the continent in order to maintain a credible threat to Germany and to give hope to the occupied countries.  Churchill had an obsessive focus on Norway ever sense the outbreak of WWII, with disastrous consequences in the Norwegian campaign of April-May 1940.  Now however, Norway made sense as an area where the hit and run raids contemplated by Churchill could be implemented.

The raid on Vaagso seems a bit weird at first blush as the target wasn’t a radar, gun emplacement or airfield, but rather the target were several fish oil plants.  While fish oil plants don’t seem particularly military, the fish oil was used to make vitamin supplements which U-boat crews needed due to the lack of sunlight exposure.  Also the fish oil was used to make glycerin, a vital component of explosives.

The town of South Vaagso on Vaagso Island had 4 or 5 fish oil plans.  The island was just off the mainland of Norway and was guarded by a small infantry detachment of the Wehrmacht 181st Inf. Div. as well as some naval troops.  There were also 6 ancient 10.5cm WWI era German guns on the Island of Maaloy which lay next to the town of South Vaagso and protected its harbor.

This book does an excellent job, in its 80 pages of telling the story of the preparation for the raid, the raid itself and its aftermath.  It is an exciting tale well worth devoting an hour or two reading the book.  In addition to a well told story the book is illustrated with maps which help make the story clear, as well as many photos most taken during the raid as the British sent along combat photographers so they could exploit the propaganda value of the raid.

I particularly enjoy small unit action stories.  This makes this particular book even more enjoyable.  If you enjoy the story, you can also read the old Bantam War Book, The Vaagso Raid by Jospeh H. Devins, Jr. which was first published back in 1968.  It makes a nice companion to the Osprey Operation Archery book.

November 19, 2016

Sad news

Filed under: General — dknights @ 10:53 pm
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Who would do such a thing?

October 9, 2016

The Civil War isn’t ever over

Filed under: General — dknights @ 10:09 pm
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At least not with cannonballs showing up 150+ years later.

October 4, 2016

Touring a pre-dreadnought battleship

Filed under: Modeling,Technology — dknights @ 11:34 pm
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A neat virtual tour.  (H/T Jeff Groves)

October 2, 2016

A hero unhonored

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:09 am
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It is a shame that, even with a letter from his opponent, the Australian government won’t honor this hero.

September 15, 2016

Alton Frazer’s FG-1D

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:43 am
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Amazingly this WWII pilot was able to get back home in this heavily damaged aircraft.  Anyone know of any other photos of the plane?



September 11, 2016

P-51s in ANG service

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 2:03 pm
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I have a special interest in ANG aircraft.  This blog, which is neat in some many respects, has a great article on the P-51 in ANG service.

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