David Knights' Weblog

October 16, 2020

The 1942 raid on Oslo

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:17 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Listeners to the podcast know that I am engaged in a group build of the Tamiya Mosquito.  Because I have a great interest in the invasion of Norway in 1940, and the subsequent occupation, I decided to build one of the aircraft that participated in the 1942 raid on the gestapo headquarters in Oslo.  These four aircraft were from 105 Squadron and were the first use of the new Mosquito that were acknowledged in the British press.

The raid was not exactly a success.  However it was the first of many of these precision strikes including the Arhaus raid and the Shellhaus raid.  In fact, the Oslo raid was repeated in late 1944.

I am a fan of Stan Stokes prints, and here is a print of the raid.

More on the raid here.

This is the building today.

More here.

February 15, 2020

Book review: Gloster Gladiator Aces

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Gloster Gladiator Aces
Osprey of the Aces #44
Author: Andrew Thomas
ISBN 1 84176 289 X
Publication year 2002
Pgs 96

The Gloster Gladiator was the last RAF biplane fighter put into service. It was also the last biplane fighter to see combat service with the RAF. While most people tend to think of the Gladiator as proceeding the Hurricane and Spitfire, it actually was developed and built almost contemporaneously with those other two, more famous aircraft. The Gladiator was a progressive development of Gloster’s Gauntlet biplane fighter and it was developed and ordered as an insurance policy in case the more radical Hurricane and Spitfire failed to live up to expectations. They didn’t, and as a result the Gladiator had a very limited front line service with RAF home fighter squadrons, with only a couple of squadrons seeing limited service in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. However, the Gladiator saw more extensive service in the Mediterranean, Greece, Egypt and east Africa. In addition, the Gladiator was used by the Greek, Chinese, Belgian, Norwegian and Finnish air forces. Most famously, the naval version, the Sea Gladiator saw limited but vital service on Malta, constituting its only air defense for several months after Italy’s entry into WWII

This book is in the classic Osprey format.  It starts with a history of the aircraft and then flows naturally into discussion of the use of the aircraft in a particular theater, highlighting the stories and combats of some of the pilots who became aces flying the aircraft.  in addition, in the center of the book there are 9 pages of color side view illustrations of some of the aircraft flown by the pilots whose stories are told in the book.

While the book is by no means comprehensive it is an excellent introduction to the Gladiator and its combat history. While a little expensive if purchased at full price ($18) the titles in this series can often be purchase at a discount if you shop around.  I recommend the book to anyone wanting a basic introduction to the Gladiator’s combat experiences in WWII.

January 30, 2020

The amazing stuff you find on YouTube

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:38 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Was doing some research and found the video below.  It is from a French officer’s home movies that he took while participating in the 1940 Battle for Norway.  Freaking amazing!

September 26, 2019

So much history

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

There is so much WWII history that I have never heard of.  Here is a small example.

July 6, 2019

Wild story

Filed under: General — dknights @ 4:46 am
Tags: , , , ,

I would never have though of foxes migrating between Norway and Canada.  Amazing.

April 8, 2019

Russian GPS spoofing

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 2:15 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The Russians have been engaging in GPS signal manipulation for some time now.  The Norwegians have been complaining about it in northern Norway.  I suspect that in this case it is part of security measures, which may say a lot about how safe Putin feels.

November 8, 2018

Norway loses a ship

Filed under: Politics,Technology — dknights @ 6:00 pm
Tags: , , , ,

This is bad news.   Ouch!   Hopefully it can be re-floated and repaired.

June 14, 2018

Norway

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:39 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Nice articles on a Norwegian ace and Little Norway in Canada.

March 30, 2018

Norway 1940

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:14 am
Tags: , , , , ,

A really nice high level analysis of the British failures in the 1940 Norway campaign.  I don’t think it lays enough blame at the feet of Churchill, who deserves a huge amount of blame, but nonetheless it is a good overview.

June 7, 2017

Book review: The Doomed Expedition

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:05 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Book review: The Doomed Expedition
Author :Jack Adams
Publisher :Leo Cooper 1989
286 pgs

This book covers the British army efforts in the ill-fated but endlessly fascinating Norwegian campaign.  The author has a special knowledge of the subject as he was a participant as a member of the Sherwood Foresters battalion and was deployed to Norway during April and May of 1940.

While the invasion of Norway is often times referred to as the first Air-Land-Sea combined arms operation in history, this book’s focus is just on the British Army efforts in Norway.  It does cover allied army efforts (French, Polish and Norwegian) insofar as they were connected to the British efforts. The book also touches on the naval and air efforts of the allies from time to time but by no means presents the complete history of those efforts.  The book also only lightly touches on the political and strategic issues which led up to Norway being involuntarily dragged into a conflict she wanted no part of and tried hard to avoid.  As much of the political story doesn’t reflect well on the leaders of the United Kingdom, it is understandable that a British author might not want to dwell upon this area.

As with all coverage of the Norwegian campaign, the author is faced with the challenge of how to tell the story of operations in three divergent and only slightly connected areas (Navrik, Bodo, and Central Norway).  Different books take different approaches to this problem.  This author has chosen to tell the story by operational area rather than strictly chronologically.  The author resolves any confusion this creates by periodically reminding the reader what was occurring in other operational areas at the time where necessary.

The details of the story of the British efforts in Norway are compelling and frustrating at the same time.  It’s the story of bravery and incompetence and reaction rather than action.  At the time of the German invasion the British were prepared to move in a number of army units to “peacefully” occupy parts of Norway.  Yet, when the Germans struck, the British dithered and their half-hearted response came more than a week after the Germans had invaded, giving the Axis forces time to gain their balance and consolidate their hold on the initial invasion areas.

The Brits committed troops piecemeal and never in a concentration sufficient to achieve their aims.  In many cases, the upper echelons of command had no clear idea of what their aims even were.  As always in war, the troops were the ones to suffer.  They arrived in theatre without supporting equipment such as tanks, radios, sufficient anti-aircraft and regular artillery.  In the face of the overwhelming air superiority of the enemy, these deficiencies doomed the British efforts to failure even before they began; Thus, the title of this book.

While not strictly a book related to modeling, the stories are sure to provide some inspiration and could well lead a modeler to build a model or two from Operation Weserübung.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: