Archive for the ‘2009’ Category

Ships bell

Friday, May 1st, 2009
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One of the ships bells from the USS Hornet has be redescovered.

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20090501_Heart_of_a_warship_is_restored_to_glory.html

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The origin of the Lindberg “Q-ship/Raider” plastic ship model kit

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
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This kit has always been something of a puzzle. The ship is generic and has no name other than “Q-ship” or “Raider”. It is in no way related to the Aurora kit of the German raider ATLANTIS.

The Rajen ship kit list has the following comments:

http://www.quuxuum.org/rajens_list/shiprevs.html#Lindberg

http://www.quuxuum.org/rajens_list/shiprevs.html#LindQ

Q-ship (RN ??) {780M} [1/390?] (WW1?) Editor’s Note: Said to be 12 inches (30.5 cm) long. Classic Lindberg “box scale”. (DRW) Presumably identical to Decoy Ship kit.

http://www.quuxuum.org/rajens_list/shiprevs.html#LindDecoy Editor’s Note: The kit is said to be 12 inches long, and to have 41 parts. The picture on the box makes it look like a merchant ship of some type. (DRW) Decoy- or “Q-Ships” were WWI combatants; converted British merchantmen, specially equipped with hidden guns to lure and defeat early U-boats in surface gun action. Box art shows a nondescript but too-modern looking – perhaps ’30s or even ’40s vintage – merchantman. (MMS), review dated 5 February 2005.

POOR. I built this one as a child. The Decoy ship bears some resemblance to a circa 1000 grt WWI tramp, or at best possibly a “Hog Islander”. It has ‘arced’ (I should have said “scalloped”) rather than flat (I should have said “horizontal”) gunwales between the fo’c’s’le and the superstructure and the poop, indicating again it is a fairly small vessel. It is in in no way related to the Fleet Oiler kit. It had large cowl ventilators, and seemingly large portholes. The very crude guns are in square ‘box’ deckhouses that look like they have no reasonable function, so it is at best a concept, not a real depiction of any WWI (or WWII) decoy ship. Very crude and toylike. (Brooks), review dated 20 February 2006.

The initials and the name “Brooks” correspond to the various reviewers contributing to the Rajen ship model kit list, including myself.

A photo of an assembled, painted model can be seen here:

http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/misc/q-ship/350-mt/qship-mt- index.html

One was recently on Ebay, item 320352688098 and the parts on trees can be seen in photos. Also it can be seen the kit comes with a decal sheet showing US style hull numbers of “171”.

Well, this weekend at an antique mall I picked up the April 1942 issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine. It shows British P-40s in North Africa on the cover.

Many modern ship modelers do not remember that magazines like Mechanix Illustrated and Popular Mechanics often carried plans for scratch-building wooden ship (and other kinds of) models back in the 1930s through perhaps early 1950s. Wooden ship kits and plans were also sold in the classified advertisements in the back of these magazines.

In this issue of Mechanix Illustrated, the monthly model article is “Model Q-Ship, Sea Raider”, by Herbert Crozier. It is subtitled “Authentic model of the type of ‘mytery’ raider and submarine decoy used by both the Axis and the Allies in the Battle of the Atlantic.” This model uses bread-and-butter construction; plans for a 30″ long final product were available for $2.00 from Fawcett Publications, the parent company. A profile and deck plan and body plan templates are included which could be enlarged by the scale squares method if you had more time than money. What is most interesting is that the actual plan corresponds 98% to the Lindberg kit, both as I remember and as confirmed by the photograph above.

The magazine kit shows something more clearly meant as a radar, as there are trainable single torpedo tubes concealed at the aft end of the superstructure. I built this model in about 1965 and the remnants were disposed of years ago, I have no memory of this feature, only the guns concealed beneath their deck structures. One other thing I have no memory of from the Lindberg kit, but is shown in the magazine model, is that like many merchantmen, the magazine version of the ship carries a spare propellor, in this case mounted on the forward superstructure below the bridge. I don’t recall the Lindberg kit featuring that either, and the photo of the sprues and parts in the Ebay listing confirm that these features are not included in the plastic ship kit. But as for the rest, overall shape, placement of superstructure, ventilators, cranes, boats. and booms corresponds perfectly with the Lindberg kit. It thus becomes virtually certain that the Lindberg kit was created from these plans. The ebay box mentioned above also mentions 12 inches for the length and 1″ = 32 feet 6 inches for scale. (A direct lift of the plans in the magazine results in a model 10 inches long.) Using several deck houses, the guns, torpedo tubes, life rings, etc. for reference, I estimated an approximate scale for the wooden model as 1/130 and sure enough the Lindberg model is claimed to be 1″ = 32 ft 6 inches – 1/390!

One more thing these plans feature that the Lindberg kit does not – a name. Nowhere in the article, but on the plans, is the name “Crown Castle”, certainly a British name, and she carries a Red Ensign aft in the drawing. However. this name does not correspond to any RN WWI Q-ship.

However, having solved that one mystery, I have found a new one.

The Lindberg Q-ship also happens to strongly resemble in layout the USS ATIK (AK-101), es SS-CAROLYN, built in 1912, which was a real US Q-ship!

USS ATIK was indeed actually deployed as a Q-ship at the very beginning of US entry into WWII. Her DANFS entry online shows:

http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/a/atik.htm

Navsource photo here:

http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/171608.htm

She had a length of 382 ft – very close to the Lindberg model’s stated scale result – even more possible if her measurement is a perpendiculars vs an overall length. A rough calculation based on her dimensions and assuming block coefficient and total hull depths gives an estimate of 2500 gross tons (the figure on DANFS is listed as displacement, not registry).

As the DANFS entry explains, ATIK sailed 23 March 1942 – only to be sunk by a U-boat on 27 March.

CAROLYN/ATIK ‘looks’ to be a proportionately larger ship in some ways than the Lindberg kit or the Mechanix Illustrated model, having seemingly a longer midships section, and lacking the scalloped down bulwark/gunwales abeam the cargo hatches. This may be a sign that the Lindberg kit is slightly exaggerated vertically, which would make the kit overall look shorter. But this is a very large coincidence, because the article would have been prepared, prototype built, and plans published, all at about the same time that the actual SS CAROLYN was being converted to USS ATIK.

Perhaps this is just coincidence, as practically all small break-bulk freighters of this era had roughly similar engines amidships configurations. HOWEVER – it is certainly rather peculiar that the ship chosen to represent a Q-ship in the 1942 model plans happens to strongly remember a real US attempt at a Q-ship, both in size and in configuration details. It seems highly unlikely that details of the Mechanix illustrated model could have reached German hands so that the U-boat actually was warned – but it certainly has every appearance of a potential security leak of that day and age.

Brooks A Rowlett

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[mahan] Can anyone name them all? [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
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UNCLASSIFIED

I suspect that this tale is a bit of an urban myth. For one thing, the Anderson Shelters (the outdoor ones) used a lot more metal in toto, albeit this was galvanized sheet, than did the much smaller indoor Morrison shelters. For another, the Admiralty had decided curing the Munich Crises to follow the policy set in 1914 and to suspend or cancel all construction of ships expected to take 36 months or more to complete, should War come. Thus, in OCT 1939, work on the four LION class battleships was suspended. Construction on two of these had begun and these were left on the slipways until 1944 when the shards were dismantled. Construction on the other two had not begun, and these were cancelled in 1941. It is my understanding that no armor plate for any of these had actually been ordered though I would imagine that the manufacturers had been alerted of the schedule and requirements of the forthcoming orders.

Marc

Although VANGUARD was completed, but at a very slow rate with recycled 15-inch guns and turrets. She did not complete until 1946.

Further to the earlier discussion on this thread, there is evidence that IRON DUKE’s guns were not landed. In the Imperial War Museum book on Scapa Flow (full editorial details not to hand, unfortunately) a person serving on IRON DUKE during the war stated that 13.5-inch shells filled her magazines and wondered whether she was still expected to fire them.

If the writer wondered this, there must have still been guns on the ship to fire the ammunition. If the guns were ashore in CD mountings, it would be pointless to retain the ammunition in the ship.

Ric Pelvin IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Australian Defence Organisation and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914. If you have received this email in error, you are requested to contact the sender and delete the email.

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[mahan] Can anyone name them all?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
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Eric wrote “Bet the tank producers could have used some of the armored plate that went into the BBs we did build.)”

True to a point, but the Army still got more steel allocations than the Navy during the war.

Tim

v/r Dr. Timothy L. Francis Naval History and Heritage Command Histories and Archives Division Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060 (202) 685-0436

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anti-submarine warfare redux

Saturday, April 25th, 2009
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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/26/magazine/26drugs-t.html

offers a reasonably entertaining and interesting description of something I had imagined, but did not realize existed: little plastic-and-plywood ocean-going semi-submersibles. I wonder how long it takes to cross the Gulf at 7 knots.

— Jonathan Beard jbeard@panix.com

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[mahan] the Iron Duke, its guns, and its fate

Friday, April 24th, 2009
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Thank you for the reference Jonathan. It remains a mystery to me how the removal of the 13.5s and their installation ashore was carried out in a place fairly I where I would have thought appropriate lifting, carrying and installation materiel were scarce.

It would certainly make an interesting story.

Ric Pelvin > Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 10:21:14 -0400 > From: jbeard@panix.com > To: mahan@navalstrategy.org > Subject: [mahan] the Iron Duke, its guns, and its fate > > this seems to have complete information, and some nice photos. > > http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/Iron_Duke_Class_battleship_-_HMS_Iron_Duke > > Jonathan > > > *********************************************************** > Visit the Mahan Naval History Discussion List WebSite at: > http://www.navalstrategy.org > for info on Subscribing/Unsubscribing and Digest and > Links to other Sites of Naval Interest > *********************************************************** >

_________________________________________________________________ Looking for a fresh way to share photos? Get the new Windows Live Messenger. http://download.live.com/

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the Iron Duke, its guns, and its fate

Friday, April 24th, 2009
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this seems to have complete information, and some nice photos.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/Iron_Duke_Class_battleship_-_HMS_Iron_Duke

Jonathan

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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
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Here are Oscar Parkes’s words on the last years of the Iron Duke:

“Reduced to gunnery and boys training ship under London Treaty ’31-’32, when B and Y turrets, conning tower, belt armour and torpedo tubes were removed and boiler power reduced. Speed 18 knots. In 1939 removed to Scapa Flow and guns used for shore defence. As a depot ship was injured by near misses from bombs 17 October ’39 and bottomed, but continued in service. Sold March 1946.”

I took that to mean guns removed for shore defence, but the words could also mean that the ship was positioned so that its remaining guns were usable as shore defence.

Pelvin, Richard MR wrote: > UNCLASSIFIED > > As a gunnery training ship IRON DUKE actually retained six of her 13.5 > inch guns and some of her 6 inch. ISTR she was also used for trials and > at one stage mounted twin 4 inch BD mounting that was the prototype for > the 4.5 inch BD. > > CENTURION lost her all her guns as a target ship. > > > Ric Pelvin > > > > There was even an Iron Duke, the Iron Duke, existing in September, 1939, > but without its guns. > > > IMPORTANT: This email remains the property of the Australian Defence > Organisation and is subject to the jurisdiction of section 70 of the > Crimes Act 1914. If you have received this email in error, you are > requested to contact the sender and delete the email. > > > *********************************************************** > Visit the Mahan Naval History Discussion List WebSite at: > http://www.navalstrategy.org > for info on Subscribing/Unsubscribing and Digest and > Links to other Sites of Naval Interest > *********************************************************** > > > >

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[mahan] counting ships [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
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UNCLASSIFIED

The 70 cruisers occurred to me too.

The statement by Blackman is interesting. On the face of it, it seems to be saying ‘it has been considered that we need 70 cruisers but we only have 23’.

It seems that Blackman might have been living in the past. The threat to seaborne trade in the late ’50s was not something that could be countered by 70 cruisers.

I remember _The World’s Warships_ well. I had, and still have, a well thumbed 1963 edition. It provided a useful summary of the major warships of the world at the time.

I didn’t have any Fletcher Pratt naval stuff. He was not as well known down this end of the planet. But I did have _Rockets, Jets, Guided Missiles and Space Ships_ which he co-authored in the late ’50s with Jack Scoggins or Coggins, forward by Willy Ley.

Ric Pelvin

So, I still wonder about that 70 number. The only time I have seen that number connected to the Royal Navy is this:

“Great Britain now has 23 cruisers. Jellicoe estimated the number of cruisers necessary for the protection of British seaborne trade to be an absolute minimum of 70, a figure not attained since 1919.”

This comes from Raymond V. B. Blackman, The World’s Warships, Hanover House edition, 1957. Bought in either 1957 or 58, it was the second warship book I ever owned. The first, acquired as a gift in 1956, when I turned 8, was Fletcher Pratt’s The Monitor and the Merrimac.

Jonathan Beard

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counting ships

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
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Pelvin, Richard MR wrote: > UNCLASSIFIED > > _The Great Ships_ is a reprint of Peter C. Smith’s -_The Great Ships > Pass_, published, I think, by William Kimber in the ’70s. IIRC it was a > history of the last years of the British battleship. It was not reviewed > with overwhelming favour at the time, but I doubt Smith would make an > error as egregious as that.

I am sure that Peter Smith would not make such an egregious mistake, but I was surprised to see that the Amazon.com person who wrote the message to me would make it. I get several messages a week from Amazon mentioning new books in the fields–military history, culinary history, cryptography, etc.–that I have bought books in. Usually they are pretty accurate, as they should be. Unlike the hurried newspaper journalist who refers to the USS Bainbridge as a “battleship,” the promo people at amazon, like good bookstore clerks, try to convince you that they know about this book, and they think you would want it. My experience has been that if you buy a book about Mustangs, you will get promos for any new book about them, plus books about Lightnings and Thunderbolts, but not a promo for a book about SPADs.

So, I still wonder about that 70 number. The only time I have seen that number connected to the Royal Navy is this:

“Great Britain now has 23 cruisers. Jellicoe estimated the number of cruisers necessary for the protection of British seaborne trade to be an absolute minimum of 70, a figure not attained since 1919.”

This comes from Raymond V. B. Blackman, The World’s Warships, Hanover House edition, 1957. Bought in either 1957 or 58, it was the second warship book I ever owned. The first, acquired as a gift in 1956, when I turned 8, was Fletcher Pratt’s The Monitor and the Merrimac.

Jonathan Beard

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