The American Civil War by John Keegan

The largest war fought on the North American continent and the bloodiest war for the United States, the Civil War is a huge part of the heritage of every American.

John Keegan is among the most respected historians of this age.  So what do we get when a great British writer explores the greatest of American wars? Join me for a look at an irresistible history. Continue reading

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A Day at Patriot’s Point

I’m just back home after a week long vacation to Charleston, SC.  My wife would probably go on about the architecture, the awesome food or the perfect weather we had.  But we all know the real point is military history!

Lucky for me, my wife was a good sport about giving me one full day at Patriot’s Point, home of the USS Yorktown and USS Laffey.  We also did the afternoon excursion out to Fort Sumter.

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A view of Charleston from Fort Sumter. The fort was badly damaged during the Civil War; it was later repaired, but only the first level, two levels above were lost. In an 1890s modernization the black structure I’m standing on was added. It held a battery of 2 12 inch guns in disappearing mounts. For World War II nerds that’s the same sort of fortification used in the Manila Bay defenses. The guns are long gun, but the structure is interesting.

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The USS Yorktown, CV10. This is the oldest aircraft carrier still in existence (Barely, the Intrepid, CV11, is also a museum).

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Model of the Yorktown in World War II configuration.

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Model of the IJN Soryu as it appeared at Midway. The museum was loaded with excellent models.

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Douglass SBD Dauntless.

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Grumman F4F-3A Wildcat.

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Vought F4U-1D Corsair.

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Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat.

A favorite part of the exhibits to me was that they had a couple of older variants (-3A Wildcat and -3 Hellcat).  It is a fascinating look into so many areas of a wartime aircraft carrier, from living quarters, dentist office to engine room.
And don’t forget the CMH display and the USS Laffey (the ship that survived seven kamikaze strikes).

A highly recommended way to spend a day!

 

Posted in Museums, Uncategorized | Tagged | 16 Comments

Sd.Kfz. 250/3

This light armored half-track saw service from early 1941 to the end of the War.

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Join me for a brief look at this German fighting vehicle. Continue reading

Posted in Armor, Germany | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt

In the last year or so of World War II camouflage was not really a big concern for Allied forces any longer.  That, combined with more time and resources led to many young men going to extreme lengths with the decoration of their war machines.

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Join me for a look at one spectacular example from late in the European War. Continue reading

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Radical Integrity: The Story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Michael Van Dyke

In some ways this book is tangential to the military history I usually read.  Yet the epic of World War II influenced, shaped or ruined people from all walks of life.  In that sense it isn’t too far afield to talk about one of the great theologians of the 20th Century who lived through most of the Nazi era in Germany.

Join me for a brief look at a fascinating biography. Continue reading

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Pearl Harbor by Craig Nelson

So far on this site I’ve posted less than a dozen book reviews, yet I find myself now revisiting the Pearl Harbor raid.  No doubt this is an important and complicated event!

Join with me for a second look at this pivotal battle. Continue reading

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Arado Ar234B-2

Although the race for jet fighters usually gets most of the attention for late war aircraft designs, other types were developed too.

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Join me for a brief look at the tail end of the global war and the first jet bomber to enter service. Continue reading

Posted in Bomber - Tactical, Germany | Tagged , , | 12 Comments