12/18/14

The Ethiopian Army At Adowa

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Like many tribal societies, the ethnic groups of Ethiopia put a strong emphasis on martial ability. Boys were trained from early childhood in the use of the sword, spear and shield. Every man yearned to own a gun, not just for what it would do for him on the battlefield, but also for hunting. The Italians faced an Ethiopian army larger and more organized than in all of its recent history. Menelik had centralized and streamlined the taxation system, bringing in more goods to the central government. This allowed Menelik to keep a larger standing army, and support a huge temporary army at need. Most taxes were in kind – food or labour that went directly to support the soldiers. Menelik also ordered an extensive geographical survey in order to increase revenue, and to identify land that could be given to soldiers as a reward. His government also enjoyed the revenue from customs duties on ever-increasing international trade.

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12/18/14

The Principality of Antioch

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Although Antioch survived as a Christian enclave in northern Syria until 1268, its Norman inheritance lasted only a generation from the conquest. In 1130, Bohemond II died in battle at Mamistra, in Cilicia, the last of the Hauteville line. The first few years of the principality’s existence had proved to be precarious. Antioch faced threats from three main directions, although they also presented opportunities for expansion. To the north lay Cilician Armenia, disputed with the Byzantines; to the east Aleppo and its Muslim rulers was its most determined rival; while the southern border was contested with the Banu-Munquidh, ruling Shaizir on the Orontes. In addition, players from further afield, both Muslim and Christian, had influential roles on occasion.

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12/18/14

Soviet Harassment with Berlin 1948 I

342349_v5mtq0uifcnii8d0zkk0pah6uMoscow reacted to the failure of the London foreign ministers’ meeting by calling into question Western rights in Berlin. The Soviet-licensed Berlin daily, Tägliche Rundschau, ran an editorial on December 19 arguing that quadripartite control of Berlin made sense only as long as Germany remained under four-power rule. After Clay and Robertson announced plans to give the Bizonal Economic Council limited political power, a second, stronger editorial appeared, reiterating the link between moves toward a west German government and a Western presence in Berlin. The newspaper claimed the West had created a west German state and thereby “nullified” Western rights in Berlin, which was part of the Russian zone.

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12/18/14

Soviet Harassment with Berlin 1948 II

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The Three Amigos

In the spring of 1948 when Soviet pressure on the allies re Berlin began to ramp up, seven squadrons of allied day fighters were in Germany, four RAF and three USAF.

The RAF units were:

135 Wing, including

  1. 80 Squadron at Wunstorf, Germany, equipped with the Spitfire 24
  2. 16, 26 and 33 Squadrons at Gutersloh, all equipped with the Tempest II

The USAF fielded the 86th FG with three squadrons (525th, 526th and 527th) equipped with the P-47D-30 at Nordholz, Germany.

Airlift project replicates aircraft from RAF 80 and 33 because they were briefly stationed in Berlin for a period at the beginning of the Blockade. The 86th flew escort missions in the corridors.

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12/18/14

Iron Duke Class Part I

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HMS Iron Duke at Weymouth Bay 1927 by Randall Wilson.

Iron Duke, a veteran of the Battle of Jutland and Flagship of Lord Jellicoe at that engagement, is seen here painted in the rays of the setting sun at Weymouth Bay 1927.

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HMS Iron Duke at the Battle of Jutland

Design

The original design was for a modified King George V 21-knot battleship with four broadside torpedo tubes and no stern tube.

Five layouts were submitted to the Admiralty by the DNC Phillip Watts, all featuring a main armoured belt of 12in thickness and running for 360 feet of the hull. Although following the lines of King George V in general – including main armament, a distinctive retrograde step was seen in the sketch proposal which featured a reverse in the mast/funnel arrangement as in the earlier Orion class of 1909 (see sketch). During preparation, however, the disadvantages were forcibly pointed out and the idea was not pursued any further. Of the five layouts (see table) M1V was approved and funds were allocated for four of the type without question, a war with Germany seeming very likely and sooner rather than later.

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