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Everything posted by Procopius

  1. Over on Facebook, Wing Leader posted this photo of Admiral Prune with two questions: What kind of bombsight is that, and what is the purpose of the blistered window on the nose escape hatch, which they've never seen before.
  2. Procopius

    Eduard - leaflet for distributors

    You can't possibly be serious.
  3. “They were so weak- they allowed everything to happen – to be done to them. They were people with whom there was no common ground, no possibility of communication- that is how contempt is born. I could never understand how they could just give in as they did.” -- SS-Brigadefuhrer Franz Stangel, second commandant of Trebelinka "Six men with tommy-guns were posted at each pit; the pits were 24 m in length and 3 m in breadth - they had to lie down like sardines in a tin, with their heads in the centre. Above them were six men with tommy-guns who gave them the coup de grace. When I arrived those pits were so full that the living had to lie down on top of the dead; then they were shot and, in order to save room, they had to lie down neatly in layers. Before this, however, they were stripped of everything at one of the stations - here at the edge of the wood were the three pits they used that Sunday and here they stood in a queue 1½ km long which approached step by step - a queuing up for death. As they drew nearer they saw what was going on. About here they had to hand over their jewelry and suitcases. All good stuff was put into the suitcases and the remainder thrown on a heap. This was to serve as clothing for our suffering population - and then, a little further on they had to undress and, 500 m in front of the wood, strip completely; they were only permitted to keep on a chemise or knickers. They were all women and small two-year-old children." -- "Major General Walter Bruns’s Description of the Execution of Jews outside Riga on December 1, 1941, Surreptitiously Taped Conversation (April 25, 1945)", National Archives WO 208/4169, Report SRGG 1158 A mountain of footwear was pressing down on me. My body was numb from cold and immobility. However, I was fully conscious now. The snow under me had melted from the heat of my body. ... Quiet for a while. Then from the direction of the trench a child's cry: 'Mama! Mama! Mamaa!'. A few shots. Quiet. Killed. — Frida Michelson, I Survived Rumbula, describing the events of the second Rumbula Massacre on 8 December 1941 "Meanwhile Rottenfuhrer Abraham shot the children with a pistol. There were about five of them. These were children whom I would think were aged between two and six years. "The way Abraham killed the children was brutal. He got hold of some of the children by the hair, lifted them up from the ground, shot them through the back of their heads and then threw them into the grave. "After a while I just could not watch this any more and I told him to stop. What I meant was he should not lift the children up by the hair, he should kill them in a more decent way." -- Testimony of SS-Mann Ernst Gobel at the SS trial of Untersturmfuhrer Max Taubner for ordering the "unauthorized" killing of 459 Jews in late 1942; the court ruled that "[t]he accused shall not be punished because of the actions against the Jews as such. The Jews have to be exterminated and none of the Jews that were killed is any great loss." "We are going to scourge the Third Reich from end to end. We are bombing Germany city by city and ever more terribly in order to make it impossible for her to go on with the war. That is our object; we shall pursue it relentlessly." -- Air Marshall Sir Arthur Harris, 28 July 1942 "The first thing we can see now is a wall of searchlights, not the thirties we saw as we came in over the coast, but they're in hundreds, there's a wall of light with very few breaks, and behind that wall, there's a pool of fiercer light, glowing red and green and blue, and over that pool there are myriads of flares hanging in the sky. That's the city itself." -- BBC reporter Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, recording an op against Berlin by Lancaster ED586/EM-F "F-for-Freddie" from 207 (City of Leicester) Squadron on 3 September 1943 During the long, hard period from 1941 to 1944, when nowhere outside of Russia were the Allied armies in action against the main might of the Third Reich, which fell across the continent like a great funeral shroud, the only way to strike back was by air. In 1909, when Bleriot's fragile monoplane had first crossed the Channel, the Daily Express's headline had blared "BRITAIN IS NO LONGER AN ISLAND", and the entire underpinnings of Britain's splendid isolation had seemed to totter, but in 1940, Shakespeare's "precious stone set in a silver sea, which serves it in the office of a wall, or as a moat defensive to a house, against the envy of less happier lands," held once more, when the RAF's fighters bought the nation and the world time to prepare for the titanic battles that would be needed to free Europe. Until the moment when the Allies fell from the sky at night or stormed ashore at dawn, the great burden of the offensive would fall upon Bomber Command. There has long been a contention that the Bombing Offensive did little to effect German war production, because output continually rose despite the thousands upon thousands of tons of bombs dropped over Germany by day and night. Economic historian Adam Tooze, however, in his magisterial history of the Nazi war economy The Wages of Destruction writes that: "In the summer of 1943, the disruption in the Ruhr manifested itself across the German economy in the so-called 'Zuligieferungskrise; (sub-compnenents crisis). All manner of parts, castings, and forgings were suddenly in short supply. And this affected not only heavy industry directly, but the entire armaments complex. Most significantly, the shortage of key components brought the rapid increase in Luftwaffe production to an abrupt halt. Between July 1943 and March 1944 there was no further increase in the monthly output of aircraft. For the armaments effort as a whole, the period of stagnation lasted throughout the second half of 1943. As Speer himself acknowledged, Allied bombing had negated all plans for a further increase in production. Bomber Command had stopped Speer's armaments miracle in its tracks." This was what 16,229 Bomber Command personnel died for in 1943. Not, as Arthur Harris hoped or believed, to win the war outright, but to buy the time for breath to be drawn and the war to be won. Night after night, the bombers went out, each aircraft its own entire universe for the seven men inside, who had only each other to count on against the terrifying power of the German air defences. Laden with fuel and bombs, they stood little chance of survival if hit. But in the great black bellies of their aircraft, they carried with them the great sledgehammers that would shake the firmaments of the Nazi Empire. The aircraft I'm building is a "Ton-Up" Lancaster, one of only thirty-five aircraft to survive over a hundred ops, in this case EE139, "The Phantom of the Ruhr", which flew 121 missions, including Hamburg, the V-Weapon research site at Peenemunde, and a staggering fifteen trips to Berlin before being taken off operations on 21 November 1944, by that time utterly clapped-out. EE139 flew with both 100 Squadron and, when 550 Squadron was formed out of C Flight in November 1943, EE139 went with, which is where she finished her war. I'm using the rather elderly Xtradecal RAF Bomber Command Part 2 sheet, which has her in her guise as HW-R with 100 Squadron in November of 1943, shortly before her transfer to 550 Squadron. Notably, in this photo she lacks the circular yellow gas detection patch frequently seen on other 1 Group aircraft, though this would be added later on (and is present on the Xtradecal "Ton-Up Lancs" sheet, go figure -- and if anyone has the 1/72 Ton-Up sheet, let me know, I suspect the nose art may be better rendered). I also have a small assortment of aftermarket: Eduard photoetch set for the interior, canopy mask, seatbelts, and Quickboost's hollowed-out intakes for the Merlins, which I think should be a great improvement. The kit's just come out of a soak in soapy water, so we can hopefully get started soon.
  4. I'm on a bit of a USAAF kick right now, and I was wondering if people had some useful references that I might have overlooked or should consider. I have the following: Serenade to the Big Bird, by Bert Stiles An Emotional Gauntlet, by Stuart Wright The Mighty Eighth, by Roger Freeman Mustang at War, by Roger Freeman The Lockheed P-38 Lightning. by Warren Bodie and The P-47 Thunderbolt: From Seversky to Victory, by Warren Bodie. Obviously this is a pretty meager basis to start from. I'm interested in particular in Big Week and the evolution of US fighter doctrine. I welcome the input of those infinitely more knowledgeable than myself.
  5. Are there any plans already to do an 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain GB, and if there aren't, is there any interest?
  6. Procopius

    +++ Battle of Britain 80th GB for 2020?

    "This then, my lords and gentlemen, is the message which we send forth today to all states and nations, bound or free, to all the men in all the lands who care for freedom's cause...this is the message: lift up your hearts, all will come right. Out of depths of sorrow and sacrifice will be born again the glory of mankind." -- Winston Churchill, 12 June 1941 1. Procopius 2. Malpaso 3. LDSModeller 4. steveJ60 5. TEMPESTMK5 6. MarkSH 7. Franky boy 8. Corsairfoxfouruncle 9. PhantomBigStu 10. Robert Stuart 11. Grey Beema 12. GREG DESTEC 13. Ozzy 14. Cookenbacher 15. Rabbit Leader 16. dnl42 17. lasermonkey 18. Bonhoff 19. depressed lemur 20. jrlx 21. Colin W 22. Stew Dapple 23. Beard 24. Arniec 25. stevehnz 26. Torbjorn 27. Hockeyboy76 28. nimrod54 29. Edge 30. Joss 31. 06/24 32. Smudge 33. wimbledon99 34. Redstaf 35. Wez 36. DaveyGair 37. FalkeEins 38. Heather Kay 39. Valkyrie 40. Jockney 41. Retired Bob 42. Paul J 43. jenko 44. Kallisti 45. SleeperService 46. Rafwaffe 47. Anthony Kesterton 48. RJ-WobblyHands 49. Paul Bradley 50. CliffB 51. 4scourge7 52. PLC1966 53. vppelt68 54. Silver Fox 55. Angus Tura
  7. Well, I did some minor modelling tonight (clear coating turret clear parts to protect against fogging and some light filling) and thus emboldened, attached the resin intake scoops to three of the nacelles using extra thin super glue, which was a mistake, because it's been a long time since I've employed it, my old bottle having solidified a while back, and I forgot how infuriating it is to use. Lots of glue fingerprints and then latex glove ended up on the kit parts, and swears flew hot and heavy. I retreated and will return later to deal with the situation.
  8. Just be careful, it could happen to you! This week I've had like, no bench time because I've been trying to get more sleep and more exercise (down now to 193 pounds from 222 at the start of the year, but still trying to lose more, because come on), but I hope to get back there eventually.
  9. Procopius

    What new stuff have you bought/been gifted? Part II

    Well, it's in Hong Kong right now, BUT JUST FOR YOU SWEET DUNCAN:
  10. Procopius

    What new stuff have you bought/been gifted? Part II

    The new 1/72 Tamiya 109G-6.
  11. With detachable outer wing sections like that, how long before some clever bod works up resin Manchester outers?
  12. Procopius

    1/72 - Bristol M.1C & M.1D by AviS - box art

    YES! One of my favourite WWI aircraft.
  13. I'm pretty sure there are even natives who refuse to try Marmite.
  14. A reliable source of black pudding!?! This is truly a great day. Speaking of great days, I got some more done on the Lanc. Some interior colour sprayed, wings closed up, puttering along.
  15. I make a pretty nice grilled cheese with bacon, dill pickle, and cheddar cheese, if you want to get fancy, but I look forward to experiencing the culinary delights of the Branston pickle when back in that green and pleasant land. After Wimpey Burger, anything else is a step up.
  16. Procopius

    Sad Day Today

    I'm so sorry. Words are of course inadequate, but my best wishes are with you and your family right now.
  17. A man has cheese and a loaf of bread, he can make a grilled cheese, his problems are over.
  18. I was kind of concerned that I'd be trekking through England with a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread to cut costs, but hopefully this puts me on a much better footing for that!
  19. Sorry for the radio silence, chaps, and little has been accomplished on the modelling front, but as of Monday at work I'm in a new department with a promotion (and a fairly substantial raise) as part of my employer's newly formed Digital Content Unit. This is big for us here at Manse Procopius, since, first of all, it means we don't face impending financial annihilation in the form of childcare costs that hitherto exceeded our ability to save for them, and secondly it means we might even be able to save for other things, like home renovations, or a new car, or possibly a new wife if Mrs P can't show a little more goddamn enthusiasm for the biggest news of the year so far. But I digress. Big day. My job will change a lot, and I'll be dealing with a lot more responsibility going forward. Scary days.
  20. Procopius

    German speaking Wireless Operators disrupting nightfighters?

    The Special Duties operators were kept segregated from the rest of the crew, and some (but not all) indeed were German Jewish emigres who at considerable personal risk had volunteered for such work, but airborne jammers never broadcast voice instructions to German night fighters. The Chris Ward book on 101 Squadron goes into a useful amount of detail on all the various special countermeasures that specialist unit was involved with, as does Murray Peden's memoir A Thousand Shall Fall, which covers his time with 214 Squadron, who also used AIRBORNE CIGAR.
  21. Procopius

    German speaking Wireless Operators disrupting nightfighters?

    You've conflated two different countermeasures. AIRBORNE CIGAR was carried in bombers and jammed GCI stations broadcasting to German nightfighters. It was three 50w transmitters, "each capable of sending out frequency-modulated jamming signals covering narrow frequency bands selected within the 38.3 to 42.5 Mhz range by means of manual tuning controls. A 'panoramic' receiver provides means of locating enemy transmissions in this range of frequencies and setting jamming signals accurately upon them." (Carried on the Wind, by Sean Feast) The system weighed about 600 pounds and displayed results on a 3" CRT. The special duties crew member could monitor frequencies which were detected and decide whether or not to jam; not all were German-speaking, as all that was required of them was the ability to differentiate German from other European languages. Chris Ward's book on 101 Squadron contains the only known photo of the black boxes inside the aircraft that were part of the system. CORONA was the spoofing of night fighter GCI by ground-based German-speaking personnel, some from Germany, some not, who would issue false orders to night fighter crews. These were both men and women; both would be available in case the Germans tried to switch fighter controllers in mid-stream, as sometimes happened. EDIT: The microphone inside the engine nacelle was called TINSEL, and was controlled by the aircraft's normal wireless operator.
  22. Procopius

    New 1/72 Airfix Typhoon

    My understanding is overall for length, and the undernourishment is overall, certainly in height. I think the Valiant Wings book mentions it as well.
  23. Procopius

    New 1/72 Airfix Typhoon

    It's a little undernourished along the rear fuselage, and it's I believe 1-2mm short. To me it looks a little wrong next to the Brengun kit, but I swore a lot less while building the Airfix.
  24. Procopius

    New 1/72 Airfix Typhoon

    It's a reissue of their new-tool 1/72 kit first issued in 2013. It's pretty nice, but if accuracy, rather than ease of build and price, is something you care deeply about, it's a little less so than the Brengun kits.