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Some Great Military History

March 13, 2010

Mitch Williamson must be the hardest working mil-blogger out there. You may have noticed a couple of his websites posted here on our regular Sea Link articles, War and Game, plus Cog and Galley. Except that is just the beginning with this prolific author of military history. I finally got brave enough to ask Mitch how many websites he owns or is affiliated with. Below are just a few, with a complete list here:

Air-Land-Sea Weapons

American Military and Naval History

Battle of Britain and ‘The Blitz’

From Rus to Peter

German Secret Weapons

Japanese Aircraft of WWII

Jugend and Volkssturm

June 1941 Barbarossa

Luftwaffe Field Divisions

Nazi Science Lives On

Soviet Hammer

Submersible Boiler to Sea-Wolf

Warfare and Wargaming

Warhammer Mark Of Chaos

Wars of the Roses

Wotan’s Children

Is that amazing stuff or what? Mitch is who I would like to be if I didn’t do current events. I still like to fit a little history into the regular posts, since the past holds many lessons for today. For Mitch, however, it is a passion, and it shows in his work, my favorite being anything of a Byzantine nature!

I encourage you to browse through the list above. If you love history and some excellent art work too, you won’t be disappointed!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. elgatoso permalink
    March 14, 2010 10:38 pm

    Very interesting sites.I only knew war and game.

  2. Hudson permalink
    March 14, 2010 1:06 pm

    Thanks, Mike & Jed.

    My Old Man typified the ‘Greatest Generation’: Was on the boxing team and debating club in college, graduated with big plans, joined the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor, married his sweetheart, did his tour overseas, went to work, purchased a house in Green Acres, USA, and raised a family. Though I never pressed him about it, he could certainly talk about the war. He was proudest of his skills as a pilot, taking his crew up and bringing them home. His one word description of the Schweinfurt raid was “Rough.”

    For anyone interested in reading further about this historic mission, I recommend Martin Caidin’ s Black Thursday, available on Amazon.

  3. Jed permalink
    March 14, 2010 11:57 am

    Hudson – great Kudos to your dad and his aircrew !

  4. Mike Burleson permalink*
    March 14, 2010 5:24 am

    Hudson, that was a great story and thanks for sharing with us! Thanks also to your “Old Man” and for his service to this country!

  5. Hudson permalink
    March 13, 2010 10:40 pm

    I have been waiting for the proper category under which to tell this tale, and Great Military History should cover it, for it is one for the annals and you will hear of it nowhere else. This is, or was, living history told by a father to his son.

    On October 14, 1943, returning home to England after bombing the ball bearing plants at Schweinfurt, known as Black Thursday, one of the most savage air battles in history, my Old Man, pilot of a late model B-17, was down two engines and two superchargers—half power. Instead of trying to lose the enemy fighters in the clouds as per the book, he took his wounded Fort down to tree top level. He was alone in the sky.

    They still had plenty of ammo (6,000 rounds of .50 caliber to start), and the gunners shot up German military traffic on the roads in France. Flying at 150mph at that altitude, the bomber was gone before the Germans on the ground could react, leaving a trail of death and destruction behind it. The gunners picked off soldiers climbing up flak towers to engage them.

    This activity attracted a schwarm of Messerschmitts, whose chatter could be heard over the bomber’s radio—no one understood German. Since the plane was so low, the Bf-109s could not dive on it, so they elected to fly a pursuit curve parallel to the bomber, veering into its path to open fire. The crew, connected by radio, called out the positions (three o’clock low), and the pilot jinked his ship laterally at the last moment, avoiding a bucket of cannon shells. Meanwhile, the Fort’s gunners were ripping into the fighters, downing three of them before the remainder broke off the attack.

    This was unheard of. A lone bomber without the interlocking firepower of the group was not supposed to survive in such a situation. Eighth Air Force brass was so impressed by this tale of survival against long odds that it revised its book on fields of fire for the B-17.

    Wiki defines field of fire as “the area covered by a position plotted out beforehand. Usually the machine guns will be mounted on a tripod and indirect fire sights (such as a dial sight) fitted in addition to, or instead of, direct fire ones. Fire can then be called in by spotters to engage specific points in the guns field of fire, even if out of sight of the machine gunners.” In the case, what my Old Man’s crew had worked out was more like arcs of fire.

    For this and other exploits, my father was personally awarded the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf clusters by Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold, General of the Air Force. We have a photo of that.

    Note: Wiki puts the bomber losses at 77; the more common figure is 60. It also carries the lower figure for German losses: 38 against the bombers’ claim of 138. Bomber crew claims were often inflated. But as one American gunner described it on that day: “The sky was dirty with them,” meaning enemy fighters going down in flames. The bombers flew without Allied fighter escort for most of the distance.

  6. March 13, 2010 8:02 am

    This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 3/13/2010, at The Unreligious Right


  1. Military And Intelligence News Briefs — March 15, 2010 « Read NEWS

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