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Archive for December, 2019

The Making of a Modern Prop Fighter

Posted by tdcoish on December 9, 2019


The romantic image of WW2 involves two fighters weaving around each other, each desperate to bring guns to bear. The reality of WW2 combat is that successful engagements were typically hit and run. As WW2 ace Erich Hartmann said, “I would attack only if I had 2000 meters of clearance above them, then I would come down with great speed…”. This was true of combat between all factions, and was especially prevalent amongst American and Japanese engagements, where later war American fighters massive speed advantage made them near untouchable against the Japanese fighters.

And it’s not particularly hard to understand why. If you are in a much faster plane, should you not like a certain engagement, you can just fly away. You can dive down and make attacks on your terms and, again, just fly away. The effective range of even 50 cals in the air is pretty short, and disorientated and surprised enemy pilots are going to have a tough time getting a return shot in. 

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War at Sea – Northern Cog

Posted by picard578 on December 9, 2019

Military Fantasy


After Roman hull-first construction techniques were abandoned and replaced with ribs-first construction, battering ram became useless as a weapon. As a result, naval action came to depend on missile exchange and boarding – only introduction of cannon saved galley as a ship of war in the Mediterranean (see “Galley vs sailing ship” post). In Atlantic, many battles were fought exclusively on cogs (e.g. Battle of Sluys), although war galley survived for purposes of raiding, anti-piracy and coastal patrol. Galley simply is not an effective seagoing weapon system: it has limited radius of action, endurance, and lacks seaworthiness to leave shore. Galley fleets were thus dependant on coastal stations (which is why Venice tried to conquer Croatian shore multiple times, succeeding after Croatian union with Hungary as latter didn’t care much about the sea). They were incapable of blockaing a port unless a friendly army held the shore…

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War at Sea – Galley vs Sailing Ship

Posted by picard578 on December 9, 2019

Military Fantasy

Featured Image By Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom : Home : Info : Pic; alternate version: Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork, Public Domain, Link


Most of fantasy does
not consider naval warfare, and those writers which do have varied
performance in portraying it. In Lord of the Rings, dromund-style
ships are described to be used. While Byzantine dromond would not
have been appropriate for the geography of Middle-Earth – Bay of
Belfalas is not a closed sea in the vein of Mediterranean –
Middle-English “dromund” can denote any large medieval
ship. It is made clear however that these ships are oared, which
means that they are most likely similar to Viking longships (or else
Irish galleys, themselves similar to longships). Fleet of Ar-Pharazon
explicitly has enormous galleys, which would not have been capable of
making a trip from Numenor, either to Middle-Earth…

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