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  #841  
Old February 21st, 2021, 11:08 PM
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The following quote comes from Volume 10, First Series, of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, page 10, dated May 10, 1864. It is a report on the loss of the U.S.S. Commodore Jones in the James River of Virginia, at that time in rebellion against the Federal Government of the United States.

Quote:
Sir: Immediately after the U. S. S. Commodore Jones was destroyed by the explosion of the torpedo at Jones’ Point on the 6th instant, a party of marines and sailors from the Mackinaw landed at the point and discovered three galvanic batteries sunk in pits in the ground, to which wires were attached to one or more torpedoes which were not exploded and were still lying in the channel.

The body of the man who had been shot by the coxswain of one of the boats employed in dragging was found lying near the first galvanic battery, shot through the head. In the third battery were captured 2 men who were ready to explode another torpedo should any of our vessels pass over it. The names of these men are P. W. Smith, who represents himself as an acting master in the Confederate Submarine Battery Service, under the command of Lieutenant Hunter Davidson, of the boat torpedo, and Jeffries Johnson, a private in the same service. From Smith I learned that there were many more torpedoes in the river, but he would not communicate their location or any facts connected with them. Johnson stated that he was forced into the rebel army as a conscript, and procured his exchange into the service as it would keep him near his home, which was at Deep Bottom, opposite Jones’ Point.

At first he was not communicative and evaded, on the grounds of ignorance, the questions put to him, but being placed in the forward gunboat employed in dragging for torpedoes and given to understand that he would share the fate of the boat, he signified his willingness to tell all he knew about them. He stated that the torpedo which was exploded was put down last fall; that it contained 2,000 pounds of powder; that there are several more near a place called McGuire’s, above Aiken’s Landing, and others at Osborne’s; that there may be others of which he knows nothing; that these are all of which he has any knowledge; that he has heard there were many in the river above Osborne’s. He states that there are several kinds, but that the smallest ot those exploded by means of a galvanic battery contains about 400 pounds of powder. The small ones are floating, and are exploded by contact or a line from shore. (Emphasis Added)
I think that the action taken with regards to the prisoner might be considered a "war crime" now, but times were a bit different back then, especially after 3 years of civil war. General Sherman and several other officers in the Union Army took a similar view with respect to land mines, marching a line of prisoners ahead of his columns. It was amazing how fast the planted mines disappeared prior to the prisoners reaching them.
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  #842  
Old March 2nd, 2021, 03:34 AM
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The Secret History of Fighter Aircraft Engine Development in WW2

The development of piston-aero engines were the dominant mechanism in determining fighter aircraft performance from 1939-1945.
This lecture focuses on key technical and organizational differences between the German and British efforts which had key impacts on both the airframe aerodynamic design and engine characteristics of both aircraft. The speaker presents a guided tour through the key difficulties experienced by German and British aviation engineers - using access to unique archival material, including the personal papers of Professor Willy Messerschmitt, and Ernest Hives, Technical Director at Rolls-Royce.

Speaker: Calum Douglas BEng MSc: Powertrain Design Engineer, Historian

Calum Douglas worked in Germany for Toyota Motorsport GmbH applying Formula One engine technology to advanced technology demonstrator engines for Toyota Japan road cars division. Returning from Germany, he worked for Jaguar Land-Rover and Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains and now runs an engine design consultancy. He began investigating piston engine development in wartime archival records and has spent the last five years researching and writing about it alongside working. He has been invited to speak worldwide to present his engine development historical research, from Scuderia-Ferrari Formula One in Italy, Rolls-Royce, the Royal Aeronautical Society, Renault-Sport and Mercedes AMG Formula-One engine and chassis technical centers. He will publish two books this year, including a translation of the unpublished memoirs of Professor Dr-Ing Karl Kollmann, Chief designer of Daimler-Benz Aero Engines: through the American Society of Mechanical Engines. The book is a collaboration with American gas turbine expert Dr S. Can Gülen, and is entitled "Centrifugal Compressors for Turbo/Superchargers -Theory and Practice: Guidance from the Past – for Modern Engineers and Students". The second is a technical history of piston aero engine development from 1928to 1946, entitled "The Secret Horsepower Race" and is available to pre-order from Mortons Publishing and Amazon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImEp...gineers-IMechE



TLDR: Merlin, Mosquito.
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  #843  
Old March 5th, 2021, 05:52 PM
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The following quote is taken from Horace Porter's book, Campaigning with Grant. Porter served as an aide-de-camp to Grant from the end of April of 1864 to the end of the war. This occurred on the occasion of President Lincoln's first visit to Grant following the initial attack on Petersburg, Virginia.

Quote:
After a while General Grant said "Mr. President, let us ride on and see the colored troops, who behaved so handsomely in Smith's attack on the works in front of Petersburg last week." " Oh, yes," replied Mr. Lincoln ; " I want to take a look at those boys. I read with the greatest delight the account given in Mr. Dana's despatch to the Secretary of War of how gallantly they behaved. He said they took six out of the sixteen guns captured that day. I was opposed on nearly every side when I first favored the raising of colored regiments; but they have proved their efficiency, and I am glad they have kept pace with the white troops in the recent assaults. When we wanted every able-bodied man who could be spared to go to the front, and my opposers kept objecting to the negroes, I used to tell them that at such times it was just as well to be a little color-blind. . . . .

The camp of the colored troops of the Eighteenth Corps was soon reached, and a scene now occurred which defies description. They beheld for the first time the liberator of their race—the man who by a stroke of his pen had struck the shackles from the limbs of their fellow-bondmen and proclaimed liberty to the enslaved. Always impressionable, the enthusiasm of the blacks now knew no limits. They cheered, laughed, cried, sang hymns of praise, and shouted in their negro dialect, " God bress Massa Linkum ! " " De Lord save Fader Abraham!" "De day ob jubilee am come, shuah."

They crowded about him and fondled Ms horse; some of them kissed his hands, while others ran off crying in triumph to their comrades that they had touched his
clothes. The President rode with bared head; the tears had started to his eyes, and his voice was so broken by emotion that he could scarcely articulate the words of thanks and congratulation which he tried to speak to the humble and devoted men through whose ranks he rode. The scene was affecting in the extreme, and no one could have witnessed it unmoved.
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  #844  
Old April 7th, 2021, 11:31 PM
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An interesting view of reporters from an official dispatch from the officer in temporary command of the Yazoo River Flotilla to Admiral David D. Porter, Commander of the Mississippi Squadron while he was operating off of the Red River of Texas in May of 1863, during General Grant's operations against Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Quote:
Report of Lieutenant-Commander Breese, V. S. Navy, regarding
general matters.
Black Hawk, May 6, 1863. (The "Black Hawk" was normally the flagship of Admiral Porter, but he transferred his flag to the ironclad "Benton" to better conduct the operations against Confederate installations on the Red River.)
. . . . . . . .
I am happy to say that three newspaper reporters went down in the army tug, and were either killed or taken prisoners. They won't think it such good fun now.
K. R. Breese,
Lieutenant-Commander.
[Acting Rear-Admiral D. D. Porter.]
The Army tug referred to was blown up while attempting to pass the batteries of Vicksburg. Admiral Porter did not exactly like reporters.

Edit Note: I forgot to give the cite. The quote comes from:
OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE NAVIES IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION, SERIES 1—VOLUME 24. NAVAL FORCES ON THE WESTERN WATERS, From January 1 to May 17, 1863, page 655
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I march to my own set of bagpipes. Caution: This individual thinks that studying logistics is FUN.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
that do business in great waters;
These see the works of the LORD,
and his wonders in the deep.

Last edited by Timerover51; April 7th, 2021 at 11:56 PM.. Reason: Adding Cite
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  #845  
Old April 8th, 2021, 09:20 PM
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Another quote from the same source as the previous post. This is not something you expect to see in the log of a combat ship during wartime. It does show that the U. S. Civil War was not exactly the typical conflict.

Quote:
Abstract log of the U. S. S. Tyler, Lieutenant-Commander James M.
Prichett, commanding, January 1 to May 16, 1863.

January 24—2:55 p. m. came to anchor 100 yards above the flagship in the Yazoo River. 7 p. m. Mrs. Harris and Captain Sutherland came on board. 8:15 p. m. Captain Sutherland and Mrs. J. R. Harris were united in marriage by the Reverend Mr. Snow in presence of Acting Rear-Admiral D. D. Porter and commanding officers
of the fleet.
Captain Sutherland was a commander of one of the rams in the Mississippi Squadron.
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  #846  
Old April 17th, 2021, 01:45 AM
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Personnel mover; maximum capacity, fire team.
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  #847  
Old April 18th, 2021, 05:34 PM
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The following report of a U.S. Navy court-martial of Captain James Armstrong, commander of the Naval Station at Pensacola, Florida in the Spring of 1861, comes from Volume 4, Series 1, of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, pages 54-55. Previous pages give the results of the court of inquiry into the actions of Captain Armstrong previous to his surrender of the navy yard. It does give an interesting picture of how a court of inquiry is conducted. I suspect that Captain Armstrong greatly regretted asking for one, although one might have been convened regardless.

Quote:
Upon these charges and specifications the "finding" of the court is in the following terms:

The court, having maturely considered the whole case, with the evidence and the
defense aforesaid, find as follows:
1. That the first specification of the first charge against the said Captain James
Armstrong is proved, except as to the words in said specification " adequate to a defense of said yard."
2. That the second specification of the first charge against the said Captain James Armstrong is proved.
3. That the third specification of the first charge is proved, except that the accused did remove or send to Fort Pickens thirty men (a part of his command), thirty muskets, and some ammunition and a barge load of provisions.

And the court thereupon further find that the said Captain James Armstrong is guilty of the first charge of neglect of duty.

And the court doth further find that the first specification of the second charge against the accused is proved, except that thirty men (a part of his command) were sent by the said Captain James Armstrong to cooperate in the defense of Fort Pickens.
And they further find —
2. That the second specification of the second charge is proved.
And thereupon the court find the said Captain James Armstrong to be guilty of the second charge of disobedience of orders and conduct unbecoming an officer.

And the sentence of the court is —

That the said Captain James Armstrong be suspended from duty for the term of five years, with loss of pay for the first half of said term, and he reprimanded by the honorable Secretary of the Navy in general orders.

I have approved the sentence, and Captain James Armstrong will accordingly be suspended from duty for the term of five years from this date, with loss of pay for the first half of the said term.
The Secretary of the Navy at the time of the court-martial was Gideon Welles. Fort Pickens, held by the U.S. Army throughout the war, was at the entrance to Pensacola Bay, and could be readily reinforced and supplied by sea. The Confederates abandoned Pensacola following the capture of New Orleans and it became an extremely value base for the U.S. Navy in the blockade of the Gulf Coast.

The verdict against Captain Armstrong removed him from any further service in the Navy during the Civil War, assuming that he would have been trusted with a command.
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  #848  
Old April 19th, 2021, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timerover51 View Post
It does give an interesting picture of how a court of inquiry is conducted. I suspect that Captain Armstrong greatly regretted asking for one, although one might have been convened regardless.

I guess maybe this was discussed higher up and I missed it, but this doesn't really say what this is about. Neglect of duty, disobeying an order.

What were the circumstances here?
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  #849  
Old April 20th, 2021, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whartung View Post
I guess maybe this was discussed higher up and I missed it, but this doesn't really say what this is about. Neglect of duty, disobeying an order.

What were the circumstances here?
My apologies. He was courtmartialed for surrendering the Pensacola Navy Yard to agents from the State of Florida in January of 1861 when it was demanded of him, without doing anything to protect or dispose of U.S. government property. His major problem was the U.S. Army unit stationed to protect the base, a total of less than 50 men, did precisely what Major Anderson did at Charleston and move to a fort that was protecting the harbor, Fort Pickens. Unlike Fort Sumter, Fort Pickens could be supplied readily from the Gulf of Mexico, and was held for the Union throughout the war. He failed to send the small Marine detachment to assist the Army, as he stated that he would, and also took on steps to move or destroy the 22,000 pounds of black powder stored at the base. The Army unit moved their black powder, without any real assistance from the Navy, and destroyed what they did not take. There was sufficient warning of the takeover that the Army unit took the steps that they could to protect government property, while Captain Armstrong to no steps to protect the Navy property. He allowed to soon-to-be Confederates to intimidate him quite badly.
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I march to my own set of bagpipes. Caution: This individual thinks that studying logistics is FUN.

They that go down to the sea in ships,
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  #850  
Old April 21st, 2021, 10:41 AM
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Ah, thank you.
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