US Naval War College Website

US Naval War College Logo

Thanks to the former Academic Dean of the US Naval War College, Captain Howard Burdick (Ret), here’s a link to the US Naval College website: www.usnwc.edu

Photograph (c) 2008 by Onne van der Wal Photography, Inc. Used with permission.

There are any number of informative articles in the Naval War College Review, and one in particular, Asymmetric Warfare at Sea, gives a great outline of the starting positions of the US and Japan prior to WWII in addition to a detailed recount of  the Naval Battles off Guadalcanal, 1942–1943.

I was fortunate to meet with Howard on the ms Rotterdam en route to Lima, Peru, and we discussed a number of the points I bring up in my military lectures: Click Here

Thanks Howard!!!!

WWII: The Complete History

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A video reference:

WWII: The Complete History is an interesting second tier compilation of significant events of World War II. The format of short segments, basically chronologically presented is fine and is actually somewhat welcome in being brief; each in a manner a “short story.” The actual footage helps in giving a sense of place and circumstance, but there are many “repeat” sections used to fill in spots as the narrative goes on. There is a distinct bias in the perspective taken, which is very much from an American point of view.

Victory at Sea (1954)

A video reference:

Victory at Sea, a 26-episode series on World War II, represented one of the most ambitious documentary undertakings of early network television. The series premiered on the last Sunday of October 1952, and subsequent episodes played each Sunday afternoon through May 1953. Each half-hour installment dealt with some aspect of World War II naval warfare and highlighted each of the sea war’s major campaigns. That drama was enhanced by the program’s sententious voice-over narration and by Richard Rogers’s stirring musical score.

The World at War (30th Anniversary Edition) (1974)

 

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A video reference:

More than 30 years after its initial broadcast, THE WORLD AT WAR remains the definitive visual history of World War II. Narrated by Academy Award winner Laurence Olivier and digitally re-mastered for DVD, this is epic history at its absolute best.

Unsurpassed in depth and scope, its 26 hour-long programs feature an extraordinary collection of newsreel, propaganda, and home-movie footage drawn from the archives of 18 nations, including color close-ups of Adolf Hitler taken by his mistress, that present an unvarnished perspective of the war’s pivotal events. Penetrating interviews with eyewitness participants–from Hitler’s secretary to Alger Hiss to ordinary citizens who stood outside the battle lines–add spine-tingling, first-hand accounts to an already unforgettable viewing experience.

Informative and unbiased, THE WORLD AT WAR is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an International Emmy Award, The National Television Critic’s Award for Best Documentary, and knighthood for its creator, Sir Jeremy Isaacs.

Spitfire Tipping a V1

The Fieseler Fi 103, better known as the V-1 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 1, “retaliation weapon 1”) and Buzz Bomb, also colloquially known in Britain as the Doodlebug, was an early pulse-jet-powered predecessor of the cruise missile. More about the V1 here

At its peak, over a hundred V-1s a day were fired at southeast England, 9,521 in total, decreasing in number as sites were overrun until October 1944, when the last V-1 site in range of Britain was overrun by Allied forces.

Blitz V-1
1. Cost to Germany
Sorties 90,000 8,025
Weight of bombs tons 61,149 14,600
Fuel consumed tons 71,700 4,681
Aircraft lost 3,075 0
Men lost 7,690 0
2. Results
Houses damaged/destroyed 1,150,000 1,127,000
Casualties 92,566 22,892
Rate casualties/bombs tons 1.6 1.6
3. Allied air effort
Sorties 86,800 44,770
Aircraft lost 1,260 351
Men lost 2,233 805

V1

 

Tippin Off V1

At first V1’s were shot down by gunfire. Optimum range was inside 200yds, which was marginal for survival. Many planes were damaged and quite a few pilots killed. Basically at such high speed and low altitude a plane had to fly though the explosion and hope for the best.

At great risk of being blown up, some of the best pilots started “tipping-off” the V1’s wing, because of damage to wing tips they later developed a tactic of disrupting the V1’s airflow by placing their wing very close to the V1’s wing, causing it to topple.

Not every pilot did this. At night this tactic was impossible, as the exhaust plume from the V1 blinded the pilot to everything else, though some Mossie pilots flew past and closely in front of the V1, called a “thumping,” again causing it to topple. The thought of doing this at 450mph, 4,000 feet above the ground, at night and being blinded gives one pause for thought.

Most V1s were shot down by AA gunfire.

The People You Meet on the High Seas: Joachim Ronneberg

Joachim was the leader of the team that disabled Hitler’s heavy water facility at Telemark, Norway. His role was later reprised by Kirk Douglas in The Heroes of Telemark with no historical accuracy whatsoever. The whole operation was a well mannered Scandinavian affair including the retrieving of a guard’s spectacles before stuffing him into a closet.. ….

Had this mission not been a success, Hitler may well have developed the atomic bomb, and life today would be a different story.

An interesting historical bookend to Dick Jeppson, below