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Ph3lan

Historical Links Exchange

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Captains,

 

As the main subject of our game are warships of the first half of 20th century - between Dreadnought and missiles, generally - we are well aware we have a lot of players with interest in naval history. At the same time there is a large number of various internet sites providing often very detailed information or entertaining discussions. But not everyone knows them.

 

To alleviate this, let's use this thread to exchange links and share your sources with the others. But to keep it useful and user-friendly, let's try to stick to these rules:

  • Do not post just link, provide a short description of the site - why is it interesting etc.

  • Main emphasis should be on the naval history, however if you have interesting general historical links - bring them on!
  • Do not link any pages that would violate forum rules by their content, especially pages that glorify or deny war crimes. Let's keep it clean, shall we?

Examples:

Link: http://www.shipcamouflage.com/measures.htm

 

Desctiption:

This page contains highly detailed information about all camouflage patterns used on US navy warships of WWII and as such is a valuable resource for modelers (and maybe even modders). Apart from detailed descriptions of patterns and colors used, page also contains database of US Navy warships and camouflage patterns they used throughout the war.

Link: https://www.facebook.com/ilovewarships/?fref=ts

 

Description:

I Love Warships is a warships-specific branch of the Warhistoryonline.com website, posting and re-posting interesting articles and photos concerning... Well... Warships. Discussions can be sometimes even more interesting than the articles - if you are looking for some lighter history site, this is a good place to start.

So... Let's see where this goes, shall we?

 

Action stations!

 

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First off, I don't see what this has to do with Gameplay - we've kinda got too many topics pinned here as is in my opinion, and "just because it's by Ph3lan" doesnt feel like enough reason to pin this thread to Gameplay to be honest... Feels like it would get moved elsewhere by mods if it was done "by a regular player"... May be just me though, the thread itself is definitely a good idea! :)

 

As for some actual content - remember the Head over Keels episode about the USN DD that almost killed the President? Turns out that ship did a lot more than just that... Here's a humorous article about the USS William D. Porter and its... unfortunate exploits. Definitely worth a read!

http://www.cracked.com/article_19637_the-5-craziest-war-stories-all-happened-same-ship.html

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Well... It's time to learn things!

 

Plus, here is a the site of the Hood Association : http://hmshood.com/

 

Did you really need a description about it? I bet you need, so, you'll find there, the crew members, mission held by the Hood and of course, information about the ship itself, includng potential 1942 refit.

 

Enjoy!

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@Ph3lan: is it possible to sticky the suggestions thread in my sig? It was promised that it could be stickied if it took off, but it is hard for it to take off if it keeps dropping off the front page. The intention is simple, to aggregate the best ideas the community can come up with, including acting as a link depository to point to dedicated threads on various topics. Despite not being an active player any more, I promise to try and maintain it as best as I can. Thank you!

 

That said:

 

http://www.kbismarck.com/

 

This website has everything you ever wanted to know about the (in-) famous battleship Bismarck. Whether you find Bismarck to be overrated, or have your house decorated with multiple models representing the ship, if you have any questions regarding Bismarck, you can be almost certain to find your answer here.

 

I would also be remiss not to point out this topic on our very own forum:

 

http://forum.worldofwarships.eu/index.php?/topic/60245-i-digitised-the-war-diary-of-hms-quality-g62/page__p__1253199#entry1253199

 

One of our fellow forumites, Awesome5auce, has made the effort to digitize a historical document that chronicles the World War Two career of HMS Quality, a Royal Navy Destroyer. It is an original document, written by regular crewmembers instead of their officers, presumably as she was about to be handed over to the RAN, to give its new crew a sense of the ship. She was present in many theatres of the war, including at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. Well worth the read! As a historian, I was most pleased that both a transcript and the original document were available for comparison.

 

http://battleshiphmsvanguard.homestead.com/

 

This website is dedicated to HMS Vanguard (1946) and was created by a former crew member. It documents his experiences, as well as plenty of interesting facts about the ship. While a fairly basic website, it is still well worth looking at, if you're at all interested in HMS Vanguard, or RN battleships in general. HMS Vanguard, while constructed largely during WW2, never saw action and never fired her guns in anger, except during the Suez Canal Crisis. Nevertheless, she was the ultimate battleship constructed for the RN, the last in a long and illustrious line of all-big-gun warships, so she deservers her place in history, even if you don't agree with me that she is one of the most beautiful ships ever built. Considering the size of the ship, easily thousands of men served on board, each with their own unique experiences. Although the author of the website served aboard for only two years, obviously this was memorable enough for him to make the effort of creating this website.

 

http://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/hms-belfast

 

HMS Belfast is the largest WW2 era Royal Navy warship preserved in the United Kingdom. She had a memorable career, including playing a significant role in both the sinking of the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst and the landings at Normandy. Now located in the Thames, opposite of the Tower of London and next to the Tower Bridge, she is a sight to behold. You can go on board and clamber around a large part of the ship, including the now enclosed bridge. If you do, remember she operated in the Arctic, while still fitted with her original, open bridge! While the website is not that much to look at, I still would like to include this one, because it is just one one of several venues that form the Imperial War Museum and on my last visit, I found out they had combination tickets. While I hadn't found anything about them on their website, when inquiring in person, they informed me that such a ticket is not only available, but also that you can visit the second venue up to a month later. For residents of the UK who run out of time while visiting HMS Belfast, that might be a wise investment! I for one narrowly escaped being evicted from the ship just after sundown.. But I thoroughly enjoyed my second visit. :honoring:

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As for some actual content - remember the Head over Keels episode about the USN DD that almost killed the President? Turns out that ship did a lot more than just that... Here's a humorous article about the USS William D. Porter and its... unfortunate exploits. Definitely worth a read!

 

http://www.cracked.com/article_19637_the-5-craziest-war-stories-all-happened-same-ship.html

 

There's a slightly more balanced article about the ship here: http://www.historynet.com/uss-william-d-porter-the-us-navy-destroyers-service-in-world-war-ii.htm

 

The thing to understand is the navy was expanding so rapidly during 1943 that the crews were incredibly inexperienced and were having to learn everything on the job, "There were a lot of rookies in the service in 1943. Mistakes were made because 17-year-olds don’t know how not to make mistakes"

 

These kind of things happened all the time, the only thing remarkable about WDP was that she screwed up whilst on a super important mission, had she done the same thing to the New York whilst on convoy escort duty nobody would've noticed.  The real screw up was by whoever thought sending a newly commissioned ship on such a mission was a good idea in the first place.

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Supersite about IJN

Stories, TROMS of most ships etc. Nihon Kaigun=Combined fleet


 

http://www.combinedfleet.com/

 

 

 

 

Another forum of Worlds navies etc


 

http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/


 


 

US techical mission reports of IJN


 

http://www.fischer-tropsch.org/primary_documents/gvt_reports/USNAVY/USNTMJ%20Reports/USNTMJ_toc.htm


 

Italian navy


 

http://www.regiamarina.net/


 

Forum with lots of discussion, many authors present

NavWeaps discussion Board

http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/directory#.WLmI9OQV-Uk


 

Ship models

Under forum Calling all Ship fans you have various discussions about camos, Equipment etc that the ships have so you have exttemely long threads for some ships with photos and other infos which can be interesting but the model kits are the focus, but you might be lead to other data, f.e. myself was linked to the Hiraga archives by info here


 

http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/index.php?sid=65f03a7ce8e7036279b5f7c4aefe40af


 


 


 


 

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This site also has a forum that is definately worth to have a look at. Interesting topics about ships all around.

http://www.kbismarck.org/forum/index.php

Not just about the Bismarck, but also about other ships and hypothetical scenarioes. Also technical topics about the ships and their equipment, which can be a worthy read as well.

 

 

If you like the Dutch Navy, blueprints of all ships no longer in service can be found here. Site is in Dutch, but blueprints don't need a language.

http://www.gahetna.nl/en/collectie/archief/ead/index/eadid/4.MST

 

 

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What's the point of talking about history when the models in this game have very little to do with real ships and real world physics?

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What's the point of talking about history when the models in this game have very little to do with real ships and real world physics?

 

You do realize that many of the players are here because of their interest in warships - so sources for ships actual performance are good to know when discussing the ships in game
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Does anyone have anything on the HMS Quilliam? NWM is a bit thin on their info on the Q-class destroyer. I had a family member on it.

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Nothing can be compared to free approach of the Soviets / Russians to having access to knowledge:

 

Main site: http://wunderwaffe.narod.ru/

 

For example: 

http://wunderwaffe.narod.ru/Magazine/MKA/index.htm

http://wunderwaffe.narod.ru/Magazine/MK/index.htm

http://wunderwaffe.narod.ru/Magazine/BKM/index.htm

 

Sometimes one needs to dig a bit, because not all links directly work, but generally lots of good info there, photos and drawings too.

 

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When i was looking for information's about royal navy carriers to suggest a premium cv last year i did found a nice website about armoured carriers named, you might get it:


Main Site: ARMOURED AIRCRAFT CARRIERS IN WORLD WAR II .

 

Many pictures and history about the use of the 5 british carrier classes in the Royal Navy at wartime and, as the cherry on top, the site also has a  page about a japanese one which already is in game.

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I will add this one - in memory of the guy himself, a frequent contributor to the Warships1 forums until he passed away.

 

http://www.eugeneleeslover.com/

 

Lots of technical stuff as well as his memories of serving with the USN (and those of others), Contemporary newspaper articles of WW2 action, a real pot pouri of naval memorabilia

 

And also - http://www.naval-history.net/ - "Preserving Naval History Research and Memoirs  ..... making Contemporary Accounts more readily available" - RN focussed.

Edited by philjd

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If anybody wants to talk history in a clan, think about coming and joining us. Link in my signature 

 

-

 

Does anybody have any good links for information on The Opium Wars? My clan leader is into that era and I'd like to be able to hold a convo with him on the subject but that era is a bit of a dark hole for me.

Thanks in advance

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PS/HMS Medway Queen J48

"Heroine of Dunkirk" 1st to arrive, last to leave.

HMS_Medway_Queen_Dunkirk_450.png

I am very much into local naval history, living just a mile away from Chatham Dockyard in Chatham/Gillingham, Kent.

The PS/HMS Medway Queen played a vital role during the war, evacuating troops from Dunkirk, minesweeper on the Dover straight, and also playing the part as a warship by shooting down enemy aircraft.

 

Minesweeper:  1939. 

In the autumn of 1939 the Medway Queen was in the shipyard of the General Steam Navigation Company (Deptford Creek) where she was transformed from her black, white and cream peacetime livery to battleship grey. The refit included some modification to her aft end where part of her aft was cut away to accommodate the mine sweeping gear. Additional items were fitted such as anti-aircraft machine guns and an enclosed bridge cabin. She went into the yard as a pleasure steamer but came out as the HMS Medway Queen.

During the winter of 1939 parts of the Medway and Thames estuaries were frozen over but the 10th Paddle Minesweeping Flotilla continued their daily sweeps for mines with the assistance of a tug to break any patches of ice that lay ahead of them. The harshness of the cold winters took their toll on the Medway Queen with faults appearing in the ship's structure. This lead to her being ordered into Chatham dockyard during December 1939 for repairs. When the work was finished in January 1940 the Medway Queen joined the 10th Paddle Minesweeping Flotilla with her pennant number N48 which later became J48. The flotilla was commanded by Commander Greig R.N. of HMS Sandown (another paddle steamer, originally from the Isle of Wight).

 

Rescue Ship & Warship: 1940. 

HMS Medway Queen spent the early part of the 1940s patrolling the Straits of Dover acting as sub-divisional leader, often the paddle steamer would anchor in pre-arranged locations in order to act as lookout. It was when the Medway Queen was fulfilling this duty on 27th May 1940 that she received orders to head to the beaches of Dunkirk to embark some troops that would be waiting there. Even then the crew of HMS Medway Queen had no idea of the enormous operation that became known as "Operation Dynamo".

From her anchorage the Medway Queen departed for Dunkirk along with the PS Sandown, PS Thames Queen, PS Gracie Fields, PS Queen of Thanet, PS Princess Elizabeth, PS Laguna Belle and PS Brighton Belle. As they approached the beaches they could see the lines of soldiers in the water, some of which were up to their necks. Using the lifeboats the crew of the Medway Queen ferried the soldiers from the beaches to the paddle steamer and all the while this was happening the cruiser "Calcutta" gave covering fire. By 8am the Medway Queen was fully loaded and headed back to Dover unscathed. This was the first of seven crossings that the Medway Queen was to make throughout the entire operation.

As the Medway Queen approached Dover Harbour an air-raid developed and the little paddle steamer claimed her first kill in shooting down one of the enemy aircraft. But while all those onboard celebrated the near-by Brighton Belle tore out her bottom as she drifted over a submerged wreck. As she began to sink the Medway Queen went alongside and took off all her soldiers and crew resulting in no loss of life. The Medway Queen, so heavily overloaded, managed to return to Dover and moored alongside.

That evening the Medway Queen rejoined the flotilla and head back to the Dunkirk beaches. It was at this point that the Captain of Medway Queen decided to go to and from the beaches as much as they could, realizing that the entire British Expeditionary Force was to be evacuated.

 

During the second night the Straits of Dover were particularly calm and the double wake from the paddle steamers were easily spotted from enemy aircraft. Therefore to prevent detection the Medway Queen's crew devised a system of oily bags lowered over the side to break up the waves.

The Medway Queen and other ships managed to reach the actual harbour and use the strip of concrete reaching out from the heavily damaged harbour. the strip of concrete was known as the outer mole and allowed in excess of 200,000 soldiers to be saved throughout the 9 days of the evacuation. The Medway Queen made several crossings to this location because soldiers could be loaded directly onboard and much quicker to than at the beaches. She also changed from disembarking troops in Dover to disembarking them in Ramsgate instead. Each trip included the loading of provisions and oil fuel before departing in darkness.

The crew of Medway Queen were kept occupied throughout with the Petty Officer's mess being used as sick bay. The galley was a hub of food production with a big pot of stew and never-ending line of soldiers with their mess tins. It was said that every man who boarded the Medway Queen was fed and given a cup of Navy cocoa or tea. For seven crossings Thomas Russell, Chief Cook and his assistant worked continuously with very little sleep.

The chief engineer, who was also one of the Medway Queens peacetime officers, had the enormous strain of having to control the vessels engines throughout this time. He had to act quickly to every command given mainly because of the high risk of collision with other vessels sailing closely together.

On the open decks of the Medway Queen her 12-pounder and lewis gun were in constant use, defending the ship and those onboard with additional fire power being provided by the ever willing soldiers and their rifles. Other soldiers also helped load the ships bren guns which had been recovered from the beaches. So the Medway Queen had a good array of fire power which gave her a confirmed record of having shot down three enemy aircraft during the evacuation.

By Monday 3rd June the German army was finally closing in and Vice Admiral Ramsey gave orders that all ships were to leave Dunkirk by 2.30 the following morning. The Medway Queen was alongside the mole at midnight loading soldiers before her final return crossing back to England. heavy shelling in the area caused a ship astern of the Medway Queen to be hit and she subsequently moved forward against the Medway Queen's starboard paddle box causing extensive damage. The captain had a difficult time maneuvering her clear of the berth but he managed it and the Medway Queen slowly returned to England. Despite being one of the first vessels to reach the beaches she was one of the last to leave on June 4th 1940. She limped into Dover Harbour and Vice Admiral Ramsey signaled "Well Done Medway Queen" accompanied by the sound of the sirens from all the ships in Dover Harbour.

Overall the Medway Queen rescued over 7,000 men with several of her crew being decorated for bravery.

Nicknamed "The Heroine of Dunkirk" a small ship that helped to save 1000's of lives, the lives of military men that would later go on to conquer the Nazi's and win World War 2.

 

Now recognised by World of Warships Update 6.8 for her role in the evacuation of Dunkirk, she will be a part of the "DUNKIRK EVENT COLLECTABLES" in update 6.8.

PCZC043_Dunkirk_MedwayQueen.png?raw=true

 

Today the PS Medway Queen after a massive £1,8 million refit/rebuild is proudly situated at her home at Gillingham Pier on the River Medway.

rjo05_015crop.png?&scale.option=fill&sca

 

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3 hours ago, iJoby said:

PS/HMS Medway Queen J48

"Heroine of Dunkirk" 1st to arrive, last to leave.

HMS_Medway_Queen_Dunkirk_450.png

I am very much into local naval history, living just a mile away from Chatham Dockyard in Chatham/Gillingham, Kent.

The PS/HMS Medway Queen played a vital role during the war, evacuating troops from Dunkirk, minesweeper on the Dover straight, and also playing the part as a warship by shooting down enemy aircraft.

 

Minesweeper:  1939. 

In the autumn of 1939 the Medway Queen was in the shipyard of the General Steam Navigation Company (Deptford Creek) where she was transformed from her black, white and cream peacetime livery to battleship grey. The refit included some modification to her aft end where part of her aft was cut away to accommodate the mine sweeping gear. Additional items were fitted such as anti-aircraft machine guns and an enclosed bridge cabin. She went into the yard as a pleasure steamer but came out as the HMS Medway Queen.

During the winter of 1939 parts of the Medway and Thames estuaries were frozen over but the 10th Paddle Minesweeping Flotilla continued their daily sweeps for mines with the assistance of a tug to break any patches of ice that lay ahead of them. The harshness of the cold winters took their toll on the Medway Queen with faults appearing in the ship's structure. This lead to her being ordered into Chatham dockyard during December 1939 for repairs. When the work was finished in January 1940 the Medway Queen joined the 10th Paddle Minesweeping Flotilla with her pennant number N48 which later became J48. The flotilla was commanded by Commander Greig R.N. of HMS Sandown (another paddle steamer, originally from the Isle of Wight).

 

Rescue Ship & Warship: 1940. 

HMS Medway Queen spent the early part of the 1940s patrolling the Straits of Dover acting as sub-divisional leader, often the paddle steamer would anchor in pre-arranged locations in order to act as lookout. It was when the Medway Queen was fulfilling this duty on 27th May 1940 that she received orders to head to the beaches of Dunkirk to embark some troops that would be waiting there. Even then the crew of HMS Medway Queen had no idea of the enormous operation that became known as "Operation Dynamo".

From her anchorage the Medway Queen departed for Dunkirk along with the PS Sandown, PS Thames Queen, PS Gracie Fields, PS Queen of Thanet, PS Princess Elizabeth, PS Laguna Belle and PS Brighton Belle. As they approached the beaches they could see the lines of soldiers in the water, some of which were up to their necks. Using the lifeboats the crew of the Medway Queen ferried the soldiers from the beaches to the paddle steamer and all the while this was happening the cruiser "Calcutta" gave covering fire. By 8am the Medway Queen was fully loaded and headed back to Dover unscathed. This was the first of seven crossings that the Medway Queen was to make throughout the entire operation.

As the Medway Queen approached Dover Harbour an air-raid developed and the little paddle steamer claimed her first kill in shooting down one of the enemy aircraft. But while all those onboard celebrated the near-by Brighton Belle tore out her bottom as she drifted over a submerged wreck. As she began to sink the Medway Queen went alongside and took off all her soldiers and crew resulting in no loss of life. The Medway Queen, so heavily overloaded, managed to return to Dover and moored alongside.

That evening the Medway Queen rejoined the flotilla and head back to the Dunkirk beaches. It was at this point that the Captain of Medway Queen decided to go to and from the beaches as much as they could, realizing that the entire British Expeditionary Force was to be evacuated.

 

During the second night the Straits of Dover were particularly calm and the double wake from the paddle steamers were easily spotted from enemy aircraft. Therefore to prevent detection the Medway Queen's crew devised a system of oily bags lowered over the side to break up the waves.

The Medway Queen and other ships managed to reach the actual harbour and use the strip of concrete reaching out from the heavily damaged harbour. the strip of concrete was known as the outer mole and allowed in excess of 200,000 soldiers to be saved throughout the 9 days of the evacuation. The Medway Queen made several crossings to this location because soldiers could be loaded directly onboard and much quicker to than at the beaches. She also changed from disembarking troops in Dover to disembarking them in Ramsgate instead. Each trip included the loading of provisions and oil fuel before departing in darkness.

The crew of Medway Queen were kept occupied throughout with the Petty Officer's mess being used as sick bay. The galley was a hub of food production with a big pot of stew and never-ending line of soldiers with their mess tins. It was said that every man who boarded the Medway Queen was fed and given a cup of Navy cocoa or tea. For seven crossings Thomas Russell, Chief Cook and his assistant worked continuously with very little sleep.

The chief engineer, who was also one of the Medway Queens peacetime officers, had the enormous strain of having to control the vessels engines throughout this time. He had to act quickly to every command given mainly because of the high risk of collision with other vessels sailing closely together.

On the open decks of the Medway Queen her 12-pounder and lewis gun were in constant use, defending the ship and those onboard with additional fire power being provided by the ever willing soldiers and their rifles. Other soldiers also helped load the ships bren guns which had been recovered from the beaches. So the Medway Queen had a good array of fire power which gave her a confirmed record of having shot down three enemy aircraft during the evacuation.

By Monday 3rd June the German army was finally closing in and Vice Admiral Ramsey gave orders that all ships were to leave Dunkirk by 2.30 the following morning. The Medway Queen was alongside the mole at midnight loading soldiers before her final return crossing back to England. heavy shelling in the area caused a ship astern of the Medway Queen to be hit and she subsequently moved forward against the Medway Queen's starboard paddle box causing extensive damage. The captain had a difficult time maneuvering her clear of the berth but he managed it and the Medway Queen slowly returned to England. Despite being one of the first vessels to reach the beaches she was one of the last to leave on June 4th 1940. She limped into Dover Harbour and Vice Admiral Ramsey signaled "Well Done Medway Queen" accompanied by the sound of the sirens from all the ships in Dover Harbour.

Overall the Medway Queen rescued over 7,000 men with several of her crew being decorated for bravery.

Nicknamed "The Heroine of Dunkirk" a small ship that helped to save 1000's of lives, the lives of military men that would later go on to conquer the Nazi's and win World War 2.

 

Now recognised by World of Warships for her role in the evacuation of Dunkirk, she will be a part of the "DUNKIRK EVENT COLLECTABLES" in a future patch or update.

PCZC043_Dunkirk_MedwayQueen.png?raw=true

 

Today the PS Medway Queen after a massive £1,8 million refit is proudly situated at her home at Gillingham Pier on the River Medway.

rjo05_015crop.png?&scale.option=fill&sca

 

O nice post. Going to link this on my clan Discord server so all of us fanboys can read it.

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This is an article I used for a paper about the Rise and fall of the Imperial Japanese Navy (1854-1945) I wrote for my course Japanese history at uni.
The article is about help from foreign nations (in this article they focus on Britain) in modernising the Japanese Navy. It's a very interesting read in my opinion.

 

Link to the article: http://quantumhistory.weebly.com/uploads/4/2/5/8/42580091/britain-_japan.pdf

P.s.: I ended up with 23/25 on my paper :D

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9 minutes ago, GenrMcAuliffe1 said:

This is an article I used for a paper about the Rise and fall of the Imperial Japanese Navy (1854-1945) I wrote for my course Japanese history at uni.
The article is about help from foreign nations (in this article they focus on Britain) in modernising the Japanese Navy. It's a very interesting read in my opinion.

 

Link to the article: http://quantumhistory.weebly.com/uploads/4/2/5/8/42580091/britain-_japan.pdf

P.s.: I ended up with 23/25 on my paper :D

I read the first 10 lines of the article, and i'm hooked, I will read the rest tonight, "A Must Read" 

Thank You

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6 minutes ago, iJoby said:

I read the first 10 lines of the article, and i'm hooked, I will read the rest tonight, "A Must Read" 

Thank You

No problem :)

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4 minutes ago, GenrMcAuliffe1 said:

No problem :)

Did you know the Kongo class battle-cruiser was designed by a Brit? George Thurston

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1 hour ago, iJoby said:

Did you know the Kongo class battle-cruiser was designed by a Brit? George Thurston

Yes, as the article stated the Kongo was built in GB. I'm also a weeb and Kongo (from Kantai Collection) speaks with certain English words because she was constructed there.

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On 7/1/2017 at 3:11 PM, iJoby said:

PS/HMS Medway Queen J48

"Heroine of Dunkirk" 1st to arrive, last to leave.

HMS_Medway_Queen_Dunkirk_450.png

I am very much into local naval history, living just a mile away from Chatham Dockyard in Chatham/Gillingham, Kent.

The PS/HMS Medway Queen played a vital role during the war, evacuating troops from Dunkirk, minesweeper on the Dover straight, and also playing the part as a warship by shooting down enemy aircraft.

 

Minesweeper:  1939. 

In the autumn of 1939 the Medway Queen was in the shipyard of the General Steam Navigation Company (Deptford Creek) where she was transformed from her black, white and cream peacetime livery to battleship grey. The refit included some modification to her aft end where part of her aft was cut away to accommodate the mine sweeping gear. Additional items were fitted such as anti-aircraft machine guns and an enclosed bridge cabin. She went into the yard as a pleasure steamer but came out as the HMS Medway Queen.

During the winter of 1939 parts of the Medway and Thames estuaries were frozen over but the 10th Paddle Minesweeping Flotilla continued their daily sweeps for mines with the assistance of a tug to break any patches of ice that lay ahead of them. The harshness of the cold winters took their toll on the Medway Queen with faults appearing in the ship's structure. This lead to her being ordered into Chatham dockyard during December 1939 for repairs. When the work was finished in January 1940 the Medway Queen joined the 10th Paddle Minesweeping Flotilla with her pennant number N48 which later became J48. The flotilla was commanded by Commander Greig R.N. of HMS Sandown (another paddle steamer, originally from the Isle of Wight).

 

Rescue Ship & Warship: 1940. 

HMS Medway Queen spent the early part of the 1940s patrolling the Straits of Dover acting as sub-divisional leader, often the paddle steamer would anchor in pre-arranged locations in order to act as lookout. It was when the Medway Queen was fulfilling this duty on 27th May 1940 that she received orders to head to the beaches of Dunkirk to embark some troops that would be waiting there. Even then the crew of HMS Medway Queen had no idea of the enormous operation that became known as "Operation Dynamo".

From her anchorage the Medway Queen departed for Dunkirk along with the PS Sandown, PS Thames Queen, PS Gracie Fields, PS Queen of Thanet, PS Princess Elizabeth, PS Laguna Belle and PS Brighton Belle. As they approached the beaches they could see the lines of soldiers in the water, some of which were up to their necks. Using the lifeboats the crew of the Medway Queen ferried the soldiers from the beaches to the paddle steamer and all the while this was happening the cruiser "Calcutta" gave covering fire. By 8am the Medway Queen was fully loaded and headed back to Dover unscathed. This was the first of seven crossings that the Medway Queen was to make throughout the entire operation.

As the Medway Queen approached Dover Harbour an air-raid developed and the little paddle steamer claimed her first kill in shooting down one of the enemy aircraft. But while all those onboard celebrated the near-by Brighton Belle tore out her bottom as she drifted over a submerged wreck. As she began to sink the Medway Queen went alongside and took off all her soldiers and crew resulting in no loss of life. The Medway Queen, so heavily overloaded, managed to return to Dover and moored alongside.

That evening the Medway Queen rejoined the flotilla and head back to the Dunkirk beaches. It was at this point that the Captain of Medway Queen decided to go to and from the beaches as much as they could, realizing that the entire British Expeditionary Force was to be evacuated.

 

During the second night the Straits of Dover were particularly calm and the double wake from the paddle steamers were easily spotted from enemy aircraft. Therefore to prevent detection the Medway Queen's crew devised a system of oily bags lowered over the side to break up the waves.

The Medway Queen and other ships managed to reach the actual harbour and use the strip of concrete reaching out from the heavily damaged harbour. the strip of concrete was known as the outer mole and allowed in excess of 200,000 soldiers to be saved throughout the 9 days of the evacuation. The Medway Queen made several crossings to this location because soldiers could be loaded directly onboard and much quicker to than at the beaches. She also changed from disembarking troops in Dover to disembarking them in Ramsgate instead. Each trip included the loading of provisions and oil fuel before departing in darkness.

The crew of Medway Queen were kept occupied throughout with the Petty Officer's mess being used as sick bay. The galley was a hub of food production with a big pot of stew and never-ending line of soldiers with their mess tins. It was said that every man who boarded the Medway Queen was fed and given a cup of Navy cocoa or tea. For seven crossings Thomas Russell, Chief Cook and his assistant worked continuously with very little sleep.

The chief engineer, who was also one of the Medway Queens peacetime officers, had the enormous strain of having to control the vessels engines throughout this time. He had to act quickly to every command given mainly because of the high risk of collision with other vessels sailing closely together.

On the open decks of the Medway Queen her 12-pounder and lewis gun were in constant use, defending the ship and those onboard with additional fire power being provided by the ever willing soldiers and their rifles. Other soldiers also helped load the ships bren guns which had been recovered from the beaches. So the Medway Queen had a good array of fire power which gave her a confirmed record of having shot down three enemy aircraft during the evacuation.

By Monday 3rd June the German army was finally closing in and Vice Admiral Ramsey gave orders that all ships were to leave Dunkirk by 2.30 the following morning. The Medway Queen was alongside the mole at midnight loading soldiers before her final return crossing back to England. heavy shelling in the area caused a ship astern of the Medway Queen to be hit and she subsequently moved forward against the Medway Queen's starboard paddle box causing extensive damage. The captain had a difficult time maneuvering her clear of the berth but he managed it and the Medway Queen slowly returned to England. Despite being one of the first vessels to reach the beaches she was one of the last to leave on June 4th 1940. She limped into Dover Harbour and Vice Admiral Ramsey signaled "Well Done Medway Queen" accompanied by the sound of the sirens from all the ships in Dover Harbour.

Overall the Medway Queen rescued over 7,000 men with several of her crew being decorated for bravery.

Nicknamed "The Heroine of Dunkirk" a small ship that helped to save 1000's of lives, the lives of military men that would later go on to conquer the Nazi's and win World War 2.

 

Now recognised by World of Warships Update 6.8 for her role in the evacuation of Dunkirk, she will be a part of the "DUNKIRK EVENT COLLECTABLES" in update 6.8.

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Today the PS Medway Queen after a massive £1,8 million refit/rebuild is proudly situated at her home at Gillingham Pier on the River Medway.

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She has arrived in game :Smile_Default:

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  • Cool 2

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