Another anniversary: This time it’s the 73rd anniversary of D-Day — the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
It’s no surprise that the German army would have produced a report on the invasion. And it’s no surprise that the Allies would get their hands on a copy, and translate it into English. What’s neat is that the Navy has one on their website. It is dated June 20, 1944, and from the office of Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, then Commander-in-Chief in the west.
I—Four facts which must be emphasized:
(1) The enemy’s complete mastery in the air.
(2) The skillful and large-scale employment of enemy parachute and airborne troops,
(3) The flexible and well-directed support of the land troops by ships’ artillery of strong English naval units ranging from battleship to gunboat.
(4) The rehearsal of the enemy invasion units for their task; most precise knowledge of the coast, of its obstacles and defense establishments, swift building up of superiority in numbers and material on the bridgehead after just a few days.
Opposed to this stands the quality of the German soldier, his steadfastness and his unqualified will to fight to the fast with army, navy and air force.
All three branches of the service have given their best and will continue to give it.
There is, of course, a lot more at the link. No major surprises in the report, but it’s always interesting to see source documents.
As for von Rundstedt, he was dismissed in July but recalled a few months later.
Christopher Nuttall reviews Robert A. Heinlein’s Podkayne Of Mars. He goes into the story behind the story, where the original publisher required that Heinlein revise the ending. Baen later included both endings in its reprint. (Do read the review: There’s a lot more to it.)
I’ve read most of Heinlein’s works, and probably all of his short stories. I know this book to be in one of the few gaps. I will need to revisit Heinlein at some point. After reading this review, I expect to start with this one.
Civilian car production stopped within two months after December 7, 1941. But this joke works even better today with self-driving cars on the horizon.
John C. Dvorak writes that self-driving cars will be too polite. They’ll be programmed to obey the rules while pedestrians and regular drivers will take advantage. It’ll be like an American driving in Sicily, not really understanding the nuances. Dvorak doesn’t say this, but I could imagine somebody hacking an aggressiveness into their own computer.
But maybe not: These cars will also be recording everything. Memory storage will be cheap. They might very well call the cops automatically.
* There was once a time when it was permissible to make fun of women drivers. Nowadays, they can only make fun of men drivers.
Via Rand Simberg (from whom I snagged this title) and StrategyPage, a USAF F-22 Raptor flying beside a restored P-51 Mustang painted in Tuskegee Airmen colors:
USAF F-22 Raptor aircraft assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base flies in formation with a WWII-era P-51 Mustang, April 22, 2017 over Panama City Beach, Fla. The aircraft flew in support of the opening ceremony of the Gulf Coast Salute Airshow at Tyndall. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Couillard)
If you’re expecting the P-51 to have a bubble canopy, this was the original design. Glass-making needed more improvement before they could have shapes that were still distortion-free. They added the bubble canopy with the P-51D.
The F-22 is actually further back than it appears. It’s about twice the length of the P-51.
Notice the golden tint in the F-22’s canopy. While this is similar to the EA-6 Prowler’s gold canopy, which protects its crew from electromagnetic waves, here it also adds to the F-22’s stealth by scattering any radar reflection.
This is far future military science fiction by a fellow member of the P-3 community. It’s not his first book. An earlier novelette in the series, Rimworld: Stranded, is available here, although I don’t yet know that the reading order matters in this one. His other earlier works are in the adventure genre. He’s been around, knows his stuff, and it shows.
Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for an unexpected book plug! I saw that he wrote last week about going back over some of his earlier finds. I honestly didn’t dare hope that mine would be one of them.
Yes, I realize that I am very late in putting out another sequel. There are reasons for this, but not very good ones. I’ll explain this better one day. For now, I’ll just say I am very sorry.
And I should say that The Time Bridge At Orion was never meant to be THE sequel. It was partly an experiment in how to do a battle scene in space. But at the same time, I didn’t want to mess up the events that need to happen for the actual sequel. That is why Time Bridge was set entirely in space.
The upcoming book will absolutely be ready this year — and I don’t mean next Winter. I have a date in mind but won’t announce it because that would jinx it. It takes up where Time Bridge left off. You will see WWII in its end, and then a future Reich. The same characters will be back to deal with the mess. This will include some things that actually happened in history, but which look differently without a victory behind us.
The Doolittle raid was 75 years ago today. 80 men in 16 B-25 Mitchells took off of the USS Hornet (CV-8) on April 18, 1942 to attack mainland Japan.
The Navy has a good write-up here. (These U.S. military histories are an important resource.)
Of the 16 B-25s: “15 crashed in occupied China, where the Japanese inflicted brutal reprisals against the Chinese populace in Chekiang province. One B-25 landed intact at Vladivostok, where the Soviets interned it and its crew.”
The reprisals were indeed brutal. The Chinese paid the biggest price of all.
Of the Raiders, 3 were killed in combat, 8 captured (of which 3 were killed, and one died in captivity).
The Soviets were unwilling to release the crew they recovered until the end of the war. While that may seem strange now, they were not at war with Japan. To send them home would risk them being seen as participants. (A few years later, they disassembled and duplicated the B-29 from one that they got that way.)
USS Hornet got back safely, but did not survive the year. The one currently on display in Alameda, California, is the USS Hornet (CV-12), which was commissioned the next year.
Bathrooms are unnecessary because it’s only an 11 minute ride. You’ll be boarding just half an hour before that.
I hope that’s not wishful thinking. Alan Shepard’s 1961 Mercury space flight was only about 15 minutes. They hadn’t planned on a five hour delay. They decided it was better to let him go in his space suit than to scrub the mission.
But this may just be marketing. My guess is that passengers will quietly be given a pack of Depends with their flight suits. Just in case.
Here’s one thing I did not know: “vomiting doesn’t usually occur until about 3 hours into a flight.” SF writers need to know this stuff.