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Welcome to Clash of Steel!


Featured battle : Chickasaw Bluffs

Part of American Civil War

Date : 29 December 1862

General Sherman, unaware that the other half of the pincer-movement on Vicksburg under Grant had withdrawn, continued to move on the important Mississippi river town by attacking the defences a few miles north on the bluffs overlooking Chickasaw bayou. However since there was no supporting diversion the 14,000 dug-in Confederate defenders had no trouble 'knocking-over like tenpins' the 32,000 Union attackers. Sherman gave up and withdrew north.

Featured image :

Alnwick War Memorial

Alnwick War Memorial

Gallery updated : 2022-04-04 08:33:43

Featured review :

The Trans-Atlantic Pioneers

Bruce Hales-Dutton
A timely book, all about overcoming the many problems associated with crossing the Atlantic by air, made more poignant by the fact that it was being reviewed during the very week of the centenary of that first crossing. In the true spirit of similar narrative histories of pioneers, this book begins with the problem itself, and has several chapters following the earliest attempts, followed by the successful ones of the 'Nancy boat' NC4, then Alcock and Brown's successful single hop, and those of the gallant fails. There's a sympathetic coverage of airship R34's oft-forgotten double crossing only a few weeks later, but all this is set against the fact that this was 1919, barely 13 years after the Wright brothers first flight, and less than a year after the trauma of the First World War.

The next few chapters follow the golden years of the 1920's and 30's, with different celebrity flyers trying to out-do each other and set new records, while the Graf Zeppelin serenely, and controversially because of the Nazi propaganda it inevitably created, attempted to make trans-Atlantic travel luxurious and almost routine.

It then moves on to another oft-forgotten aspect, that of the ferry flights back and forth between the aircraft factories of the US and the theatres of operations in Europe, with the stories of the exhausting schedule of the pilots who carried out this vital and un-sung work, and the thousands of aircraft they delivered.

The final section of the book moves into commercial aviation and covers the story of scheduled airline trans-Atlantic flights. It takes you from the basic postwar days of the prop-airliner, through the introduction of the jet, the jumbo and wide-bodies, the move to twin engine turbo-fans and, of course, Concord. Each of these latter chapters takes a particular aspect of aviation that significantly affected these routes, and while such a collection could never cover everything in detail, it manages to give a good account of why each thing matters while remaining human and anchoring itself with first-hand account from those 'who were there'. For personal preference, I would have liked more maps, for example of the various routes used to cross for the early flights, but the chronology of key events is very comprehensive, and the whole book is well paced, well constructed, enjoyable and recommended.
Air World - an imprint of Pen & Sword, Barnsley., 2018

Reviewed : 2019-07-01 20:12:38