Sunday, May 06, 2007

To the Gates of H__L

Despite his many liberal views, I am backing John McCain in the Republican Primaries. Thus, his commentary on chasing Osama to the "Gates of Hell" was well received in the JJV household. Also, interesting is his choice of reading material which is not the predictable pap we normally hear, but also appears to be a Slattery friendly choice.

Speaking of which-for those of you who don't get cable-Friday night on the History Channel on a program called "great duels" or some such they had a program on the Bismark v. The Hood and the Prince of Wales, Norfolk the Suffolk and well, eventually everybody. Not only was the footage too cool but they had interviews with men still living who were in the ships (or planes) at the time. I had forgotten that the Bismark was sunk by biplanes. Biplanes actually called "Fairies" (sure I'd call them Swordfish too were I piloting them).

Finally, the title is from both John McCain and Ronald Reagan, who in his diaries never spelled out cusswords of even the mildest sort.


Dave S. said...

Bismarck was not sunk by biplanes, but a lucky torpedo hit from a Swordfish jammed the ship's steering and allowed the British capital ships to overtake and sink her.

Please note the correct name of the Fairey Company and in future use a spelling source slightly more reputable than wargame instructions.

jjv said...

I originally spelled it the British way but changed it to 'murican before posting. Also, the Germans were setting her to scuttle so it was...wait for it...a race to the bottom.

Dave S. said...

Spelled what the British way? "Fairey" is a surname, not a pejorative term/imaginary winged creature.

Well played on the second sentence, however. [claps politely]

Oh, and the Leyte book does sound interesting.

Anonymous said...

The Fairey Swordfish was not the only plane that the company made, therefore the pilots referring to it as the Swordfish would be accurate. I understand that the pilots instead referred to it as the "Stringbag", however. Read To War in a Stringbag by a RN Swordfish pilot who participated in the famous raid on Taranto harbor that pretty much took the Italian Navy out of the war.

It's always fun to hear military nicknames. Some quick faves: "Type 1 Lighter" by Japanese "Betty" pilots; Sherman Tank crews had a similar morbid nickname for the M3; "Thud" for the F-105; "self-propelled coffins" for Italian crews of the 13/40.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that anonymous comment was me, btw.

John C.

Dave S. said...

The older battleships of the Russian Baltic Fleet were referred to as the "sink by themselves" class during the Russo-Japanese War. They were, of course, then sunk by the Japanese Navy at Tsushima, one of whose participants was a young Isoruko Yamamoto, planner and executor of the raid on Pearl Harbor that was inspired by the British raid on Taranto, carried out by Stringbags.

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