SITREP – June 2015 (and a big thank you)

Morse CodeWelcome to Defence of the Realm’s SITREP for June 2015. For those of you who are new followers and have never seen one of these posts before I would like to welcome you and thank you for giving the site a look. Basically, this is my opportunity to let you you know how the site is doing and the direction it will be taking over the next month. It is also your opportunity to let me know your thoughts on the site in general as well as to offer your own suggestions/input in to any of the projects that are on the horizon.

First off I would like to thank each and every one of you for following the site, reading the articles and liking/commenting. We are coming up to the one year mark now and the site has gone beyond my wildest hopes and aspirations with May being just incredible for site traffic. A whopping 12,810 hits were recorded on the site statistics for May and its all down to you guys giving up your precious time to see what’s new. To put that in to perspective that’s more hits than the total between July and December 2014.

What started as a side project for me has now taken on a whole new life of its own which now encompasses a YouTube channel which is just starting to take off. My next step is going to have to be to buy the domain name off WordPress so that it becomes my own. I don’t want to risk losing it at this point. As I have told some of you before I am not exactly well financed so I will have to come up with some sort of plan to afford it but its something I want to do now.

I believe there’s equilibrium in the universe and so to that end I have to report that I am more or less giving up on the defence podcast idea. It’s proven too problematic and in my practice runs I have proven that I am not that great at speaking on the spot. If anyone else plans to do one I would be willing to take part but as for DotR I think its not the direction to go.

Anyway, that’s enough babbling on. Here’s what’s on the horizon for June;

  • Following the interest I continue to have on the article covering British tanks during the Russian Civil War 1918-19 I am currently researching Royal Navy operations in support of the white Russian forces against the Bolsheviks.
  • I am currently researching and writing an article on the only time in history a submarine has sunk another submarine while both were submerged. Hollywood likes to tell us that US submarines did it all the time but the fact is it was a British submarine that did it and it’s a story I certainly want to make more public.
  • Months ago I put up on a SITREP that I was going to do an article on De Havilland Chipmunk trainers that used to fly through the East German air corridors to Berlin taking pictures of Soviet ground troops. I had gathered some research and pictures but for some reason it fell by the wayside as other articles occupied my time and I forgot about it until I stumbled on the file on my computer this week. I will get around to it this month.
  • I have been making more of an effort to keep the news articles coming. I have set up Google email alerts to keep me abreast of what’s going on and I am trying to filter a lot of the more important stories out from the lesser ones. I find that a lot of defence news sites put a lot of minor stories up and that tends to cover up the more important stories or the ones that are developing. I am not saying those stories are any less interesting but for one man researching and writing articles as well as keeping up with the news it’s just too much to cope.
  • I am considering writing an article in the wake of the recent round of defence cuts where I will be looking at what Britain’s future theatres of operation will be and how an even leaner military might be employed. This will be a big post so don’t expect it soon.
  • I will continue with the Five Facts About… format for future YouTube videos. I have made a start on scripting videos for the Spitfire and ships named Ark Royal.
  • Hopefully going to squeeze in a few more museum visits this month but again finances willing. Currently digging up the garden and putting chippings down which is taking up a lot of my resources (not to mention reminding me why I hate gardening). Maybe a return visit to Yeovilton will be my reward for a job done.

Thanks again everybody for your support. It really means a lot to me. If you are on Twitter you can follow me by clicking on my name below. I tend to upload a lot of pictures on there of where I have been and stuff that just doesn’t fit into an article yet.

– Tony Wilkins

The mysterious "Pilot X"

The mysterious “Pilot X”

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9 responses to “SITREP – June 2015 (and a big thank you)

  1. Keep at it, you’re doing well with a lot of interesting articles. My only faint criticism is that I don’t really find it easy to read white on black, although I follow somebody who writes in bright pink on black, so it could be worse!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John. Pink on black? Can’t imagine that. I have had it said once before and I put out a question to see if it was a widespread opinion. At the time I didn’t have much feedback and what I did get was a bit here-nor-there. Now the site has grown maybe I should put it out again and see what response I get. If people are finding it difficult to read then I will consider changing it. When I first started the site was white with black lettering but I didn’t like the format and changed it to the current one. I will pose the question again and see what happens.

      On another note you will now find that DotR recommends johnknifton.com on the side menu.

      Just a little thank you.

      Like

  2. We have to try different things to keep readers and followers interested and to push ourselves. If it doesn’t feel right don’t do it! You have great articles here I look forward to many more. A question for you, after watching the Typhoon and Spitfire together, in a straight forward gun-only dogfight, (with equal guns) which would come out on top?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thats no easy question to ask. Firstly which Spitfire mark would be looking at? Secondly, until the later model Spits the Typhoon’s four cannons meant that it had a heavier punch compared to the earlier Spits which had a combination of .303 and 20mm guns. Later the Spits adopted four 20mm cannons and this became the standard armament for fighters in the post war period.

      In terms of dogfight performance at low level I would say the Typhoon would be the superior aircraft but at higher altitudes that Napier Sabre engine ran out of steam and the Merlin engined Spitfire could run rings around the Typhoon.

      Does this answer your question?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for that, bags of information there. However, I was oddly thinking about the modem Typhoon. I
        Saw the two flying together recently and wondered how easy would one out turn the other to get into a dominant position. The typhoon being able to fly as ‘slow’ as the spitfire could it also out turn it at these speeds? Being heavier but computer controlled would it stay behind or have to fly past to prevent stalling in tight turns. The answer is probably obvious but I wondered how the two would compare in such a situation.

        Like

      • Oh right, hahaha. Ok I see what you mean now. Well in that respect I would say the modern Typhoon would have the upper hand. Unlike when Lightnings had to train against them in the 60s the modern Typhoon pilot has a much lower stall speed so it could stay close to the Spit. Also its ability to fly at high-alpha angles means that the Typhoon wouldn’t have to get behind the Spit but could turn on its own axis and put a spray of bullets at the Spit.

        If the Typhoon pilot botched his approach he would be able to escape quickly and set up another attack. Like in the 60s I would say the Typhoon pilot’s best bet would be to dive below the Spit and attack from below in a high speed pass and break away from battle if the Spit is still in one piece.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That makes sense. Looking at them I would have thought that the modern typhoon was more agile and manoeuvrable at slow speeds. Remarkable considering it’s a heavier jet! Thanks for all that!

        Liked by 1 person

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