Upcoming changes to Defence of the Realm

Hi everybody,

I thought I would take a moment and explain the changes that will be taking place to Defence of the Realm over the coming weeks.

As you know the site aims to cover British military news, technology and history. However, as this is a one man show and with my writing time limited to about an hour a day at best, keeping updated with the latest developments has proven an almost full-time job. The news posts have started to dominate my time which means writing factual articles about history and technology has fallen by the wayside. Also, because I have to vet which news articles I feel should go on the site a lot of news gets missed out.

I have therefore decided that as of tomorrow (February 4th 2016) I will instead be doing a news round-up which will be a post put up in the evening with links to the day’s military news. Instead of spending my limited time writing my own news reports I can now devote that time to writing up more articles about the past and get back to technology articles such as more aircraft comparisons (currently researching a comparison between the Short Stirling and the Italian Piaggio P.108). This also means that as the readers you will get a better news service and you will be able to chose what news story interests you.

This does not mean I have given up on writing about current events. Far from it. I will continue to write about current events if I feel I have something to contribute. I understand that I will probably sustain a lower visitor rate this way but hopefully I will counterbalance that with interest in the new articles I can work on with all that time freed up.

On a similar note I will be starting a new series of posts that will go up at 0900hrs GMT on Saturday mornings. Called “Recommended Reading” it will provide links to posts and articles I have read in the week that I feel deserve to be shared. These will include pages on and off of WordPress. I am pleased to say that I have built up a small library of WordPress sites written by some talented people that I want to promote but I have never liked the way WordPress reblogs pages.

Thank you all again for your support. As some of you know, Defence of the Realm started as a bit of side project that I didn’t take seriously but has now taken on a life of it’s own. I have even just conducted my first interview which will hopefully be put up soon. You can now find the site through the domain name defenceoftherealm.com which was donated to me by the previous owner of the domain name who no longer wished to use it.

I wish you all the very best.

-Tony Wilkins


One happy chappy!


SITREP – A big thank you for a big day


Hello everybody

I felt I should put up a post today thanking everyone for what has been DotR’s best day yet. Thanks to you reading, commenting, reblogging and sharing the stats for Defence of the Realm exploded. Usually the site averages between 350-450 hits per day but yesterday the site hit the staggering mark of 3,207 hits beating the old record of 1,954 by a considerable margin. The article on the alternatives to Poseidon for a Nimrod replacement had a lot to do with it but actually an older article discussing whether the RAF could assume the nuclear deterrent back from the Royal Navy was the biggest scorer thanks to it appearing on Forces News Online and sparking the creation of a pprune.org discussion board.

None of this would be possible without you guys – DotR’s followers. Thanks to your support, kind words of encouragement, contributions and your sharing/reblogging DotR is growing far beyond what I thought it would ever be. Thank you so much. There are those who have particularly supported me since I began and I don’t want to list people because I will no doubt miss one or two and I don’t want that to happen. You know who you are as I am in contact with you on a regular basis and consider you part of the wider DotR community.

Don’t forget I am still looking for more photographs to build up the gallery section. Please don’t feel that if you have photos of the subjects already shown I am not interested in them. That is far from the case. If you have any photographs of aircraft, tanks, ships, parades, museums, etc then email me at DefencerealmYT@gmail.com. Any photos I use I will of course give the owner full credit and advertise your own Twitter/Facebook/Wordpress site in the article.

Thank you again.

Best wishes

Tony Wilkins

One happy chappy!

One happy chappy!

SITREP – Gallery Updates


Due to a recent visit to the Jet Age Museum in Gloucester the following galleries have all received updates of additional images many of which are close ups of key parts of the airframe.


Tony Wilkins

SITREP – July 2015 (One Year Anniversary)

SignallingWelcome to Defence of the Realm’s SITREP for July 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.

Well, DotR is now one year old and what a year it has been. What started as a side project has now evolved in to something that seems to occupy every spare thought that pops in to my head. I have made several new friends through the site and learned a lot myself researching my articles as well as reading theirs (check out DEFENCE OF THE REALM RECOMMENDS down the right side of the page). I know I keep saying it but thank you to everyone who has supported the site either through sharing, commenting, liking or just reading some of the articles. Your support has given me the encouragement to press on and find new topics to research and write about.

So what is coming up?

  • As I mentioned last month I am working on another article about British forces during the Russian Civil War 1918-19. I have been looking in to the role of British air power but don’t have enough data yet to commit to an article.
  • I do need to make more of an effort on writing articles about the Army. Unfortunately my own experiences are biased towards the RAF (and to a lessor extent the Royal Navy) which is why I tend to lean towards those areas. I will make more of an effort in the future.
  • As most of you know or have come to realize I have something of a love affair with the Gloster Meteor and while researching the history of Meteor NF.14 WS807 I somehow entered in the wrong serial number but stumbled across a bizarre story regarding an effort to smuggle two Meteor NF.14s to Africa to take part in the Biafran war of independence against Nigeria. There is certainly an article in this and you can expect it soon.
  • As always I will try to keep apprised of the latest significant UK military news. As I have said before DotR is a one-man show so I can’t write about every single piece of news but I will be writing about the most important news that affect the military on a wider scale.
  • I am planning on starting a series of articles chronicling the development of military rifles in the UK and their subsequent use to go in the Weapon Files segment.
  • As for the aircraft comparison series I have been toying with the idea of investigating Britain’s early jets with the Soviet Union’s early Yakovlev jets that were actually developed from the Yak-9 piston engined fighter. I have also been asked for a comparison between the Meteor nightfighter and the American F-94 Starfire so expect that one soon. I will also be taking British aircraft I have already made a comparison with and putting them up against other types to expand the series. This won’t be me cheating. I will be adapting the information accordingly.

Do you have something you want to see or a question perhaps? If so put in the comments below or message me on Twitter (link below) or on the Facebook page and I will gladly get back to you.

Thanks again all and have a great July.

– Tony Wilkins

One happy chappy!

One happy chappy!

Can you read “Defence of the Realm” ok?


Hello everybody,

As most of you know I like to use the monthly SITREP posts to offer you the chance to give me feedback on the site in general. During the most recent SITREP I was told by one reader that they sometimes have trouble reading the site’s white lettering on a dark background format. This is the second time in the 11 months since the site has been up that this has been brought up and so I decided to ask what the consensus is on this.

Do you have trouble reading DotR in its current format or would you prefer to read black letters on a white screen?

If the majority request the format is changed then I will do so. I just want to cater the site to give the best of level of service.

Thank you

Tony Wilkins

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”

SITREP – April 2015

Lancaster_wireless_operator_WWII_IWM_CH_8790Welcome to Defence of the Realm’s SITREP for April 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.

Well, April is nearly over but what a month it has been. Two major events have taken place in terms of the site over the past month. Firstly, I have set up a Twitter account which although is in my own name it is primarily for the site. Feel free to follow and message me with any comments/suggestions/questions/etc. You can find my Twitter page by clicking here. I look forward to hearing from you.

The second big news of course is the establishment of a Defence of the Realm YouTube page. This has been a goal of mine ever since I started the site. At the moment it is still pretty primitive as I am learning more and more about the technology (and how to stop my voice from droning on too much) but I am hoping that over time this will grow into an informative amateur documentary archive. I am still interested in Podcasting if anyone else would like to join in and if so please message me.

Rest assured however that despite these developments the main site remains my top priority. After three quite intensive months April did go a little quiet and this was due mainly to me becoming quite ill. Nevertheless I am back now and planning my next few articles.

So here’s what’s in store;

  • Following on from my Dreadnoughts article I intend to do more work on the Warships Classification category. I am already planning articles on Flotilla Leaders and Bomb Ships (a type of shore bombardment vessel used up to the 19th century).
  • I am still working on my next aircraft comparison. As I said before it will be a comparison of the British Meteor F.8 and the French Dassault Ouragon. Another comparison I thought might be interesting to cover would be the De Havilland Vampire and the Saab J.21R in what I am calling Battle of the Boom Jets.
  • The Wilkins family are planning a trip to Bovington Tank Museum which I am very excited about. Not sure when it will be yet but it should be over the next few months.
  • Planning to revisit Yeovilton Fleet Air Arm Museum, the Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-mare and the fabulous Jet Age Museum in Gloucester with the goal of recording video for the YouTube site. If you would like to see some of the photos from previous visits then don’t forget to check out the Galleries page.

Well that’s all for the moment.

Thank you again for taking the time to visit the site. Your support is greatly appreciated.

All the best.

Tony Wilkins

Dad and Danni

Dad, you can get out now…