SITREP – A big thank you for a big day

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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!

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SITREP – February 2015

SignallingWell it’s 2015 and yet it feels more like 1985 at times with RAF fighters chasing Tu-95 “Bears” up the English Channel and the Royal Navy hunting submarines in the North Sea. Excluding a certain wall in the German capital one could be forgiven for thinking the Cold War never ended. Add to this the threat of an increasingly bold terrorist network and the world is looking more unfriendly than ever.

So with that frightening realization in mind welcome to “Defence of the Realm’s” SITREP for February 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 the direction the site is taking. 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.

So let me begin by thanking everyone who has viewed/commented/liked/reblogged any of the site’s articles this month. I am not trying to boast when I say that between January 1st and February 10th the site has garnered the same number of hits as the first four months combined and that’s down to you guys taking some of your time to read the posts. Its both flattering and encouraging. You may have noticed for the last week or so the site has gone quiet and this was due to illness in the family as opposed to a lack of interest on my part. I had been planning and researching my Night Fighter Mosquito article before things went a little crazy at home and I finally got chance to crack on with it this week. I am a dad first; everything else second.

So here are just a few of the ideas floating around my brain for the next month as well as well as some updates on previous projects I have been planning;

  1. The aircraft comparison between the Canberra and the Il-28 has been my most successful so far and it got a lot of people talking on Facebook as well as the site. I found this interesting because it was the first one not to be about which two fighters were better in a dogfight. I plan to expand further the types of aircraft compared to include transport types as well. I will admit I have been a bit biased to comparing aircraft to Russian designs (I am a child of the original Cold War after all) but recently I have been looking in to expanding in to comparing British hardware to other nations such as France and Russia. (Please feel free to make any suggestions in the comments box below).
  2. Another very popular article from the previous month was Are the Japanese serious about selling the RAF Kawasaki P-1s? and I have been told that this was because it offered a debate as opposed to simply providing hard facts. I have considered writing more debate-style articles in the past and have shied away from them because there is a risk to them. By their nature these articles try to convince a person of one belief or another and the opinion of the author is slave to his/her research. If I do write more debate-like articles I will certainly try to be as objective as possible.
  3. The long awaited tank comparison series is proving much harder than I ever thought it would be. The problem is finding complete and reliable sources for information. It would be pointless for me to write a comparison whereby I have complete data on the armour of one tank and incomplete data on the other. This would lead to a potentially inaccurate conclusion. Rest assured its coming though.
  4. Speaking of tanks; as most of you know the one thing I try to do is discuss British military history that seems to be forgotten and recently I learned about the role of British tanks and crews in the Russian Civil War in the aftermath of World War One. I found the story fascinating and have been researching it since in preparation for an article. I had hoped to have it published by now but alas family commitments prevented it.
  5. As some of you know the site now has a “Defence of the Realm Recommends” menu on the right hand side of the screen as you scroll down. These are sites I feel deserve special mention for one reason or another such as providing a source for an article or are written by people with passion and deserve more recognition. (uh hum…if you like RC helicopters check out Home Drones…Uh hum…Just saying 😉 )
  6. This month I got the chance to feel like a 12 year old again when I got the opportunity to climb inside a Vulcan B.2 bomber at East Midlands Aeropark. This inspired me to do more posts about museum exhibits in the UK. More are on the horizon as I plan to revisit, among others, the International Helicopter Museum in Weston-Super-Mare.
  7. Finally the look of the site is going to be going through a big change soon. I am ditching the drop-down menus format and instead replacing them with menu pages. The drop-down menus were fine in the early days but now the site is growing so large they are filling the page and cluttering it up. Menu pages will also give me the chance to put notes up on updated pages.

Thank you again for reading. If you would like to comment on any of the above or have your own suggestions/observations please feel free to put them in the box below. I will do my best to respond to everyone.

Thank you

– Tony

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SITREP – January 2015

WirelessGreetings.

Well it’s a New Year and the site is now passing its sixth month mark. In that time it has developed beyond what I thought it would with a steady stream of hits and regular readers/ commenters. First I would like to thank some of the older hands for sticking with me. Your support has been both gratifying and encouraging. Secondly I would like to take this chance to welcome the newest followers.

For those of you who have never seen a SITREP post before I publish one a month and use it as an opportunity to let you know what I am researching for future posts. If you see anything listed that you think I may not be aware of please don’t hesitate to put something in the comments section. I will of course give full credit to anyone who contributes any information, pictures, etc.

As well as letting you know what I have planned this is also your opportunity to let me know how you think the site is progressing and have your say. Also if you have any recommendations for a future post please feel free to make them in the comments section below.

Also, if any of you are on Facebook please LIKE the Defence of the Realm Facebook page. I regularly update this page with news, links and pictures. This month I have uploaded a host of pictures from my visit to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton.

So here is January’s SITREP;

  1. In the comments section of last month’s SITREP I was told that the current format of the site can sometimes be difficult to read. I would like to know how widespread this view is and whether anyone else finds the site difficult to read. If so what exactly is difficult?
  2. If you have any requests for aircraft comparisons then please put them in the comments section below.
  3. I am still working on the Cold War recce Chipmunk article. Sadly it seemed to fall by the wayside due to other articles.
  4. I have been looking back on some of the older posts and I have realized that the way I have laid them out is different to my most recent ones. Therefore I plan to rework them to achieve uniformity across the site.
  5. I am planning to do a double feature on the first and last kills of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm in World War II. As some of you know I have a certain affinity for the Fleet Air Arm’s story and I think it is one that doesn’t nearly get the attention it deserves.
  6. This month I started writing up on warship classifications with articles on battlecruisers and torpedo boat destroyers. I plan to expand on this with more articles on other types of warship, their role and their use.
  7. Going to the other end of the spectrum I plan to start a series of articles highlighting British small arms and comparing them to other weapons in a similar format to the aircraft comparisons.

Happy New Year to you all

– Tony

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SITREP – December 2014

Wireless operatorHi everybody.

First of all I would like to thank you all once again for following the site and taking the time to read the articles I have posted. I have had some really positive feedback and this has been both touching and encouraging.

I have decided to make SITREP updates a monthly thing for the site. My plan is to publish one in the middle of each month to allow you guys, the followers, to take a look at what is coming over the next few weeks. As well as hopefully wetting your appetite for more I think it would be an excellent opportunity to call on your own expertise. If you see a topic below that you have information for that you think I may not be aware of then please feel free to comment below. As I have told a few of you now I have learned a lot myself researching topics for articles and that is one of the best things about projects such as this; that we can all learn more together.

I would also like to use SITREP as an opportunity for you to provide general feedback on the site as well as offer any suggestions for future articles. This is your opportunity to tell me what you want and hopefully we can work together to build an extensive database chronicling British and world military history and technology.

So here is December’s update;

  1. I am aware that I am quite bias towards military aviation. Unfortunately it reflects on my own personal history and so it is easier for me to write. I am making more of an effort to include more articles on the Army, Royal Navy and the Royal Marines and have several article ideas that are wandering around my brain waiting to take fruition.
  2. I will be writing the long overdue Part 3 of “A U-Boat in the Royal Navy“. It has been left unacceptably long now and I know some of you are curious to know the final chapter.
  3. I am currently researching the use of an unlikely intelligence gathering aircraft used by the RAF to monitor Soviet Army movements in East Germany – the De Havilland Chipmunk. That’s right the trainer aircraft that thousands of air cadets flew in was used to spy on the Soviets as part of BRIXMIS.
  4. I know a lot of you enjoy the aircraft comparisons and as a pseudo sequel to the “Gloster Gladiator vs. Fiat CR.42 Falco” I am keeping with the North African theme and comparing the Spitfire V to Italy’s MC.202 Folgore – the Ferrari of the skies.
  5. I am going to do a write up on the Chieftain tank compared to the Soviet Union’s T-72 as soon as I can find some reliable sources for data.
  6. I am currently compiling a list of the small arms used by the British military since 1945 and analysing their usage and effectiveness.
  7. I am trying to make more of an effort to keep abreast of the latest military news and there will be far more news updates over the coming weeks.

Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Please feel free to give any feedback. Also don’t forget if you are on Facebook to LIKE the Defence of the Realm page.

Thank you again and seasons greetings to you all.

“Defence of the Realm” Goes Festive

As we are well and truly in to the month of December I felt it was only fitting that the site take on a more festive look with a series of Christmas themed images for the site’s headers. We should all take a minute over Christmas to remember those serving our country away from home and remember those who won’t be coming home again.

SITREP – Defence of the Realm

Lancaster_wireless_operator_WWII_IWM_CH_8790Hi everybody.

Just thought I would take a moment to bring you all up to speed on what December will bring for the site. Firstly I would like to thank all of you for following “Defence of the Realm”, the support I have received has been touching and inspiring to say the least. The site is now getting a healthy run of regular traffic and feedback.

There are a few of you who I would especially like to thank for their continued support through comments, reblogging and LIKES. I wont name them on here as I am worried I will miss a few of you out but you know who you are. If you are new to the site then welcome and I hope you find the articles interesting and informative.

So what’s on the horizon?

  1. I am definitely planning to do more aircraft comparisons in the future and have recently posted on the Facebook page an offer to submit requests. If you have a specific request then please feel free to comment below or on the Facebook page what you would like to see. The only condition is that the two aircraft have to be contemporary to one another in both role and time period. Ideally I would like at least one aircraft to be British but I am willing to accept requests for entirely non-British aircraft. I am currently working on a comparison of the Gloster Gladiator and the Fiat CR.42 in a project I am calling the “Battle of the Biplanes”.
  2. I am expanding the navigation tools of the site by adding more menus down the side of the page to cover some of the sub-categories or for topics that cross main categories e,g Forgotten Aircraft of the RAF and Royal Navy.
  3. Building on the “Aircraft Comparisons” I will be doing the same for tanks, ships and submarines. My long term aim is to build an encyclopaedia of information comparing many different types and evaluating the outcome. Again if you have any requests please feel free to comment below.

Thank you again for your support even if it is just taking the time to read an article on the site.

All the best.

– Tony Wilkins