Another Post On The Sherman Tank

Recently the debate started again on the Sherman tank and the ‘Ronson(German)’ or ‘deathtrap(US?)’ smear that has gone on apparently since the war about the deficiencies of the M4 medium tank. When the smear started is a bit of a mystery, but I’ve seen the smear go right back to when American tanks started to appear in combat in 1942. The defining theme about the US Army was that the Ordnance Dept. Army Ground Forces or Armored Force leadership and all the people in American tank development were idiots for not anticipating the big German cats in France in 1944 and that got a lot of American GI’s killed. I discussed some of that in a previous post here.
https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/was-the-us-army-really-stupid-during-ww2/
Here’s a typical example of the smear.
https://ss.sites.mtu.edu/mhugl/2016/10/18/m4-sherman-tank/
And another same old, same old.
https://ihffilm.com/allied-sherman-tank-pt-1-blunder-or-wonder-weapon-essay-by-blaine-taylor.html
https://ihffilm.com/sherman-tank-pt-2-improvements-d-day-v-e-day-1944-45-essay-by-blaine-taylor.html
Another one.

For the record, most tanks in WW2 were not Diesel powered, because in WW2 Diesel engine technology was not up to producing compact powerful engines that would fit in tanks. See below for videos of German tanks that killed their crews.
In any case the same things keep getting repeated, over and over again, and like the diesel-gasoline engine issue the people that parrot the same crap over and over can’t be bothered to get it right.

Perhaps the most notorious book about the incompetence of the US Army is Death Traps by Belton Cooper.

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Art Of The Week: Tom Lea

A few weeks ago I saw the Darkest Hour, the film about Winston Churchill and just how easy it would have been for Britain to just give up. One of the books that I have in my library is an abridged history of WW2 from Time Life books that has been in the family since the late 1960’s. In addition to Churchill’s text, the book has photo and art sections including some paintings from the Pacific theatre done by a man named Tom Lea. The pictures are stark in their images of the weariness and horrors of war and in showing the determination of the people involved in the war to get the job done regardless of the cost. The cost was high, as this famous picture shows.

Lea did not pull his punches as this gruesome picture of a marine’s last seconds shows.

 

http://time.com/4382370/a-painters-view-of-world-war-ii/

Combat Gallery Sunday: The Martial Art of Tom Lea

In addition to the WW2 pictures, Lea was apparently a life long artist of Texas history and culture.

You can find out more about the artist here as well as buy his books,

https://tomlea.com/

https://tomlea.com/product/tom-lea-life-magazine-world-war-ii/

Even More Treasures, from research odds and ends

The internet continues to provide.

Telephone stuff.

http://phones.quickfound.net/


Boston in 1930


Flying boats.

http://www.messynessychic.com/2017/12/15/the-long-lost-world-of-the-luxury-flying-boat/


Two Coney Island videos.


Transcontinental air service.

https://www.americanheritage.com/content/transcontinental-air-transport-inc


Public baths in NYC?

https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/this-church-was-once-the-1905-allen-street-baths/

https://ny.curbed.com/2014/7/7/10078888/what-became-of-new-york-citys-ubiquitous-public-bathhouses

https://untappedcities.com/2017/09/06/vintage-nyc-photography-nycs-public-baths/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asser_Levy_Public_Baths


1929 Boston Marathon.


Fourth Ave bookstores.

https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/solitary-browsing-on-fourth-avenues-book-row/


More NYC stuff.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/briangalindo/then-vs-now-1920s-new-york-city?utm_term=.mkggrr6zA&sub=2200722_1143020#.ip63oo6ZG

http://daytoninmanhattan.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-lost-louis-stern-mansion-no-993.html


Some construction videos.


1920’s farming.

Antique machines.


Speed boats

More Research Odds and ends.

Here’s some more link and related stuff. In this post I’m going to do things like link to books in my library as well. Do I think that everybody will be able to access naval academy textbooks from the 1930’s? Not really, but I never expected to find them either, but when I did I bought them. and the set of The History of Technology and that book on farm life in the Nineteenth Century.  The reason I have those references is that that I was open to buying them in the first place. As a writer the goal to be to write a book that Sarah Hoyt will not throw across the room. Your goal should be to not insult the reader’s intelligence, not go so far off the deep end that reader never wants to come back.  You should do enough world building that the reader will feel comfortable living in that  world.

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Why There Was An Air War In WW1

Ran into a couple of sites that are not seemingly related, but actually are. Sometimes the drama of something distorts the real history and we lose the perspectives  as time goes forward.  Most of the stories you hear about the battles in the air during the Great War will concentrate on brave flying heroes and their flying machines. But the battles in their existed for a reason and it’s important to remember what that reason was.

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PBS’s “The Great War”

The American Experience has run a series called the “Great War.” More appropriately it could be called “Woodrow Wilson and American Fascism.”

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/great-war/

Creatively this is an excellent series.  Whoever was responsible for getting footage did a great job.  The writing, though had some rather drastic  flaws.  Far too much time was spent on what were, at the time, side issues, like racial politics and women’s sufferage.  While Wilson’s racism is well known and his segregation efforts fairly well presented on other programs it did have some bearing on his actions. But were racial politics so important that they essentially crowd out the war itself?  It’s not as if turn of the Century racism is a subject that is not touched on.  Rather the opposite, if what I see in a typical Black history month is any indication. Yet dealing with various issues about African Americans absorbed about 1/4 or more of the airtime.  The woman’s sufferage stuff was just wasted time that didn’t really deserve the time it got at all.

Especially when things like the lack of preparation on the part of the Army Ordnance Dept. got left out completely and only one sentence said anything about shortages of equipment.  To me that was a far more important and not really discussed part of the history that had far more bearing on the war.

Then there was the outright take over of America’s rail system.  That massive turn toward Progressive Socialism didn’t even get mentioned.  To say nothing of the other takeovers and government operation of businesses.  Add that to the fact that the government didn’t want give the railroads back to their owners after the war was over.

Frankly the program touched very little on the consequences of the war outside Wilson’s attempt to get the fourteen points as a basis for the peace.  We saw nothing from the rest of the allies, the countries that had bled so much before the US even entered the war.

As documentary of America’s involvement in WW1, The Great War is at best middling.  The footage and the presentations of people like Eddie Ridenbaker and other noteworthies who participated in the war was well done. As was were the parts about the Harlem Hellfighters and some of the other units. The use of propaganda and activities that can only be called Fascist on the part of the Wilson Administration was also well covered.  For that the series gets a recommendation.

On the other hand the constant pounding of racial politic and the feminist movement are down check.  Almost none of that should have been in a documentary about “over there.” Certainly not to lengths of which the show went.  Too much time was spent going over and over how horrible white were and that cost minutes that really could have been spent on other things in a six hour miniseries.

If you are interested in more details about WW1 “The Great War” YouTube channel is doing a week by week summary of the war with frequent specials about who, what , where and why.

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGreatWar

Highly recommended.

 

The Very Early Days Of CAD

I’ve been looking at computer graphics and engineering CAD systems for most of my life.  I’ve been a more or less continuous user of CAD systems for over thirty years now and I thought I knew most of how it came about.  There have been things I never really understood about how the way things worked in CAD as opposed to how a designer or drafter thinks, but I didn’t think to look into that very deeply.

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