Coming soon on 23 Squadron – Tommy Smith’s 1940-41 journal

Preserving the past

RAF 23 Squadron

Tommy Smith wrote a journal documenting his training in Canada.

In 2011 his son Peter had shared the journal in text format. With Peter’s permission this is the first of 69 pages.

Courtesy Peter Smith

When looked at retrospectively, my entry into His Majesties Forces was bizarre in the extreme. Its most outstanding feature was the difficulty which attended my many and complex approaches at every point, and which made it seem to me that I was attended by some guardian sprite who refused to let me leave my civilian life.

Firstly, some months before the war, I, like everyone else in the land, began to sort out the various forms of Services to be rendered to a country rallying her forces for a yet unhinted struggle.

I passed up the Fleet Air Arm, R.N.V.R. idea, as the 18 months of training would have unsettled me in my accountancy student…

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Lest We Forget

From the original Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

This is the first post I wrote on this blog on what happened 78 years ago today.

This is a blog about the story of the Canadian destroyer Athabaskan sunk in 1944.


I am currently writing a blog in French, but I have some many English speaking people helping me out, that I want to share my research with everyone in both languages. Tomorrow I will post my first article. It will be a translation of this one

See you tomorrow.

You can contact by writing a comment below.

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Update – Posted on Facebook

Update on a blog I had created a few years ago.

Graham Padden visited the Northern Dutch Coastline and shared his trip on Facebook. Whistlestop trip to Northern Dutch Coastline completed. What an inspiring visit. Too much of a story to tell in a few words. Suffice to say thank you to a dedicated bunch of Dutch Military history volunteers “led” by Martijn Visser. I had […]

Update – Posted on Facebook

Russian Cruiser Moskva

Inch High Guy

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva was the lead ship of the Slava (Glory) class. Her construction began in 1976 at Nikolayev, Ukraine and she was commissioned into service on 30JAN83. She was renamed Moskva (Moskow) in 1996. She was planned to be the lead ship in a class of four, but only three were completed. Like most Soviet-era warships, Moskva was inactivated and underwent several abortive refit periods after the break-up of the Soviet Union, limited by Russia’s lack of funds. She completed a refit in 2020 which was intended to extend her service life to 2040.

The Slava-class cruisers were designed to operate with a Surface Action Group (SAG) against American Aircraft Carriers. As such, she was equipped with large launch tubes for sixteen P-500 Bazal’t (NATO reporting name SS-N-12 Sandbox) anti-ship missiles. Soviet doctrine called for massed attacks of long-range missiles in an attempt to overwhelm the carriers’…

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Over the Waves: HMCS Esquimalt and U-190

Over the Waves: HMCS Esquimalt and U-190

Original Shipster

Hello everyone. For this weeks Over the Waves I decided to focus on a Canadian Navy story from the Second World War. Personally, I knew there had been U-boats off Canada’s shores during wartime, and I knew about a couple that had been sunk (such as the one off of Bell Island, near St. John’s). What I didn’t know was the story of the HMCS Esquimalt and U-190, something that happened right in Canadian territory with one of our own ships. So, for this week, that’s the story I am bringing to you all.

U-190 Stats
Nationality: Nazi Germany
Length: 76.8m
Beam: 6:8m
Displacement: 1,144 tonnes/1,257 tonnes submerged
Draught: 4.7m
Height: 9.6m
Crew: 4 Officers, 44 enlisted
Speed: 19 knots/7.3 knots submerged
Class: Type IXC/40 Sub
Year: 1941

HMCS Esquimalt Stats
Nationality: Canadian
Length: 49m
Beam: 8.5m
Displacement: 592 tonnes
Draught: 2.5m

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March 30, 1945 A Great Act of Defiance

March 30, 1945  A Great Act of Defiance

Today in History

We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old”.

Winston Churchill


Before the age of the internet, …

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Mount Vesuvius Italy 1944

Impressive research!

Mike's Research

During WWII, the Allies had endured mother nature in many forms such as hot arid deserts, fog, rain, hurricanes, floods, deep mud, cold temperatures, ice, sleet and deep snow. In March 1944 Italy, the bombers of an USAAF Medium Bomber Group were either damaged or destroyed on the ground, not by the enemy but by a volcano. Mount Vesuvius erupted showering volcanic ash and debris over the US bomber airfield.

Mount Vesuvius is a somma-stratovolcano (composite or conical volcano) located on the Gulf of Naples in Campania, Italy, about 9 km (5.6 miles) southeast of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It was named after the Roman God of the Flame and Metal Forgery – Vulcan.

Mount Vesuvius has erupted many times since prehistory. In AD 79, Vesuvius erupted in one of the most catastrophic eruptions of all time. Historians have learned about the eruption from the eyewitness…

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The Ukranian People will prevail

About the invasion of Ukraine


More with something a reader had shared.


WION’s Palki Sharma Upadhyay presents “Gravitas Plus | Explained: The Russia-Ukraine crisis”

The presentation is 8 days old; however, it provides an analysis of why things are where they are this morning.

You might also appreciate WION’s February 22, 2022 analysis of Putin: “Inside Vladimir Putin’s mind”

It won’t stop what is occurring, but it provides worthwhile background.




WION stands for “World Is One News” which is an Indian news service. It describes its news philosophy like this:





PT Boat Red

The Ukranian flag flies proudly

As they suffer under the unjustified and barbaric invasion of their homeland at the hands of the Russians, our hearts and souls are united with the brave, indomitable people of Ukraine. Few nations are more familiar with brutal, murderous oppression than Ukraine and fewer nations still have shown such magnificent and effective resistance to those who would seek to dominate and strip them of their humanity.

Already, we are hearing the stories of stunning courage and fierce resistance to the Russians on the part of ordinary, everyday Ukranian citizens. You can be quite certain that these accounts will multiply exponentially in the days and weeks ahead. Ukranian fighters have always punched above their weight class and the world is about to see that like it has never been seen before.

In World War II, it was ordinary, everyday American citizens who stepped forward to serve…

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