Testing Completed on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Backplane

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The backplane of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was mounted to a structure for static load testing to verify it can support the stiffness required to keep the optics in alignment, and maintain the strength to support launch loads.
Image Credit: Northrop Grumman

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has reached another development milestone with the completion of static load testing of its primary mirror backplane support structure (PMBSS) moving the telescope one step closer to its 2018 launch.

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The PMBSS is the stable platform that holds the telescope's science instruments and the 18 beryllium mirror-segments that form the 21-foot-diameter primary mirror nearly motionless while the telescope peers into deep space. The primary mirror is the largest mirror in the telescope -- the one starlight will hit first.

"Static testing demonstrates the backplane has the structural integrity to withstand the forces and vibrations of launch and is the final test prior to starting the integration of the backplane with the rest of the telescope," said Lee Feinberg, NASA’s Optical Telescope Element manager at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The Northrop Grumman Corporation and ATK of Magna, Utah, completed the testing before delivering the structure to Northrop Grumman's facilities in Redondo Beach, California.

"This is the largest, most complex cryogenically stable structure humans have ever built," said Scott Texter, Optical Telescope Element manager for Northrop Grumman. "Completion of the static testing verifies it can hold the weight it is designed to hold. Now the structural backbone of the observatory is officially verified and ready for integration."

Despite its size and complexity, the PMBSS is one of the most lightweight precision-alignment truss structures ever designed and built. When fully deployed, it measures approximately 24 feet tall by 19.5 feet wide by more than 11.5 feet deep, and weighs only 2,180 pounds. Once fully assembled and populated, the PMBSS will support a mission payload and instruments that weigh more than 7,300 pounds. With a full launch load, it will support the equivalent of 12 times its own weight.

The PMBSS is designed to minimize changes in the shape of the telescope caused when one side is hotter than the other. While the telescope is operating at a range of extremely cold temperatures, between -406 and -343 degrees Fahrenheit, the backplane must not move more than 38 nanometers, approximately 1/1,000 the diameter of a human hair.

Under contract from NASA, Northrop Grumman is the lead contractor for the design and development of the Webb telescope's optics, sunshield and spacecraft. ATK designed, engineered and constructed more than 10,000 parts for the PMBSS at its facilities in Magna. They used composite parts, lightweight graphite materials, state-of-the-art material sciences and advanced fabrication techniques to build the structure.

The next step for the space telescope is to integrate the composite structures with the deployment mechanisms to create the overall Optical Telescope Element (OTE) structure. The OTE structure will then be shipped to Goddard for integration with the mirrors. NASA and Northrop Grumman will perform cryogenic testing of the PMBSS structure after mirror integration is complete.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world's next-generation space observatory and successor to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Designed to be the most powerful space telescope ever built, Webb will observe the most distant objects in the universe, provide images of the first galaxies formed and see unexplored planets around distant stars. The Webb telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

For more information about NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/webb

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Another C-5M Goes West

0206-MP14-0965 005 TDN

Lockheed Martin photo by Thinh D. Nguyen.

MARIETTA, Ga. July 1, 2014 - A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 20th C-5M Super Galaxy to Travis Air Force Base, California, from the Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] facilities here on June 30.

Travis' second Super Galaxy, Aircraft 85-0010 was delivered 28 days ahead of the contracted schedule. A total of 52 Super Galaxy aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force.

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FIRE Project update

firecartoon

Readers will have noticed changes in the presentation of our news and information portals this year.

Since January, we have been testing various items of new software and modifications. This work is nearing conclusion.

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When the FIRE (Flexible Information Retrieval Environment) Project started in 1995, it was staffed by volunteers from the Firetrench Consortium and operated as a community news and information service.

Initially, we based the system on technologies developed for specialist government agencies. Originally this was military command, control, and intelligence systems that were later adapted to power civil Emergency Operations Centers. One of our members proposed an experiment to adapt these technologies to the very different conditions found on the Internet at that time and which have evolved significantly over the last two decades. It was agreed to run this experiment within our Community Service Program that was originally set up to help members call on colleagues for help in various voluntary activities, aimed at serving our communities.

Since the project started the user base has increased considerably, our initial volunteer group has aged, and the frequency of hostile attack of many portals linked to the Internet has increased. Although our volunteers continue to work at the leading edge of certain technologies, aging inevitably thins out our numbers and reduces the number of hours some volunteers are able to donate.

We also have functionality that has never been fully activated and ideas that have yet to be tested. We wanted to take some of this further to a point where a new generation of volunteers could take it forward.

Late last year, we agreed to a program to meet the new challenges and continue to serve our growing readership.

There are two parts to the program.

We are keen to begin bringing new and younger volunteers into our teams but we recognize that some of the things we are happy to do to maintain the FIRE Project portals requires skills that not all potential new volunteers have and may require equipment that is different from equipment available to them . Therefore, part of the recent work has been aimed at trialling different types of software and this inevitably produces some differences in the way that information and news appears on our portals.

We appreciate the patience of our readers during this work.

The second part of the work was to look at the many types of hostile code that are in use on the Internet. The FIRE Project public access portals are only one part of the total system. The invisible part is well-protected from potential forms of attack, but the public access portals have deliberately been built with light protection in the interests of providing fast response times from the resources allocated for public access. At the same time, the public access portals have not required special access control mechnaisms to make reader access simple and easy. Unfortunately, the number of motives for attacking Internet assets have grown, particularly during the last five years, and now have strong commercial motivation. The number of volunteer hours required to remove hostile code, correct any damage resulting from these attacks, and keep our readers safe have absorbed a high proportion of available volunteer hours. Given that each volunteer is juggling donated time around busy day jobs and other personal commitments. It is necessary to attempt to reduce the load and allow volunteers to join the teams without having to be highly skilled system administrators.

We are now approaching the point where much of the work is concluding and we will be able to return to a familiar presentation of news and information.

Project Manager, FIRE Project

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Young sun’s violent history solves meteorite mystery

Violent wind gusting around protostar large

Violent wind gusting around protostar

1 July 2014

Astronomers using ESA’s Herschel space observatory to probe the turbulent beginnings of a Sun-like star have found evidence of mighty stellar winds that could solve a puzzling meteorite mystery in our own back yard.

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In spite of their tranquil appearance in the night sky, stars are scorching furnaces that spring to life through tumultuous processes – and our 4.5 billion-year-old Sun is no exception. To glimpse its harsh early days, astronomers gather clues not only in the Solar System but also by studying young stars elsewhere in our Galaxy.

Using Herschel to survey the chemical composition of regions where stars are being born today, a team of astronomers has noticed that one object in particular is different.

The unusual source is a prolific stellar nursery called OMC2 FIR4, a clump of new stars embedded in a gaseous and dusty cloud near to the famous Orion Nebula.


Violent wind gusting around protostar in Orion medium

Violent wind gusting around protostar in Orion

“To our great surprise, we found that the proportion of two chemical species, one based on carbon and oxygen and the other on nitrogen, is much smaller in this object than in any other protostar we know,” says Dr Cecilia Ceccarelli, of the Institute de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, France, who lead the study with Dr Carsten Dominik of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

In an extremely cold environment, the measured proportion could arise by one of the two compounds freezing onto dust grains and becoming undetectable. However, at the relatively ‘high’ temperature of about –200°C found in star-forming regions like OMC2 FIR4, this should not occur.

“The most likely cause in this environment is a violent wind of very energetic particles, released by at least one of the embryonic stars taking shape in this proto-stellar cocoon,” Dr Ceccarelli adds.

The most abundant molecule in star-forming clouds, hydrogen, can be broken apart by cosmic rays, energetic particles that permeate the entire Galaxy. The hydrogen ions then combine with other elements that are present – albeit only in trace amounts – in these clouds: carbon and oxygen, or nitrogen.

Normally, the nitrogen compound is also quickly destroyed, yielding more hydrogen for the carbon and oxygen compound. As a result, the latter is far more abundant in all known stellar nurseries.

Strangely enough, though, this was not the case for OMC2 FIR4, suggesting that an additional wind of energetic particles is destroying both chemical species, keeping their abundances more similar.

Astronomers think that a similarly violent wind of particles also gusted through the early Solar System, and this discovery might finally point to an explanation for the origin of a particular chemical element seen in meteorites.

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The Atlas of Special Operations of World War Two

AtlasSpecialOps   Essential reading for anyone interested in Special Operations. The book is very nicely produced with colour through the body of the book. There are maps as the title suggests, but there are also well-chosen photographs to support each operation's section. The scope includes a wide range of special operations, and not just commando style raiding. The book feels really comprehensive but the author makes no claims to having covered every operation, rather he has selected a range of example operations.
The author has comprehensively covered the global nature of special operations in WWII and the 
book deserves great success in providing global scope of special operations.

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NAME:  The Atlas of Special Operations of World War Two
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 180514
FILE: R1974
AUTHOR: Alex Swanston
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES:  180
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT:  WWII, World War Two, Second World War, 1939-1945, commando, special 
operations, SOE, OSS, bombing, intelligence, sabotage, reconnaissance, land, sea, air,
 submarines, MTB, MGB, Coastal Forces, covert operations
ISBN: 1-84884-97-2
IMAGE: B1974.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.comq2hl7bu
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: Essential reading for anyone interested in Special Operations. The book is 
very nicely produced with colour through the body of the book. There are maps as the title 
suggests, but there are also well-chosen photographs to support each operation's section. 
The scope includes a wide range of special operations, and not just commando style raiding. 
The book feels really comprehensive but the author makes no claims to having covered every 
operation, rather he has selected a range of example operations.

He begins with the Brandenburgers who were covert agents infiltrated into Poland to spread 
panic and create situations that Nazi propaganda would then try to use to justify invasion of a 
peaceful neighbour in much the same way that the Russian neo-Nazi Putin has been using 
Russian special forces in Ukraine recently. The success of the Brandenburgers in Poland led 
to them being used on all fronts during WWII.

The invasion of Norway was the first occasion when a military force used a combined sea, air 
and land force to overwhelm a neutral country. This then became the basis on which a number 
of later Axis and Allied invasions were based. After El Alamein, the Germans were forced 
increasingly back onto a defensive posture and the combined force became an Allied standard 
for invasion on  progressively greater size operations, with D-Day seeing extensive use of 
airborne operations behind German defences in co-ordination with beach assault with specialist 
landing craft, prefabricated harbours and large numbers of warships providing shore bombardment 
ahead of the landings and in the early stages of establishment of the beach heads. After Normandy, 
the use of large numbers of airborne troops was employed in an attempt to seize a chain of bridges 
to speed an advance through Holland and into Germany. The final element of this assault failed, 
delaying the end of the war, but combined forces were then used for a Rhine crossing into 
Germany, where aircraft were used in the role developed by naval bombardment for coastal landings.

WWII saw the creation of commando or special forces raiding parties. All combatants established 
and used this type of force but most notably the British used commando raiding from 1940 to 
continue active contact with German Forces on the mainland of Europe. These raids ranged from 
very small, but significant, attacks launched from submarines, torpedo boats and by parachute to 
attack shipping in inland ports, targets of opportunity near coasts and to recover German technology 
for analysis, through to major raids at St Nazaire and Dieppe.

As the war continued, special operations included partisan and resistance operations where local 
groups in Occupied Europe were supplied, trained and co-ordinated from outside. These forces in 
France and in Russia played a vital role in the fight against Germany and have been credited by 
avoiding greater casualties in regular forces advancing on Germany. The number of special 
operations groups rose and many operated with great autonomy and included intelligence operations.

One challenge for the author must have been the huge scope available to him. He has included V 
weapons as a German special operation and the RAF Tallboy and Grand Slam precision earthquake 
bombs that were used against high value targets that were resistant against conventional bombing. 
The single assault by the Dam Busters has been covered and although this raid was not repeated, 
it was a tactically and operationally significant development in the art of war. One difficulty is that 
there are special operations that become so common and large scale that they almost stand outside 
a review of special operations. British and US special units in Burma were major campaigns that 
differed only from other conventional campaigns in that they took place some distance from the 
'front line' and required air support to keep the forces supplied. 

The author has comprehensively covered the global nature of special operations in WWII and the 
book deserves great success in providing global scope of special operations.
   
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Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park’s Architect of Ultra Intelligence

 
GordonWelchman

There are two stories. The first story, and the most covered, is directly about the immense contribution 
Bletchley made to the achievement of victory and to the significant shortening of WWII. That story 
in its own right is both completely absorbing and vital to understanding key parts of WWII. The 
second story is perhaps even more essential reading. Welchman was heavily involved in the 
development of technology that made the digital age possible. Bletchley Park is the true home of 
the electronic digital information processor. Without that work, there might be no Internet and we 
could still be living in an analogue world where almost everything we take for granted today would 
not exist.

This book should be essential reading in schools and be read widely. It provides insights that 
should show how further advances can be made and how security can be developed to protect 
the users of electronic information. Currently few understand the threats that come with the 
enormous benefits and because of that, developers and politicians continue to fail miserably in 
providing the benefits at an acceptable level of risk. 

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NAME: Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park's Architect of Ultra Intelligence
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 180514
FILE: R1973
AUTHOR: Joel Greenberg
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES:  286
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT:  WWII, World War Two, Second World War, 1939-1945, SIGINT, communications 
interception, cribs, ULTRA, code breaking, encryption, decryption, bombe, 
Colossus, Enigma, deception, misinformation, Station X, Y stations, Polish 
intelligence, signal traffic, traffic analysis, pattern analysis, threat analysis, 
Lorenz  
ISBN: 1-84832-752-8
IMAGE: B1973.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.comps3cujt
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: The stories of the signal intelligence war were slow to be told 
because the Cold War made its continuation critical. Britain had developed a 
very strong lead in this area with the work of the Admiralty before and during 
WWI to recognize and exploit signal intelligence. As many of the techniques 
continue to be employed in an age of cyber warfare, there will continue to be 
significant gaps in published information on the people, the equipment and 
techniques first developed at Bletchley Park and its outstations.

Essentially the organization generally known as GCHQ operates in the manner of 
Bletchley Park and its supporting organizations. It is a story of two parts. 
One the one hand, there is an organization that creates codes and cyphers for 
British use, continuously tests those products for vulnerability and effectiveness, 
and attempts to identify and break codes and cyphers produced by other countries. 
As the convergence of information and communications systems continues, the 
dividing line between potential and actual enemies and the rest of the global 
user population blurs and creates many new challenges, but in 1939 there was a 
clear enemy.

Matching the code writers and breakers, signal intelligence requires the 
development of equipment and techniques to collect and then analyse enemy 
communications. By volume, this usually sees radio signals as the primary 
source of information and the Germans helped Bletchley Park by extensively 
using radio communication and relying on what the Germans believed was the 
completely unbreakable code produced by the Enigma machine. Although Enigma 
was very difficult to break, Bletchley Park was fortunate to benefit from 
the acquisition of Enigma machines by the Polish intelligence service that 
then shared the knowledge with British code breakers. As long as the Germans 
relied on the basic Enigma technology, British intelligence had an advantage. 
Enigma would be subject to development and changes, but this only created 
short gaps while Bletchley Park identified the changes and improved their 
technology to again break the code. The Germans had not learned one essential 
lesson from WWI. Any radio signals can be intercepted and the first vital 
intelligence is 'chatter'. As before the Battle of Jutland, the Royal Navy 
was able to intercept High Seas Fleet radio traffic and the increases in 
volume gave first warning that the German Imperial Navy was preparing to sail. 
Even without decoding any encrypted traffic, the RN would see how many vessels 
were to be involved and, from radio direction finding by triangulation, the 
locations of the vessels could be mapped. That continued to hold true and is 
still a vital part of modern signal intelligence. It also provided the means 
to start to break enemy code. By transmitting a specially designed signal, 
the enemy reaction to intercepting that signal provides clues to the code 
that they are using This may involve transmitting a signal that has not been 
encrypted to assist the enemy in gaining intelligence and then taking steps 
to act on that false information.

So far, only fragmentary information has emerged from those involved in 
operations at Bletchley. Alan Turing has achieved posthumous fame, but he 
was one of many brilliant individuals who were intimately involved in the 
story. Some, including Welchman, wrote books and papers after 1945 which 
provided insights into their work, but GCHQ and the US NASA acted quickly 
to block further publications and to prevent published authors from making 
further comments. The author, a Bletchley Park historian, has drawn on 
Welshman's papers in an attempt to put the record straight. The result is 
an absorbing book that is packed with fresh insights, although it is not a 
complete account, with some related information still protected by security 
classification and restriction and unlikely to be declassified for many years yet.

There are two stories. The first story, and the most covered, is directly about 
the immense contribution Bletchley made to the achievement of victory and to 
the significant shortening of WWII. That story in its own right is both completely 
absorbing and vital to understanding key parts of WWII. The second story is 
perhaps even more essential reading. Welchman was heavily involved in the 
development of technology that made the digital age possible. Bletchley Park is 
the true home of the electronic digital information processor. Without that work, 
there might be no Internet and we could still be living in an analogue world where 
almost everything we take for granted today would not exist.

This book should be essential reading in schools and be read widely. It provides 
insights that should show how further advances can be made and how security can 
be developed to protect the users of electronic information. Currently few 
understand the threats that come with the enormous benefits and because of that, 
developers and politicians continue to fail miserably in providing the benefits 
at an acceptable level of risk.
   
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The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force, 1942-1945

 
DAF

The author has carried out detailed research to tell the largely unknown story of the Desert Air 
Force, DAF. There is a well-selected photo plate section and maps in the text body, to reinforce 
and support an absorbing text. This is an excellent account of air operations and tactics of the air 
battles in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Italy. There are also first hand accounts by the 
veteran airmen who served in the DAF.
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NAME: The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force, 1942-1945
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 180514
FILE: R1972
AUTHOR: Bryn Evans
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES:  223
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT:  WWII, World War Two, Second World War, 1939-1945, DAF, Desert Air Force, 
Sicily, Italy, close support, anti-armour, anti-shippng, strike aircraft, air superiority, tactical 
bombing, Mediterranean
ISBN: 1-78346-260-4
IMAGE: B1972.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/kkx3b8k
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: The author has carried out detailed research to tell the largely unknown 
story of the Desert Air Force, DAF. There is a well-selected photo plate section and maps 
in the text body, to reinforce and support an absorbing text. This is an excellent account of 
air operations and tactics of the air battles in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Italy. 
There are also first hand accounts by the veteran airmen who served in the DAF.

Perhaps one reason that the story has never been told completely before is that the DAF did 
not just cover the North African campaign and probably more flying hours were expended 
over the Mediterranean and during the advance through Sicily and on up the Italian mainland. 
The DAF story from 1942 to 1945 marks significant changes in the Allied fortunes and the 
considerable improvements in equipment and tactics.

When war broke out in 1939, Britain was comprehensively unprepared. There were some 
areas where this was not true entirely. The Royal Navy conducted exercises before the outbreak, 
mobilizing the reserves, bringing the reserve fleet back into operational condition and 
replenishing supplies and fuel at strategic locations around the world. When the exercises ended, 
the mobilization was maintained and this granted the Royal Navy and the Fleet Air Arm full 
operational status when war was declared after Germany refused to end its attacks on Poland. 
The Royal Navy also had a number of critical warships either completing construction, or joining 
the Fleet. It was not a complete preparation because the appeasers had allowed British Forces to
 contract and failed to provide modern aircraft in adequate numbers for the defence of British 
interests.

The Royal Air Force had decided to concentrate initially on rebuilding home defences with a 
modern radar equipped Command and Control System, upgraded air stations, and modern 
monoplane fighter aircraft. The progress in rebuilding the bomber force and particularly the 
maritime patrol and attack force was rather less effective but this recognized the funding limits, 
development conditions and factory output against the highest priorities.

The Army was the least prepared of the Armed Forces. Personnel were scattered around the 
Empire and involved in extra-Imperial duties in the Middle East where Britain has accepted 
responsibility for the policing and support of a number of nations. Senior officers were still 
thinking of a re-run of WWI with trench warfare in Europe requiring the major effort. This 
belief in static land warfare was further distorted by an over-confidence in the French defence 
line that had still not been completed and crucially left most of the border with Belgium 
unprotected. This was partly a political situation where France was keen to avoid the Belgians 
feeling cut off and left to their own devices, but it was a critical mistake when the Germans 
attempted to follow the invasion plans of 1914, but this time with a mechanised spearhead 
that punched through the hasty attempts to plug the gap with the British Expeditionary Force 
and its small air defences that were not increased as the front crumbled because it was realised 
that Spitfire and Hurricane fighters would soon be required to defend the British Isles from 
invasion.

This general lack of preparation was worse, the further from the British Isles, with the forces 
spread across North Africa, the Middle East, India and the Far East, protected by poorly 
organized and trained second line troops and equipment. Beyond Europe, the RAF was still 
a largely biplane air force, the Army was equipped mainly with WWI vintage small arms, 
vehicles, armour and uniforms, and the Royal Navy was also equipped with its older warships 
and a significant lack of air defence capability at a time when the advantage was moving very 
rapidly from the naval big gun to the torpedo and bomb equipped aircraft.

The result was that the start of the war saw British forces in Egypt facing Italian forces in Libya 
that were at that point neutral. The Mediterranean was still devoid of German Forces and the 
vital Suez Canal was not yet directly challenged. That changed suddenly as the Italians saw 
opportunities from declaring war on a Britain that seemed doomed and a France that might be 
divided between Italy and Germany. Although the Italian forces in North Africa were nor 
strong, they matched the British and a back and forth flow began as one side advanced to over 
stretch its supply lines and be forced back by an equally rapid and spectacular counter offensive 
by the enemy. The area was ideal of rapid armoured warfare and a perfect opportunity for air 
power. From the beginning, the RAF had been developing tactics and equipment to suit this new 
battlefield that had not been planned for. Before El Alamein, which was a last opportunity to block 
a German advance on the Suez Canal and serve as a spring board for the complete defeat of 
German and Italian Forces, the British were still dependent on ANZAC forces and volunteers 
from the British African colonies and on obsolescent and obsolete equipment.

By 1942, all of that was changing. Not only was the US newly involved in the war, but planning 
had already started on a pincer attack on the Axis forces in North Africa and their complete defeat, 
but also on invading Sicily and Italy. The US provided an enormous increase in factory output of 
tanks and aircraft. Although the battle with the U-Boats was still fluctuating, increasing volumes 
of supplies and weapons were convoyed across the Atlantic to Britain and North Africa, and 
convoys were still forcing their way through to Malta, keeping the garrison alive and enabling it 
to mount strikes with MTBs and aircraft against the Axis convoys attempting to re-supply the 
Afrika Korps.

The Desert Air Force continued to receive less effective aircraft, such as the P40, but was now 
receiving the latest and most effective British and US fighters and bombers. This ensured that 
the Germans would never be able to make an effective counter attack and would be squeezed 
between British, Empire and American forces, until total victory had been achieved. From there 
the DAF would be available to support the invasion of Sicily and the invasion of the Italian 
mainland. Tactics were adapted, but the North Africa skills of ground attack were very important 
to the progress of Allied forces North through Italy. When the time came land in Normandy, these 
skills had influenced the tactics that were to be so effective in blocking and destroying German 
armour in France.

It is important to understand how the DAF helped turn the tide of war and the author is to be 
commended for such a clear account of the operations and tactics developed in North Africa 
and the continuing role of the DAF in fighting through Italy
   
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Invasion ’44, The Full Story of D-Day

Invassion44
The author has provided a fine account of one of the greatest events in military history. He has 
carefully researched and graphically told an incredible story, producing what is the clearest and 
most comprehensive account on the dramatic landings.
The author has managed to capture the challenges and the solutions that made a successful 
landing possible. There are essential maps and a photo plate section to reinforce the text. With 
all of the books that have been written about the D-Day landings, this provides essential reading 
in covering the preparations and the landings. It reads very well and leads the reader through 
the stages in a logical manner.
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NAME: Invasion '44, The Full Story of D-Day
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 180514
FILE: R1971
AUTHOR: John Frayn Turner
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES:  198
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: amphibious assault, airborne assault, Atlantic Wall, Normandy, D-Day, WWII, 
World War Two, Second World War, 1939-1945
ISBN: 1-78303-298-7
IMAGE: B1971.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/kmjskjz
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: The author has provided a fine account of one of the greatest events in 
military history. He has carefully researched and graphically told an incredible story, 
producing what is the clearest and most comprehensive account on the dramatic landings.

Even many of those who took part in the landings would not have had a full appreciation 
of the unfolding event. Each had to focus on the tasks assigned to his unit within the grand 
plan. There was an appreciation of the scale of what was happening, but the beaches 
stretched away from the place where each boat landed its cargo and the battle extended 
inland to the airborne troops who had been landed on key points to prevent the Germans 
reinforcing their defences and to hold bridges that would be needed for the break out from 
the beaches.

For those who were not at the beaches, the sheer scale of the landings is difficult to fully 
appreciate. Without landing on the mainland and fighting into Germany, total victory would 
never have been possible and some form of armistice would have been the best available 
end to the fighting. That would only have postponed further war for perhaps a very short 
period. A successful landing was that vital, but the challenges it presented were enormous. 
No one had ever planned a military action on this scale before. The first twenty four hours 
#would be critical. If the troops could not fight their way off the beaches within that time, 
they would be driven back into the sea.

The thousands of vessels collected together to transport the invading army and provide 
shore bombardment included many types which had been created for these landings. In 
almost every respect, new ways of training, moving, arming and landing the force had to 
be developed. British planning had begun before the evacuation of British and French troops 
from Dunkirk in 1940. When the US entered the war, planning for a landing in France 
accelerated, but there were many tasks that had to be achieved before the final planning 
could begin. The landings at Dieppe were a large reconnaissance in force to test ideas and 
German defences. It ended with very heavy casualties.

The Allies had to convince the Germans that the real attack was to be launched at Calais as 
the shortest journey, while the landings would take place elsewhere. That involved an 
incredible intelligence operation to deceive the Germans. Britain became one huge armed 
camp as equipment and men were collected from around the world. Just moving those 
numbers across the Channel was an immense task, even before considering the defence that 
the Germans could be expected to put up. Once ashore, the troops would require a steady 
flow of supplies on an enormous scale. Selecting the open beaches of Normandy provided 
the best prospects against the German defences, but it created an incredible problem in landing 
supplies, fuel and ammunition. The brilliant solution was to build large pre-fabricated harbours 
that had to be towed across the channel and assembled on the beaches. That would allow 
merchant ships to bring across vehicles, men and all the supplies for the first phase. PLUTO 
was an underwater pipeline that could pump fuel for the thousands of thirsty vehicles. 
Everything had to be done on a grand scale but it also needed a multitude of inventions.

The author has managed to capture the challenges and the solutions that made a successful 
landing possible. There are essential maps and a photo plate section to reinforce the text. 
With all of the books that have been written about the D-Day landings, this provides essential 
reading in covering the preparations and the landings. It reads very well and leads the reader 
through the stages in a logical manner.
   
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Bomber Harris, Sir Arthur Harris’ Despatch on War Operations, 1942-1945

 
BomberHarris

The author was the commander tasked with creating a strategic bombing campaign against 
Germany in conjunction with the USAAF's 8th Air Force. By tasking the USAAF with 
daylight bombing and using the RAF bomber fleet at night, the Allies were able to maintain 
24 x 7 bombing of German targets, giving production facilities and defence units no respite, 
save for when weather conditions prevented the bombers from operating. Never before had 
any country been able to staged this level of intensive aerial bombardment as a strategic 
campaign. It became controversial because Hitler's propaganda minister was able to create 
the fiction that bombing, particularly of Desden, was a war crime, when in reality Desden 
was a major communications centre vital to the German defence against the Russian advance, 
therefore a legitimate target.

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NAME: Bomber Harris, Sir Arthur Harris' Despatch on War Operations, 1942-1945
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 290414
FILE: R1970
AUTHOR: Sir Arthur Harris, compilers, John Grehan, Martin Mace
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES:  414
PRICE: £30.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Bombers, carpet bombing, precision bombing, night bombing, day bombing, 
trategic bombardment, fire storm, earthquake bombs, dam busters, bomber crew, aircraft, 
technology, strategy, tactics, organization, economic impact, WWII, World War Two, 
Second World War, 1939-1945
ISBN: 1-78303-298-7
IMAGE: B1970.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/qar678u
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: The author was the commander tasked with creating a strategic bombing 
campaign against Germany in conjunction with the USAAF's 8th Air Force. By tasking the 
USAAF with daylight bombing and using the RAF bomber fleet at night, the Allies were 
able to maintain 24 x 7 bombing of German targets, giving production facilities and defence 
units no respite, save for when weather conditions prevented the bombers from operating. 
Never before had any country been able to staged this level of intensive aerial bombardment 
as a strategic campaign. It became controversial because Hitler's propaganda minister was 
able to create the fiction that bombing, particularly of Desden, was a war crime, when in reality 
Desden was a major communications centre vital to the German defence against the Russian 
advance, therefore a legitimate target.

Harris faced a major challenge in bringing the RAF Bomber Command to the point where it 
could sustain its tasks in the face of very heavy casualties and operate effectively.

When Britain entered the Second World War, the RAF had two primary roles. One was to provide 
point defence interceptors for home defence. The second was to provide a long range heavy bomber 
force for strategic bombing. These two tasks had overshadowed the two other tasks of Army 
co-operation and maritime reconnaissance. The result was that all the best resources went to Fighter 
Command and Bomber Command. Even so, Bomber Command was not well equipped for its task. 
It had a small number of obsolete heavy bombers and a larger force of light and medium bombers. 
The light bombers were not very effective and the medium bombers were less than adequate with 
the exception of the Wellington. None of these aircraft were equipped with computer bomb sights 
and this was one reason that Bomber Command operated at night when the USAAF eventually 
began operations from bases in Britain. The Americans were equipped with advanced bombing 
sights that allowed pin point bombing in daylight. They also had a number of long range fighters 
that were essential as top cover for daylight bombing, where the RAF's best fighters had relatively 
short range. The short range was a consequence of RAF thinking that any future war would be a 
bombing war where fighters would only be required to protect high value targets at home. In night 
bombing, the RAF initially had to carpet bomb targets and accuracy was generally poor. To achieve 
any level of intentional success, it was necessary to launch large bombing fleets and prepare targets 
with marker flares laid by a small number of highly trained crews, the larger numbers following 
them, bombing on the markers. The exceptions were specialist bomber crews who trained to strike 
special targets. The Dam Busters trained to deliver a special bomb onto dams and later to drop very 
heavy bombs on high value targets. Less famous but equally skilled were other squadrons that 
operated aircraft like the Mosquito where their speed and accuracy made them suitable for attacking 
special targets, such as rocket launching sites.

The main resources of Bomber Command were devoted to strategic bombing in large formations 
with progressively larger, more powerful and more accurate heavy bombers of which the Avro 
Lancaster was the classic aircraft that eventually was able to carry a single ten ton bomb and use 
radar for precision targeting.

The thousand bomber raids were initially a largely propaganda attack. Only by scraping the barrel 
was Harris able to assemble just over one thousand aircraft for the first raid. This include 
obsolescent aircraft to make up the numbers, but later raids were composed of powerful and 
effective four engine heavy bombers as aircraft were built and crews trained. The older aircraft 
were handed on to Coastal Command for maritime patrol, used for training, and adapted for new 
roles, such as towing gliders and dropping paratroops.

This book collects together the reports written by Harris, that show how he set about building 
Bomber Command and using it as a strategic weapon. The are many useful appendices and tables, 
and there is a strong photoplate section that conveys graphically the major elements of what was 
a unique military campaign.

There is no question that Bomber Command shortened the war and may have prevented defeat. 
Had Germany been able to deploy in large numbers at the earliest time the advanced weapons 
that had been under development, the war would have been greatly extended and the Allies 
would have been hard pressed to achieve unconditional victory. The cost in equipment and aircrew
was horrendous and German propaganda was not the only reason for politicians failing to 
recognize the courage and achievement of the RAF and the USAAF in executing the bombing 
campaign against Germany. Full and early recognition would have highlighted the very heavy 
casualties.

This book achieves balance and justice for the aircrew involved. It explains the objectives and 
achievements to equip the reader with an understanding of the scale of the task that Harris 
completed. In doing that, it provides a reliable understanding of the course of the war in the 
European Theatre. Essential reading.

   
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The Bofors Gun

BoforsGun

The author has provided a comprehensive study of the 40mm Bofors and its applications. As a
 reliable and relatively low cost weapon, it will probably continue in use for years to come. 
The excellent selection of photographs, including full colour, very effectively enhances the text 
and the ammunition has also been covered. The latter is important in a weapon of this type 
because it provides optimized shells for specific targets, including shells designed to penetrate 
modern armour. The importance of specialist ammunition is often overlooked and the 
continuing development has maintained the currency of the Bofors.
 
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NAME: The Bofors Gun
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 290414
FILE: R1969
AUTHOR: Terry Gander
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES:  259
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: 
ISBN: 1-78346-202-7
IMAGE: B1969.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ouvhgbh
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: A curious factor of British artillery procurement is the number of weapons 
of all types and sizes that were either partly the product or completely the product of developers 
in other countries. The list is long and these weapons and components that were licensed 
manufactured for British Forces in the most part became famous and performed very well. 
It is never-the-less odd that a country with such a long experience of designing and manufacturing 
weapons for centuries should have become dependent on the creativity and engineering expertise 
of foreign companies and individuals.

The British service revolver from Webley or Enfield continued in production during WWII 
and the copies of German early submachine guns were rapidly replaced by the Sten gun, but 
the Browning FN 9mm pistol was to become the favoured handgun of British Service personnel 
and the standard military rifle continued to be the bolt action Lee Enfield with its US designed 
bolt. During WWII, large quantities of US weapons came into use because demand was 
exceeding supply from British production, but it remains that many weapons were licensed 
manufacture, albeit in some cases with design enhancements introduced in Britain.

The Vickers heavy machine gun was the licensed build Maxim that was also produced under 
license by many other countries. The Lewis machine gun was still in use as a light anti-aircraft 
weapon, for defence on some multi-seat aircraft and by ships and some army vehicles. Vickers 
did continue to make the K gun which was in the same category as the Lewis gun. The famous 
Bren gun was basically a licensed version of an outstanding Czech design, but it was in the 
heavier automatic weapons that license building was very strong. The Oerlikon 20 mm canon 
designed in Switzerland was to become the popular choice for ships, aircraft, combat vehicles 
and as a static anti-aircraft weapon. This design was also used or licensed by many other 
countries. The Bofors came into a class of its own.

Britain had produced a very effective light anti-aircraft gun in the form of the Vickers two pounder. 
This weapon was initially designed for use by the Royal Navy and was supplied in several 
different mounts. Most commonly, four or eight two pounders were installed on a power operated 
mount. This was to be widely used on RN warships, including coastal patrol boats through to 
battleships. Some of these weapons were supplied for use by the Swedish Navy, but Sweden 
was not as happy with the design and Bofors was given the order to make a Swedish equivalent. 
The result was the 40mm Bofors.

This famous gun has been used around the world and continues to form an important part of 
many countries automatic artillery. Most commonly, it is found as a single gun mount in armoured 
vehicle turrets, on warships of all sizes and types, on trailer mounts and in static positions. It 
has proved to be highly reliable and lethal.

The first 40mm Bofors were mounted on manual mounts were the gun was trained and laid by 
hand, using cranks. The sights were relatively basic websights but a trained gun crew could 
effectively take on a variety of surface and aerial targets. Where many weapons by that time of 
its debut were using belt and magazine feeds for the ammunition. The Bofors employed clips,
 often clips of four shells, which could be carried by one man and dropped into an open feed 
hopper to be fed under gravity, although some crews believed that the rate of fire could be 
increased by applying pressure to each clip.

Since the first introductions and extensive service during WWII, the Bofors has be updated by 
mounting it on powered mounts and turrets and adding radar for gun direction. In this type of 
installation, the Bofors guns are frequently mounted in pairs on armoured vehicles, to provide 
a very effective mobile anti-aircraft gun system that is self -propelled and capable of integration 
into groups of anti-aircraft guns to provide depth of defence against fast moving targets. In 
addition, these update Bofors systems can also be used against surface targets, forming a 
relatively low cost multi-role weapon system on land and at sea. The Bofors can also provide 
a very effective weapon with rotary canon and 105mm howitzers as a gunship weapons suite 
in a transport aircraft such as the C-47 and C-130 gunship adaptations.

The author has provided a comprehensive study of the 40mm Bofors and its applications. As a
 reliable and relatively low cost weapon, it will probably continue in use for years to come. 
The excellent selection of photographs, including full colour, very effectively enhances the text 
and the ammunition has also been covered. The latter is important in a weapon of this type 
because it provides optimised shells for specific targets, including shells designed to penetrate 
modern armour. The importance of specialist ammunition is often overlooked and the 
continuing development has maintained the currency of the Bofors.
 
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