Blog

KMS Bismarck Named for the Iron Chancellor

 

Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1990-023-06A,_Otto_von_Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck in 1881.

(photo courtesy of German National Archive)

He was Germany’s greatest statesman and united the various bits and small states and principalities which comprised the modern nation of Germany into one nation dominated by the Kingdom of Prussia. Unfortunately, no other German statesman ever had Bismarck’s intelligence or ability for the right diplomatic maneuver at the right time to keep peace in Europe which he managed to do except for small wars he started to unify Germany. In retrospect, of course, it would have been better if Germany had never been unified. Bismarck would never have imagined in his worst nightmare that Germany would unite most of the world in such hatred of her that Prussia itself would be broken up.

 

German battleship Bismarck with Nazi flag, 1941

German Battleship Bismarck with Nazi flag in 1941. Photo courtesy US Navy History and Heritage Command.  

The ship was commissioned, that is accepted into the German Navy as a completed warship on 24 August 1940. The Bismarck and her later twin, the Tirpitz, were the two largest battleships ever built by a European power. The ship was laid down on 1 July 1936 and launched 14 February 1939.

 

bismarck launched daily mail

The launching of the battleship Bismarck at Hamburg in 1939. (photo courtesy of the London Daily Mail)

 

+
Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken circa August 1940, when the ship was first completed. Rangefinders atop her tower and conning tower have not yet been installed. The original was printed in a German publication.

 

+
Photographed circa August 1940, when first completed. Rangefinders atop her tower and conning tower have not yet been installed.

+
In harbor, circa August 1940, prior to installation of the rangefinders atop her tower and conning tower. This fine-pattern halftone was printed in a Spanish publication, circa 1941. It was provided by the U.S. Naval Attache, Madrid, whose stamp appears at left.

 

+
Photographed from astern, 1940-41, showing stern anchor in its recessed well, folding propeller guards, armor belt and other details of hull and
superstructure. The original, a fine-pattern halftone, is sepia in color.

 

+
Seen from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen as the two ships practiced towing and refueling by trailing hose, circa April-May 1941. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

Bismarck’s Breakout and the Battle of Denmark Strait

 

Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1990-023-06A,_Otto_von_Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck in 1881.

(photo courtesy of German National Archive)

He was Germany’s greatest statesman and united the various bits and small states and principalities which comprised the modern nation of Germany into one nation dominated by the Kingdom of Prussia. Unfortunately, no other German statesman ever had Bismarck’s intelligence or ability for the right diplomatic maneuver at the right time to keep peace in Europe which he managed to do except for small wars he started to unify Germany. In retrospect, of course, it would have been better if Germany had never been unified. Bismarck would never have imagined in his worst nightmare that Germany would unite most of the world in such hatred of her that legal entity of the state of Prussia would be dissolved and parceled out to mostly other countries.

 

German battleship Bismarck with Nazi flag, 1941

German Battleship Bismarck with Nazi flag in 1941. Photo courtesy US Navy History and Heritage Command.  

The ship was commissioned, that is accepted into the German Navy as a completed warship on 24 August 1940. The Bismarck and her later twin, the Tirpitz, were the two largest battleships ever built by a European power. The ship was laid down on 1 July 1936 and launched 14 February 1939.

bismarck launched daily mail

The launching of the battleship Bismarck at Hamburg in 1939. (photo courtesy of the London Daily Mail)

image049

Photo of headline of story which appeared in the New York Times about the launching of the Bismarck. The world would have been so much better off had the mass-murderer Hitler fallen into the water and drowned.

+
At sea en route to Norway, circa 19-20 May 1941, prior to her Atlantic sortie. Photographed from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

h69720
In a Norwegian fjord, 21 May 1941, shortly before departing for her Atlantic sortie. If you look closely at the far right and examine the bow of the Bismarck, you will notice the white, false bow wave painted at the waterline. This was thought to mislead the enemy as to the speed of the ship. Photographed from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Location is probably Grimstadfjord, just south of Bergen. Bismarck’s camouflage was painted over before she departed the area. If you lCopied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

h73689

 

In Grimstadfjord, near Bergen, Norway, on 21 May 1941, just prior to her sortie into the Atlantic. Two merchant-type ships are also present. Photographed from a British Royal Air Force reconnaissance aircraft.

 

+
Painting by Claus Bergen, seized by the US as a spoil of war, depicting the German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen (center) and battleship Bismarck (left, distance) firing on British warships Hood and Prince of Wales. Courtesy of the US Army Chief of Military History. This painting was returned to the Federal Republic of Germany’s Navy in 1978.

 

+
German battleship Bismarck firing on HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Hood. Photographed from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which was in the lead. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
Fifteen-inch shells from HMS Hood hit near the German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, early in the action. Photographed from on board the German cruiser. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
Painting by J.C. Schmitz-Westerholt, depicting Hood’s loss during her engagement with the German battleship Bismarck on 24 May 1941. HMS Prince of Wales is in the foreground. Courtesy of the US Army Chief of Military History.

 

+
Explosion of the British battlecruiser Hood. Smoke from HMS Prince of Wales’s gunfire is faintly visible just to the left. Photographed from the German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
British battleship Prince of Wales (smoke column in left center) under fire from the German battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, with smoke from the sunken HMS Hood at right. Splashes to the right are shells from Prince of Wales that fell well short of the German ships. Photographed from Prinz Eugen. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
British battleship Prince of Wales (left smoke column) turns to open the range, after she was hit by German gunfire. Smoke at right marks the spot where HMS Hood had exploded and sunk a few minutes earlier. Photographed from the German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
German battleship Bismarck firing on HMS Prince of Wales. Photographed from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
German battleship Bismarck firing on HMS Prince of Wales. Photographed from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
German battleship Bismarck engaging HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales. Shells from the latter are falling short of the Bismarck, which had been hit previously and is slightly down by the bow. Photographed from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
German battleship Bismarck firing on HMS Prince of Wales, as seen from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which is steaming ahead of Bismarck. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
This photo was actually taken in the early morning. The broadside of the Bismarck was such that it overexposed the film. German battleship Bismarck firing on HMS Prince of Wales. Photographed from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
Photographed from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen on 24 May 1941, following the Battle of the Denmark Strait and before the two German ships separated. Bismarck is somewhat down by the bow, the result of hits received in her engagement with HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Hood earlier in the day. This is the next to last photograph of Bismarck taken by the Germans. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

 

+
Photographed from the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen on 24 May 1941, following the Battle of the Denmark Strait and before the two German ships separated. This is the last photograph of Bismarck taken by the Germans. Copied from the report of officers of Prinz Eugen, with identification by her Gunnery Officer, Paul S. Schmalenbach, 1970.

[Images courtesy of the US Navy History and Heritage Command]

The Many Aspects of the US Military In Photos

 

Shaking hands with his partner

 

Senior Airman Tariq Russell, a 21st Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, shakes the paw of his partner, PPaul, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 14, 2016. MWD handlers are assigned one dog for their entire duration at Peterson AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Senior Airman Tariq Russell, a 21st Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, shakes the paw of his partner, PPaul, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., June 14, 2016. MWD handlers are assigned one dog for their entire duration at Peterson AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

 

An A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 127th Wing, Michigan Air National Guard, lands on a remote highway strip near Jägala, Estonia after completing a simulated close air support mission in a combined arms live fire exercise during Saber Strike on June 20, 2016. Saber Strike is a long-standing U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise designed to improve joint interoperability through a range of missions that prepare the 14 participating nations to support multinational contingency operations. (Minnesota National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amy M. Lovgren/ Released)

An A-10 Thunderbolt II from the Michigan Air National Guard lands on a remote highway strip near Jägala, Estonia, during cooperative training exercise Saber Strike 16, June 20, 2016. It marked the first time in more than 30 years that a U.S. Air Force aircraft has practiced austere landing training on a highway. Minnesota National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Amy M. Lovgren.

 

Army veteran Terry Cartwright bites his gold medal after the Army defeated the Marines in wheelchair basketball during the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., June 21, 2016. DoD photo by Roger Wollenberg

 

Army veteran Terry Cartwright bites his gold medal after the Army defeated the Marines in wheelchair basketball during the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., June 21, 2016. DoD photo by Roger Wollenberg.

I certainly hope that all of us in the US are prepared to spend the money to help these wounded veterans and fund research which could assist them and others recover from disabling injuries. Even if we have to raise taxes, these men and women who were wounded in the military service of the United States need their country to help them.

Marines discuss tactics before resuming training at the Pacific War Memorial at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, June 13, 2016. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew J. Bragg

Marines discuss tactics before resuming training at the Pacific War Memorial at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, June 13, 2016. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew J. Bragg

 

160619-Z-BC699-003C

A soldier from 2nd Cavalry Regiment fires a FGM-148 Javelin during the combined arms live-fire training exercise for Saber Strike 16 at the Estonian Defense Forces central training area near Tapa, Estonia, June 19, 2016. The U.S. Army Europe-led training exercise is designed to improve joint interoperability through a range of missions to prepare the 14 participating nations to support multinational contingency operations. Minnesota National Guard photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Ben Houtkooper

160620-D-SK590-298D

Defense Secretary Ash Carter congratulates Army Secretary Eric Fanning during his welcome ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., June 20, 2016. Carter provided remarks during the event. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tim D. Godbee.

Thank You President Obama!

Fanning is the first openly gay person to be appointed and confirmed by the US Senate as head of one of the military services. Prior to this office, he was acting Secretary of the US Air Force. Fanning has spent most of his adult life as a dedicated public servant.

The Republicans, particularly the deeply homophobic Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, a loathsome toad of a man who put on hold on the nomination and then a hold on the guy once he was confirmed by the US Senate. Finally, even the Republicans were embarrassed and pushed Roberts out of the way and had him remove his hold. Unfortunately, we can always count on Kansas to send the most right wing loony tunes to the House and Senate.

160620-D-SK590-165C

Army Secretary Eric Fanning inspects soldiers during a welcome ceremony for him on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., June 20, 2016. Defense Secretary Ash Carter provided remarks during the event. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tim D. Godbee.

Was Brexit Inevitable?

credit: Pixabay

While the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union sent global financial markets into a free fall and will affect trade travel across the continent, the “Brexit” vote was far less a vote against the EU and far more a racially charged vote against immigration.

Anyone can become an American. But, a person of color cannot become English — even if that person swears allegiance to the crown and becomes a British subject. Why is this? Unlike the United States, the British Isles have little experience with a multiracial democracy. English people are white. Since 84 percent of the population of the UK is English, the aforementioned terms are mostly synonymous.

A black or brown person can legally become an English citizen, but that person will never become culturally English, no matter how much money she acquires or how upper class his accent becomes. It is a subtle difference but a critical one. Does this mean that all English people who are white are racists? No, of course not. But, there are cultural lines that are almost impossible to cross.

In 2001, according the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics, the population of Great Britain was 92 percent white. In 2011, white people in the UK comprised 87 percent: a drop of 5 percent. While the overall population has been growing, this is because of immigration and not an increase in the family size of the white English population.

While it is hard for us to imagine now, in 1945, when World War II came to an end, the British Empire still ruled almost a quarter of the globe and almost a quarter of the population of the entire world. Without the massive assistance provided by the Empire, including millions of soldiers, the Anglo-American alliance would have had a far more difficult time defeating Nazi Germany.

However, there were actually two empires in one: the self-governing white British Dominions such as Australia, Canada et al; and the non-white British colonies which were governed directly or indirectly by the British Crown. Therefore, the British had vast experience in governing people of color, but little experience in accepting them as equals.

Beginning in the late 1950s, men of color were recruited from former English colonies to come to England to work, due to a labor shortage. For instance, black men from the colony of Jamaica were recruited to drive London’s famous bright-red double decker buses. Other “coloured” subjects of the British Crown, including those from the Indian subcontinent, once ruled in its entirety by the British, could relocate to Great Britain and become citizens or permanent residents.

The white population wasn’t diluted very much in the beginning, but it slowly began to shrink as a percentage, more than many British people wanted. In the 1980s, controls on immigration of “coloured” people —defined as any person who wasn’t white, including Asians—were introduced and became more and more strict as time went on. By 2010, these controls reduced the flow of immigrants from the former Empire to fewer than 25,000 people.

However, these strict measures did not reduce the number of immigrants. In fact, the number increased. In 2004 the EU had expanded to include many of the poorer countries of Europe, especially Eastern Europe. And a citizen of any country that is part of the EU can move to any other country in the EU, settle down and work. By 2009, more than 1.5 million people, many from Eastern Europe, legally immigrated to the UK under this policy.

Prior to the Brexit, several key events occurred that pushed British voters over the edge:

1) In a 15-month period beginning in January of 2015, more than one million refugees, largely from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, sought asylum in the EU. While Britain only took a handful of refugees, this ignited a fear that a white, Christian Europe was about to be overrun with black and brown people, most of whom were Muslims.

2) On New Year’s Eve of 2015, during a traditional festival in Cologne, hundreds of German women were sexually assaulted in various ways — including being forcibly grabbed, kissed, groped and fondled. Many of the perpetrators turned out to be North African Muslims. As these men were identified and arrested, police discovered that most of them were refugees who had applied for asylum.

3) In November of 2015, Islamic terrorists murdered 130 French men and women in Paris, leading to further demands by the British public to curb immigration.

4) Great Britain doesn’t have the same historical experience absorbing large numbers of immigrants that the United States does. 47,000 people immigrated to Great Britain in 1997. By 2005 that number had grown to 320,000 immigrants. Over the 13-year period from 1997 to 2010, 3.6 million foreign migrants moved to Great Britain.

5) By 2011, Great Britain’s total population was 63 million. In 2014, 8.3 million, or 13 percent, of the population of Great Britain was foreign-born.

6) Months before Brexit, the UK government announced that between March 2014 and March 2015, net migration to the UK totaled 330,000 people.

In a country with these historic issues integrating migrants, Brexit feels inevitable.

The only surprise is that people are surprised.

Cyber costs threaten to exceed benefits says Report from Zurich Insurance

Could the Internet cost your business more than it’s worth? A new report offers a surprising answer that you won’t want to miss.

Source: Cyber costs threaten to exceed benefits | Articles | Knowledge | Zurich Insurance

 

Comments Charles McCain: this report which is in the form of a series of graphics is grave and distressing.

Germans fired first rocket from submerged submarine

 

4888d357e0f9d77c8ed91d706e0bf3e6

Experimental Antisubmarine Rocket Launcher, firing all eight rockets during tests at Key West Naval Station, Florida, 14 August 1942. This appears to be a prototype for the later “Mousetrap” Anti-Submarine Warfare weapon.

 

In an experiment on 4 June 1942, U-511 went to a depth of fifteen meters, about fifty feet, and fired rockets. This was the first time this was done from a submerged submarine.

Below courtesy of Uboat net:  uboat.net/boats/U 551 Rocket experiment

General notes on this boat

31 May 1942. During the summer of 1942, when under the command of Kptlt. Friedrich Steinhoff, U-511 took part in one of the most interesting experiments of the entire war. Steinhoff’s brother, Dr. Erich Steinhoff, was working at Peenemünde on the rocket program, and between them they arranged for U-511 to be used for rocket trials.

A rack for six 30 cm rockets was installed and extensive tests carried out. These concluded with the successful launch of rockets from a depth of 12m (40ft). These amazing tests failed to convince Dönitz’s staff of the merit of this innovatory weapon system, and it was not put into service. The rocket in question, the 30cm Wurfkörper 42 Spreng, was not advanced enough to target ships, but it might have been used to bombard shore installations such as oil refineries in the Caribbean. This idea was developed in late 1944 with a proposal for Type XXI electro boats to tow V-2 launchers which would attack shore bases. Neither the launchers nor the Type XXI boats became available before the war ended.”

Nonetheless, from the later summer of 1944 through the end of the war, Admiral King, Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief US Fleet (the only man ever to hold both offices. Commander-in-Chief US Fleet was abolished after WW Two came to an end) and his staff were very concerned German Uboats might try and make rocket attacks on east coast cities in the US. We knew they had been experimenting with firing rockets from uboats. Certainly we and the British had been experimenting with this. But the Germans were far behind which was a relief.

 

 

Swordfish Bi-Plane Only Entered Operational Service 1936

HMS_Activity

Escort carrier HMS Activity in Firth of Forth 1942

Like a number of escort carriers, HMS Activity was a merchant ship converted to an aircraft carrier. After the war, the landing deck was removed and the ship returned to merchant service. Often these small carriers only carried a handful of Swordfish but aircraft patrolling over convoys proved critical in the Battle of the North Atlantic and the overall war against U-Boats. While we think of U-boats being sunk by convoy escort ships, almost half of U-Boats sunk in the European Theatre were sunk by U-boats. (Doenitz deployed a handful of U-Boats in and around Singapore).

While we think of U-boats being sunk by convoy escort ships, almost half of U-Boats sunk in the European Theatre were sunk by U-boats. (Doenitz deployed a handful of U-Boats in and around Singapore).

 

THE BATTLE OF ATLANTIC, 1939-1945 (A 19718) A batman uses signal bats to guide the landing of a rocket-firing Fairey Swordfish of No. 816 Squadron Fleet Air Arm on board HMS TRACKER in the North Atlantic, September-October 1943. Note the rocket projectiles under the wings. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205186701

 

Swordfish were usually embarked aboard escort carriers on North Atlantic convoy duty. They made excellent U-Boat hunters once the proper type of radar was installed.

THE ROYAL NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR (A 24986) Three rocket projectile Fairey Swordfish during a training flight from St Merryn Royal Naval Air Station This operational squadron was ommanded by Lieutenant Commander P Snow RN. Note the invasion stripes carried for the Normandy landings on the wings and fuselage of the aircraft. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205016147

 

While originally built as a prototype for the Greek Navy, they turned it down in the mid-30s and Fairey Brothers Aircraft offered it the Royal Navy primarily for use on aircraft carriers. After design changes the plane went into production as the famous Royal Navy Swordfish which served multiple roles: patrol and reconnaissance, torpedo bomber, tactical bomber to support infantry and U-boat hunter/killer. The plane was oddly effective in all of these roles and was used operationally for the entire war.

RAFCC1939-1945 IWMCL2277

Armourers unload 250-lb GP bombs in front of a line of Fairey Swordfish Mark IIIs of No. 119 Squadron RAF, undergoing maintenance at B83/Knokke le Zoute, Belgium. The Squadron flew anti-shipping patrols, principally against German midget submarines, in the North Sea, and off the Dutch coast.

(Photo CL 2277 IWM. Taken by Flt. Lt. B.J. Daventry, Royal Air Force Official Photographer. Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum).

 

IWM 4090 Swordfish_on_HMS_Victorious_before_strike_on_Bismarck

Swordfish torpedo bombers on the after deck of HMS Victorious before the attack on the Bismarck. Date 24 May 1941. This is photograph A 4090 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums now in the public domain.

 

A_Fairey_Swordfish_being_hoisted_aboard_HMS_MALAYA,_October_1941._A5694

 

October 1941. After a reconnaissance flight, a Fairey Swordfish sea plane returns to HMS Malaya and is hoisted in board. The Swordfish was used as a “shot-spotter” by many RN battleships and cruisers. By reporting the fall of shot to the ship via radio, the theory was the gunnery officers could adjust their aim for better accuracy. This never seemed to work very well.

HMS Malaya was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship launched in March 1915. She was named in honour of the Federated Malay States in British Malaya, whose government paid for her construction.

Unfortunately, when World War Two came, HMS Malaya had not been modernized. While rated at 25 knots the ship’s worn out engines could barely make 20 knots. The ship’s deck armour was too thin to withstand dive bomber attacks. Amenities for officers and crew were primitive. The ship’s ventilation system was particularly bad. Serving in her in tropical climates was hell.

However, her eight fifteen inch guns still packed a punch. Like many older battleships, she escorted troop convoys since all troop convoys were required to have at least one battleship in their escort.

 

Royal_Air_Force_Coastal_Command,_1939-1945._CL1638

RAF and Royal Navy ground crew refuel a Fairey Swordfish Mark III of No. 119 Squadron RAF Detachment at B65/Maldeghem, Belgium. In emergencies, Swordfish were posted ashore and used to support infantry attacks by British and Commonwealth troops. 

(photo CL 1638 from the IWM. Clark N S (Flt Lt), Royal Air Force official photographer).

 

sfrockets

JUNE 1944, ROYAL NAVAL AIR STATION, ST MERRYN, PADSTOW. THE FIRING OF ROCKET PROJECTILES FROM FAIREY SWORDFISH AIRCRAFT OF THE RAF. THE FAIREY SWORDFISH IS PRACTICE FIRING AT A ROCK TARGET. (Imperial War Museum”

In addition to use by the Royal Navy, the Swordfish was used extensively by RAF Coastal Command to hunt submarines which the plane did quite effectively once equipped with proper radar and bombs. By mid-1944, the aircraft was also equipped with air-to-surface missiles to use against U-boats.

Series of photos taken from a Swordfish during landing on escort carrier HMS Activity.

(All photos and captions courtesy of Imperial War Museum and all photos in the public domain).

IWM Swordfish photo 4090

circles HMS Activity in the distance

Swordfish approachng HMS Activity IWM

A Fairey Swordfish circles the escort carrier it is about to land on and comes astern of HMS Activity. Note the nose of the Fairey Swordfish is held well up.

swordfish about to land HMS Activity

20 yards to go, the Fairey Swordfish is hanging on its propeller and moving at not more than 60 knots. Note the “Bats” Officer on the carrier’s deck. He makes the signal to the pilot “Carry on as you are”.

Swordfish cut engine HMS Activity

The Batsman gives the signal to the pilot to cut his engine. It is essential that the order is immediately carried out, for the Fairey Swordfish is now only a foot or two off the deck and the hook is about to catch on one of the arrester wires.

Fairey Swordfish at Barrier IWM

A second photographer got a picture of the Fairey Swordfish the moment she landed. Note that the crash-barrier is up in the foreground, in case the arrester hook on the aircraft fails to pick up one of the wires.

fairey swrodfish at barrier 2 IWM

Second photo from different angle. Picture of the Fairey Swordfish the moment she landed. 

Fairey Swordfish landing 6

The Fairey Swordfish has crossed the round-down, and the arrester wires are seen just ahead. The control officer has just given the signal for the pilot to come lower. The men in the side nets are the handling crew who will seize the Fairey Swordfish the moment she lands.