Monday, 26 June 2017

German Flakschiff: Niobe

HNLMS Gelderland began life as a Holland-class cruiser of the Royal Netherlands Navy. She entered service in 1900, and had an active career representing the Netherlands across the world. By 1940 she was obsolete, and was being used as an artillery training ship.

When built, her characteristics were:
  • Displacement: 4,100 tons
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 310’ 9” (94.76m)
    • Beam: 48’ 4” (14.76m)
    • Draught: 18’ (5.4m)
  • Speed: 19.5 knots
  • Propulsion: 2 shafts powered by two 3-cycle triple expansion engines
  • Armament: 2 × 5.9” (150mm ) guns (2 x 1); 6 x 4.7” (120mm) guns (6 x 1); 6 x 2.9” (75mm) guns (6 x 1); 12 x 37mm QF guns (12 x 1)
  • Complement: 397
A silhouette of HNLMS Gelderland.
HNLMS Gelderland.
HNLMS Gelderland.
She was captured by the German in 1940, renamed Niobe, and used as a training ship until her conversion in 1944.

When converted into a flakschiff, Niobe carried:
  • 10 x 4.1” (10.5cm) SK C/32 guns (10 x 1)
  • 4 x 40mm Bofors guns (4 x 1)
  • 16 x 20mm guns (4 x 4)
A silhouette of KMS Niobe.
KMS Niobe.
KMS Niobe.
KMS Niobe. The single funnel has not yet been heightened and given a cowl.
A stern view of KMS Niobe.
She was sunk in Kotka harbour, Finland, by aircraft of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet on 16th July 1944. Her hull was subsequently raised and scrapped in 1953.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Vive l'Empereur! The final batch of French Artillery figures are added to the collection

The final batch of French Artillery figures (half a dozen French Horse Artillery) have been renovated, varnished, and based, and have taken their place in my collection.



I now want to move on to the French Officers on foot that still remain to be renovated, varnished, and based, after which all that will remain of the French figures to be worked on are the Officers on horse and the Cavalry.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

German Flakschiff: Nymphe and Thetis

Nymphe and Thetis began life as the Tordenskjold-class coastal defence battleships HNoMS Tordenskjold and HNoMS Harald Haarfagre respectively. They both entered service in the early years of the twentieth century, and were withdrawn from service in the mid 1930s.

When built, their characteristics were:
  • Displacement: 3,858 tons
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 304’ 0” (92.66m)
    • Beam: 48’ 6” (14.78m)
    • Draught: 17’ 8” (5.38m)
  • Speed: 16.9 knots
  • Propulsion: 2 shafts powered by reciprocating steam engines
  • Armour: Belt: 7” (178mm); Turrets: 8” (203mm)
  • Armament: 2 × 8.2” (21cm) (2 x 1) guns; 6 × 4.7” (120mm) (6 x 1) guns; 6 x 3” (76mm) (6 x 1) guns; 6 x 1 pdr QF guns (6 x 1); 2 × 18” (45cm) Torpedo Tubes
  • Complement: 245
A silhouette of a Tordenskjold-class. coastal defence ship.
HNoMS Tordenskjold.
They was captured by the German in 1940, renamed Nymphe and Thetis respectively, and used as a training and storage hulks until their conversion.

When converted into a flakschiff, Nymphe and Thetis carried:
  • 7 x 4.1” (10.5cm) SK C/32 gun (6 x 1)
  • 2 x 40mm Bofors guns (2 x 1)
  • 9 x 20mm guns (2 x 4; 1 x 1)
A silhouette of KMS Nymphe and KMS Thetis.
After the war the Nymphe was renamed Tordenskjold and was used for a short time as a floating barracks before she was sold and scrapped in 1948.

KMS Nymphe.
After the war the Thetis was renamed Harald Haarfagre and was used for a time as a floating barracks and for transporting German POWs. She was sold and scrapped in 1948.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

German Flakschiff: Arcona and Medusa

SMS Arcona and SMS Medusa were two of the ten light cruisers that formed the Gazelle-class. They were built in the early years of the twentieth century, and by the time of the First World War they were no longer regarded as front-line units.

When built, their characteristics were:
  • Displacement: 3,130 tons
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 344’ 6” (105m)
    • Beam: 40’ 8” (12.40m)
    • Draft: 16’ 4” (4.99m)
  • Speed: 21.5 knots
  • Propulsion: 2 shafts powered by triple-expansion steam engines
  • Armour: Deck: 20 to 25mm (0.79 to 0.98 inches)
  • Armament: 10 × 4.1” (10.5cm) SK L/40 guns (10 x 1); 2 × 18” (45cm) Torpedo Tubes
  • Complement: 14 officers and 256 enlisted men
A silhouette of a Gazelle-class cruiser.
SMS Arcona in 1910.
When converted into a flakschiff, Arcona and Medusa carried:
  • 1 x 4.1” (10.5cm) SK C/32 gun (1 x 1)
  • 4 x 4.1” (10.5cm) SK C/33 guns (4 x 1),
  • 2 x 37mm SK C/30 guns (2 x 1)
  • 4 x 20mm guns (1 x 4)
A silhouette of KMS Arcona and KMS Medusa. The funnel was later shortened and additional superstructure added.
Arcona was assigned to Naval Anti-Aircraft Group 233. She survived the war and was broken up between 1948 and 1949.

KMS Arcona.
Medusa was assigned to Naval Anti-Aircraft Group 222. She survived the war and was broken up between 1948 and 1950.

KMS Medusa.
KMS Medusa in action.
KMS Medusa. This appears to be a photograph of the ship during her conversion into a flakschiff.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 21st June 1937

Andres Nin (leader of the POUM) was murdered by Soviet agents.
Andres Nin, the leader of the POUM.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Vive l'Empereur! Some Veteran/Garrison French Artillery figures are added to the collection!

The best way to describe the way in which work on my Napoleonic project has progressed of late is slow and steady.

The most recent additions are half a dozen Veteran/Garrison French Artillery figures. (They are actually French Foot Artillery figures from Del Prado's RELIVE AUSTERLITZ! range, but their slightly earlier style of uniforms make them ideal candidates to be used a Veterans who can garrison coastal defences or border fortifications.)



The next batch are going to be half a dozen French Horse Artillery ... and with a bit of luck they should be finished in a few days.

Another terrorist attack in London

For reasons that will become abundantly clear in the near future, I did not see the news of the attack on the worshippers from the Finsbury Park mosque until today.

Needless to say, I was horrified by what appears to be a so-called 'revenge' tit-for-tat act of terrorism by yet another 'lone wolf' on innocent people. My thoughts and condolences once again go out to everyone affected by this murderous attack, be they the friends and families of those killed and injured or the first responders - including bystanders - who dealt with the aftermath.

Monday, 19 June 2017

German Flakschiff

As the Second World War progressed and the Allied bombing offensive intensified, the Kriegsmarine – who were responsible for coastal defence and the protection of naval dockyards – began to look as ways in which they could enhance the anti-aircraft defences available to them.

One option was to mount anti-aircraft guns around the vulnerable targets they had to protect; another was to mount the guns on ships that could be moved as and when required. A quick survey of the suitable ships that were available (i.e. ones that were large enough to mount the necessary guns and fire control equipment but that were not needed for front-line service) identified the following ships:
  • Arcona (a former German light cruiser of the Gazelle-class)
  • Medusa (a former German light cruiser of the Gazelle-class)
  • Nymphe (a former Norwegian coastal defence battleship that was originally named Tordenskjold of the Tordenskjold-class)
  • Thetis (a former Norwegian coastal defence battleship that was originally named Harald Haarfagre of the Tordenskjold-class)
  • Niobe (a former Netherlands cruiser that was originally the Gelderland of the Holland-class)
  • Ariadne (a former Netherlands coastal defence battleship that was originally the Hertog Hendrik of the Koningin Regentes-class)
  • Undine (a former Netherlands coastal defence battleship that was originally the Jacob van Heemskerck)
  • Adler (a former Danish coastal defence ship that was originally the Peder Skram of the Herluf Trolle-class)
These ships were all taken in hand and converted into flakschiff.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 18th June 1937

The Nationalist motor torpedo boat Falange sank.

Flange was the former Kriegsmarine Motor Torpedo Boat S4. This photograph shows her whilst she was serving with the Kriegsmarine..

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Spanish Civil War: Day-by-Day: 17th June 1937

The Republican battleship Jaime I blew up and sank at Cartagena.

Jamie I at anchor.