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Saturday, June 23rd 2018, 5:33pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

The North Atlantic, Sunday, 27 September 1948 The Reckoning The last of the aircraft of FO Bayard’s second strike made their landings as night was falling, and on Zélé and Héros the umpires were busy comparing their assessments. When he received them, Bailly was appalled; nearly half of his aircraft had been ruled as ‘shot down’ or ‘badly damaged’ – some to the defending fighter aircraft but most to the wall of antiaircraft fire thrown up by the ships of the Alliance task force. Again Engel had ...

Saturday, June 23rd 2018, 1:04am

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Quoted from "Brockpaine" Heh heh, now that's a veteran German trick. They tried it often both during and after the Battle of Britain, where English-speaking Germans would get on the British radio channels and try to vector fighters in random directions. Some of the English-speakers were quite good, and when a British pilot suspected he was being misled, he'd say "...pronounce 'squirrel'!" Sometimes they just blanketed stuff with static, too - but that usually took a ground station, and they nev...

Friday, June 22nd 2018, 7:31pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

The North Atlantic, Sunday, 27 September 1948 The Air Battle For the moment it appeared as if the incoming French aircraft had achieved a tactical surprise, and as the strike leader began to issue his instructions for the attack the earphones of the crews in the strike force crackled. “Test, test, un, deux, trois. Venez à Buttercup.” "Die Welt ist meine Auster." “Quelque chose est pourri dans l'État de Danemark.” The deluge of drivel disrupted communications among the strike aircraft at the most...

Thursday, June 21st 2018, 7:42pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

The North Atlantic, Sunday, 27 September 1948 FO Bayard The last of FO Bayard’s outgoing second strike had barely cleared the decks of Zélé and Héros before the returning aircraft of its first strike began turning into the landing pattern of the carriers. One-by-one they thumped to down and were struck below for servicing. The reports relayed to Bailly were troubling to say the least. Between the losses of several of his scouting aircraft, and the savaging of the first strike, his air groups had...

Wednesday, June 20th 2018, 4:20pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Above the North Atlantic, Sunday, 27 September 1948 The aircraft of the French strike force – nearly fifty strong – had reached the last reported position of the Alliance task force and found empty ocean; it was not unexpected, as hours had elapsed since the scout had made a sighting, escaped ‘destruction’, and had made its way back to FO Bayard in damaged condition. The question for the strike leader was which direction to search? As he hesitated, the Focke-Wulfs struck. Four came in from high ...

Monday, June 18th 2018, 6:43pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Force Operationalle Bayard, 52 dgs 12 min North, 27 dgs 4 min West, Sunday, 27 September 1948 The distressing lack of success from his morning search left Bailly with two facts. Those search aircraft that had reported told him where his ‘enemy’ was not; the failure of search aircraft to report left him little doubt as to where the Alliance task force was – somewhere to the southeast of his present position, but at unknown distance. He paced the deck for a moment, pondering his next move. "L'auda...

Sunday, June 17th 2018, 8:34pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Above the North Atlantic, approximately 52 dgs 8 min North 25 dgs 15 min West, Sunday, 27 September 1948 D for Désiré was one of the Épaulards that had been launched from Zélé earlier that morning, to search for the Alliance task force that was FO Bayard’s quarry in the exercise. Thus far their luck had not been good. The empty miles of sea stretched out below them. The pilot, André Pezon, divided his attention between scanning the sea and watching the sky for Focke-Wulfs; the air gunner did the...

Wednesday, June 13th 2018, 3:59pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Force Operationalle Bayard, 52 dgs 3 min North, 27 dgs 13 min West, Sunday, 27 September 1948 It was still dark, but Bailly stood on the bridge of his flagship, his cruiser glasses trained on the deck of the aircraft carrier Zélé; he could barely discern the preparation of aircraft on her deck, and then he could see the faint blue glow of the exhausts as her pre-dawn search prepared to launch. The encounter with the Alliance cruisers the previous evening – and he was very happy that L'Inflexible...

Monday, June 11th 2018, 3:52pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Torpillieur L'Inflexible, 52 dgs 17 min North, 26 dgs 42 min West, Saturday, 26 September 1948 The increasing volume of reports from merchantmen that had been ‘intercepted and sunk’ by marauding cruisers had at least given indication of the general location of the Alliance task force, but the weather front still caused FO Bayard concern. Yes, it was clearing, but it was clearing from west to east – thus while Bayard enjoyed improving weather and could begin to make productive use of its air asse...

Saturday, June 9th 2018, 2:41am

Author: BruceDuncan

German News and Events, 1948

Truppenübungsplatz Döberitz, Tuesday, 28 September 1948 Oberst von Hauser was less than thrilled with the prospect of his regiment becoming a ‘test and demonstration’ unit, rather than the tip of the spear but at least the First Armoured Cavalry Regiment had received nearly it full complement of armoured vehicles, and Berlin had promised that by December all of his Löwe light tanks would be delivered to make his unit operational. But some genius had decided that his unit would be perfect to carr...

Thursday, June 7th 2018, 7:48pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Cargo Ship Manchester Pride, 55 dgs 15 min North, 26 dgs 49 min West, Saturday, 26 September 1948 “Captain to the Bridge!” crackled the tannoy. The officer of the watch kept his glasses glued to the warship that was rapidly overhauling them to port. “What is it Number One?” “Warship sir, certainly not one of ours. Looks to be trying to come abeam of us.” The ship’s master put his own glasses to his eyes and scanned the approaching vessel. Slim, sharp, fast – and at her masthead the colours of th...

Thursday, June 7th 2018, 6:58pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Yugoslav News and Events, 1948

Privredni vjesnik, Monday, 27 September 1948 Minister of Industrial Development Zoran Simic formally announced today that a number of Yugoslav firms will participate in next month’s Salon de l'Automobile in Paris. Those firms mentioned include the automobile manufacturers Fabrika vozila Novi Sad and Tovarna Automobilov in Motorjev Osijek, tyre manufacturer Fabrika guma ‘Vulkan’, and battery manufacturer Fabrika Akumulatora Zagreb.

Wednesday, June 6th 2018, 4:18pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Cruiser Marseilles, 58 dgs 36 min North, 29 dgs 1 min West, Friday, 25 September 1948 Capitaine D'Estienne d'Orves judged that Engel’s gamble to use the dirty weather to slip past the Rosbifs and remain undetected by FO Bayard had paid off; the task force had reached the main shipping lanes and already that afternoon had encountered and notionally ‘sunk’ a trio of English cargo ships. The method used was simple – when sighted, a cruiser would come alongside the vessel, match course and speed for...

Wednesday, June 6th 2018, 2:57am

Author: BruceDuncan

Yugoslav News and Events, 1948

Lagny-sur-Marne, France, Saturday, 25 September 1948 Petar Baranov looked up from his newspaper at the sound of the kitchen door. He could hear the banter between his wife and his daughter upon the latter’s return from Paris – she was home on the weekend from school. He looked at the letter that lay unopened on the table beside him, pondering what it might mean. “Hello Papa.” She kissed him gently. “The first weeks in a new term go by so swiftly – I am sorry I failed to write.” She sat on the co...

Tuesday, June 5th 2018, 11:53pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Spammer in Aisle Three

Quoted from "Brockpaine" Eyup... Thanks! And boy, with a subject line like that, were they in the wrong place.

Tuesday, June 5th 2018, 10:07pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Aircraft carrier Wallenstein, 60 dgs 49 min North, 33 dgs 24 min West, Thursday, 24 September 1948 Engel considered the present situation in which his task force found itself with considerable misgiving, yet it seemed worth the risk. An approaching weather front had driven gales before it, raising sea states and making carrier operations too dangerous to contemplate under exercise conditions. Signals intelligence suggested that the British force dispatched to shadow him was operating to his sout...

Tuesday, June 5th 2018, 4:10pm

Author: BruceDuncan

Spammer in Aisle Three

Looks like we caught another one.

Sunday, June 3rd 2018, 12:55am

Author: BruceDuncan

British Empire News 1948

The Philippine Navy is quite content to welcome the 30th Flotilla. Perhaps they might call at Cavite in the future.

Saturday, June 2nd 2018, 1:22am

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Force Operationalle Bayard, 57 dgs 23 min North, 39 dgs 31 min West, Wednesday, 22 September 1948 Contre-amiral Ernest Bailly paced the bridge of the cruiser Redoubtable waiting for dawn to break over the horizon. If he had guessed correctly today would be the day that Engel’s task force would commences its part of the exercise – commerce raiding against sea lines of communication between Europe and the Americas. The lack of wireless reports – complaints more than likely – from annoyed civilian ...

Thursday, May 31st 2018, 1:57am

Author: BruceDuncan

Operation Pegase

Aircraft carrier Wallenstein, 65 dgs 41 min North, 28 dgs 21 min West, Wednesday, 22 September 1948 The task force under Admiral Engel’s command had made a high speed run during the night to round Iceland during the long autumn twilight, and in the morning they had made rendezvous with the inspection ship Goldener Löwe, a regular visitor to these waters. Now however she shepherded the replenishment ship Rhein, which had left Bremerhaven weeks ago and had been waiting in these northern waters for...