All Hands Online : Official Magazine of the U.S. Navy

This was no passing trend, like bell-bottom pants and leisure suits. Whether it was a zebra-striped ship or one painted to delight a Virginia Tech fan, there was a purpose to the pattern: fooling U-boats. Known as Razzle Dazzle, the paint patterns helped safely transport troops and equipment across the Atlantic during World War I.As a young boy, Jim Bruns was fascinated by a savings bond poster that depicted a wildly painted destroyer shelling a German submarine. The destroyer was decked out in orange, blue, yellow and fluorescent red colors.”That could never be,” he thought. “At first I thought the artist had taken liberty with the colors, but then I learned about Razzle Dazzle and how it worked,” Bruns said recently. He is now the director of the National Museum of the United States Navy at the Washington Navy Yard and he knows all about “Razzle Dazzle.”

Source: All Hands Online : Official Magazine of the U.S. Navy

Back in the day, all rangefinding and target motion analysis was done via optics. Disruptive patterns were especially effective against submarines. Sub periscopes, of necessity, had very small apertures, and only dared expose themselves for brief periods. Any error introduced could easily lead to a missed torpedo shot.

The schemes didn’t work, however, very well to protect against aircraft. That’s largely why in WWII, you tended to see more dazzle paint jobs in the Atlantic, where the primary threat was the German U-Boat, and a less dramatic slate blue in the Pacific, where airplanes and surface ships were the prime threat.

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Russian Airliner in Sinai

The Russians have yet to respond to any such terrorist claims, but it’s safe to say that ISIS has President Putin’s full attention.

It’s unclear if militants allied with the Islamic State actually brought down the airliner. The video could be propaganda, but the terrorists do have surface-to-air missiles capable of bringing an airliner down.

The above is from IJN.  If this claim and the accompanying video are authentic, things could get very interesting.  Especially if it was a US-made MANPADS.  Putin and Russia are not constrained by the same self-loathing apology complex we are.  They certainly recognize ISIS for the threat that it is, and the United States as a paper tiger without the will (and soon, without the means) to be a major player in the Middle East.  The downing of an airliner with 224 people on board will not frighten the Russians, but will instead be an impetus for the autocratic Putin to ramp up the military response, all the while reinforcing Russia’s status once again as a world power.

H/T to LLL!

Elements Of Power: Twisting F-35 Factoids to Spread Untruth? I Smell POGO

Back on the 15th, the faux military ‘reform’ F-35 Ejection Seat narrative got a boost in circulation when it hit the Political website ‘Roll Call’. The author clearly didn’t understand what was or was not important on the subject of ejection seats, and quite frankly, the story RC was pedaling wouldn’t hold up to even the most casual review by anyone who has ever been AIS (A**-in-Seat) in one while “slipping the surly bonds”… or worked on or around them while on the ground…or worked/trained in aircraft safety or reliability. When the meme first emerged in a DefenseNews story on October 1, I thought at the time that the story’s timing and meme might be a POGO aka ‘Straus Military Reform’ disinformation piece. Given the machinations to keep the ‘story’ going in spite of its idiocy being proffered, I am now even more convinced of same.This post WAS going to be a straightforward point-by-point ‘fisking’ of the faux F-35 seat story as breathlessly reported at Roll Call, but the story became so bizarre in the spreading of it—and the speed of it–that the story had pretty much fisked itself before I could take the time to do it for you.

Source: Elements Of Power: Twisting F-35 Factoids to Spread Untruth? I Smell POGO

SMSgt. Mac has a loooong piece on the F-35 ejection seat issue. Worth the time to read it. Basically, opponents of the F-35 are down to nitpicking a seat that performs better than legacy systems.

Antares accident report released

Just about a year ago, the Orbital ATK Antares rocket on its way to resupply the International Space Station blew up shortly after launch. While Orbital ATK is responsible for their own accident investigation, NASA established an independent review team, and they released their findings earlier this week.

In a nutshell, the LOX turbopump Hydraulic Balance Assembly and thrust bearing designs were not sufficiently robust for the Antares mission, and they found foreign object debris (FOD) and workmanship defects in the LOX turbopump. One or more of those could have brought the vehicle down. Several recommendations were made to Orbital ATK for more sensors, more acceptance and qualification testing, more thorough inspections, and better contamination control.

Two killed in explosion aboard M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer

Sad news out of Oregon.  Private ownership of vintage military vehicles is something of a niche hobby, but more common than you might expect. And some even go to the trouble of legally maintaining a functioning main gun. In this case, that led to disaster.

The two men killed inside a World War II-era tank destroyer outside of Bend were identified Wednesday morning as Oregon City residents Steven Todd Preston, 51, and Austin Tyler Lee, 22.

The men were attempting to fire a round from the armored tank destroyer’s cannon when the round exploded at 3:09 p.m. Tuesday.

The explosion happened inside a 1944 Buick “Hellcat” M18 tank destroyer at the Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association, a shooting range about 25 miles east of Bend off U.S. 20.

Details are sketchy, but it sounds like a hang-fire, where they attempted to fire the main gun. A misfire is when the round doesn’t go off. A hang fire is where the round doesn’t go off immediately. How do you tell them apart? That’s the trick, isn’t it? I don’t happen to have a manual handy to check, but I seem to recall that after a misfire in a tank, a wait of either 15 or 30 minutes is called for. And there’s still no guarantee that the shell won’t go off after you open the breech.

We’ve actually written before about a privately owned M18 Hellcat, though I don’t believe it is this one.

And there’s at least one other M18 out there with a functioning main gun.


I suppose some will call for legislation banning such weapons. But before we do that, how about we ban far more hazardous legal activities, such as rock climbing and hang gliding and skydiving? Or owning a back yard swimming pool?

Rest in peace, gentlemen.

Russian aircraft approach USS Ronald Reagan, prompting US fighter jet scramble

The USS Ronald Reagan scrambled its fighter jets earlier this week after two Russian naval reconnaissance aircraft flew within one nautical mile of the U.S. aircraft carrier as it sailed in international waters east of the Korean Peninsula, according to 7th Fleet officials.

Source: Russian aircraft approach USS Ronald Reagan, prompting US fighter jet scramble

I’ve seen this story popping up all over the place today.

Newsflash- this happens all the time. A US carrier sails on the ocean, and the Russian dispatch planes to do a flyby. The US launches fighters to escort it.

That’s legal, and been happening for nigh on 70 years.

The “rule” in the fleet is simple. As long as the Russian plane has a US plane escorting it, it is no biggie.

Though it hasn’t always worked out well for the Russians.