Thursday, February 23, 2017

1953 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 5 (Berlinetta Aerodynamica Technica) -- February 23, 2017

We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos. The 1953 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 5 (Berlinetta Aerodynamica Technica).  The B.A.T. 5, an aerodynamic concept car, was designed and built by Franco Scaglione and Nuccio Bertone.  Despite the number 5, it was the first of the B.A.T. series.  (051/dsc_0123)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Battle Stories -- February 21, 2017

The January, 1929 Battle Aces included the story "Lyons of the Cloud Patrol" -- good title.  Author Raoul Whitfield trained as a flier during World War One.  This issue included a story by Arthur Guy Empey, who turns up a lot in this blog. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Presidents' Day 2017 -- February 20, 2017

Theodore Roosevelt, the Trust Buster, the Hero of San Juan Hill, TR. One of my favorite Presidents.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Executive Order 9066 -- February 19, 2017
Seventy-five years ago today, on 19-February-1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which set up military zones in the United States and allowed for the internment of Japanese-Americans and for restrictions on German-Americans and Italian-Americans. 

When I grew up, many neighbors and parents of friends had been interned.  They generally did not want to talk about it. My Italian-American grandmother had to follow a strict curfew. 

When I was in college, we argued about whether this was necessary.  It was not.  There was Japanese spying and sabotage in Hawaii, but they didn't intern Japanese-Hawaiians because it would have destroyed the economy. 

Third Annnual Buster Keaton Blogathon -- February 19, 2017

Lea at Silent-ology is hosting the Third Annual Buster Keaton Blogathon:

My entry for the blogathon is on my movies-mostly blog, The Big V Riot Squad:
Buster Keaton: From Stage to Screen

 I write about Buster Keaton and his transition from the family act in vaudeville to making movies with Roscoe Arbuckle.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book: Somme 1916 -- February 17, 2017

I read Paul Kendall's book Somme 1916, which takes a detailed look at the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army.  Kendall writes from the British point of view, panning from the left end of the line where there was a diversion, to the left and center where there was hopeless slaughter, to the right where there was some success.

The book begins with an introduction to the British Army in the early war, explaining the distinctions among the Regular Army, the Territorials, and Kitchener's New Army.  It shows the conflicts that took place during the planning for the battle.  The first part concludes with the week-long preliminary bombardment.

Parts 2 through 7 cover the sector assigned to each corps.  The stories of young men, officers, NCOs and enlisted, getting mown down by German machine guns and artillery gets depressing.  Stories of individual bravery make it a bit easier to read.  One chapter is dedicated to the horrible Livens Flame Projectors, which were giant flamethrowers that had to be buried in the ground in No Man's Land.

Part 8 evaluates the battle.  Kendall feels that the effort, which helped lead to the later German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line, was worth it.