Sherman’s March to the Sea 1864 Book Review

Sherman’s March to the Sea 1864: Atlanta to Savannah

By David Smith, Illustrated by Richard Hook

Series: Osprey Campaign Series Number 179

Softcover, 96 pages, profusely illustrated, index

Published by Osprey, February 2007

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1-84603-035-8

ISBN-13: 978-1-84603-035-2

Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.9 inches

Sherman’s March to the Sea is one of better-known campaigns of the American Civil War.  It has been described as an example of “scorched earth” or “total war”, but it did not see the intentional destruction of the civilian population or their personal property as a goal.  In fact, Sherman’s orders specifically protected the general population and prohibited destruction of houses and other property unless his army was itself opposed or impeded.

While civilians were not the direct target, destroying the economy of Georgia and removing the state’s ability to contribute to the war effort was the goal.  Sherman was operating deep in enemy territory, and instructed his armies to supply themselves by foraging.  Food, cattle, horses, and mules were to be appropriated where found.  Any government buildings or infrastructure necessary to the Confederate war effort was to be destroyed, including railroads and cotton gins.

The March began with the burning of Atlanta on November 15th, and ended with the surrender of Savanna on December 20th.  Sherman divided his armies into two columns which left a wide path of destruction in their wakes.  Confederate resistance was weak and sporadic, the only meaningful opposition being offered by Wheeler’s cavalry which was too badly outnumbered to do much more than conduct harassing attacks.

In the end, Sherman’s March was successful – the economic devastation of Georgia ended the state’s contribution to the Confederate war effort – in fact the effects would be felt for decades.  I was surprised to read of the political wrangling behind the scenes.  Lincoln faced re-election in November 1864, his Democratic opponent George McClellan was running on a platform of negotiating a peace with the South.  With the conduct of the war being the hot political issue, it was not until after the fall of Atlanta that Lincoln felt politically secure.  Sherman also made a political maneuver, offering Georgia’s Governor Joseph Brown to spare his state’s destruction if he would withdraw Georgia from the rebellion.  It is interesting to ponder the ramifications of a McClellan presidency with negotiated end to the war, as well as the cessation of Georgia from the Confederacy in 1864. This is a well-balanced volume in Osprey’s Campaign series, just enough to give a decent overview while brief enough to digest in an evening.  Recommended.

Women Warriors 135

US Army
ww540_Nancy Harkness Love_FounderWASP
Nancy Harkness Love, founder of the WASPS
US Air Force
LT Becky Calder, US Navy F/A-18 Pilot
WASPs with B-17 Flying Fortress, Seymore Field
WAAF, Percival Proctor

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Revell Focke-Wulf Flitzer Build Part I

This is Revell’s Focke-Wulf TL-Jäger “Flitzer”, initially released in 1996. The design is of the same general configuration as the contemporary DeHaviland Vampire, but had only entered the mock up stage by the time the war in Europe ended. I’ll be building this one as another “whiffer” in operational camouflage and markings.
The sprue layout is conventional. The parts on my example are well-molded with fine recessed panel lines. I will replace the main wheels with spared from the Eduard Fw 190 kit as they are more detailed, but you certainly don’t have to do this to get a good-looking build from this kit.
The seat is too narrow but I left it alone as it fits into the cockpit and will still look good through the closed canopy.
Nose weight in the form of fishing sinkers was added to prevent the model from being a tail-sitter. The further forward you locate the weight the more effective it is. Seatbelts are Eduard PE.
I thought the wings looked a little too stubby so I extended them each about ¾ of an inch (18 mm) with plastic card. That’s one of the advantages of building a whiffer, you can make any necessary modifications to the design!
The wing extensions were filled with superglue and sanded smooth, then the panel lines were rescribed. Superglue makes an excellent filler, and when used with an accelerator can be sanded and re-filled right away.

Dragon Messerschmitt P.1101 Whiffer in 1/72 Scale

The Messeschmitt P.1101 was a contender for the Luftwaffe Emergency Fighter Program which was eventually won by the Focke-Wulf Ta 183 design.  The P.1101 was ordered into production as an experimental aircraft to test the effects of various wing sweep angles.  The airframe was largely complete with a first flight scheduled for June 1945 but the war in Europe ended.  The prototype was shipped to the United States after the war for study, and the design was developed into the Bell X-5.

The model is a “what if” build in operational markings.  I prefer to finish speculative aircraft in actual camouflage and marking schemes, in this case the mixed camo colors are representative of the individually painted sub-assemblies seen on Luftwaffe aircraft during the last months of the war.  The Reich’s Defense band is the blue of JG 54.

De Havilland DH.98 Mosquito Color Photographs Part II

A beautiful in-flight photograph of a Mosquito B Mk. IV. DK338 was later issued to No. 105 Squadron.
This is NT181, a Mosquito FB Mk. VI assigned to No. 620 Squadron at East Wretham.
NT181 again, from the front. The wear to the spinners and nacelle is interesting and would pose a challenge to the modeler.
Rockets proved especially effective against shipping. The armorers here wear leather jerkins, each man is attired slightly differently.
A Mosquito is “bombed up” with a little canine assistance. Compare the appearance of the bomb fins with that of the bomb bodies.
A South African Air Force FB Mk. VI of No. 60 Squadron photographed at Bari, Italy, September 1944. Note the spinners are different colors.
Another view of the same aircraft, serial number HP968.
One of the more attractive Mosquito schemes is the overall PRU Blue, as seen here worn by PR Mk. XVI of RAF No. 684 Squadron at Alipore, India. NS645 was written off in after belly landing at Saigon in November 1945.
Another beautiful shot of a Mosquito in PRU Blue. This is PR Mk. XVI MM364 at Mount Farm, Oxfordshire. This aircraft was passed on to the USAAF, where she served with the 25th Bomb Group.
KB424 served with No. 162 Squadron RAF, she was a Mosquito B Mk. 25.

Hasegawa Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 of JG 6 in 1/72 Scale

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 W.Nr. 211934 was assigned to Stab II./ JG 6 and was surrendered to American forces at Fürth, Germany.  It was photographed extensively there and so is one of the better documented Doras.

This model was built from the old 1976 issue Hasegawa kit.  The kit has been superseded by subsequent molds but I had it on hand and decided to update it as best I could just for the fun of it.  Decals are from an Aeromaster sheet and performed flawlessly.

American Warrior Book Review

American Warrior: The True Story of a Legendary Ranger

By Gary O’Neal with David Fisher

Hardcover in dustjacket, 291 pages, photographs

Published by Thomas Dunne Books May 2013

Language: English

ISBN-10: ‎ 1-250-00432-2

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1-250-00432-1

Dimensions: ‎6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches

Gary O’Neal did not have a happy childhood.  He was estranged from his father and never knew his mother, being raised in the homes of various family members.  He never fit in.  When he was fifteen he stole a cousin’s birth certificate and enlisted in the Army.  It was 1967, he was sent to Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne.  When his cousin’s draft number came up the MP’s came and O’Neal’s first stint in the Army ended, his service record annulled.  He did manage to re-enlist, and through a few fortuitous events managed to get himself assigned to the Long Range Recon Patrols (LRRPs) operating in small groups behind enemy lines.

That was just the beginning, the rest of his story reads like a Hollywood action movie.  Even though he never knew his mother, he embraced her Lakoda Sioux heritage.  He learned to fly helicopters in Vietnam, unofficially.  He was a founding member of the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team, and the obscure Blue Light counter-terrorism unit which was formed while Delta Force was still working up.  He was in and out of the Army several times, working as a bouncer in a bar, movie stunt coordinator, and training troops in Nicaragua.  He managed to accumulate black belts in several martial arts and developed his own style of close combat working with Mike Echanis of Soldier of Fortune fame.

CWO Gary O’Neal was inducted into the U.S. Ranger Hall of Fame.  He is a larger-than-life figure who led a remarkable life.  Some have questioned the voracity of some of the incidents he relates in this book, and many of the stories are difficult if not impossible to verify.  Others claim there is even more to the story than is being told here.  There was controversy concerning details of the representation of events in Nicaragua which resulted in an apology from co-author David Fisher to the family of Mike Echanis.  An interesting book which reads like an adventure novel.

Women Warriors 134

US Army
United Kingdom
Swimmer with rebreather
Women in israel defense forces IDF military girls
Royal Navy dispatch riders
IDF with TOW missile launcher
RAF Pilot Julie Gibson with C-130
ATA Pilot Jackie Moggridge, who ferried over 1,500 aircraft
Italian Paratrooper, Folgore Brigade
ATA Pilots

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