The torpedo dropped by his Swordfish at dusk on May 26 1941 jammed the rudder of Hitler’s flagship. Despite every effort by its crew, the battleship steamed in circles until the guns of the Royal Navy’s Home Fleet arrived the next morning to finish Bismarck off – and avenge the loss of the world-famous battle-cruiser Hood, which the German leviathan had blown up three days earlier. Keep reading
USS Saugus was a single-turreted Canonicus-class monitor built in 1863 by Harlan & Hollingsworth of Wilmington, Delaware, for the Union Navy during the American Civil War.
The ship was 223 feet (68.0 m) long overall, had a beam of 43 feet 4 inches (13.2 m) and had a maximum draft of 13 feet 6 inches (4.1 m). After April 14, 1865, it was transferred to Washington, D. C. and used to temporarily incarcerate some of the suspected conspirators after the assassination of President Lincoln. more
Saugus was condemned in 1886 and sold for scrap on 25 May 1891. more
Throughout the history of the U.S. Coast Guard’s aviation branch, the service’s aircraft have come to the aid of the American public in emergencies and in time of need. The holiday season provides a unique opportunity for private citizens to show their appreciation. Beginning in the Great Depression, aviator William “Bill” Wincapaw began the tradition of the Flying Santa.
Born in Friendship, Maine, Wincapaw oversaw flight operations for the Curtiss Flying Service in Rockland, Maine. He came to admire Maine’s lighthouse keepers and their families for standing the watch in isolated and often inhospitable locations. To show his appreciation for their dedication and self-sacrifice, Wincapaw decided to deliver gift parcels to local lighthouses on Christmas Day.
There is a whole group of words that are etymologically related, throughout all the Germanic languages (English, German, Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic). “They’re all short words beginning with an “F” and ending in some kind of stop consonant, with something in between,” says Jesse Sheidlower, a lexicographer and author of The F-Word, a history of the word “f.. (well, you know).” These words all meant something like “to strike” or “to thrust,” which led to a sexual meaning… keep reading
Although the Americans have had a base at the bottom of the planet for decades, what lies underneath the thick ice there has been a mystery. Now, European scientists have flown instruments back and forth across the pole to map its hidden depths. keep reading
HMS ‘Prince of Wales’ and ‘Repulse’ sank off Malaya in December 1941. Big-gun warships never recovered.
During the Cold War, when Cuba and what was then Czechoslovakia were part of the Communist bloc, the two shared business ties, which, today, linger on in the form of around $276 million in Cuban debt. But Cuba, these days, doesn’t necessarily have $276 million in cash lying around to settle up, so, recently, according to Agence France-Presse, the country made the Czech Republic an offer: to settle up in rum.
How much rum? According to AFP’s calculations, around 135,000 tons of rum, or enough for 130 years of Czech consumption. more
Dive deep deep down into the ocean, long past the point where the sun’s rays can penetrate, and you will enter the realm of the ghost sharks. Also called chimaeras, ghost sharks are dead-eyed, wing-finned fish rarely seen by people. Now, video recently released by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California has shined new light on these mysterious creatures. keep reading
Yermak (sometimes spelled Ermak) was built for the Imperial Russian Navy in Newcastle upon Tyne and launched in 1898. She was named after the famous Russian explorer of Siberia, Don Cossack ataman Yermak Timofeyevich.
Commissioned on 17 October 1898. She arrived in Kronstadt on 4 March 1899 after breaking through ice and a formal reception was held to mark her arrival. Later in 1899 she reached 81°21’N north of Spitsbergen. She had been constructed to break through heavy ice (up to 2 m in thickness). Between 1899–1911 Yermak sailed in heavy ice conditions for more than 1000 days. more on science20.com – see also The icebreaker Ermack, a great Tyne-built ship
Commodore Edward Preble, commander of the USS Constitution, had spent much of the summer of 1804 dealing with heavy seas of the Tripoli coast where he tried to maintain his blockade. He had been hand-picked by President Thomas Jefferson because of his reputation as a leader who would take initiative and press for his country’s bests interests—two traits that were necessary in the tense political climate of the early 1800s. The tension between the Barbary nations of Northern Africa and the United States had come to a boiling point in early August of 1804, leading to a battle now known as the Second Battle of Tripoli Harbor.