Table of Contents

1. The Battle of Valcour Island 11 October 1776 by NHHC at Naval History Blog
2. Stoker: “the Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War” by noreply@blogger.com (Drew@CWBA) at Civil War Books and Authors
3. Brian Gardner: Up the Line to Death by noreply@blogger.com (Tim Kendall) at War Poetry
4. Commitment and Perseverance: Float Plane Pilots Ens. Harvey P. Jolly and Lt (Jg) Robert L. Dana. by NHHC at Naval History Blog

More after the jump…5. ‘Up the Line to Death’ by George Simmers at Great War Fiction
6. Charles D. Spang by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project
7. Nicholas Spare by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project
8. Irregular Warfare and the Vandalia Expedition in Fiji, 1859 by NHHC at Naval History Blog
9. A Guadalcanal Fighter Pilot: Lieutenant (Jg) Melvin C. Roach by NHHC at Naval History Blog
10. Post-Blogging 1940: Preliminary Thoughts and Conclusions by Brett Holman at Airminded
11. 8-Inch Parrott Rifle, Part 1 by Craig Swain at To the Sound of the Guns
12. World War Ii: German Troops Occupy the Sudetenland by n/a at About.com Military History
13. British Royal Navy Surgeons’ Journals Open to Public by thomaslsnyder at Of Ships & Surgeons
14. Monday, 7 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded
15. ‘Old Biddy and the Rebels’ by George Simmers at Great War Fiction
16. A Unique Interlibrary Loan by noreply@blogger.com (Ron Coddington) at Faces of War
17. A Good Boatswain Is Hard to Find by NHHC at Naval History Blog
18. World War I: York on the Attack by n/a at About.com Military History
19. Tuesday, 1 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded
20. The Most Versatile Plane of World War Two Was Made of Wood by Charles McCain at World War II History
21. The Battle of Vella Lavella, October 6-7, 1943 by NHHC at Naval History Blog
22. Lockheed Hudson – Where to Start by Jamie Croker at Australian War Memorial
23. Discovering Tradition in Post-War Japan by Pen Roberts at Australian War Memorial
24. David Takes on Goliath: 5 October 1863 by Civil War Navy at Naval History Blog
25. Saturday, 5 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded
26. The Organizational Cultures of Civil War Armies – Pt 2 by Mark Grimsley at Blog Them Out of the Stone Age
27. Charles and Harrison Soule by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project
28. 6.4-Inch Parrott Rifles, Part 3 by Craig Swain at To the Sound of the Guns
29. Friday, 4 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded
30. 6.4-Inch (100-Pdr) Parrott Rifles, Part 2 by Craig Swain at To the Sound of the Guns
31. Thursday, 3 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded
32. The Crusades: Richard vs. Saladin at Arsuf by n/a at About.com Military History
33. Thomas Somerset by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project
34. Wednesday, 2 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded
35. Britain’s Fourth Afghan War, Through the Lens of Three Others by By JOHN F. BURNS at Other Military History Stuff

Contents

1. The Battle of Valcour Island 11 October 1776 by NHHC at Naval History Blog

October 11th is the anniversary of the most important naval
battle of the American Revolution. It was fought on a
fresh-water lake (Lake Champlain) by an American force
consisting of fifteen small vessels, commanded by an army
general, Benedict Arnold, who became America’s most notorious
traitor. Opposing it was a larger British flotilla, firing a
[...]…

2. Stoker: “the Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War” by noreply@blogger.com (Drew@CWBA) at Civil War Books and Authors

3. Brian Gardner: Up the Line to Death by noreply@blogger.com (Tim Kendall) at War Poetry

I was at the Bodleian on Thursday and Friday, trying to act
like a scholar, and during a quick sortie to Blackwell’s I
came across a copy of Brian Gardner’s Up the Line to Death.
Its reissue in 2007 had somehow passed me by, so I now offer
the most belated of responses.Gardner’s anthology has one
undeniable virtue: first published in 1964, it helped to
inspire a renewed interest in the poets of the Great War. Dan
Todman has written authoritatively about the ways in which
the reading and teaching of Great War poetry became bound up
with the anti…

4. Commitment and Perseverance: Float Plane Pilots Ens. Harvey P. Jolly and Lt (Jg) Robert L. Dana. by NHHC at Naval History Blog

Of the many dangerous and unglamorous assignments during
World War II, flying single-engine float planes as part of an
aviation detachment in a cruiser was particularly grueling
duty. Tasked with scouting, search & rescue and gunfire
spotting missions, the hours were long – especially in an
open cockpit – the task technically complicated and the [...]…

5. ‘Up the Line to Death’ by George Simmers at Great War Fiction

Tim Kendall on his War Poetry blog makes a strong case
against John Gardner’s 1964 anthology, Up the Line to Death.
It’s dated, it’s limited in its selections, it suggests a
discredited view of WW1 poetry, and it doesn’t include a
single poem by Ivor Gurney. All very true, though in
Gardner’s defence, he was a pioneer in this field, producing
the first serious Great War anthology for forty years, and he
included many good poems that were not then easily available.
Also, he gives a good helping of Isaac Rosenberg. In the
fifties, the British Museum Library had refused…

6. Charles D. Spang by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project

Charles D. Spang, alias “Charles A. Woolcott,” also known as
“Sperry,” was born in 1835 in England or New York.According
to one story, Charles had supposedly served in the Mexican
War, although he would have been only about 12 years old at
the time.In any case, Charles married his first wife, New
York native Helen E. Holbrook, on July 19, 1857 (they were
divorced in the 1870s), and they had at least one child Ellen
(b. 1859). They were living in Michigan by 1859 and by 1860
Charles was working as a master mason and living with his
wife and…

7. Nicholas Spare by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project

Nicholas Spare was born on December 12, 1836, in Cornwall,
England, the son of William and Ann.Nicholas immigrated to
America between 1851 and 1855 and settled in western Michigan
, perhaps as early as 1860 when he may have been working as a
miner named “Nicholas Sparge” and living with another miner
named William Goldsworthy in Rockland, Ontonagon County.In
any case, Nicholas was 24 years old, stood 5’5” with dark
eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and possibly living
in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13,
1861. He was listed as a Brigade butcher from…

8. Irregular Warfare and the Vandalia Expedition in Fiji, 1859 by NHHC at Naval History Blog

Irregular operations have a long history in the U.S. Navy.
From cutting out expeditions against West Indian privateers
in the 1790s, the sailing Navy’s version of
visit-board-and-search operations off Tripoli in 1801 or
skirmishes against rioters or Chinese troops during the
Taiping rebellion in 1855, American Sailors were comfortable
conducting irregular or ad hoc combat [...]…

9. A Guadalcanal Fighter Pilot: Lieutenant (Jg) Melvin C. Roach by NHHC at Naval History Blog

VF-5 provided much needed air cover for the 1st Marines on
Guadalcanal. In the late afternoon of 9 October 1942, eleven
of their F4F fighters lifted off from Henderson Field on
Guadalcanal and headed west. They were acting as escorts for
Navy and Marine SBD dive bombers and TBF torpedo planes sent
out against an [...]…

10. Post-Blogging 1940: Preliminary Thoughts and Conclusions by Brett Holman at Airminded

7 October was not the end of the Blitz or even of the Battle
of Britain, but it is the end of my post-blogging of 1940, at
least for now. The main reason for this is because I’m
running out of primary sources, especially the Daily Mail.
But as I think I’ve shown, in the preceding week or two the
press (at least the parts available to me) seems to have
decided that a turning point in the air battle had been
reached: that the Luftwaffe had been decisively repulsed by
day and that the invasion was not coming…

11. 8-Inch Parrott Rifle, Part 1 by Craig Swain at To the Sound of the Guns

The next larger Parrott rifle to discuss is the 8-inch model.
As related on the table presented before, the Army and Navy
had different designations for the weapon (bottom of the
third data column from the left). The Army rated … Continue
reading →…

12. World War Ii: German Troops Occupy the Sudetenland by n/a at About.com Military History

October 10, 1938 – As a result of the Munich Agreement,
German troops complete their occupation of the Sudetenland.
Having successfully claimed Austria in early 1938, Adolf
Hitler turned to obtaining the ethnically German Sudetenland
region of Czechoslovakia. After fomenting trouble in the
region, he demanded that it be ceded to Germany after the
Czechoslovaks declared martial law. Desperate to avoid war,
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (right) met with
Hitler twice in attempts to resolve the situation. Unable to
met Hitler’s increasing demands, Chamberlain agreed to a four
power conference to be held in Munich to discuss the crisis.
Joined…

13. British Royal Navy Surgeons’ Journals Open to Public by thomaslsnyder at Of Ships & Surgeons

Historians have to love governmental obsession with
record-keeping, an obsession that we can trace at least to
Sumeria (2800 – 1900 BC) in the middle east, the Roman
Republic and Empire in the west and to the Han dynasty (206
BC-220 AD) in China. Records from those eras, and more
recently, provide rich grist for historians’ mills of
research, study and analysis. Late last week, the BBC and
other news outlets reported that the National Archives of
Great Britain released detailed catalogs of naval surgeons’
logs from the 18th through 20th centuries. These reports,
written contemporaneously by doctors stationed…

14. Monday, 7 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded

RAF PREPARING A GREAT NEW BOMBING OFFENSIVE’, Daily Mail,
page 1: POWERFUL new R.A.F. bombers now being produced in
great numbers and an amazing new long-range fighter are
likely to be used, in the immediate future, for a greatly
intensified bombing offensive over Germany. Hitler’s people
can look forward to more than a taste of the medicine their
Luftwaffe is administering over here. ‘Shortest Raid. LONDON
ALERT LASTS 20 MINS.': LONDON had its usual air-raid warning
half-an-hour than usual last night. It proved to be the
shortest after-dark “Alert” since the blitzkrieg began,
lasting barely…

15. ‘Old Biddy and the Rebels’ by George Simmers at Great War Fiction

I’ve been reading an interesting story in the Grand Magazine
for 1917 (The Grand was the Strand‘s more populist sister,
with fewer big-name writers, but more fiction for your money
every month). It is called ‘Old Biddy and the Rebels’, and is
one of the few stories of the War years to deal with the
Dublin Easter Rising. By and large, writers of magazine
fiction followed the principles later set down by Michael
Joseph in his writers’ handbooks, and avoided any political
issues that might be divisive. During wartime, the number of
stories about the War that appeared (generally…

16. A Unique Interlibrary Loan by noreply@blogger.com (Ron Coddington) at Faces of War

An obscure article that appeared in an historical society
journal about the time of the Civil War centennial made
several references to an obituary of Nick Biddle, the
officer’s servant wounded during the Baltimore Riots on April
18, 1861. Many claim Biddle (pictured here) was the first man
to shed blood during the Civil War.Biddle survived the
assault by the pro-secession mob and died on August 2,
1876.The article included a series of quotes and details from
Biddle’s obituary, all rich in detail about his life. It
originally appeared in the Miners’ Weekly Journal, published
in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.I…

17. A Good Boatswain Is Hard to Find by NHHC at Naval History Blog

The available pool of qualified warrant and petty officers
fell well short of the needs of the navy during the
Tripolitan War (1801-1805). Commodore Edward Preble
complained that “wages are so high in the merchant service
that the best men will not ship with us.” Still, the navy
recruited many worthy men to serve as [...]…

18. World War I: York on the Attack by n/a at About.com Military History

October 8, 1918 – Corporal Alvin C. York (right) captures
132 Germans in the Argonne. Born to an impoverished Tennessee
family, Alvin York was raised as an avid hunter and
outdoorsman. As he aged, he developed a reputation for
drinking and bar fighting which came to an abrupt end after
the death of a friend in 1914. Joining a strict
fundamentalist church, he became a pacifist and actively
avoided violence. With the US entry into World War I in April
1917, he sought to avoid being drafted based on his religious
beliefs. These efforts failed and he ended up assigned to…

19. Tuesday, 1 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded

The Luftwaffe launched several large air raids in daylight
hours yesterday. They had little success, and lost 47
aircraft. Fighter Command lost 22, but 12 of the pilots are
safe (though the category ‘safe’ includes those alive but
maimed, alive but burned, alive but psychologically scarred).
Night attacks took place on London and the north-west of
England; Bomber Command raided ‘war industries’ and
aerodromes in Germany and occupied Europe. The Manchester
Guardian reports that ‘Houses on the Kent coast were shaken
by the explosions’ of bombs falling on Calais harbour and
‘gun emplacements near Cap Gris-Nez’ (5). Despite…

20. The Most Versatile Plane of World War Two Was Made of Wood by Charles McCain at World War II History

Crossposted from CharlesMcCain.com] From my novel, An
Honorable German: Behind him the Beau Sejour disintegrated,
its wooden splinters cutting down the sentries and anyone
else close by. There had been no air raid siren, no warning
whatsoever, but this was hardly remarkable anymore. The RAF’s
high-altitude Mosquito bombers were made entirely of wood and
German radar often failed to pick them up.

The de Havilland Mosquito, one of the most successful
aircraft of World War Two, had an airframe composed entirely
of wood. Wood!? In World War Two? As odd as it seems the
answer is ‘yes’. The fuselage…

21. The Battle of Vella Lavella, October 6-7, 1943 by NHHC at Naval History Blog

On the morning of October 6, 1943, a force of 9 destroyers
and assorted landing craft under the command of Rear Admiral
Matsuji Ijuin set sail from Rabaul headed for Vella Lavella
to evacuate that island’s approximately 600-man garrison. In
an early example of “leapfrogging”, American forces had
bypassed Kolombangara and landed with little opposition [...]…

22. Lockheed Hudson – Where to Start by Jamie Croker at Australian War Memorial

One of the first steps in the conversion of the Hudson from
its post war airline and geo-survey role to its original
military configuration, was the removal of all the post war
modifications. The first two photos below are taken inside
the cabin of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s Hudson on
Display in the RNZAF Museum in Christchurch, [...]

23. Discovering Tradition in Post-War Japan by Pen Roberts at Australian War Memorial

It all began with a small flower arrangement in a Tokyo shop
window. Norman Sparnon was working for ATIS (Allied
Translator and Interpreter Section), part of the US
Department of the Army. This was post-war Japan, and Sparnon
was witness to the extraordinary transformation of a
traditional society being channelled swiftly into a modern
democracy. It was [...]

24. David Takes on Goliath: 5 October 1863 by Civil War Navy at Naval History Blog

The Confederate semi-submersible ship David did not have
rocks and slings. Instead, its armament consisted of a single
spar torpedo attached to its bow. As the cigar-shaped vessel
was designed to operate in shallow water, its five foot draft
allowed her to sneak up on enemies seemingly undetected….

25. Saturday, 5 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded

The Daily Mail today leads with changes at the top of the
RAF. The Chief of the Air Staff, Marshal of the Royal Air
Force Sir Cyril Newall, has been kicked upstairs to the
Governor-Generalship of New Zealand. His replacement, Air
Marshal Sir Charles Portal, has come from commanding Bomber
Command; and his replacement there will be Air Marshal Sir
Richard Peirse. Noel Monks emphasises the relative youth –
47 and 48 respectively — and experience of both Portal and
Peirse, and is confident that they are the right men for the
job (1): Both men are great believers in offensive…

26. The Organizational Cultures of Civil War Armies – Pt 2 by Mark Grimsley at Blog Them Out of the Stone Age

The second half of “Sherman’s Armies in 1864: A Study in
Organizational Culture,” a paper I gave at the Society for
Military History annual meeting in May. (The first half is
here.) The origin of the organizational culture of the Army
of Northern Virginia corresponds more closely to the second
wellspring identified by Schein: [...]…

27. Charles and Harrison Soule by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project

Charles Soule was born in 1845 in Michigan, the son of
Benjamin (1810-1876) and Alzina or Alvina (1816-1868).His
parents were both born in New York and possibly married
there. In any case, the family moved to Michigan probably
from New York sometime before 1835, and by 1850 Charles was
attending school with four of his older siblings (including
older brother Harrison who would also enlist in the Third
Michigan infantry) and living with his family on a farm in
Keene, Ionia County. By 1860 his family had moved to a farm
in Algoma, Kent County. Near by…

28. 6.4-Inch Parrott Rifles, Part 3 by Craig Swain at To the Sound of the Guns

Earlier posts about the 6.4-inch Parrott Rifles focused on
the design and manufacture of the guns along with the
functional considerations, such as projectiles and mountings.
Now I will turn to the operational employment of the weapon.
From the Army … Continue reading →…

29. Friday, 4 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded

Politics intrudes onto the front page of the Daily Mail
today, in the form of a Cabinet reshuffle. But this being
wartime, people are perhaps more likely to invest these
normally mundane ministerial changes with great significance.
The Mail certainly does, leading with the story that Sir John
Reith, former Director-General of the BBC (and more recently
chairman of Imperial Airways, Minister of Information and
Minister of Transport) has been given the job of planning for
the post-war reconstruction of Britain, or at least its
buildings — though the ‘large-scale slum clearances’
envisaged would certainly have a social…

30. 6.4-Inch (100-Pdr) Parrott Rifles, Part 2 by Craig Swain at To the Sound of the Guns

Earlier I discussed the particulars of the 6.4-inch Parrott
Rifles. Now I turn to the functional aspects of the type,
taking a look at the projectiles and mountings used. The
6.4-inch rifles usually fired bolt (solid shot) and shell
projectiles, … Continue reading →…

31. Thursday, 3 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded

Let’s look at how the British aviation press is covering the
air war, by way of today’s issue of Flight, its
longest-running periodical (and official organ of the Royal
Aero Club). The front cover, along with the first and the
last few pages, carry advertisements for various
aviation-related products. Here Titanine Ltd is promoting
‘the world’s premier dope’, cleverly incorporating an
appropriate and patriotic symbol in the form of an RAF
roundel.

I’ll come back to some of the ads later, but now let’s turn
to the editorial pages. The leading article is devoted to the
question of…

32. The Crusades: Richard vs. Saladin at Arsuf by n/a at About.com Military History

Having captured Acre in the summer of 1191, Crusader forces
began moving south along the coast with the goal of seizing
Jaffa. Led by Richard I the Lionheart of England, the
Crusaders marched in a defensive formation and were supported
by a fleet offshore. Enduring harassing attacks from
Saladin’s army, the Crusaders rigorously held their formation
and pressed on. Deciding to make a stand near Arsuf, Saladin
clashed with Richard on September 7. The resulting Battle of
Arsuf saw Saladin’s men mount numerous attacks designed to
break up Richard’s formation. These failed through most of
the day until the Knights…

33. Thomas Somerset by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project

Thomas Somerset was born on August 14, 1841, in Sandusky
County, Ohio, the son of Charles (1818-1883) and Catharine
(Kelly, 1816-1882).While still a young boy Thomas and his
family moved from Ohio to Wisconsin, settling briefly in
Milwaukee before moving back across Lake Michigan to Grand
Haven, Ottawa County, Michigan in 1848, becoming one of the
pioneering families of that town, and where his father
engaged in farming. In 1850 Thomas was living on the family
farm in Crockery, Ottawa County. By 1860 Thomas was a farmer
living with the Austin family in Robinson, Ottawa County, and…

34. Wednesday, 2 October 1940 by Brett Holman at Airminded

The Times reports (4) that Monday night’s raids on Germany
included one on the railway yards at Mannheim, where aircrew
reported seeing ‘a terrific explosion, “the biggest we have
seen on any raid so far”‘ after dropping their bombs; and a
long raid on Berlin: An Air Ministry News Bulletin says that
the West power station in Berlin, badly damaged in previous
raids, was clearly identified by flares, and a few minutes
after the first stick had fallen there was a large explosion
and numerous fires marked the success of the attack. The
Klingenberg power station was also heavily bombed…

35. Britain’s Fourth Afghan War, Through the Lens of Three Others by By JOHN F. BURNS at Other Military History Stuff

A new exhibit in London on past British wars in Afghanistan
offers caution for the current one….