Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Sea Shall Not Have Them.

During the Battle of Britain many pilots ended up in the sea. This was normally a death sentence, because although Britain did operate some Air Sea rescue capability, it was spasmodic and not very efficient. It was hoped that pilots landing in the channel would be spotted and picked up by passing ships, due to the weight of traffic in the area.
It was a fact that you had a much better chance of being picked up by the Germans. In fact Luftwaffe air crew were more likely to be picked up as well, simply due to their equipment. The biggest fault was with the life jackets. British pilots had to inflate their life jackets by blowing into them. Not something easy to do when your plane has been shot down, and you're dealing with the stresses of that, plus the freezing cold and having to swim in full clothes. In comparison the Germans had a small cylinder of compressed air that could be quickly used to fully inflate the life jacket. Equally the German aircrew were issued with fluorescein, a chemical compound that would produce a slick of bright dye to mark the location of the airmen.

Being spotted and staying afloat were only two small parts of the challenge, you still needed to be picked up, or the cold sea would still kill you. Here again the Germans were miles ahead of the British. They operated silver painted HE-115 float-planes with Red Crosses instead of black ones. The HE115 was used for a variety of other tasks, and would be attacked if spotted. But the silver Red Cross plane's were left alone.
These operated with impunity over British waters, until one fateful day a pair of RAF pilots spotted a rescue HE115 being escorted by BF109's. Deducing that the plane was up to no good, hence the escort, they attacked. From then on the Luftwaffe planes flew with normal markings and camouflage.
During 1940 the RAF began to organise a more coherent air sea rescue service, helpfully prodded along by Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, who wanted more of his crews to be rescued from the North Sea. Eventually in 1941 the RAF Search And Rescue Force was formed. It still exists today, and I suspect most of you in the UK will have been to the seaside and seen a bright yellow Sea king of the the SARF flying overhead.
It operated a variety of planes to search and rescue pilots. But it also manned High Speed Launches.  The first of these was designed by Fred Cooper, the man behind one of Donald Campbell's early boats. When they were first built in the mid 30's they were the fastest craft at sea. However they were badly designed for rescue work, and later a much better design came from Hubert Scott-Paine, a winner of the Schneider trophy.

These were as fast as their predecessors, but were much better at the rescue role. They also mounted a pair of  .303 machine guns in turrets for self defence. Some of you might question arming of a rescue boat. However the Geneva protocols allow for rescue craft to be armed, as long as they don't mount a weapon forward of the bridge. The weapons were there for self defences against German aircraft which were the only thing that was liable to be able to catch them. And wouldn't have the ability to accurately identify them.
On August 19th 1942 14 HSL's responded to some of the 47 Mayday calls from the Dieppe landings. After a an action that can only be described as disastrous (which I'll cover next week), several reports and studies were written. One pilot, whom had been picked up by the HSL's stated:
"There can be no question as to the bravery of these men of the Air Sea Rescue Service who were often working within sight of the French coast. For myself, I would rather meet a FW 190 head-on in my Spitfire than meet one from a rescue launch."

Following all these reports armour plate was made available to help protect the HSL's and a large increase in their fire-power, in the form of 4 extra .303 machine guns in twin mounts, and a 20mm Oerlikon cannon on the rear deck. In this form the 70 or so HSL's served until the end of the war.
From its first operations to the end of the war, the SARF rescued over 8000 military and 5000 Civilians.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Smoking gun, Part two

Don't worry about the title, you've not missed anything. Its just I realised that last weeks title was a bit dull, but my inner tabloid headline writer was on strike.

Last week I started rambling on about a 3.7" howitzer, and gave some of the technical details, but what about its service life?

Well first there's a bit of an oddity to think about. I dashed it off in a amendment on the bottom of last weeks article.  One of the first two Medium MKI tanks delivered to the army in 1923 was a CS tank armed with the MK I 3.7" howitzer.  But only one of these guns was ever made, equally the final trials report came out in 1931 that raised some questions.  To add to my confusion a 1925 organisation issued by the War Office required every tank battalion to have a battery of three close support tanks.

In hindsight its quite obvious, there just wasn't any money for it.  Plus with no chance of a major war in Europe there wasn't seen to be a need for it.  Of course that had a knock on effect, namely during exercises three Vickers Mediums of each battalion would have their guns and mounts painted white, and the huge letters CS applied to their turrets.
Then a flurry of work was done as we've seen towards the end of the 1920's.  In September 1931 each tank battalion was issued one gun.  The pace of issue carried on until the tanks were up to their full compliment.  In 1933 a slight issue was noticed by the civil servants.  The name of the gun was very similar to that of the 3.7" Mountain Howitzer used by the infantry. So an official proclamation was issued.  Henceforth the gun would be known as the QF 3.7" Tank mortar.

The story of tanks in South Africa between the wars is a very short one.  First you have His Majesties Landship Union, a Medium MK A Whippet that was used mainly as a propaganda tool, although during strikes in 1922 it was used to support the Government forces.  Its début was a bit dismal and it got bogged down on a street.  While dismounted its driver was killed by a sniper.
Then in 1933 the South African government approached the British to ask for a tank capable of mounting a 3.7" gun capable of firing tear gas (desperately trying to avoid a "CS gas" joke here) shells.  As we've seen previously, the round was a failure.  However two tanks were shipped to South Africa in August 1934.  These tanks were Medium MK IA's, and at least one of them had had very hard life.  It was one of the earliest Medium MKI's produced, then it had been used as a test bed for a new massively powerful engine.  It had so much power the lowest gear had to be disabled.  Equally most of the front hull was heavily modified.  After the trials it was returned to its normal configuration and used as a instructional hull at Bovington before it and its sister were gifted to the South Africans.  One of the two tanks still survives as a gate guardian at Bloemfontein.
Medium MK IA "T14". I believe its the only Vickers Medium CS tank in the world. This picture was taken before restoration.
The other change in 1934 was a round of modifications and all the mortars were withdrawn from service, apart from one in Egypt.  But soon the guns were back.  Now the trail goes cold for a few years.  The next time we encounter the tank mortar is as the gun on the A9 and A10 Cruiser tanks, in the run up to and first years of World War Two. 
The combat records for a tank that can only fire smoke are difficult to find, and so the Tank Mortar passes into history.  However to give you an idea of what the Tank Mortar would have been like in combat I did find the following short account. The unit in question was at the time equipped with Crusaders, and would have been using the 3" howitzer for the CS role, but the fight would have gone much the same anywhere the Tank Mortar was used.

In the retreat to El Alamein, the Commanding Officer of the squadron spotted some suspicious vehicles moving behind him.  He drew his tanks up in a semi-circle pointing towards the possible enemy.  While he called it in to his Regimental Command, the gunners probed the horizon for any clue as to what was below the dust cloud.  This would have looked like the barrels were twitching, as if sniffing the air. Then permission was given to open fire.
Close up of the business end of a A9 CS tank.
 Four tanks of the squadron headquarters were CS tanks.  On order they began to fire as fast as they could. The shells drawing a line of smoke across the bright blue desert sky.  After 4 vollies the twelve Cruisers moved out, gathering speed right for the billowing smoke bank.  As they drew closer the tanks disappeared into the cloud of smoke, their dust trails eddying and mixing together. Through the clouds flashes of gunfire could be seen, and shortly afterwards the thump of the guns.  After about ten minutes silence descended on the battlefield, then shapes could be seen moving.  Slowly they resolved themselves into the Cruisers that had launched the attack, as they closed back to the start line, they swung about and reformed their semi-circular position.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

[WoTB] Blitz for Android

Android version? Easy! Live EU server, btw.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Smoking Gun

As my last technical article didn't get me lynched for being terminally dull, here's another one.  This is the first of a few articles which come from me visiting the National Archives at Kew.  They include amongst other things a new British tank that no-one has ever heard of, and finding out that a weapon that's been a long standing joke for the last 70 years is nothing of the sort. However that is all for the future. 

When the British tree was released I immediately noticed that someone had made an error. To be utterly fair though, it is confusing and its something only a native English speaker would pick up on. When you're working on the other side of a language barrier it would get lost in translation.  I created a thread on the subject on the EU forums.  However I got some stuff wrong.

During the period covered by this game the British used three short barrelled 3.7" guns for close support work.  To avoid confusion they named the second one in millimetres, as is common in the British military of the time. The Guns in question are:

Q.F. 3.7-inch howitzer: A World War One gun that was only ever used as a towed artillery piece. Some were still kicking about during World War Two, especially out in the far east.
Q.F. 95-mm howitzer: This howitzer was developed sometime in either 1942 or 1943, it was tested in 1943. It had two versions, as an infantry gun version as well as a tank gun.  The weapon itself was a section of 3.7" AA gun barrel, married to a 25 lbr breech block.  On the infantry gun version the recoil system was taken from a 6 lbr gun.  Although the infantry gun was dropped the tank gun saw service from 1944, its normally very easily identified by the huge semicircular counterweight on the gun barrel.
QF 3.7" tank mortar: This was fitted to a few tanks up until the early years of the war, and its the focus of this article.

Development started in the late 1920's when the British started looking at the problem of anti-tank guns.  It was quickly realised that the tanks needed some way of closing with the enemy while not getting killed by the enemy AT guns.  The obvious idea was to block the enemies line of sight with smoke.  Normally smoke would be provided by artillery, but artillery was relatively imprecise and took time to deploy.  What was needed was smoke capability that could be provided organically to the tank unit.

Thus the idea of a close support tank was born.  At first there was an idea that the CS tank would be a lighter, less complicated, and most importantly cheaper vehicle which could carry 70 rounds of ammunition. It was sometimes referred to as the "Artillery tank".

By 1929 a gun had been developed to fulfill the role, and was fitted with some work to a Vickers Medium MKI. It fired a 15 lb shell, and to enable a high rate of fire it was given a semi-automatic breech to enable a high rate of fire.
On a normal quick firing gun the breech needs to be manually closed.  A semi-automatic breech will automatically close when a shell is inserted.  It was found that if this happened and the gunner still had the firing handle compressed the gun would fire... while the loaders left hand was still practically touching the breech. This would have obvious results of a smashed left arm and was therefore considered to be too dangerous.
It was also judged that the rate of fire needed wasn't altogether that high.  Firing tests showed that one or two rounds a minute would produce a suitable smoke screen.  In one test firing while the tank was moving, 6 rounds were fired over 4 minutes that masked a large area. In another test two rounds screened an area of about 800 yards. Obviously the main concern was the weather conditions which would greatly effect the smoke screen.

The shell itself used charged smoke, which is today known as White Phosphorus.  Listed in the archives at Kew you have a list of ammunition.  These rounds are simply called Smoke, Charged Smoke and High Explosive.  Its important to note that official documents do actually call the shell "HE".
This is where that British eccentricity rears up. The Smoke and Charged Smoke were pretty much identical. Both with the same sized bursting charge and carrying two pounds five ounces of white phosphorus.  But what of the HE shell? No one has been able to find examples of a HE round being used from the gun.  The simple answer is that the "HE" shell had a slightly larger bursting charge (One ounce twelve drams) for added morale effect on enemy troops.  It also only carried one pound eleven ounces of WP. A Royal Artillery officer was invited to to view a test of the shell.  His one page report is pretty damning. He explains in no uncertain terms what a bad idea this is. He describes the idea as "laughable".
As yet no-one I know has been able to find any mention of a proper explosive HE shell. It is likely that any mention of a HE shell is just this, an idea.
There's also two marks of the gun. But oddly the mark designation was only used within the Royal Tank Corps to designate between the two guns.  This caused all sorts of confusion and reproachful letters between civil servants and military officers.
The unofficial mark system is fairly simple: The prototype weapon with the semi-automatic breech and unique mounting which could only be fitted to a Vickers Medium MKI, was termed the MKI, and the production version the MKII.
By the time the MKII came out the gun had been significantly altered to allow it to be totally interchangeable with the 3 pounder gun then used in the Vickers Medium tanks. All you needed to do was swap out the gun and the range drum. This process took years to perfect, but by August 1931 the first guns had passed proof and two had been issued to the Tank Gunnery School at Lulworth.

Part two is here.

Literally yesterday night, and to late to work into the main part of the article, I found some relevant information to this subject. 
There's records of a Medium MKI CS tank being delivered to Lulworth in 1923. Now it could be that this tank had the prototype 3.7" tank mortar. But that would mean it took 7 years before they produced a final report on it! The report on it that I have is dated 1930. It could be that the Government only started looking in seriousness at the CS gun for the Medium MKII, and did development work from there. All the documents I've found so far are dated later than 1928.

Monday, July 7, 2014

[WoTB] Blitz Matchmaker

World of Tanks Blitz uses basically the same matchmaking system from the PC version of the game, only slightly optimized for faster performance and 7vs7 battles.

First, it would be good to watch this video for the PC version.

  • There are no particular restrictions on vehicle nation, class, tier, etc. Same as on PC.
  • MM-ing spread is 2 tiers for most of the vehicle tiers, apart from tiers 1 and 2. Tier 1 can only play with tiers 1 and 2, tier 2 can play with tiers 1, 2, 3. 
  • Platooned players are matched based on highest tier in platoon.
  • Balance weights for all classes in Blitz are the same, i.e tier 7 mediums, heavies and tank destroyers all have the same balance weights. 
  • Premium tanks may have preferential matchmaking, eg A-32 can only play against tier 3-5 vehicles, Pz IV Hydro, KV-220, M4A2E4 - only against tiers 3-6, Panther M10 - against tiers 5-8, KV-5 - against tiers 6-9.

Ideally, matchmaker tries to create full 7vs7 battles, ensuring that top 3 vehicles in both teams are of the same tier, and balance "weights" of both teams are equal.

The longer the wait time in the queue, the softer matchmaker requirements become. The requirements change twice - after 30+ and 60+ seconds in the queue.

After 60+ seconds for one of the waiting players matchmaker would try to create battles with less players on the team where minimal size is 3, i.e. 3vs3 battles. In such battles, at least 2 top vehicles are to be on the same tier, while matchmaking "weight" difference between the team can go up to 10%.

Unfortunately, there are some rare bugs which carried over from the PC version to Blitz, and in Blitz they are reproduced more frequently:

Such battles, where top 2 equal tier requirement is not enforced, could be created after 60+ seconds of wait time for one of the queued players. We will be monitoring the situation and trying to fix this.

After 5 min wait time, player is kicked out of the queue to garage due to timeout. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014


The story of German spies in Britain is without doubt a story of woe and failure.  Laughably unprepared agents were being inserted into Britain and most were captured within days if not sooner.  However there is one exception.
In the spring of 1939 Eddie Chapman was facing 40 counts of burglary.  He loved explosives, and used his knowledge to blow numerous safes throughout London.  He then shifted his attentions to Scotland where his luck ran out and he was arrested.  However using his remarkable charm and charisma he managed to get bail.  Of course it will come as no surprise that he immediately jumped his bail.  Grabbing his fiancée they took a flight to the Channel Islands, and booked themselves on a boat to South America.

The boat was due to leave the following day, so Chapman and his fiancée headed out for lunch.  As they ate Chapman spotted two policemen closing.  He simply rose, kissed his date goodbye and dived head first out of the closed window.  A chase down the beach then followed, but Chapman managed to give the police the slip.

Then he made a decision that would change the rest of his life, he carried out a rushed and ill planned burglary.  When he was caught he was sentenced to be imprisoned in the Jersey Islands for 2 years, then to be returned to mainland for the charges there.  However while in prison the Germans invaded.  Playing on a chance Chapman immediately volunteered to join the Germans.

After months Chapman was selected for training, and several more months of instruction followed.  But in December 1942 Chapman was given his first mission.  Armed with a pistol, some detonators, a wireless and a suicide pill Chapman was parachuted into Britain.  His target was to blow up the Mosquito factory at Hatfield.
Chapman was also given £990 of cash, but the piles of bank notes were held together with bands that said "Reich's bank, Berlin".  Even the pilot of the German plane later confessed that he thought Chapman had no chance of survival.

First he needed some explosives. He used his earlier knowledge and raided a quarry near Sevenoaks coming away with a substitutional pile of explosives.

All was set.  On January the 29th 1943 Chapman found himself lurking in the darkness made all the more profound by the blackout, next to the perimeter fence of the Hatfield factory.  He quickly scaled the fence and moved in.  He found the powerhouse of the building and planted his charges before withdrawing not having seen a single soul.

At midnight a huge explosion rocked the factory, blasting holes in the buildings walls, and smashing several transformers, throwing two to the ground.  Following Chapman's triumphant radio message to the Germans they sent over a plane to photograph the damage.  Remarkably the Reconnaissance plane had a very quiet flight, and returned with pictures showing the wide devastation.  Equally stories appeared in the Daily Express which confirmed the attack.
The Damage at Hatfield
Chapman was congratulated, and ordered to return to Germany via Portugal.  Chapman signed on as a crewman on a merchant ship and upon reaching Portugal he went ashore on leave.  He immediately returned to the German Embassy. He then used his initiative and asked the Germans at the embassy for an explosive shaped to look like a lump of coal.  He smuggled that back on board and stowed it in the coal bunker.  When sailing back to Britain the explosive would be loaded into the furnaces and detonate hopefully sinking the ship.
SS City of Lancaster, Chapman's ship to Portugal
Chapman was then returned to Germany, and sent to Norway where he spent considerable time within the German intelligence community.  For his services he was awarded the Iron Cross.

In 1944 Germany needed every asset it could get, so Chapman was dispatched back to London.  His job was to report on the fall of the V1's being launched at London.  Chapman remained at large for the rest of the war sending back precise targeting information for the V1 launches.  This enabled the Germans who had been overshooting their targets to lower the range and effectively bombard the capital.

Or at least that's what the German intelligence service thought had happened.

Back in December 1942 as soon as he had landed Chapman gone to the nearest house he could find and telephoned the police and handed himself in.  And he had then volunteered to be a double agent, codenamed "Zigzag".  The Hatfield bombing had been achieved by the special effects department from the Old Vic theatre.  The newspaper story in the Daily Express was a plant.  Originally MI5 had approached The Times to run the planted story, however the editor had refused stating:
"Nothing untrue had ever been published and he wasn't about to start now!"
Faked damage at Hatfield
The merchant ship in Portugal hadn't been sunk, as Chapman had handed the explosive to the ships captain and explained what was going on. He asked him to hand it into the authorities when he returned to England, which also allowed the British to obtain a sample of the latest German explosives.

While at the Norwegian safe house Chapman had covertly photographed all the visitors, including several spies, and then through a female fiancée in the Norwegian underground smuggled that information to the British.

On his return to London the V1's had been hitting perfectly, but due to Chapman stating they were overshooting the range was dropped and the bombardment caused less damage than it should have done.
Chapman, shortly before his death in 1997, being interviewed by the BBC.
After the war Chapman tried to get his story out, but failed as the Government hit it with a D-notice.  So he went abroad to publish and make it into a film. He married his first fiancée, the one he'd last seen in the Channel Islands, and lived in Spain until he died in 1997.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Much Adoo...

In the early 70's in the strategically vital country of Oman a group of Communist guerrillas started waging a war.  With support from neighbouring Yemen and Russia these guerillas attempted to overthrow the Sultans of Oman.   The guerrillas were from the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Occupied Arabian Gulf. Locally they were called the Adoo.
Oman asked for British help, and units were dispatched to help train local forces. Scattered about the country these advisors ran a successful hearts and minds campaign. Local forces with a limited British support (including Sir Peter de la Billiere) conducted operation Jaguar,  a vicious slogging match, that ended with the Adoo being sent reeling with heavy casualties. In an attempt to save face, break the local forces and regain the initiative the Adoo launched an attack at a small coastal town. The plan was simple, overrun the town, kill all the British troops and kill the families of the Omani forces they could find. Above the town is a large plateau. At 0500 on the morning of 19th July 1972 the Adoo wiped out the picket of Omani Army soldiers who were on the plateau. Below the plateau was the British Army Training Team (BATT) house, with nine British soldiers and to one side of the town was an old fort. A much smaller fort manned by a section of Dhofar Gendarmerie was between the two positions.
The BATT house
Several hundred Adoo began to sweep down from the plateau towards the town of Mirbat, however there was one small problem. The nine British soldiers were SAS advisors and were in the fortified BATT house, right in their path. The monsoon season fog and cloud grounded the Omani air force preventing strikes, and the Adoo were well armed with support weapons such as mortars, rocket launchers and heavy machine guns.
Through the fog and darkness Capitan Mike Kealy, the senior officer at the BATT house, could make out movement of the Adoo, and having heard the exchange of gunfire earlier mistakenly thought they were the Omani picket returning after being attacked. Because of this the SAS men held their fire, apart from their one 81mm mortar that began shooting a covering barrage on the top of the plateau. One SAS man, the vastly experienced Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba, a Fijian who had served in most of the SAS's previous wars such as Aden and Borneo, raced to the fort. Outside the fort was a gun pit with an antique 25 pounder gun, behind it there was a small trench holding the gun's ammo.
Capitan Mike Kealy
As dawn ended and the light levels raised the BATT house came under a withering storm of fire from close range. Three SAS troopers replied with their SLRs, while another manned a .50 calibre machine gun. The 81mm mortar began to add its rounds to the bombardment, the initial wave of 40 Adoo was stopped dead. Further waves began to attack. As they closed the Adoo began to envelope the town and flanked round towards the fort. Later in the battle the Adoo were so close the mortar wouldn't elevate far enough to hit the targets, one of the two SAS men hugged the red hot mortar barrel to his chest to bring the rounds closer to the fort, while the other soldier dropped the rounds down the barrel.
Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba
At the fort Sgt Labalaba had been manning the 25 lbr on his own. When he arrived he'd found one of the gunners who had been on guard duty had been killed. Acting as a full gun crew of six men alone, he had managed to keep up a sustained rate of fire of just under one round per minute. Then suddenly he was hit in the chin, he reported the fact by radio to Capt Kealy. Despite the injury Sgt Labalaba continued to man the gun, although its rate of fire dropped significantly.
Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba, Trooper Sekonaia Takavesi and the two Omani Gunners
At the BATT house Trooper Sekonaia Takavesi, another Fijian, volunteered to take medical supplies to the injured Sgt Labalaba. Trooper Takavesi grabbed the bag and started to run. Not through the cover of Mirbat, but a direct line across flat open ground in plain sight of the Adoo. The run was 700 meters, with hundreds of Adoo able to see him and shoot at him.
With bullets whistling about him he dived into the gun pit, unscathed. Looking around he saw Sgt Labalaba, bleeding heavily from the hit to the chin. Trooper Takavesi gave what first aid he could, occasionally pausing to fire at the approaching Adoo. The position was becoming desperate without some help.  Trooper Takavesi leaped up and rushed to the door of the Dhofar Gendarmerie fort some distance away, it was opened by the other Omani gunner. The two of them made a dash back for the gun pit, while covered by the section of Dhofar Gendarmerie with their .303 Lee Enfields. Again Trooper Takavesi dived into the gun pit, the Omani Walid Khamis, was hit.
Walid Khamis
The two carried on firing the gun. They crawled to the ammo trench and back, due to the sheer volume of fire being aimed at them. When the gun fired it was point blank into the Adoo attack. Needing extra fire power Trooper Takavesi spotted a 60mm mortar and crawled over to it, but was hit in the neck and killed as he bent to load the first round.
Sgt Labalaba was hit a second time and then a  third time. Unable to continue to feed the 25 lbr, he propped himself up in a sitting position and started to fire at the Adoo with his SLR.

With no communication with the gun pit, Capt Kealy and Trooper Tommy Tobin made a break for the gun pit. Unlike Trooper Takavesi's mad dash they took a more covered route. But the last few meters were in the open. As they finished their dash they tumbled into the ammo trench. Upon reaching the gun pit they found Sgt Labalaba still in position steadily pumping bullets from his SLR into targets. Trooper Tobin started giving the wounded Oman gunner first aid.
The Adoo by now were at the walls of the fort, and a flurry of grenades rained on them. One landed in the ammo trench between Capt Kealy and Tpr Tobin, luckily it was a dud. One bounced off the lip of the gun pit's sandbagged walls and exploded harmlessly. Then one of the Adoo appeared at the lip of the gun pit, Capt Kealy quickly shot him.
Tropper Tommy Tolbin
Tpr Tolbin crawled over to Trooper Takavesi to see what could be done, but as he reached across his body to turn him over he was hit in the face, the round shattering his lower jaw. A thunderous roar split the sky, Omani Strikemaster jets appeared overhead. Because of the weather conditions, in a display of daring and skill they were flying just 30 meters off the ground. With these planes making strafing runs and launching rockets the Adoo fell back.
Meanwhile when the attack had begun 23 SAS men had been about to go onto the firing range and were fully armed. They'd quickly been gathered up and flown by helicopter to the beach near Mirbat. After a skirmish with an Adoo patrol they began to close on the battered town. Between them and some additional local forces they forced the Adoo to break off the attack at about 1230.
All the wounded were airlifted out, although Trooper Tolbin later died from an infection caused by a shattered tooth he'd swallowed when hit. Incredibly despite the situation the SAS at the BATT house had managed to take three Adoo prisoner! After two successive defeats at the hands of the Omani and British forces the Adoo never recovered and were left on the back foot until the war ended in 1976.
Mirbat Fort
The Mirbat gun now resides at the Firepower Museum of the Royal Artillery in Woolwich, London.

Friday, June 27, 2014

[WoTB] Meet the Team

Meet the team behind the recently released World of Tanks Blitz.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

[WoTB] World of Tanks Blitz is Live!

After almost 2-year hard work World of Tanks Blitz is finally live for iPhones and iPads. Worldwide. Start checking your AppStore. And giving feedback on the game.

Release video 

Monday, June 23, 2014

[WoTB] 3 Days Remaining

World of Tanks Blitz is going live worldwide for iOS later this week on June 26 with 1.1 update.

Some major things from 1.1:

  • Ability to view other player's profile/stats via chat. 
  • New post-mortem camera
  • Ability to upgrade GameCenter account to full WG account.
  • Graphics improvements - new lighting effects on tanks, water shader (mostly for new devices).
  • Audio improvements - new sounds for both battle and UI.
  • Friend invitation from Facebook.
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements.