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22 December

The 23rd Fighter Group replaced the American Volunteer Group, operating from bases in China from the summer of 1942 until the end of the Second World War.

21 December

The Fourteenth Air Force (USAAF) operated from bases in China, supporting the Chinese army against the Japanese.

20 December

The 7th Bombardment Group had an unsettling start to the Second World War when some of its aircraft arrived at Pearl Harbor during the Japenese attack. It eventually settled down to operate as a B-24 unit over Burma.

The 22nd Bombardment Group began the war as a medium bomber group, supporting the campaign in New Guinea, before switching to the B-24 Liberator in 1944, supporting the invasion of the Philippines.

The 43rd Bombardment Group fought with the Fifth Air Force, first from Australia and then in the campaigns that saw the reconquest of New Guinea and the Philippines.

19 December

The 80th Fighter Group performed ground attack missions in India and Burma from September 1943 to the end of the Second World War.

18 December

The 311st Fighter Group was one of only three groups to use the A-36 dive bomber version of the P-51 Mustang, operating in Burma and China.

17 December

The 33rd Fighter Group was one of the more widely travelled American Fighter Groups of the Second World War, fighting in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, China and Burma

The 51st Fighter Group spent most of the Second World War defending the two ends of the "Hump", the air supply route between India and China.

The 81st Fighter Squadron took part in the North Africa and Italian campaigns of 1943 before moving to China to join the Fourteenth Air Force.

The 341st Bombardment Group operated B-25 Mitchell's from bases in China and India, attacking ground targets in Burma and ahipping from China

15 December

The 6th Bombardment Group had two separate existences spending 1919-1943 defending the Panama Canal, before being reformed as a B-29 unit in 1944-45, taking part in the bombardment of Japan.

The 11th Bombardment Group fought in the South Pacific with the B-17 and then in the central Pacific with the B-24.

The 28th Composite/ Bombardment Group spent the entire Second World War in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.

The 30th Bombardment Group began the war patrolling off the west coast of the United States before joining the Seventh Air Force during the advance across the Central Pacific.

14 December

A small number of the Liberators ordered by France were delivered to the U.S. Army as the B-24A.

The B-24C Liberator was the final development version of the aircraft, introducing a number of important developments into American production that would become standard on most of the aircraft to follow.

The B-24D was the first version of the Liberator to be mass produced and the first version of the aircraft to enter combat in large numbers with the USAAF.

The B-24 Liberator was produced in larger numbers than any other American military aircraft. This was achieved through the creation of the Liberator Production Pool which saw the aircraft produced at five factories run by three different companies, amongst them the massive Ford plant at Willow Run.

The B-24E was the designation given to B-24Ds built by Ford at their Willow Run plant.

The B-24H was the first production version of the Liberator to be built with a nose turret.

We also add a brief history of the 5th Bombardment Group during the Second World War, the first unit outside the continental United States to receive the B-17 Flying Fortress.

Oliver Law was born in Texas on 9th July 1899. He was a somewhat controversial officer in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade which fought against Fascism during the Spanish civil war.

13 December

The Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer was the most radical modification of the B-24 Liberator to see service during the Second World War developed as a maritime patrol aircraft for the U.S. Navy

11 December

The battle of Bladensburg, 24 August 1814, was a British victory during the War of 1812 that left Washington vulnerable to attack.

The battle of Beaver Dams, 24 June 1813, was an American defeat on the Niagara front that helped the British to recover from the earlier defeat at Fort George on 25-27 May 1813

10 December

Today we look at the Boeing B-29, adding articles on the development of the Superfortress, the small number of variants of the B-29, the units that used the B-29 and the combat record of the Superfortress during the Second World War.

We also look at XX Bomber Command, created to operate the B-29 from India and China.

8 December

The YB-40 was an attempt to provide a long range escort aircraft to support the Eighth Air Force’s daylight bombing campaign over Europe, created by adding extra guns to a standard B-17F

Although the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was less important than the B-24 Liberator in the Mediterranean theatre, six Bombardment Groups did serve in North Africa or Italy

The B-17 Flying Fortress first saw combat in American colours in the Pacific, on the first day of the Japanese onslaught, when nearly 30 aircraft were destroyed on the ground. Despite this inauspicious start to the war, the B-17 went on to perform important duties in the Pacific in the first two years of the war.

The Boeing PB-1 was the US Navy designation for the B-17 Flying Fortress and was used to carry airborne early warning radar.

7 December

The B-17 may have first seen combat in American colours in the Pacific, but it would earn its enduring fame with the Eighth Air Force, based in England and fighting over Hitler’s Europe. The story of the B-17 would become the story of the daylight bombing offensive over Germany.

We also add a list of B-17 units of the USAAC and RAF and a B-17 picture gallery

2 December

When it first took to the air the Boeing XB-15 was the biggest aircraft in the world, but it had already been superseded by the smaller but more efficient B-17 Flying Fortress.

The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is one of the most famous aircraft of the Second World War. It earned that fame with the Eighth Air Force, carrying out daylight bombing raids over Hitler’s Fortress Europe.

The B-17B was the last development version of the Flying Fortress. It was the first model of the aircraft to feature the distinctive flat-panelled Plexiglas nose that was used in early production aircraft and the first version to be produced in any numbers that used a turbo-supercharger

The B-17C was the first version of the Flying Fortress to be used in combat, as the RAF Fortress I. This experience began to suggest that the Flying Fortress was not combat ready in its current form and would lead to the development of the much more heavily armed B-17E.

The last 42 of the 80 aircraft originally ordered as B-17Cs were completed as B-17Ds. The new model featured self sealing fuel tanks, and carried two more machine guns.

The B-17E was the first version of the Flying Fortress to have the aircraft’s familiar appearance. It was designed after RAF Fortress Is had seen combat, revealing that the aircraft was badly under-armed for its role as a daylight bomber.

The B-17F was the first version of the Flying Fortress to be built in really large numbers, with a total of 3,405 aircraft being produced.

The B-17G was the final production version of the Flying Fortress and was produced in greater numbers than every other version put together.

The B-17 Flying Fortress first saw combat with the RAF, in the summer of 1941. Its initial performance as a day bomber was disappointing, but it remained in use with Coastal Command and with No.100 Group until the end of the war.

30 November

We add an article on the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1975

The Panzer I was the first German tank to enter mass production. It was originally designed as a light training tank, to give German industry experience in producing tanks while development work on the real combat tanks was underway, and to train the new armoured divisions.

The Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B (Sd Kfz 101) used a longer chassis and more powerful engine than the Ausf A but was otherwise identical.

The Kleiner Panzerbefehlswagen I (PzBefw I) was a small armoured command vehicle, based on the Panzer I light tank.

The 4.7cm PaK(t) (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B was the first tracked tank destroyer to be produced in Germany. It was created by removing the turret from an obsolete Panzer I Ausf B light tank and replacing it with a mounting for a 4.7cm Czech anti-tank gun.

29 November

The battle of Chateauguay River (26 October 1813) saw the defeat of one of two American armies attempting to invade Lower Canada in the autumn of 1813.

The battle of Crysler’s Farm (11 November 1813) was a British victory in the War of 1812 that ended any hope of success for an American attack on Montreal.

The battle of Chippawa, 5 July 1814, was an American victory on the Niagara front which saw a British force fail to push back an army that had just crossed the Niagara River.

The Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf A (Armoured Fighting Vehicle I version A, normally shortened to the Panzer I or Pz.Kpfw I Ausf A) was the first German tank to enter mass production.

28 November

The German invasion of Norway on 9 April 1940 was the first sign that the “Phoney War” period that had followed the Polish campaign of 1939 was coming to an end.

On November 21st 1974 the terrorist group the PIRA exploded two bombs in the centre of the city of Birmingham, UK. This was the worst terrorist attack in UK history until the London bombings of July 2005 and killed 19 people, injured 182 and two further victims died later.

The Altmark incident of 16 February 1940 saw a British destroyer rescue 299 British prisoners from the German supply ship Altmark in Norwegian water.

27 November

The attack on Oslo was a key component of the German invasion of Norway of 9 April 1940, and saw the only real setback suffered by the Germans on that day.

The second battle of Narvik (13 April 1940) was a British naval victory during the German invasion of Norway of 1940.

The Narvik campaign of April-June 1940 began with a dramatic German success, saw the first Allied land victory of the Second World War,  before coming to an anticlimactic ending when events in France and the Low Countries forced the British and French to evacuate Norway.

26 November

Today we post our first article on the Vietnam War, looking at the years between 1954-1968

The German invasion of Denmark of April 1940 was part of a wider campaign in Scandinavia designed partly to provide bases for the German navy and partly to secure the German supply of iron ore from Sweden.

Operation Royal Marine was a British plan developed in 1939-1940 to disrupt the German economy by floating mines down the Rhine.

Operation Wilfred was a British attempt, made on 8 April 1940, to stop Swedish iron ore from reaching Germany from Narvik by laying a minefield in Norwegian waters

The first battle of Narvik (10 April 1940) was a drawn naval battle fought between British and German destroyers during the German invasion of Norway.

25 November

The battle of York (27 April 1813) was one of the first American victories on land during the War of 1812.

The battle of Fort George (25-27 May 1813) was the first American victory on the Niagara front during the War of 1812.

The Battle of Stoney Creek (6 June 1813) saw the defeat of an American army that was invading Upper Canada in the aftermath of the American victory at Fort George at the end of May.

Major-General Sir Roger Sheaffe was an American born British officer who briefly came to prominence during the War of 1812.

24 November

The battle of the River Plate is one of the most famous naval battles of the Second World War, despite only involving four ships. Part of its fame came because it took place in the “phoney war” period and part because of the unjustifiably high reputation of the Admiral Graf Spee, the German pocket-battleship involved in the battle.

The Avro Anson was designed as a civil passenger plane, entered RAF service as a coastal reconnaissance, but saw most service as a training aircraft.

We also add list of the British and Commonwealth squadrons that used the Avro Anson Mk I

The Bristol Bombay was a combination of a transport aircraft and a bomber that was developed to serve with RAF squadrons in the Middle East. Partly because of its duel purpose and partly because of the time it took to develop, the Bombay was effectively obsolescent by the time it entered service in 1939, but it did perform some useful service in the Middle East.

23 November

The clash between USS Constitution and HMS Guerrière was the first significant American victory of the War of 1812 and caused dismay in Britain.

The clash between USS United States and HMS Macedonian was the second of a series of three clashes between single frigates that all ended in American victories early in the War of 1812.

The class between USS Constitution and HMS Java was the third American frigate victory of the War of 1812 and in many ways the most significant.

22 November

The Blackburn Skua was the first monoplane aircraft to enter service with the Fleet Air Arm and the first plane to sink a major operational warship although it was already obsolescent at the start of the Second World War.

The Westland Welkin was a British high-altitude fighter developed in response to a perceived threat from very high altitude German aircraft, most notably the Junkers Ju 86P.

The battle of Queenston Heights was a British victory early in the War of 1812 that turned back the first American attack on the Niagara front.

The skirmishes of Frenchman’s Creek and Red House saw the only fighting during the second American attempt to invade Canada on the Niagara front during 1812.

21 November

The Westland Whirlwind was the first twin engined fighter to enter RAF service. When it first appeared it was faster at low altitude than any single seater fighter, and its four 20mm cannon gave it the heaviest firepower of any fighter in the world, but it was let down by its engine.

The Westland Lysander was an army cooperation aircraft that failed in its original role but later found fame working with the SOE.

We also add a picture gallery devoted to the Westland Lysander

The Battle of Mackinac Island, 17 July 1812, was an early British victory during the War of 1812 which gave them control over much of the Old North West and played an indirect part in the fall of Detroit.

The fall of Detroit on 16 August 1812 was one of a series of defeats that stopped the first American invasion of Canada during the War of 1812.

20 November

The Westland Wapiti was a general purpose aircraft that served with the RAF during the 1930s.

The Westland Wallace was an improved version of the Wapiti that served as a target tug during the Second World War.

The battle of Frenchtown, 22 January 1813, was a crushing British victory during the War of 1812 over part of an American army preparing to attack Detroit

The siege of Fort Meigs (1-9 May 1813) saw a British force under Brigadier-General Henry Procter fail to capture Fort Meigs, on the Maumee River, but win a victory over an American relief force.

19 November

The Red Brigades was a Marxist-Leninist left wing terrorist group active in Italy in the 1970s and early 1980s. 

The two Derfflinger class battlecruisers were amongst the most powerful warships to see service in the First World War.

SMS Derfflinger was the nameship of the Derfflinger class of battlecruisers, widely considered to be the best battlecruisers of the First World War. She fought at Dogger Bank and at Jutland, where she was badly damaged but survived.

SMS Lützow was a Derfflinger class battlecruiser that became the only German dreadnought of any type to be lost during the First World War.

The four ships of the Mackensen class were almost the last battlecruisers to be laid down in Germany during the First World War and contained the last such ships to come close to being completed

18 November

The Moltke class of battlecruisers were a significant improvement on the already impressive von der Tann, the first such ship produced for the German navy.

SMS Moltke was the nameship of the Moltke class of battlecruisers, the second general of battlecruisers built for the German navy.

SMS Goeben was a Moltke class battlecruiser that spent the First World War operating with the Turkish navy, mostly in the Black Sea.

SMS Seydlitz was the fourth German battlecruiser, and was essentially an enlarged version of the previous Moltke class ships.

17 November

The First World War saw the appearance of an entirely new type of warship, the aircraft carrier. Here we look at the British aircraft carriers as they developed from the seaplane carriers of 1914 to the modern aircraft carrier.

SMS Prinz Heinrich was the oldest German armoured cruiser to see service during the First World War.

The two Prinz Adalbert class heavy cruisers were more heavily armed versions of the SMS Prinz Heinrich, herself the oldest German armoured cruiser to see service in the First World War.

The two Roon class heavy cruisers were virtual repeats of the previous Prinz Adalbert, with a slight increase in displacement, 1,500ihp more power and two extra 88mm guns.

The two ships of the Scharnhorst class were the best known German armoured cruisers of the First World War.

SMS Blücher was the first German armoured cruiser built after HMS Dreadnought had revolutionised naval construction. She was a dramatic improvement on previous German armoured cruisers, and closely resembled a stretched version of the first German dreadnoughts (the Nassau class).

SMS von der Tann was the first German battlecruiser, and is widely accepted to have been a much more successful design than her British equivalents.

16 November

The Colt weapon company was created by one of the most famous military inventors of history, Samuel Colt. The company has sold over 30 million firearms since Sam Colt, then in his early twenties, patented his revolver design in 1836.

One of the most famous military fighting knives, the Fairbairn-Sykes knife (also know as the commando knife and still popular among British royal marine commandoes today) is a double edged bladed weapon with distinctive vase grip.

HMS Active was the nameship of the Active class of scout cruisers. For the first half of the First World War she was the leader of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, based at Rosyth, taking part in the battle of Jutland

The Active class were the final Scout cruisers built for the Royal Navy. They were very similar to the previous Blonde class scout cruisers, carrying the same armament of ten 4in guns, and with a similar speed and level of armour protection.

HMS Amphion was an Active class scout cruiser that became the first British warship to be lost during the First World War.

HMS Fearless was an Active class scout cruiser that led the 1st Destroyer Flotilla from 1914 until 1916, taking part in the battles of Heligoland Bight (28 August 1914) and of Jutland (31 May-1 June 1914)

The Lion class battlecruisers were a significant improvement on the two previous classes of British battlecruisers with bigger guns and better armour

HMS Lion was the nameship of the Lion class of battlecruisers and served as Admiral Beatty’s flagships at the three main North Sea naval battles of the First World War.

HMS Princess Royal was a Lion class battlecruiser that fought at the three main naval battles in the North Sea.

15 November

The three Invincible class battlecruisers were the armoured cruiser equivalents of HMS Dreadnought, fast and armed with 12in guns.

The Indefatigable class battlecruisers were very similar to the earlier Invincible class battlecruisers.

HMS Indefatigable was the nameship of the Indefatigable class of battlecruisers. She took part in the hunt for the German battlecruiser Goeben in August 1914 and the first bombardment of the Dardanelles, before being lost at Jutland.

HMAS Australia was an Indefatigable class battlecruiser funded by the dominion of Australia to serve as the flagship of the new Royal Australian Navy.

HMS New Zealand was an Indefatigable class battlecruiser that had been paid for by the dominion of New Zealand, but then presented to the Royal Navy on completion.

14 November

Beretta is one of the most famous small arms manufacturers in the world with a history that can be traced back to 1526

The four Cambrian class light cruisers were virtual repeats of the previous Calliope class ships.

The two ships of the Centaur class were the first British light cruisers to be entirely armed with 6in guns.

HMS Campania was the largest of a number of merchant ships converted to act as seaplane carriers during the First World War.

HMS Empress was one of three cross-channel steamers taken over from the South East and Chatham Railway Company on 11 August 1914 to be converted to act as a seaplane carrier.

HMS Riviera was a cross-channel steamer that was taken over by the Royal Navy on 11 August 1914, and in two days converted into a seaplane carrier.

HMS Cassandra was a Caledon class light cruiser that was commissioned into the Sixth Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet in June 1917, and served with that squadron to the end of the First World War.

13 November

HMS Philomel was the only Pearl class third class cruiser to see active service during the First World War

The Pelorus class third class cruisers were more heavily armed versions of the previous Pearl class of third class cruisers, themselves a more lightly armed version of the Medea class of second class cruisers.

HMS Pegasus was the only Pelorus class third class cruiser to be lost during the First World War, being sunk by the German cruiser Konigsberg on 20 September 1914

HMS Pelorus was the nameship of the Pelorus class of third class cruisers. At the start of the First World War she was on patrol in the Bristol Channel, but before the end of 1914 she had been sent to the Mediterraean, where she formed part of the Gibraltar Patrol

HMAS Pioneer was a Pelorus class light cruiser that was part of the Australian Fleet at the start of the First World War, serving off the west coast of Australia before taking part in the operations against the German cruiser Königsberg.

HMS Proserpine was a Pelorus class third class cruiser that served in the Channel, at Gibraltar, in the Suez Canal and in support of the British intervention in Mesopotamia during the First World War.

HMS Psyche was a Pelorus third class cruiser that spent the entire First World War serving in the Pacific.

HMS Pyramus was a Pelorus class third class cruiser that served in the Pacific, off the east coast of Africa, in the Persian Gulf and in the East Indies during the First World War, taking part in the operations that destroyed the German cruiser Königsberg in July 1915.

The four Gem class third class cruisers were the biggest, best and last third class cruisers built for the Royal Navy.

HMS Amethyst was a Gem class third class cruiser that began the First World War as the flagship of Commodore Tyrwhitt at Harwich before serving off the Dardanelles and on the east coast of South America

HMS Diamond was a Gem class third class cruiser that spent most of the First World War attached to the Grand Fleet.

HMS Sapphire was a Gem class third class cruiser that served with the Dover Patrol in 1914, at the Dardanelles in 1915 and on the East Indies station from 1916 to the end of the war.

HMS Topaze was a Gem class third class cruiser that served with the 5th Battle Squadron of the Channel Fleet in 1914-15, with the Italians in the Mediterranean in 1915-1917 and in the Red Sea from 1917 until the end of the war.

12 November

The two ships of the Challenger class of second class cruisers were virtual repeats of the previous Highflyer class, but equipped with engines that were 25% more powerful

HMS Challenger was the nameship of the Challenger class of second class cruisers. She spent most of the First World War on the African stations, taking part in the invasion of the Cameroons and the East Africa campaign.

HMAS Encounter was a Challenger class second class cruiser that spent most of the First World War on the Australian station.

The Highflyer class of second class cruisers were virtual repeats of the Eclipse class, but carried eleven 6in guns instead of the mix of 6in and 4.7in guns used on the earlier ships.

HMS Hermes was a Highflyer class second class cruiser that was converted to act as a seaplane carrier in 1913.

HMS Highflyer was the nameship of the Highflyer class of second class cruisers. During the First World War she sank the German commerce raider Kaiser Wilhelm de Grosse, and in 1917 escorted the first transatlantic convoy from Canada.

HMS Hyacinth was a Highflyer second class cruiser that served on the Cape and East Africa station during the First World War.

11 November

The Arrogant class second class cruisers were designed to act as rams to act in support of the battle fleet.

HMS Vindictive was an Arrogant class second class cruiser famous for the role she played in the attempts to block Zeebrugge and Ostend in 1918.

The Eclipse class second class cruisers were built after the previous Astraea class ships were criticized for their light armament and were armed with a higher proportion of 6in guns

HMS Diana was an Eclipse class second class cruiser that served in Home Waters at the start of the First World War, before moving to the China station and then the Red Sea and India stations later in the war.

HMS Dido was the only Eclipse class cruiser not to see active service during the First World War.

HMS Doris was an Eclipse class second class cruiser that served in Home Waters, off the coast of Syria, at the Dardanelles and on the East Indies station during the First World War.

HMS Eclipse was the name ship for the Eclipse class of second class cruisers.

HMS Isis was an Eclipse class second class cruiser that spent much of the First World War on the North American and West Indies Station.

HMS Juno was a Eclipse class second class cruiser that served in home waters, in the Persian Gulf and in the East Indies during the First World War.

HMS Minerva was an Eclipse class second class cruiser that served in the Red Sea, at Gallipoli and on the East Africa station during the First World War.

HMS Talbot was a Eclipse class second class cruiser that served in Home Waters, at Gallipoli and off the coast of East Africa during the First World War.

HMS Venus was an Eclipse class second class cruiser that served in Home Waters, in Egyptian Waters, on the China Station, and in the East Indies during the First World War.

10 November

HMS Canada was one of three battleships under construction for foreign powers in Britain in 1914 that were taken over by the Royal Navy.

HMS Erin was one of two Turkish battleships under construction in Britain that were seized for the Royal Navy at the start of the First World War.

HMS Agincourt was one of two Turkish battleships that had been completed in Britain just before the start of the First World War.

HMS Royal Oak was a Revenge class battleship, most famous for her destruction by U-47 while at anchor in Scapa Flow in 1939.

Despite their age, the seven surviving members of the Astraea class of light cruisers performed valuable service during the First World War.

9 November

The Queen Elizabeth class ships were probably the best battleships to be built for the Royal Navy. Laid down before the First World War, they survived to perform valuable service during the Second World War.

HMS Barham was a Queen Elizabeth class battleship that fought at the battle of Jutland during the First World War and in the Mediterranean during the Second World War.

HMS Malaya was a Queen Elizabeth class battleship that fought at the battle of Jutland during the First World War and in the Mediterranean during the Second World War.

HMS Queen Elizabeth was the name ship of the Queen Elizabeth class of battleships. She was the most powerful battleship in the British fleet when completed, and continued to provide valuable service with the Royal Navy during the Second World War, where she served as the flagship of Admiral Andrew Cunningham in the Mediterranean.

HMS Valiant was a Queen Elizabeth class battleship that fought at the battle of Jutland during the First World War, and at Oran, Matapan, Crete, Sicily and Salerno during the Second World War.

HMS Warspite was a Queen Elizabeth class battleship that served in both world wars, taking part in the battle of Jutland in 1916 and the battle of Matapan in 1941.

8 November

The two Colossus class dreadnoughts were built as a result of a public panic caused by false reports about German plans to build a dozen dreadnoughts.

HMS Neptune was the first British dreadnought to deviate significantly from the original layout of HMS Dreadnought.

The Orion class battleships were the first British dreadnoughts to carry all of their guns on the centre line, allowing them to fire a full ten-gun broadside without putting excessive stress on the ship’s hull.

The King George V class battleships were slightly improved versions of the previous Orion class ships with the same arrangement of guns

The Iron Duke class battleships saw the return of the 6in gun, last seen on pre-dreadnought battleships. They were built as part of the 1911 Naval Programme, designed the year after Lord Fisher retired as First Sea Lord.

7 November

Max Hoffman was a German staff officer who helped devise the plan that resulting in the German victory at Tannenberg in 1914, and who spent the entire First World War serving on the eastern front.

August von Mackensen was one of the most capable German generals of the First World War, commanding at the breakthrough battle of Gorlice-Tarnow, one of the most decisive battles of the war, as well as during the invasions of Serbia and Romania.

The Lord Nelson class battleships were the last pre-dreadnought battleships built in Britain.

The three Bellerophon class ships were the first British battleships built after HMS Dreadnought made all earlier battleships obsolete.

The three ships of the St. Vincent class were very similar to the previous Bellerophon class dreadnoughts, designed with speed of construction in mind in the period after HMS Dreadnought had made all older battleships obsolete.

6 November

Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria was the most able of Germany’s Royal generals during the First World War.

The King Edward VII class battleships saw the first major change in the design of British battleships for fifteen years, with the introduction of a battery of four 9.2in guns added to the 12in and 6in guns carried on previous classes.

The two battleships of the Swiftsure class had been designed for the Chilean navy as a counter for Argentinean armoured cruisers, but in December 1903, after they had been launched but before they had been completed, they were purchased by the British Government.

HMS Swiftsure and HMS Triumph were the two Swiftsure class battleships, designed for Chile, but purchased by the Royal Navy in 1903.

5 November

The Duncan class of battleships were the last of a series of battleship designs that can be traced back to the Royal Sovereign class ships of 1891-1892.

HMS Albemarle was a Duncan class ship that saw little real action during the First World War, missing a posting to the Dardanelles after her bridge was swept away during a storm.

HMS Cornwallis was a Duncan class pre-dreadnought battleship that fired the first shells of the Dardanelles campaign on 19 February 1915.

HMS Duncan was the name ship of the Duncan class of pre-dreadnought battleships. She spent most of the First World War in the Mediterranean, becoming involved in the Allied intervention in Greece.

HMS Exmouth was a Duncan class pre-dreadnought class battleship that served at the Dardanelles and in the Mediterranean during the First World War.

HMS Russell was a Duncan class pre-dreadnought battleship that took part in the final evacuation from Gallipoli before being sunk by a mine early in 1916.

4 November

Georg von der Marwitz was a German general of the First World War who played a prominent part in the first major tank battle in history, at Cambrai in 1916 and in the first major German offensive of 1918 on the Somme.

Felix Graf von Bothmer was a German general who helped to slow the momentum of the Brusilov offensive in the summer of 1916.

Hermann von Eichhorn was a German general who had the misfortune to become the most senior German killed during the First World War.

Karl Einem von Rothmaler was a German general who defended the Champagne sector of the western front from September 1914 until the end of the First World War.

The Fokker M.3 saw another advance in the design of Fokker aircraft, featuring the welded steel tube construction of the M.2 but without its wooden outer casing.

3 November

The Fokker D.VI was one of two Fokker aircraft to enter production after the first German fighter contest of January-February 1918.

The Fokker D.VII was the best German fighter aircraft in service at the end of the First World War.

The Fokker M.1 was the first aircraft designed by Fokker for the German Army.

The Fokker M.2, while not a success itself, did see Fokker’s first use of welded steel-tube construction.

The designation Fokker V.21 refers to two Fokker aircraft, the production D.VII and a prototype with swept wings.

2 November

The London class pre-dreadnought battleships were slightly modified versions of the previous Formidable class, with an improved distribution of armour.

HMS Bulwark was a London class battleship that was destroyed by an accidental explosion in November 1914.

HMS London was the name ship of the London class of battleships. During the First World War she served at the Dardanelles, before forming part of the British squadron in the Adriatic.

HMS Prince of Wales was a London class pre-dreadnought battleship that served in the channel, at the Dardanelles and in the Aegean during the First World War.

HMS Queen was a London class pre-dreadnought battleship that like most of her class served in the channel, at the Dardanelles and in the Adriatic during the First World War.

HMS Venerable was a London class battleship that was heavily involved in the fighting on the Belgian coast in 1914-15 before serving off the Dardanelles and in the Aegean.

1 November

Admiral Maximilian von Spee was one of the most famous German sailors of the First World War, winning his fame at the battle of Coronel, the first British naval defeat for a century.

The Formidable class of pre-dreadnought battleships were enlarged versions of the previous Majestic and Canopus class ships, this time using the advantages of Krupp steel and water-tube boilers to improve the protection of the ships rather than their speed.

HMS Formidable was the name ship of the Formidable class of pre-dreadnought battleships. On 1 January 1915 she was sunk by U 24 while on a practice exercise in the English Channel.

HMS Implacable was the only Formidable class battleship to survive the First World War.

HMS Irresistible was a Formidable class pre-dreadnought battleship sunk during the Allied attempt to force the Dardanelles on 18 March 1915.

31 October

A rotary engine is an internal combustion engine where the pistons rotate around the crankshaft. They were used on many First World War fighter aircraft.

The counter rotary engine was developed by Siemens under the Siemens-Halske brand in an attempt to overcome some of the main limitations with rotary engines.

The Canopus class of pre-dreadnought battleships are best known for the absence of their name ship HMS Canopus from the battle of Coronel (1914).

HMS Albion was a Canopus class pre-dreadnought battleship that served on a variety of overseas posts in 1914 before joining the fleet attacking the Dardanelles in February 1915.

HMS Glory was a Canopus class pre-dreadnought battleship that helped escort the first Canadian troop convoy across the Atlantic in 1914, before spending most of the First World War at Murmansk and Archangel.

HMS Goliath was a Canopus class pre-dreadnought battleship that served off the east coast of Africa and on the Dardanelles in the early years of the First World War.

HMS Ocean was a Canopus class pre-dreadnought battleship lost during the naval attempt to force the Dardanelles on 18 March 1915.

HMS Vengeance was a Canopus class battleship that served as the flagship of Admiral de Robeck at the Dardanelles.

30 October

The Fokker M.19 was a reasonably successful Fokker biplane that entered German service as the Fokker D.III, but was mainly used as a training aircraft.

The Fokker M.21 was a biplane fighter aircraft based on the earlier Fokker D.I but powered by the 160hp Mercedes D.III engine.

The Fokker M.22 was a Fokker biplane developed in the autumn of 1916 and accepted by the German army as a training aircraft with the designation Fokker D.V.

The Fokker D.III was the German army designation for the Fokker M.19 biplane, initially ordered in 1916 as a fighter, but soon relegated to training duties.

The Fokker D.IV was the German army designation for the M.21 biplane, a fighter aircraft that appeared at almost the exact moment that the long-running quality control problems with Fokker aircraft resulting in them being withdrawn from front line service.

The Fokker D.V was the German army designation for the Fokker M.22 biplane, ordered as a training aircraft in October 1916.

29 October

The Majestic class pre-dreadnoughts were the oldest British battleships to see active service at sea during the First World War

HMS Majestic was the name ship of the Majestic class of pre-dreadnought battleships. During the First World War she saw service with the Dover Patrol and at the Dardanelles, where she became the only member of the class to be sunk in action.

HMS Caesar was a Majestic class battleship that took part in the fighting on the Belgian coast in 1914 before spending most of the rest of the First World War on the North American and West Indies station.

HMS Hannibal was a Majestic class pre-dreadnought battleship that served as an east coast guardship before being disarmed in 1915.

HMS Illustrious was a Majestic class pre-dreadnought used as a guardship early in the First World War.

HMS Jupiter was a Majestic class pre-dreadnought battleship that served as a guard ship on the east coast during 1914 before brief spells in Russia, the East Indies and Egypt.

HMS Magnificent was a Majestic class pre-dreadnought battleship that was later used as a troop ship during the Gallipoli campaign.

HMS Mars was a Majestic class pre-dreadnought battleship that served as a guardship before being disarmed and used as a troopship.

HMS Prince George was a Majestic class battleship that helped protect the BEF as it crossed the channel in 1914, and then took part in the Gallipoli campaign.

HMS Victorious was the least active member of the Majestic class of pre-dreadnought battleships, acting as a guardship and then a repair ship during the First World War.

28 October

The Fokker B.II was the Austro-Hungarian designation for the Fokker M.17E biplane, used as a training aircraft by their air force from 1916 until 1918.

The Fokker B.III was the Austro-Hungarian designation for the Fokker M.18, used in Austrian service as a training aircraft to prepare front-line pilots for the introduction of the Brandenburg D.I

The Fokker D.I was the first Fokker biplane fighter to see service with the German Army during the First World War.

The Fokker D.II was the German army designation for the Fokker M.17Z biplane, ordered as a replacement for the Fokker E.II monoplane fighter aircraft in 1916

The Fokker M.16 was one of a series of biplanes designed adopted by Anthony Fokker in an attempt to find a replacement for his successful monoplanes, as was the Fokker M.17

The Fokker M.18 was a further development of the earlier M.16 biplane, and was accepted by both the Germans and Austro-Hungarians for military service.

27 October

The Fokker M.7 was the first good biplane to be produced by Anthony Fokker.

The Fokker B.I was an Austro-Hungarian designation allocated to forty Fokker M.7 and M.10 aircraft, ordered early in the First World War.

The four monitors of the Abercrombie class were built to take advantage of four twin 14in turrets, offered to Great Britain by Charles M. Schwab, president of the American company Bethlehem Steel.

The eight monitors of the Lord Clive class were virtual repeats of the Abercrombie class monitors, but armed with British 12in guns instead of the 14in American guns used on the earlier ships.

The two Marshal Soult class ships were probably the least successful monitors built for the British navy during the First World War.

The two Gorgon class monitors had been built as coastal battleships for the Norwegian navy, but in 1914 they were taken over by the Royal Navy.

26 October

Admiral John Jellicoe was the commander of the British Grand Fleet during the first two years of the First World War. In that role he commanded the fleet at the battle of Jutland, the only fleet battle of the entire war.

The Apollo class second class cruisers were amongst the oldest ships still in service with the Royal Navy at the start of the First World War.

The Humber class monitors were originally ordered by Brazil to serve on their rivers but were taken over by the Royal Navy in 1914

HMS Humber was the name ship of the Humber class of monitors, a class of ships originally built for Brazil but taken over by the Royal Navy at the start of the First World War.

HMS Mersey was a Humber class monitor that served off the coast of Belgium and the east coast of Africa during the First World War.

HMS Severn was a Humber class monitor that also took part in fighting off the Belgian coast and the east coast of Africa during the First World War.

25 October

HMS Calliope was the name ship of the Calliope class of light cruisers, two ships very similar to the Caroline class cruisers but with geared turbine engines.

HMS Champion was a Calliope class light cruiser that fought at the battle of Jutland as leader of the 13th Destroyer Flotilla

The two Birkenhead class light cruisers were originally ordered by the Greek government, and were based on the British Chatham class of cruisers.

HMS Birkenhead was the name ship of the Birkenhead class of light cruisers, two “town” class cruisers taken over from the Greeks in 1915.

HMS Chester was a Birkenhead class light cruiser, originally ordered by the Greek government as the Lambros Katsonis.

24 October

HMS Caroline was the name ship of the Caroline class of light cruisers, and is the only survivor of the battle of Jutland still afloat.

HMS Carysfort was a Caroline class light cruisers that spent part of the First World War with the Harwich Force.

HMS Cleopatra was a Caroline class light cruisers that spent the First World War with the Harwich Force, taking part in the attack on the Zeppelin base as Tondern.

HMS Conquest was a Caroline class light cruiser that was badly damaged during the German raid on Lowestoft of 25 April 1916.

HMS Cordelia was a Caroline class light cruiser that spent the First World War with the Grand Fleet, as part of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron from January 1915-1917 and then the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron from 1917 until April 1919.

HMS Comus was a Caroline class light cruisers that spent the First World War with the Grand Fleet, fighting at the battle of Jutland.

23 October

David Beatty was one of the most senior British admirals during the First World War, winning fame as the commander of the battlecruiser squadron from 1913 to 1916, before serving as commander in chief of the Grand Fleet and First Sea Lord.

Sir Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe was a senior British admiral during the First World War, who served with the Grand Fleet, as second sea lord and as commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean.

HMS Royalist was an Arethusa class light cruiser that fought at the battle of Jutland.

HMS Undaunted was an Arethusa class light cruiser, completed in August 1914. She spend almost the entire war with the Harwich Force, joining it as the leader of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla at the end of August 1914.

HMS Phaeton was an Arethusa class light cruiser that saw service with the Grand Fleet, at the Dardanelles and at the battle of Jutland.

22 October

Sir Cecil Burney was a British admiral who served as second in command of the Grand Fleet from 1914-1916, was present at the battle of Jutland, and then served as Second Sea Lord.

Sir William Edmund Goodenough was a British naval officer best known as a commander of cruiser forces during the first half of the First World War.

HMS Inconstant was an Arethusa class light cruiser that took part in the battle Jutland during the First World War.

HMS Galatea was an Arethusa class light cruiser that served at Harwich and with the Grand Fleet, taking part in the battle of Jutland.

HMS Penelope was an Arethusa class light cruiser that was based at Harwich during the First World War.

21 October

The Arethusa class of light cruisers marked a shift in the design of British light cruisers. They were smaller but faster than the various series of Town class cruisers, and were designed to operate with the destroyer flotillas.

HMS Arethusa was the name ship of the Arethusa class of light cruisers, and the only member of the class to be sunk during the First World War.

HMS Aurora was an Arethusa class light cruiser that served with the Harwich Force for most of the First World War.

The Caroline class light cruisers were the first “C” class cruisers, of which twenty four ships in seven classes saw service during the First World War.

The Calliope class light cruisers were the last two cruisers of the 1913 British naval construction programme and were modified versions of the Caroline class cruisers, built with geared turbines.

19 October

HMS Southampton was a Chatham class light cruiser that served as the flagship of Commodore William Goodenough during the three main naval battles of the First World War.

Sir John Kelly was a First World War naval captain who rose to the top of the navy as commander-in-chief of the Home Fleet after the war.

The Birmingham class light cruisers were slightly improved versions of the previous Chatham class, carrying one extra 6in gun on the forecastle, but otherwise virtually identical

HMS Birmingham was the name ship of the Birmingham class of light cruisers, sometimes known as part of the Town class. She took part in all three of the main naval battles of the First World War in the North Sea.

HMS Lowestoft was a Birmingham class light cruiser. She took part in the battles of Heligoland Bight and Dogger Bank, but was being posted to the Mediterranean before Jutland.

HMS Nottingham was a Birmingham class light cruiser sunk by three torpedoes from U-52 in August 1916.

18 October

The Chatham class light cruisers were a distinct improvement over the previous Weymouth class of ships, with a narrow band of armour at the waterline

HMS Chatham was the name ship of the Chatham class of light cruisers. She played a part in the destruction of the German commerce raider Konigsberg in 1914 and was present at Gallipoli

HMS Dublin was a Chatham class light cruiser that took part in the search for the Goeben and the Breslau in 1914, the early stages of the Gallipoli campaign and the battle of Jutland

HMAS Brisbane was a Chatham class light cruiser built at the Cockatoo Dockyard in Sydney. She was the first large ship built at that dockyard, and was laid down in the same month that the yard was purchased by the Commonwealth of Australia

HMAS Sydney was a Chatham class light cruiser built for the new Royal Australian Navy in 1911-13. She is best known for defeating the German raider Emden in a gun battle off the Cocos Islands.

HMAS Melbourne was a Chatham class light cruiser built for the Royal Australian Navy between 1911 and 1913

4 October

Alexander von Kluck was a German general of the First World War most famous for his decision to pass to the east instead of to the west of Paris at the end of August 1914

3 October

Max von Gallwitz was a capable German General of the First World War who held commands on the Eastern Front, during the invasion of Serbia, at Verdun, during the battle of the Somme and finally faced the Americans during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of 1918

2 October

The Caledon class light cruisers were improved Centaur class ships, built during 1915-1917 to operate with the Grand Fleet.

1 October

SMS Hindenburg was the last capital ship to enter German service during the First World War, having been laid down in 1913.

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