Category Archives: Military History

Visualizing US vs IJN Aircraft Carrier Numbers During WW2

I watched an interesting lecture on American History TV this weekend called Japanese Perspective on the Battle of Midway by Anthony Tully. The most interesting part of the discussion occurred when Tully began showing how the US production of aircraft carriers eventually overwhelmed the Japanese ability to build carriers. He used some simple graphs to show the relative carrier strength of the US Navy versus the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) over time. In this post, I will come up with my own graphics to visualize this information. Continue reading

 
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Recoil Calculation Example

I have been reading about the US Air Force's battle to retire the A-10 Warthog (Figure 1). The USAF has never cared for the A-10 and has made a number of attempts to replace it with either the F-16 or the F-35. During my reading, I saw the following statement about the recoil of it 30 mm Gatling gun, and the impact of this recoil on the A-10's speed. Continue reading

 
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Royal Navy Losses in WW2

I have been doing quite a bit of reading lately on WW2 naval actions, and I have been putting together tables that show me ship losses by year. This information gives me a feel for the tempo of battle during the war. I first looked at US naval losses (link) and am now looking at the Royal Navy losses (Figure 1). Continue reading

 
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Some PT Boat Statistics

I was doing some reading about President John F. Kennedy (JFK) and was surprised to learn that he actually commanded three PT boats: PT-101, PT-109, and PT-59. His service on PT-101 was very short. His next command, PT-109, became famous because of its ramming and sinking by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. Continue reading

 
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Demise of the Pearl Harbor Strike Force

I just watched a wonderful BookTV presentation by three authors on the WW2 attack on Pearl Harbor, which occurred 75 years ago today. While I am generally familiar with what happened during that attack, I had not looked at the details of the attack. In particular, this show motivated me to look at the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attack force composition and what happened to these ships over the course of the war. The fate of these ships reflects what happened to the rest of the IJN during the Pacific War. Continue reading

 
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WW2 Casualty Rates By Country

I recently was watching a documentary on WW2 that mentioned that Greece and Yugoslavia suffered some of highest casualty rates during WW2. While I have read much about WW2, I had not looked at the casualty rates as a percentage of each country's population. I did some quick web searching and found that the Wikipedia has an excellent table summarizing WW2 casualties, which I imported into Excel and sorted by casualty rates. These percentages are mind numbing. While Greece and Yugoslavia suffered terribly, other countries suffered even more. Continue reading

 
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Fighter Plane Statistics

So I prowled around the web and found a site that seemed to have some good information on the combat history of active jet fighters, including the F-16. I thought I would use this question as a vehicle for sharpening my Power Query and Excel web scraping skills by making comparison table between the active duty fighter jets. Continue reading

 
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Tank Track Ground Pressure Examples

I have been reading some military history on tank operations during the WW2 and the subject of the ground pressure exerted by the tank's tracks has figured prominently in the discussions on the Eastern Front. The T34/85 was mentioned as a particularly mobile tank because of its low ground pressure. Since I am working diligently on improving my web scraping skills, I decided to generate a short table of the ground pressures of some famous tanks. Continue reading

 
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Book Review: Against The Tide

I have been working my way through a number of management books lately. The best of the lot, Against the Tide, was written by Admiral Dave Oliver about the management principles of Hyman G. Rickover (Figure 1). Years ago, I worked for a retired sub captain named Ernie Fischer. He had a number of interesting stories about serving on a nuclear submarine and about Hyman G. Rickover, the man responsible for creating the modern nuclear navy. Continue reading

 
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Old West Cavalry Distributions of Age and Countries of Origin

When I was a boy, my father often told me stories of his grandfather, Louis Bauer, who was a member of the US Cavalry on the American Frontier. In fact, my father left my brother Tim the watch, spurs, and shaving cup that Louis used when he served in the cavalry. I used to wear the spurs for fun as a kid. Continue reading

 
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