Hell on Earth – Color Photos of the Battle of Passchendaele

From the Daily Mail:

They are the most remarkable pictures of one of the most hellish places on earth.

Never seen before, these astonishing photographs, lovingly hand-touched in colour to bring to life the nightmare of Passchendaele, were released this week to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle that, between July and November 1917, claimed a staggering 2,121 lives a day and in total some quarter of a million Allied soldiers.

(Thanks PVC)

Modern Military Ruins of San Francisco

From Flickr:

In 1990, the San Francisco Bay Area was home to several large U.S. military facilities.

By 2000, they were all gone.

These are scenes from the Bay Area’s recently-abandoned, Cold War-era bases: Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard (San Francisco), Treasure Island Naval Station (San Francisco), Alameda Naval Air Station (Alameda), the SF-88 Nike Missile Site (Marin Headlands), Hamilton Field Air Force Base (Novato), Mare Island Naval Shipyard (Vallejo), Naval Security Group Activity base (Skaggs Island), and portions of Moffett Field Federal Airfield (Mountain View).

Largest Submarine Launched by Royal Navy

From ThisIsLondon:

Her nuclear-powered engine will propel her through the water at more than 20 knots, yet the UK’s first stealth sub makes less noise than a baby dolphin, making her as good as undetectable by enemy ships.

Astute’s sonar is so advanced that if she was lying in the English Channel she would be able to detect ships leaving New York harbour 3,000 nautical miles away (although the details of how she can do this are classified).

The nuclear reactor will never need refuelling, and with an ability to make oxygen and drinking water out of sea water, the sub could stay underwater for its entire 25-year lifespan were it not for the needs of the crew.

Once she goes into operation in 2009, Astute will carry a 98-man crew and stay at sea for 12 weeks on a routine patrol.

She will carry 38 Tomahawk cruise missiles, with a range of 1,240 miles, meaning Astute could attack targets in North Africa with pinpoint accuracy while sitting off the coast of Plymouth.

Fort Lewis to Consolidate Memorials for Dead

From The Olympian:

Fort Lewis, which this month has suffered its worst losses of the war, will no longer conduct individual memorial ceremonies for soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Instead, the post will hold one ceremony for all soldiers killed each month, the Fort Lewis acting commanding general, Brig. Gen. William Troy, wrote in a memo to commanders and staff last week.

As much as we would like to think otherwise, I am afraid that with the number of soldiers we now have in harm’s way, our losses will preclude us from continuing to do individual memorial ceremonies, Troy wrote in the memo, according to a copy obtained by United for Peace Pierce County and posted on the group’s Web site. A post spokesman confirmed the policy change Tuesday. It will start in June.

There are 10,000 Fort Lewis troops in Iraq, more than at any other time since the March 2003 invasion. The post has reported 16 soldiers killed there so far in May, by far the most in any month of the war. The previous worst month was December 2004, when nine soldiers were killed, including six in the Mosul chow hall bombing. In all overseas deployments since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, 124 Fort Lewis soldiers have died.

(Thanks PVC)

Strange Tanks

“Lebedenko Tank”, or Tzar tank (after tsar Nikolaj, who helped finance it) was also called “Netopyr” – vampire bat. Its history starts in 1914 with the engineer N. Lebedenko, who came up with the idea of a 40-ton battle machine, running on one small and two very large spoked wheels, almost 9 meter in diameter. The designers hoped that this configuration would make it possible for the vehicle to cross practically all obstacles. However on the initial trial run the small wheel got stuck in a ditch, and the weak engines did not help either.