Back to the Drawing Board


The YB-40 Gunship

When the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force arrived in Britain in mid-1942, it was confident that unescorted formations of B-17 Flying Fortresses could make precision daylight bombing raids without suffering serious losses.


The Novgorod: ‘Circular Ironclad’

The Novgorod’s design originated in 1868, when the Scottish shipbuilder John Elder proposed widening the beam of a warship to reduce the area to be protected. This would allow it to carry thicker armour and heavier guns than a conventional ship, and to have a shallower draught.


Back to the Drawing Board: The Defiant

Daffy, the forgotten fighter Ask most people to name an RAF fighter from the Battle of Britain and they will answer ‘Spitfire’ or ‘Hurricane’. However, during the summer of 1940, two squadrons of Boulton Paul Defiants operated alongside them, achieving considerable success against German bombers. So why has the ‘Daffy’ – as it was known […]


BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD – Calamity with a ‘K’

It was a bold tactical concept. With war looming in 1913, the Royal Navy requested a submarine with sufficient surface speed to operate alongside the fleet in combined actions. Conventional submarines were powered by a diesel motor on the surface, which also charged the batteries for use while submerged. In order to achieve the required […]


Back to the Drawing Board – ‘Beaverette’ armoured car

Newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook was appointed Minister of Aircraft Production by Churchill in May 1940. At the time, German forces were advancing rapidly through France towards the Channel coast, and the invasion of England was a clear and present danger. Beaverbrook decided that Home Guard personnel would need armoured cars to protect aircraft factories, and commissioned the Standard Motor Company of Coventry to […]

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