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War/Military
War is a conflict involving the organized use of weapons and physical force by states or other large-scale groups. Warring parties usually hold territory, which they can win or lose; and each has a leading person or organization which can surrender, or collapse, thus ending the war. Until the end of World War II, participants usually issued formal declarations of war. The term is also used in constructs naming other forms of conflict, where the goal is the submission of one part by the other: trade war, psychological war, cold war. The word war is sometimes used rhetorically to refer to a campaign against something, without territory to capture or an authority to defeat; e.g. the war on drugs, the war on terror.
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Colditz Castle
The offical Colditz Castle website

This is a site which is still under construction, but what's there already is very interesting.

Colditz Castle is a castle in the town of Colditz near Leipzig, Dresden, and Chemnitz in the state of Saxony in Germany. It was used as a workhouse for the indigent and a mental institution for over 100 years, it became notorious as Oflag IV-C, a prisoner-of-war camp for "incorrigible" Allied officers who had repeatedly escaped from other camps.

After the outbreak of World War II the castle was converted into a high security prisoner-of-war camp for officers who had become security or escape risks or who were regarded as particularly dangerous. Since the castle is situated on a rocky outcropping above the Mulde river, the Germans believed it to be an ideal site for a high security prison.

The larger outer courtyard, known as the Kommandantur, had only two exits and housed a large German garrison. The prisoners lived in an adjacent courtyard in a 90 foot (27 m) tall building. Outside, the flat terraces which surrounded the prisoners' accommodation were constantly watched by armed sentries and surrounded by barbed wire. Although known as Colditz Castle to the locals, its official German designation was Oflag IV-C and it was under Wehrmacht control.

1939 - The first prisoners arrived in November 1939; they were 140 Polish officers from the September Campaign who were regarded as escape risks. However, later most of them were transferred to other Oflags.

1940 - The "Laufen Six", named after the camp from which they made their first escape, arrived: Harry Elliott, Rupert Barry (later Sir Rupert Barry), Patrick Reid, Dick Howe, Peter Allen, and Kenneth Lockwood. They were soon joined by a handful of British Army officers and later by Belgian officers. By Christmas 1940 there were 60 Polish officers, 12 Belgians, 50 French, and 30 British, a total of no more than 200 with their orderlies.

1941 - February 1941, 200 French officers arrived. A number of the French demanded that French Jewish officers be segregated from them and the camp commander obliged; they were moved to the attics. By the end of July 1941, there were more than 500 officers: over 250 French, 150 Polish, 50 British and Commonwealth, 2 Yugoslavian. On July 24, 1941, 68 Dutch officers arrived, members of the Dutch East Indies Army, who had refused to sign a declaration that they would take no part in the war against Germany. Afterwards a number of would-be-escapees would borrow Dutch greatcoats as their disguise. When the Wehrmacht invaded the Netherlands they were short on material for uniforms, so they confiscated anything available. The coats in Dutch field grey in particular remained unchanged in color, since it was similar to the tone already in use by the Germans, so these greatcoats would be nearly identical with very minor alterations.

1943 - In May 1943, the Wehrmacht High Command decided that Colditz should house only Americans and British, so in June the Dutch were moved out, followed shortly thereafter by the Poles, the Belgians, and the French; with the final French group leaving July 12, 1943. By the end of July there were a few Free French officers, and 228 British officers, with a contingent consisting of Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Irish, and one Indian.

1944 - On August 23, 1944 Colditz received its first Americans: 49-year-old Colonel Florimund Duke — the oldest American paratrooper of the war, Captain Guy Nunn, and Alfred Suarez. They were all counter-intelligence operatives parachuted into Hungary to prevent it joining forces with Germany. Population was approximately 254 at the start of the early winter that year.

1945 - On January 19, 1945 six French Generals — Lieutenant-General Jean Adolphe Louis Robert Flavigny, Major-General Gustave Marie Maurice Mesny, Major-General Louis Léon Marie André Buisson, Major-General Arsène Marie Paul Vauthier, Brigadier-General Albert Joseph Daine, and Brigadier-General René Jacques Mortemart de Boisse — were brought from the camp at Königstein to Colditz Castle.
On February 5 Polish General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, deputy commander of the Armia Krajowa (home army) and responsible for the Warsaw Uprising, arrived with his entourage. In March 1945, 1200 French prisoners were brought to Colditz Castle, with 600 more being imprisoned in the town below.



Added: 07-05-2007 - Updated: 07-05-2007
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HMS Victory
The official HMS Victory website

HMS Victory stands today as the world's oldest commissioned warship. Still manned by Officers and Ratings of the Royal Navy, the Victory has seen over 220 years of almost continuous naval service.

Best known for her role in the Battle of Trafalgar, the Victory currently has a dual role as the flagship of the Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command and as a living museum to the Georgian navy.

Launched in 1765 at Chatham Dockyard, the Victory was commissioned in 1778 and continued in active service for the next 32 years. In 1812 the Victory was retired from frontline duty and anchored in Portsmouth Harbour, on the south coast of England. For the next 110 years the Victory remained at her moorings in Portsmouth Harbour fulfilling a combination of practical and ceremonial roles.

In 1922, amid fears for her continued survival, the Victory was moved into Portsmouth's Royal Naval Dockyard and placed in No 2 Dry Dock. Work then began on restoring the Victory to her 'fighting' 1805 condition.

Open to the public all year round, HMS Victory allows the visitor to explore the world of the Georgian navy, experiencing both the ship herself and the lives of the men who lived within her 'wooden world'.

Added: 12-12-2006 - Updated: -
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Robert Fisk
Articles, speeches, books and interviews

Robert Fisk is Britain’s most highly decorated foreign correspondent. He has received the British International Journalist of the Year award seven times, most recently in 1995 and 1996. His specialty is the Middle East, where he has spent the last twenty-three years. Currently the Beirut correspondent for the London Independent, Fisk has covered the Iranian revolution, the Iran-Iraq war, the Persian Gulf war, and the conflict in Algeria. He is the author of Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War (Atheneum, 1990), and his reporting from Lebanon has brought him international attention. He was the one who broke the story about the Israeli shelling of the U.N. compound in Qana, Lebanon, in 1996.

Fisk visited Madison, Wisconsin, in April 2006 to give two lectures on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. He brought with him film footage of the Qana shelling, as well as footage of an Israeli bombing of a Lebanese ambulance carrying fourteen people. He showed a film he made about Palestinians who had lost their homes when Israel became a state. He also showed interviews with Jews who lost family members in Nazi concentration camps, and he went to Auschwitz to show where the Holocaust took place. In one of his lectures, he made a special point of taking on those who deny the truth of the Holocaust.


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Martin thinks this is a useful and interesting site. What do YOU think? Let us have your comments here on the usefulness of the site, and any alternatives which we should be adding to the Unscrambled Web.
Comment by David Harcourt
Date: 28-07-2006


Added: 22-07-2006 - Updated: -
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Royal Australian Navy
The official website of the Royal Australian Navy

From settlement in 1788 to 1859, Australia depended on units detached from the Royal Navy based in Sydney to provide Naval defence. In 1859, Australia was established as a separate British Naval Station and until 1913, a squadron of the Royal Navy was maintained in Australian waters. This Australian unit was to be paid for and controlled by the Australian Commonwealth and was to be eventually manned by Australian personnel.

At an Imperial Conference held in 1909, it was decided to deploy to Australian waters a naval unit consisting of at least a battle cruiser, three second class cruisers, six destroyers, three submarines and a number of auxiliaries. Detailed discussions were held on 19 August 1909 between representatives of the British Admiralty and the Australian Government that resulted in a decision to proceed with the establishment of an Australian Fleet Unit. The first units of this Navy, the destroyers, HMA Ships Yarra and Parramatta, reached Australian waters in November 1910 and in the following year on 10 July 1911, His Majesty King George V granted the title of 'Royal Australian Navy' to the Commonwealth Naval Forces.

In June 1912, a third destroyer, HMAS Warrego was commissioned at Sydney and in 1913 the battle cruiser, HMAS Australia and the light cruisers, HMA Ships Melbourne and Sydney arrived in Australian waters. On the 4 October 1913, the Australian Fleet entered Sydney harbour for the first time and in October of the same year formal control of these units passed to the Commonwealth Naval Board. Thus, direct Imperial control came to a conclusion. During the same period the Royal Australian Naval College for the training of officers was opened at Geelong, Victoria. This facility was subsequently moved to Jervis Bay in 1915.

At the outbreak of hostilities in 1914, the Australian Fleet comprised a battle cruiser, six light cruisers, six destroyers, two submarines and numerous support and ancillary craft. The ships and men of the RAN operated as an integral part of the Royal Navy and served in all operational areas. The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force carried in HMAS Berrima and supported by units of the Australian Fleet captured German New Guinea colonies in Australia's only national joint warfare operation to date. The total number serving in the Permanent Naval Forces at the outbreak of hostilities was 3800 all ranks. At the close of hostilities, 5263 personnel were serving. The Reserves provided a further 76 officers and 2380 for home service, and 51 officers and 1775 ratings (sailors) for service overseas.

The Royal Australian Navy's first task was to protect Australia's ports, shipping and trade routes. As part of securing Australia's maritime frontiers the RAN took part in the first amphibious assault of the war when it played a major role in the capture of the German colonies in the Pacific. After this operation the ships of the RAN began the vital role of convoy escort. It was whilst escorting a convoy that the light cruiser HMAS SYDNEY was detached to investigate the sighting of a strange warship. This ship turned out to be the German light cruiser EMDEN. In the ensuing battle SYDNEY destroyed the EMDEN and thus won the RAN's first battle.

The RAN also played a supporting role in the Gallipoli campaign. HMAS AE2 became the first allied warship to penetrate the Dardanelles, but was eventually sunk by the Turkish navy in the Sea of Mamora. On the peninsular the RAN Bridging Train provided vital service to the troops as well as being the last Australians to leave Gallipoli.

The submarines AE1 and AE2 were the only losses suffered by the RAN during this conflict. The first named was lost with all hands off New Britain on the 14 September 1914, and AE2 was scuttled by her crew in the Sea of Marmora on the 30 April 1915, after she had forced a passage through the dangerous waters of the Dardanelles in support of the Gallipoli campaign.

With the cessation of hostilities and the signing of the Armistice in 1918, a world-wide period of naval retrenchment began, while subsequent disarmament conferences, culminating in the Washington Treaty of 1922 brought drastic changes to naval planning. Under the terms of the treaty, the battle cruiser AUSTRALIA was scuttled off Sydney Heads in 1924. However, additions to the battle order of the early post-war RAN included six submarines, five destroyers, an additional destroyer and a number of sloops. All these vessels were acquired from the Royal Navy.

In 1924 it was decided to purchase two 10 000 ton cruisers, two additional submarines and a further decision was made to build a seaplane carrier at Cockatoo Dockyard, Sydney. HMAS MORESBY was acquired on loan from the Royal Navy in 1925 for surveying duties. The two cruisers commissioned as HMA Ships AUSTRALIA and CANBERRA in 1928, and in the following year the submarines OXLEY and OTWAY reached Australian waters. The seaplane carrier commissioned as HMAS ALBATROSS at Sydney in 1929.

In the early thirties, lack of funds forced many economies in naval activity, one being the transfer of the Naval College from Jervis Bay to Flinders Naval Depot in Victoria. Strength of the RAN fell to 3117 personnel plus 131 members of the Naval Auxiliary Services. In 1932 the strength of the Reserves stood at 5446. At about this time, the submarines OXLEY and OTWAY reverted to the Royal Navy.

In 1933, the RAN added 5 additional destroyers to the Fleet to replace the ageing vessels that were at that time due for scrapping. These vessels(which later became famous during World War II as the 'Scrap Iron Flotilla') were not new, like their predecessors they were built during World War 1. In the remaining years of peace, three light cruisers were added to the Fleet, ALBATROSS was transferred to the Royal Navy and two additional sloops were constructed in Sydney.

During the inter-war years the fortunes of the RAN fluctuated and reflected the general economic and social trends. The monotony of peace-time exercises was only broken by a punitive expedition to the Solomon Islands in 1927

In 1939 the men of the RAN once again answered their nation's call. The role of the RAN during the Second World War was much as it was in the First, securing Australia's sea lines of communication and assisting Allied naval forces.

At the onset of war in 1939, the RAN numbered two heavy cruisers, four light cruisers, five destroyers, three sloops and a variety of support and ancillary craft. During the 27 months that ensued from the declaration of war against Germany and the Japanese attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour, units of the RAN were engaged in operations against the enemy as far afield as the North, West and South Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Red Sea.

The RAN distinguished itself in the Mediterranean through the exploits of the Scrap Iron Flotilla and the cruisers, most notably by HMAS SYDNEY with her destruction of the Italian cruiser BARTOLOMEO COLLEONI. Unfortunately, SYDNEY was later to be lost with all hands.

A new dimension was added when war broke out in the Pacific in December 1941 with the Japanese attacking Pearl harbour. Australia, herself come under threat of direct attack and the ships of the RAN formed Australia's first line of defence. With Allied navies the RAN took part in the battles of Java Sea, Sunda Strait, Coral Sea, Savo Island and Lingayen Gulf. The road to Tokyo was to cost the RAN dearly with the heaviest losses resulting from the sinking of the cruisers PERTH and CANBERRA.

The total number of personnel serving in the Permanent Forces at the outbreak of war was 5010. By July 1945, the heavy demands of war had increased this number to nearly 37000 all ranks. Ship losses and personnel casualties suffered by the RAN during the conflict were substantial. The heavy cruiser CANBERRA, the light cruisers SYDNEY(sunk with the loss of all hands) and PERTH the destroyers NESTOR, VAMPIRE, VOYAGER and WATERHEN, the sloops PARRAMATTA and YARRA and nearly thirty other RAN vessels of all types were lost as a result of wartime service. Nearly 2170 members of the RAN lost their lives during World War II.

The Royal Australian Navy paid a high price indeed, in terms of sacrifice, in the quest for victory and a lasting peace.

Since the end of the Second World War, units of the RAN have served in operations in the Korean Theatre, the Malayan Emergency and Indonesian Confrontation as part of the Far East Strategic Reserve, the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, on-going operations in the Middle East and the 2003 Iraq War. The Royal Australian Navy has also played an active role in supporting United Nations and other peacekeeping/peace making operations throughout the world including Somalia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bougainville, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands. More recently the RAN has been involved in disaster relief operations throughout the region.


Added: 12-12-2006 - Updated: -
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Royal Navy UK
The official website of the Royal Navy

An amazing site, which includes a detailed history of the Royal Navy (covering historical periods, naval leaders, ships, and battles) and each of the arms of the modern Navy:

* The surface fleet

* The Fleet Air Arm

* The Submarine Service

* and the Royal Marines

From the site:

The traditional image of the Royal Navy may be of a warship at sea but there is a lot more to it than that. It is fully equipped to fight in the air and on land as well as the ocean. This versatility is thanks to the four ‘fighting arms’, which together make the Royal Navy team.

In the air
Helicopters, jets and other aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm add to the Royal Navy’s effectiveness in combat. However, combat is not the only role they play – anti-smuggling and anti-terrorism missions; transporting troops and equipment; reconnaissance; medical evacuations and humanitarian relief are all within the Fleet Air Arm’s cabability.

On land
The Royal Marines are the amphibious Commandos of the Royal Navy. Commando units can, and often do, deploy anywhere in the world at short notice. They are equipped with a wide variety of specialised weapons and equipment to operate in any environment – from mountains, desert and jungle to the Arctic.

The ocean’s surface
The warships of the Royal Navy make up the Surface Fleet. Aircraft carriers provide a platform for Royal Navy helicopters and fixed-wing fighter aircraft. Destroyers and frigates provide the backbone of the fleet. Destroyers are best equipped to defend against air attack; frigates to fight other ships and submarines, though both can operate in all three roles. There are many other types of ships in the Fleet, from mine countermeasures and offshore patrol vessels to survey ships.

Beneath the waves
Submarines, which can travel the world’s oceans unseen and unheard, can be used to attack ships and other submarines. With their sophisticated weaponry, they can also strike targets on land up to 1,000 miles away, with pinpoint accuracy. Their stealth abilities make them ideal for surveillance – able to monitor surface ships closely, while remaining undetected.



Added: 12-12-2006 - Updated: 15-12-2006
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The New Zealand Defence Force
The official website of the New Zealand Defence Forces

This site deals with all medals and awards to New Zealand servicemen and women.

Added: 08-12-2006 - Updated: 12-12-2006
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Uboat.net
A website entirely devoted to the U-boat!

Welcome to uboat.net, glad you could drop in :> You may wonder what this project is and why it is here and in the next few lines I will try to explain all that and more.

This project began quite some time ago when I started research for a historically accurate fiction that was to take place in the Second World War and focus heavily on the German U-boat arm. The book will likely never be written but I had this folder full of all kinds of information in formats that I've not seen elsewhere in publications. So I decided to put this on the Web, largely to fill a void that existed in U-boat coverage in that medium.

Now as I write this, uboat.net has brought out a small but fantastic crew of writers and contributors. Without these folks this site would be far, far from where it is now. With their help I plan to make these pages the very best there are.

My objective with this project is to make it a top quality reference about the U-boat arm with maximum accuracy and a very wide scope. In order to achieve that goal uboat.net must depend on YOU in many ways; error reporting, ideas, information and so on. If we all chip in together this will be a web page to make us all proud within months!

- Gudmundur Helgason, owner and maintainer of uboat.net.


Added: 14-05-2007 - Updated: -
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