Battleship Kirishima

IJN Kirishima was a battleship used by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, taking part in some of the most ferocious naval battles of the Pacific Theater. On December 7, 1941, she participated in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as part of the 3rd Battle Division. In early June 1942, she would sustain slight damage during the Battle of Midway. In August and October 1942, she escorted Japanese carriers in the naval battles of Eastern Solomons and Santa Cruz Islands respectively, during the Allied invasion of Guadalcanal. On November 13, during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Kirishima, accompanied by her sister Hiei, attacked and sank three US Navy’s warships; USS Atlanta (cruiser) and USS Barton and Laffey (destroyers). However, two days later, Kirishima would be destroyed and sunk by the American battleship USS Washington off the coast of Guadalcanal as she was about to pound the American positions near the Henderson airfield with her 356mm naval guns, during a failed Japanese attempt to recover the island.


Although she had been launched in 1913 as a Congo-class battlecruiser, she was upgraded into a battleship in 1927, with additional armor and new steam engines. In 1934, Kirishima would be modernized for a second time, with a new superstructure and a new power plant, thus, becoming the fastest battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy, conceived for escorting aircraft carriers and providing fire support to landing Japanese troops. She was powered by 4 geared steam turbines, with 4 screws, supplied by 18 water-tube boilers.


Kirishima was equipped with eight 356mm naval guns, mounted in 4 turrets; fourteen 152mm guns; eight 127mm AA guns; and twenty 25mm AA guns.


Type: fast battleship

Length: 222 m

Beam: 31 m

Draft: 9,7 m

Displacement: 32,000 tons

Maximum speed: 30 knots

Range: 10,000 nautical miles

Avro Shackleton

The Avro Shackleton was a maritime patrol aircraft in service with the Royal Air Force between 1951 and 1990. Developed and built by Avro, the first batch of Shackleton MR.1s were assigned to the British Coastal Command in April 1951. It was first used in combat operations during the Aden Emergency, in the South of the Arabian Peninsula, in the 1960s. In South Africa, it entered service in 1957 and carried out sea lanes patrols around the Cape of Good Hope, being phased out in 1984 as the aircraft fatigue lives had run out.

The Shackleton was a mid-winged aircraft powered by four Rolls-Royce Griffon 57, V12, piston engines, each one delivering 1,960 hp.  For anti-submarine warfare missions, it was fitted with an ASV Mk13 radar, whose radome was moved from the nose to the ventral position in the MR.2 version of the Shackleton. It was also equipped with two sonobuoys. For self-defense, the Shackleton was armed with two 20 mm guns.


Type: maritime patrol aircraft

Wingspan: 120 ft (36.58 m)

Length: 87 ft 4 in (26.61 m)

Height: 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m)

Wing area: 1,421 ft2 (132 m2)

Crew: 10

Maximum speed: 300 mph (480 km/h)

Range: 2,250 miles (3,620 km)

Bombload capacity: 10,000 lb


16-inch Naval Guns

The 16-inch naval guns were heavy artillery pieces mounted on the deck of battleships used during World War II and the Korean War. The US Navy Iowa-class battleships were armed with nine 16″/50 Mark 7 guns, which were mounted in three triple-gun turrets; two on foredeck, and one on aftdeck. These powerful 410mm naval guns fired 2,700 lb (1,225 kg) shells to a maximum range of 24 miles.

The Japanese Nagato-class was equipped with eight 16″/45 (410mm) guns, which were fitted in four double-gun turrets; two fore and two aft. These 19-m-long gun barrels were slightly shorter than the Americans and  had a maximum range of 22 miles.

Despite their destructive power, these 16″ naval guns were rarely used against enemy warships as they were mostly employed to provide fire support to landing troops, softening up the beaches of enemy-held islands, coastal bombardment.


US Navy’s 16-in guns in action in the Pacific (video)

BAC 167 Strikemaster

The BAC 167 Strikemaster was a ground-attack aircraft developed from the Jet Provost in the 1960s by the firm British Aircraft Corporation. In service with the air forces of New Zealand, Kenya, Ecuador, and Oman, it also fulfilled the role of a trainer.

The Strikemaster was a two-seat, low-winged aircraft, powered by one Rolls-Royce Viper Mk 535 turbojet engine, whose air intakes were located on the flanks, beside the fuselage.

The BAC Strikemaster first saw combat action in 1972, flown by the Royal Air Force of Oman, during the Dhofar Rebellion, which was an armed revolt against the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman. In 1995 the Ecuadorian Air Force carried out ground attack missions against Peruvian troops during a border skirmish.


Type: light attack aircraft / trainer

Wingspan: 11.23 m

Length: 10.27 m

Height: 3.34 m

Wing area: 19.85 m2

Maximum speed: 834 km/h

Range: 2,224 km

Weapons: two 7.62mm machine guns

Bombload: 1,364 kg


BAC-167 Strikemaster Aerobatics (Video)

A2D Skyshark

The A2D Skyshark was a carrier-borne attack aircraft tested by the US Navy. Developed from the A-1 Skyraider by Douglas, it never entered mass production as only 12 were built, performing its first test flight in March 1950.

The A2D was a single-seat, single-engine aircraft, fitted with low, straight wings and retractable landing gear. Its wings could be folded for storage. It was the first naval aircraft to be powered by a turboprop engine; an Allison XT-40-A-2, which delivered 5,100 hp. However, the aircraft never entered active service because of engine unreliability.


Type: carrier-borne attack aircraft

Crew: 1

Wingspan: 50 ft (15.24 m)

Length: 41 ft 3 in (12.58 m

Height: 17 ft 1 in (3.68 m)

Wing area: 400 ft2 (37 m2)

Maximum speed: 501 mph (813 km/h)

Range: 2,200 miles (3,520 km)


Emergence of ISIS

The emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, commonly referred to as ISIS, began by mid 2011. It was caused by the power vacuum that was created in the Middle East when the President of the United States, Barrack Houssein Obama, withdrew the American troops from Iraq. The first withdrawal of US troops took place in August 2010, with the last units being pulled out of Iraq in December 2011. This left behind a militarily and politacally weakened Iraqi government. Disatisfied Iraqi Army’s former officers and troops organized themselves in guerrilla groups, which were strengthed by Sunni militant insurgents from Iraq and Syria, and began attacking and taking control of Iraqi cities and towns in the name of Islam, declaring the territory under their control as the Islamic State.

This vacuum power in the Middle East was increased and exacerbated when Muammar Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak were ousted from power by guerrillas armies and mass public demonstrations, armed and supported by the US and European governments, in Libya and Egypt respectively. During the Obama Administration the CIA armed several insurgent groups in the region, not only in Libya but also in Syria, since the US government also envision to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in an effort to try to replace the dynastic dictatorship with a “democratic” government. But, as in the past, the American government politicians showed to be very naive, for little did they know that the people they armed were religiously extremists.

Where does this blind extremism arise from in this complicated region? It comes from the deep fabric of their culture; and since their culture revolves around religion, I would dare to say that this violent extremism derives from Islam’s fundamentals, one of which is “to kill the infidel” (Agnostic, Christian, Jew, Budhist). And what is culture? It is the patterns of feeling, thinking, and behavior, which are passed down from generation to generation through enculturation, leaving indelible traces in the environment. I would also dare to say that the average American politician and European socialist are ignorant or just mentally slow human beings. Or may be they just stopped representing the people that voted for them and started to represent obscure interests.