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Tuesday, April 17th 2018, 9:35pm


The question in his mind was how best to fan the flames.

Send arms, make money, watch the results. :)


The expedition promised high adventure…

Let Bruce tell us of the days of high adventure! :D


Tuesday, April 17th 2018, 10:21pm

Let Bruce tell us of the days of high adventure! :D

*Cue epic score*


Wednesday, April 18th 2018, 12:17am

Let Bruce tell us of the days of high adventure! :D

*Cue epic score*

Did someone say "Cue epic score"?

I thought so.


Wednesday, April 18th 2018, 4:42am

That's a good epic score, too.

I was actually following up Walter's reference to the opening quote and themesong to Conan the Barbarian... ;)


Thursday, April 26th 2018, 7:37pm

Suchsdorf, Kiel, Thursday, 16 September 1948

There were always those who watched the traffic that flowed through the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal – fishermen, school-children, former sailors home from the sea, tourists, and, inevitably, the observers in the service of foreign powers. All of them had a banner day today, as commercial traffic was held while a contingent of the Kriegsmarine made a priority passage from the Baltic to the North Sea. All of them would have seen the stately passage of two aircraft carriers, two cruisers, and a quartet of frigates. Some waved to the passing ships, obtaining a friendly response; some nodded, recalling days when they had sailed off to war; some took holiday snaps; others, having taken their own professional-grade photographs, quietly made their way to a rendezvous to forward intelligence to their masters.

Survey Ship Komet, 33 dgs 43 min North, 123 dgs 48 min East, Friday, 17 September 1948

Fregattenkapitän Lehmann-Willenbrock monitored the regional weather reports and wondered how long his luck might hold. An intense typhoon had struck the coast of eastern Japan a day before, causing many casualties; another, less intense storm, was lashing northern Formosa and the coast of China south of Shanghai. He kept his crew busy with their hydrologic studies but paid more attention to the work of his aerographers; they would give him the first warning should a storm advance on their present position.

Frankfurter Zeitung, Saturday, 18 September 1948

The prototype of the Lippisch Li10 research aircraft made its initial flight today at Rechlin test centre. The first round of tests proved satisfactory, and a Luftwaffe spokesman indicated that the programme would continue over the next several months.


Thursday, April 26th 2018, 11:00pm


others, having taken their own professional-grade photographs, quietly made their way to a rendezvous to forward intelligence to their masters.

Sounds like Blofeld will have something interesting to pass on during one of his next meetings with Burcough. :)


An intense typhoon had struck the coast of eastern Japan a day before, causing many casualties; another, less intense storm, was lashing northern Formosa and the coast of China south of Shanghai.

Hadn't really paid any attention to storms lately for the news so it is not in the Japanese news. Looking at wiki, Typhoon Ione had weakened to a mere category 1 when it hit Japan so about as intense as Typhoon Jackie so to me the 'intense typhoon'-'less intense storm' is incorrect. Also with 'many casualties' I was expecting to see thousands of dead when looking for the Typhoon but the figure was less than 1000. Another thing is that the German article is September 17 while the storm hit on September 16. Japan would not have any casualty figures to give on the 17th regarding the number of people killed (just a 'there were casualties' news report) and I doubt that Komet from its position would have the ability to count how many people were killed by the Typhoon.


Friday, April 27th 2018, 2:13pm


others, having taken their own professional-grade photographs, quietly made their way to a rendezvous to forward intelligence to their masters.

Sounds like Blofeld will have something interesting to pass on during one of his next meetings with Burcough. :)

To be fair, Burcough probably already has the Canal covered.


Friday, April 27th 2018, 2:53pm


others, having taken their own professional-grade photographs, quietly made their way to a rendezvous to forward intelligence to their masters.

Sounds like Blofeld will have something interesting to pass on during one of his next meetings with Burcough. :)

To be fair, Burcough probably already has the Canal covered.

I assume that every European nation has some sort of observer for the traffic through the canal, maybe more than one - it just makes sense.


Friday, April 27th 2018, 3:34pm

But there will be such a difference in quality!

Burcough => 144p recordings
Blofeld => 4k recordings



Saturday, May 5th 2018, 12:59am

Die Welt Am Sonntag, Sunday, 19 September 1948

This year’s Berlin Auto Show saw quite a number of new models of automobiles from domestic and foreign manufacturers. Drawing much interest was the new Meisterklasse from DKW (top left). Ford introduced a new combi variant of its Taunus (top centre), and Hanomag returned to auto manufacture with its Partner (top right).

DKW also saw entry of its Schnellaster light van, competing head to head with the Volkswagen Transporter. Aimed squarely at commercial operators, the Schnellaster’s forward-located engine offers far more usable cargo room compared with the Transporter, with more head-height.

Manama, Bahrain, Monday, 20 September 1948

Stepping out of the aircraft that had carried the party from Basra on the last leg of their journey Professor Jones was struck by the oppressive heat.

“I thought we were arriving in the cool season.”

“We are. It was far more hot and humid a month ago.” Hans Bessig knew that September usually brought on the cool season in the Persian Gulf, but even he felt the discomfort of the current weather. “It will be better once we reach our hotel.”

Alexander Klaws, the Hansa Line representative, was there to greet them, shepherd them through customs, and arranged their transportation to Manama’s new Hotel Imperial – a three-story structure in modernist idiom, that featured modern air conditioning and one of the few bars in Bahrain. Pending the formal opening of their expedition, it would be the team’s home.

Sächsische Zeitung, Tuesday, 21 September 1948

The second prototype of the Junkers Ju322 heavy bomber made its maiden flight today at the Dessau Works. Despite several minor problems encountered, the aircraft exhibited very good handling characteristics. It is due to be ferried to the Rechlin test centre for further tests sometime next week.


Monday, May 21st 2018, 1:54am

Argentinisches Tageblatt (Cordoba), Wednesday, 22 September 1948

The first group of German volunteer rescue workers began their return journey today, having completed their immediate tasks in the wake of the Salta Earthquake. Others remain for the time being, assisting in reconstruction and recovery, and may do so for several more weeks. Their efforts have been lauded by local and national authorities.

Transradio Press Service, Thursday, 23 September 1948

The German sailing ship König von Preußen departed Lisbon today on the first leg of her return journey to her home port of Emden. A replica of one of the ships engaged in the East Indies trade in the 18th Century she has spent the last week open to the public, during which she entertained many visitors.

The Portuguese Fort, Bahrain, Friday, 24 September 1948

“Those mounds seem to go on forever…”

Henry Jones stood on the decayed ramparts of the Portuguese fort that dominated this particular stretch of the Bahrain coastline; in his time he had participated in many an archaeological expedition, but never had he seen so many grave mounds assembled in one place.

“Have you located the city where the people lived?”

Hans Bessig shook his head. “No, we have not; on our last expedition we were able to work out that the gravemounds date to several distinct cultures, or periods. There are suggestions in the literature that the residents of settlements on the mainland buried their dead on the island – and that no one lived here.”

“That’s a silly idea.”

“I agree, but we have yet to find a settlement.”

“I know that you and Hachmann plan to continue your investigations of the mounds themselves, but I would like to start looking for the city where these people lived.”

“And where would begin to search Doctor Jones?”

“Right where we are standing.”


Wednesday, May 30th 2018, 7:06pm

London, The German Embassy, Saturday, 25 September 1948

Schellenburg had been instructed to pay particular attention to the British reaction to the unfolding Grand Alliance naval exercise. Thus far, however, there had been little press notice, save for the pro forma Notice to Mariners the embassy itself had advertised. Obviously this time the British authorities had managed to muzzle the press far more effectively. Even those of his ‘Baker Street Irregulars’ who were in a position to observe maritime matters reported little if any discussion. According to their reports heavy units of the Royal Navy had put to sea, ostensibly as part of regular redeployment. This, Schellenburg knew, was not impossible.

To his personal surprise the British, it seemed, preferred to fritter away their naval resources on what the Admiralty was touting as “Seaward Defence Programme”, constructing escort and patrol craft for service in the distant corners of the Empire. He had submitted several reports on this initiative, none of which had attracted significant interest in Berlin.

Survey Ship Komet, 35 dgs 3 min North, 124 dgs 24 min East, Sunday, 26 September

The Komet had slowly cruised the Yellow Sea, taking core samples of the bottom and conducting a thorough survey of the hydrography of this busy region. Fregattenkapitän Lehmann-Willenbrock had kept a careful watch of the maritime traffic that passed between the Chinese coast and the Chosen Peninsula – both naval and commercial. Now his ship’s supply situation necessitated a port call; he had hoped to avail himself of the port of Tsingtao but requests for a port clearance via the Foreign Ministry had gone unanswered; he would have to leave station for Manila in two days’ time.

The Portuguese Fort, Bahrain, Monday, 27 September 1948

To Jones’ experienced eye the mound upon which the old Portuguese fort stood had all the hallmarks of a classic tel – the pile of earth and stone that hid beneath it the remains of ancient cities, such as Ur, or Nimrud, or Babylon. To confirm his suspicions that indeed a city or cities underlay the ruins of the fort he had laid out a small square sondage two metres square, and put a crew of natives to work carefully excavating the sand within. At first they found little but sterile sand, blown by the constant wind, which covered everything; and then there were sherds of Chinese pottery – but these were not in any way unexpected – the Portuguese occupation had left such broken crockery strewn across the entire mound field. So the careful work of hand excavation continued – each layer cleared, drawn, and then removed to reveal the next.

A cry of discovery among the workmen attracted the archaeologist’s attention.

“Doctor Jones! Doctor Jones!”

“What is it Sallah?”

“The workers have found more pottery – unlike what they have found previously!”

“Well let me take a look before anyone moves something.”

Jones stepped down into the excavation – which was now perhaps a half-metre deep. A small knot of workmen were jabbering around sherds of pottery. Jones’ eye could quickly see that indeed this was different. The fabric of the pottery was definitely not Chinese – indeed, it was not even porcelain, but rather a glazed earthenware.

“This is Islamic ware, Ninth or maybe even Eighth Century!”

This was a very strong indication that a settlement underlay the ruins of the fort. Out among the mound fields the Germans had found barely half-a-dozen sherds of Islamic ware; here he had nearly a dozen pieces, most of which seemed to come from the same vessel.

Once the finds were recorded the workmen carefully lifted the sherds in their own coir basket and Jones took charge of them. Sallah and his fellows went back to work, fortified by a promise from Jones of a twenty rupee reward for discovery of an intact vessel.


Saturday, June 9th 2018, 2:41am

Truppenübungsplatz Döberitz, Tuesday, 28 September 1948

Oberst von Hauser was less than thrilled with the prospect of his regiment becoming a ‘test and demonstration’ unit, rather than the tip of the spear but at least the First Armoured Cavalry Regiment had received nearly it full complement of armoured vehicles, and Berlin had promised that by December all of his Löwe light tanks would be delivered to make his unit operational. But some genius had decided that his unit would be perfect to carry out troop trials for the new Maschinenkarabiner G6, Mauser’s latest offering. The trucks carrying the five hundred new rifles that were to be issued for troop trials had arrived that morning.

He had to admit that the new G6 was intimidating in its looks; whether it would perform well enough was the question. He recalled the fiasco of the Karabiner 37, whose problematic ammunition led to constant troubles. His men would begin familiarisation with their new equipment tomorrow, but von Hauser remained sceptical.

Transradio Press Service, Wednesday, 29 September 1948

The German sailing ship König von Preußen arrived today in the Irish port of Cobh. While not directly connected with the East Indies trade, the Irish city had a long-standing connection with the trans-Atlantic trade in the 18th Century. Irish provisions, chiefly salt beef and salt pork, fed many of the settlers of the English colonies in the Caribbean and North America, and the appearance of the König von Preußen has stirred memories of those days when Cobh was a major centre of commerce.

Hamburger Abendblatt, Thursday, 30 September 1948

The air defence cruiser Heligoland was completed today at the Kiel Dockyard, and will commence her trials tomorrow. Her sister, the Höchstädt, was similarly completed at the Deschimag yard at Cuxhaven.


Wednesday, July 11th 2018, 9:13pm

German News and Events, October 1948

Militär-Wochenblatt, Friday, 1 October 1948

In naval news, no fewer than six major warships were laid down today for the Kriegsmarine, marking another major step forward in Germany’s naval renaissance. In the Deschimag yard at Bremerhaven the escort aircraft carrier Oldenburg and the light cruiser Heidelberg saw their keels laid, while the escort aircraft carrier Mecklenburg was begun in Deschimag’s Cuxhaven facility. The light cruiser Braunschweig was laid down in the Kiel dockyard, while in the Schichau works at Memel construction of the submarines Nagelhai and Eishai was begun.

Berlin, The Admiralstab, Saturday, 2 October 1948

Kapitän zur See Heinrich Gerlach was not standing watch but rather working on his notes for the preliminary assessment of the recently-concluded exercise ‘Pegase’ when he heard a commotion in his outer office. His staff had the day off and he should have had no interruptions. He opened his office door.

“What is the meaning of this?”

The pair of petty officers wheeling a cart-load of boxes were taken aback at being confronted by a full captain on a Saturday morning.

“Forgive us Herr Kapitän. No one told us you were here.”

“Well what is in the cart?”

“We were instructed to bring these records here from the archives in Stendal, at the direction of…” checked the clipboard that lay atop the boxes “a Kapitän Gerlach.”

“I’m Gerlach – let me see that.” He practically snatched the clipboard out of the petty officer’s hands and read the details of the indent. He then smiled. Weeks before he had requested records relating to staff studies done before the Great War by Admiral Eduard von Knorr, commander of the Imperial Navy at the close of the Nineteenth Century. It had taken this long for them to be retrieved from the records centre at Stendal.

“Very good, very good. Put the boxes over against that wall, where they will be out of the way. I will get to them shortly.”

The petty officers did as they were told and soon left. Though desirous of digging through ancient history, Gerlach returned to the present and his notes for Monday’s staff meeting.

The Portuguese Fort, Bahrain, Sunday, 3 October 1948

Jones’s crew of Arab workers had continued their explorations of his sondage in the centre of the old Portuguese fort, and had been rewarded with a small if steady trickle of finds. Interspersed with Ming pottery they had found more shards of Islamic pottery, dating to the Ninth Century, and when at last they reached the one metre level the Ming ware had disappeared and the shards were now mostly of Eighth Century date. The lack of any stratified finds however convinced Jones that they were still digging through spoil that had been dumped there when the fort had been built.

“So, you continue to dig deeper?” Bessig was still sceptical that a tel lay beneath them.

“That’s right Hans. Deeper. People had to live here in order to build all those mounds. The idea that Bahrain was a necropolis is hog-wash.”


Just then a cry went up from the workmen, suggesting that something worth the attention of the archaeologists had been found. Carefully Jones and Bessig made their way into the excavation and to the small knot of workmen, who were gathered around four broken bits of pottery that lay in the dust. Jones picked them up one by one and examined them. “This… this is Attic Ware, Third Century BC.”

He handed the pieces to Bessig who turned them over in his hand. “You are right… definitely Hellenistic… the time of Alexander the Great.”

“Still think I’m crazy?”


Monday, July 16th 2018, 7:26pm

Survey Ship Komet, Manila, The Philippines, Monday, 4 October 1948

The Komet exchanged salutes with the Fortress of Corregidor that guarded the harbour entrance, she subsequently was assigned to an anchorage to await a visit by a representative of the captain of the port. It was a protocol that Fregattenkapitän Lehmann-Willenbrock had followed many times before, in ports around the world. Once he had paid his formal calls ashore he would be able to arrange with the embassy for provisioning and watering of his ship, and, as he expected, an opportunity for the crew to have liberty ashore. He hoped he would have the opportunity to importune the Admiralstab for new orders – for the hydrographic data they had so far collected had offered little to interest the scientific party aboard the Komet.

Transradio Press Service, Tuesday, 5 October 1948

The German sailing ship König von Preußen departed the Irish port of Cobh today following completion of her visit. It is believed that the König von Preußen will sail northward, to round Scotland before entering the North Sea and returning to her home port pf Emden.

Berlin, Abwehr Headquarters, Wednesday, 6 October 1948

Reinhard Gehlen believed in reviewing – even in a cursory manner – any product that left the Abwehr’s hands for other elements of Germany’s intelligence apparatus. He picked up the report filed by agents in the Far East regarding the recent Dutch naval exercise in the Celebes Sea – leafed through it – and marked it to be forwarded to Gerlach in Naval Intelligence. Next he took up the bulging file that contained Schellenburg’s most recent report – filled with much promotional material picked up at the Farnborough Air Show but also with his incisive commentary; it would go to the Luftwaffe.

He then picked up the precis from the East African desk on the activities of the local insurgents there – not only those who had been recipients of German largesse – the Rastafarians – but also the so-called Arbegnoch – a more popular movements of patriots who were not – so far as he was aware – linked to the Rastafarians. The document was filled with anecdotes, surmises, and half-truths – Gehlen was reluctant to release it to the Wilhelmstraße in its present form. He scribbled a note upon the routing slip:

“Ascertain linkage, if any, between insurgent groups in East African State.”