Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Yours in white wine sauce Blog competition

German steam powered land-ironclad squad – Chapter Five
The main construction is completed and active field testing has begun, the Holt caterpillar mechanisms have proved to be very reliable and easy to maintain, achieving speeds of nearly four miles and hour. The walker engine and steam hydraulics are proving difficult to operate, however tests have been carried out and the progress has been positive.

Naval and Army engineers have begun to ‘customise’ individual elements of the equipment and guns, which has led to a number of mishaps as teams swap between vehicles. The obvious answer is to allocate individual vehicles to one or the other of the main arms, however senior commanders cannot agree and as such these little problems look like they will continue.

Following a mishap late last week, where one of the assault tanks, was miss-identified it has been decided that each of the four steam vehicles, the two Assault Tanks, the one Command Tank and the Assault Walker will be painted in very distinctive heraldry, and following this decision the individual vehicle commanders have also been agreed on as well as a simple allocation of overall command responsibility. One of the Assault Tanks and the Command Tank have been allocated to the Army Engineers Corps, while the second Assault Tank has been allocated to the Armed Naval Development Division. The Steam Walker has by necessity been allocated to the new and experimental ‘Q’ Division. In an attempt to integrate, the remaining crews will be a mix of Naval and Army personnel and each vehicle will display army numbers and identification as well as Naval ensigns!

The Fenian Airship (Toucan) – Chapter Five
Although construction is completed, there has been nothing but niggling issues with the whole project, tempers have flared and arguments have been seen to erupt in to fights and sulks. A noted independent American observer commented that The Fennian Irish are perhaps not best suited to such engineering feats! The same observer has now been admitted to a high security hospital while his injuries are treated.

Flight tests have once again been delayed and it is noted by those in the know that although the envelope has successfully been inflated and flown in tethered flight, the gondola, engines and equipment has not yet become airborne.

Development is painfully slow - there is even talk that the 80 day deadline may no longer be feasible! For the honour of the Fenian’s and Ireland we all hope that the Toucan can be operational in time.

A side effect of these recent setbacks is that candidates for the position of airship commander are disappearing fast. Nobody wants the responsibility of commanding a new and un-proven airship while the pressure and expectation of success is so palpable. It will be a brave man or a fool who volunteers for such a position. Test crews were initially recruited from amongst volunteers, however as the technical difficulties of this new form or warfare grow, the selection process that was initially envisaged has had to be modified, in fact there are now mercenary elements that have been recruited to fill key roles. Of special interest is the revised plan for crewing this Aeronef. The initial plan was to have two separate crews each training alongside one another and competing for the honour of becoming the ‘A Crew' and a dedicated ground team with engineering support. There now seams to be a core crew (with some dubious mercenary elements) and a very small back up team!

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