This is a fortuitous moment to take action on an idea proposed by Fern, as the comments are beginning to stack up in the previous post and I am going to be doing “family time” again and will be drawn away from posting and reading. Also, we have an intro coming up from hoct which will lead into publication here on a new page of scholarly articles, this post to deal with researched data on Soviet losses during the war. All things I am looking forward to but have little free time to implement.
So, the photo caption contest. Everyone knows how that works. It’s named after Fern – whose surname I do not know, hence the “Fern of England” thing – because it was her idea, and Fern will therefore be the judge as well. This unfortunately means she cannot be a contestant herself: hey, I don’t make the rules. Oh, wait – I do. Anyway, since she is the only judge and decision-maker, it stands to reason she cannot be a contestant. Feel free to carry on the discussion from the last post, but please open with your own entry to the photo-caption contest; after that, each can talk about whatever he/she likes as we are accustomed to do. But everyone’s first comment must include a suggested photo caption. On….let’s say Tuesday, Fern will render her verdict. Once the winner is announced, I will send them a prize of a brand-new, never-worn, one-size-fits-all baseball cap bearing the logo of MEGGITT Training Systems Canada, a subsidiary of a huge European defense conglomerate called EADS (European Aeronautics Defense and Space), which has since changed its name to Airbus. That might have something to do with a fairly-recent financial scandal that inspired a company-wide shakeup; might not. Whatever the case there, MEGGIT Training Systems Canada is small fry in the big pond and could have had nothing to do with Euro-gangsterism. MEGGITT makes remote-controlled targets for the Royal Canadian Navy, chiefly the Hammerhead surface target and the Vindicator air target, as well as the jet-powered air DT series. I was there for that last photo; it features my then-Commanding Officer, Commander Hayden Edmundson (HMCS REGINA) and Meggitt Training Systems Canada’s then-president, Spence Fraser, a former naval officer himself. He recently departed following a nasty head-butting contest with head office, and although he was indeed a stubborn guy, he was a visionary and dynamic leader whose advocacy for the company the parent firm were fools to let go. Behind them are a DT-25 Carrier, with the smaller DT-55 slung on the belly. This provides a very realistic scenario in which the DT-25 acts as a closing aircraft, which then looses off an air-to-surface missile (the DT-55) at you. Speeds are comparable with actual profiles (450 knots for the DT-55 or 517.8 mph, and it’s tiny, only 1.6 m long) , factoring in the size of the target compared with its real counterpart. I know, because I shot at this very target combination after the photo was taken. All this information is straight off the net, no classified sources.
The ball cap itself – which is plain black with the MEGGITT logo – has history as well. I originally obtained it from MEGGITT’s RCN Special Projects Officer, John Leblanc, as a gift for Yalensis, who had won some point of discussion much earlier here on the blog. His chronic nervousness regarding personal security meant he declined to provide a mailing address (he’s a very private person, which is entirely his own affair), and it has since then been cluttering up my closet, awaiting a proud owner.
There: doesn’t that make you want it? Same rules as for the coffee mugs: if you win and prefer to donate it to someone else, you can do so. Obviously you can only win once, because I don’t have any more of them.