Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Discount codes!

 Remember: Saturday the 5th of June, free presentation and Q&A

It is finally here. Release date for Defeating the Panzer-Stuka Menace. Although it depends on whom you buy it from Amazon says it is today, Pen & Sword say it is tomorrow. If you use the Pen & Sword link to buy your copy, then I can give you a code:


Gets you 25% off the entirety of Pen & Swords catalogue of books, so feel free to splash out (of course I would like it if you got my work).

Thought this would be a good time to talk about how accidentally it all started. Back in 2013 I'd just started writing for here. I was on a trip down to the National Archives at Kew. I was looking for stuff on tank guns to put in game when I pulled a file that started it was for a '23-pounder'. Eventually I realised it meant the Blacker Bombard, of course I was really confused as the file was talking about oil based recoil recuperators. I was about to return the file, when I turned the page and discovered some photographs of test firings with the Bombard, and that's when this book happened. I suddenly realised that instead of the joke weapon it is seen as today the Bombard was actually a deadly weapon. What followed was seven years of work. Covering all corners of the world, Documents arrived from Canada, the US, Germany and Australia from my friends. When they found something relating to the Bombard they'd send it to me. I even paid a few researchers.

As I put it all together I found a very interesting, and miss-represented weapon. Annoyingly no matter how hard I tried I could not get into Indian Documents. The Indian Army seems to have been one of the great users of the Bombard, and absolutely loved it. But political problems have prevented me from doing work on the subject there. Equally, for obvious reasons I was not able to find out the fate of the handful of Bombards sent to Russia.

Just some of the plethora of British Spigot weapons.

At this point I was on a roll, so started looking at other British spigot weapons. I quickly realised most were interlinked with their design feeding off each other. I turned up some amusing stories (like the time a Canadian literally stole a tank, by means that James Bond would approve. He seduced a lady in the Ministry of Supply). But even more interestingly I found what should have been a massive scandal.

Imagine, if you will, a Second World War where there was no serious U-boat threat in the Atlantic past the first half of 1942. Think of the huge numbers of lives, ships and material that could be saved. In the Hedgehog Anti-Submarine projector we had a weapon that would have swept the German U-boats from the sea. We were producing so much ammunition for it the Germans would have thought it was raining bombs. From a German point of view, what would be more terrifying was the nature of the weapon. boats would not know of the weapon, and would just vanish as if a Hedgehog salvo misses, no one in the attacking boat will ever know about it. If it hits, no-one ashore would find out what happened. 


What went wrong? Why did history take the path that it did? Well that was down to one major mistake (and a few minor ones) on behalf of the British, and that should have been the scandal. Yet it was locked in the documents until they were unsealed, and no-one had looked at them until I stumbled upon them.