intense bombardment

November 20, 1917 - Battle of Cambrai Begins as 400 British Tanks Charge the German Lines

Pictured - Over 370 British tanks smashed through the German lines at Cambrai on November 20, 1917. It was history’s first “tank battle,” and for the new weapon of war, a qualified success, but British failed to exploit their sudden break-through.

War, nothing but war.” So said France’s new Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau after hearing of the Bolsheviks request for an immediate armistice between the Allies and the Central Powers. But Britain, not France, had come to be the major player in that struggle. Recuperating from the Passchendaele offensive, and now at the helm of major efforts in Palestine, Greece, and Italy, British forces on the Western Front began another major operation on November 20, 1917.

A quarter of a million British soldiers were gathered along a six-mile front facing the city of Cambrai, held by a quarter of a million Germans. General Julian Byng held command, and with his men he had been given a thousand artillery pieces and three hundred planes grouped into fourteen squadrons.

But the real role was to be played by the tanks. Over 400 of them had been assembled at Cambrai, ready to be used en masse for the first time in history. The idea had been proposed by a junior military officer named J.C. Fuller, who argued that a large tank attack like this would stun the Germans. The tank had been used before, at the Somme and then at Ypres, but only in small numbers, and technical problems had so far given many British officers reasons to doubt their use. Cambrai was to change that.

A British Mark IV tank makes its way to the starting point. This is a “male” tank, because it has a cannon. “Female” tanks had only machine-guns.

At 6:10 AM, the British guns opened up in a short but intense preliminary bombardment. The tanks massed, keeping their engines in low gear to mask the noise. As the barrage crept forward, so did the tanks, an enormous, continuous metal line on the battlefield. The infantry followed behind them.

German soldiers had faced tanks before and given a good account. The British weapon was scary, but it was slow and bulky, and could be knocked out by a well-placed artillery shell, mine, or even in a bullet shot from a powerful enough gun. But they had never faced this. Hundreds of British tanks emerged and rolled through the barbed wire, as German bullets bounced harmlessly off.

“Tank panic” spread throughout the German lines. Tank commander Captain D.G. Browne gleefully watched as “the triple belts of wire were crossed as if they had been beds of nettles, and 350 pathways were sheared through them for our infantry. The defenders of the front trench, scrambling out of dug-outs and shelters to meet the crash and flame of the barrage, saw the leading tanks almost upon them.” The tanks were an invaluable shock weapon, “grotesque and terrifying.” The British, Irish, and Newfoundland troops advancing in their wake mopped up German hold-outs. By the end of the day, they had advanced five miles.

But it was not all good luck for the British. Most distressingly, a tank crushed a bridge over a canal, which held up the cavalry division meant to exploit a break-through. Haig, as always, had readied the horsemen to sweep through a hole in the German lines, riding on and finally creating a decisive victory. Now, because of bad luck, they could not. Browne cursed them in his memoir. One squadron of Canadian cavalry, the Fort Garry Horse, did make it to the battlefield and charged a German machine-gun battery with sabres drawn. In a short fight they cut up fifty Germans until they were blocked by a sunken road. The Canadians dismounted and fought with both rifles and swords back to Masnières, where the infantry had advanced. They made it the closest to Cambrai of any British soldier that day.

And not all the Germans ran. Royal Flying Corps recce flights failed to spot German artillery batteries in the hamlet of Flesquières, half-way between the starting-point and Cambrai. The German gunners boldly stayed at their post and wreaked havoc on the British landships. One junior officer destroyed seven tanks before falling to a British bullet; he was the only German to be personally mentioned in British military despatches during the war.

this isnt for writing or poetry but a genuine thought of some things jae for some reason reminds me of. 

Originally posted by baejoohyun

jae reminds me of early mornings. not the type that you wake up to- but when you stay up all night and you just realize it is five in the morning and the sky is barely changing colors and the birds are chirping and you know you’re about to stay up all night. peaceful and quiet- nothing intrusive but just the settling day to come. 

jae reminds me of acoustics. pleasant but soulful- hushed enough to play but never unsettling in it’s entirety. soft and romantic, and can lull you to sleep. 

jae reminds me of sweaters. warm and soft, usually with cute and festive prints to keep you excited, something to represent fun and formality as well as comfort. 

jae reminds me of a funny television show playing in the background. it’s not intense, it isn’t bombarding but funny and silly but at your pace, and you can tune in and out when you want to. 

jae reminds me of the color baby blue. light-hearted and soft but kind and meaningful. 

i dont know why or if it is because i am in a writing lull, but these are just somethings he reminds me of. 

Originally posted by kstunning

Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest sun-like star

A new study by an international team of astronomers reveals that four Earth-sized planets orbit the nearest sun-like star, tau Ceti, which is about 12 light years away and visible to the naked eye. These planets have masses as low as 1.7 Earth mass, making them among the smallest planets ever detected around nearby sun-like stars. Two of them are super-Earths located in the habitable zone of the star, meaning they could support liquid surface water.

The planets were detected by observing the wobbles in the movement of tau Ceti. This required techniques sensitive enough to detect variations in the movement of the star as small as 30 centimeters per second.

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Shadows of history in Malta’s war tunnels

In a vast network of tunnels carved into the rocks under Valletta, the capital of Malta, faded maps of the Mediterranean hint at the place’s role in directing key battles in World War II.

Malta is now restoring the 28,000 square meters (300,000 square feet) of tunnels, planning to open a huge section to the public.

The compound, hidden under the picturesque port city perched on cliffs above the sea, was built by the British and served as the staging ground for major naval operations. The British military withdrew from the island in 1979 and the compound was abandoned for almost 40 years.

German and Italian forces bombarded Malta intensively between 1940 and 1942 as part of their attempt to gain control of the Mediterranean, but did not manage to force the British out. During the Cold War, the tunnels were involved in tracking Soviet submarines.

Over the years, water and humidity have let rust and mold spread. Some rooms have been vandalized, but traces of the military apparatus that once occupied the complex still remain. Military cot beds, tangled cables and dust-covered rotary phones litter the rooms.

The Malta Heritage Trust, a nongovernmental preservation group, began the multi-million-dollar restoration of the site in 2009. (Reuters)

See more photos of Malta’s war tunnels and our other slideshows on Yahoo News.

Ancient meteorite impact sparked long-lived volcanic eruptions on Earth


Meteorite impacts can produce more than craters on the Earth - they can also spark volcanic activity that shapes its surface and climate by bringing up material from depth. That is the headline finding of an international team, led by geochemists from Trinity College Dublin, who discovered that large impacts can be followed by intense, long-lived, and explosive volcanic eruptions.

The team studied rocks filling one of the largest preserved impact structures on the planet, located in Sudbury (Ontario, Canada). The ‘bolide’ hit the Earth here 1.85 billion years ago and excavated a deep basin, which was filled with melted target rocks and, later, with jumbled mixed rocks full of tiny volcanic fragments.

Not only are there volcanic fragments throughout the sequence of the 1.5 km-thick basin but they have a very distinctive angular shape, which the scientists explain resembles a 'crab claw’. Such shapes form when gas bubbles expand in molten rock that then catastrophically explodes – a feature of violent eruptions involving water, and which can be seen under glaciers in Iceland, for example. In the crater, these took place for a long period of time after the impact, when the basin was flooded with sea water.

The key finding of the research, just published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, is that the composition of the volcanic fragments changed with time. Right after the impact, volcanism is directly related to melting of the Earth’s crust. However, with time, volcanism seems to have been fed by magma coming from deeper levels within the Earth.

Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at Trinity, Balz Kamber, said: “This is an important finding, because it means that the magma sourcing the volcanoes was changing with time. The reason for the excitement is that the effect of large impacts on the early Earth could be more serious than previously considered.”

On the early Earth there was a relatively brief period during which ca. 150 very large impacts occurred, whereas since then, only a handful have hit the Earth.

Professor Kamber added: “The intense bombardment of the early Earth had destructive effects on the planet’s surface but it may also have brought up material from the planet’s interior, which shaped the overall structure of the planet.”

The findings raise interest in topical research on similar volcanism on other planetary bodies like Mercury, Venus, Mars and the Moon. There, unlike on the Earth, the lack of plate tectonics and erosion help preserve surface features, which are probed by space craft.

The insight from Sudbury is complemental, the geologists say, because you can directly observe the rocks with your own eyes and collect loads of samples for detailed study in the lab.

Shadows of history in Malta’s war tunnels

In a vast network of tunnels carved into the rocks under Valletta, the capital of Malta, faded maps of the Mediterranean hint at the place’s role in directing key battles in World War II.

Malta is now restoring the 28,000 square meters (300,000 square feet) of tunnels, planning to open a huge section to the public.

The compound, hidden under the picturesque port city perched on cliffs above the sea, was built by the British and served as the staging ground for major naval operations. The British military withdrew from the island in 1979 and the compound was abandoned for almost 40 years.

German and Italian forces bombarded Malta intensively between 1940 and 1942 as part of their attempt to gain control of the Mediterranean, but did not manage to force the British out. During the Cold War, the tunnels were involved in tracking Soviet submarines.

Over the years, water and humidity have let rust and mold spread. Some rooms have been vandalized, but traces of the military apparatus that once occupied the complex still remain. Military cot beds, tangled cables and dust-covered rotary phones litter the rooms.

The Malta Heritage Trust, a nongovernmental preservation group, began the multi-million-dollar restoration of the site in 2009. (Reuters)

See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.

A rotary dial telephone set and clock are seen in the NATO tunnels dating back to the Cold War in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 28, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Details on a door leading to the map room at the Combined Operations Centre, dating back to World War II, are seen in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, Jan. 23, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

A bathroom sink is seen in the War Headquarters tunnels, parts of which date back to World War II, beneath Valletta, Malta, Jan. 26, 2009. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

The NATO tunnels, dating back to the Cold War, are seen in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 28, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

A rust-covered electric socket is seen at the NATO tunnels dating back to the Cold War in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 28, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

A staircase leads upwards at the NATO tunnels, dating back to the Cold War, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 28, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

A detail of a map of the Mediterranean is seen in the map room at the Combined Operations Centre, dating back to World War II, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, Jan. 23, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

An electricity fuse board is seen in the NATO tunnels dating back to the Cold War, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 28, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Labelled map fragments are seen in the map room at the Combined Operations Centre, dating back to World War II, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 24, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Bed cots are seen in a corridor at the Combined Operations Centre, dating back to World War II, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, Jan. 26, 2009. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

A reel of cine film is seen in the NATO tunnels dating back to the Cold War in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 28, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

A lantern is seen in the NATO tunnels, dating back to World War II, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 28, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Bed cots are seen in a restored area of the Combined Operations Centre, dating back to World War II, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, Jan. 24, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

A detail on a map is seen in the map room at the Combined Operations Centre, dating back to World War II, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 24, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Pigeon feathers lie on broken pieces of a wall map in the Briefing Room at the Combined Operations Centre, dating back to World War II, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 24, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Part of a map showing the central Mediterranean is seen in the map room at the Combined Operations Centre, dating back to World War II, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 24, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Electricity conduits and cables are plied onto a chair in the Filter Room at the Combined Operations Centre, dating back to World War II, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, Jan. 24, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Graffiti left by vandals covers the walls in the Briefing Room at the Combined Operations Centre, dating back to World War II, in the War Headquarters tunnels beneath Valletta, Malta, March 24, 2017. (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Source: Yahoo News Photo Staff

Taking a little break from tumblr

I’ll be back in maybe a week. *politely tips hat*

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A U.S. A-10 Warthog drops flares to evade anti-aircraft artillery as it flies over Baghdad April 8, 2003. U.S. aircraft, artillery and tanks mounted an intense early-morning bombardment on Tuesday of an area in central Baghdad that houses a concentration of government ministries and other official buildings. (Faleh Kheiber/Reuters)

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Battered Earth

A new study published by NASA researchers seems to confirm that 4-4.5 billion years ago almost the entire planet was showered in an intense bombardment of giant asteroids.

This period would’ve effected the whole planet, essentially melting the surface into molten rock multiple times over, boiling any water oceans into a steam-atmosphere and dramatically altering the geological landscape.

(Image credit: Simone Marchi/SwRI)

Israel and its Palestinian adversaries in Gaza sharply escalated the latest deadly resurgence of hostilities on Tuesday, with the Israeli military conducting an intense aerial bombardment that targeted at least 50 Gazan sites, including homes, and militants in the enclave responding with a long-range missile volley aimed at Israeli population centers, including Tel Aviv. At least three of the Gaza rockets were intercepted by Israeli defenses.

Palestinian witnesses and health officials said at least 14 people had been killed in the Israeli attacks, including seven in a house that was bombed after its occupants had been warned in a cellphone call to leave. It was not immediately clear if the Gaza rockets caused any casualties or damage in Israel.

It was the deadliest day so far in the latest escalation of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict, fed partly by the raw rage over the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank last month and the grisly kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem last week.

In an ominous indication of further escalation, the Israeli government approved the call-up of 1,500 reservists, mainly Home Front Command and aerial defense units, and said later Tuesday that it had authorized the military to mobilize as many as 40,000 additional reservists if necessary for a possible ground invasion.

The Israeli military reported Tuesday evening, with little detail, that it had defeated an effort to attack an army base in southern Israel by “several gunmen armed with grenades” who had approached from the sea. The army said it had killed four of the gunmen and was searching for others.

Late in the day, air raid sirens wailed in Tel Aviv, warning of a Gaza rocket attack apparently aimed there and at smaller population centers. Israeli news media said at least three of the rockets had been thwarted by the military’s Iron Dome missile-defense system, including one south of Tel Aviv.

The Israeli aerial barrage followed the firing of about 80 rockets out of Gaza on Monday that reached deep into southern Israel.

— 

The New York Times, “Israel Steps Up Offensive With Deadly Gaza Bombings.”

War is coming.  

War is here.