Drake's Drum

Nick Sumner

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What if the Chilean battleship Almirante Lattore had not become HMS Eagle? What if the Royal Navy had built a pair of aircraft carriers on the hull of incomplete Hood class battle cruisers instead??

This is the carrier Fearless from the Drake’s Drum timeline. Commissioned in 1925, she and her sister ship Intrepid, helped open the Royal Navy’s eyes to the tactical possibilities offered by using groups of fast carriers in conjunction with other units of the fleet.

Fearless 21 web.jpg
 

Nick Sumner

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A Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah, I’m not sure what all the others are, but whatever your special holiday is; I hope you enjoy it and I wish you well.

If you’re bored over the break you could check out the Drake’s Drum website. There are fact files, short stories, photographs and all sorts of other stuff to divert and entertain. I will probably be off the air for a few days, but look forward to getting back at it in the new year!

LURS Final 2.jpg

Archibald Sinclair: Leader of the Liberal Party, 1935 to 1952, Prime Minister of Britain 1941 to 1952. Sinclair is remembered as being the man who guided the country through some of the most turbulent years it endured in the modern era. From being ‘a voice crying in the wilderness’ during the 1930s; his resolute stand against the advocates of appeasement, led him eventually to the highest office in the UK. This poster was widely distributed throughout Britain in the early years of the Second World War and seemed to sum up the nation’s resolve in the face of aggression.
 

Nick Sumner

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What if the Japanese battleship Tosa had been completed (rather than being expended as a target as she was in our time line)? This is Tosa as she might have appeared in 1945 before the Battle of Cape Padoran.

Tosa web.jpg

In our time line the B64 class large cruisers were cancelled in 1942. In Drake’s Drum, two are commissioned in their original role and are known as the Adzuma class.

Adzuma web.jpg

The Imperial Japanese Navy Appendix is now up at the Drake’s Drum website.

The Drake's Drum Website
 

Nick Sumner

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These images are Photoshopped

The Drake's Drum website has been updated. All the Appendices dealing with the world's navies are now posted. Also updated, is the Order of Battle Appendix; all the naval actions that take place in Drake's Drum: The Reckoning are now included, as well as more detailed descriptions of some of the actions that were edited from the main text for the sake of brevity.

Below are two ships from the Drake's Drum timeline. The first is the Italian aircraft carrier Falco. In TTL she was constructed from the incomplete hull of a Soviet Type 69 battle cruiser, captured at Sevastopol in the summer of 1942 but the design is based on OTL plans to convert the unfinished battleship Impero to a carrier. The second is the cruiser Lombardia. Her design was based on one prepared for the Armada Espana by Ansaldo in OTL. In TTL, though not taken up by the Spanish, the design was liked by the Regia Marina as a vessel suitable to the role of flagship of the Indian Ocean Squadron. She is seen here on trials, not all the components of her fire control system have been installed.

The Drake's Drum website

In the next couple of weeks I will start posting more of the Appendices that deal with land forces.

Falco web.jpg

Lombardia DD web.jpg
 

Nick Sumner

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If anyone here has read either Drake's Drum: The Peace of Amiens or Drake's Drum:The Reckoning and felt able to give either a good review on amazon.co.uk, amazon.com or Goodreads, it would be appreciated.
 

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These images are photoshopped

In OTL the Italian P.43 tank project never made it off the drawing board. In the Drake’s Drum timeline it becomes the backbone of the Italian armoured formations with the designation M37/46.

M37 46 a small.jpg

M37 46 b small.jpg

p43bisscheme small.jpg

The Italian Army and US Army Appendices are now up at the Drake’s Drum website.

The Drake's Drum Website
 

Nick Sumner

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These images are photoshopped

E100 tank. OTL, prototype not completed

e 100 2 72px.jpg e 100 6 72 px.jpg

The German army appendix is now up at the Drake’s Drum website. There has also been a substantial expansion of the Photographs section. It now goes up to the end of book 2, Drake's Drum: The Reckoning.
 
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DiePanzerKanone

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These images are photoshopped

E100 tank. OTL, prototype not completed

View attachment 628437View attachment 628438

The German army appendix is now up at the Drake’s Drum website. There has also been a substantial expansion of the Photographs section. It now goes up to the end of book 2, Drake's Drum: The Reckoning.

wouldn't that be the Tiger-Maus, not the E-100?
it IS missing its cupola tho

awesome photoshop tho, really looks real :)
 

Nick Sumner

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wouldn't that be the Tiger-Maus, not the E-100?
it IS missing its cupola tho

awesome photoshop tho, really looks real :)

Thank you! Both images are photoshopped from 'Maus' pictures. Drawings of the E100 with the Maus turret don't show a prominent cupola.
 

Nick Sumner

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These images are Photoshopped

These pictures are my interpretation of what a British A36 cruiser tank might have looked like and are speculative.

Claymore 3.jpg

Little information has survived about the OTL A36. A document entitled ‘An Evolution of British Tanks’ prepared by the School of Tank Technology Department of Tank Design in February 1945 (a copy is held at the Bovington Tank Museum) describes the OTL design as being a heavier version of the A30 Challenger with increased immunity and stronger suspension. Like the Challenger the design was to mount a 17 pounder gun, its projected weight was 41.5 tons and the parent firm was Rolls-Royce.

Claymore F.jpg

The start point for this speculation is the A30 Avenger tank destroyer which was also a development of the A30 Challenger mounting a 17 pounder gun in a much lower turret. We can assume more robust suspension, improved protection, wider tracks and a heavier gearbox and transmission. Turret ring size is assumed to be the same as the A30 Avenger SP. An A34 Comet prototype was fitted with a sloped glacis plate but the modification was not introduced on production vehicles.

While A34 Comet was better than a Sherman, A36 might have been a Panther equivalent.

If anyone is bored in this time of mandatory lock downs and forced inactivity; check out the webpage for my alternate history novel Drake's Drum.

www.drakesdrum.co.uk

The British Army Appendix is now up and there are fact files, short stories, images and an extract you can read.
 

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These images are Photoshopped

These pictures are my interpretation of what a British A36 cruiser tank might have looked like and are speculative.

View attachment 629645

Little information has survived about the OTL A36. A document entitled ‘An Evolution of British Tanks’ prepared by the School of Tank Technology Department of Tank Design in February 1945 (a copy is held at the Bovington Tank Museum) describes the OTL design as being a heavier version of the A30 Challenger with increased immunity and stronger suspension. Like the Challenger the design was to mount a 17 pounder gun, its projected weight was 41.5 tons and the parent firm was Rolls-Royce.

View attachment 629646

The start point for this speculation is the A30 Avenger tank destroyer which was also a development of the A30 Challenger mounting a 17 pounder gun in a much lower turret. We can assume more robust suspension, improved protection, wider tracks and a heavier gearbox and transmission. Turret ring size is assumed to be the same as the A30 Avenger SP. An A34 Comet prototype was fitted with a sloped glacis plate but the modification was not introduced on production vehicles.

While A34 Comet was better than a Sherman, A36 might have been a Panther equivalent.

If anyone is bored in this time of mandatory lock downs and forced inactivity; check out the webpage for my alternate history novel Drake's Drum.

www.drakesdrum.co.uk

The British Army Appendix is now up and there are fact files, short stories, images and an extract you can read.
How did I miss this?

I have a Bronco 1/35 Comet that I am planning to give similar treatment to as a hypothetical Australian production cruiser that missed the war but then served into the 70s.
 

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This image is Photoshopped

In Drake's Drum timeline, the Kreigsmarine requires a new class of heavy cruiser to follow the Blucher class. In OTL, a triple 8 inch turret had been designed by Krupp as early as 1937. This is the Derfflinger, she is based on a modified version of OTL’s ‘Kreuzer P’ design of 1939, but is also influenced by OTL’s ‘Handelzerstorer’ designs of spring 1941. ‘Kreuzer P’ and the 'Handelzerstorer' designs were conceived purely as commerce raiders. As a heavy cruiser, the Derfflinger meant to fit in with either a ‘Guerre de Corse’ strategy or a more conventional cruiser role supporting the battle fleet.

View attachment 622582

It's "guerre de course". Course = sprint, run.
Corse is Corsica, for Napoleon.
 

Archibald

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AFAIK - yes. Not 100% sure, but it would make some sense.
 

Nick Sumner

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This image is Photoshopped

In Drake's Drum timeline, the Kreigsmarine requires a new class of heavy cruiser to follow the Blucher class. In OTL, a triple 8 inch turret had been designed by Krupp as early as 1937. This is the Derfflinger, she is based on a modified version of OTL’s ‘Kreuzer P’ design of 1939, but is also influenced by OTL’s ‘Handelzerstorer’ designs of spring 1941. ‘Kreuzer P’ and the 'Handelzerstorer' designs were conceived purely as commerce raiders. As a heavy cruiser, the Derfflinger meant to fit in with either a ‘Guerre de Corse’ strategy or a more conventional cruiser role supporting the battle fleet.

View attachment 622582

It's "guerre de course". Course = sprint, run.
Corse is Corsica, for Napoleon.
Gak! Not the first time I've made that error...

Say la vee ;)
 

Nick Sumner

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So, today's writing task for Book 3 (Drake's Drum: The Horizon of Our Hopes); fix the Middle East. How hard can that be?
 

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T. E. Lawrence breaks his neck and dies after accidently shooting his camel through the head, the Arab revolt collapses and Saudi Arabia dies before it is born. Post war a number of secular states emerge, initially as protectorates of the victorious allies, progressively gaining independence, just before and after WWII.
 

Nick Sumner

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Great news! The paperback version of Drake's Drum: The Reckoning should be released in the next few days. :D
 

Nick Sumner

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I also noticed this while working on the manuscript for the final story in the trilogy Drake's Drum: The Horizon of Our Hopes.

E11995ED-6961-4209-8730-DD182AB69A3A.jpg
 

Nick Sumner

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The first, third and fourth images in this post are Photoshopped

G57 final.jpg

Fiat-G57.jpg

First and second image: The Fiat G.57 was a strike aircraft planned but never flown in our timeline. Based on the Fiat G.55, it was to carry a ‘Silurroto’ lightweight torpedo and be powered by a Fiat A.83 radial engine. The second image is a Fiat factory drawing of the design.

Caproni 336 DD.jpg

Ca 336 landing on Aquila.jpg

The third and fourth images are of a ‘Caproni Ca. 336.’ This aircraft is a speculative design for an Italian carrier based torpedo bomber. The Ca. 336 designation was (to the best of my knowledge) never issued in our time-line, but this aircraft is based on the second variation of the Caproni Ca. 335 which was to be licence built in Belgium as the SABCA S.47. In our time line this multi role warplane flew in prototype form in 1939 and for its new role I have given it a revised undercarriage, an enlarged wing and an Isotta Fraschini Zeta engine, which was test flown in our time line and was some 25% more powerful than the design’s original Hispano-Suiza 12 Ycrs. The fourth picture shows a Ca.336 landing on the Italian carrier Aquila.

The Squadriglia Forze Navali (The Regia Aeronautica’s shipboard arm) appendix is now up at the Drake’s Drum website. There are other appendices also posted there which feature many never were aircraft and more will be uploaded in the next few weeks.

www.drakesdrum.co.uk

Another new appendix concerns itself with Beardmore and Palmer built warships of the Drake’s Drum timeline. Both these firms went bankrupt in the thirties in our timeline but continue on in Drake’s Drum.

The paperback edition of the second book in the trilogy, Drake’s Drum: The Reckoning , is due to be released by Sea Lion Press in the next few days.
 
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Nick Sumner

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THE PAPERBACK EDITION OF THE SECOND BOOK IN THE TRILOGY, DRAKE’S DRUM: THE RECKONING , HAS NOW BEEN RELEASED BY SEA LION PRESS.

This is my interpretation of how the BMW 802 powered fighter designed in August 1941 by Dip Ing Ludwig Mittlehuber of Focke-Wulf might have evolved if it had been developed as a naval fighter.

The first and fourth images in this post are Photoshopped.

The second image in this post is genuine.

The lower diagram in the third image in this post is speculative and has been modified from the upper image, which is genuine.

This aircraft never flew in our time-line and never had an RLM number allocated to it.

1.jpg

This is an image of a Focke-Wulf FW 281 shipboard fighter. (This image has been photoshopped.)

Mittelhuber 1941 ducted fan.jpg

This is an image of Focke-Wulf’s August 1941 fighter design.

Mittelhuber 1941 to FW 281.jpg

The upper drawing in this diagram shows the internal arrangement of Mittlehuber’s 1941 fighter design. The engine is a BMW 802 which had a ducted air intake in the spinner and a contra rotating propeller. The lower drawing has the cockpit moved forward to improve the pilots view for deck landing. The fuel tank that had been forward of the pilot is now aft. The vertical fin has been increased in chord to enhance pilot authority for deck landing. The engine now has a conventional propeller and spinner because ducted cooling proved very difficult to make work. (As in the FW 190 V1.)

Z FW 281 plan.jpg

This image shows a captured FW 281 in US markings under test in the United States. (This image has been photoshopped)

The Seeluftstreitkraft (The Luftwaffe’s shipboard arm) appendix is now up at the Drake’s Drum website. The US Army and Kriegsmarine Appendices have also been updated and amended.

The Drake's Drum Website
 

Nick Sumner

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The USN air arm appendix is now up at the Drake's Drum website as well as that for minor Axis Navies and updated versions of the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy.
 

Nick Sumner

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royalbulgaf, the aircraft pictured in post 71 is a TTL version of OTL's Douglas XB2D. In TTL it is called the Douglas BTD It differs in detail, but the most important difference is in the undercarriage. The OTL XB2D had a tricycle undercarriage but in TTL the aircraft needs a longer torpedo bay so the space fore the nose wheel gets eaten up by that.
 

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These images are photoshopped

P58C 22.jpg

side.jpg

These aircraft are both speculative designs from the world of Drake’s Drum. The first is a P58C, a single seat interceptor powered by two Allison V-3420s and a J33 Derwent. In OTL the XP58 was extensively tested but never entered service. In TTL, the need for interceptors to defend the continental United States will be deemed very urgent, propelling the P58 into service. The P58C would dispense with the second crew member and rearward firing armament for the extra speed and climb performance offered by a jet engine.

The second aircraft is a P72D. In OTL the R-4360 powered XP72 never went into production, in part because the engine took so long to mature. In TTL a British X-2470 ‘Grampian’ engine, a more highly supercharged and slightly faster turning version of the Pennine, is used instead. This permits the designers at Republic to dispense with the enormous second supercharger stage that gave the OTL XP72 its distinctive ‘belly.’ The wing developed for the P47N would also be utilised.

The USAAF Appendix is now up at the Drake’s Drum website along with the Appendix on Japan’s oil supply.

Merry Christmas all!
 

Nick Sumner

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I'm very happy to announce that the manuscript of third part of Drake's Drum has been submitted to the publisher for editing and proof reading.

In other news, while I originally planned this project as a trilogy, it turns out that I have just too much material to fit into one final book, so it will be a tetralogy instead.
 

Nick Sumner

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I am pleased to announce that the third part my alternative history book series is soon to be published by Sea Lion Press. Drake's Drum: Currents of Fate, will be available as both a paperback book and as a Kindle e-book. The concluding part. Drake’s Drum: The Horizon of Our Hopes will be released next year.

There are updates to the website, including a new short story, The Irascible Engineer and two additional Appendices; Civil Aviation and Helicopter Development 1938-45 and the US Marine Corps 1942-48.

DD4 proof cover VERY small.jpg
 

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I like the idea of Courageous and Intrepid, it could have been what the RN needed. The RN to me seemed to not really know what to do with carriers. Yes, there was Taranto, and if the RN tried to put together a six carrier task force like the IJN at Pearl Harbor, they might as well have painted bullseyes on their decks. I think part of the problem was the RN ships with RAF aircraft made real synergy difficult. But I notice of the USN, RN, and IJN, the only one that didn't as an institution really get into carriers as the tip of the naval spear was the one without large, fast carriers handed to them on a silver platter. These two ships could have changed the fleet composition in a positive way, but more importantly, it could have changed the RNs mindset.
 

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I like the idea of Courageous and Intrepid, it could have been what the RN needed. The RN to me seemed to not really know what to do with carriers. Yes, there was Taranto, and if the RN tried to put together a six carrier task force like the IJN at Pearl Harbor, they might as well have painted bullseyes on their decks. I think part of the problem was the RN ships with RAF aircraft made real synergy difficult. But I notice of the USN, RN, and IJN, the only one that didn't as an institution really get into carriers as the tip of the naval spear was the one without large, fast carriers handed to them on a silver platter. These two ships could have changed the fleet composition in a positive way, but more importantly, it could have changed the RNs mindset.
Dr Philip Weir's thesis on Interwar Fleet Air Arm exercises is freely available online. The Royal Navy was well ahead of the USN and IJN when it came to multi-carrier operations, with multiple such exercises in the Interwar period, and the lack of task forces containing multiple carriers early in the war had more to do with limited numbers of ships being stretched across multiple theatres. The US and Japan, (barring the odd token deployment here or there) on the other hand, only really had to worry about one ocean.
 

Nick Sumner

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The Aero Engines Appendix is now up on the Drake’s Drum website. It has taken an extremely long time to finish it and it will probably be the largest of all the Appendices. Phew!
 

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