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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Howell Torpedo

Howell Torpedo 1896 animation- vbbsmyt

Stu tells me that there is a piece of Germany in the Caribbean. Seems that back in the glory days of red-blooded communism Fidel was feeling benevolent towards his eastern comrades and deeded a narrow little island to East Germany. East Germany, and their Caribbean island, have been subsumed by the reunited Germany.
    Looking for more information about this communist paradise I stumble across Last Stand on Zombie Island which seems to have more than its share of the weird, like the Howell Torpedo. The thing is powered by an internal flywheel that was spun up to 10,000 RPM by an external steam turbine before it was launched. The range wasn't tremendous, but it was better than any of the competing designs. The US Navy bought 500 of the things. The video does a good job of illustrating just how complex this design was, and this was 120 years ago. No wonder the F-35 cost $300 billion to develop.

Ernst Thälmann Island, Cuba.
As for the island, it was originally named Cayo Blanco del Sur but renamed to Cayo Ernesto Thaelmann by Fidel. Ernesto was a dyed-in-the-wool communist who fought against the Nazi's. He died in Buchenwald. Zombie Island has the story.

Update September 2015. Stu put up a post about his visit to Buchenwald, which prompted me to add a picture of the island.

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