U boat type XXlll

German Type XXIII submarines were the first so-called elektroboats to become operational. They were small coastal submarines designed to operate in the shallow waters of the North Sea, Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, where larger Type XXI Elektro boats were at risk in World War II. They were so small they could carry only two torpedoes, which had to be loaded externally. As with their far larger sisters—the Type XXI—they were able to remain submerged almost all of the time and were faster than conventional U-boats, due to the improved streamlining of their shape, batteries with larger capacity and the snorkel, which allowed the diesel engines to be used while submerged. The Type XXI and XXIII U-boats revolutionized post-war submarine design.

When development began on the Type XXI U-boat in late 1942, it was proposed to simultaneously develop a smaller version incorporating the same advanced technology to replace the Type II coastal submarine. Admiral Karl Dönitz added two requirements: as the boat would have to operate in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, it had to be able to be transported by rail, and it had to use the standard 53.3 cm (21 in) torpedo tubes.
The development of the Type XXIII was given a high priority, with an emphasis on using existing components as much as possible. To reduce development time, Hellmuth Walter designed the new submarine based on the previous Type XXII prototype. By 30 June 1943 the design was ready and construction began in parallel at several shipyards in Germany, France, Italy and German-occupied Russia. The lead contractor was Deutsche Werft in Hamburg.

As with the Type XXI, the Type XXIII was intended to be constructed in sections, various modules being produced by different subcontractors. Some were to be assembled at foreign yards, including U-2446 through U-2460 at the Deutsche Werft yard at Mykolaiv. These were reassigned to the Linzner yard on 1 May 1944 and subsequently cancelled. In the end, circumstances meant that construction was concentrated at Germaniawerft in Kiel and Deutsche Werft in Hamburg, Germaniawerft building 51 and Deutsche Werft 49. Of the 280 submarines ordered, only 61 entered service, and only 6 ever carried out a war patrol.

The Type XXIII had an all-welded single hull, the first submarine to use such a design. It had a fully streamlined outer casing and apart from the relatively small conning tower and a fairing which housed the Diesel exhaust silencer, it had an uncluttered upper deck. In line with Walter's design practice, there were no forward hydroplanes, although these were added later.
The submarine was propelled by a single three-bladed propeller and steered by a single rudder. As with the Type XXI, the lower section of the figure-of-eight hull was used to house a large 62-cell battery.

In order to allow the boat to be transported by rail, the hull sections had to be limited in size to fit the standard loading gauge. For transportation, the hull was broken into four sections and the bridge was removed. Due to the space restrictions, the forward bow section had to be made as short as possible, which meant that only two torpedo tubes could be fitted and no reload torpedoes could be carried. The torpedoes were loaded by ballasting the submarine down at the stern so that the bow lifted clear of the water and the torpedoes could be loaded directly into their tubes from a barge. The Type XXIII proved to have excellent handling characteristics, and was highly maneuverable both on the surface and underwater. Its crash dive time was 9 seconds, and its maximum diving depth was 180 m (590 ft). Speed submerged was 12.5 knots (23.2 km/h; 14.4 mph), while surfaced speed was 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph). A submerged speed of 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) could be attained while snorkeling.

The first Type XXIII, U-2321, was launched from Deutsche Werft in Hamburg on 17 April 1944. It was one of six XXIIIs that went on operational patrol around the British Isles in early 1945. Forty-eight others followed from Deutsche Werft and 13 from Germaniawerft of Kiel. U-4712 was the last one launched, on 19 April 1945.

None of the six operational Type XXIIIs - U-2321, U-2322, U-2324, U-2326, U-2329 and U-2336 - were sunk by the Allies' ships but they sank or damaged five ships for a total of 14,601 gross register tons (GRT).
The first war patrol of a Type XXIII began late in the war when U-2324 sailed from Kiel on 18 January 1945. Although she was to survive the war, she sank no enemy vessels. The first Type XXIII to achieve combat success was U-2322, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Fridtjof Heckel. Sailing from a Norwegian base on 6 February 1945, she encountered a convoy off Berwick, Northumberland, and sank the coaster Egholm on 25 February. U-2321, operating from the same base, sank the coaster Gasray on 5 April 1945 off St Abbs Head. U-2336, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Emil Klusmeier, later sank the last Allied ships lost in the European war on 7 May 1945, when he torpedoed and sank the freighters Sneland and Avondale Park off the Isle of May inside the Firth of Forth.

The Sneland and the Avondale Park were sunk around 23:03, less than an hour before the official German surrender, and the Avondale Park was the last merchant ship to be sunk by a U-boat. At the time it was felt that Kapitänleutnant Klusmeier, who was on his first patrol, had deliberately ignored Dönitz's ceasefire order; however, Klusmeier claimed that he had never received the order.

125th Anniversary of the International Red Cross

For the 125th Anniversary of International Red Cross, Rwanda issued a set of stamps in 1988.
The 10f stamp shows us a local boat with refugees crossing what looks like a river or lake.
Have not any information on the boat.

Rwanda 1988 10f sg1330, scott ?

Colonization of the Azores

Portugal issued in 1989 two stamps to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the colonization of the Azores. The stamps were designed after drawings made by Carlos Alberto Santos, the 87 Esc. stamp depict a caravel. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8977&p=16177&hilit=caravel#p16177

A letter written by Alfonso V, King of Portugal, dated 2 July 1439 authorizing his uncle, Infante D. Henrique (Prince Henry the Navigator) to promote and colonize the seven islands of the Azores which have been discovered.
Another document is a Majorcan map of the same year, which had seven islands and the date of discovery was recorded as 1432.
At some point sheep were let loose on Santa Maria to supply the future settlers with food, before some settlers arrived on the island around 1433.

Source: Portuguese Post and http://www.azoresweb.com/history_azores_2.html
Azores 1989 29/87e sg 498/99, scott383/84.


Netherland issued in 2016 a sheet with 10 stamps of which only one has a maritime theme, it shows the village Giethoorn https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giethoorn with a canal and bridges and a GIETHOORNSE PUNTER in the canal.
This type of boats is built at Giethoorn to transport produce and people, and to fish in the many narrow waterways of the area.

The GIETHOORNSE PUNTER is a flat bottom longitudinally planked, curved fore-end-aft: low sheer. Sharp ends; slightly fuller forward of amidships; raked straight stem and sternpost. Wide lower strake on each side, narrow top strake turns inward and stops before the ends; hard chines. Widely spaced, 3-piece frames extend to top of top strake with no gunwale. Open except for a short fore-and/or stern deck; floor boards.
The fishing punters have a live well-box amidships. Outboard rudder with high head; downsloping tiller. One or two leeboards on the sailing type. Single unstayed mast stepped through the forward thwart. Mainly sprit-rigged, but some use a leg-of-mutton sail. Also punted (as seen on the stamp) or rowed with two pairs of oars; now may employ an outboard motor.
Reported lengths 6 – 8m; e.g., length overall 6.3m, on bottom 5m; maximum width 1.45m on bottom 1.0m; depth 0.5m.

Source Aak to Zumbra a Dictionary of the World’s Watercraft.
Netherland 2016 international stamp sg?, scott?


4a: An late thirteenth century vessel used to transport English crusaders to the Holy Land. This drawing was made after the Winchelsea and Sandwich Seals. The original ship a double ended, would have measured 73 feet long, 19½ feet beam, with a depth of 9 ft 7-in. The mast would have risen 58 feet above the deck and set one large square sail. Could carry 100 men and a crew of 30. She was steered from the starboard stern side with a rudder oar.
This vessel carried a fighting castle near the bow and stern.
This ships sailed from England to the Mediterranean, the type was derived from the knarr.
Source: Shipping Wonders of the World. The complete encyclopedia of Sailing Ships by Batchelor & Chant.

5a: A Roman galley see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10800&p=11421&hilit=roman+galley#p11421

6a: An English cog as depict on the Poole seal. viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13989&p=15640&hilit=cinque+port+ship#p15640

7a: An Egyptian merchant ship: Images of cargo vessels were found in the sepulchers of the 3rd Dynasty. The vessels were moved with the help not only of oars but of a sail either. At some images of vessels from the complex of pre-dynasty period of Egypt Negada the 2nd (4 000 B. C.) one can clearly see a sail. It was a narrow square sail fastened to the two-legged removable mast. On the stern platform there were six long steering oars. The rowing oars were removable and they were used without any support as in a modern canoe. The hull was built of thoroughly elaborated acacia plates. It was flimsy and to make it more firm the ancient Egyptian shipbuilders stretched along the hull a thick rope supported by posts. The same wattled rope tightly surrounded the whole hull of the ship. Vessels of such a type had various purposes and mainly they were river ships. On their outer form they resembled ships of pre-dynasty period: they had a moon-shaped profile, more exactly an orange peel profile, with raised ends, a flat bottom, with big width and a small draught. Not less than 40% of the ship's hull height had to be dipped into the water so as it could float along the river. It is considered that in departure to the sea they took ballast. Partially the construction of such vessels is explained that in Egypt only these trees like acacia and fig-tree were grown up from which they could make only short boards. The outer keel was absent and the inner keel went from the bow to the stern with powerful cross beams - traverses at which planking boards were fastened. The planking consisted of short boards that were strengthened by pins.
Downloaded from: http://sailhistory.com/content/view/86/

8a: Three mast carrack: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10705&p=11298&hilit=carrack#p11298

9a: Shows us an Egyptian ship used in the trade between Egypt and Punt.

11a: Medieval Northern European Dromon: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13587&p=15050&hilit=dromon#p15050

Afghanistan 1986 4a/11a sg 1137/43, scott 1224/1230.
Source: Internet various sites.

Ambush HMS

HMS Ambush is an Astute-class nuclear fleet submarine of the Royal Navy, the second boat of her class. Ambush is the third vessel, and the second submarine, to bear the name in Royal Naval service. She was ordered in 1997, laid down in 2003 and commissioned in 2013.

Ambush's nuclear reactor will not need to be refuelled during the boat's 25-year service. Since the submarine can purify water and air, she will be able to circumnavigate the planet without resurfacing. The main limit is that the submarine will only be able to carry three months' supply of food for 98 officers and ratings.

Ambush has provision for up-to 38 weapons in six 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes. The submarine is capable of using Tomahawk Block IV land-attack missiles with a range of 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes.

Ambush was ordered from GEC's Marconi Marine (now BAE Systems Submarine Solutions) on 17 March 1997. She was laid down at Barrow-in-Furness on 22 October 2003, officially named on 16 December 2010, launched on 6 January 2011, completed her initial dive test on 30 September 2011, and departed Barrow for sea trials on 15 September 2012. Ambush was commissioned in a ceremony at HM Naval Base Clyde on 1 March 2013.

Ambush was scheduled to conduct her maiden operations sometime in 2014. She has already conducted trials, linking up with RFA Diligence. She has also conducted torpedo and Tomahawk cruise missile tests, with early signs showing that they were successful. Ambush sailed down to Brazil in 2014 and also made a port call in Port Canaveral. In April 2015, Ambush participated in Exercise Joint Warrior, the largest military exercise held in Europe, alongside 55 other naval ships of NATO navies. She further participated in Exercise Dynamic Manta 15. In August 2015, The Sun reported that Ambush had conducted reconnaissance off the coast of Libya to locate targets for potential strikes against ISIS.

On 20 July 2016, while surfacing on an exercise in the Strait of Gibraltar, Ambush was in collision with the Panama flagged merchant ship Andreas, sustaining significant damage to the top of her conning tower where some of her sonar equipment is housed. It was reported that no crew members were injured during the collision and that the submarine's nuclear reactor section remained completely undamaged. Repairs were estimated to have cost £3 million to complete.


Queen Hatshepsut

Although the status of women in ancient Egypt was higher than in any other ancient civilization, the notion that a woman could be king was abhorrent to the Egyptians. Yet, a woman did become king and not just an ordinary king. She became the first great woman in recorded history, the forerunner of such figures as Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, and Catherine the Great. Her name was Hatshepsut and she ruled as pharaoh for fifteen years. Sadly, after her death the Egyptians, who were a deeply conservative people, obliterated her memory so that later pharaohs such as Ramses II and Cleopatra would have been ignorant of her existence.
Hatshepsut’s grandfather, Ahmose I, defeated the Hyksos who had invaded Lower Egypt and occupied it for more than one hundred years during the Second Intermediate Period. It was he who inaugurated the New Kingdom and the eighteenth dynasty, giving rise to some of the most extraordinary characters in ancient Egyptian history.

Hatshepsut was descended from a number of strong women, including Aahotep, the mother of King Ahmose I. Aahotep was a military leader and she received the “Golden Flies” awarded to soldiers who fought courageously.
When Ahmose died, his son Amenhotep became pharaoh but he left no male heirs. Thutmose I, a commoner and army general, became king by marrying Amenhotep’s sister Nefertiri.
Thutmose I was a strong pharaoh and, with his large professional army, made conquests south into Nubia and north as far as the Euphrates River; the farthest any pharaoh had gone up to that time. He erected two large obelisks at Karnak Temple and began the tradition of royal burials in the Valley of the Kings.

Although Thutmose had three sons and two daughters by his great wife, only one of these children was alive when he died: the twelve-year-old Hatshepsut. Thutmose did have a son by a minor wife, also called Thutmose, and to strengthen his claim to the throne, this son was married to Hatshepsut.
However, Thutmose II suffered from poor health and reigned for only fourteen years. He left a daughter by Hatshepsut and a son, again called Thutmose, by Isis, a harem girl.
It is possible that Thutmose II realized Hatshepsut was ambitious for power because he proclaimed the young Thutmose his successor. But when he died Thutmose III was still a child, and his aunt and stepmother, Hatshepsut, acted as regent for him.
Not content to be the power behind the child king, Hatshepsut soon proclaimed herself pharaoh, and the boy was kept away from the court. He was sent off to join the army where he grew up.
To support her cause, Hatshepsut claimed that the god Amun had taken the form of her father and visited her mother, and she herself was the result of this divine union. As the self-proclaimed daughter of God, she further justified her right to the throne by declaring that the god Amun-Ra had spoken to her, saying, “Welcome my sweet daughter, my favourite, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare, Hatshepsut. Thou art the king, taking possession of the Two Lands.”
Hatshepsut dressed as a king, even affecting a false beard, but it was never her intention to pass herself off as a man; rather, she referred to herself as the “female falcon.” Her success was due, at least in part, to the respect of the people for her father’s memory and the loyal support of influential officials who controlled all the key positions of government.
During her rule, the Egyptian economy flourished; she expanded trading relations and dispatched a major sea-borne expedition to the land of Punt, on the African coast at the southernmost end of the Red Sea.
Hatshepsut launched an extensive building program, repairing the damage wrought by the invading Hyksos and building magnificent temples. She renovated her father’s hall in the Temple of Karnak, erecting four great obelisks nearly 100 feet (30m) tall, and added a chapel. But her greatest achievement was her mortuary temple at Deir el Bahri, one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt. She called it the ‘Most Sacred of Sacred Places’. The walls were illustrated with a colorful account of the trading expedition to Punt, featuring images of ships and of the marching army led by her general, Nehsi. From the drawings we can see that the expedition brought back many wonderful things including gold, ebony, animal skins, baboons, and refined myrrh, as well as living myrrh trees that were then planted around the temple. The walls at Deir el Bahri also depict the houses of the people of Punt and an image of its obese queen.

As Hatshepsut and her political allies aged, her hold on the throne weakened. The early death of her daughter, whom she had married to Thutmose III, may have contributed to her decline. Eventually, her nephew took his rightful place as pharaoh, though the circumstances of this event are unknown and what became of Hatshepsut is a mystery. Whether she died naturally or was deposed and eliminated is uncertain. What we do know is that about twenty years after her death, Thutmose had her name removed from nearly all the monuments and replaced with either the name of her father, her husband, or Thutmose III himself. Ironically, some of the best-preserved obelisks in Egypt are those of Hatshepsut. Thutmose III had stone walls built around them to hide them from public view, but these walls also served the purpose of protecting them from the elements.


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