Natural science is a branch of science concerned with the description and understanding of natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer review and repeatability of findings are used to try to ensure the validity of scientific advances. Natural science can be divided into two main branches: physical science. Physical science is subdivided into branches, including physics, chemistry and earth science; these branches of natural science may be further divided into more specialized branches. In Western society's analytic tradition, the empirical sciences and natural sciences use tools from formal sciences, such as mathematics and logic, converting information about nature into measurements which can be explained as clear statements of the "laws of nature"; the social sciences use such methods, but rely more on qualitative research, so that they are sometimes called "soft science", whereas natural sciences, insofar as they emphasize quantifiable data produced and confirmed through the scientific method, are sometimes called "hard science".
Modern natural science succeeded more classical approaches to natural philosophy traced to ancient Greece. Galileo, Descartes and Newton debated the benefits of using approaches which were more mathematical and more experimental in a methodical way. Still, philosophical perspectives and presuppositions overlooked, remain necessary in natural science. Systematic data collection, including discovery science, succeeded natural history, which emerged in the 16th century by describing and classifying plants, minerals, so on. Today, "natural history" suggests observational descriptions aimed at popular audiences. Philosophers of science have suggested a number of criteria, including Karl Popper's controversial falsifiability criterion, to help them differentiate scientific endeavors from non-scientific ones. Validity and quality control, such as peer review and repeatability of findings, are amongst the most respected criteria in the present-day global scientific community; this field encompasses a set of disciplines.
The scale of study can range from sub-component biophysics up to complex ecologies. Biology is concerned with the characteristics and behaviors of organisms, as well as how species were formed and their interactions with each other and the environment; the biological fields of botany and medicine date back to early periods of civilization, while microbiology was introduced in the 17th century with the invention of the microscope. However, it was not until the 19th century. Once scientists discovered commonalities between all living things, it was decided they were best studied as a whole; some key developments in biology were the discovery of genetics. Modern biology is divided into subdisciplines by the type of organism and by the scale being studied. Molecular biology is the study of the fundamental chemistry of life, while cellular biology is the examination of the cell. At a higher level and physiology look at the internal structures, their functions, of an organism, while ecology looks at how various organisms interrelate.
Constituting the scientific study of matter at the atomic and molecular scale, chemistry deals with collections of atoms, such as gases, molecules and metals. The composition, statistical properties and reactions of these materials are studied. Chemistry involves understanding the properties and interactions of individual atoms and molecules for use in larger-scale applications. Most chemical processes can be studied directly in a laboratory, using a series of techniques for manipulating materials, as well as an understanding of the underlying processes. Chemistry is called "the central science" because of its role in connecting the other natural sciences. Early experiments in chemistry had their roots in the system of Alchemy, a set of beliefs combining mysticism with physical experiments; the science of chemistry began to develop with the work of Robert Boyle, the discoverer of gas, Antoine Lavoisier, who developed the theory of the Conservation of mass. The discovery of the chemical elements and atomic theory began to systematize this science, researchers developed a fundamental understanding of states of matter, chemical bonds and chemical reactions.
The success of this science led to a complementary chemical industry that now plays a significant role in the world economy. Physics embodies the study of the fundamental constituents of the universe, the forces and interactions they exert on one another, the results produced by these interactions. In general, physics is regarded as the fundamental science, because all other natural sciences use and obey the principles and laws set down by the field. Physics relies on mathematics as the logical framework for formulation and quantification of principles; the study of the principles of the universe has a long history and derives from direct observation and experimentation. The formulation of theories about the governing laws of the universe has been central to the study of physics from early on, with philosophy yielding to systematic, quantitative experimental testing and observation as the source of verification. Key historical developments in physics include Isaac Newton's theory of universal g
Nautical fiction also naval fiction, sea fiction, naval adventure fiction or maritime fiction, is a genre of literature with a setting on or near the sea, that focuses on the human relationship to the sea and sea voyages and highlights nautical culture in these environments. The settings of nautical fiction vary including merchant ships, naval ships, fishing vessels, life boats, etc. along with sea ports and fishing villages. When describing nautical fiction, scholars most refer to novels and short stories, sometimes under the name of sea novels or sea stories; these works are sometimes adapted for the theatre and television. The development of nautical fiction follows with the development of the English language novel and while the tradition is British and North American, there are significant works from literatures in Japan, France and other Western traditions. Though the treatment of themes and settings related to the sea and maritime culture is common throughout the history of western literature, nautical fiction, as a distinct genre, was first pioneered by James Fenimore Cooper and Frederick Marryat at the beginning of the 19th century.
There were 18th century and earlier precursors that have nautical settings, but few are as richly developed as subsequent works in this genre. The genre has evolved to include notable literary works like Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim, popular fiction like C. S. Forester's Hornblower series, works by authors that straddle the divide between popular and literary fiction, like Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series; because of the historical dominance of nautical culture by men, they are the central characters, except for works that feature ships carrying women passengers. For this reason, nautical fiction is marketed for men. Nautical fiction includes distinctive themes, such as a focus on masculinity and heroism, investigations of social hierarchies, the psychological struggles of the individual in the hostile environment of the sea. Stylistically, readers of the genre expect an emphasis on adventure, accurate representation of maritime culture, use of nautical language.
Works of nautical fiction include elements overlapping with other genres, including historical fiction, adventure fiction, war fiction, children's literature, fantasy stories, travel narratives, the social problem novel and psychological fiction. What constitutes nautical fiction or sea fiction, their constituent naval, nautical or sea novels, depends on the focus of the commentator. Conventionally sea fiction encompasses novels in the vein of Marryat, Melville, Forester and O'Brian: novels which are principally set on the sea, immerse the characters in nautical culture. Typical sea stories follow the narrative format of "a sailor embarks upon a voyage; some scholars chose to expand the definition of. However, these are inconsistent definitions: some like Bernhard Klein, choose to expand that definition into a thematic perspective, he defines his collection "Fictions of the Sea" around a broader question of the "Britain and the Sea" in literature, which comes to include 16th and 17th maritime instructional literature, fictional depictions of the nautical which offer lasting cultural resonance, for example Milton's Paradise Lost and Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner".
Choosing not to fall into this wide of a definition, but opting to include more fiction than just that, explicitly about the sea, John Peck opts for a broader maritime fiction, which includes works like Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and George Eliot's Daniel Deronda, that depict cultural situations dependent on the maritime economy and culture, without explicitly exploring the naval experience. However, as critic Luis Iglasius notes, when defending the genesis of the sea novel genre by James Fenimore Cooper, expanding this definition includes work "tend to view the sea from the perspective of the shore" focusing on the effect of a nautical culture on the larger culture or society ashore or focusing on individuals not familiar with nautical life. For to limit the scope of this article, it focuses on the narrower, shared definitions of sea or maritime literature which focus on the limited sea/nautical novel and the fiction that grows out of that set of generic expectations and avoids broader definitions of "sea novels" which focus on thematic discussions of nautical topics in culture.
In so doing, this article highlights what critics describe as the more conventional definition for the genre when they attempt to expand its scope. Sea narratives have a long history of development, arising from cultures with genres of adventure and travel narratives that profiled the sea and its cultural importance, for example Homer's epic poem the Odyssey, the Old English poem The Seafarer, The Icelandic Saga of Eric the Red, or early European travel narratives like Richard Hakluyt's Voyages. During the 18th century, as Bernhard Klein notes in defining "sea fiction" for his scholarly collection on sea fiction, European cultures began to gain an appreciation of the "sea" through varying thematic lenses. First because of the economic opportunities brought by the sea and through the influence of the Romantic movement; as early as 1712 Joseph Addison identified "the sea as an archetype of the Sublime in nature:'of all the objects that I have
The Celts are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Europe identified by their use of Celtic languages and cultural similarities. The history of pre-Celtic Europe and the exact relationship between ethnic and cultural factors in the Celtic world remains uncertain and controversial; the exact geographic spread of the ancient Celts is disputed. According to one theory, the common root of the Celtic languages, the Proto-Celtic language, arose in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC. According to a theory proposed in the 19th century, the first people to adopt cultural characteristics regarded as Celtic were the people of the Iron Age Hallstatt culture in central Europe, named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria, thus this area is sometimes called the "Celtic homeland". By or during the La Tène period, this Celtic culture was supposed to have expanded by trans-cultural diffusion or migration to the British Isles and the Low Countries, Bohemia and much of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula and northern Italy and, following the Celtic settlement of Eastern Europe beginning in 279 BC, as far east as central Anatolia in modern-day Turkey.
The earliest undisputed direct examples of a Celtic language are the Lepontic inscriptions beginning in the 6th century BC. Continental Celtic languages are attested exclusively through inscriptions and place-names. Insular Celtic languages are attested beginning around the 4th century in Ogham inscriptions, although they were being spoken much earlier. Celtic literary tradition begins with Old Irish texts around the 8th century CE. Coherent texts of Early Irish literature, such as the Táin Bó Cúailnge, survive in 12th-century recensions. By the mid-1st millennium, with the expansion of the Roman Empire and migrating Germanic tribes, Celtic culture and Insular Celtic languages had become restricted to Ireland, the western and northern parts of Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Brittany. Between the 5th and 8th centuries, the Celtic-speaking communities in these Atlantic regions emerged as a reasonably cohesive cultural entity, they had a common linguistic and artistic heritage that distinguished them from the culture of the surrounding polities.
By the 6th century, the Continental Celtic languages were no longer in wide use. Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels and the Celtic Britons of the medieval and modern periods. A modern Celtic identity was constructed as part of the Romanticist Celtic Revival in Great Britain and other European territories, such as Portugal and Spanish Galicia. Today, Scottish Gaelic and Breton are still spoken in parts of their historical territories, Cornish and Manx are undergoing a revival; the first recorded use of the name of Celts – as Κελτοί – to refer to an ethnic group was by Hecataeus of Miletus, the Greek geographer, in 517 BC, when writing about a people living near Massilia. In the fifth century BC, Herodotus referred to Keltoi living around the head of the Danube and in the far west of Europe; the etymology of the term Keltoi is unclear. Possible roots include Indo-European *kʲel'to hide', IE *kʲel'to heat' or *kel'to impel'. Several authors have supposed it to be Celtic in origin, while others view it as a name coined by Greeks.
Linguist Patrizia De Bernardo Stempel falls in the latter group, suggests the meaning "the tall ones". In the 1st century BC, Julius Caesar reported that the people known to the Romans as Gauls called themselves Celts, which suggests that if the name Keltoi was bestowed by the Greeks, it had been adopted to some extent as a collective name by the tribes of Gaul; the geographer Strabo, writing about Gaul towards the end of the first century BC, refers to the "race, now called both Gallic and Galatic," though he uses the term Celtica as a synonym for Gaul, separated from Iberia by the Pyrenees. Yet he reports Celtic peoples in Iberia, uses the ethnic names Celtiberi and Celtici for peoples there, as distinct from Lusitani and Iberi. Pliny the Elder cited the use of Celtici in Lusitania as a tribal surname, which epigraphic findings have confirmed. Latin Gallus might stem from a Celtic ethnic or tribal name perhaps one borrowed into Latin during the Celtic expansions into Italy during the early fifth century BC.
Its root may be the Proto-Celtic *galno, meaning "power, strength", hence Old Irish gal "boldness, ferocity" and Welsh gallu "to be able, power". The tribal names of Gallaeci and the Greek Γαλάται most have the same origin; the suffix -atai might be an Ancient Greek inflection. Classical writers did not apply the terms Κελτοί or Celtae to the inhabitants of Britain or Ireland, which has led to some scholars preferring not to use the term for the Iron Age inhabitants of those islands. Celt is a modern English word, first attested in 1707, in the writing of Edward Lhuyd, whose work, along with that of other late 17th-century scholars, brought academic attention to the languages and history of the early Celtic inhabitants of Great Britain; the English form Gaul (first recorded in the 17th cent
Truro is a city and civil parish in Cornwall, England. It is Cornwall's county town and only city and centre for administration and retail. Truro's population was recorded as 18,766 in the 2011 census. People from Truro are known as Truronians; as the southernmost city in mainland Britain, Truro grew as a centre of trade from its port and as a stannary town for the tin mining industry. Its cathedral was completed in 1910. Places of interest include the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro Cathedral the Hall for Cornwall and Cornwall's Courts of Justice; the origin of Truro's name is debated. It has been said to derive from the Cornish tri-veru meaning "three rivers", but authorities such as the Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names reject this theory. There are doubts about the "tru" part meaning "three". An expert on Cornish place-names, Oliver Padel, in A Popular Dictionary of Cornish Place-names, called the "three rivers" meaning "possible". Alternatively the name may derive from similar, i. e. the settlement on the river Uro.
The earliest records and archaeological findings of a permanent settlement in the Truro area date from Norman times. A castle was built there in the 12th century by Richard de Luci, Chief Justice of England in the reign of Henry II, who for his services to the court was granted land in Cornwall, including the area surrounding the confluence of the two rivers; the town grew in the shadow of the castle and was awarded borough status to further economic activity. The castle has long since disappeared. Richard de Lucy fought in Cornwall under Count Alan of Brittany after leaving Falaise late in 1138; the small adulterine castle at Truro, Cornwall known as "Castellum de Guelon" was built by him in 1139–1140. He styled himself "Richard de Lucy, de Trivereu"; the castle passed to Reginald FitzRoy, an illegitimate son of Henry I, when he was invested by King Stephen as the first Earl of Cornwall. Reginald married Mabel FitzRichard, daughter of William FitzRichard, a substantial landholder in Cornwall.
The 75-foot -diameter castle was in ruins by 1270 and the motte was levelled in 1840. Today Truro Crown Court stands on the site. In a charter of about 1170, Reginald FitzRoy confirmed to the burgesses of Truro the privileges granted by Richard de Lucy. Richard held ten knights' fees in Cornwall prior to 1135 and at his death the county still accounted for a third of his considerable total holding. By the start of the 14th century Truro was an important port, due to its inland location away from invaders, prosperity from the fishing industry, a new role as one of Cornwall's stannary towns for assaying and stamping tin and copper from Cornish mines; the Black Death brought a trade recession and an exodus of the population that left the town in a neglected state. Trade returned and the town regained prosperity in the Tudor period. Local government was awarded in 1589 by a new charter granted by Elizabeth I, giving Truro an elected mayor and control over the port of Falmouth. During the Civil War in the 17th century, Truro raised a sizeable force to fight for the king and a royalist mint was set up.
Defeat by the Parliamentary troops came in 1646 and the mint was moved to Exeter. In the century, Falmouth was awarded its own charter, giving it rights to its harbour and starting a long rivalry between the two towns; the dispute was settled in 1709 with control of the River Fal divided between them. The arms of the city of Truro are "Gules the base wavy of six Argent and Azure, thereon an ancient ship of three masts under sail, on each topmast a banner of St George, on the waves in base two fishes of the second." Truro prospered in the 18th–19th centuries. Industry flourished through improved mining methods and higher prices for tin, the town attracted wealthy mine owners. Elegant Georgian and Victorian townhouses were built, such as those seen today in Lemon Street, named after the mining magnate and local MP Sir William Lemon. Truro became the centre for society in the county dubbed "the London of Cornwall". Throughout those prosperous times Truro remained a social centre, many notable people came from there.
Among the noteworthy were Richard Lander, an explorer, the first European to reach the mouth of the River Niger in Africa and was awarded the first gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society, Henry Martyn, who read mathematics at Cambridge, was ordained and became a missionary, translating the New Testament into Urdu and Persian. Others include Humphry Davy, educated in Truro and the inventor of the miner's safety lamp, Samuel Foote, an actor and playwright from Boscawen Street. Truro's importance increased in the 19th century, when it had an iron-smelting works and tanneries; the Great Western Railway arrived in the 1860s. The Bishopric of Truro Act 1876 gave the town a bishop, subsequently a cathedral; the next year Queen Victoria granted Truro city status. The New Bridge Street drill hall was completed in the late 19th century; the start of the 20th century brought a decline in mining, but the city remained prosperous and continued to develop as the administrative and commercial centre of Cornwall.
Today, Truro remains the county retail centre, but like other places, faces concerns over replacement of speciality shops by national chain stores, erosion of identity, doubts about how to accommodate the growth expected in the 21st century. Truro lies in the centre of western Cornwall, about 9 miles from the south coast at the confluence of the rivers Kenwyn and Allen, which combine to become the Truro River, one of a series of creeks and drowned valleys leading into the River Fal and th
Walcheren is a region and former island in the Dutch province of Zeeland at the mouth of the Scheldt estuary. It lies between the Eastern Scheldt in the north and the Western Scheldt in the south and is the shape of a rhombus; the two sides facing the North Sea consist of dunes. Middelburg lies at its centre; the third municipality is Veere. Walcheren was an island, but polders and a dam across the Eastern Scheldt have connected it to the island of Zuid-Beveland, which in turn has been connected to the North Brabant mainland; as early as Roman times, the island functioned as a point of departure for ships going to Britain. The Romans called it "Wallacra", a term most associated with Walhaz, the name Germans used for Romans. Walcheren became the seat of the Danish Viking Harald, who conquered what would become the Netherlands together with his brother Rorik in the ninth century. One fringe theory has it that Ahmad ibn Rustah described Walcheren when reporting on the seat of the Rus' Khaganate. Another fringe theory mentions Walcheren as the seat of Hades, described by Homer.
Under the Secret Treaty of Dover, concluded in 1670 between Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France, England was supposed to get possession of Walcheren as well as the isle of Cadzand, as the reward for helping France in the impending war against the Dutch Republic. In the event, the Dutch resistance - much stronger than anticipated - managed to repulse the French-English attack, the treaty was not implemented. Starting on 30 July 1809, a British armed force of 39,000 men landed on Walcheren, the Walcheren Campaign, with a view to assisting the Austrians in their war against Napoleon, attacking the French fleet moored at Flushing; the expedition turned into a disaster – although Flushing surrendered the Austrians had been decisively defeated at the Battle of Wagram in early July and were suing for peace. Meanwhile, the French fleet had moved to Antwerp, the British lost over 4,000 men to a disease called "Walcheren Fever", thought to be a combination of malaria and typhus, as well as to enemy action.
The French suffered some 4000 dead and captured. With the strategic reasons for the campaign gone and the worsening conditions, the British force was withdrawn in December. Strategically situated at the mouth of the River Scheldt, Walcheren was the key that allowed use of the deep-water port of Antwerp, located further upstream on the right bank of the southern estuary of the river, it was fought over during World War II in 1940 between Dutch and German troops in the Battle of the Netherlands, again in 1944 in the Battle of Walcheren Causeway, the fourth and final stage of the Battle of the Scheldt. On 3 October 1944 the RAF bombed the sea wall at Westkapelle causing the Inundation of Walcheren; the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division cleared South Beveland to the east and approached the island on 31 October 1944. The plan was to cross the Sloe Channel, but leading troops of the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade found that assault boats were useless in the deep mud of the channel; the only route open was the 40 metre wide Walcheren Causeway, a mile-long land bridge from South Beveland to the island.
The Canadian Black Watch was stopped. The Calgary Highlanders sent two companies over in succession, the second attack opening up a bridgehead on the island; the Highlanders were thrown back, having lost 64 killed and wounded. Le Régiment de Maisonneuve relieved them on the causeway, followed by the 1st Battalion, Glasgow Highlanders of the British 52nd Infantry Division. Meanwhile, on 1 November 1944, British Commandos landed in the village of Westkapelle in order to silence the German coastal batteries looking out over the Scheldt; the amphibious assault proved a success and by 8 November, all German resistance on the island had ceased. Topographic map of Walcheren, 2010-2011. Click to enlarge. Nehalennia
Perranarworthal is a civil parish and village in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The village is about four miles northwest of Falmouth and five miles southwest of Truro. Perranarworthal parish is bordered on the north by Kea parish, on the east by Restronguet Creek and Mylor parish, on the south by St Gluvias and Stithians parishes and on the west by Gwennap parish; the parish population at the 2011 census was 1,496. The name derives from the Manor of Arworthal which has had a number of spellings in the past including Hareworthal and Arwythel. By the 18th-century two names appear on maps "Perran Arworthal" meaning St Piran's by the creek or estuary. William Penaluna described the settlement in 1838. Perranwell railway station is on the Maritime Line. Perran Wharf is the area of the parish beside the River Kennall where there were a quay; this is being developed into Perran Foundry where there will be new homes and working space settled amidst the history of the site. The other settlements in the parish are Perranwell Station.
It was the home of the Perran Iron Foundry, an innovative concern, run by the Fox family of Falmouth and other Quaker business families. It was set up on the site of a tin smelting works in 1791; the foundry was operated in partnership with the Williams family, in 1858, it was sold to them. The creek serving the factory silted up and mining in Cornwall declined. Eight or nine barges at a time could be found at Perranwharf with a similar number of wagons waiting to be loaded; the wharf had been used to import timber for the mining industry from Scandinavia, as well as coal and guano. The guano trade was estimated to bring in between £ £ 30,000 a year; the slump in the mining industry during the 1870s hit Perran Foundry badly and it closed in March 1879 with the loss of 400 jobs, causing great distress in the parish. In April 1879, the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported that a soup kitchen had been open since January: ″793 people had attended and 1,240 quarts of soup were distributed″. In July 1880 a preliminary notice of an intended auction for Perran Foundry was planned for mid-August.
Williams's Perran Foundry covered an area of over 4 acres and had a lease of 99 years from Colonel Tremayne. The property contained a number of workshops, including blacksmith and engineers, a hammermill and a quay at Restronguet with access for 200 ton vessels; the machinery and stock were auctioned on 30 September and 1 October 1880. Large stocks of boiler plates and machinery at the Boiler Yard, Ponsanooth were auctioned, at the Pattern Shop, Foundry Yard, 10 tons of copper, lead, tin and other metals, 6 tons of steel, several thousand fire bricks, 50 tons coal and coke and numerous other lots. A chemical manure works known as Basset Foundry was sold to Mr T Rickard of Penryn for £101 in January 1883; the buildings including Manor Mill on the opposite side of the road were adapted by the Edwards Brothers for the milling and storage of grains and animal foods, cloth dyeing. Over the years there have been ambitious plans which have come and gone, but little changed at the foundry site for many years apart from the gradual deterioration of the buildings.
The site has been used for various purposes since but closed in 1986. In 2005, the owners, North Hill Estates Ltd, applied for planning permission to redevelop the site; the proposal was for a mix of residential accommodation. Further consultation on their proposal was ongoing. Planning was approved and the site has been under development in recent years to enable new homes to flourish from the foundations of its 200-year history One of the site's most iconic buildings is The Hammer Mill where all of the workings took place; this will be the first opportunity for people to acquire a home in this historic setting, as the show home opens for private viewings on 24 June 2013 with Heather & Lay and Savills. Perran Foundry is being revived by North Hill Estates Ltd, acknowledging its immense value to Cornish history; the Hammer Mill is the most iconic building on this site, converted from what was the heart of the old foundry The lofts and riverside homes being developed at the Perran Foundry commemorate the building's iconic past, as each building has adopted its name from its original purpose.
The Norway Inn was known as the Norway Hotel and the name derives from the Norwegian vessels which once brought loads of timber to Perran Wharf for use in the mines. The timber would be seasoned by being'pickled' for several months in shallow tidal ponds; the Norway Inn was built in 1828/1829 at the same time that the main Falmouth to Truro road was rerouted to cross the Carnon River on an embankment just above the village of Devoran. As of 1 December 2011 the Inn, after having had a refurbishment, is offering accommodation in four of its rooms. Tullimaar House, an early 19th-century mansion, is in the parish, it was the home of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Sir William Golding and is still occupied by Golding's son David. The 15th-century Anglican parish church dedicated to Saint Piran was rebuilt to the design of James Piers St Aubyn between May 1881 and 1882, at a cost of £1,200. At the time of the consecration ceremony which took place on 16 May 1882, a further £150 was required to install the pews.
While the church was closed services were held in the old Wesleyan chapel. The original granite tower remains from the 15th-century church. Pevsner described the church as "indifferent"; the foundation stone of the Wesleyan chapel was laid on 17 March 1879 and the first service was held on Thursday, 5 February 1880
The RP-3 was a British rocket projectile used during and after the Second World War. Though an air-to-ground weapon, it saw limited use in other roles, its 60 lb warhead gave rise to the alternative name of the "60 lb rocket". They were used by British fighter-bomber aircraft against targets such as tanks, motor transport and buildings, by Coastal Command and Royal Navy aircraft against U-boats and shipping; the "3 inch" designation referred to the diameter of the rocket motor tube. The first use of rockets fired from aircraft was during World War I; the "Unrotated Projectiles" were Le Prieur rockets which were mounted on the interplane struts of Nieuport fighters. These were reasonably successful. Sopwith Baby and Pup and Home Defence B. E.2 fighters carried rockets. With the war ended the Royal Air Force, intent on retrenching, forgot about firing rockets from aircraft; the British Army, did see a use for rockets against low-flying aircraft. When German forces under the command of Rommel intervened in the Western Desert from early 1941, it became clear that the Desert Air Force lacked weapons capable of damaging or destroying the large numbers of armoured fighting vehicles the heavier Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks possessed by the Germans.
In April 1941 Henry Tizard, the Chief Scientist, called together a panel to study "Methods of Attacking Armoured Vehicles." The types of weapons investigated included the 40 mm Vickers S gun and related weapons manufactured by the Coventry Ordnance Works, as well as the 40mm Bofors and the US 37 mm T9 cannon fitted to the Bell P-39 Airacobra: however, it was recognised that these weapons were only capable of dealing with light tanks and motor transport, using larger weapons on fighter-bombers was ruled out because of weight and difficulties handling recoil. The chairman of the panel, Mr. Ivor Bowen turned to the idea of using rocket projectiles as a means of delivering a large warhead capable of destroying or disabling heavy tanks. Information was sought from the Soviets, who had just started using unguided RS-82 rockets against German ground forces in the opening phases of Operation Barbarossa. By September 1941 it was decided that two models of UP would be developed: A 23 lb plastic explosive on a standard 2-inch UP.
A 20 lb solid armour-piercing head on a 3-inch UP. When it was realised that the 2-inch version would be less effective than the Vickers S cannon, it was decided to concentrate on development of the 3-inch version, which could be developed from the 2-inch rocket used in the Z-Batteries; the rocket body was a steel tube 3 inches in diameter filled with 11 pounds of cordite propellant, fired electrically. The warhead was screwed into the forward end, was a solid 25 pounds, 3.44-inch armor-piercing shell, supplemented by a 6-inch-diameter, 60 pounds high-explosive head. Another type of head was a 25 lb mild steel practice head. Once the rocket had been mounted on the rails, an electrical lead was plugged into the exhaust of the rocket. Four large tailfins induced enough spin to stabilize the rocket, but as it was unguided aiming was a matter of judgment and experience. Approach to the target needed to be precise, with no sideslip or yaw, which could throw the RP off line. Aircraft speed had to be precise at the moment of launch, the angle of attack required precision.
Trajectory drop was a problem at longer ranges. On the plus side the rocket was less complicated and more reliable than a gun firing a shell, there was no recoil on firing, it was found to be a demoralising form of attack against ground troops, the 60 lb warhead could be devastating. The rocket installations were light enough to be carried by single-seat fighters, giving them the punch of a cruiser. Against slow-moving large targets like shipping and U-boats, the rocket was a formidable weapon; the weight and drag of the all-steel rails fitted to British aircraft blunted performance. Some aircraft such as the Fairey Swordfish had steel "anti-blast" panels fitted under the rails to protect the wing, which further increased weight and drag. Aluminium Mark III rails, introduced from late 1944, reduced the effect. American experience with their own rockets showed that the long rails and anti-blast panels were unnecessary. British aircraft started being fitted with "Zero-Point" mounting pylons in the post-war years.
The 3-inch rocket motors were used in the bunker buster Disney bomb, 19 of them propelling the 4,500 pounds bomb to 990 miles per hour at impact with the target. Before the new weapon was released for service extensive tests were carried out by the Instrument and Defence Flight at Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough. Hurricanes were fitted with rockets and rails and flown during June and July 1942. Further tests were undertaken from 28 September to 30 November to develop rocket firing tactics. Other aircraft used were a Swordfish, a Boston II and a Sea Hurricane. At the same time the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment had to develop tactics for all the individual aircraft types wh