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Tree fern frond ……..

Image by Dilan Damith Prasanga’s
From Wikipedia :

In basic, any fern that grows with a trunk elevating the fronds (leaves) above ground level can be called a tree fern. Nonetheless, the plants formally known as tree ferns comprise a group of large ferns belonging to the families Dicksoniaceae and Cyatheaceae in the order Cyatheales.

Tree ferns are discovered increasing in tropical and subtropical locations, as nicely as temperate rainforests in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and other island groups nearby a couple of genera extend further, such as Culcita in southern Europe. Like all ferns, tree ferns reproduce by implies of spores created in sporangia on the undersides of the fronds.

Dicksonia antarctica at Kew
The fronds of tree ferns are typically extremely large and numerous-pinnated, but at least 1 variety has complete (undivided) fronds. The fronds of tree ferns also exhibit circinate vernation, which means the young fronds emerge in coils that uncurl as they grow.

As opposed to flowering plants, tree ferns do not form new woody tissue in their trunk as they grow. Rather, the trunk is supported by a fibrous mass of roots that expands as the tree fern grows.

Some genera — for instance Dicksonia and Cibotium, but not Cyathea — can be transplanted by severing the prime portion from the rest of the trunk and replanting it. If the transplanted top element is kept moist it will regrow a new root program over the next year. The success price of transplantation increases to about 80% if the roots are dug up intact. If the crown of the Tasmanian tree fern Dicksonia antarctica (the most frequent species in gardens) is damaged, it will die simply because all new development happens there. But other clump-forming tree fern species, such as D. squarrosa and D. youngiae, can regenerate from basal offsets or from &quotpups&quot emerging along the surviving trunk length. Tree ferns usually fall over in the wild, but manage to reroot from this new prostrate position and commence new vertical development.

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© Dilan Damith Prasanga | 2014

M5A1 (Stuart VI) Light Tank. 1941- 43.

Image by Peer.Gynt
Moscow. Kubinka Tank Museum.

The M3 Stuart, formally Light Tank M3 was an American light tank of Planet War II. It was used by British and Commonwealth forces prior to the entry of the USA into the war, and thereafter by US and Allied forces until the finish of the war. The name Basic Stuart or Stuart given by the British comes from the American Civil War General J.E.B. Stuart and was utilised for both the M3 and M5 Light Tank in British service it also had the unofficial nickname of Honey. To the United States Army the tanks were officially recognized only as Light Tank M3 and Light Tank M5.
Observing events in Europe, American tank designers realized that the Light Tank M2 was becoming obsolete and set about enhancing it. The upgraded design and style, with thicker armor, modified suspension and new gun recoil program was called &quotLight Tank M3&quot. Production of the vehicle began in March 1941 and continued until October 1943. Like its direct predecessor, the M2A4, the M3 was armed with a 37 mm M5 gun and five .30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns: coaxial with the gun, on best of the turret in an M20 AA mount, in a ball mount in appropriate bow, in the right and left hull sponsons.

To relieve the demand for the radial aero-engines utilized in the M3, a new version was created using twin Cadillac V-8 automobile engines. The new model (initially referred to as M4 but redesignated M5 to avoid confusion with the M4 Sherman) also featured a redesigned hull with sloped glacis plate and driver’s hatches moved to the leading. Despite the fact that the major criticism from the employing units was that the Stuarts lacked firepower, the improved M5 series kept the very same 37 mm gun. The M5 steadily replaced the M3 in production from 1942 and was in turn succeeded by the Light Tank M24 in 1944.

Combat history

Light Tank M5A1 passes by way of the wrecked streets of Coutances.
An Australian Stuart I for the duration of the final assault on Buna.
A British M3 (Stuart I) knocked out in the course of fighting in North Africa.The British Army was the 1st to use the Light Tank M3 as the &quotGeneral Stuart&quot in combat. In November 1941, some 170 Stuarts took part in Operation Crusader, with poor outcomes. Although the high losses suffered by Stuart-equipped units in the course of the operation had much more to do with better techniques and coaching of the Afrika Korps than the apparent superiority of German armor in the North African campaign, the operation revealed that the M3 had many technical faults. Pointed out in the British complaints were the 37 mm M5 gun and poor internal layout. The two-man turret crew was a important weakness, and some British units tried to fight with three-man turret crews. The Stuart also had a restricted range, which was a severe issue in desert warfare as units usually outpaced their supplies and had been stranded when they ran out of fuel. On the optimistic side, crews liked its high speed and mechanical reliability, therefore its unofficial nickname of Honey. The high speed and high reliability distinguished the Stuart from cruiser tanks of the period, in distinct the Crusader, which composed a massive portion of the British tank force in Africa up until 1942.

From the summer of 1942, when adequate US medium tanks had been received, the British generally kept Stuarts out of tank-to-tank combat, utilizing them mainly for reconnaissance. The turret was removed from some examples to save weight and boost speed and variety. These became recognized as &quotStuart Recce&quot. Some others have been converted to armored personnel carriers and had been recognized as &quotStuart Kangaroo&quot, and some had been converted command vehicles and known as &quotStuart Command&quot. M3s, M3A3s, and M5s continued in British service till the end of the war, but British armor units had a smaller proportion of these light tanks than US units.

The other main Lend-Lease recipient of the M3, the Soviet Union, was even less satisfied with the tank, thinking about it undergunned, underarmored, likely to catch fire, and as well sensitive to fuel top quality. The narrow tracks had been highly unsuited to operation in winter circumstances, as they resulted in high ground pressures that sank the tank into the snow. Also, the M3’s radial aircraft engine essential higher-octane fuel, which difficult Soviet logistics as most of their tanks utilized diesel. Nevertheless, the M3 was superior to early-war Soviet light tanks such as the T-60, which have been usually underpowered and possessed even lighter armament than the Stuart. In 1943, the Red Army attempted out the M5 and decided that the upgraded design wasn’t significantly greater than the M3. Being much less desperate than in 1941, the Soviets turned down an American offer you to supply the M5. M3s continued in Red Army service at least until 1944.

In US Army service, the M3 very first saw combat in the Philippines. Two battalions, comprising the Provisional Tank Group fought in the Bataan peninsula campaign. When the American army joined the North African Campaign in late 1942, Stuart units nevertheless formed a big component of its armor strength. Right after the disastrous Battle of the Kasserine Pass the US rapidly followed the British in disbanding most of their light tank battalions and subordinating the Stuarts to medium tank battalions performing the conventional cavalry missions of scouting and screening. For the rest of the war, most US tank battalions had three companies of M4 Shermans and one company of M3s or M5/M5A1s.

In the European theater, Allied light tanks had to be provided cavalry and infantry fire support roles because their principal cannon armament could not compete with heavier enemy AFVs. Even so, the Stuart was nevertheless powerful in combat in the Pacific Theater, as Japanese tanks were both reasonably uncommon and have been typically much weaker than even Allied light tanks. Japanese infantrymen were poorly equipped with anti-tank weapons and tended to attack tanks employing close-assault tactics. In this environment, the Stuart was only moderately far more vulnerable than medium tanks. In addition, the poor terrain and roads typical to the theatre have been unsuitable for the considerably heavier M4 medium tanks, and so initially, only light armor could be deployed. Heavier M4s were sooner or later brought to overcome heavily entrenched positions, although the Stuart continued to serve in a combat capacity till the finish of the war.

Though the Stuart was to be completely replaced by the newer M24 Chaffee, the quantity of M3s/M5s created was so fantastic (over 25,000 including the 75 mm HMC M8) that the tank remained in service till the end of the war and nicely right after. In addition to the United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union, who have been the major users, it was also used by France, China (M3A3s and, instantly post-war, M5A1s) and Tito’s partisans in Yugoslavia (M3A3s and handful of M3A1).

After the war, some countries chose to equip their armies with low cost and reliable Stuarts. The Republic of China Army, having suffered wonderful attrition in terms of armors as a outcome of the ensuing civil war, rebuilt their armored forces by acquiring surplus automobiles left behind in the former PTO by the US forces, which includes 22 M5A1s to equip two tank firms. They would have their finest hours during the Battle of Kuningtou, for which the tank came to be identified as the &quotBear of Kinmen&quot (金門之熊). The M5 played a considerable part in the Initial Kashmir War (1947) amongst India and Pakistan, including the battle of Zoji-la pass at an extraordinary altitude of almost 12,000 ft. The car remained in service in a number of South American countries at least until 1996.

Throughout the 60s and 70s, the Portuguese Army also utilized some in the war in Angola, exactly where its all terrain capability (compared to wheeled cars) was greatly appreciated.

Production history
Created 1941-1943
Weight 14.7 tonnes (32,400 lb)
Length four.five m (14.eight ft)
Width two.46 m (8.1 ft)
Height 2.three m (7.five ft)
Crew four (Commander, gunner, driver, co-driver)


Armor 13 – 51 mm
armament 37 mm M6 in M44 mount
174 rounds
armament 3 x .30-06 Browning M1919A4 MG
7,500 rounds

Engine Continental W-670-9A, 7 Cylinder air-cooled radial
250 hp (186 kW)
Energy/weight 17.82 hp/tonne
Suspension Vertical volute spring
range 120 km (74 mi)
Speed 58 km/h (36 mph) (road)
30 km/h (18 mph) (off-road)

From Wikipedia, the cost-free encyclopedia