Her Majesty's Dreadnought VICTORY

By the turn of the century the traditional dominance of the Imperial Navy over the oceans was in question, with the Prussian and Vulgarian Dreadnought fleets closing the technological gap. The Victory was the Admiralty's response.

At the time of her launch she was the largest and most expensive vessel afloat, costing the then-vast sum of one and a half million pounds. Armed with six long-range guns designed to fire the new nitroglycerine shells, she was capable of a devastating strike against both naval and shore targets. For close-range defence she was also equipped with carbines and anti-aircraft weapons.

She was also home to a midget submarine and a squad of the famous Navy Seal-Divers. These brave men, equipped with their distinctive diving apparatus made from the skins of rare seal pups, were to become world-famous for their exploits - in particular the daring wartime raid on the Prussian submersible yards of Kiel.

Interested readers can see a rare colour photograph of the Victory and a collection of technical blueprints here.

US Cavalry Scout

The famous Cavalry Scouts of the United States Army first came to the notice of the general public through newspaper accounts of their daring exploits during the raids into Mexico against the bandit forces of Pancho Villa in 1911.

Although lightly armed and poorly protected, the Scouts would dart back and forth across the battlefield harrying enemy troops and targeting the exposed engine blocks at the rear of the slow and bulky Mexican mechanical walkers. The Scouts' cavalier attitude to danger became something of a calling card with recruits expected to display almost foolhardy bravery in battle.

This picture shows one of the earliest models of the Cavalry Scout's "Apache". It's maximum altitude was limited to only two feet above the ground, but it boasted a top speed of nearly 30knots and was highly maneuverable. The Apache was to go on to become a mainstay of the Cavalry Scouts for nearly three decades, although later incarnations bore little resemblance to their bulkier forebears.

Interested readers are invited to view further images of the Apache here.