Tuesday, 28 December 2010

ABC Wednesday - Numerical X and also X Craft

The Roman numeral X represents 10.   On its side 1,000 (you will have to turn your head to one side to imagine it) and with a dash over the top 10,000.  In algebra and mathematics in general x represents an unknown quantity.  Not an unknown quantity in this photo however for the stones are from the old dock, measuring depth.  Today they placed within a little amphitheatre
with an a tiled compass point forming the 'stage'. I would have liked to have taken a better photo than this but nature intervened
with a covering of snow.  This little space is by the side of the Dock Museum, an old Victorian Graving Dock, which in times past had a shipyard by the side of it building sailing ships from 1872-1884 both of wood and iron, what a pity none of them had names starting with X.  Oh well what about another look at those numbers carved in stone
or perhaps look towards a covered dock that is still active.
Looking from the amphitheatre, past the maritime themed playground is Devonshire Dock Hall, referred to as the DDH by those that work within and the Big Shed by everyone else. Today huge submarines are built inside this structure, such as the 492 foot long trident Vanguard class, but from 1943-1944 this shipyard, then known as Vickers, built the X class midget submarines, which in contrast were 51 feet long.  Their full complement was a commanding officer, first lieutenant, engineer and a diver. They were used in WW2 or should I say WWII most famously for the attack on the Tirpiz in a Norwegian dock. Six set off towed 1000 miles and then naviagted their way through minefields, dodged nets avoided guns to place limpet mines on this famous ship, only 2 returned. A film was later made of this operation called Above Us the Waves with
a suitably claustrophobic poster.  Other X boats, not made by Vickers were used to survey the landing beaches for Operation Overlord, mostly of what is now Omaha beach in France. The range of these midget submarines was limited to 14 days or up to 1,500 miles at a 2 knots. They were usually towed to within a few miles of the target by conventional submarines or under surface ships or launched from the deck of submarines and surface ships. The diver came out of a wet and dry airlock.  I don't think I would have liked to be in one of these for 14 days
Control Room of an X Craft

X or Cross across to ABC Wednesdays's new home for all things beginning with, this week, X


Gigi Ann said...

A very creative and educational X day today. I enjoyed reading it.

photowannabe said...

I don't think I would have liked to be in the for 14 days either. Talk about stir-crazy.
Interesting and informative post.

Sylvia K said...

I agree, what an interesting and informative post for the X Day, Joy! Hope you had a great Christmas and wishing you a very Happy New Year!


EG CameraGirl said...

How clever of you to think of Roman numerals!

!4 days! That would probably do me in. :)

Roger Owen Green said...

I thought those dashes over the Roman numerals could too easily be mistaken for an accidental mark; could have HUGE consequences.
Very informative.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Tumblewords: said...

Wonderfully informative post - enjoyed it and the photos. Happy New Year!

Mommy Kharen said...

wow too much information that I now learned on your page.. Happy to be here! Happy ABC Wednesday

VioletSky said...

XLent Xes.

magiceye said...

very interesting post

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

That is pretty darned cool (and unique) that submarines are built in that giant shed!

mrsnesbitt said...

Love the challenge of X - always brings out the creativity in such a great group of people.
Thanks so much
Denise x

Unknown said...

Thanks for a fascinating tour of Roman numerals in our lives!
Helen Mac, ABC team