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WTF IS A MOOC

It’s OK, I know this one from Scorsese films. As in “HeyLarry, why’d ya eat all the freakin’ meatballs, ya freakin’ Mooc!”

That’s ‘mook’. A MOOC is a Massively Online Open Course. Sort of like a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO), except instead of meeting up with your fellow nerds and wizarding about in a poisonous troll-dungeon, you meet up with your fellow nerds and level yourselves up by absorbing knowledge, or learning’.

Alrightalready! Howsdo I gets one?

American universities have led the charge, opening their digital doors to students from across the globe via companies such as edX, Udacity

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The Royal Artillerys Forgotten 25

Mention the number 25 to any British ex-gunner and the almost automatic response will be ’25-pounder. That venerable gun-howitzer made such an impression on the WWII years (and for decades after) that it is still foremost in the thoughts of many who served the guns. Yet there was another 25 in the Royal Artillery’s WW2 inventory although, in contrast to the 25-pounder, it did not stay very long and neither did it make a very good impression. It was a 25mm anti-tank gun and it was not a British product but French. It was le canon antichar de 25mm modele

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The Ottoman Medical Service in the Crimea

In recent medal sales, DNW has auctioned the fine collection relating to medical services formed by the late Tony Sabell. My attention was drawn to a few — and there were only a few — examples of Crimean medals awarded to British personnel attached to the Ottoman Medical Service. British medical failures during the Crimean war are all too well-known, as is the novel role of volunteer nurses like Florence Nightingale and various other groups. British involvement with the «Turkish Contingent” in the Crimea is well enough recorded, but I for one had never heard of British work with the

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Tacklin – THE TALIBAN

Tim Ripley reports from Afghanistan on NATO air operations in southern Afghanistan, aimed at ousting Taliban insurgents.

AIR STRIKES recounted give some idea of the scale and complexity of NATO air support at the height of fighting between alliance ground troops and Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan over the summer. Air operations reached a peak in September as Canadian-led NATO troops swept into a Taliban stronghold west of the city of Kandahar and British Paratroopers battled to hold a series of isolated so-called ‘Platoon Houses’ in the north of neighbouring Helmand Province. According to US Central Command Air Forces, which

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STYLISH splurges

VENICE-SIMPLON ORIENT EXPRESS,

LONDON TO VENICE

S’You can never be overdressed on the Orient Express,’ says the brochure. The journey starts on the British Pullman, enjoying brunch as we whizz towards the Channel crossing. And that’s when the real fun begins. Once in France, we’re helped aboard the Orient Express by our cabin steward, wearing that distinctive blue uniform. The cabins themselves are all vintage luxury, lots of polished oak and mahogany, crystal glassware, silk lampshades and art deco luggage racks. During the day, relax on banquette seating, which converts to luxury bunk-beds at night, with your own Orient robes

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Personal Items of the British Soldier during WWI

The identity disc is arguably the most personal of all the multitude of items issued to soldiers in WWI. Worn at all times around the neck and underneath the clothing the identity discs accompanied the soldier everywhere, from his enlistment, through training to his theatre of war and through the familiar routine of front line, support and rest. They absorbed the sweat of his labours and sometimes the blood of his wounds. In the event of his death ‘in the Field’ they identified him for appropriate burial in the faith he declared on enlistment and many discs found their way

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Paras

— The Official Story

W H Smith Exclusive video — Castle Communications.

Narrated by Michael Aspel. Running time approximately 82 minutes, £12.99.

A RATHER DIFFERENT title from the usual for me, but interesting and informative none the less. The video describes the history of airborne troops in the British Army, from their inception in 1940 (on Churchill’s instructions) to the present day. It is an officially sanctioned production with an introduction by the Parachute Regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief, HRH the Prince of Wales, and the narration, by Michael Aspel, is excellent throughout.

The British Army came rather late into paratroops with the

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FAST TIMES IN THE FALKLANDS

Jim Dorschner visited the Falkland Islands to report on the Air Component, British Forces South Atlantic Islands.

TWENTY-THREE YEARS after the 1982 South Hi Atlantic War with Argentina, British airpower in the Falkland Islands remains robust, capable and busy. British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI), which replaced the former British Forces Falkland Islands last year and now includes responsibility for Ascension, St Helena, South Georgia and Tristan da Cunha, remains based at RAF Mount Pleasant (MPA), 35 miles (56km) southwest of Stanley on East Falkland. The air component is led by Group Captain Gordon Moulds, a Tornado F.3 navigator with

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D Force, Burma

This trained decoy unit, the first in history, became a thorn in the Japanese side in the jungles of Burma

For the first time in military history a field unit of a specialist deception force was in direct contact with the enemy in the last week of January 1944 the Sikh company of D’ Force fought men of the Japanese 55th Division in the Valley Abakan (W Burma). Till then the task of misleading an adversary had always been delegated to an HQ staff where strategy was concerned, or tactically to a unit detached from the battalion, brigade, or division

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Coalition – AIRPOWER

David C Isby looks at Anglo-American Co-operation during the air campaigns over Afghanistan and Iraq

ANGLO-AMERICAN airpower, forged in combat during two world conflicts, has had 50 years of post-war joint training and operations — in the Cold War and ‘shooting’ wars alike — to bring the two nations to their current capability for using coalition airpower as a flexible but integral force, a fact demonstrated daily over Afghanistan and Iraq. The coalition airpower in combat today amounts to far more than F-16s and Harriers carrying out their respective missions. It represents the application of state-of-the art command control technology

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