360 DEGREE VIRTUAL TOURS
Each of the images below are links to an individual Virtual Tour page where one can pan around and see a 360 degree view of the subject environment. When panning around one of these scenes, multiple Target icons will appear in specific locations. Click on these Target icons to view the same scene, but from a different location/viewpoint. Feel free to try these sets of Target icon links in each scene to tour around the Virtual Tour environments.
5 Linked Viewpoints
THE ROMAN COLOSSEUM
This piece is an extensive Virtual Tour of the Roman Colosseum with views from one of the main entrances, of gladiators fighting, ships portraying naval combat, views from the upper gallery and from the rooftop.
The Colosseum could hold over 50,000 people. It was segregated by class with the Patrician class seated in the lower tier, while the common people sat in the upper two tiers. On the roof of the Colosseum, Roman sailors were employed to extend tarps to protect crowds from the sun and rain. Gladiators fought either animals or each other in elaborate games, with some game events lasting weeks and with thousands of participants. Some gladiators became famous and were followed much like sports teams today.
Roman scribes claim that at some of the Colosseum games, the arena was
filled with water to stage naval battles. The building and it's basements have been altered extensively since, so it is unknown how water was pumped into the main arena. In later years, a network of passages ran under the arena to channel wild animals from cages with ramps and elevators lifting them to the arena floor.
It is estimated that over a half million people and over a million animals died in the games over the course of 450 years. Over the years, the Colosseum has decayed from earthquakes, erosion and citizens taking stones for building new structures.
3 Linked Viewpoints
WORLD WAR I TRENCH - 1917
This World War I Trench scene illustrates some of the conditions soldiers of the Great War used to face from 1914 to 1918. In many cases, the front line hardly moved at all over the course of the war. In areas where fighting had been severe, it was not uncommon for many bodies to decay between the lines in No Man's Land. The stench of the front lines would greet soldiers on their way to the trenches miles before they ever got there. Rats, lice and disease were rampant among the trenches. In some cases, the mud would be deep enough for a man to drown in if he stepped off the wooden duckboards. Add to all that the elements of poison gas attacks, frequent artillery bombardments, nightly trench raids, full-out assaults back-and-forth between front line trenches, belts of barbed wire in No Man's Land to delay infantry mobility, machine gun nests and the advent of airplanes as weapons of war, and conditions on the front made World War I one of the most horrific wars to endure and difficult to survive.
Only 1 Viewpoint
B-17 BOMBER FORMATION 1943
All the relative distances and positions of the bombers in this Virtual Tour reflect an accurate "box" formation that American bombers used to employ in 1942-43 for mutual protection from German fighters. The Germans had found that the greatest weakness of the B-17 bomber formation was its front, so they developed tactics to attack the bombers head-on with a high combined closing speed. Also, the faster they passed through, the harder it was for the bomber's gunners to hit them.
Some German pilots claimed they'd close their eyes when flying through a bomber formation head-on as it was rather intimidating to fly straight into a group of enemy planes at such speeds. Later versions of the B-17 bomber had added machine guns in the 'chin' position, just under the Plexiglass nose to counteract these tactics and offer the bomber better protection.
4 Linked Viewpoints
THE RISING SUN OF JAPAN
- DEC. 10, 1941
After hosting the historic Atlantic Charter meeting between Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt on August 12, 1941, the battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the WWI veteran battlecruiser HMS Repulse were dispatched by Churchill as the core naval units of "Force Z" to Singapore on October 25th to deter the Japanese from attacking British possessions in Malaya and the East Indies. The new aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable had been scheduled to join Force Z to provide air cover for the ships, but she ran aground in Jamaica during trials and was under repair.
Arriving in Singapore in early December, Force Z was meant by Churchill to "overawe" the Japanese with British naval power, but Japan was not deterred from commencing their invasion of Malaya on the same day of their attack on
the American fleet at Pearl harbor on December 7th. Serving as the new flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Tom Phillips, the HMS Prince of Wales along with the HMS Repulse and four destroyers left Singapore the following day to search for and intercept Japanese invasion forces at sea. However, they were not successful and the Japanese submarine I-65 spotted Force Z as it was returning to Singapore. Japanese aircraft and submarines shadowed the fleet, and on December 10th, 1941, three days after Pearl Harbor, they were attacked by 86 bombers and torpedo bombers from the 22nd Air Flotilla based in Saigon. With no air cover, both the Prince of Wales and Repulse were quickly sunk and 840 men were killed, including Vice-Admiral Phillips. The Prince of Wales, having sustained four torpedo strikes and one bomb hit, sank in 223 feet of water. In 2001, the British Government declared its resting place an official "Protected Place". The wreck lies upside down with a British flag, which is periodically replaced, attached to a buoy line to mark the grave of those sailors lost that fateful day.
This was the first time that capital ships were sunk at sea by air power alone and signaled the end of the era of the battleship. Henceforth, aircraft and aircraft carriers reigned supreme in naval combat, eclipsing the role of the big gun ships that were the backbone of the Royal Navy for a half century. The incident also demonstrated Churchill's tragic miscalculation that two British battleships could deter Japanese aggression in the Pacific, seriously underestimating Japan's large pre-war navy and air forces. The Imperial Japanese Navy would be the dominant power in the Pacific for another six months until the tide was turned against long odds at the Battle of Midway in May 1942. Over the next three years, the Japanese Navy was steadily driven back to its home islands until Japan finally surrendered to Allied forces in Tokyo Harbor on September 2, 1945, bringing World War II to an end.