Military Jeopardy

Strykervet

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You're so damn close you're smoking. You got the name though so I'll go ahead and elaborate. The items that gave the buildup to the invasion away may be hard to discover.

Julian Assange was a teenager in Australia during this time and he was involved in early hacking circles. For those of you not familiar with budding technology and the DIY aspect of it during the 80's when it was all accessible, there used to be hamfests dating back to before I was born where ham radio aficionados of all caliber met to trade. A lot like gunshows used to be before they went political. I used to go to them all when I was a kid (they were a LOT of fun with good deals too, especially prior to May 86!) Early computer tech was generally traded at these, most people had no idea of what this stuff was capable of and hackers freely and openly discussed and traded programs and hardware.

This is where Julian Assange got his start, where he met the right people. Their big thing was that they hacked into systems for information, but NEVER stole information or moved it around. So they figured they weren't doin anything wrong and this was sort of before internet crimes, period. But they drew attention they didn't want, and they figured publishing a buildup to an invasion of Iraq was something people needed to know.

The item he found that was glaring was: Coca Cola. Pallets and pallets of coca cola. This was an order that FAR exceeded the typical consumption of the destination and it also had to do with where it was being sent. There were other shipments too, but this one was the one that gave it away. I wanna say large amounts of toilet paper in a place that doesn't go through that much also rang a bell.

Regarding the Dutch connection, IIRC there were some Dutch or Germans that were involved somehow and Assange and his group were spooked when at least one of them was found to have "committed suicide by self immolation" though it was widely suspected the burning of the body was to cover up some other assignation method.

Pretty crazy, huh? I didn't know Assange went that far back until I learned this. He's been hacking and disseminating information since 15yo at least.
 
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sandwarrior

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There was a guy around the same time period named Hesse? or something too. Not sure if he was involved with these guys.

FWIW, we knew there was going to be an invasion sometime soon anyhow. Lotsa people who were in the military "went quiet" or talked the same lingo we did when we were about to deploy. And, knowing Pres. Bush, he wasn't at all against pulling the trigger when he saw fit. It was a good thing he was a strong leader in that regard, as his politics was, "We'll help most everyone, but if you come at someone with violence, we'll come back a lot harder." He was a quiet president, but he instilled a lot of foreign fear and respect.

That was almost right after Saddam invaded Kuwait. Diplomacy kicked in and Bush knew what the score was.
 
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sandwarrior

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A similar incident happened to one of our top aces. Can you name our guy and theirs?

Hint: The German pilots name is in "JG 26 Top Guns Of The Luftwaffe"
I should add here the incident was similar to the Brown/Stigler incident, but the German had actually run out of ammunition. He could have rammed the P-47 and knocked it out of the sky, but didn't. Instead, his last move was to salute and fly back to his base.
 

Strykervet

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Who was "Nigger"? (This is a proper name and has no racist intent)

It's also a daily double question in the Movie Jeopardy thread and I think they both serve as appropriate hints to one another.
 
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bidet

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Stigler had Brown in the sights and was going to down him (his 3rd for the day). As he got close he saw the plane was defenseless and useless. So, he didn't fire on the already shredded B-17. he also saw the dead and wounded.

He tried to get him to just land, but Brown wanted to try for home. Anyhow, Stigler escorted the B-17 to the North Sea so the Germans wouldn't shoot him down with flak. Then he saluted him and let him go

They got in contact after the war. Stigler had emigrated to Canada and answered an ad for a reunion. That's how Brown found him.

I watched a documentary on it, but didn't remember what it was called.
There is a book with the details of this story, along with a lot more background on both pilots. Check out A Higher Call.
 

Strykervet

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Yep, you got both but you missed the movie within a movie. And as you can imagine, it has been the subject of rewriting of history, saying he "sometimes called the dog Niggle" and starting in 1999 BBC and others started changing the name from that to "Trigger", etc. It's said he was named after a paint color commonly used on planes at the time, which makes sense because if you've ever seen paint lists in multiple languages, especially older ones, it often comes up with respect to black and brown colors. Nigger was a black lab, well loved by the whole crew, featured in group photos, rode with the bomb crew regularly (I bet he went nuts when they got ready to go) and he loved to drink beer from his own bowl in the officer's mess. He actually died in a car accident the night prior to the famous raid. "Nigger" sent in morse code was the code word used to confirm the dam had been busted during the raid.

Dambusters was pretty badass. Not just the movie, but the method. Does anyone know how it was accomplished? I'm sure this is too easy, but it's interesting nonetheless.
 
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Strykervet

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Yeah, it was pretty cool, the math involved in order to get the spin just right for a barrel that size and weight to do the job without sinking or bouncing out of control... It was pretty precise.
 

sandwarrior

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Yeah, it was pretty cool, the math involved in order to get the spin just right for a barrel that size and weight to do the job without sinking or bouncing out of control... It was pretty precise.
Not to mention the altitude. Too high and the bomb would sink regardless. Too low and it might skip up and hit the plane. Although, it no doubt had not armed yet
 

bidet

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Not to mention the altitude. Too high and the bomb would sink regardless. Too low and it might skip up and hit the plane. Although, it no doubt had not armed yet
There was a PBS program (Nova?) a few years ago called Bombing Hitler's Dams, where they succeeded in replicating this mission. It's still on my TiVo from when it aired in 2012. They built a small dam and bombed it, using a DC-6 as the bomber. They did it during daylight, but still, it was very impressive. They spun their bomb up before takeoff, rather than crafting a motor to spin it during flight.

The program covered how they made a crude sight, based on the spacing of the towers along the top of the dam. When the towers filled the sight, they released the bomb.

One thing that was not covered was how the bombers determined the correct height when flying in over the water. I'm going off of memory from something I read decades ago, but it seems that they fixed lights under each wing, angled so that the beams would converge at whatever the required height was (60'?). So if the pilot saw two separate beams, he was too low, if the beams converged into a spot on the lake's surface, he was at the right altitude.

Not sure exactly when the bomb was armed, but even an inert bomb skipping back to hit the plane would be disastrous at that low altitude.
 
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sirhrmechanic

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There are a couple of re-enactments, including a British 'modern' jet crew that ran the mission. They couldn't hit the target. And a Canadian crew that built a large dam.

One plane was tragically lost when the spray bounced up with so much force that it sheared the tail off the plane. Sickening to watch...

It's an amazing story. The balls of Gibson and his crew... after their drop... to fly through withering antiaircraft fire to distract the guns from the bombing plane. Multiple times. Talk about leadership...

Cheers,

Sirhr
 
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I should add here the incident was similar to the Brown/Stigler incident, but the German had actually run out of ammunition. He could have rammed the P-47 and knocked it out of the sky, but didn't. Instead, his last move was to salute and fly back to his base.
I just checked that book out from the library, there are lots of names in it!
 
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The Focke-Wulf then pulled along side Johnson's plane, by now a sieve; the German shook his head in amazement, rocked his wings in salute, peeled away, and returned to the continent.
 

sandwarrior

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The Focke-Wulf then pulled along side Johnson's plane, by now a sieve; the German shook his head in amazement, rocked his wings in salute, peeled away, and returned to the continent.
That's our guy...who was the German?

BTW, that is one of THE BEST chronological accounts of who had what/when and how it fared. Generic terms tossed around today about this plane or that mean nothing without getting to the nomenclature defining just exactly what the aircraft was equipped with. Spitfires and Me-109's were both made at the beginning of the war, and the end of the war, but later ones completely obliterate the early ones capabilities. And, yes, the Mustang is mentioned frequently in that book. Surprising analysis on it.
 
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Strykervet

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Never heard it called that... There's a certain method used in antiquity that would make sense once you thought of it but how you'd think of doing it in the first place confuses me.

It's a little more involved that just undermining the wall but not a whole lot more.
 

Strykervet

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That's actually not a bad guess but not quite it either.

Think about the scant supplies you'll have in the desert, but don't worry about value, remember the wall has to come down at any and all costs.
 

Strykervet

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I can think of making explosives out of camel shit... Undermining still works better.
and

Digging a tunnel and then laying fire, to crack the mortar holding the stones together?
Are both pretty close. Close enough, so you both win and get to think of new questions!

So what I had in mind was herding pigs into the tunnel under the wall and setting the backs of the pigs on fire. They'd also pack other stuff in there as space allowed and sealed it of a sorts to make an oven, and the fat builds up and burns hot for a long time. The writer I recall spoke about how loud they squealed... Pretty brutal shit. Anyway, it weakens the joints and some of the blocks in the foundation causing them to crumble into the weaker tunnels and a whole section of wall will come down and you just go over the rubble. It's fairly easy to repair too once you take the city/castle/fort/etc.

Wanna say I recall reading about this being used by or against Saladin (the Great?) in the Crusades and it going back as far as Rome, maybe farther. It's a pretty simple technique but gunpowder likely made it obsolete. I'm sure it's limited to certain size walls and I bet it works better on some construction than others, but yeah, makin' bacon has been used to bring down walls.

Siege warfare was some nasty shit, particularly for the besieged, where they've gone on for years.
 
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Here's one that I thought I knew the answer to, but found the real answer in a book I read last year by an actual dive bomber pilot.

In all of the WWII movies, you see the dive bombers getting ready for their attack. One of the things they do prior to the dive is to open up the canopy of their plane. Why?
 

MarinePMI

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and



Are both pretty close. Close enough, so you both win and get to think of new questions!

So what I had in mind was herding pigs into the tunnel under the wall and setting the backs of the pigs on fire. They'd also pack other stuff in there as space allowed and sealed it of a sorts to make an oven, and the fat builds up and burns hot for a long time. The writer I recall spoke about how loud they squealed... Pretty brutal shit. Anyway, it weakens the joints and some of the blocks in the foundation causing them to crumble into the weaker tunnels and a whole section of wall will come down and you just go over the rubble. It's fairly easy to repair too once you take the city/castle/fort/etc.

Wanna say I recall reading about this being used by or against Saladin (the Great?) in the Crusades and it going back as far as Rome, maybe farther. It's a pretty simple technique but gunpowder likely made it obsolete. I'm sure it's limited to certain size walls and I bet it works better on some construction than others, but yeah, makin' bacon has been used to bring down walls.

Siege warfare was some nasty shit, particularly for the besieged, where they've gone on for years.
It was also shown in the movie "Ironclad" that was on Netflix for a while. A pretty good flick, that surprised me in that it never got much attention. They have a scene of a seige where they are herding pigs into a tunnel and then setting them ablaze to cause the walls to crumble from the intense heat (thermal shock, like dropping an ice cold glass into a pot of boiling water). I highly recommend watching the flick; good entertainment, with a dash of some historical points. Mostly fiction, but pretty entertaining...

The sequel was garbage, but the first one was pretty good.
 

MarinePMI

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Here's one that I thought I knew the answer to, but found the real answer in a book I read last year by an actual dive bomber pilot.

In all of the WWII movies, you see the dive bombers getting ready for their attack. One of the things they do prior to the dive is to open up the canopy of their plane. Why?
Pressure change? Causing condensation/fogging?
 
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Pressure change? Causing condensation/fogging?
Close. It's actually the temperature change that causes the fogging. Temperature drops by about 3.5 deg F for each 1000 ft of altitude, and the dive bombers started their dives at about 20,000 ft. Opening the canopy reduces (eliminates?) fogging since the air inside and outside are now the same temperature.

As the others posted, I always thought it was to allow for easier egress in case bailing out became necessary. The book is Never Call Me a Hero, by Jack "Dusty" Kleiss. Kleiss was a dive bomber pilot who scored hits on three different Japanese ships (each of which sank) during the Battle of Midway. He lived to be 100, but died in April 2016, before the book was released.
 
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