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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ron Walker

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Ron Walker last won the day on April 16

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  1. WW2 stragetic bomber concepts

    Stephen, try researching Barnes Wallis and his "Victory Bomber". Barnes Wallis was the man who came up with the idea of the "Bouncing Bomb" used by the Dam Busters. He also designed the Tallboy and Grand Slam bombs. But his BIG idea, from early in the war had been for a few massive strategic bombers, able to cruise at very great heights and to carry just ONE big bomb each.The bomb, when dropped, would bury itself deep in the ground before exploding, and produce a result very like an earthquake, sending a massive shockwave through the ground. The result, in theory, would have been much like the Atomic bomb - "one bomb, one city" You can't fight a war if your major engineering capacity lies in ruins as the result of a "synthetic earthquake." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Bomber
  2. Average Germans knew Nazi atrocities

    STephen, your lck of research is showing again. Russian PoW's were in many cases, used as slave labour, particularly by the "Organisation Todt" (The state labour bureau) They were marched - in their millions to where they were needed - particularly in the construction of the massive defences on the Atlantic Wall. Russian PoWs were found as far west as the Channel Islands, (The only British territory occupied by Germany) A couple of Islanders were sent to concentration camps for hiding escaped Russian PoW's. I seem to recall reading that some were drafted to work on German farms. They weren't some dreadful "secret." Everybody would have known about them.
  3. ed forsyth

    Given that before 1871, there WAS no such place as "Germany", bringing "Germans" to Poland in 1700 would have required the use of a time machine. Poland ceased being a nation in 1794, and didn't regain independence as a nation until 1918 (they celebrate the centenary later this year) I'd suggest that any debts owed from 1700-ish ceased to have any validity when the country disappeared sometime during that 124 years of non-existence....
  4. What was the best fighter plane of WWII?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_aircraft_carrier_II
  5. What was the best fighter plane of WWII?

    There was also a second carrier, captured when only part completed in the French port of L'Orient, and after years of indecision, they didn't bother to complete it. (The French however DID complete it after the war). Perhaps of more interest was the proposed "KFT" project (That's "KleinesFlugZeugTraeger" or "SMALL Aircraft Carrier". That looked promising - except the chap who proposed the idea couldn't get the navy to take a serious interest (Because it's about AIRCRAFT!) And could't get the Luftwaffe to take the idea seriously (Because it's about SHIPS!)....
  6. Italy under Mussolini

    At the risk of offending someone (which I probably will!) Italy's a pretty strange place. Exactly which bits of land and which people constitute "Italy" remains uncertain. Therer's a political party (or alliance of tiny parties) whose main political ambition is to split off the industrial north of the peninsula from the agrarian South, which they feel is holding them back. Brits traditionally gauge countries by the quality of the infantry produced by them. The Germans are deeply respected... The Italians are largely misunderstood. Northern Italy produces some truly fiercesome soldiers (Alpini, Bersaglieri, parachutists...) The South produced (during WW2) basically cannon fodder, who in North Africa surrendered in embarrassingly large numbers. Many were shipped back to the UK as PoWs; there was a large camp not far from where my family lived... the Italians were happy to give their paroles, and be released to work on local farms. A massive contrast to the later influx of German PoW's. Where I live right now - the Isle of Man - is a small island (30 miles by 10 miles) was used during WW2 for the internment of "hostile Alien Civilians"; waiters, cooks, orchestra members... who were foreign nationals caught in the UK at the outbreak of war. Ranks of hoiday hotels along the seafront were commandeered as accommodation for "hostile civilians". Bear in mind that on Day 1 of the war, the German Spy network in the UK had been rolled up, and threatened with execution unless they changed sides.(Most of them did) Anyone able to be "leaned on" (by threats against their families back in their home nation) was arrested, and transported to the Isle of Man. In many cases their "offence" was a mere technicality; they'd moved (for example) from Italy to Glasgow and opened an Icecream parlour, lived there for decades, raised a family and had no intention of ever returning to Italy (other than on holiday, or family visits) They just hadn't bothered to "formalise" the fact that they were now effectively British. In the Internment camps, there was a substantial Italian contingent... amongst whom Fascist sympathisers were the best organised, and bullied the other internees mercilessly. Opposition to Mussolini would be punished by getting beaten up. Very little could be done .An internment camps is not a PoW camp - the inmates are not subject to miltary discipline. An object lesson however - a well-organised group of fanatics can dictate to a far larger group... Just as they were doing back in Italy. Italy did not have the industrial might to genuinely "play with the big boys"... with the possible exception oif their navy. Hence the attack by the British at Taranto, where a night time raid by torpedo bombers on the italian fleet caused disaster - sinking a couple of ships in the main navigation channel out of its harbour, which others then steamed over, ripping out the bottom of their own hulls as as they did so. Italy's naval divers remained a threat to the RN throughout the war, staging daring raids on shipping in Gibraltar. With the exception of the rather good Beretta SMG, for the most part Italian military hardware was extraordinarily bad. (Google "Breda Machine Gun" to learn just HOW bad a machine gun can be!)
  7. What was the worst mistake made by Germany in WWII?

    A couple of weeks back, I mistook one senior USAAF officer for another. One had been famous for showing that warships could be sunk by planes, the other was famous for transporting medium bombers to within range of Tokyo on ships, and infuriating the Japanese by bombing their capital city. Bombers... ships... Americans... easy to mix 'em up. But be sure that here on W.H.O., any mistakes will be spotted and commented upon...!
  8. What was the worst mistake made by Germany in WWII?

    remember..... Google is your FRIEND!! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declaration_of_war_against_the_United_States
  9. Why Nazis Lost the War

    Even before he'd been appointed to major office, Churchill's old "gang" from WW1 was beginning to reform around him, one of its aspects was what became known as "Churchill's Toyshop", a War Office department charged with creating and producing "exotic weapons", later this included a range of timing devices for S.O.,E. At the time of the "Phoney War", aka "Sitzkrieg", their main task was the creation of an amazingly smart (for the time) mine, code named "Royal Marine" intended to be dropped into the Rhine (which passes the French border) which downstream becomes a major transport artery for German Industry. It was a hell of a gizmo, that would vary the depth at which it floated depending on how long it had been immersed in river water, Churchill was very enthusiastic about these mines... alas access to the French section of the Rhine didn't last long, with the collapse of the French army. Churchill had twisted a lot of arms to get his project put into production. There were even plans to air-drop these mines into the Rhine by the RAF. The "Toyshop" stayed in business anyway, and produced an amazing range of weapons and gadgets. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Royal_Marine
  10. Pearl Harbour brought the USA to war with ONE of the Axis powers (Japan) but Hitler's assumption that if he declared war on the USA as well, then Japan would reciprocate and declare war on the USSR turned out to be badly mistaken.Russia's masterspy Richard Sorge had penetrated the Japanese command sufficiently to be able to assure his bosses back in Moscow that Japan would NOT go to war with Russia. SO, even although Germany had played no part in Pearl Harbour, the single action rippled outwards and in consequence left Germany at war with the USA. von Calusewitz's dictutm, in such circumstances, is that you concentrate on defeating the stronger enemy FIRST... and the USA decided that Germany WAS the stronger enemy. Sorry Joris, but I don't think that the question makes much sense. War is about a great deal more than battles. (They say "Amateurs talk about tactics... professionals talk about logistics".) I recall reading a book, some while back, which disparaged the immense effort which the UK put into creating "special forces". After all.. what did the Commandoes actually ACHIEVE? Just a few pointless raids on occupied Europe. That's the VISIBLE part. The INVISIBLE part is the threat implicit in the enemy maintaining a force capable of making "tip and run" attacks ANYWHERE along thousands of miles of coastline, knowing that because they're fitter, better trained men than you have at your disposal, they'll "outsoldier" any enemies they encounter. You CANNOT stop them. In fact all you can do is garrison the coastline in the hope that you can hold them at the point of attack long enough to be able to bring in more and better defenders. Which involves millions of tons of concrete emplacements, and hundreds of thousands of troops wasting their time defending something that probably will never be attacked. But if it's left undefended... then the chances are that it will be. It's pretty much the OPPOSITE of a battle. But, nonetheless, it can win a war, by forcing your enemy to waste vast resources on essentially doing nothing - troops and resources which could otherwise have tipped the balance in a REAL battle somewhere.
  11. Bombing Germany & allies

    Strange how strands of the same issue keep coming up here. This ties in neatly with discussions that have already been had about how strategy (for both the Luftwaffe and USAAF) changed after the massive losses incurred during the Schweinfurt raid. Both the USA AND Germany took losses - although the German loses seem to get played down. The Luftwaffe learned to be more wary of coming within range of the bombers' 0.5" Brownings (approximately 1,000 yards) in that a burst of fire need not kill the attacking fighter pilot; smashing an arm or a leg is enough to retire him from further service. So the Germans switched to slower, heavier twin-engined fighters able to carry heavier armament (and thus attack from further away) AND more armour to protect their pilots. At around the same time, the USAAF began to produce substantial numbers of long range fighters (like the Mustang) to accompany the bombers, and quite soon thereafter, to stop merely flying escort missions, but to go in ahead of the bombers, looking to pick a fight with anything that had wings. It worked. The Luftwaffe was rapidly running out of experienced pilots, AND running out of fuel. Daytime fighter-bomber raids increasingly looked for transport infrastructure to destroy - trains, marshalling yards, bridges... My girlfriend's mother (of forty years ago) told me how the children of Hannover were summoned to the main rail station to be evacuated to safety up near the Danish border, and having been assembled at the station, they were all sent home again due to a complete lack of trains. They returned the following day, and were put on a "mixed" train including carriages for the kids AND Anti-aircraft guns. An RAF pilot saw the train, concluded that putting red crosses on some of the carriages (of a train which carried cannon which were SHOOTING AT HIM) was some kind of Nazi trick... and he strafed it. The pilot involved was the father of a friend of mine... it's an amazingly small world. By Autumn of '44 anything moving along tracks inside Germany had a small queue of planes waiting to turn it into scrap metal. German industry had to re-organise itself, because it was no longer possible to make different components at separate locations and bring the parts together by train for final assembly. No more trains - at least, not in daylight.
  12. 6 Spec Force A Teams to Nuke Russians

    Except, of course that Tom Clancy is dead, and the "backpack nukes" concept underpinned one of Lee Child's more recent "Jack Reacher" books. I'd add "Night School"(by Lee Child) to your "to read" pile.
  13. What was the best fighter plane of WWII?

    My own Googling suggests that the only Korean Jet/Prop conflict in which the jet was defeated by the propeller-driven plane involved a Hawker Sea Fury (one of the fastest prop-driven fighters ever built). HOWEVER, my recollection of stories related to the air-war over Germany in the last months/years of WW2 involved the RAF and USAAF prowling around German airfields, waiting to shoot down German planes that were either taking off or landing. The Me262, with its limited fuel capacity and speed-of-landing problems would have been particularly vulnerable, leading me to conclude that the number of jets shot down by prop fighters is possibly quite a bit larger than generally conceded...(Orders of magnitude bigger - maybe a dozen or more as opposed to just one or two?) if you take into consideration the execution - totally unsportingly - of "sitting ducks", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operational_history_of_the_Luftwaffe_(1939–45)#The_end_in_the_West_1944–45
  14. Book "Eisenhower 1956 And 1956 Egyptian/Israeli War

    *****BREAKING NEWS****** George, it seems to have escaped your gimlet-like attention that.... HISTORY IS ABOUT THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST. When Marx wrote about how Society changed - IN THE PAST - he's pretty damned good. When he tried to extrapolate that pattern into the future, he failed. He predicted, for example, not only that Capitalism would fail, but would fail in specific countries (Britain, Germany and the USA) first. Writing as a journalist, Marx was utterly dismissive of Russia as an economic power. Which later created quite an obstacle for Lenin, who claimed that under HIS leadership, Russia would move forward from a developmental point between Feudalism and Mercantilism directly to Socialism without passing through Capitalism, in direct contradiction to what Marx claimed.to be both inevitable.and unavoidable.Looks like Marx was right... and Lenin was wrong. For years, I have attended a monthly gathering in Bristol known as the "Science Cafe", where an invited speaker (usually from one of Bristol's two excellent universities) addresses the "gang" for about an hour about the subject they're working on, and then there's an hour or so for questions, Topics covered have ranged from the change in population pattern of garden birds to particle physics. My own observation of several years of these talks is that the discoveries being described - almost inevitably - derive from improved instrumentation, In my own field ("physiological psychology") we were forever coming to a point where we didn't - couldn't - know how a physiological mechanism worked, because the quantities involved in the process we so incredibly small that there was no way to measure them.. The invention, or improvment of a
  15. Book "Eisenhower 1956 And 1956 Egyptian/Israeli War

    Curious... I thought you started talking about how an American president had reacted to Anglo French military Action. How previous presidents had reacted to similar situations a mere decade earlier strikes me as outstandingly relevant. Had you forgotten? I've come across ex-servicemen who were belatedly trying to get an education being HORRIFIED to discover that the study of history almost inevitably involves understanding Marx's historical analysis before. Problem with that is it was Marx who created some of the vital vocabulary. Words like "Capitalism", for example. HIstory is more than just memorising a few dates, and battles. It's largely about how society works and how it changes. If you don't understand what Mercantilism is... then clearly there's a massive swathe of history you're missing. (Hint: it's the bit between Feudalism and Capitalism, when MONEY (and who controls it) starts becoming increasingly important) My opinion? ALso the "opinion" of the History faculty of pretty much every university in the world.
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