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Thread: Historical research on wooden bombs

  1. #21
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    Hi Amrit

    Glad to have been able to help you one time, after all the help you've offered to so many others!

    On checking, several copies of "Vision Ahead" are available on Abebooks for between USD$9.64 and USD$50.00, at the following link: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=Huskinson&sts=t&tn=Vision+Ahead&x =55&y=12

    Cheers
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

  2. #22
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    Thanks for the link Steve. I just managed to pick up a copy for 6 (including P&P) and am really looking forward to reading it.

    Thanks for the recommendation. Seems this thread has indeed become informative ;-)

    A

  3. #23
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    Default Vision Ahead

    Amazon.co.uk have it secondhand at 9.50 + P & P with price going up --through various secondhand sellers.

    Anne

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    "- Incendiary rodents, in which thousands of rats would be dropped by "a tiny parachute [with] a little parcel of incendiary material attached to its tail." As a lifelong member of the RSPCA, however, the spinster who suggested it, suggested that if the idea were used, each rat be equipped with an asbestos coat!"

    Love it. Dangerous stuff, that asbestos!

    Errol

  5. #25
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    Brilliant, eh?! Touch of irony in all this: incendiary devices, asbestos 'body armour', multi-thousand-foot parachute drop, lack of oxygen, freezing temperatures... but at the least the old girl had a heart!! :-)
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

  6. #26
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    Steve,

    At least the first three on the list were used operationally. The AHB publication AP1134 "The Second World War 1939-1945: Meteorology" describes the code names for the forecasts issued.

    For the first on your list the forecasts were codemamed 'Papyrus': Forecasts of the drift of no-lift balloons at specified heights, and of weather, cloud and icing conditions affecting balloons, were sent from November 1941 to the Balloon Units which destributed propoganda leaflets, and occasionally to those experimenting with no-lift balloons across the British Isles.

    For the second, the phosphorous pellets, forecasts were codenamed 'Cliquot': Forecasts were supplied to Bomber Command and B Ops 1 in connection with a project to set fire to the forests of Germany by means of oncendiary weapons. They involved estimates of past weather, including rainfall, and future weather and winds. They began in July 1940 and discontinued in October 1941.

    Carrying on from that, the devices were known as 'Razzles' and 'Deckers', and there are several references to them in publications:

    1. 'From Hull Hell and Halifax' (Chris Blanchett)
    2. 'The Bomber Command War Diaries' (Middlebrook & Evritt)
    3. 'The Whitley Boys' (G L Donnelly)
    4. There are also references to them in German publications

    When they came to my attention, they were only peripheral to my particular line of research, so I'm not fully up to speed, but I believe the last time these were used was on 16-17 Oct 1940. I can't find the reference at the moment but I believe 'Razzles' were dropped on forests and 'Deckers' on crops (the intention being to burn them and reduce food supply). The incendiaries were probably more dangerous to the crews and aircraft than those on the ground, as they tended to get caught in the tail section on being released, setting the aircraft on fire.

    I can't find any special forecast issued for the mobile bombs, though the 'Papyrus' forecasts might suit, but I have read about them in some reference book, in fact I'm not sure they haven't been discussed on this forum previously.

    Truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 6th May 2008 at 14:21.

  7. #27
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    Further to my last, although I'm reasonably sure the British did experiment with the idea of balloon borne bombs, I might be confusing this with the Japanese who definitely used them, go to: http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/tv_guide/full_details/Technology/programme_3174.php

    There are other references to them as well.

    Brian

  8. #28
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    Default Rats in coats

    Errol & Steve

    Quote
    "- Incendiary rodents, in which thousands of rats would be dropped by "a tiny parachute [with] a little parcel of incendiary material attached to its tail." As a lifelong member of the RSPCA, however, the SPINSTER who suggested it, suggested that if the idea were used, each rat be equipped with an asbestos coat!"

    I wonder if the "spinster " as the poor woman is called ,meaning in the above paragraph a slightly derogatory term, had some scientific background,training or experience -to suggest asbestos coats ??

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 6th May 2008 at 07:37.

  9. #29
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    Hi Anne

    'Spinster' is the actual word used by Huskinson, so no is offence meant by me, although I feel there's definitely a sense of condascending sarcasm in his choice of words. I'm at work at the moment, checking in on my lunch break, but when I'm home I'll find the paragraph and quote it verbatim. Huskinson does not make any specific reference to a scientific background in this particular lady's case, but does explain the thinking behind the mosquito epidemic idea and the thought that the inventor, clearly a man with some aeronautical or physics background, had put into resolving issues inherent to the type of exercise he was suggesting.

    -----

    Hi Brian

    Thanks for this info. Huskinson does in fact say that some of these ideas were trialled or deployed to some extent, but mentions them due to their peculiarity or failure. Considering all these unusual weapons, Pierre's original subject - although Huskinson does not provide any proof for it - no longer seems as far fetched as it originally sounded!

    Steve
    Last edited by Steve Brew; 6th May 2008 at 13:03. Reason: Grammar!
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

  10. #30
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    Default Spinsters

    Steve
    No, I didn't think it was you at all but a quote from the author's words.

    Funny how the word spinster seems to have connotations with "not to be taken seriously" or "set in her odd ways" .The word batchelor isn't taken the same way at all unless "crusty" is put in front of it !!

    I think the lady's idea of using rats was creative in a weird way . Not for the hapless rats ,of course .

    Very sorry, this is getting off the point of rafcommands but the subject has provided much discussion & amusement.

    Anne

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