Odd Military Events in History

Mark Conley said:
another odd military fact: todays country in the barrel is Russia!

During the late 30's and early 40s: to save on parachute silk or to save on the time...russian parachutists practiced coming out of the aircraft at relatively slow speeds and altitudes...without a parachute...by jumping into snowbanks

and you weren't there..... :D

on a lighter note: Da Nang AB, Viet Nam: 1968: In what had to be the worlds luckiest shot, A million gallon fuel bladder was hit with a 88mm rocket fired from busy night crew. The rocket actually hit the buried bladder in the most hardest to hit spot, one of the skinny 4 inch vent pipes...traveled down the entry 20 feet...and didn't go off. When they finally drained the bladder and recovered the rocket...they found that the crew that fired it had done everything right,,,except put the firing pin in the nose of the rocket. To prevent accidents while carrying these beautys on the trails, they would be transported without the pins. All that way from the soviet union...and no boom...! :D
Great story! :D I've heard stories about people working in WWII German bomb factories that left out the firing pin on purpouse.. Don't know if that actually happened though..
Vietnam, Tunnel's war around Cu-Chi... The US developped a really innovative sytem :idea: to detect human presence underground: bed bugs in a "cage" linked to a sound amplifier connected to the headset of the operator . The theory was that the bed bugs really love to feed and party on humans and when they "smell - detect" one , they get all excited, excitation that can be amplified so that it can be heard by an operator. Believe it or not but the "technology" was tested on the field but proven unreliable and abandonned.... most of the time, the bugs were "feeling" the operator and getting excited about it! :lol:
ref: Tom Mangold and John Penycate summarized it all in their 1985 book titled "The tunnels of Cu-Chi".
Yeah...thats an odd one all right! Good one eric!

kinda goes along the lines of the device that "looked" for the presence of urea and ammonia vapor coming out the air vents of those same tunnels. That one had a better sucess rate, but aint as odd as the bugs...:D
Yes....actually, the book I mentioned describe a whole range of weird things developed to help "tunnel rats" accomplish their mission.
The flash light, the knife and the 45 in the hands of a really specific breed of warriors was the only workable solutions. Dogs were slaughtered by booby traps and VCs used punji sticks, snakes, spiders, fire ants, emtombment traps and ambushes. Tunnel rats were empaled when getting down a hole feet first or had their head shopped off when going in head first....on top of the traps...what a job....what a breed.
The authors of the referred book state that they really had a hard time locating and talking to Tunnel Rats survivors...they faded away, willing to "disappear"...
Read the book!
What about that one: in 1944, the US forces added a "plane carrier" in their inventory, plane carrier that would be intensively used for the support of the landings in Provence and Italy and long range bombing missions to Germany. That "plane carrier" was also used because culminating 10.000 feet above water and easy to locate and reach for damaged planes. It was the island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean, and was named USS CORSICA.
By the way, that is where I was born and raised...like Napoleon! :lol:

Learn more at
or order your book - in French - USS CORSICA
The airplane that bombed Berlin in 1940 was a Farman 2234, a metallic airplane with a wingspan of 34m and propelled with 2 pods of 2 12 cylinder Hispano Suiza of 880 hp each. Along its belly, the plane had 8 1400 liters fuel tanks equipped with a rapid drainage system allowing floatability in case of an emergency sea landing during a transatlantic flight. The plane could carry 1500 kg of mail and weighted 24 tons in flight order. Only 3 were operational in 1940: the "Jules Verne", the "Camille Flammarion" and the "laurent guerrero". The Jules Verne was painted black and its crew of 6 were all Navy!
June 6 (ironic?) 1940, the Jules Verne under the command of Henri Dailliere bombed Berlin for the first time of the war... :rambo:

REf: Le Jules Verne, avion corsaire by Henri Yonnet, edition France Empire, 1983
Mark Conley said:
Just saw the pictures of the Jules Verne on a pdf file online..it actually looks neat, in a weird way. An those engines! a virtual push me pull you! It is a neat airplane Eric. :D
no link? :cry:
Cocorico! (that is how roosters speak in French - common French expression of pride or victory - Rooster is one of the French symbol, the only bird that keeps singing when knee deep in poop! :lol: )
Anyways, yes, we did it in 1940 and that is good to know...
But what about that one:
First Lieutenant Anselme Marchal had special skills...he pioneered the psy-op from the air, getting his kicks flying low over German trenches and dropping thousands of leaflets...that was WW1 and, again (sorry :oops: ), we are talking of a Frenchie.
Special skills led him to design a special airplane for a special mission:
A Nieuport XI was prepared for a couple of months and fitted with extra fuel tanks for a 1500 kms flight.
5000 leaflets are printed in German telling the readers that they could have been bombs killing women and children, that the German government was lying, that peace was far from close and that they could be reached!
The target (again), Berlin!!! His map is 7 meters long!
June 21 1916, Marchal reaches Berlin after a 21hour night flight (to avoid the Fokkers) and drops its leaflets on the German capital before heading to the Russian lines and liaise with our allies at Rovno.
Unfortunately, the engine failed him and he is forced to land around the German city of Chelm.
Sent to Jail in the famous POW castle of Kustrin, he escaped February 14 1918 with legendary pilot and hero Roland Garros.
when you just have to have an aircraft carrier...and you cant get one built..what do you do?

The British, and the American came up with two temporary, if not unusual, solutions:

To assist with the battle of the atlantic, and to help with killing the subs and providing air cover..The british came up with the CAM ship or Catupult Armed Merchantmen. What you had was a merchant ship..with a catulpult..and one plane, usually a spitfire. Now, when you really really needed the aircrafts services...you launched it..it did what it had to do...and then either flew to the nearest land (if they were lucky) or ditched in the sea along side some vessal that could recover the pilot. Since you only had one shot to do the job, well... :D


there the best link with pictures of CAM ships i could find

Piper cub aircraft carriers: in the pacific war, ariel spotting of targets by forward air controllers was in its infancy: now although the had scouting planes and such on cruisers, battleships and such, what they needed was a low, slow aircraft that could loiter for a long time over the target. Now the ideal plane was the piper cub. but they didnt survive been shot off a catapult well. What to do?

Enter the brodie rig and a Landing Ship Tank, or LST, which became the armys aircraft carriers.

http://www.pipercubforum.com/lbird.htm so far this is the only place i have found an actual picture of a plane on a brodie device. The wire, which was 300 feet long, enable a cub to snag and get slowed down by it, allowing the plane to be hoisted in. When the pilot wanted to take off, they would put the plane on a trolly on the wire, let the engine rev up, and then when they were going fast enough, release the trolley and away they'd go. And this was common by the wars end.