Sunday, April 26, 2009

Crowning Moments of Awesome

This is the first in what may become a series of posts on moments in history that are completely, undeniably, and irrevocably awesome.
  • The British Double Cross System during World War II, by which MI5 controlled, as was confirmed after the war, all of the spies sent to the U.K. by Germany, with the possible exception of one who committed suicide. The spies were allowed to report such details as insignia on uniforms and markings on vehicles, which, of course, was so accurate that several of them were awarded the Iron Cross - while working for the British.
  • The concept of earthquake bombs - conventional bombs that were designed to be extremely heavy, with a sharp nose, so they would penetrate the ground and thus do more damage - was developed by the British engineer Barnes Wallis. One of these bombs was used shortly after D-Day to prevent German reinforcements from moving by train. Instead of bombing the train tracks, which would be quickly and easily repaired, the RAF dropped a Tallboy on a mountain through which there was a railroad tunnel. The bomb drilled itself through the mountain into the tunnel and brought the whole dang tunnel down. The entire rail line was unusable through the rest of the war.
This ends this installment of Crowning Moments of Awesome. I hope you enjoyed this offshoot of my sudden interest in World War II history. :)

1 comment:

Silas said...

The Earthquake bombs were being used by the same squadron that did the Dams raid with the bouncing bombs (also developed by Barnes Wallis).

They got so good with them that they finished up able to state, given a clearly marked aiming point, that from the entire squadron, two would get their bombs exactly on the aim point. Eight would be within fifty yards. The other two would be within a hundred yards.

This made placing the aim point very important, because ALL of the bombs would hit within the expected crater diameter of it!