Fatuous opinion

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by millwood, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. millwood

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    wars are won by men, and as such, I always have doubts about stories of unbelievable machines, or inventions, or materials that supposedly won (or lost) a war. they are usually more fiction than fact.
     
  2. beenthere

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  3. jpanhalt

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    OK, since we want to separate fiction from fact, what are your facts?

    My father fought in the Pacific (Guam). I am happy we had the amazing technology and inventions to end that war. Just two of those inventions were napalm and the nuclear bombs.

    John
     
  4. Wendy

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    Radar? Jet engines almost made into the fray. WWII was one of those odd cornerstones, where many things came together all at once.

    The people were amazing too, but that is part of the story.
     
  5. jpanhalt

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    Jets did make it into the fray. Thankfully too late for Hitler. The MiG15 is almost an exact copy of something Hitler had as a prototype.

    John
     
  6. Mark44

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    While it's true that wars are won (and lost) by men, these men cannot succeed without equipment and food, water, ammo, fuel, and so on they need to be able to fight. In the ETO, the German Panzer and Tiger tanks were vastly superior in armor and armament to the Shermans that the US forces fielded. I think I have read that each Panzer was responsible for destroying about five Shermans. The thing was, we were able to keep pumping out lower-quality Sherman tanks by the thousands, while the German tanks took longer to make and were harder to maintain in the field. In addition, the German manufacturing base was getting whittled away by our bombers.

    Stephen Ambrose's "Citizen Soldiers" is an excellent history of the involvement of US combat arms (infantry, artillery, tanks) from D-Day 1944 until the fall of Berlin in May of 1945. Most of what he writes is based on letters, memos, and personal interviews with the people involved, including Germans. One of the interviewees was a German soldier who took part in the Battle of the Bulge. The soldier said that he realized the war was lost for Germany when his unit captured a US soldier who had cake that had been shipped all the way from the US. At the time, Germans only a couple of hundred miles from Germany could not get even essential supplies such as fuel and ammo, let alone food, while US troops were getting packages that came all the way from the US!

    Another crucial advantage enjoyed by the US war effort was the vast amounts of electricity that could be used to make aluminum. Mark Reisner, in his book "Cadillac Desert," asserted that the dams built by the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation from the 1930s on, produced the vast amounts of electricity needed to refine aluminum to make thousands of bombers such as the B-17, B-24, B-29, and others, as well as the fighter planes and torpedo bombers that were used in both theaters.
     
  7. KL7AJ

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    The History Channel just had a piece on the TVA and it was really amazing how fast that project was completed....and for its major role in aluminum smelting. Put a LOT of people to work just coming out of the Depression
     
  8. jpanhalt

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    It is obvious the OP for this revised thread has no facts to back up his assertion. Hence the well chosen title for the thread.

    John
     
  9. Wendy

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    I've heard it said, and tend to believe it, that Hitler was his own worst enemy. They were within days of totally defeating Britain's Air Forces, and he overrode his generals objections to start in on the cities. It cost a lot of civilian lives, but it also gave the British air forces time to regain their composure. The guy was good as a politician, but as a general he was on the allied side.

    I love the story of RADAR during WWII, the brits were premier in the field. They sent a working copy to the USA, who cranked them out in volume. The Germans had RADAR too, but were always a bit behind British state of the art.
     
  10. beenthere

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    About radar - it is interesting that the Brits never developed anything like synchro motors, so they were unable to do a PPI presentation that made detection and interception of airborne threats possible. They had some system of matching DC voltages that was incremental in nature, making smooth motion impossible. It also lost the reference zero if power blinked. Not overly effective for gunlaying, either.

    So you see fixed antenna arrays on British ship superstructures, and very different appearing gunfire directors. Wonder why we didn't trade back synchros for the cavity magnetron?
     
  11. loosewire

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    Quartz xal would have made a differents If you were on the giving or receiving
    a life saving message on a piece of radio equipment.
     
  12. Wendy

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    Which defines a lot of military use. Sometimes people tend to forget that.
     
  13. beenthere

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    And that they tended to have to work in high-vibration environments.
     
  14. loosewire

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    Unless it was secret,I don't think they would had much of the pressure
    curcuit's we have now.
     
  15. steveb

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    It is proper to give credit where it is due and I agree that men win (or lose) the wars. Still, the importance of machines, inventions and materials, as strategically utilized by men to achieve the goals, can not be ignored. Technology has always been intricately woven into the fabric that is the drama of warfare.

    While we are giving proper credit, let's be complete. It is also men who are to blame for starting the wars in the first place. The real shame is that so many amazing engineering advancements are accelerated by the percieved need to kill.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  16. JoeJester

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    The Manhattan Project aside, there was a concerted effort to aid in the winning of WWII by alot of scientists. MIT Radiation Lab was at the forefront in alot of efforts including Loran and Radar.

    The federal government spent almost $4.00 for every dollar of revenue during the war.

    Radar, Loran, Gee, all were aids to defeat the Axis. The Brits contributed to Loran and GEE with the dual trace delayed scope. I'm sure there were plenty interaction between both the US and Britain.

    For some of the U.S. History in Loran, visit http://www.loran-history.info
     
  17. beenthere

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    That is one way to look at it -
    Another might be that those advancements are impelled by a desire to stay alive. Losing a war to any dictatorship is to be avoided by any means.
     
  18. steveb

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    It's true that sometimes the "perceived need to kill" is an accurate perception, although not as often as we like to think. However, even when the blame and the shame are transferred to the enemy, it's still a poor reflection on the human race.
     
  19. jpanhalt

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    "You can't win a war that you can afford to lose." I first heard that during the Vietnam era. It was attributed to a French philosopher during their occupation. Although I am not sure of the source, its validity has certainly been proved in the past 50 years.

    As for the various concerns about technological advances being linked to killing and/or staying alive, maybe that is just the nature of all living things. The difference between us, monkeys, snakes, etc. is that the speed of our advances is not limited by genetics, at least not so far.

    John
     
  20. JoeJester

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    War, the threat of war, or mere human survival has been instrumental in every scientific endeavor throughout history.

    The race to the moon wasn't about getting there, it was about beating our competitors there. Losing the space race would have increased the threat of war. Even today, the threat of war ... from space weapons (originating on earth) ... plays in this nation's science. Recently we've shot down an inbound missle with another missle.

    For those UFO types, if they are real, how does the human race survive an attack from them, if their intention was conquering the humans. Our egos think the government would be able to protect us ... and that would be a very unwise assumption. It would be us taking a knife to a gun fight. The aggressors would be victorious.

    When HHO becomes cost effective, people will shift to that technology. Sure you will get some to shift when the price is high. It reminds me of the Kennedy who talks about the evils of using petroleum based fuels, then limo's over to his private jet and departs to lecture another group of humans. Good luck to those working on that endeavor as you have alot to overcome.

    Water is already a high priced commodity where it is scarce ... how much will this drive up the cost of water?
     
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