Did the Germans really use camel hoofs for lube oil in WW2?

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Michael Cole, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Michael Cole

    Michael Cole New Member

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    A slim original Combined Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee report issued in May 1945 (one of many such wartime reports in a collection that I have) on the production of Synthetic Lubricating Oils by Deutsche Fettsaurewerke at Witten contains the (to me) intriguing statement that "This company was requested by the German Navy to prepare a substitute for Camel-Hoof oil, which was being used as a torpedo lubricant ..."

    I can find no mention of "Camel-Hoof oil" elsewhere - does anyone know whether it was what it appears to mean or am I being denser than usual?

    Michael
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Oils can be obtained from animal bones. Camels don't have hooves, but something like 'Neatsfoot' oil, still available today, might be what is being referred to.
    Cheers
    Steve

    What's the number of that CIOS report? I'd like to look up the original context.
     
  3. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    #3 mikewint, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
    After cattle are slaughtered, the feet and lower leg bones, including the skin but not the hooves are boiled. The oil that is released is skimmed off, filtered and pressed. This first pressing yields the highest quality NEAT (means cattle) foot oil. Warm-blooded animals tend to have fats that melt at a high temp. If these types of fats were stored in the legs of cattle they would harden at low temps. Neatsfoot oil remains a liquid at low temps.
    Now camels, do not have hooves. Their soft padded feet are composed of two toes with a hard nail that mimics a hoof. Just back of the toes, under the heel bones is a large pad of depot (saturated) fat. As you would expect this type of depot fat is essentially a waxy, tallow-like fat. As a lubricant it had two major faults, (1) it was not water soluble and left a oil-streak and (2) in cold temperatures it solidified. Mineral oil was added which lowered viscosity but also lessened lubricating ability.
    An interesting sidelight here is that Shovel-head Harley-Davidsons have a "Camel Oil Filter" to filter out larger particles from the engine oil and there is a Brand of motor oil known as Camel Oil.
     
  4. Michael Cole

    Michael Cole New Member

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    Item No. 22; File No. XXX-5

    Thanks to all for info.

    Michael
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Michael...don't have that one unfortunately....camel hooves !?!!?

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    A shortage of Camels in WW2 German zoos then .........................
     
  7. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Terry, Actually not, the camels that contributed their foot fat pads received prosthetics though the physical therapy was difficult
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I bet they got the hump .................. I've got me coat !
     
  9. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Terry, Tsk! The hump is a large water storage container not fat. The spigot is .... well.... you know where
     
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