Schweinfurt B-17 saved by Czechs!!

Discussion in 'Stories' started by merlin, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. merlin

    merlin Member

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    I thought I'd share with you an excerpt from Wings Of War Edited by Laddie Lucas. The particular excerpt is from The Fall of Fortresses, by Elmir Bendiner.

    It relates to the Scheinfurt raid of 17 August 1943, where B-17 Tondelayo was involved.

    There's no need to write it out verbatum - a lot of it concerns a running commentary of B-17s being shot down.

    This shall suffice:-
    In England monitors heard the German pilots gathering from all over France and Germany to ambush our homeward flight ... All across Germany, Holland and Belgium the terrible landscape of burning planes unrolled beneath us. It seemed that we were littering Europe with our dead. We endured this awesome spectacle while we suffered a desparate chill. The cartridge cases ere filling our nose compartments up to our ankles....

    But then we come to the interesting bit at the end:-
    The professorial Captain of Intelligence confirmed the story. Eleven unexploded 20 mm shelss were in fact found in Tondelayo's tanks. No he ... could not say why.
    Eventually (he) broke down. Perhaps it was difficult to refuse ... the evidence of a highly personal miracle ... Or perhaps ... the truth ... was too delicious to keep to himself. He swore (the crew) to secrecy.
    The armourers who opened each of those shells had found no explosive charge. They were as clean as a whistle and as harmless. Empty? Not quite, said the Captain ....
    One was not empty. It contained a carefully rolled piece of paper. On it was a scrawl in Czech ... Translated, the note read:
    'This is all we can do for you now'.

    I wonder how many other Allied aircraft were 'saved' in a similar way.
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Hmmmmm .....

    I know the munitions built by slave labor were always suspect.

    Maybe Erich can shed some light on this.
     
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Doesnt seem like an empty shell would have enough mass and energy to fly straight or penetrate fuel tanks.
    certainly at least the range and trajectory would be affected.

    The loaders would notice the weight differential.

    Would recoil be affected?

    I could see a few shells here and there being sabotaged but not a whole belt full... 11 in one fuel tank????


    .
     
  4. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    There are simular tales of "partisians" filling condoms with valve grinding
    compound and putting them in the engines of tanks. After about 100 Km,
    the engines died, and would require a complete overhaul. All too often,
    they were executed for their deeds.

    Charles
     
  5. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Our man Erich is enroute to Europe !! He'll be back in two weeks.

    Charles
     
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