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View Full Version : Korea: The Day Roofing Nails Went To War



SkyChimp
01-04-2006, 07:46 PM
Although the 3rd Bomb Wing had a long history of tree-top level attacks-during WWII, it had flown strafer versions of the Douglas A-20 Havoc and North American B-25 Mitchell - it had little experience with nighttime attacks on truck convoys. In February 1951, the wing began to experiment with various ways to halt road traffic. One idea was to drop nails at key crossroads in the hopes the passing trucks would suffer tire punctures. The damaged trucks would probably be immobile for several hours, making them vulnerable to fighter-bomber attacks after dawn. That same month, the wing launched Operation Tack.

Using 2 C-47s, the wing dropped no fewer than eight tons of roofing nails along four main roads south of Pyongyang. To make their drops as accurate as possible, the C-47 pilots dropped down to less than twenty feet off the roads. Major Robert V. Spencer nearly collided with three North Korean tanks flying down his assigned road.

...

Luckily, the other five C-47s did not have such adventures while dumping their nails and they returned home safely. By the next morning, the nails had trapped twenty-eight vehicles, all of which were destroyed in short order by fighter-bombers.

BTW, the AF felt that it was uneconomical to drop 8 tons of nails for just 28 vehicles and the nail idea was abandoned. The AF then developed a little object that looked like a child's jack, with hollow points. These were successful enough that the North Koreans switched to solid tires and mounted brooms on the front of their lead trucks.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


From:
Crimson Sky
The Air Battle for Korea
John Bruning

HotelBushranger
01-04-2006, 07:49 PM
Beaut idea http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

ImpStarDuece
01-04-2006, 08:03 PM
Caltrops.

Been around since before the birth of Christ. The Romans used them quite frequently.

Around the 15th century in Europe, it became popular to have small catapaults fire bunches of these to disrupt the charges of infantry and cavalry.

They were especially sucessful in slowing down attacks on fixed fortifications.

I used to make them out of staples, nasty bugger that I am.

FI_Willie
01-04-2006, 08:03 PM
The AF then developed a little object that looked like a child's jack, with hollow points.

http://www.historyisahoot.com/caltropsonmap.jpg
Been around forever and VERY effective. I believe they were first used to cripple horses.

SkyChimp
01-04-2006, 08:06 PM
Yeah, I think ninjas used them too, threw them over their shoulder to stop pursuers.

The USAF tried solid points but they actually acted like plugs in the tires. So they used hollow points to let air out. Apparently, they worked well.

Anyways, I thought it was a funny story.

HotelBushranger
01-04-2006, 08:08 PM
Oh yeah, the caltrops http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif My bad http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Dash_C.
01-04-2006, 08:10 PM
Good story!

Waldo.Pepper
01-04-2006, 10:23 PM
OK ok I'll buy that book too!

Jeez http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

woofiedog
01-04-2006, 10:28 PM
Mint Story! Thank's

darkhorizon11
01-04-2006, 10:59 PM
Yeah def. a mint story, I'm surprised the Russians didn't think this up on their own in 1941...

Aero_Shodanjo
01-05-2006, 06:35 AM
We need this loadout in FB/PF... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

neural_dream
01-05-2006, 08:29 AM
nice. I like it. Why didn't any of the three tanks fire against the C-47 though?
And effectively destroying 28 vehicles with nails seems economical to me http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif.

Freefalldart
01-05-2006, 09:19 AM
What about using a giant magnet in the leading truck to collect the nails?.
With 8 tons of nails dropped daily you could probably build a T-34 weekly...

MLudner
01-05-2006, 09:28 AM
Originally posted by neural_dream:
nice. I like it. Why didn't any of the three tanks fire against the C-47 though?
And effectively destroying 28 vehicles with nails seems economical to me http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif.


8 TONS of nails. About 16,000 pounds of them. That's a lot of nails.

The tank crews were probably rather surprised to see a C-47 come around the bend. By the time they got done blinking and wiping their eyes in disbelief he was past them, I would guess.
Low flying C-47's were probably about the last thing those NKPA DATs were expecting to see that night.

That was a good story. Caltrops were also very effective against camels and elephants.

MLudner
01-05-2006, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by Freefalldart:
What about using a giant magnet in the leading truck to collect the nails?.
With 8 tons of nails dropped daily you could probably build a T-34 weekly...

We would have just started dropping aluminum caltrops.

fighter_966
01-07-2006, 03:02 PM
Finns dropped glassbottles to russian airfields during war