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Monday, April 24, 2017

WWII production trivia

MR sent this fascinating explanation of one reason the Allied bombing campaign was a bust with regards to inhibiting German aircraft manufacturing:
When I was in grad school I heard of the origins of CO2/Sodium Silicate core making in Germany during WWII. The fellow said we were bombing factories and foundries.  My dad and later myself were metallurgists, both doing time in the foundry industry before branching out.

Coremaking..... cores make the hollow spaces inside castings, is heat intensive as it was done with oil bonded sands that had to be baked like cookies.  Gas, coal, coke.....and big core ovens. A cupola to melt iron can be made from oil drums and bricks and the molding sands can be mixed with a shovel and rake, but you need ovens for cores.  We couldn't figure out how the Germans were making castings so soon after we bombed their foundries into the stone age.

After the war we found out that they had invented a core making process that did not need ovens or oil.  Simple sodium silicate and clean sand.  What the foundry men would do was take the coreboxes, the molds for the core..out in the cities and countryside.  They taught the people to mix the silicate and sand and ram up the cores, then set them out in the air.  In a few hours to a day the core would be hard as a rock...literally.  The two halves, or more pieces, would be glued together and be ready to go. They had regular drop off and pick up routes and kept the German foundry industry humming.
Necessity, as is so often the case, proved the mother of invention. Given the dearth of invention in Silicon Valley of late, perhaps we should encourage the North Koreans to bomb the Bay Area.

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58 Comments:

Blogger dh April 24, 2017 2:01 PM  

But they fucking love science out there in the Valley.

Anonymous Tipsy April 24, 2017 2:13 PM  

perhaps we should encourage the North Koreans to bomb the Bay Area.. Maybe, just maybe, the traffic will get better.

Blogger Silly but True April 24, 2017 2:15 PM  

It was only after the war's end that the Allies discovered just how advanced the Axis foundry practices were. German metallurgist Johannes Croning was especially important.

We of course raided all we could of the German patent office as spoils of war.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr April 24, 2017 2:25 PM  

IIRC, the Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that we had the Germans on the industrial ropes several times...but gave up before the shortages became catastrophic. The final offensive, against oil, was carried through until it became truly effective. But the postwar analysis was that even oil wasn't the most effective target. Killing the electrical power grid would have had better results.

And this got reflected in some very nasty postwar weapons. Like cruise missile warheads packed with graphite fibers to short out transformers and such.

Anonymous Azimus April 24, 2017 2:28 PM  

VD:
Necessity, as is so often the case, proved the mother of invention.


Bah! I say LAZINESS is the mother of invention! Remote controls, dishwashers, robot vacuum cleaners, riding gas-powered lawn mowers!

That said, my injection molding firm buys our injection machines from Cincinnati Milacron, whose parent company, Ferromatik Milacron, has occasionally done large-scale casting using natural sand deposits outdoors. We bought a, what, 15,000kg platen from them that was made outdoors, probably utilizing the method your reader describes.

Anonymous Zek April 24, 2017 2:32 PM  

When is the next post on Japanese supply lines and the impossibility of a west coast invasion? Beating the dead horse, that was good stuff...paging Me So

Anonymous Damn Crackers April 24, 2017 2:32 PM  

Do you think my IPA microbrew's name "Hoplocaust" is too insensitive?

Anonymous Crew April 24, 2017 2:33 PM  

Maybe the alternate thing is going to happen, or maybe NK will get off some nukes:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/24/entire-senate-being-called-to-white-house-for-north-korea-briefing.html

Anonymous Zek April 24, 2017 2:37 PM  

I can't believe it's been 13 years since that smackdown - 2004.
I've gotten old lurking around here

Anonymous Damn Crackers April 24, 2017 2:37 PM  

Do you think Silicon Valley can get a buttload of North Koreans in an Operation Paperclip style workforce? Those dudes could turn Apple on its head with their hacking and jerry-rigging skills.

Blogger The Gray Man April 24, 2017 2:41 PM  

Is there any connection between these ovens and the Holocaust ovens? Very uneducated on this metallurgy subject.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable April 24, 2017 2:43 PM  

Do you think my IPA microbrew's name "Hoplocaust" is too insensitive?

I'd drink millions. Four. Six. Two. Whatever.

Draft your business plan accordingly.

Blogger Jack Ward April 24, 2017 2:55 PM  

Know it's OT, but...What of the Amazon DRM crisis/action/screwjob ? Curious as curious will be. Anyone.

Blogger Ron April 24, 2017 2:58 PM  

The purpose of the machinery of the death camps was to sidestep the very real problem of demoralization of the German army. The average German was very far from a soulless killing machine, to have him gun down naked women and children would put the lie to the causes of the Nazi regime, and would actually turn him against it, as happened with at least one notable German war hero.

So to bomb the crematoria and the train tracks would disable the industrial aspect of the killing, forcing the Nazis to have it done individually, by hand. Which meant exposing non murderous, courageous Germans (the majority) to the work of amoral psychopaths (the minority). Similar to the example given above of loyal Germans doing their individual bit for their war effort. But that would mean re-exposing German troops to the machinery of killing innocent people, something which unlike the foundry process was not something any decent human being couod be proud of or even tolerate for very long.

Im assuming the above example given by the OP is to demomstrate that the bombing the death camps and train tracks would have done no good. If I am incorrect in that assumption, I apologize in advance.

Blogger Resident Moron™ April 24, 2017 2:58 PM  

"Given the dearth of invention in Silicon Valley of late, perhaps we should encourage the North Koreans to bomb the Bay Area."

Just bomb it yourselves.

Paul "Broken Window Fallacy" Krugman would be happy.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener April 24, 2017 3:04 PM  

Maybe we should have continued dropping leaflets instead of bombs.

Blogger Feather Blade April 24, 2017 3:15 PM  

Damn Crackers wrote:Do you think my IPA microbrew's name "Hoplocaust" is too insensitive?

Depends on how many of the ingredients you roast.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 24, 2017 3:20 PM  

If North Korea bombed Silicon Valley, I'm pretty sure the innovators in California would figure out a way to get baked outdoors. They'd be stoned in a few hours, too.

It would be nice for Asians to help us get rid of America's VC problem for a change.

Anonymous Grayman April 24, 2017 3:37 PM  

Napoleon 12pdr wrote:IIRC, the Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that we had the Germans on the industrial ropes several times...but gave up before the shortages became catastrophic. The final offensive, against oil, was carried through until it became truly effective. But the postwar analysis was that even oil wasn't the most effective target. Killing the electrical power grid would have had better results.

And this got reflected in some very nasty postwar weapons. Like cruise missile warheads packed with graphite fibers to short out transformers and such.


And that is why CWII will get ugly very quickly for the urban centers. The modern power grid is beyond fragile. A few dozen men competent with standard hunting rifles can knock out the grid in large regions of the country, taking asymmetric warfare to a whole new level.
No power, no EBT (CHIMP OUT TIME), no refrigeration for food, no general medical services, no water (water pumps are down), no gas (gas pumps down), no money except cash (how many people have cash in any real amount?). These effects of a grid down situation are orders of magnitude more severe in an urban center then in a rural area. In a rural area many of these can be at least partially mitigated.

Anonymous Grayman April 24, 2017 3:47 PM  

Cremation with ovens seems like a very inefficient way of processing that many bodies. The heat energy needed to burn off the water in the human body then combust the organic material is very significant.
The math works out to 236,624.5 kcal (about 28 gallons of gasoline) PER BODY.
They didn't have wood chippers and a hog pen?

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 24, 2017 3:47 PM  

What no one seems to get is that Strategic Bombing was a success when you look at the strategic goal.

And the strategic goal was to break the warrior culture of Germany.

Not just to defeat Germany.

That was accomplished in WWI and it only lead to the next war because the Krauts still had the warrior spirit. After their cities were burned in WWII they did not.

The secret is simple...kill your enemies women and children. Really that is all that's required to break a fighting man's spirit.

And no one can say it didn't work. Germany is clearly the weakest link in the defense of Western Civilization today.

Blogger Midnight Avenue J April 24, 2017 3:49 PM  

And yet, Grayman, no one has done it. Yet.

I keep hearing how easy it would be. Is it a matter of being fed up? A matter of timing and strategy? Are people content to wait or afraid to act?

Anonymous grayman April 24, 2017 4:05 PM  

Midnight Avenue J wrote:And yet, Grayman, no one has done it. Yet.

I keep hearing how easy it would be. Is it a matter of being fed up? A matter of timing and strategy? Are people content to wait or afraid to act?


Motivation. Most people don’t really want to cause mass suffering / mass casualties. Once you back a group into a corner that calculation changes.

Anonymous Nick April 24, 2017 4:09 PM  

When the Polish underground courier Jan Karski informed prominent elites in the West in 1942-1943 about the mass murders in Poland, he was met with disbelief. Felix Frankfurter infamously stated "that I could not believe him". The same Frankfurter (Supreme Court Justice, Zionist delegate to the Paris Peace Conference and co-founder of the ACLU!) was convinced of mass pogroms of Jews in Poland after World War I, which was debunked by numerous international commissions. The Vatican and several thousand civilians who risked the death penalty saved more Jews than all of American Jewry combined, which was largely apathetic towards the plight of their coreligionists.

https://infogalactic.com/info/Jan_Karski#Reporting_Nazi_atrocities_to_the_Western_Allies

Anonymous AzDesertRat April 24, 2017 4:10 PM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:What no one seems to get is that Strategic Bombing was a success when you look at the strategic goal.

And the strategic goal was to break the warrior culture of Germany.

Not just to defeat Germany.

That was accomplished in WWI and it only lead to the next war because the Krauts still had the warrior spirit. After their cities were burned in WWII they did not.

The secret is simple...kill your enemies women and children. Really that is all that's required to break a fighting man's spirit.

And no one can say it didn't work. Germany is clearly the weakest link in the defense of Western Civilization today.


I would give Sweden that title, but a valid point.

Japan is probably an even better example of what you described. Except for maybe 5-10% of the male population there is no "warrior" spirit left, even this many generations post. If they weren't an island nation (and didn't have the US arsenal behind them) they would've ceased to exist as a people by now.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 24, 2017 4:21 PM  

Both Germany and Japan were subjected to a US enforced propagandization program designed to eliminate nationalism and martial virtues from the occupied subject countries.
It wasn't merely or even mostly the death tolls, although Eisenhower's death camps in Germany didn't help. It was the re-education.

Anonymous Sam the Man April 24, 2017 4:21 PM  

# 21

I think you have it wrong. The German military culture is not about warriors. Warriors are black men in loin cloths with spears to the German. Brave but not all that effective. Germans were "Soldaten" (soldiers), and that title had a very specific meaning, discipline, effective killers for a higher purpose of the fatherland and the right. Medals in Germany were awarded not for dying bravely or saving your own side lives, but repeated effective killing of the foe.

The breaking of the German sprit was 4 fold and did not occur during the war. They fought like devils to May 8th. Their last successful offensive was by Army group center, 4th Army around 21-30 April 1945 when they pushed the polish satellite army in Saxony north and prevented their taking of Dresden. In that battle they were outnumbered and ultimately doomed, they knew it and yet still mauled a polish Army . So what caused the destruction of that sprit:

1) The soldiers were unable to defend their homes and hearth, or their women. Very soul crushing to them, failure to defend the fatherland and the women.

2) The sacrifices were all in vain. The cause was bad. They did not fight for the right principle.

3) You killed most of the "soldier" minded Germans. Between 1,773,000 and 2,020,000 in WWI and something like around 4.3 to 4.8 million in WWII. You literally changed the demographics of the nations, often times getting both the father and the son.

4) A lot of the soldier mentality class left Germany after WWII, growing up on the eastern seaboard there were a lot of quiet German vets around. Their sons ended up in the American army, not the Germany.

Anonymous Grayman April 24, 2017 4:33 PM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:What no one seems to get is that Strategic Bombing was a success when you look at the strategic goal.

And the strategic goal was to break the warrior culture of Germany.

Not just to defeat Germany.

.


It wasn’t the bombs that did that. I would image that if you could compare modern German genetics to pre-WWII they would be VERY different. Germany was broken by the mass rape of German women by both the Russians and the allies as they “liberated” Germany. The accounts are beyond brutal, age was irrelevant! You don’t read about that in history class.

Blogger maniacprovost April 24, 2017 4:33 PM  

@25
From what I gather from anime, Japan still has the qualities that made them fearsome opponents- suicidal determination and complete lack of empathy for the Other. They only lack motivation. They have material comfort and philosophically, they are not really aggressive for the sake of aggression.

Anonymous Longtime Lurker April 24, 2017 4:34 PM  

Sounds like helicopter rides are catching on in Silicon Valley.

Anonymous Jeff April 24, 2017 4:36 PM  

"VOX DAY ADVOCATES BOMBING THE BAY AREA!" - NY TIMES

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener April 24, 2017 4:53 PM  

The secret is simple...kill your enemies women and children. Really that is all that's required to break a fighting man's spirit.

I'd argue that the Red Army did that, not US and British bombers.

We dropped two nukes on Japan and they still didn't want to surrender. But after seeing what happened to Germany, the prospect of a Soviet invasion of their homeland broke them.

Anonymous Mathias April 24, 2017 5:15 PM  

@27,

Well, it's true that the German fighting genetics don't exist in Germany much anymore, the fact that there were so many German Vets here from both world wars means that there is a Diaspora of German fighting blood still left. They didn't manage to completely annihilate it, instead casting it to the four corners of the Anglosphere. Ultimately, if the Anglo populations absorb these people completely, that could be overall a giant genetic backfiring of the "Germany must Perish" plan. Instead of destroying Germany once and forever, they have managed to crossbreed the entire NW European world with said German Soldier population. Not good for the prognosis of the Rights of Englishman, but not good for the conspirators either.

Anonymous Mike Rock April 24, 2017 5:24 PM  

When I wrote to VOX I forgot to mention, thinking 'everyone' knew it, that it is the CO2 in the atmosphere that causes the sodium silicate to harden. Waterglass is another name for the silicate. The process is now known as CO2 Silicate core making. Waterglass used to be used to seal eggs. Dip and set in the air.....last forever.
Croning and the shell sand process sure made precision castings a reality. Blow a load of heat setting resin bonding sand into a hot box......wait a bit and open the box. The unbonded sand dumps out leaving a 'shell'. Clamp two of those together and pour in hot metal......in essence anyhow.

My father was the metallurgist at Fairbanks Morse in Beloit, WI. They were the first to cast Ductile Iron in the US. Keith Millis (the inventor of Nodular or Ductile cast iron..as opposed to gray iron)stayed at our house when they were working with Fairbanks. He was from Canada. Seeing all the big cupolas and many tons of molten iron got me hooked!!

God bless.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable April 24, 2017 5:30 PM  

OT: Is Cerno done and dusted? Last post on Danger and Play is March 28. I'd like to think there's something coming.

Blogger Orville April 24, 2017 5:34 PM  

@10 Do you think Silicon Valley can get a buttload of North Koreans in an Operation Paperclip style workforce? Those dudes could turn Apple on its head with their hacking and jerry-rigging skills.

Time for Operation Kimchee. Double-plus good is that they are already cult indoctrinated. They would fit in well at Silly Valley.

Blogger Orville April 24, 2017 5:41 PM  

@35 Cerno is still active on Twatter, and seems to put most of his writing on Medium.com nowadays.

Blogger Ron April 24, 2017 6:13 PM  

@Nick

Unfortunately, at the time, there were those wealthy and "progressive" elites who saw an advantage in selling out the majority of Jews to curry favor with the Gentile elites.

http://www.hirhome.com/israel/leaders0.htm

There was a lot of money to be made in war, and a lot of people had many interests, not least of which was anti-Jewish hatred of the "wink wink, nudge-nudge, say no more-say no more" variety. But aside from that there were also interests financial and political. Socialism was seen as a real solution to all of mankinds problems, the concept of engineering society was of great interests to utopianists.

My point is that elite Jews sold out for the same reasons that elite Gentiles sold out. Be part of a group doing something different and forward thinking. Don't rock the boat, there will be payoffs down the road, etc etc. And I suspect also relief at not being included among the "bad Jews" that had to "unfortunately" be thrown to the wolves.

Blogger Ron April 24, 2017 6:19 PM  

@Cataline Sergius


The secret is simple...kill your enemies women and children. Really that is all that's required to break a fighting man's spirit.

And no one can say it didn't work. Germany is clearly the weakest link in the defense of Western Civilization today.


The Armenians and Jews both watched their women and children butchered in front of their faces, neither were permanently broken by this. As were the Kurds by both Sadaam and Turkey more recently.

I contend the reverse. The best and most effective way to break a fighting mans spirit is to give a great deal of resources while at the same time making it clear that you will "kill him to death" if he attempts any sort of violence.

The lack of fighting coupled with high resource availability will soften him up while giving him no chance to strengthen himself through adversity. Just giving a belligerent many resources will not work as it will encourage the bastard to use those resources to seek out more and better trouble. Hence the failure of giving Muslims resources to neuter them.

On the other hand, simply putting a nation under threat without giving them resources will toughen them up as it did for the Eastern Europeans.

My 2 cents.

Anonymous Dave April 24, 2017 6:26 PM  

PRNK bomb San Fransisco? Like when a Shia communist blows up a Sunni communist?

:V

Anonymous deplorable six pan April 24, 2017 6:35 PM  

Interesting topics today, as I am spending my day off working on WWII airplane models between bouts with the internet.

Anonymous AzDesertRat April 24, 2017 6:41 PM  

maniacprovost wrote:@25

From what I gather from anime, Japan still has the qualities that made them fearsome opponents- suicidal determination and complete lack of empathy for the Other. They only lack motivation. They have material comfort and philosophically, they are not really aggressive for the sake of aggression.


@29
*personal anecdote warning*

I wouldn't put much stock in Anime being any kind of cultural mirror for the state of the average Japanese male. I spent ALOT of time in Japan in the mid and late 00's and was shocked by how... feminized... they were. They reminded me of a mix of Ed Norton at the beginning of Fight Club, and any of the drones from Office Space.
The majority of them wanted to do nothing more than stare at their phones and get to their houses so they could get online to game. I've heard from colleagues that are still over there it hasn't gotten much better.

Blogger Hazim April 24, 2017 6:44 PM  

Whoa... Pork fed by jew meat, that has to be the foulest thing a Mohammedan could imagine.

Anonymous Icicle April 24, 2017 8:05 PM  

Do you think my IPA microbrew's name "Hoplocaust" is too insensitive?

You need a really strong beer like maybe an imperial stout called the Final Solution.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey April 24, 2017 8:08 PM  

@26

"Both Germany and Japan were subjected to a US enforced propagandization program designed to eliminate nationalism and martial virtues from the occupied subject countries."

Fun fact: the National Socialists banned around 3400 books, the vast majority for reasons of obscenity. The occupation authorities after WW2 banned around 34,000, mostly for political reasons-- not counting control/ approval of textbooks at all levels. A massive propaganda/ information warfare effort.

Blogger Ken Prescott April 24, 2017 8:15 PM  

"IIRC, the Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that we had the Germans on the industrial ropes several times...but gave up before the shortages became catastrophic."

The problem is that it was, with the technology of the day, to discern the difference between a counter-industrial airpower campaign that was working, but hadn't worked YET, vs. a campaign that wasn't ever going to work.

"The final offensive, against oil, was carried through until it became truly effective. But the postwar analysis was that even oil wasn't the most effective target. Killing the electrical power grid would have had better results."

Yup.

"And this got reflected in some very nasty postwar weapons. Like cruise missile warheads packed with graphite fibers to short out transformers and such."

That came about from a Navy exercise off California in the 1970s: they used corridor chaff (bombs that burst in midair--sorry, no rockets' red glare--and dispersed chaff), and the winds aloft were stronger than anticipated. The stuff blew ashore. Power went out and STAYED out much longer than normal--something like six hours. Schools closed, Slurpee machines shut down, dogs and cats cohabited in sin, mass hysteria...

SoCal Edison spent a LOT of effort picking that crap out of substations and off main interties...

Anonymous CoolHand April 24, 2017 8:31 PM  

Mike Rock wrote:...

My father was the metallurgist at Fairbanks Morse in Beloit, WI. They were the first to cast Ductile Iron in the US. Keith Millis (the inventor of Nodular or Ductile cast iron..as opposed to gray iron)stayed at our house when they were working with Fairbanks. He was from Canada. Seeing all the big cupolas and many tons of molten iron got me hooked!!

God bless.


So cool.

Thanks for posting that and sending the initial letter to Vox.

Blogger F.D. Stephens April 24, 2017 10:50 PM  

I always read your articles to the last sentence, because there's so often a line there that makes me laugh. This is one of the best ones so far.

Anonymous plastic injection molding April 25, 2017 2:03 AM  

Serious problem.

Anonymous bolg April 25, 2017 4:13 AM  

Damn Crackers wrote:Do you think my IPA microbrew's name "Hoplocaust" is too insensitive?

lol

Blogger Seth Schueler April 25, 2017 7:58 AM  

Don't forget Hollywood.

Anonymous Crew April 25, 2017 9:32 AM  

The math works out to 236,624.5 kcal (about 28 gallons of gasoline) PER BODY.

Wow. So, at a time that they needed gasoline on the Eastern front they used something like 130M gallons or more dealing with a different problem?

Blogger maniacprovost April 25, 2017 9:39 AM  

I wouldn't put much stock in Anime being any kind of cultural mirror for the state of the average Japanese male.

Blasphemy. Of course it is.

Japanese men doing nothing but work and play video games is essentially where the US is headed.

Blogger Thurston Pilgrim April 25, 2017 9:51 AM  

Sodium Silicate is some interesting stuff. Apparently the Germans had been working with it for hundreds of years:
"Sodium silicate was first observed by Van Helmont, a chemist, in 1640 as a fluid substance made by melting sand with excess alkali (base that dissolves in water). Water Glass was defined in Von Wagner's Manual of Chemical Technology, in 1892, as any of the soluble alkaline silicates, which was first observed by Van Glaber, a German chemist made “fluid silica” in 1648 from potash and silica. Von Fuchs, another chemist, in 1825, obtained what is now known as water glass by treating silicacid with an alkali, the result being soluble in water. Von Wagner distinguished soda, potash, double (soda and potash), and fixin as types of water glass. The fixing type was "a mixture of silica well saturated with potash water glass and a sodium silicate" used to stabilize inorganic water color pigments on cement work for outdoor signs." http://www.innovateus.net/science/what-sodium-silicate

Blogger dvdivx April 25, 2017 7:47 PM  

If the North Koreans really wanted to invade they would just come as "refuges". If they nuke San Fran and LA they would just be doing us a favor. If they nuke Detroit no one would be able to tell the before and after photos apart.

Blogger Thurston Pilgrim April 25, 2017 8:13 PM  

Scottish Foundry Practice film circa 1953 showing cores being made and castings...
http://movingimage.nls.uk/film/1529

Anonymous Clay April 26, 2017 2:59 AM  

" The Gray Man April 24, 2017 2:41 PM
Is there any connection between these ovens and the Holocaust ovens? Very uneducated on this metallurgy subject."

Now, let's get this clear now. I am NOT some kind of Nazi apologist, or sympathizer.

I have heard, over and over thru my life, the Nazis were shoving Jews, and lots of others they considered "undesirable" into "the oven".

The Nazis couldn't physically bury people as fast as they were killing them.

Thus...they constructed industrial crematoriums to dispose of the remains. A practice in common use today.

Now, I'm sure, there were sadistic Nazis who might have burned people alive. It is incorrect , or at least misleading, when you hear about people being burned in the ovens. They were already dead. That's called cremation.

I think (maybe IG Farben) had a lot to do with those crematoria.

Blogger JP April 26, 2017 10:31 AM  

If you really want to see some Wikipedia comment wars, go look up any page about post-war atrocities on German civilians, or Soviet plans to start the war, or pages explaining why France and England declared war on Germany but not the USSR over their invasion of Poland.

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