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thetimesreader84
24th Aug 2009, 10:57
Hi all

I've just been watching "cash in the attic" (it's a slow day on standby!) and the antiques expert has asserted that the RAF used to load up bombers with scrap railings, old metal benches etc when there weren't enough bombs to go around. This is the first I've heard of this, can any members shed any light?

I did a quick search but couldn't find anything relevant.

All the best.

TTR

Cornerstone958
24th Aug 2009, 11:25
I think he was talking :mad:
CS

GOLF_BRAVO_ZULU
24th Aug 2009, 12:24
the RAF used to load up bombers with scrap railings, old metal benches

Is it not said that Manís ingenuity in warfare takes many forms? :}

Fitting that sort of junk into the bomb carriers would have been fun! All test flown and cleared at Martlesham Heath, of course.

Hyperborean
24th Aug 2009, 14:17
Just goes to show how reliable "experts" are. I have heard some bloomers from the same over the years.

Double Zero
24th Aug 2009, 17:51
If the old park bench was fully equipped with a tramp, it would have made quite an impression - very possibly incendiary...that would teach the Bosch !

virgo
24th Aug 2009, 18:08
There is, in fact, a sort of truth in what was said. Throughout the war people were encouraged to "contribute" to the war effort by donating their aluminium pots and pans "to make Spitfires" and their iron railings, ornate gates and garden seats to make "guns and tanks to fight Hitler". The objects collected - in thousands - were obviously not much use for their advertised purpose but part of the idea was make people feel they were making a sacrifice and were therefore more involved in the "home-front" war effort.

Much of this metalwork - particularly the cast iron - was used to make bomb casings and the aluminium to make incendiary cases.

So, indirectly, railings, garden seats and saucepans were dropped by the RAF on Germany !

goudie
24th Aug 2009, 18:11
Well at first we dropped leaflets. That scared 'em!

Exnomad
24th Aug 2009, 18:23
My brother, ex Bomber command told me that empty beer bottles made a satisfactory whistling noise, keeping people's heads down on the ground during the return flight

critter592
24th Aug 2009, 18:47
Often, those "empty" beer bottles weren't empty, according to one Veteran I spoke to.

He was a rear gunner, and claimed he took several beer bottles with him on Ops.; he would relieve himself into them, and drop them through the trapdoors on the base of his turret...

Don

Agaricus bisporus
24th Aug 2009, 18:52
And nowadays he'd be accused of "war crimes" for doing that...

mr fish
24th Aug 2009, 20:24
i remember reading that, as a lot of the metal collected (particularly iron railings) was of very poor quality, it was dumped in the irish sea after the war.

sycamore
24th Aug 2009, 21:46
Got a pic of a toilet unit strapped under the wing of an A-I Skyraider,ready for catapulting off the USS `Midway`,in 1965..... maybe there`s a N Vietnamese farmer with a ceremonial throne somewhere....

Noyade
24th Aug 2009, 23:36
a lot of the metal collected (particularly iron railings)Read about that the other day and reminded me of this Daily Mail photo. According to the caption these railings are coming down in Manchester...

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/2646/scrapsmd.jpg (http://img31.imageshack.us/i/scrapsmd.jpg/)

BarbiesBoyfriend
26th Aug 2009, 09:59
I heard that most of the railings etc, if not the ally, was dumped in Beauforts Dyke. ie out in the Irish sea, same location used to dump much unwanted weaponry.

The general (bloody stupid) idea was to 'involve' peeps in the war.

All along my street are the lead filled holes on top of the walls where the old railings were. Don't suppose they will ever get replaced.

WHBM
26th Aug 2009, 11:28
All along my street are the lead filled holes on top of the walls where the old railings were. Don't suppose they will ever get replaced.
They're not lead-filled (lead was also in desperate short supply in the war, needed for batteries, etc) but just where the wrought iron railings were sawn off and ground flush.

I remember reading that, as a lot of the metal collected (particularly iron railings) was of very poor quality, it was dumped in the irish sea after the war.Somewhat unlikely, the iron-based products would be put through the blast furnace at the steelworks along with other scrap and raw iron ore. What comes out of the other end is just plain iron, and you start again. Shortages of iron and steel continued in the UK well into the 1950s. Aviation does not use a lot of this but the railway, which uses a large amount for both track and vehicles, suffered substantially.

T-21
26th Aug 2009, 15:19
Spoke to an ex Lincoln crew man who flew out of Lindholme in the fifties. He did say his job was to empty the Elsan over Hull on the descent into Lindholme !!

Groundgripper
26th Aug 2009, 16:56
Sem to remember many years ago reading that, during the war, elsans in Lancasters used to be topped up by the crew on the way out to Germany and chucked out (the whole thing, not just the contents) over the target until the germans complained that we were engaging in chemical warfare.

Probably a myth, but the thought of being flattened by a chemical toilet arriving at near supersonic speed is not pleasant.

GG

pigboat
28th Aug 2009, 00:11
Probably a myth, but the thought of being flattened by a chemical toilet arriving at near supersonic speed is not pleasant.

But I imagine it did conjure up an oh-so-satisfying image. :D