The SWASTIKA Secret

A place for Sladists to share their thoughts on Michael Slade and his work...

Postby Slade » Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:14 am

PoulSE,

You're too bloody good at this! So I've got to ask: Are you formally trained in history, or is it just a passion that you have honed into a sharp skill?

You just put a torpedo into my hull below the waterline.

But first, let's go back.

My father's enter in the log refers to FEBRUARY 12, 1942, and here's what happened on that day:

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/op ... rberus.htm

And if you really want to get into the Channel Dash, here's the entry from the site you just gave me (a card I was holding up my sleeve, for after you guys thrashed around for a while, silly me!):

http://www.scharnhorst-class.dk/scharnh ... berus.html

And here's the entry from Bomber Command:

12 February 1942
The Channel Dash

The German battle-cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the lighter cruiser Prinz Eugen sailed from Brest to Germany through the English Channel in a carefully prepared and well-executed operation. News of the preparations did not reach Britain and the Germans chose a day when bad weather and low cloud gave their ships maximum concealment. A German fighter escort was provided throughout the voyage. The ships were not reported until late morning when a Spitfire of Fighter Command spotted them off Le Touquet. All available Royal Navy and R.A.F. units were ordered to attack the German ships before darkness closed in.

Most of Bomber Command was 'stood down' for the day; only 5 Group was at 4 hours' notice. The bomber squadrons made a frantic effort to prepare planes for attacks, which were mounted in 3 waves. Other aircraft of Coastal and Fighter Commands and of the Fleet Air Arm were also involved. The first Bomber Command aircraft were airborne at 1.30 p.m. and 242 sorties were flown by the squadrons before dark. Every type of aircraft available flew except the Whitleys which were stationed in the North of England. Bomber Command aircraft dispatched were: 92 Wellingtons, 64 Hampdens, 37 Blenheims, 15 Manchesters, 13 Halifaxes, 11 Stirlings and 10 of the new American-built Boston bombers with which some of the 2 Group squadrons were being equipped, although they were not yet officially ready for operations. It was the largest Bomber Command daylight operation of the war to date. Most of the bombers were unable to find the German ships in the poor weather conditions and, of those aircraft which did bomb, no hits were scored on these fast-moving and heavily defended targets. None of the attacks by other forces caused any serious damage to the German ships but the two largest, the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau, were both slowed down after striking mines laid by 5 Group Hampdens or Manchesters in the Frisian Islands during recent nights. Scharnhorst hit 2 mines and Gneisenau one. All the German ships reached the safety of ports in Germany before daybreak.

The sailing of these ships, although a successful operation for the Germans, finally released Bomber Command from the effort-consuming and costly requirement to bomb the ships while they had been in French ports. Bomber Command had dropped 3,413 tons of bombs on these 3 ships in recent months and lost 127 aircraft in doing so. But these raids had achieved some success. Both Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had been hit and badly damaged by bombs; this and the constant threat of further damage prevented the ships from sailing from Brest on another Atlantic shipping raid and persuaded the Germans that they should be brought back to the greater protection of German ports.

So - until today, while I was preparing the above post - it looked to me as if that was my dad's "the one that got away."

"The three that got away," actually.

But then I checked the "destruction" section that your torpedo later went directly to above, and when I delved back into my dad's log, suddenly this subsequent raid made sense:

1942. Feb. 26. Ops. to KIEL. Excellent trip. Bombed target area (2 - 4000 lb. bombs).

Back to Bomber Command:

26/27 February 1942
Kiel

49 aircraft - 33 Wellingtons, 10 Hampdens, 6 Halifaxes - to attack the floating dock. 2 Wellingtons and 1 Halifax lost.
Crews claimed good results in clear weather with bombs close to the floating dock. A high-explosive bomb scored a direct hit on the bows of the Gneisenau, causing severe damage and killing 116 men in the crew. This proved to be the end of Gneisenau as a fighting unit.

http://www.scharnhorst-class.dk/gneisen ... ction.html

What I'll never know is, Did one of my dad's bombs hit the foredeck of the Gneisenau?

Slade
Last edited by Slade on Sat Aug 13, 2005 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby PohlSE » Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:14 pm

Slade wrote:You just put a torpedo into my hull below the waterline.


here's the entry from the site you just gave me (a card I was holding up my sleeve, for after you guys thrashed around for a while, silly me!):


Oops, I didn't mean to yank the rug out.

I do know the history but it was just a fluke that the class-name was familiar.
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Postby TBLightning492 » Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:41 am

Slade wrote:PoulSE,
You're too bloody good at this! So I've got to ask: Are you formally trained in history, or is it just a passion that you have honed into a sharp skill?
You just put a torpedo into my hull below the waterline.
Slade


Slade you devil! I was sight-seeing through the board when I came upon this little comment of yours early on:

Slade wrote:Of late, it became apparent to us three that there was another powerhouse on the Board. A techno-guru who had been around a long time, and who - when the Board took a torpedo below the waterline - stepped in to help Eric bail us out.


That's why the torpedo line has been stuck in my mind since this thread slowed! Dare I say that you have been trying to navigate some of us back on course since the very beginning?
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Postby Slade » Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:07 am

Armchair Admirals,

On two occasions my dad flew missions to St. Nazaire. Neither seems that eventful:

1942. February 15. Ops. to St. Nazaire. Pilot’s escape hatch flew open – unable to close. Returned to base.

1942. May 22. Ops to St. Nazaire. Quiet time - Tgt. unidentified. Bombs in sea.

A little Internet checking turned up the fact that St. Nazaire was a major base for submarine pens, so those missions - like the surface ships - would have been tied to the Battle of the Atlantic.

Winston Churchill claimed that the ‘U-boat peril’ was the only thing that ever really frightened him during World War Two. Why? Because the lifeline from North America was what kept Britain afloat and the damage done by warships like the four above and U-boats was extensive:

1941: 1328 ships sunk (432 by submarine)
1942: 1661 ships sunk (1159 by submarine)

Here's a point of interest:

On October 27, 1941, U-96 departed St. Nazaire on its 7th patrol, the real-life source for DAS BOOT, in my opinion the best submarine film ever made:

http://uboat.net/flotillas/bases/saint_nazaire.htm

http://history.acusd.edu/gen/filmnotes/dasboot.html

Here's the general setup:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwtwo/ ... c_01.shtml

Slade
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Postby Slade » Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:33 pm

Sladists,

As we near publication, the SWASTIKA secret comes into sharper focus.

You'll find more clues in Eric's update:

http://www.specialx.net/

Slade
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Postby raasnio » Thu Aug 18, 2005 1:15 am

I'm hooked. It's going to feel like forever before I get my hands on Swastika.

Great premise. 8-)
The most merciful thing in the world... is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. - H. P. Lovecraft
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Postby Slade » Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:19 am

Sladists,

So let's have three cheers for Eric the Webmaster. Go here, scroll down, click on "Reviews" and the captions under the pictures, and you'll see why:

http://www.specialx.net/

So what do you think?

I think my dad, the artist, would be pleased indeed.

Thanks, Eric!

Slade
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Postby steelclaw32 » Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:35 am

:D :D :D :D :D 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hearty well done Eric old man exceptional job done there fair play to you :mrgreen: :idea:
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Postby MarylandManson » Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:02 am

The new material is very cool! I love the logbook pages. This is why it's fun to be a Sladist. How many authors would share this kind of material with their readers? Thanks, Slade, and thanks, Eric for a great job!

MM
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Postby raasnio » Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:14 pm

Very nice. 8-)
The most merciful thing in the world... is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. - H. P. Lovecraft
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Postby krista in ma » Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:26 pm

Eric - thank you for putting those up on the sight! excellent job as always.

Slade - thank you for allowing us a further glimpse into who your father was and what he did.
~ Spc. Byron W. Fouty, MI ~ Staff Sgt. Alex R. Jimenez, MA ~
They have served our nation; together they are home.
~ Staff Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin ~
An American Son Returns Home
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Postby steelclaw32 » Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:16 am

Thanks for the break Jay, as with all, well MOSTLY good jigsawpuzzles Damned MIND thinking puzzlers,
the answer is staring you in the face "hiding in PLAIN sight" if you will; looking at the pictures closely and trying to read the logs of your Dad, SOMETHING of what you said earlier, I thought and I don't know but I've cracked it, but there's IS THAT something screaming at me, but since my second stroke it's...... The main reason why I was given early retirement from being CEO of my last place of work, They thought I'd LOST my"gift" as they called it, I called it however a 'curse', which at first I missed.. my late wife had a love-hate relationship with it;


what I'm trying to say, though I said earlier I'd solved it... I'm afraid I have.

You see Jay you've 'lied' :shock: :shock: :shock:

and told half-truths like a true Agatha Christy fan...and your S T I LL at it, good boy :D :D !!

And the God awful TRUTH...Well Sladists it will knock your socks off, a true breath taker.

Yes Jay I think THIS is YOUR BEST WORK YET..It will be damned hard to top it.............. but you will, sort of.

I can not tell fellow Sladists the run of play, well Jay would have to kill me, and second she who'll be nameless definitely would, and lastly something tells me
that it do isn't END with the book read the one after it C L O S E L Y really if you missed it in the one coming, Jay'll answer in the next, in either up front or...

I'll be reading SWASTIKA to see WHAT I got wrong, and right, though HOW I came to my conclusions, WHO WHAT WHEN ...WHERE may be, if not be ALL that different, ask any detective he/she'll tell you everyone comes from different angles, unknown to either, all hold the answer somewhere in their convoluted :idea: that lights in their heads!!!.

I think this is the second time I've solved it, "Death In The Clouds" being the first.

I think too my former employers would be slightly embarrassed they made a cock up...not the first time !.

Sladeists THIS forth coming book is really something else, and truly it is NOTHING like A N Y SPECAIL X you've E V E R read. As they say back home it's a STONKER, in American that's a WOWZER 2 thumbs up!!!
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Postby Slade » Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:38 pm

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Postby Slade » Fri May 19, 2006 11:12 pm

Sladists,

It's a start...with others who should go:

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/TECH/space/ ... index.html

Slade
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Postby MarylandManson » Sat May 20, 2006 12:03 am

Slade,

After general conversation and informal polling of opinions, all triggered by SWASTIKA and the Paperclip whitewash, I theorize that folks answer the central question raised here largely along political lines. In other words--and I can't stress enough the qualifiers of generality and informal polling--conservative types tend to not see a problem with the U.S. government having "used" Nazis when needed to gain and maintain geopolitical advantage. And liberal types tend to springboard from Wernher von Braun et al. toward ousting the conservatives who are "pretty much all fascists anyway."

The most compelling point was raised by a military gentleman who suggested that it was smart of the Green Berets to use ex-Einsatzgruppen in Vietnam because if you don't use 'em, the other guy will--and what's the difference between using the most effective equipment and the most skilled combatants? Which point also applies to the German rocket scientists in the broader arena of international brinkmanship (aka the Space Race).

The one counterpoint I offered that no one has yet rebutted is that opportunistic "loyalty" can turn against you at the drop of a hat. Character deficiencies don't always trump highly developed skills, but they always can.

Cheers! MM
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