Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
gebhk
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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by gebhk » 19 Mar 2021 20:49

Likewise, I presume that pressure injury treatment hasn't stopped, but rather that training has been modified
We are not talking about pressure injury treatment but about the prevention thereof and no I did not modify the prevention training just scrapped it altogether. There were no discernible ill effects and the incidence of pressure injuries continued to fall as we improved the access to and quality of the relevant equipment and enforced procedural policies. Fluctuations in pressure injury incidence could be clearly and statistically significantly related to fluctuations in equipment accessibility and performance. There was no discernible impact on incidence of the provision of training.

Ironically, a set of new managers, who had very little understanding of pressure injury prevention but thought they did, reintroduced the useless 'pressure injury updating' against my advice, among other 'common sense' measures 'that every one uses so they must be right' and within 18 months, 18 years of progress was undone. The point of this (and the Bike Ed) stories is that they demonstrate that it cannot be assumed that provision of extra training will necessarily be advantageous.
I presume, or at least hope, that they have modified their instruction to both children and parents in the last 20 years.
Not my area so wouldn't dream to comment. However, I wouldn't bet on it either. History has shown us that utterly useless measures are introduced wholesale without a shred of evidence of their effectiveness because 'it seems like a good idea' and continue to be implemented years past their sell-by date even in the face of overwhelming evidence of their uselessness or even positive harm - not least because influential people and organisations have staked their reputations and careers on them and, frankly, just plain old inertia. Most of the time no one really knows if they are useful, useless or positively harmful because outcomes research is darned difficult, complicated, time-consuming and expensive. I note that after over 50 years of cyclist training, ROSPA reported in 2001 that "although there is research showing the benefits of cyclist training, it would be very helpful to have research that compared the accident and casualty rates of trained cyclists to those of untrained ones". This is, of course, the politic way of saying that we know that trained kids can ride in a straighter line and can recite the traffic code but have no idea if that prevents them getting injured or killed by road traffic, we just assume that it does. In other words, most of the time, at best, proxy outcomes are measured against because we assume that they adequately reflect our target outcomes. Dare I mention statins?

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by Topspeed » 19 Mar 2021 23:47

David Thompson wrote:
19 Mar 2021 18:29
A post from Topspeed, containing an offensive personal remark about another forum member, was removed. Mind your manners, Topspeed.
I was trying to be funny.

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 19 Mar 2021 23:50

Hi gebhk,

You post, "In theatre, the numbers, if one includes the Montenegrins were slightly in favour of the Serbs in 1914." But as the Montenegrins were essentially a militia that was not used outside their own borders, they were not a significant factor unless attacked. Furthermore, the Serb numbers included virtually the entire available adult male population, which had already suffered 30,000 casualties in the recent Balkan wars. These had also used up many ammunition reserves. The Austro-Hungarians, by contrast, with their ammunition depots presumably untroubled by recent expenditure, were using their initial tranches of prime manpower at the outbreak of war.

Wikipedia says, "During mobilization, Serbia raised approximately 450,000 men of three age-defined classes (or bans) called poziv, which comprised all able-bodied men between 21 and 45 years of age...... shortage of manpower forced the Serbian army to recruit under- and over-aged men to make up for losses in the opening phase of the war.

Because of the poor financial state of the Serbian economy and losses in the recent Balkan Wars, the Serbian army lacked much of the modern weaponry and equipment necessary to engage in combat with their larger and wealthier adversaries. There were only 180,000 modern rifles available for the operational army, which meant that the Serbian Army lacked between one-quarter to one-third of the rifles necessary to fully equip even their front line units, let alone reserve forces. Although Serbia tried to remedy this deficit by ordering 120,000 rifles from Russia in 1914, the weapons did not begin to arrive until the second half of August. Only 1st ban troops had complete grey-green M1908 uniforms, while 2nd ban troops often wore the obsolete dark blue M1896 issue, with the 3rd ban having no proper uniforms at all and were reduced to wearing their civilian clothes with military greatcoats and caps. The Serbian troops did not have service issued boots at all, and the vast majority of them wore everyday footwear made of pig skin called opanak.

Ammunition reserves were also insufficient for sustained field operations as most of it had been used in the 1912–13 Balkan wars. Artillery ammunition was sparse and only amounted to several hundred shells per unit. Because Serbia lacked a significant domestic military-industrial complex, its army was completely dependent on imports of ammunition and arms from France and Russia, which themselves were chronically short of supplies. The inevitable shortages of ammunition, which later would include a complete lack of artillery ammunition, reached their peak during decisive moments of the Austro-Hungarian invasion.
"

You post, "While the Austro-Hungarians enjoyed a slightly better ratio of machine guns..... per capita", but the advantage in numbers at the outbreak seems to have been of the order of 3:2 against the Serbs.

You post, ".....the Austro-Hungarians enjoyed a slightly better ratio of field guns per capita" but the ratio in numbers seems to have been about 10:6 against the Serbs.

You post,",.....while in mobile troops - ie cavalry, the Serbians had a distinct edge.", whereas it appears to have been a little under 5:4 against the Serbs.

You post, "In heavy artillery there was virtual parity in absolute terms as far as number of tubes goes." Yes, but that ignores the fact that A-H heavy artillery was significantly heavier on average calibre and heavier still in terms of weight of shell.

You post, "The principal material deficiency for the Serbs was resupply - both of manpower and munitions". Very true. They had no trained manpower reserves at all and they often had no artillery ammunition either. By contrast, the Austro-Hungarians produced their own artillery pieces and their ammunition depots had not been depleted by recent wars.

There are a lot of parallels with the Poles in 1939, but no, of course we aren't going to get an exact match. In some ways the Serb situation was considerably worse than Poland's in 1939. (They lost half their mobilised manpower killed and wounded. Poland lost about 20%.) In others, better. (It it took a year before Bulgaria stabbed Serbia in the back, but the USSR waited barely a couple of weeks to do the same to Poland.) As I said above, "Poland in September 1939, however heroically the Poles may have fought, was not Serbia in 1914-15."

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 19 Mar 2021 23:56, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by Topspeed » 19 Mar 2021 23:52

gebhk wrote:
19 Mar 2021 18:21
No it wasn't it was a full sized huge aeroplane.
Which one? The 1857 was an unmanned machine. The 1874 one (which you have illustrated) was a full-sized machine but evidently not 'huge'.
I wonder are you really sane ?
Claiming that Wrights developed an aeroplane...2 bicycle repairman from Ohio ?
The old "its the rest of the world that is mad argument". Good luck with that one. As I pointed out, the Wright brothers had done a heck of a lot more than repair bikes and most aeronautical historians agree that their background in practical bicycle engineering was of great asset to them in aircraft design and building.
You can clearly see it was operating from wheels like real aeroplanes do.
So does my work trolley but no one except perhaps yourself would claim that it is an airplane. And vice-versa, everyone (except perhaps yourself) would agree that a Vought Kingfisher is an aeroplane even though it does not have wheels. The landing gear is irrelevant to a definition of a functional aeroplane. The ability to take off unassisted, fly a certain distance in the air under its own power and land, all whilst carrying a pilot, are. The Monoplane failed the first part of the definition, something which virtually everyone accepts.
It did not take off unassisted...it was launched with a catapult.

I agree that Wrights did motorize something that that stayed in the air...let's say it was a motorized big kite.

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Mar 2021 02:11

Sid Guttridge wrote:
19 Mar 2021 18:36
Hi Richard.
Hi Sid. As an aside, why is it so difficult for you to use the quote function on this site? It is quite functional and easy and has the salubrious effect of actually alerting those you are responding to that you in fact have responded to them. It also clarifies who says what to whom about that, which also makes clear responses so much easier than trying to parse out whose bold/italics applies where.
I cannot be held responsible if you misinterpret, ".....relatively light loss to themselves" as "a total of 156,556 casualties was insignificant".
And I cannot be held responsible for your misinterpretation, since I did no such thing. You stated the Welle 1. divisions did this that and the other thing with "relatively light loss to themselves". I am simply curious if "a total of 156,556 casualties was insignificant", but if the semantics bother you I will rephrase...do you mean a total of 156,556 casualties was "relatively light loss to themselves"?
You also post accurately, "Yet you implications is that the 1. Welle divisions suffered relatively light casualties." Not implication. I am saying that directly. What the Germans had failed to do over four years in WWI at the cost of about 1,493,000 dead and missing, they had achieved in six weeks in 1940 for about 46,000 dead and missing. This was about the same as the average monthly deaths suffered by the German Army on the Western Front for four years in WWI.
I am so glad that part of my response met your standards for accuracy, but what does the results achieved have to do with whether or not the "1. Welle divisions suffered relatively light casualties"?
You ask, "So then you agree an average of 2,000 per month was not actually "light", just "light" compared to the annihilation of most of their enemies armies? A large portion of which surrendered?" Again, I posted "relatively light", not "light".
Then I will rephrase again. So then you agree an average of 2,000 per month was not actually "relatively light"?
Secondly, I have the Germans deploying at least 93 divisions in the West. This would give average divisional losses of more like 1,600, including those inflicted by the British, Belgians and Dutch and those suffered by corps and army troops.
Perhaps you could have read what I wrote? I specifically said, "By my rough count 33 of the divisions of HG-A and B were 1. Welle, most in the front line. Add ten Panzer divisions. Out of 72 divisions engaged - more or less." Most of the other 21 divisions in the West were assigned to HG-C and did little other than hold the Rhine and engaged in an experimental attack on a Maginot ouvrage at the end of the campaign.
A disproportional share of German casualties in 1940 was probably borne by the Welle I divisions, as they were leading the charge, so 1,600 or even 2,000 casualties is probably a significant underestimate for them and an overestimate for Welle III-VIII divisions.
And here I thought you just said the loss was "relatively light"? Which was it, a "disproportional share" of 156,556 casualties among 33 divisions or "relatively light"?

BTW, the 4 divisions of the 6. Welle were still forming and played no role in France. The 13 divisions of the 7. Welle were in Norway, were still forming, or were in reserve and never committed. Only 3 of the 10 8. Welle divisions were engaged and they at the tail end of the campaign.
I would certainly include the prisoners amongst the dividends bought by the losses of the campaign, along with the indefinite occupation of territory and the creation of strategic depth, and access to industries and resources for the duration.
Yes, but we are not talking about the dividend, but the cost.
You post, ".....the 1. Welle divisions were created from the Reichsheer". They were created by expanding the Reichsheer's seven infantry divisions to 24 and then 36. This was done by expanding its 100,000 man regular cadre and introducing 2-year conscription for up to 500,000 men annually.
Indeed, and by the end of 1934, the 7 Reichwehr infantry divisions were 21 and the 3 cavalry divisions were replaced by 3 Panzer divisions. By the end of 1935, only 3 more 1. Welle infantry divisions were created, but so was the structure of the 51 divisions of th 2.-4. Welle. In 1936, 12 more 1. Welle divisions were formed, ending the development of the "German" 1. Welle divisions.
The Austrian divisions were based on a 30,000-man regular army and were expanded by similar measures after the Anschluss. The same with 46th Infantry division in Sudetenland and in late 1939 60th Infantry Division from Danzig. (I think 50th Infantry Division fits in there somewhere, as well.)
Indeed, which is what I said. The Austrian Bundesheer consisted of 7 infantry divisions and 1 infantry brigade, mostly cadre strength, and 1 Schnell division. After the Anschluss, the Schnell division became 9. Panzer-Division and the rest formed 44. and 45. Infanterie-Division. They too were counted as 1. Welle. Yes, 46. Infanterie-Division was formed from Sudeteners in Karlsbad after the acquisition of the Sudetenland, IIRC the personnel were mostly Sudenten Freikorps. The 60. Infanterie-Division was formed from the Danzig Landespolizei. 50. Infanterie-Division was formed from Grenzkommandant Küstrin. They were allotted to the 1. Welle also.

Sorry if you thought I was giving the Sudeteners, Danzigers, and Küstriners short shrift, I wasn't aware that level of detail was neccessary when what I was pointing out was that the 1. Welle was not just "three or four years worth of 2-year conscripts".
If I remember correctly, by September 1939 two year-groups of conscripts had been stood down after completing their service, a third was within a month of completing its service and a fourth was just under halfway through its service. The fifth intake was due on 1 October.
Its a bit complicated by the RAD requirement. Before entering armed service most already six to nine months in the RAD. It was further complicated by the partial mobilization for the occupation of Czechoslovakia.
I think, ”By 1 September, about 78% of its personnel were active regulars” should probably read “active conscripts” or something similar.
Okay, 78% of the personnel were active regulars with at least 1 to 2 years of service. Another 12% were Klasse I reservists from JG13-17, who were fully trained and had served for at least one year. Another 6% were Klasse II reservists from JG00-12, who had received 2 to 3 months of training. The remaining 4% were older Landwehr (typically in their 40s) with Great War training and experience. No they were not all "conscripts", active or otherwise, since prewar about two-thirds were volunteers (about 2.4 million of 3.7 million), and officers, non-commissioned officers, and Beamte tended to stay in service longer.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by gebhk » 20 Mar 2021 09:17

It did not take off unassisted...it was launched with a catapult.
What was? None of the pioneering aircraft mentioned in your quotation used a catapult. Do you mean the Kingfisher? If so I don't see the connection to our discussions.
I agree that Wrights did motorize something that that stayed in the air...let's say it was a motorized big kite.
Call it what you like, mate. Doesn't change the fact that the Wright Flyer took off unassisted, performed controlled powered fight and landed whilst carrying a pilot which qualifies it as a functional airplane and, in the opinion of the vast majority of aeronautical historians, the first to do so successfully.
Last edited by gebhk on 20 Mar 2021 10:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by gebhk » 20 Mar 2021 09:33

Poland in September 1939, however heroically the Poles may have fought, was not Serbia in 1914-15
Here we agree albeit obviously for different reasons. Whichever, it still raises the question why use the 1914 campaign as a comparator if the two situations are radically different? I would suggest that the 1915 campaign is far more apropos for this in terms of disparity in numbers engaged and geostrategy and not surprisingly the outcome was remarkably similar.
Last edited by gebhk on 20 Mar 2021 13:07, edited 1 time in total.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Mar 2021 10:31

Hi Richard,

Yup, I probably should learn to use the quote function, but then I should probably also learn how to be more than a one-fingered typist, as well. I'll give it a go at some stage, but one draw back seems to be that quotes, within quotes, within quotes, etc., can make it hard to follow. As you can see, I use italics to highlight quotes.

Besides, all my posts begin "Hi (name of addressee)", which gives a pretty good indication as to whom it is addressed. Does the Quote function also notify the addressee in some additional way?

You ask, ".....do you mean a total of 156,556 casualties was "relatively light loss to themselves"? Yes, for the reasons outlined above.

You ask, ".....what does the results achieved have to do with whether or not the "1. Welle divisions suffered relatively light casualties"? Because casualties are the currency paid to achieve tactical, operational and strategic advantage. WWI: High German expenditure in casualties resulted in failure to conquer France. WWII: relatively low casualties resulted in success in conquering France.

You ask, "So then you agree an average of 2,000 per month was not actually "relatively light"? No. (I would refer you again to what I originally wrote above.)

You say, "I specifically said, "By my rough count 33 of the divisions of HG-A and B were 1. Welle, most in the front line. Add ten Panzer divisions. Out of 72 divisions engaged - more or less." Most of the other 21 divisions in the West were assigned to HG-C and did little other than hold the Rhine and engaged in an experimental attack on a Maginot ouvrage at the end of the campaign." Yes, you did, but at no point have I done so.

I have not excluded them for good reason. You will recall my point that the Germans were almost entirely reliant on their Welle I divisions for offensive operations and that most of the rest of their order of battle was decidedly inferior. Well, Army Group C was almost entirely from these decidedly inferior resources and yet was still occupying the attentions of significantly superior French resources. You mention the Rhine frontier specifically:

In February 1940 four “Oberrhein” divisions (554-557) were formed for the Feldheer to help defend the line of the upper Rhine, which the Germans intended to be a passive front during their invasion of France. The manpower was found by disbanding two of the zbV divisions in Poland (426,427) and three of those in the west (441-443). A three-battalion artillery regiment, equipped with captured Polish light and heavy guns, and other divisional units were added. On the day the Germans attacked France, 10 May 1940, their 7th Army guarding the Upper Rhine was almost entirely composed of five recently created Landwehr divisions largely equipped with Polish and Czech artillery.

By contrast, immediately opposite 7th Army were five divisions of the French 8th Army and three of 5th Army. Furthermore, their quality of manpower and levels of weaponry was on average higher than those of 7th Army. One was an Active division equivalent to the German Welle 1, one was Série A (roughly equivalent to Welle 2) and three were fortress divisions. The latter had no close German equivalent as they were designed to man the Maginot line. However, as the Maginot line had only been created in the 1930s, their specialist manpower consisted of good quality recent conscripts. Only the three French Série B divisions of older reservists were roughly equivalent to the Landwehr-raised divisions of 7th Army.

Nor was engaging the direct attention of these eight French divisions the limit of the German 7th Army’s contribution. The French also felt obliged to guard against the possibility that it might be covering further German forces designed to attack them through Switzerland. As a result, two more of 8th Army’s Série B divisions were deployed on the Swiss border and two and a half Active and Série A divisions of VII Corps were held in reserve locally. The Germans made no equivalent contingency deployments against the possibility of a French attack via Switzerland. Furthermore, the French 8th Army possessed 90 modern R-35 tanks and at least 45 more of 5th Army were deployed opposite 7th Army, which had no armour of its own. Thus 7th Army contributed significantly to keeping disproportionate French forces tied down to the east in Alsace while the bulk of German forces were preparing their decisive attack in the Ardennes to the west. 7th Army using older Landwehr men and captured weapons.

You post, "And here I thought you just said the loss was "relatively light"? Which was it, a "disproportional share" of 156,556 casualties among 33 divisions or "relatively light"?" They are not mutually exclusive. Remember, my point was that the Germany was heavily dependent on its Welle 1 divisions. This only serves to emphasize that.

You post, "BTW, the 4 divisions of the 6. Welle were still forming and played no role in France. The 13 divisions of the 7. Welle were in Norway, were still forming, or were in reserve and never committed. Only 3 of the 10 8. Welle divisions were engaged and they at the tail end of the campaign." You omit the up to 18 low grade divisions occupying Poland on 10 May, five of which were in the French theatre by June. They also had Czech or Polish heavy weaponry, where available.

You post, "Yes, but we are not talking about the dividend, but the cost." You may be, but one can't do a cost/benefit analysis without considering both. Casualties do not occur in isolation.

You post, "It was further complicated by the partial mobilization for the occupation of Czechoslovakia." I thought the occupation of Bohemia-Moravia was done by just five neighbouring territorial wehrkreise and mobile formations without mobilization in order not to spook the international community in advance. Have you more details?

You post, "78% of the personnel were active regulars with at least 1 to 2 years of service." I think you may be conflating the regular cadre and 2-year conscripts, neither of which appear elsewhere among your percentages.

I was interested to see that there was such a high proportion of volunteers. Was this for conscription or to become regular soldiers?

Cheers,

Sid.
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 20 Mar 2021 11:01, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by Topspeed » 20 Mar 2021 10:33

gebhk wrote:
20 Mar 2021 09:17
It did not take off unassisted...it was launched with a catapult.
What was? None of the pioneering aircraft mentioned in your quotation used a catapult. Do you mean the Kingfisher? If so I don't see the connection to our discussions.
I agree that Wrights did motorize something that that stayed in the air...let's say it was a motorized big kite.
Call it what you like, mate. Doesn't change the fact that the Wright Flyer took off unassisted, performed controlled powered fight and landed whilst carrying a pilot which qualifies it as a functional airplane and, in the opinion of the vast majority of aeronautical historians, the first to do so successfully.
Catapult was their real invention: https://www.wright-brothers.org/History ... tapult.htm

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by gebhk » 20 Mar 2021 10:42

Catapult was their real invention: https://www.wright-brothers.org/History ... tapult.htm
But what has this to do with the 1903 Wright Flyer or our discussion about who was the first to fly a functional airplane?

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by gebhk » 20 Mar 2021 11:12

Hi Sid
I presume, or at least hope, that they have modified their instruction to both children and parents in the last 20 years.
To expand my reply earlier (sorry) it's not just the content of training that is the problem in risk management it is the impact of someone receiving training at all on behaviour, whatever the content of the training: good, bad or indifferent. Specifically, on creating the illusion of control and safety in inherently uncontrollable and dangerous situations and therefore the willingness to enter those situations where beforehand they would not have done. To take the Bike Ed example, yes a trained child might be safer on the road than an untrained one. However trained or untrained both are significantly more at risk on the road than in the safety of the local park or their back yard. If parents are more likely to allow a trained child on the road than an untrained one because they mistakenly believe that the training has made them safe, the risk to the trained child increases rather than decreasing.

This, of course, also applies to individuals too (and it would seem men are more prone to this behaviour than women!) both in terms of training and experience. It was drummed into me when training to do my one and only parachute jump (one was quite enough, thank you!) that no one had ever been killed in the UK doing their first jump since WW2 because doing the first jump people do everything by the book (too bloody right in my case!). The peak mortality is around 70-80 jumps because at that stage the parachutist has gained some experience which makes him think he can cut corners but not enough to have the judgement or skill to do so safely. It is not inconceivable and indeed perhaps likely, that such phenomena may occur in military training as well (men, dangerous activity, inherently unpredictable environment, macho culture, need I say more? 8O ).

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by Topspeed » 20 Mar 2021 13:44

gebhk wrote:
20 Mar 2021 10:42
Catapult was their real invention: https://www.wright-brothers.org/History ... tapult.htm
But what has this to do with the 1903 Wright Flyer or our discussion about who was the first to fly a functional airplane?

Because we all know it was Otto Lilienthal. Therefore catapult powered flyer is not so much of an issue.

If Otto just so much as farted once on his flights we would be talking about jet aircraft.

The Felix du Temple craft took speed down hill just like the Wright Flyer in 1903. So it does not qualify.

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Mar 2021 13:59

Hi Topspeed,

You post, "If Otto just so much as farted once on his flights we would be talking about jet aircraft."

I don't pretend to be a great expert in flatulence or aero engine design, but I think technically it would be more of a "rocket aircraft".

Cheers,

Sid,

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by Topspeed » 20 Mar 2021 14:07

Sid Guttridge wrote:
20 Mar 2021 13:59
Hi Topspeed,

You post, "If Otto just so much as farted once on his flights we would be talking about jet aircraft."

I don't pretend to be a great expert in flatulence or aero engine design, but I think technically it would be more of a "rocket aircraft".

Cheers,

Sid,
Yes thank you for the correction.

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Re: Were nazi-germans really superhumans ?

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Mar 2021 04:33

Sid Guttridge wrote:
20 Mar 2021 10:31
Hi Richard,
Hi Sid
Yup, I probably should learn to use the quote function, but then I should probably also learn how to be more than a one-fingered typist, as well. I'll give it a go at some stage, but one draw back seems to be that quotes, within quotes, within quotes, etc., can make it hard to follow. As you can see, I use italics to highlight quotes.

Besides, all my posts begin "Hi (name of addressee)", which gives a pretty good indication as to whom it is addressed. Does the Quote function also notify the addressee in some additional way?
Okay, well I guess if you can't be bothered, neither can I be bothered to edit out your italicized passages. Sorry.

Cheers!
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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