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Thread: Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper 2.0

    I am not talking about the Falklands, I am talking about 230 years ago.

    Why do you think the gentry had several sons? Number one son in the regiment, always the cavelry (infantry being for the lower orders) and more than likely dead 'in a corner of some foreign field' as the poem goes.

    Number two son went into the church (a kind of insurance) and more than often ended up with the title.

    Lesser sons would be sent to the army, navy or into 'the city'
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  2. #92
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    I thought it was the second son who went into the military and the third to the clergy. That way the eldest got the land.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper 2.0
    I thought it was the second son who went into the military and the third to the clergy. That way the eldest got the land.

    Eldest had to go into the army as well, how would his portrait look withoutthe uniform and medals?
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  4. #94
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    When did the concept of the Officers buying/funding their commissions go out of style? I recall it still was in place in the Edwardian era but of necessity died in WWI.

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    It is interesting looking at the pay charts for the US Military. There is no paygrade listed for an E-8 (Master or First Sergeant, or Senior Chief Petty Oficer) with under 8 years of service. There is none for E-9 (Sergeant Major, Master Gunnery Sergeant, Master Chief Petty Officer, Chief Master Sergeant) with under 10 years service. There is none for a Chief Warrant Officer-5 with under 20 years. There is however a paygrade listed for an O-10 (Four Star General) with less than 2 years of service. It has been a long time since a politician could appoint his brother as a general, but it seems that in 1947 when he DOD paygrades were standardized it was still enough of a possibility that they made sure the pay was covered.

  6. #96
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    I just caught the first few minutes of Waterworls while chanel surfing. There is a scene I had forgotten. Costner urinates in a cup which he then runs through some kind of reverse osmosis machine (a rather sophisticated device unlikely to still be servicable, but I suppose there may be a way to make a membrane out of animal hide). Based on what I know about ROWPU systems, he would have been better off just running seawater through it. There was plenty of that around.

  7. #97
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    I suppose if you got shot in the calf or something... Have to be a small bullet though and miss the veins and arteries. :x It's not like you have that many parts that don't do anything. Actually, if you got shot in the ear but not the head... that'd hurt but I guess you wouldn't die. This is kind of silly. Getting shot's always bad.

  8. #98
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    Ripper, it looks like you're correct:

    http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/lf/Engl...amp;uSection=5

    It can be used to treat water contaminated by nuclear-biological-chemical warfare agents, as well as fresh, brackish and seawater.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper 2.0
    I just caught the first few minutes of Waterworls while chanel surfing. There is a scene I had forgotten. Costner urinates in a cup which he then runs through some kind of reverse osmosis machine (a rather sophisticated device unlikely to still be servicable, but I suppose there may be a way to make a membrane out of animal hide). Based on what I know about ROWPU systems, he would have been better off just running seawater through it. There was plenty of that around.
    BBC Had a series called Hollywood Science where they tried stuff out of the movie to see if it could happen. They built their own reverse osmosis dohinky and it did work as advertised (although(IIRC) the tase left something to be desired...)

  10. #100
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    Did they throw urine in it? How long did it work for?

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    Did they throw urine in it? How long did it work for?
    Yes they did...they only used it the one time to show it was possible, though. I don't know enough to know how long a homemade one would last with constant use...

  12. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    Did they throw urine in it? How long did it work for?
    Yes they did...they only used it the one time to show it was possible, though. I don't know enough to know how long a homemade one would last with constant use...

  13. #103
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    We have to backflow ours every few hours, and the membranes need to be replaced periodically. But again, my point is, why put urine in it when you are surrounded by seawater?

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper 2.0
    We have to backflow ours every few hours, and the membranes need to be replaced periodically. But again, my point is, why put urine in it when you are surrounded by seawater?
    Maybe all the salts in eawater would overload it (I don't know).

    A clear plasic sheet with a weight in the middle and a container under the weight would collect condensation and you would get drinkable water...(did that in Boy Scouts with a hole in the round--it works!)

  15. #105
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    Interesting thread.

    Back to the original:

    I've also been bugged by all the lousy shooters in the movies. Weren't any of them taught to actually aim? Isn't there even one who spent some time on a range before given a weapon?

    And what about how everyone loses conciousness the exact moment they are shot?

    RBG

  16. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBG
    Interesting thread.

    Back to the original:

    I've also been bugged by all the lousy shooters in the movies. Weren't any of them taught to actually aim? Isn't there even one who spent some time on a range before given a weapon?

    And what about how everyone loses conciousness the exact moment they are shot?

    RBG
    Bullets, beams, laser bolts......etc. only hit when the plot says so. :wink: There are many examples, but one of my favorites is Star Wars. The stormtroopers are suppose to be elite and can hit a sandcrawler at long range, yet when they have Luke and Leia no more than 10 feet in front of them they hit everything but those two. Go figure.

  17. #107
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    Not only that but with all their futuristic technology, you'd think that all a stormtrooper would have to do is look at Luke and the laser would figure out itself what it had to do to hit him. Instead the sighting technology is about equal to when flintlocks ruled.

    RBG

  18. #108
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    Regarding the going unconscicous thing when shot. I've seen it both ways where if there is something important to say they stay awake long enough to impart the info, then go unconscious/die, or when the magic bullet hits out they go. Silly really. Unless you hit an area that would immediately kill or incompacitate a person they aren't going to drop like a rock. I've read accounts of gunfights in the old west where the guy shot required not one round, but several before the guy finally went down. The movies make it look like all anyone would have to do is shoot somebody in the arm and knock them out. I wonder how many people have used guns for self-defense at home and found that one shot didn't do it. I bet it would be very startling.

  19. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthbound
    Bullets, beams, laser bolts......etc. only hit when the plot says so. :wink: There are many examples, but one of my favorites is Star Wars. The stormtroopers are suppose to be elite and can hit a sandcrawler at long range, yet when they have Luke and Leia no more than 10 feet in front of them they hit everything but those two. Go figure.
    Forget the Stormtroopers' horrendous aim... what's with that armor? Exactly what is it supposed to protect them from? :-k As my dad says, it's useful against any shot that misses. :roll:

  20. #110
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    My wife and I were talking about that the other day. It would have been simple enough to show a couple of STs in the movie with blast marks on their armor to show that is does something.

  21. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataCable
    Quote Originally Posted by Earthbound
    Bullets, beams, laser bolts......etc. only hit when the plot says so. :wink: There are many examples, but one of my favorites is Star Wars. The stormtroopers are suppose to be elite and can hit a sandcrawler at long range, yet when they have Luke and Leia no more than 10 feet in front of them they hit everything but those two. Go figure.
    Forget the Stormtroopers' horrendous aim... what's with that armor? Exactly what is it supposed to protect them from? :-k As my dad says, it's useful against any shot that misses. :roll:
    The armor is suppose to help deflect shots as long as they're not straight on or the script says so. :wink: The armor works a lot better in the books than on the screen. It certainly didn't help when the ewoks started to kick their butts. If anything they give the stormtroopers a psychological weapon. Faceless, scary looking dudes that look like they could kick butt. That is until you see them shoot. :P

  22. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper 2.0
    I know that the early guns could not penetrate plate armor, but I would think that a Brown Bess could. A lead ball 3/4" in diameter at about 900fps should be able to knock a hole through a decent thickness of steel plate. I have not tired this, and I do not know enough about the matalurgy of the day, but I would think that if a metal breastplate were an effective defense against musketballs they would have been worn during the American Revolution and Mexican War.
    The armours of the Rennaisance were vulnerable to the arquebus and matchlock firearms of their time. Plus not everyone in an army got the same type of armour. Only the wealthiest 5% or so had full armour, everyone else wore family hand-me-downs or whatever they were issued with. There's a Rennaisance era armoury in the city of Graz, Austria which illustrates this quite graphically. It contains what is argulably the most complete collection of munition grade arms and armour from the Rennaisance (munition grade weapons and armour where what the common men at arms were issued with. The wealthy had custom fitted armour). One of the very interesting aspects of the collection is that you can see for yourself that as time progressed, new sets of armour covered less and less of the body, with the armour for the torso and head becoming thicker and heavier to resist musket shot while the armour for the arms and legs became lighter and lighter to the point where it was dispensed with completely. Unfortunately the museum doesn't have an official website I can link to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart
    During the Napoleonic Wars, the French (plus, I think others) user "curassiers" whose breastplates were reputedly able to resist a musketball. They achieved this by being pigeon-breasted so that there was an oblique angle of impact from dead ahead. I think that went out when rifling entered the world.
    Actually, that sort of styling dates back to the early Rennaisance as well. You can see it's origins emerging in the Germanic "Gothic" styles of armours, such as those made by Lorenz Helmschmeid for the Germanic nobility of the time. Rennaisance half armours Here's a photo of a slightly later Rennaisance style with the "pidgeon breast". You also see the same shaping in munition grade armours made/used during the English Civil War as well.

    For the most part, rifles that became more accurate and powerful over longer distances did cause the death knell of armour, but there were brief experiments with it again during WW1 by the English and Germans, not only for snipers but also for tank crews as a protection against spalling (when a shell hits the tank armour but doesn't penetrate, the shock of the hit can cause the inside layer of the armour to splinter and create shrapnel inside the tank).

    After Japan opened trade with the rest of the world in the 1850's and guns were introduced there, traditional armour was still in use by some of the samurai class. Armourers there were able to develop armoured proofed against early muskets by using softer grades of steel which would bend and absorb the force of the shot rather than be too hard and brittle and shattering under the impact.

  23. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop
    Quote Originally Posted by Laurie

    snip

    At Agincourt, the French were so exhausted from the slogging, it was easy to understand why they fell and stayed when pushed down in the armour. The archers just stood back behind their stakes to fired away at both the prostrate and what French who were slugging it out with Henry's knights.

    there was very little 'slugging it out with henry's knights' the archers themselves formed the mass of the english infantry, even among the armoured men very few were 'knights' most were 'men at arms'

    Strictly speaking a knight is a memeber of an order of chivalry or someone of the nobility. On the French side ettiquet and precenednce dictated that it was indeed the 'Knights' who were in battle and the result was the killing or ransom of a considerable number of the French aristocracy, many more fled the field.
    That's pretty much true from what I know. I also remember reading an account of Agnincourt where once the French had reached the English positions, some of the English archers put down their bows and picked up the wooden sledge hammers (called mauls, and the origin of the term "mauled") they used to pound wooden stakes into the ground with, fighting hand to hand with them against the French flanks.

    The knightly classes would have made up maybe 5%-10% of an army of that time, the rest were common men at arms.

  24. #114
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    GarethB mentioned spalling inside of early tanks. Spalling was a problem. Another problem was that early tanks had riveted hulls. A good hit would cause the rivets heads to shear off and go bouncing around inside the tank. Riveted hulls had been abandoned by WWII except for the American M-3 Grant, which was one of the worst tanks of the war. It was phased out as soon as the M-4 Sherman became available, thouh it did see some service in North Africa (where the Panzer MkIII and IVs made it their *****). Believe it or not, I was in Paraguay a few years ago, and they are still using the M-3 along with the M-4 and a few wheeled armored vehicles they bought from Brazil.

    Another thing on spalling, there is what is called a HESH round, or High Explosive Squash Head. It is specifically designed to cause spalling. It never really caught on, and the new sabot rounds and the shaped charge are sill the standard.

    On the subject, I do not think I have seen many good tank battles in movies.

  25. #115
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    [quote="Ripper 2.0"]GarethB mentioned spalling inside of early tanks. Spalling was a problem. Another problem was that early tanks had riveted hulls. A good hit would cause the rivets heads to shear off and go bouncing around inside the tank. Riveted hulls had been abandoned by WWII except for the American M-3 Grant, which was one of the worst tanks of the war. It was phased out as soon as the M-4 Sherman became available, thouh it did see some service in North Africa (where the Panzer MkIII and IVs made it their *****). Believe it or not, I was in Paraguay a few years ago, and they are still using the M-3 along with the M-4 and a few wheeled armored vehicles they bought from Brazil.

    Speaking as a WW2 Desert War buff, the British were glad to have the M3, since their tanks up to then were (cough cough) pretty rubbish, apart from the Matilda II. Rivets apart, the M3 did have a Big Gun, a refreshing novelty for British tanks of the time, and it was reliable - again, a concept difficult to explain to British designers. M3 as worst tank? - nay, I would nominate the Italian M11/39. That had riveted armour, and poor quality armour plate at that. It also had a turret mounting the mighty armament of 2 machine guns, making it dog food in a tank battle, since the main gun had been added in a sponson on one side and couldn't rotate more than a few degrees.
    <snip>
    On the subject, I do not think I have seen many good tank battles in movies.

    Me neither. "Battle of the Bulge" contains what must be some of the most unintentionally hilarious tank battles on film. The Italian "El Alamein" features a horde of radio-controlled miniatures pretending to be the real thing!

  26. #116
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    Even Patton, an otherwise good movie, used M-48 tanks for both the Americans and Germans. There was very little footage anyway.

    In Saving Private Ryan they had the last scene where somehow a couple of P-51s managed to destroy a bunch of Tiger and Panther tanks. I am at a loss for how they might have done that.

    Enemy at the Gates did well enough at the theatres, maybe they can do one on the battle of Kursk. With a few real T-34s, which are available all over the world, and some other tanks dressed up to look like Tigers and Panthers (they can raid a few museums), plus some CGI generated Sturmaviks they could do some really impressive scenes. You could rent out half the Russian Army as extras for a few cartons of cigarettes.

    Of course, most Americans would have little interest in the biggest battle in history since it was not one of our own. In fact, most Americans have little interset in our own battles.

  27. #117
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    The M3 Grant or Lee (In US service with a different turret)was designed to get the 75mm gun into action without a large turret. US manufacturing at the time couldn't produce a large enough turret 'ring'. While this was being developed and the requisite production lines and machines installed a 'hybrid' tank was produced. This had the 75mm the main hull to the right hand side. While it didn't have an all round fire arc it did get the gun into action.

    British tanks suffered from being designed to very specific briefs and in small batches. To this end there was no incentive to engineer them to anything other than the minimum standard to fulfil the contract.

    For instance the Crusader was still using the 'Liberty' engine which was an aircraft engine of WW1 parantage. It's big problem being the valve gear wasn't covered so in the desert it wore itself away in no time at all. Another problem was the gun. At the start of the war the 2pdr was the best anti tank gun in service, it was capable of penetrating any German tank at good ranges. it's main problem was it had no HE round so it was useless in any other role. To get round this a certain number of tanks were armed with 95mm howitzers that fired only HE, these were designated 'Close Support' tanks. Another problem with the 2pdr is that a replacement wasn't considered for a long time.

    Unfortunately after Dunkirk the British army had no tanks at all and rather than stop production of the old designs and wait for new, upgraded ones Churchill decided that the situation was so desperate that any tanks were better than none at all. To this end lots of 2pdrs now were better than 6pdrs in the future. With invasion expected at any day the reasons were obvious.

    Another consideration was economic, to cancel existing contracts would have effected the manufacturing companies profits and risked litigation (even in war time) It was decided not to put new designs into production until the old contracts had been fulfilled, this resulted in thousands of obsolete tanks being produced. Probably the most scandalous example being the 'Covonanter' this was put into production with no prototypes being built and it was so unreliable it was never considered for action, over 2000 were still produced and designated 'training' tanks, they bacame known as the 'Regimental roadblocks'

    Good designs did eventualy emerge, the M4 'Sherman' was produced to meet British requirements and the Churchill was both reliable and powerful wiith thick armour. In Italy it was rfespected by both sides for being the only tank agile enough to operate in a lot of the mountain country, getting into positions the Germans considered impossible.

    Cromwell was of a similar spec to the M4 but a lot faster, it had an iron blocked version of the Merlin known as the 'Meteor' It's gun used the M4 ammo and in it's final welded version it was armoured to the same standards as the Tiger. It was used to equip the reconaisance regiments.

    As the war was coming to a close the Comet was in service, this was basicaly a Cromwell with a new cast turret and 17pdr gun (redesigned and called the 77mm) And the Centurion arrived in germany just too late to be tested in Combat.

    for the definative history of British armour in WWII read

    The Great Tank Scandal (British Armour in the Second World War)**
    The Stationery Office Books; ISBN: 0112904602
    The Universal Tank(British Armour in the Second World War part 2)
    The Stationery Office Books; ISBN: 011290534X

    By David Fletccher, curator of the Tank Museum at Bovington.

    They look at military and political background as well as technical reasons for why British tanks were so bad at the start of the war.

    Also see 'The Armoured Force' by the same author, it covers the inter-war years and the evolution of British tanks and tactics.
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  28. #118
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    The M-3 followed the formula of the Char 2 tank of France with the hull mounted gun. At the time it was considered a great idea since there were not any big gun tanks at the time. The problem was that just being a 75mm gun was not enough. The velocity was so low they say you could see the round going down range. In the end it proved no match for the later German tanks. You do have to consider the fact that the US was playing catch up. The Lee/Grants would have dominated the battlefield if they were taken up against the Pkfw Mk I and II or any of the Japanese so called "tanks". The problem was that by the time they saw service the Germans had Mk III and IV. I do not know if they were ever put head to head with the Tiger or Panther but I think we can both predict how it would have gone.

    Something the US did not make proper ues of were the M-10 and M-18 tank destroyers. They were both fast and powerful, though lightly armored. We never had enough of them or employed them as anything other than an infantry support weapon (where have we heard that before?).

    I will say this for American tanks in WWII. They were more reliable than any of the competition. Even the Russians liked them. The T-34 was a great tank but they tended to break down a lot, as did the Tiger and Panther (which were also slow).

  29. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper 2.0
    In Saving Private Ryan they had the last scene where somehow a couple of P-51s managed to destroy a bunch of Tiger and Panther tanks. I am at a loss for how they might have done that.
    I can't say with any expertise on ww2 era tanks, but it's reasonably common for the armour to be thinner on the top than on the sides. There's a limit to how thick the armour can be everwhere before it's so heavy it can barely move, is too heavy for bridges, too heavy to cross swampy ground, ford rivers, etc. A tank is much more likely to be hit from the side than from above, so that's where the tickest armour is, with thunner armour on the top and underside.

    A P-51 being able to penetrate the top armour with .50 calibre machineguns is a little mystifying. The British developed a plane that they intended to replace the Spitfire with, called the Typhoon. It's high altitude performance wasn't as good as expected, so the Spitfire soldiered on. The Typhoon did have particularly good low level performance though, and really came into it's own performing CAS (close air support for ground troops). When it's four 20mm cannon were loaded with armour piercing tungsten-carbide rounds, it could penetrate the top armour of most German tanks in service. The Germans also developed bolt on pods containing 37mm cannon for the Stuka dive bomber which performed well against Russian tanks on the eastern front. The Russians had their own counterpart as well, the IL-2 Sturmovik (sp?).

    We can see this thread of putting a big gun on an aircraft, loaded with armour piercing rounds flowing through to the US A-10 with it's 30mm calibre GAU-8 gattling gun loaded wth armour piercing depleted uranium rounds. This is a plane designed to carry a specific gun, which itself was specifically designed to penetrate tanks through their top armour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripper 2.0
    In Saving Private Ryan they had the last scene where somehow a couple of P-51s managed to destroy a bunch of Tiger and Panther tanks. I am at a loss for how they might have done that
    I haven't seen the movie in a while but I thought they hit them with bombs for some reason? I think the top of the turret and top of the hull armor is almost an inch on the Tiger I. An AP .50 round would probably go through at close range. Having 6 guns spitting rounds out wouldn't hurt your chances either.

    IIRC those Tigers were just cosmeticly adjusted T-34's anyway

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