Tech War: Operation Biting, 1942

Ground Operations

This small, fast operation — the first successful  British orbital drop parachute drop in the war — has very high potential for a Traveller PC military operation.

With selected technical updates, of course, to bring 3000 years of military advances to the table.

Tech Warfare

Of special interest to tech-heads:

The operator that they’d captured was interrogated.

Heller was questioned, and British found him willing to talk. He had failed to learn Morse code, had been arrested and sentenced to six months imprisonment for going AWOL due to his leave being rejected in September 1939 as his baby daughter was taken seriously ill and later died, and then went AWOL again two weeks after release to go on a two-day drinking spree.

He was sent to Bruneval as a way of getting rid of him from his previous unit. Low IQ and little training, plus low morale, meant that Heller did not understand even the basic principles of radar. When Jones asked Heller to put the parts of the Würzburg together though, he was surprised to see that Heller was actually able to do it.

“However, Jones was learning an important lesson about the German radar technology. Although no scientist and no engineer, the prisoner was part of a team using cutting-edge technology. Not only was it supremely well engineered, it was clearly designed for use by operatives with a very low technical competency, people who would have been regarded as unsuitable in the RAF.” Downing, Night Raid.

It was discovered that the Luftwaffe had a very low priority in recruiting personnel for their radar and signals units.

Also, Hitler had banned amateur radio before the war, meaning that there was no reserve of skilled and enthusiastic amateurs in which to draw recruits from.

The Germans had to design kit that was super easy to assemble and disassemble that even idiots could do it.

The First Successful British Parachute Raid | Operation Biting 1942 | BATTLESTORM WW2 Documentary by TIK

Or, “Don’t be surprised if that band of low-tech nobodies approaching your unit has some really nice equipment: equipment that, even though they can’t understand it, are able to use and even maintain successfully.

Also: totalitarian states have many, many ways to shoot themselves in the foot while seeking Total Control of the Population.

Finally, there’s this quote:

“The disabling of the German ground radar defense system in the summer of 1943 was a victory of immense importance. It was the air war equivalent to the victories at El Alamein and Stalingrad, and of the defeat of the U-boat menace in the Atlantic. Like these other victories it did not bring about the immediate collapse of the enemy. But it was a turning point from which there was no going back, despite the development of counter-measures. […] The Para raid at Bruneval had made a decisive contribution to the scientific war.” Downing, Night Raid

Tech fights get more and more important, as the importance of our tools (their capabilities, their blind spots, even their weight and dimensions) become decisive in our conflicts.

This is even more important in tech-heavy domains, like naval combat, air combat… and, in time, space combat.

Of course, most of this tech combat is intellectual, in the universities and the labs: but sometimes firearms are used.

About Alvin Plummer

I'm working to build a better world, a world that blesses Christ and is blessed by Him. I hope that you're doing the same!
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