The Anonymous Widower

Is Volodymyr Zelenskyy Planning A Mosquito Moment?

Just imagine the scene in Berlin on January 30th, 1943, which was the tenth anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power.

A celebration had been planned with speeches by Goering and Goebbels to the Nazi faithful, which would be broadcast over the radio.

But precisely as Goering started to speak, three RAF Mosquitos arrived over Berlin.

This article on The Smithsonian Magazine, which is entitled When the RAF Buzzed Over Germany to Drown Out Nazi Broadcasts, describes the interruption like this.

When the bombs and the British engines intruded on the broadcast of Goering’s speech, radio engineers cut his feed and scrambled for safety. A bewildered German public instead heard the cacophony of bombers, which was soon replaced on their radios with a crackly recording of marching band music. It was more than an hour before a furious Goering returned to the airwaves.

Hours later, three more Mosquitos, gave Goebbels a similar treatment.

Wikipedia gives this quote from Goering about the Mosquito.

In 1940 I could at least fly as far as Glasgow in most of my aircraft, but not now! It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy. The British, who can afford aluminium better than we can, knock together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building, and they give it a speed which they have now increased yet again. What do you make of that? There is nothing the British do not have. They have the geniuses and we have the nincompoops. After the war is over I’m going to buy a British radio set – then at least I’ll own something that has always worked.

He was lecturing a group of German aircraft manufacturers.

It has been reported that Vlad the Mad is planning a spectacular parade on Victory Day, which is May 9th, 2022.

I can imagine that Ukrainian planners are working on ways to interrupt any speeches.

A drone spraying blue and yellow paint would be intensely funny and totally within the expertise of high-quality special forces.

April 10, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Time We Used Cyber Dark Arts To Foil Putin

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times, which was written by Edward Lucas.

This is the first paragraph.

Breaking the Kremlin’s grip on the Russian people is the greatest national security priority of our lives. We cannot (or rather, will not) fight the Russian invaders in Ukraine. But we can fight inside Russia, using disruption and subversion to disable the war machine, ideally to the point that the country becomes ungovernable.

He suggests the following.

  • Russian speakers could sow doubt about the regime’s lies and brutalities.
  • Use the Russian diaspora to contact friends and relatives back home.
  • Build and unleash a psychological warfare arsenal against Putin’s cocktail of crimes, lies and secrecy.
  • Send condolences to family members for their losses in the war.
  • Prepare Nuremberg for war crimes trials.
  • Highlight the friendly treatment that Ukrainians give Russian deserters.
  • Use wit as a weapon.

Edward Lucas then talks about the antics of Sefton Delmer in World War II. Wikipeda says this about him.

During the war, he led a black propaganda campaign against Hitler by radio from England. It was so successful that Delmer was named in the Nazis’ Black Book for immediate arrest after their planned invasion of Britain.

I suspect he was very good at his job. Two of his weapons were.

Aspidistra, which was a 500 kW radio station.

A daily “grey” German-language newspaper titled Nachrichten für die Truppe (“News for the Troops”). These leaflets were delivered by the USAF.

Edward Lucas says that we should all read Delmer’s autobiography, which is called Black Boomerang, which is now out of print and difficult to find.

Wikipedia gives this explanation of Black Boomerang.

When fighting entered Germany itself, black propaganda was used to create an impression of an anti-Nazi resistance movement.

At the end of the war in Europe, Delmer advised his colleagues not to publicise the work they had been involved in, lest unrepentant Nazis claim (as had been the case after the First World War), that they had been defeated by unconscionable methods, rather than on the battlefield. Consequently, former Nazis were able to claim, without contradiction, that they had assisted the fictitious resistance movement; Delmer described this unintended consequence as a “black boomerang”

Edward Lucas suggests reprinting Black Boomerang.

If someone has a good clear copy, I could possibly arrange it.

Demoralising The Russians

Edward Lucas believes, we can use similar techniques to Delmer to attack the Russians.

But instead of using a massive radio, he proposes using the Internet and its various messaging apps.

I suspect with a bit of arm-twisting Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft et al, could produce a very good list of Russian Internet users.

It might be against the law, but who cares? It’s a war out there, we’re not using the information to physically hurt anybody or steal anything of value.

News For The Troops

I believe we can go one better than Sefton Delmer.

We are dealing with Russians invading and occupying Ukrainian territory, where many of the inhabitants can certainly read Russian.

So could we develop a truthful leaflet, that is delivered across Ukraine to both Russian Troops and the Ukrainian population?

Delivery would be primarily by the Internet, but why not deliver it by drone?

Delivery from say 5000 feet would distribute the leaflets over a wide area.

Could We Go Candy Bombing?

Gail Halvorsen, who died recently was known as the Candy Bomber.

This is the introduction to his Wikipedia entry.

Gail Seymour Halvorsen (October 10, 1920 – February 16, 2022) was a senior officer and command pilot in the United States Air Force. He is best known as the “Berlin Candy Bomber” or “Uncle Wiggly Wings” and gained fame for dropping candy to German children during the Berlin Airlift from 1948 to 1949.

I think, his actions could be copied in Ukraine.

Consider.

  • The Ukrainian people are starving in the occupied territories.
  • The Russian soldiers aren’t doing much better.
  • These days, we can supply nutrition bars instead of sweets.
  • Automated drones could deliver them safely from 5000 feet.
  • They could be flown on behalf of the Red Cross from over the border in Hungary, Moldova, Poland and Slovakia.

Organised properly, the Russians would have a problem.

  • If they let the drones through, the siege will be broken in a small way.
  • If they shoot them down, their soldiers won’t get the smallest snack and the Russians will be attacking the Red Cross.

We might lose a lot of drones, but eventually we’ll get the nutrition through, each wrapped in a large dollop of propaganda.

 

 

March 14, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Game-Changing’ Drones Helping Ukraine In Battle For The Skies

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The Ukrainian military has been using “Punisher” stealth drones that can target fuel storage, ammunition supplies and electronic warfare stations up to 30 miles behind enemy lines.

Some other points from the article.

  • They are a Ukrainian-built drone with a 7.5 foot wingspan an electric propulsion.
  • They are from a company called UA-Dynamics.
  • They have completed sixty successful mission.
  • They can fly for hours at 1,300ft

This paragraph describes a mission.

He said the drone, which can carry 3kg of explosives, needs the co-ordinates of its target and then carries out its mission automatically. Onboard cameras record the impact of the blast to check the accuracy of the mission.

It can also work in combination with a reconnaissance drone.

Could this be the reason the Russians have held back the convoy?

It may not be a big enough warhead to knock out a tank, but it would do a lot of damage to a supply truck or a tanker full of diesel.

There is also this paragraph, which describes a dog-fight between Russian and Ukranian fighters.

The Ukrainian military said today that a “fierce air battle” took place overnight in the Kyiv region between a pair of MiG-29 fighters and a pair of Russian Su-35s. Both Russian jets were destroyed and one MiG-29 survived.

Note.

  1. The Mig-29 first flew in 1977.
  2. Mig-29s are a very common fighter aircraft.
  3. Ukraine inherited hundreds of Mig-29s after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
  4. The USAF has a few Mig-29s

The Su-35 first flew in 1988.

In addition to the Russians, they are flown by China and Egypt.

This is a paragraph from the Wikipedia entry for the Mig-29.

On 29 May 2020, Ukrainian MiG-29s took part in the Bomber Task Force in Europe with American B-1B bombers for the first time in the Black Sea region. In September 2020, B-52 bombers from the 5th Bomb Wing conducted vital integration training with Ukrainian MiG-29s and Su-27s inside Ukraine’s airspace.

Have the Ukrainian pilots been doing some combat training?

March 2, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Delivery Drone Flies Medical Supplies To Britain’s Isle of Wight

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Reuters.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A new drone service will reduce delivery times for urgent medical supplies to a hospital on the Isle of Wight, which lies about 8 kilometres off the south coast of England.

In some ways the most remarkable thing about this project, was that the drone was developed by Southampton University to deliver medical supplies in remote parts of Africa.

  • It is twin-engined.
  • It has a range of 100 km.
  • It can carry a 100 kg payload.
  • It can take off and land on short grass runways.

More details can be found on this page of the Southampton University web site.

This is a video of the first delivery.

May 13, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Company Hopes To Use Railways To Develop Drone Delivery Corridors

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

The first two paragraphs explain the idea.

SkyRights Holdings is seeking to partner with Class I railways to make their alignments available for use by drone delivery companies and for ‘urban air mobility’ applications.

The company said the airspace above railways offers ‘a unique solution to address the safety, electric charging infrastructure and liability management challenges when compared to flying delivery drones over populated areas.’

I think this could be very feasible.

January 8, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

And Now Drones Reunited!

This article on the BBC is entitled UK Drone Pilots Have 25 Days To Register With Regulator.

This is an extract.

CAA spokesman Jonathan Nicholson said: “Our aim is for the Drones Reunited platform to become an essential service for the drone community – the first port of call for anyone who has lost, or found, a drone.”

I like the name and the concept!

It might even encourage drone owners to register!

 

November 5, 2019 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment

The Chilling Power Of Drones And Software

This article on the BBC is entitled Saudi Oil Attacks: Images Show Detail Of Damage.

Read this article and then say, that drones can’t be used to create death ad destruction or merely havoc, like flight disruption at a major airport.

Consider.

  • Automation is such, that drones can now be launched on a fire-and-forget basis.
  • You can’t jam an autonomous drone!
  • There is nothing to stop a top quality programmer creating evil software.
  • Much of the software, used for evil purposes, is probably also used to write business, research, engineering, scientific, educational and other types of software.
  • The genie is well and truly out of the bottle!

14/09/2019 will become a notorious date in history.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Not Just Drones We Should Worry About!

In The Private Thoughts of Engineers and Scientists, I talked about a discussion, I had with a chemist about the production of sarin gas.

His view was that if amateurs tried to make the deadly gas, there was a high chance, they’d kill themselves, but he had a better idea to cause havoc in a city, which I will not disclose.

I too, have a couple of non-lethal methods, that would bring an airport or a city to a standstill.

One idea is so simple, that I suspect many terrorists could think it up.

Again, I will not disclose my ideas, but they are probably just two of many.

In some ways, the success of the drones in closing Gatwick Airport will only encourage others to think of new ways to disrupt our lives.

We still don’t now, who were behind the Gatwick Airport drones, but there must be a long list of suspects.

  • Extinction Rebellion
  • Anti-Airport Protesters
  • Russia – It worked better than Novichok!
  • North Korea – Unlikely, as they don’t seem to have any spats with the UK.

One thing that may rule out a lot of groups, is that sophisticated high-performance drones are not cheap.

Other groups will be ruled out, because they want to kill hundreds of innocent people and a couple of drones are unlikely to do this.

December 21, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments