Otters Oddities

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to war we go....

I would not be skurrd if I seen that boat heading to me. It would win any battle against me, though. Because I'd be laughing at it so hard I wouldn't pay any attention to what it was doing.

But.....maybe that's what the designers had in mind....Well played designers, well played.

Let's just jump right on into today, shall we? And what is today? Why, it's Tell The Truth Tuesday! Today I reveal the answer to yesterdays Made Up Monday.

And on this one, I'm giving it to everyone. Because I lied. But not really. Even though I did. Allow me to 'splain.

Cambyses did not gather up all the cats he could find and make them walk in front of his army. I mean, have you ever tried to herd cats? It can't be done. I know that for a fact because I saw it on an episode of Mythbusters. (really)

No, Cambyses didn't use cats. He had his men paint cats onto their shields. Other than that, the tale I told was true. The Egyptian archers refused to fire on the Persians because the punishment for harming a cat was death. It didn't matter that they were just paintings of cats. A painting was a physical representation of the being, so harming the picture was the same as harming an actual cat.

As a result, the Persians beat the Egyptians. Because of an army of cute....pictures. History is silent on whether or not any of the cat paintings had cheeseburgers or not.

So, technically, everyone is a winner today. If you say I lied about the cats, I did, because I said actual cats. But I didn't because the battle actually happened and the Egyptians lost because of cats. So, YAY!

While researching yesterdays tale, I encountered another one that almost became the subject of yesterdays post. But I decided to just go with the cats instead and present this subject today.

It involves another creative tactic in warfare. This time, the war was the First World War.

Germany was doing it's best to starve out England to try and force them out of the war. And by December 1914, they were doing a fairly good job. One of the reasons was, England had no real counter measures against the U-Boats.

This was a problem for England.

But no one ever accused the British of lacking in the idea department. In fact, they have a history of coming up with some very....innovative ideas. And their solution for the U-Boat problem was nothing is not innovative.

Canvas sacks and hammers.

That's right. While they were working on standard counter measures like depth charges and torpedos of their own, the British countered the U-Boats with canvas sacks and hammers.

When night fell, British convoys would put crews into small rafts to silently paddle around the fleet. When they spotted a periscope, they would row up to it and either put the sack over it, or smash the lens with a hammer.

This had the effect of blinding the sub and forcing the captain to surface. This allowed the escort vessels to sink or capture the sub and it's crew.

Sounds like it would be a rather difficult way to conduct war, but it was an effective method. In the end, 16 U-Boats were taken out of action using hammers and sacks.

When your back is against the wall, you'll do whatever it takes to get out of the bad situation. And sometimes, the simple works the best.