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  #1  
Old 21-03-08, 18:56
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sapper740 sapper740 is offline
Derek Heuring
 
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Default Engineer question

Question:

Why did the Engineer take SUE and a Bong-stick to the beach?
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Old 22-03-08, 15:02
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Derek Heuring
 
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Default Clue to Engineer question

O.K., the answer isn't what you Hippies think it is, SUE is an acronym for Signalling, Underwater, Explosive and a Bong stick is a piece of kit where a handle turning a rotary arm causes a hammer to strike a long brass tube. Any takers?
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Old 22-03-08, 15:51
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Originally Posted by sapper740 View Post
O.K., the answer isn't what you Hippies think it is, SUE is an acronym for Signalling, Underwater, Explosive and a Bong stick is a piece of kit where a handle turning a rotary arm causes a hammer to strike a long brass tube. Any takers?

My guess is that using this Bong stick, creates a noise underwater, so that divers are warned before an underwater explosion is made.

Probably way off beam
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  #4  
Old 22-03-08, 18:03
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My guess is that using this Bong stick, creates a noise underwater, so that divers are warned before an underwater explosion is made.

Probably way off beam
Close Richard, but no cigar. I don't want to COPP out just yet so I'll let everyone cogitate on this one for a little longer before posting the answer. Hint, did I misspell cop?
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Old 22-03-08, 19:27
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Close Richard, but no cigar. I don't want to COPP out just yet so I'll let everyone cogitate on this one for a little longer before posting the answer. Hint, did I misspell cop?

Derek,

got it

Will let others have a go
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  #6  
Old 22-03-08, 19:47
Noel Burgess Noel Burgess is offline
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COPPISTS
Either Very Very brave or very very foolish
Didn't know that they were specifically enginers though.
Noel
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  #7  
Old 22-03-08, 20:13
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COPPISTS
Either Very Very brave or very very foolish
Didn't know that they were specifically enginers though.
Noel
You're quite correct Noel, only a few Coppists were Engineers, but they were the ones that stealthily paddled ashore from the X-craft to survey the landing beaches, draw maps of terrain details, and take soil samples. Here's a quote from the COPPs website:



"Although the Normandy beaches were mostly flat and so generally suitable for a seaborne landing, it was believed that in some areas there were deposits of peat and clay. These could cause enormous problems for vehicles' moving up the beach should the exit coincide with them.
Accordingly it was necessary to examine the ground. This work was carried out by Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPPs). A Royal Navy midget submarine with its normal; crew of four carried a Royal Engineer reconnaissance team of two. The submarine was towed to mid-channel by a Royal Navy trawler. It then carried the Sappers to within a few hundred yards of the enemy shore and they completed the journey in inflatable dinghies. The submarine meanwhile retired to presence of rocks, peat or clay which could impede the landings; establishing the geology of the beach, taking auger samples down to 18 inches looking for runnels which might hold water at low tide thus impeding men and vehicles; identifying exits from the beaches noting sand dunes, sea walls, shingle and seaweed; and inves a safe distance and waited.
The tasks of the Sappers included locating the high and low water marks and the distance to the back of the beach; checking surf conditions, beach surface, and the tigating man-made obstacles and defences.
These missions were extremely hazardous and on several occasions the Engineers found themselves close enough to German sentries to hear them talking and to see the light from their torches. After completing the mission a signal was sent to seaward and the submarine picked up the Engineers. It withdrew offshore and, remained submerged during daylight. Batteries were charged and-the whole exercise was repeated the following night in a different location often for a week at a time. In addition the submarine gathered much useful information by periscope search in daylight.
On returning across the Channel the submarine was met by the trawler off the Isle of Wight and towed back into Portsmouth. Conditions aboard for the crew and the Sappers were cramped and uncomfortable and the air became increasingly foul during the long periods submerged. These missions were carried out throughout 1943 and into early 1944. The resulting intelligence was regarded as of immense value and helped to pinpoint the landing beaches."

The passage is a little befuddling, but as you can see the Sappers from the Copps units were the ones taking the greatest risks to glean valuable info from the invasion beaches.

CHIMO! Derek.
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Old 22-03-08, 20:27
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The Bong stick would be used by the crew in the canoe to signal to the submarine, who would pick up the sound by Asdic at up to 12 miles away and use it for tracking there location in order to pick them up.
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  #9  
Old 22-03-08, 22:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Farrant View Post
The Bong stick would be used by the crew in the canoe to signal to the submarine, who would pick up the sound by Asdic at up to 12 miles away and use it for tracking there location in order to pick them up.

BONGO!....I mean BINGO! Correct answer Richard. Surveying the invasion beaches before D Day were but one of the duties of Engineeers. I couldn't imagine spending up to a week in a 51 1/4ft. long by 5 3/4 ft diameter tube breathing stale air, wondering if you were going to be sunk by enemy action or shot as a spy if caught by Jerry. Brave men all!

CHIMO! Derek.
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Old 28-06-14, 13:18
Skip Skip is offline
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Hi All. An old subject but still very relevant. COPP Parties were made up of a mixture of Naval and Army members. The naval side were concerned with the suitability of a landing site for landing craft/ships, such things as water depth and tidal effects,rocks and shoals, the gradient of the beach and its approaches enemy sea mines and obstructions, whether a landing craft/ship could dry out between tides etc.
The army were concerned with the holding ability of sand and shingle for the passage of vehicles, exits for vehicle from the beach area and areas suitable for the establishment of equipment dumps etc.
Both were of course concerned with the position and state of enemy defences.
The men involved were selected from Naval Hydrographers and surveyors. The army were from Royal Engineers. They came from British and Dominion services.
COPP teams were used for the Torch landings in North Africa and the Sicily landings using kayaks to go ashore, For Normandy they used kayaks for the initial surveys and midget submarines as navigation markers for the actual landings.
Cheers Skip.
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  #11  
Old 29-01-15, 00:06
Andy Beevers Andy Beevers is offline
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The amount of detail that was needed before the landings could take place, it is difficult to comprehend, yet so logical and important.
When I read sections like these, I was sure that they must check it somehow, but didn't realise they put a man on the beach to see. Seeing is believing!
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