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Old 01-16-2019, 09:25 PM
 
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I'm not a science guy. But they had time to build along the beaches.

Could they have built generators or something that would have electrified the water and electrocuted the soldiers as they got out?

Was there ever an instance of doing something like this in battle?
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:35 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Default A bridge too far?

@ Normandy? That's the northern coast of occupied France - I don't know if the French national electrical grid even ran down to the beaches - or somewhere nearby enough to make electrifying the water a possibility. As I recall, Germany had first call on everything of value that France had stockpiled - coal, certainly.


Bear in mind that the Allies ran a comprehensive deception campaign to mislead the Germans as to where the invasion would take place. So the Germans would have had to have electrified all the possible beaches/shallow water in the likely locations. It seems an impossible task - with 1940s electrical grid, generators, powerlines & etc. No, I don't think it was doable - & even if it had been, Germany would have done better to divert the electricity to plants building tanks, trucks, arty, aircraft, small arms, etc.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:44 PM
 
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Thank you for a serious responsre. I realized it's an odd what if to say the least. But hey humans weren't too far away from landing o the moon so figured I'd ask.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Winston Churchill put up with a great many eccentrics presenting him with ideas because he felt that one never knows where some practical weapon might originate. One man who received an audience told Churchill that to solve the problems of the U-boats, England should boil the seas and force the submarines to the surface. Churchill asked how he proposed to boil the seas and the man replied that this was up to the British Navy to figure out, he had the idea for boiling the seas, the execution was up to them.

The defensive preparations for Operation Sea Lion, the German invasion which never came, included a number of odd devices. They had catapults which flung barrels of flaming oil from the shore to the sea, but in practice they could not hit anything specific. They had pipes installed in the cliffs to pump oil into ocean near the shore, to set alight when the Germans reached the beaches. There were oil barrels in villages designed to explode when a German tank passed by.

I suspect that if electrifying the water had been at all practical, the Brits would have tried it.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madison999 View Post
I'm not a science guy. But they had time to build along the beaches.

Could they have built generators or something that would have electrified the water and electrocuted the soldiers as they got out?

Was there ever an instance of doing something like this in battle?

no! the generators would have been blown up by the allies Naval fleet before sending land soliders to the beaches. You are talking about an ocean and a large area to cover, those generators would have been big and visible to bomb from the ships or bomber planes.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:54 AM
 
Location: Central Washington
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No. First, the Germans didn't know where the landings were going to be, thanks to a brilliant allied deception campaign. Second, it would require massive amounts of power, and there wasn't enough reserve generating capacity to supply it. Third, no generators could have been built near the beaches, due to the large amount of copper and other strategic materials needed that were in very short supply. They would also need fuel, likely oil or coal, and the Germans were short on both, especially oil. Fourth, even if generators could have been built, it's very likely they would have been knocked out by the pre invasion bombing and naval bombardment.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:36 AM
 
Location: 912 feet above sea level
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Originally Posted by dozerbear View Post
No. First, the Germans didn't know where the landings were going to be, thanks to a brilliant allied deception campaign. Second, it would require massive amounts of power, and there wasn't enough reserve generating capacity to supply it. Third, no generators could have been built near the beaches, due to the large amount of copper and other strategic materials needed that were in very short supply. They would also need fuel, likely oil or coal, and the Germans were short on both, especially oil. Fourth, even if generators could have been built, it's very likely they would have been knocked out by the pre invasion bombing and naval bombardment.
This.

It's not about where to put the generators or how to protect them from Allies bombing or shelling.

A bolt of lightning typically packs something like 10,000,000-100,000,000 volts and in the neighborhood of 500 megajoules of energy. And? The kill radius for fish when that lightning strikes the ocean is a few dozen feet. Beyond the massive logistics of wiring all the potential landing sites - many, many miles of beaches - there is simply no way that Germany could supply anywhere close to the amount of energy needed. The entire electrical grid of occupied France wouldn't have sufficed.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madison999 View Post
I'm not a science guy. But they had time to build along the beaches.

Could they have built generators or something that would have electrified the water and electrocuted the soldiers as they got out?

Was there ever an instance of doing something like this in battle?
Interesting thought. Perhaps, as the current needed to kill is minimal, and even simple Leyden jars could build and discharge to take out a group of men, but the system would have been localized and easily disabled, as well as being a nightmare to keep in working condition in such an environment. Electrified fences only work until they are shorted out. Ask a farmer. Hmmm... been reading "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"? Wasn't there something along those lines in it?
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:13 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Default Could the Fates weave the strand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Interesting thought. Perhaps, as the current needed to kill is minimal, and even simple Leyden jars could build and discharge to take out a group of men, but the system would have been localized and easily disabled, as well as being a nightmare to keep in working condition in such an environment. Electrified fences only work until they are shorted out. Ask a farmer. Hmmm... been reading "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"? Wasn't there something along those lines in it?
Yah, but that was a proper electrified fence - strands of wire, electrically isolated. The intended victims were wearing armor, making them excellent connections to ground. It seems to me that the load would have exceeded capacity in no time - frying the generator - unless you pried away the first batch of victims, & keep reenergizing the wire (until the wire burned out, I suppose). The whole thing was a lash up, so it's hard to know how many volts & amps the wire was carrying.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:53 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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Well of course it would have taken an enormous amount power generation, labor, initial setup and maintenance. And of course the Germans believed the landings would take place in the Calais not Normandy.
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