Saturday, October 19, 2013

White War.

This is coolbert:

Make war by avalanche.

From the Economist thanks to the tip from Freeper remains of soldiers from the Great War [WW1] only just recently uncovered, for a period of almost a full century ago buried in ice.

"Two unknown soldiers"

"THE BLACK stain on the ice was instantly recognisable. The technician checking a tarpaulin stretched over a section of the Presena Glacier in the Italian Alps—an experimental attempt to slow the melting— quickly called in a rescue party. The block of ice was airlifted to the nearby city of Vicenza. Inside were two soldiers who had fallen at the Battle of Presena in May 1918 and were buried in a crevasse."

It appears these men killed during combat operations and buried in the crevasse by their compatriots.

"Soldiers perish in avalanche as World War I rages"
"A powerful avalanche kills hundreds of Austrian soldiers in a barracks near Italy's Mount Marmolada on this day in 1916. Over a period of several days, avalanches in the Italian Alps killed an estimated 10,000 Austrian and Italian soldiers in mid-December. The avalanches occurred as the Austrians and Italians were fighting World War I and some witnesses claim that the avalanches were purposefully caused to use as a weapon. Though there is little evidence that this was the case with these avalanches, it is possible that avalanches were used as weapons at other times during the war."

The "white tidal wave". Avalanches occurring in the snow-covered Alps during WW1 a constant threat to those alpine troops of the various combatants, a "WALL" of snow tumbling downhill at a speed of about two hundred miles per hour [three hundred twenty kilometers per hour], pushing in front of it uprooted, trees, boulders, ice. A phenomenon awesome and almost biblical and apocalyptic in nature, terrible and extreme, no defense possible.

Troops either during combat operations or even while in barracks or encampment in grave danger, at the base of a mountain all eyes constantly looking upward with trepidation.

Men buried alive, suffocation the normal cause of death, many feet of ice and snow covering them, rescue in the combat environment either not possible or very difficult.

Avalanches perhaps even INDUCED AND MAN-MADE! Under the right conditions as determined by the locals, that combination of mountainous terrain, excessive snowfall and temperatures combined with carefully directed weapons fire the result of which is the "white tidal wave", an awesome and terrifying spectacle.

Ski resorts in the American West employing surplus 75 mm recoilless rifle in such a manner, dangerous snow packs at high elevation brought down from a distance, "grooming" of an area possible, just don't be in the way! That American method of using surplus recoilless rifle or artillery superior to the Swiss method of using mortar rounds.


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