How the Czechs fooled the Germans
By Bruce Bird
When I was taking some post graduate courses in Franklin Pierce College, I had a professor who was in the 10th Mountain Division in Northern Italy. He had five German shells land very close to his foxhole, but none of them exploded, all duds. I figured God was on his side. General Patton was out touring the front when a shell landed near him, it was a dud, plop in the mud. The General took it as a sign from god.
A B17 came back from a mission and the ground crew found eleven unexploded 20mm shells. The shells were sent to Ordinance which took them apart and found ten shells had no bursting charge, just an empty cavity. The last shell had no bursting charge, but there was a note, which said in Czech “This is the best we can do for you at this time.” The Germans had a lot of trouble with quality control. The Germans used slave labor, and slaves have an attitude problem. They don’t want the people who are enslaving them to win.
Here is how the Czechs fooled the Germans. After the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia, they took over the Czech Arms Industry, one of the best in Europe. So there was German plans and inspectors, controlling Czech workers, who were not happy. The German inspection like everyone else had to have lunch and go to the bathroom. The Czech workers told him not to worry, they would keep up production while he was gone. When the German inspector got back he inspected the next shell on the line but never checked the shells made while he was away. The Czech workers noticed this and produced junk when he was away. The Germans new they were being sabotaged but could not stop it.
The battleship USS Taxes was exchanging gunfire with a German shore battery during the Normandy invasion. The ship was hit several times, but they were duds.
The British secrete service had a jacket bottom which had a compartment in it that could be unscrewed and used to hide microfilm or messages. The Germans figured it out and the British were about to stop production when one of their men said reverse the threads. When the reversed thread was used the Germans never figured it out and the British used the new bottom for the rest of the war.