What would you do ? (10) The Puzzle

“What would you do ?” used to figure on the cover of a boys’ comic called “Boys’ World”. This was a publication, obviously, aimed at boys and first appeared on January 26th 1963. There were 89 issues before the comic was merged with Eagle in 1964. The last issue of “Boys’ World” came out on October 3rd 1964.

This is issue No 18 which came out on May 25th 1963. This was the day that the idea of amateur and professional players in cricket was abolished—and rightly so. It was also the Saturday when Mike Myers was born:

In 1965 it was the day when Muhammad Ali knocked out Sonny Liston in the first round of their world heavyweight title rematch in Lewiston, Maine:

I used to buy “Boys’ World”, and this was mainly for the front cover which always featured a kind of puzzle. It was called “What would you do ?” and was based on somebody being in what Ned Flanders would call “A dilly of a pickle”. Here he is again:

And here’s this particular front cover:

The yellow box sets the scene, and the task is for you to solve the situation. This time, there’s a white circle  to worry about,which explains that the Japanese ships are in two columns.

Perhaps you might like to write your idea in the “Comments” section.

Here’s the yellow box enlarged:

And in case you are reading this box through a glass, darkly, or perhaps you are colour blind, there is some good news for you. You’ve been promoted to Rear-Admiral in the US Navy, and you are in charge of a squadron of ships in the Pacific Ocean. It is World War Two and the last rays of daylight have just lit up an enemy fleet on the horizon. They are on their way to invade a nearby island.

You know that you MUST attack but the Japanese fleet has greater fire-power than your own and your chances of defeating it in a straight fight seem slim. What orders would you give, as you sail in to attack?

And don’t cheat by asking an expert!!!

For what it’s worth, my squadron will switch all their lights off, and then join onto the two Japanese lines. Our two front ships will torpedo their back two ships. Then our next to front ships will torpedo their next to back ships, and so on, until  we have sunk the lot. Then I will be writing to the Head of the US Navy to tell him that we need more than one torpedo per boat.

 

 

24 Comments

Filed under cricket, Film & TV, History, Humour, Literature, military, Pacific Theatre, Personal, the Japanese

24 responses to “What would you do ? (10) The Puzzle

  1. That’s good enough for me, John

  2. GP

    I was thinking to put up a smoke screen and go in as though you twice the amount of ships than you actually were.
    P.S. – who was the idiot that only gave us one torpedo?

    • That was just a joke, actually, although I was always surprised that U-boats usually carried only 12 or 14 torpedoes.
      I like the idea of a smoke screen. I’m sure that it would make the Japanese think that they were facing a much greater threat than was really the case.

  3. Chris Waller

    I’m trying to recall what Kenneth More did in ‘Sink The Bismarck’. I’d attack, line astern to present the smallest target, and then shell and torpedo. And then get the hell out of there as fast as possible.

    • A good idea, Chris, although in my capacity as Devil’s Advocate, if an attack was made to present the smallest target, wouldn’t the Japanese also be line astern and the smallest target, too? As for getting out of there as fast as possible, I’m with you on that one !!!

  4. The situation implies that preventing the invasion is the mission, not the total destruction of the enemy fleet. I’d follow a similar plan as you mentioned. Slow and adjust course to fall in near the enemy rear and attack transport ships forcing the lead ships to turn and protect them. Basically concentrating my force on a smaller number of ships in the rear and moving up the enemy column. From there it’s a game of hit and run until the enemy has suffered enough damage to be forced to call off the invasion and retire.

    either that or I’d just use my new top secret weapon, the super 10,000 pound magnetically guided, proximity fused, torpedoes and blow them all away from 20,000 yards out … of course that assumes that the death ray isn’t available yet …

    • Yes, that is an extremely good plan, although as you will see, it isn’t the correct answer as the comic writers saw it.
      Your idea of attacking the transport ships first is excellent, and would cause huge confusion among the Japanese warships, especially if GP was there with that smoke screen.
      So, not 100% correct but a very, very good try, Rear-Admiral.

  5. I would do the Trafalgar manoeuvre and break the line. It worked for Nelson so why not!

  6. I’d call the airforce, who’d drop an atomic bomb on them. Then I’d send the ships in to finish them off. Failing that we’d attack front on in line and run for our lives.

    • In the 1950s and 1960s I’m pretty sure that armies used to have field guns that fired small nuclear shells, but I can’t imagine that in WW2. And if you dropped an ordinary atomic bomb, you’d probably destroy the island you were trying to save. That’s a situation very reminiscent of the famous quotation from the Vietnam War in 1968, “It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.”

  7. I am waiting for the answer in your next post 🙂

  8. Jeff Tupholme

    Hi John. I think you might be interested in this, the lineage of Eagle including the merger with Boys’ World and many many others. The mid-sixties was a popular time for launching short-lived comics, apparently!

    https://michaelowencarroll.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/the-eagle-timeline/

    • Thank you very much for that. It is a marvellous achievement to have traced the lineage of all those comics. I was looking for two of my own favourites “Speed & Power” and “Ranger” but then I realised that I hadn’t got the foggiest idea which comics they merged with…if any.

  9. Pierre Lagacé

    Sorry John, I’m late… I will read it and click the Like button.

  10. Pierre Lagacé

    I would do the same.

    Quote…

    For what it’s worth, my squadron will switch all their lights off, and then join onto the two Japanese lines. Our two front ships will torpedo their back two ships. Then our next to front ships will torpedo their next to back ships, and so on, until we have sunk the lot. Then I will be writing to the Head of the US Navy to tell him that we need more than one torpedo per boat.

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