What would you do ? (12) 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.

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’s the situation:

The yellow box sets the scene, and the task is for you to solve the situation. Perhaps you might like to write your idea in the “Comments” section.

Here’s the yellow box enlarged:

So…..a V.1 flying bomb, a “doodlebug”, as they were nicknamed by the people of London. You have to destroy it but your  Hawker Tempest V has run out of ammunition’

I think I can guess the answer, but be very careful. There’s a whole ton of explosives on board that Vergeltungswaffe Eins. So much for the indiscriminate bombing of women and children!


Filed under Aviation, Bomber Command, History, military

25 responses to “What would you do ? (12) The Puzzle

  1. A difficult one this. I am not sure what that fighter plane is, it doesn’t look like either a Spitfire or a Hurricane but the real issue for me is that the V1 flying bomb travelled at a speed of 400 mph which means neither the Spitfire (330 mph) or the Hurricane (315 mph) could realistically expect to catch it, let alone shoot it down.

    The pilot has no ammunition so he cannot use the high dive technique to accelerate so the only solution is to wait for the V1 rocket engine to stop and then nudge with a wing tip (very dangerous) it in a different direction away from London and towards somewhere like Slough.

  2. Andrew’s is ingenious – I can’t better it

  3. Pierre Lagacé

    I would not wait for the V1 engine to stop because it would then drop like a rock.
    Going alongside with my Tempest Mark V, I would nudge the V1 with my wing tip like Andrew said. The Tempest had enough speed to position itself alongside and use that technique.

    • I think everybody’s going to get this one! I knew it was a Mark V by the way, because the squadron letters “JE” were on one of the aircraft that I turned up on google and it was actually labelled as a Mark V.

  4. Chris Waller

    I believe that there was an actual event in which a pilot tipped a V1 with his wing-tip, sending it into a dive, so that would be my approach – given that the fighter had sufficient speed.

  5. Thank you for sharing!!.. I agree with the wing tip theory but think the pilot does not need to actually “touch” the wing but be underneath the wing of the V1 and disturb the airflow.. not a pilot or professional so I am not sure how well that would work… 🙂

    Hope all is well in your part of the universe and life is all that you wish for it to be… 🙂

  6. Well, I can think of a few answers, but what would the magazine editors think? Assuming the fighter has the speed, you could do as suggested above and try to get under the V1 wing. That would still send the V1 to explode somewhere, but hopefully, not in a populated area. The other choice is to pop the canopy on the fighter, set it on a crash course and bail out just before the fighter crashes into the V1.

    Or, if you were on a popper combat patrol mission, you’d have a wingman who just might have a ammo left. Or call for another flight to intercept.

    and what in the heck did the pilot just do to run out of ammo? Seems to me that if you’d just been in a fight that took all your ammo, you’ve got bigger problems to worry about.

    • Wikipedia says that the Tempest had 4 × 20 mm cannon, 200 rpg (rounds per gun). I have no idea how long that would last!
      They were actually quite a successful aircraft in combat, with a good record fighting the new German wonder planes especially the Me 262. Against the V1s they destroyed 638 of a total of 1,846 which were destroyed by aircraft.

  7. I won’t comment because I just read an article about the true story. But the pilot was successful and the V ! didn’t do any damage.

    • Yes, as Andrew pointed out above, the pilot would “send the V1 to explode somewhere, but hopefully, not in a populated area.” I think so long as you intercepted near the coast there should be no real problem.

  8. Tipping the V1 was an affective method used. I’ve heard stories that contact with the V1 caused the aircraft to crash also due to static. I can’t confirm this but certainly I would suggest upsetting the airflow so it changes direction. Once the gyroscope was upset it would fall from the sky.

    • Yes, you are absolutely right. Once the gyroscope was knocked out of kilter, that was the end of the V1. The V2, of course, was a very different kettle of fish.

  9. Jan

    You should not overlook the vital work of British Intelligence’s XX (Double Cross) organisation in providing the Germans with misleading reports about where the V1s were actually hitting.

    • Absolutely! I remember reading an article many years ago about how those erroneous reports persuaded the Germans to change the fuel allowance in each V1, and the result was that they all started either to overshoot or to fall short, I forget which.
      I can remember going to Northern France in 1975 and there were scores of the launching ramps left, most of them converted into garages or one man workshops.

  10. I would sacrifice myself by flying my plane into his.

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